On Rose Rosetree’s blog, there has been several posts related to “being Spiritual.” In a more recent article she summarizes 3 types: Authentic experience, belief and lifestyle based. She makes some good points, like an authentic spiritual connection can only be recognized in others using stage 3 energetic literacy. Not by appearances or behaviour. And especially not by charisma.
I considered the question and responded on one of the articles. I’m sharing those thoughts for your own consideration. What does it mean for you? You’re also welcome to follow the conversation there.
Firstly, I’d suggest being spiritual and being ethical are distinct. An atheist can be ethical, for example. Also, if a spiritual person moves from one country to another, they may have to learn a few new local ethical standards. They vary.
Secondly, I would not say someone is “spiritual” because they have concepts or belief about being spiritual. That’s driven by mind and inherently ego and does not lead to ethical behaviour. Ego is self-serving and will behave “spiritually” or ethically if it thinks it personally appropriate. Going to church or reading spiritual books does not make a person spiritual necessarily. A teacher of spirituality may not yet themselves be “spiritual”.
To me someone is spiritual when they have an experiential and energetic connection to source. They know directly that they are made of and from a quiet peace deep within. (or some various description thereof) This perspective then informs all our actions and inclines us to ethical behaviour without much thinking about it.
The old texts tell us that until we shift from being identified with the ego to being identified with that inner Being, we will inherently be self-motivated and make mistakes. Thus, it’s not until someone has stepped beyond the ego that we could say they are fully established in “spiritual”.
Until then, I would suggest we are students of spirituality. We are learning to be spiritual. And ethical. But as long as there’s an ego in there driving our thoughts and emotions, we’ll stumble.
Even the awake, “established in right action” and truly “spiritual” can have deep old shadows that crop up, getting in the way of the flow. That takes time to heal. We should never expect any human to be perfect. They’re here in earth school to learn, however “evolved” they appear to be.
Hold your standards high but don’t have illusions about our capacity and ability to mess up. Giving ourselves and others premature labels is a setup for disappointment and failure. But seeing those on the path as students of spirituality? It’s a recognition that we’re all learning and growing. That to me is a healthy approach.