Spiritual Literacy

Next to my bed is a stack of books, among them Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. While I was practicing free love and expanding my mind psychedelically in the 1970’s this wild and crazy couple of kids were exploring spirituality and culture. They’ve been married for 40 years and are rich. I haven’t and am not.  Go figure.

Anyway, I’ve had this book in my library for a number of years and haven’t done more than thumb through it. To be honest, it seemed a bit on the western Judeo-Christian side of spirituality, so I wasn’t all that interested in actually reading it cover to cover. But as I am packing up and supposedly simplifying my life and simultaneously trying to rekindle my daily spiritual practice, I thought I’d give it a go.

Yep, it is a little heavy on the contemporary western theologian with Judeo-Christian educations bit. There is some Thich Nhat Hanh tossed in and some other western Buddhism, along with a little Sufism. If you try to read it cover to cover it comes off as that heavily intellectual stuff that puts most plain ole people right to sleep.

I did make it through the opening introductory chapters though and decided to skim the readings in the following chapters, except for the introductions and the bits at the end with suggestions for spiritual activities. I think a book of this sort is best thumbed through while looking for inspiration. Except that it’s so big and unwieldy.

In the chapter “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life” they give definitions of spirituality from 11 different Christians in 6 paragraphs, as though only western Christians have a viewpoint. And the definitions are SO complex and difficult for a poor, uneducated regular person like me.

To me Spirituality is Being in Awareness.

When I think of people I know who I consider truly spiritual I mostly think of smiles that come from within and eyes that dance with joy. These people seem to just glow and radiate a peace that affects everyone around them. They seem to be able to just BE and to be happy just Being. At the same time, they have an Awareness of everything around them, of the world and how it all interconnects. And they transmit this, convey it somehow, in a way that is kind and inclusive.

Those times when I myself have felt most spiritually connected have been moments of awareness. Times when you just BE and are Aware of it and of your connection to and interconnectedness with everything seen and unseen, known and unknown, and of its connection to and interconnectedness with you.

Simply Being, in Awareness.

P.S. This book goes in the give-away pile.

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