Jewish Journal


April 8, 2013

How to Define Spirituality



By Yeshaia Blakeney

In conversation, people casually ask me what I do for a living.  Usually they’re just curious to see if it’s something they’re interested in, or trying to gain insight into me as a person.  I usually respond with my title, and say, “I am a Spiritual Counselor.”  Invariably I get a, “that’s cool, what is that?”  Unfortunately, or fortunately, spiritual counseling fits into about as many neat categories as the human spirit itself.  I find myself at a loss every time I end up saying words that probably make things less clear like, “I tend to look at the big picture” and “I work with peoples emotional, spiritual orientation” or my personnel favorite (and the most honest) “I haven’t figured out what that means yet either.”  We are all at a loss for words when it comes to the most sacred in life.  Because we cannot contain it in words, we deny its existence. We won’t let the sacred breath in and so we suffocate it with sarcasm and empty logic.  We strip life down to its essence and then claim that life has none.

Most of us don’t do this consciously, we live it, skeptic, thrusting what is minute in the eyes of one’s spirit to the highest of thrones, and picking that which is most high down off its stem, not for re-planting but for scrutiny and examination.  It makes no sense to count numbers in the face of infinity claiming that you’ll get there. 

Spirituality is about sanctification, lifting that which seems at times absurd, to the high heavens and bringing that which is most high still intact down to earth for glorification and worship.  Spirituality is about prayer and routine, but not “routine prayer” as my Rabbi says.  It is about letting go, and bathing in that which we cannot know, and that which we must celebrate.

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