History of Practical Spirituality
Spirituality has not always been very practical.
In every religion, there is a set of rules and regulations (called dogma and theology) that defines how we express our spirituality in society or in different cultures.
Every culture has its own spiritual guidelines and rules of social behavior. For example, for many years, the Catholics believed that you should not eat meat on Friday. Recently, this was rescinded. The “burqua” dress that women wear in Islamic countries is actually a cultural tradition rather than a religious one.
So how are we to tell the difference between what we “should” or “shouldn’t do?”
This is where an understanding of symbolism is so important so that you don’t confuse the “religious” with the “spiritual.”
As a soul, you are, you have been and you will always be.
Since you are pure soul or spirit, you cannot die. It is impossible. Einstein clarified that electro-magnetic energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It just changes form.
Your physical body provides you with an anchor to stay here on planet Earth so that you don’t just “float” back out to the universe before you are ready.
Before 1440 A.D., when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in Germany (and even the invention of movable type in China by Bi Sheng in 1041 A.D.), the number of people who were illiterate was staggering.
Only the wealthy landowners during the so-called Dark Ages at that time could read while most of the working people were doing well if they could simply put an “x” to sign their name!
Therefore, many of the religious concepts we have today evolved from the creation of symbols that illustrated personal experiences that the spiritual leaders of the time wanted to share with their followers.
When these symbols or parables are taken literally, they usually create an image in our mind that is beautiful and comforting, but not always factual.
Over 500 years ago, when Galileo tried to convince the intelligencia and the church that the earth actually revolved around the sun rather than the other way around, he was ex-communicated by the Pope of the Catholic Church. No one wanted to believe him.
When Christopher Columbus would look out over the ocean and saw that the ships disappeared after sailing for a few hours toward the west, it dawned on him that the world could not possibly be flat. Especially when they came back alive!
Unfortunately, when it comes to expressing our spirituality, we are still belaboring under much of this same symbolism—even after thousands of years and especially now when we are getting a whole new outlook on the vastness and beauty of the universe.
We still think that everything spiritual still revolves around the earth.
Angels and Spiritual Guides
One example of this is the concept of angels or spiritual guides. In reality, your guardian angels don’t really have “wings.” This is the conception of the original artists and sculptors who wanted to depict the inspiration that people got from a “divine” source—or the universe.
Symbolically, they chose a bird that always knows where it wants to go before taking flight. This is why the dove has become an important religious symbol throughout the ages. As a matter of fact, it has been told that Nero would send out the results of the games from Rome attached to the dove (or pigeon) to all of his friends!
Then, they needed a symbol for purity or innocence. So they chose the body of a small child. When they put the wings of the dove (inspiration from something that flew through the air) on an infant, they translated it from the original Hebrew into Greek and called it an “angel” which means “messenger.” This evolved into “Messengers of God.”
In reality, all of us come to planet Earth with a team of “angels” or spiritual helpers to help guide and direct us throughout our life. This is where we get 80-90% of all of our inspirations during the day—as well as through our own personal sensitivity. They are just like us—pure soul or spirit. They can even appear as “balls of white light” around a person. It only takes about 30 seconds to learn how to see this energy around your head or physical body!
When you get a hunch or impression, vision or picture in your mind, thought or idea or feeling to go a certain way, it is usually your spiritual guidance giving you inspiration.
You can learn how to have a two-way communication with each one of your own spiritual helpers and get direct and immediate answers to all of your questions.
More about this in Where to go from here?
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Do angels really have wings? And what other symbols do we take as reality? Read more...
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