What is Holistic Spirituality
Defining what Holistic Spirituality is about, is a little hard to do because so far, no one has come up with a one size fits all definition. Yet the very fact there is no set definition, goes a long way to adding to the definition because each individual person’s path brings in concepts specific to their path. It truly is a concept that takes into account the whole person, the whole of spirituality and the whole system Our Creator put into place the day the first sun and star spinning their way through the Universe, millions of years ago.
On Yoga Flavored Life, William Ferro said, ”
When people hear the term “holistic spirituality,” a host of images usually come to mind: candles and incense, people doing yoga to Ambient New Age music; meditating in the Lotus Pose, and chanting mantras. All these (and more) are indeed potential elements, but I view it first and foremost as a particular way of seeing the world.
For me, holistic spirituality is very much about overcoming the dualistic mentality that has been enshrined in Western thought for millennia: the notion of opposing forces at war. Centuries of thought have conditioned us to conceive of the Universe in terms of various clashing elements, such as flesh vs. spirit,; good vs. evil; dark vs. light; and so on. In contemporary holistic spiritual practice, devotees work instead toward cultivating a sense of the oneness of all things. We do not conceive of our bodies and spirits as being opposed to one another, but embrace the view that mind, body and spirit comprise a unified whole (putting the “holistic” in holistic spirituality). According to this view, human beings are neither heroically good nor abysmally evil in their totality; rather, they are infinitely varying mixtures of light and shadow sides. (Of course, most practitioners of holistic spirituality would concede that there are individuals who—for whatever reason–so fully embrace their shadow sides that the light is fully extinguished. I doubt we would find many practitioners who would contest the idea that these people cause a great deal of harm.)”
Let’s look at several pieces of Mr. Ferro’s definition and dig a little deeper as there are some very key things in his statements.
That key phrase makes it quite plain there is no one way of belonging to the group of practitioners. Many practitioners meditate, perform yoga routines and more on a regular basis. Yet no one is required to do those things. Holistic Spirituality is not a religion. There are no “you must do it this way” rules to follow or risk some sort of punishments. All types of Spirituality are about how you personally connect to and interact with Our Creator, The Highest Power, God or whatever you choose to call them. It is about seeing the world in a way that goes against everything religion, society and media has been telling us since the day we were born. It’s about letting go of the bond we have allowed others to wrap around us and seeing ourselves, the world, the universe and everything thing and everyone in it, as being exactly what The Creator created them to be.
The truth is in the middle
As Mr. Ferro said, we have been taught to see the world in dualities. We try to put labels on people to fit them into either this or that category. It is a duality that rarely fits any situation. If you step back and take a hard took at how the universe is created, it is easy to see there is a huge spectrum of possibilities with every person, place or thing.
It is much easier to visualize a triangle rather than two points on a line. Let’s use good and bad for an example. Based off nothing but your initial info from a person, you tend to see them as either good or bad. If they treat you well you think in terms of “they seem nice (good)”. If they are obnoxious you think the opposite. Even if you have experienced ten or more encounters with this person and they were all similar, you are labeling them good or bad based on a tiny amount of information from a being that is extremely complicated.
Holistic Spirituality sees any grouping of people, places or things, as more of a triangle. Only tiny numbers of individuals fit into the truly white or black section.
Everyone (or everything) else fits into any one of thousands of places in the remainder of the triangle. They are an individual mixture of the light/dark, white/black, or positive/negative that makes it virtually impossible to find anyone (or anything) else that is 100% exactly the same.
Why does it feel natural to see the world as either/or?
It feels natural because you have been conditioned to see it that way. I truly believe it all started with religion. Every religion on earth sees their teachings as being the only teachings people should follow. Some believe everyone should follow their ways but are happy to think it while allowing everyone to live their lives as they see fit. Some are on the opposite end of that spectrum and believe their god demands they do everything they can to get others to follow their beliefs. Up to and including (throughout various times in history) putting people to death when they don’t, forcing entire societies to follow or risk spending life in inhumane “jails” and far too many horror to mention in this short article.
Of course just like our triangle above, the entirety of any one religion will be a varied mixture of the two sides. This is the way The Creator intended it to be. This concept can be applied to any aspect of our lives, but is especially useful when working to move past the negativity we are constantly bombarded with and move ourselves toward a more positive life.
Religion is not the only place we see the dual concept. It shows up in our jobs, television, the internet, our relationships, the weather,. animals, air quality and any other category you can think of. It is the way The Creator designed the entire Universe. Duality limits and confines you. Holistic Spirituality brings unlimited possibilities and free your body, mind and soul!
This is a key concept you will hear me speak about on a regular basis. Spend some time meditation or thinking on the subject. How many things/people/places can you think of where you can rethink your experience and see it through this new filter? Does it change your view on the incident to see it from this new aspect?
Feel free to comment with your thoughts.