The “journey exploring spirituality” is the adventure of a lifetime. Are you ready to begin?
The Hero’s Journey
To explain this quest, let’s start by defining terms. Spirituality is a word with a wide range of meanings. A lot depends upon the context and how you use it. You can infuse almost any value into the term, which adds to the confusion.
Defining the Terms
Spirituality refers to the deeper aspects of the human psyche. It is the domain of what some call the Spirit or Soul. It’s a way of describing the elements of consciousness. That’s why some people say we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.
The word journey is the act of traveling, which relates to exploring. The ultimate area of exploration is our consciousness. Thus, the term “journey exploring spirituality” is another way of understanding “spiritual exploration.” See, that was easy.
People often confuse the term spiritual with religion. But that is a mistake. Exploring consciousness is the essence of the spiritual journey. On the other hand, religions a more concerned with the belief in doctrine and imaginary friends.
The three most popular organized religions are the Abrahamic religions. These are the faiths of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Beautiful as they are, they are not new. They are a rebranding of earlier mythology and superstition, the so-called mystery religions of the Meditrainian region circa 1 BCE. These systems have nothing to do with spirituality and everything to do with making customers.
Spiritual exploration is the practice of techniques to explore consciousness. You don’t join a religion to practice these techniques. The pioneers of these techniques used spiritual terms to explain how to learn them. These are tools that enable us to explore the inner world of consciousness.
The Journey Exploring Spirituality
It is only natural to be curious about our consciousness and the inner world. We are born to explore the unknown, and our curiosity prompts us to ask questions and seek answers. Our natural curiosity leads us on a quest for inner discovery. You may have the same questions; who or what are we, where does our consciousness originate? What happens to our awareness when we die? Who is the person I talk to inside my head, experiencing my dreams when I sleep?
The questions above prompt us to find answers. It’s the inward quest of spiritual exploration. Joseph Campbell is a noted professor of religious studies, and he calls it the “journey exploring spirituality” the Hero’s Journey (1). You can find this model around the world in many cultures. We use this same philosophy in our blended learning process. It’s a natural progression that shows up when you teach the ancient technologies in perspective with their culture.
“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land, Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.” — Joseph Campbell
This quote sets the tone of group sessions. It establishes the mission for the Hero’s Journey steps we are about to take. Many people are interested in the inner quest. It is the desire to seek the unknown, and it serves as a spark for our spiritual journey.
It reflects this process in three steps, awakening, transforming, and inspiring. We use the most effective techniques in our blended learning method. These processes are what we call spiritual technologies.
These are scientifically proven techniques to explore consciousness and develop your potential. Think of these methods are like a recipe for baking a cake. If you follow the recipe, you’ll end up with a delicious cake.
They have been practiced for generations, and today we can prove their changes in our physiology. They are repeatable and produce predictable outcomes.
For example, Japa Meditation produces a deep state of rest. We can measure increased brainwave coherence, a lower heart, and respiration than sleep. It even increases skin resistance. These measurements help us prove the existence of other states of consciousness.
We categorize these tools into four groups. Some methods overlap and could be two or more:
It might surprise you to see analytical tools at the beginning of a list on spirituality. However, these methods are the cornerstone of every spiritual explorer.
We integrate emotional check-ins with each tool which involves exploring beliefs or the subconscious mind. It’s an essential part of the research process. It keeps our feelings neutral. Staying calm is necessary when engaging ideas that don’t align with your worldview. The hero’s journey will undoubtedly need these tools to keep on track.
Critical thinking is the backbone of spiritual exploration. The three tools in this group are:
- Logical and Rational Thinking,
- Comparative Analysis, and
- The Enneagram of Personality.
Logical and Rational Thinking
Logical and Rational Thinking Skills is an introductory course in logic. It’s a tool that outlines the proper use of common sense and reasoning. Next is a tool to help us recognize the ten most common Logical Fallacies. Last but not least are the Spiritual Axioms. Axioms are formulas that help us spot deception.
Comparative Analysis is a method of comparative religious study using a structured approach to keep the investigator on track. It’s an effective tool for investigating and evaluating spiritual concepts. Using this process, you can develop a core values worksheet to help you understand your values hierarchy. It works well as a group project, and you can do it solo as well.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a system of cognitive psychology combining scientific principles and spiritual understanding. It’s a method to identify Ego, personality, and instinct using questionnaires and exercises. It is easy to understand, yet also deep enough clinicians.
