Universal Spirituality is not an easy topic to clearly define. Defining Universal Spirituality is on an equal par with attempting to define the nature of God. For every person you ask this question, you receive an answer varying from small degree to a large margin of perception. Many authorities have attempted to define this question, but with the unfathomable differences in beliefs, religions, traditions, values, and cultures worldwide, the results are always controversial.
To attempt to define University Spirituality, let us break down the two parts to the equation. “Universal” is basically something applicable to all. Something having the characteristics of being universal can be a theme, principle, law, or practice that applies not only to everyone, but everywhere. Let’s take a look at an example of some things that are universal to everyone. Food, Water, and Air are basic substances that are a universal necessity for the survival of the human body. Light is also essential for us. Darkness is a constant in the universal cycle of the Earth’s rotation; however, darkness is certainly not necessary for us. How about a universal language of communication? How about universal knowledge? Though varying by degree and understanding, we all need basic knowledge to live and survive. How about love? Without love we slowly begin to wilt like a flower without sun, but, it is not critical for immediate survival.
Now that we have a general understanding of what constitutes “Universal,” let’s examine the second part. “Spirituality” is the fact or quality of being spiritual. Being spiritual pertains to the spirit. Spirit, in its true essence, is invisible and intangible and carries different meanings for different people. The meaning each person perceives of spirit is unique to the individual; however, on the whole, this is unimportant.
What is most important is that humanity reaches and agrees upon a common definition of what constitutes spirit, and since we are talking about humans, the definition must apply to humans. The definition is that all human beings are spiritual beings. In other words, a basic understanding of what constitutes “being spiritual” is an important first step in answering the question. How each individual expresses his or her individual spirituality is the next step; however, at this point in our discussion, it is unimportant. Understanding that humans are spiritual beings is believed by the majority these days, although belief and knowing that you are is a different story. For example, reading an informative article that you are a spiritual being may provide that spark within your consciousness leading you to conclude that “Yes, I am a spiritual being.” Such confirmation is good, if usually short-lived. We have been highly conditioned to not accept things unless we have valid proof, and even then many remain skeptical. Spirituality, like God, is for most, the great unsolved and inexperienced mystery. Proof comes in the shift and eventual transformation of believing that your state of perceptual awareness and, most important, your identity, continues during periods of consciousness other than your normal waking state of reality. Most people, at this stage of evolution, are concerned with the survival of their identity in some form following the loss of the physical body. There are many people who have received proof of this continuity without having to go through the change known as death. There are a few people who have had Out-Of-Body Experiences (OBE’s), and with the advances in modern medicine and life-support machines, a considerable number more have had a Near-Death Experience, or NDE. These experiences, while puzzling to the individual, greatly assist in dispelling the great amount of fear associated with the possible loss of identity. What does all this mean? It is one of the first steps in understanding that we are all spiritual beings. In other words, how do we, as individuals, fit in with the answer to the question of Universal Spirituality? This fits right in as the second half of our question, like a glove, in fact. A universal theme, something that is common to all, is accepting the fact that we are all spiritual beings. This is the most important first step in answering the question of what is Universal Spirituality. Let’s take it a step further by elaborating on theme, principle, law and practice.