Book: Sceptical Spirituality
How can you be sure to ‘get it right’ spiritually?
How do we get our ordinary, familiar, everyday minds to help us think the ‘right kind of thoughts’ which will send us in the right spiritual/metaphysical direction?
In other words, how can we make sure we aren’t deluding ourselves, and ‘getting spiritual insight massively wrong’?
There is a way. And the principles of self-salvation (and there is no other) are absurdly simple and straightforward, and are open to anyone and everyone. All you need to be able to do is think and observe clearly and objectively. Nothing else required: no special intellectual capacities, divine connectedness or goodness of heart.
4 simple principles:
(1) You use your ordinary, everyday, worldly mind, and your everyday ‘mind’s eye’
(2) to look at what’s directly in front of you with your own observational and analytical capacities
(3) while abandoning all religious/spiritual doctrines, theories and imaginings
(4) while treating everything with a radical scepticism: try always to be objective and impartial, and not ‘believe’ in anything that you can’t see directly and objectively with your own ‘mind’s eye’.
So to repeat: is there any way, given that we know — or at least suspect — that our default (ordinary) spiritual connectedness may not be ‘perfect’, and that this connectedness may require some fine-tuning to get it functioning optimally and, presumably at the same time, functioning correctly.
Generally speaking, given the current predominance of New Age thinking, anyone wanting authentic spiritual instruction and genuine spiritual insight has only to turn to one of the many hundreds of ‘spiritual practices’ on offer, and then simply to join in, by doing and thinking whatever it is that is required. You are sure to be asked to meditate, and cultivate ‘mindfulness’, and cultivate ‘goodness of heart, and so on, and for the few who want to take things further, there is always the relevant literature.
But the question ‘is this (practice, teaching) the real thing?’ is not something most…