How is Spiritual exploration different from religion?  This is a good question and, the answer may surprise you.

How Spiritual Exploration Differs from Religion

Spiritual exploration is the use of processes to develop awareness.  It’s all about methods for exploring and developing the mind.  Whereas, religion is about belief in myth and doctrine.

The processes we use in spiritual exploration come from many ancient cultures.  These methods represent eons of practical research.  What’s more, we can verify these methods with science.  They are repeatable and provide measurable data such as reducing heart rate and increasing brainwave coherence.  Many provide measurable health benefits, like reducing stress and the effects of PTSD for instance.

Think of these processes like following a recipe, like baking a cake.  If you combine the right ingredients in the right order, the result is something delicious.  All you need to do is to follow the recipe. You do not need to follow any religion to use them.

What are Spiritual Technologies?

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 spiritual exploration is not.

To emphasize, spiritual exploration is not a belief in religious dogma or doctrine.  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
    • Meditation
    • Awareness Expansion Tools
    • Healing Practices

Analytical Tools

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.

Logical Reasoning

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

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.

Meditation

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

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

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 headline process is 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 leads you to 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.

Healing practices

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I create my own path? Yes.  Most definitely.
  • Can I follow a religion and embark on my own journey exploring spirituality?  In most cases yes you can.  Unless your religion forbids you.
  • Where should I start my spiritual journey?  We suggest you read the section below on spiritual technologies.  Then get a journal and start writing.  This is one tool everyone needs.  It’s your best coach.  Find out which of these methods resonates with you.  Then find a resource close to you.
  • Will the practice of these spiritual technologies make me more spiritually aware?  Yes.  Many of these open your spiritual gifts.
  • What is the spiritual journey called?  We know it as the Path.  Others call it the Hero’s Journey, as we mentioned above.
  • Can this quest help me find my own spirituality?  Yes. That is the goal.
  • Is spiritual faith the same as the journey exploring spirituality.  In a strict sense, no.  Faith is a term describing belief in religious dogma.  Religions try to reframe the term spiritual and associate it with their dogma.  Exploring spirituality has nothing to do with religious dogma, belief, or faith.

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