Here is the reality for so many of us. We wake up to spirituality. We get inspired. We follow teachings. We do our spiritual practice. And we still behave like twits.
CALM CONTEMPLATION – THE KEY TO WHAT LIES BENEATH
All the great mystical traditions have suggested that spiritual enquiry requires a tranquil and reflective attitude, so spiritual seekers often seek retreat in monasteries, convents, sympathetic communities and in mountains, deserts and nature. You too may have a small space in your home or favourite places you regularly go to retreat. It is important for all of us that we are able to be and live like The Hermit when we need – just for a few minutes every day or sometimes for a life-time.
This quiet attitude is not an optional add-on to the spiritual journey but an essential component, which we build into our foundations. I first learned about it when I began to study the great esoteric traditions and was fascinated, for example, by Pythagoras’ demand that his students first spend three years in silence before he would begin their education.
I learned again about how important calm is when, for my doctorate, I was researching psychological attitudes during international crises. When decision-makers get aroused — for example, today in Israel where politicians and the military are worried about Iran’s nuclear threat — their ability to think intelligently is dumbed down as they get caught up in basic survival instincts and are no longer able to consider options.
Recognising this problem, some psychologists have suggested that there be at least one brave ‘joker’ in every important decision-making group. The Joker’s job is to challenge ‘groupthink’ and make sure other options are considered.
WILLIAM BLOOM, PhD, is considered by many people to be the UK's leading holistic and New Age teacher and author. Through his books, courses, and media appearances, he's at the forefront of cultural change. Originally a successful novelist and publisher, he spent two years living among the Sahareen Berbers in the High Atlas Mountains of North Africa. Since then, his life has been dedicated to exploring and explaining the practical convergence of spirituality, psychology, and social healing. He co-founded Alternatives and is the founder of the Spiritual Freedom Network and the educational consultancy Holistic Partnerships. He has appeared on, and acted as a consultant for, numerous television and radio programmes.
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