The Enneagram and psychology share the same roots. The early pioneers of psychology like Freud and Jung were familiar with the structure of the traditional Enneagram. For example, Jungian psychology parallels the design of the Enneagram with nine processes of consciousness, which aligns with the nine personality types of the Enneagram.
Seated meditation is the first technology most people think of when discussing a “spiritual practice.” Yet, meditation involves many sitting and moving forms.
Sitting meditation is often the first spiritual practice one learns and is often the core of consciousness exploration. There are several types of sitting meditation. You have everything from a simple two-step approach to Mindfulness Meditation. Next in the progression are Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniques. And more advanced methods such as the Siddhis Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Tai Chi is the most recognizable form of moving mediation, but these techniques include almost any movement where you can engage a heightened degree of awareness. There are several progressions of Moving meditation. For example, the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a form of moving meditation, and mindfulness is also part of this group.
Practicing moving meditation improves the mind-body connection. It is proven to improve our overall mental health. The methods in this group are modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Moving meditation also involves the concept of grounding. There are tools to help us ground and connect with nature like Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
These methods involve the bandwidth of our perception like the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. Some varieties of this technique use movement and dance. This category of tools includes techniques like Lucid Dreaming and Third-Eye Awakening and tools that enhance memory, such as Learning How to Learn. It rounds out practical tools like the spiritual journal or book of shadows, Automatic Writing, and Exploring Memories.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first tool for exploring consciousness. You will find this process in indigenous cultures around the globe. Because there as so many varieties, it proves the universal significance of the spiritual journey.
Aboriginal Dreamtime is a unique form of this method. Yet, all forms of the Shamanic Journey use the same basic formula. They combine the rhythm of a drum or rattle along with creative visualization. The rhythm regulates heart rate and breathing, and then the imaginary landscape provides the gateway to a lucid adventure. A Shaman specializes in one or more applications for this technique. However, you don’t need a Shaman or a guide. You become ” your own ” guide using a drum or recorded drum track, and you become “your own” guide.
Our Western culture sees the value in this process and rebrands it accordingly to make it more marketable. Some call it “guided meditation” or “creative visualization,” but it’s still the Shamanic Journey.
Modalities for Healing
Healing is an ongoing process. We learn to enhance this with spiritual technologies like Pe Jet, from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We also use Vedic medicine, and various forms of Self-care are an integral part of healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it better to create a spiritual path of my own design, or should I join a religion? We recommend finding the tools to develop an approach tailored to your gifts. If you read the holy books most religions use, you’ll discover that the spiritual leaders like Jesus and Buddha had their spiritual revelations by finding their own way. Jesus was a Jew but left the religion to find enlightenment in the wilderness. The same with Buddha, he found enlightenment meditating under a tree.
- Can I follow a religion and also these processes? Yes, you can unless your religious beliefs say there is a conflict. Some religions forbid you from involving yourself in anything outside of the religion. And, some regions have harsh penalties for venturing outside the boundaries they dictate. If this fits your situation, it’s time to test your path to see if it’s leading you where you want to go.
- How can I start my spiritual journey? The easiest way to start is to get a journal and start writing. A journal is a tool anyone can use to spot growth trends or obstacles preventing your development. It’s your best coach. The next step would be to find a resource that provides tools for exploring consciousness. Read the section below on spiritual technologies. Find out which of these methods resonates with you. Then find resources that provide the techniques you want to try.
- If I use these techniques, will I become more spiritually aware? Yes, these are the processes that unlock your spiritual gifts and are one of this quest’s primary goals.
- Is spiritual faith the same as “the journey exploring spirituality?” Faith and spirituality are two different things. Faith is a term used by organized religions to describe belief in religious dogma. Many Western religions try to reframe the word spiritual to associate their ideology, mythology, and superstition with spirituality. Exploring our spirituality has nothing to do with religion, faith in doctrines, or an imaginary friend.
We are thankful for ancient cultures that safeguarded these tools. They are the true pioneers of consciousness. They may not have been aware of the pattern of the hero’s journey within their teachings. It must be a universal principle for so many different cultures to arrive at the same conclusions.
If you are interested in learning the techniques outlined in this article, you may be interested in our workshops. We can craft a virtual learning session tailored to your needs.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
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