Spirituality and the real world: can being in touch with soul make a difference?

When I first became involved in metaphysical practices as part of my research into spirituality, I gave my husband the information that if you focused your attention on what you really wanted, cleared out all your negativities and did this little magic spell, you could have anything you wanted. It worked really well for him - he won himself a mansion on the Gold Coast along with a Landcruiser. It didn't work out so well for me. Because it so happened I had given him this little gift just before we got divorced!

You can imagine my chagrin when I, sitting alone in my humble divorcee cottage, tried the same trick for myself and ended up in the same bucket as the vast majority of people who take out lottery tickets - minus $10. It was not the loss of money that hurt me so much as the dent to my spiritual pride. After all I can truly assure you that I was a much more dedicated student of spirituality than my ex-husband!

Spirituality, sad to say, is not a cure-all - any more than hard work or a silver spoon in your mouth at birth guarantees a life of ease and good fortune. But people who espouse spiritual practices are often confused about this or in denial of it.

It is a tenet of spirituality is that you must "trust" God or the Universe. Spirituality of any kind inevitably deals with the invisible. And invisibility defies scrutiny. There is no observable reason why my husband had all the luck and I, so much more educated in these matters, did not. However, for many New Age adherents it is almost sacrilegious to suggest that there are times when to trust the invisible is just plain silly. (More sophisticated practitioners would point out to me that the real problem with my own attempt to win a million was that I had insufficiently processed my 'blockages.')

Nevertheless, most of the world we live in is created by very tangible means in the sense that those who create what they want do so with the flesh and bones of the body, with brawn and grey cells. People who seriously want to make money are more certain of attaining their ends if they read their balance sheets, call up market research and test drive their new inventions or services. The world is very, very logical place as skeptics would be delighted to hear me tell you.

So the question then rests - has spirituality any genuine contribution to make to the real world? And what is more to the point, to your real world?

When a person is first touched by the principles of the new spirituality or to have a "miraculous experience" they tend to fall in love with it. To discover that auras are "real," that meditation truly produces inner peace or bliss in a matter of minutes, that physical health is greatly affected by emotional factors is mind-blowing. And like people in love, newcomers want to stay in bed all day with their beloved - meditating!

First love is a grand thing. Everyone needs to experience it. It is a time in which you learn a great deal, open yourself up to joyful possibilities, leap out of the rut of life and stagnant ways of thinking. It can relieve a great deal of pain in one glorious rush and it can offer an immediate avenue to greater serenity.
But at a certain point in time, the lover has to become a live-in partner. Spirituality has to find a role in your every day life and it has to pull its weight.

How can this be done?

The first, and possibly most difficult proposition to accept, is that spirituality at the bottom line is really just about you -  and that means your soul nature for that is the source of you. It is not about manifesting mansions, it is not that much about having mysterious psychic powers or glimpsing the face of God. It is certainly not about trying to be perfect. Spirituality is first and foremost about how you relate to yourself with the knowledge that you are a spiritual energy (a soul) working in a human world. Every time you make yourself happier, healthier, more comfortable with yourself, every time you learn how to operate you own inner gears more smoothly - you are close to soul. It may be that having a mansion, or developing psychic powers does bring about a better relationship to you, but that is not guaranteed. The only thing that is guaranteed is that seeking to make the core of you real will bring inexpressible joy.

Doing practical things to create that better relationship with your Real (or soul) Self is as much a part of spiritual practice as meditating or learning the Tarot. If joining a painting class reveals a joyful capacity to express yourself, it is spiritual. If disciplining yourself to go running every day increases your sense of vitality, it is spiritual. If reinventing a boring job leads to a sense of achievement and emotional reward, it is spiritual. If stopping punishment or blame of other people builds a stronger sense of your own dignity, then it is an expression of the spirituality of your own soul.

When you find a way to know this truth in the very depth of you, spirituality is not a once a week hobby, an aspirin or a cherry on the cocktail. It is the key to life itself because from the point of honouring your soul you can express your talents fully. And then you can truly make a difference.