This is the most asked question. Why do we use the terms spiritual and exploration to describe what we do? Come and find out what it is and why you should be involved.
What is Spiritual Exploration
Let’s start by clarifying and breaking down the terms. This will help the meaning and way we use them to describe what we do.
Defining the Terms
The word spirituality has many meanings. Its use depends upon the context. Therefore, people are uncertain about our use of these words. This term relates to everything referring to the human condition. We relate “spirituality” with the term Spirit or Soul. And, the human Spirit or Soul is synonymous with consciousness.
Exploring or exploration. This means traveling, seeking, or searching in unfamiliar areas. Exploration is an action. We call it spiritual exploration to honor the tradition of the people who pioneered and transmitted these teachings to us.
The confusion comes in because many people relate the term spiritual with religion. But spirituality has nothing to do with religion. Religion is a belief system typically based on mythology and superstition. Everyone has consciousness (Spirit or Soul) regardless of what they believe. We believe the true spiritual path is the use of processes to explore consciousness.
So, we define spiritual exploration as the use of processes for exploring consciousness. That’s because these tools delve into consciousness. And again we see consciousness the same as Spirit.
Why We Use these Terms
First, because the cultures pioneering these methods used spiritual vocabulary to describe the elements of consciousness exploration. Consciousness is a term synonymous with spirit in most ancient cultures. They often use terms like spirit and soul when talking about elements we understand as Ego and consciousness.
Second, we use the terms spiritual and exploration to honor these traditions and keep the historical meaning intact. So, it is all about processes. Simple as that.
It is a collection of methods for investigating awareness and consciousness. You could call it many things such as awareness research, the investigation of human potential, the survey of the parameters perception, methods of cognition, or processes for consciousness development.
We do not exist between our ears. Our consciousness is unlimited by space or time. We can develop our awareness and access to higher states of consciousness.
Everyone has their own way of awakening. We have unique spiritual gifts and we are on different timetables. Awakening is a process. These gifts are sleeping in our DNA. When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion. It opens our minds to new potentials. Accessing these gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures.
We enjoy the benefits of generations of research. The results are a set of powerful tools anyone can use. We call these tools spiritual technologies. These are sound methods for expanding awareness and exploring consciousness. These tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable experiential phenomena. And, higher states of awareness also have unique measurable physiological signatures. They differ from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
You do not need to follow a religion to use these tools. All you need to do is follow the process. For the most part, these tools come from Eastern traditions. Their focus is on exploring consciousness and developing human potential.
You will find this eclectic in other systems. For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt what is already proven to be effective. After all, human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years. So, the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.
Spiritual technologies are methods for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
Moreover, the tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology. It’s important to realize what it is not.
To emphasize, the processes for exploring consciousness are not a part of any religion. So, anyone from any background can use them. They do not require belief in any religion to use them. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four main groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one group.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. In turn, this helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. And, we also come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next, is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use with religion, politics the are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram with its nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. Furthermore, the scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. This includes a range of tools from basic Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And, also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali. It also includes more contemporary processes for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. And, so, it serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia