Intellectual and spiritual evolution are not the same
How does one measure spiritual evolution? If someone asked you “How spiritually evolved are you?”, what will your answer be? And how do you justify your answer?
Tough questions, hardly any doubt. More than that, these are very subtle and very much subject to an individual’s interpretation of their his or her goal in life and also interests and passion.
Those who think they are spiritually evolved and mature can very easily fall into the trap of confusing spiritual evolution with intellectual evolution. The latter is straightforward. Human civilization has made amazing advances in every area, especially in the last 100 years. Our lives and living standards have been transformed compared to our ancestors. It feels like technology modernization is running away from us, so fast that we cannot even catch up.
In many ways, the collective worldview is also a lot more mature. For the most part, people agree on many fundamental tenets without any dispute or disagreements – for instance, racism is not a good thing. Nor is sexual harassment. Peace and negotiations are always better than any kind of war. Basic human rights and freedom of speech should not be denied to anyone.
A few centuries ago, or even a few decades ago, all these weren’t a given. We were still trying to find a mature and acceptable view of these topics.
But could one say that we have spiritually evolved and are much better off than we were decades or centuries ago?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In fact, the bad news is that we may even be worse off than we were decades or centuries ago. Why is it so?
First, we need to understand the meaning of spirituality and being spiritual. In very simple terms, it is finding and experiencing the innermost being at the core of our existence. This is not just some faith-based paradigm – it is very real. It has to be assumed as a hypothesis and we have to then experiment in finding it and experiencing it through techniques like Sahaja meditation. This is at the core of what we offer.
Do we need a lot of knowledge and superior intellect to achieve this? No. Does anyone need any kind of qualifications or criteria for this? No – it works universally for anyone of any age or background.
Why doesn’t everyone then access and experience their spirituality easily and why doesn’t the world get enlightened quickly?
All types of evolution have their own pace and path. No type of evolution is easy – it requires hard work, maturity, persistence and almost always is a pyramid-like process. It becomes harder to reach the apex or top of the pyramid. It’s the test of nature. Climbing to the very top of a mountain isn’t for everyone. They need motivation and the inner urge and desire.
Coming back to our topic on spiritual evolution, it is a subtle personality improvement paradigm driven by a powerful inner urge we call seeking. It requires experimentation with the self and a lot of introspection.
Sometimes the knowledge we accumulate all our lives can complicate this journey of spiritual evolution. We may tend to develop fixations or an undue attachment to logic, science or process and spirituality may seemingly evade or not follow any of these. This may throw us off and make us uncomfortable because we enter unchartered territory, encountering experiences and concepts we have not been taught before.
And experience is really the key here – spirituality is more an experiential paradigm than a knowledge-based paradigm. No amount of reading and learning can substitute actually reaching of that higher state of consciousness and experiencing what it feels like.
In the same way, no amount of knowledge about self-improvement or good behavior can make us spiritual, nor can a pretense of good character and behavior or forced adoption of particular good traits. We need to feel and exhibit the good character traits innately. It’s almost like we intuitively express and exhibit those character and personality traits.
Intellectual evolution can help us understand and get excited about personal transformation at best – it cannot really help achieve personal transformation.
Intellectual evolution and advancements may not have a net positive impact on society, but spiritual evolution as a civilization most definitely will. People will be more patient, understanding and a lot more peaceful. When people get smarter and more intelligent, the world does not necessarily get better or more peaceful. We’ve seen that already. Which is why we say that intellectual evolution and advancements have hardly contributed to spiritual advancement or improvement. More likely, they have probably made it more difficult and created a world where it is hard to achieve spiritual progress.
How does one focus and attain spiritual improvement?
- You’re already on it and have started the journey if you’re reading this. You signed up with us because of that spark of achieving self-improvement inside you. So, you have it in you to achieve spiritual evolution.
- Focus on the experience and higher state. Sure reading and understanding will help, but unless you actualize the higher state through meditation, you’re not going to get there.
- Keeping it simple and uncomplicated is much better than trying spirituality through complicated techniques or methods. As an example, just be sincere and regular and sit in meditation each day rather than worry about a lot of things in life. Don’t go looking for exotic stuff or highly paid courses.
- Letting go works better than trying to master or do something – Surrender to the power inside you and watch it get you the best results, instead of struggling to “do” your meditation.
- Measure how you feel from the inside, not how you modulate or moderate your external behavior. For instance, are you becoming more peaceful and less agitated from within? Do you find yourself becoming more patient and understanding? If not, you’re probably not progressing even if you’re regularly meditating.
- Follow the experience of those who have been there and done that. We often say that collective meditation works magic. Or that the foot soaking technique does wonders to clear out the obstacles in you. Follow it. Don’t doubt or second guess and be persistent and consistent. You’ll get there soon enough.
- Think long term and be patient. Just stay the course and don’t keep judging yourself too harshly. And don’t try to evaluate spirituality or spiritual paths using those concepts you’ve learned from books or courses.