Why The “A La Carte” Version of Spirituality Doesn’t Work

The modern view of spirituality is often to take a little of this and a little of that and mash it all together to create something that works for you. It’s like ordering a la carte. Add a pinch of Christianity, plus a dash of Buddhism, some Indian chanting, and a little bit of aboriginal ritual thrown in, and voila! Instant personal relationship with spirit.

This appeals to the western mind because it mirrors our cultural values. We’ve thrown off the yolk of oppression. We believe we are free to do whatever we want. Cultural, societal, economic, and religious boundaries don’t exist for us. We are free to choose who we want to be. Everybody has the same opportunity to make their lives whatever they want. It’s all about the Law of Attraction.

Not! That’s a la carte spirituality, and it does not work. Everything has structure. When you remove the structure, you remove the foundation.

Whenever you are unsure about what to think, look to nature for the answer. I assure you, the answer is in the natural world. The impulse of modern man is to twist and bend things to his will. He does this for his pleasure and convenience. That is how we end up with microwaves, processed foods, artificial lighting, and climate controlled homes. Those things exist, but they are not life giving. They are life sucking. A thing has limited power, limited spirituality if it is not in harmony with nature.

Let’s look at it from a plant point of view. Let’s say that you have Tomato A and mix it with Tomato B to get Tomato C. Tomato C really fits with your lifestyle and your beliefs. Cool, right? Now what happens when you plant those seed? Hybrids are sometimes sterile. If they do produce, they often produce something weak that doesn’t resemble the parent plants. That’s what’s happened to our spirituality! That is why we are where we are today! Generations have taken the a la carte spirituality path and dumped the parts that have meaning.

Where does spirit come from? It comes from everything. It’s everywhere. If you only respect X and ditch Y, you are dumping part of the equation that makes the whole thing work.

People are so funny. They think they can make something “better” but really all they are doing is making it more comfortable. They get out of one box and into another one that has a more pleasing shell.

If you want to know spirituality, live it. Go outside. Put your feet in the grass. Lay in it and look up at the stars. Listen to the crickets at night as the river flows lazily by. Let the bugs bite you. Let the sun warm you. Don’t be afraid to sweat. Watch a cow being born. Watch puppies fight. Nature knows how to be. Let it teach you to be the wild animal that you were born to be. When you do that long enough, your body will begin to remember it’s native essence. It will begin to flow with the earth again. It will restore its rhythm. Maybe you will even hear the trees sing as the wind goes by.

When to you happens to you, you will have a hard time eating dead (processed) food because your body will sense how lifeless it is. You will have a hard time preferring piped in music to the call of the wild. You will begin to prefer the view of the sunset to the late night television show.

You won’t have to ask questions like “Who am I?” or “What do I want?” You will know. When you get there, you will not have to create boundaries around your spirituality. It will flow naturally within you, through you and around you. You will begin to know when you are out of balance because you will feel it in your body. This is not a la carte spirituality. It is true oneness.

I don’t say this to limit you or put boundaries on your experience or expression. Whatever you are doing is fine. I am just suggesting another approach that may get you where you want to be a bit faster. You don’t have to be “enlightened” or better than anyone else. You don’t have to have any special wisdom. You just have to slow down, pay attention, and allow yourself to live in the rhythm of life – real life, not the artificial world we have created. The life that God created. Do the Walden Pond thing. It worked for Henry David Thoreau.

Posted in spirituality and tagged .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *