Moin Qazi is a well-known banker, author and Islamic researcher. He can be reached at moinqazi123@gmail.com

Mystic Mantra: The soul of spiritualism

Published Mar 13, 2018, 3:40 am IST
Updated Mar 13, 2018, 3:41 am IST
In the last few decades millions of people have given up on organised religion.
In the last few decades millions of people have given up on organised religion. Yet for many of these dropouts — from churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and so on — spirituality is still a vital part of their lives.
 In the last few decades millions of people have given up on organised religion. Yet for many of these dropouts — from churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and so on — spirituality is still a vital part of their lives.

In the last few decades millions of people have given up on organised religion. Yet for many of these dropouts — from churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and so on — spirituality is still a vital part of their lives. It may be no surprise that those who have started detesting organised religion have seen their appetite for spiritual values grow larger.

If you went to a place of worship looking for relief from the stress and burdens of living, you might have found more of the same, clothed as beliefs and dogmas, rules and injunctions .People go to seek God. Instead of finding God, you find priests doling out catalogues of “do’s” and “don’ts” as onerous as the tax codes.  
We are told how to believe, what to think, as well as how we’re supposed to live.  Then, there’s the debating, disagreement, and division that goes on between   people , each group insisting that their beliefs are right, which by implication means that everyone else’s beliefs are wrong. “We’re the chosen ones; you’re not!” Maybe those who came looking for some sanity in life are leaving organised religion to preserve what little remains of their spiritual stamina.

 

The greatest impact of overemphasis on organised religion has been felt by  spiritualism which is actually the soul of religion. Spiritualism has been replaced by ritualism and with it all great ethical and moral values that undergird it have grown weaker . Every living being in the universe struggles consciously or unconsciously towards the goal of spiritual freedom. The basic and instinctive urge for happiness, pleasure and material success is on account of this struggle. To each of us, God extends a lifeline of reflection and repentance, provided that we keep alive within us that innate good nature. If, however, we insist on rejecting it, and crush our conscience deliberately, the moral consequences can be grave.

We must understand that every scriptural book has to be read, not only with the tongue and voice and eyes, but with the truest and purest light which our heart and conscience can provide. This is the only way we can internalize it. Spirituality springs from the soul, and   and permeates the entire being .If the soul becomes barren; we will continue to practice our rituals robotically. What is the point if your prayers and fasting and your  rituals can’t clean your heart and enhance the quality of your character. In our religious journey we often mistake the guideposts for the final destination. At that point, prayers become mere empty words; rituals become routines and the soul becomes a slave of habit.

 The scriptures have not to be just ritualized; they have to be applied to our everyday lives. What ultimately matters is the purity and chastity of the conscience and this is the primary attribute of a true servant of God. It is the most authentic barometer of our piety. When a man acts without any attachment to earthly bonds, the motivation comes not from the heart’s passions, but from the soul’s clear light. In this perception, there is no dualism between the perceiver and the perceived and the beholder and the beholden. You cannot tell the dancer from the dance, as W.B. Yeats described it.   Spiritual values are the central axis of the chariot of civilization As Woodrow Wilson emphasized, “Unless our civilization is redeemed spiritually, it cannot endure materially.”





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