Excerpt About Spirit
So when we embark on a spiritual path, we unconsciously believe that we are setting out for heaven. We think that the path is a matter of going to a spiritual universe that we somehow see as separate from physical reality, from the here-and-now, from the world we live in. This deep split is implicit in Western culture, and Western religions actually support it. All theistic religions basically look at things through this dichotomy: There is God and there is the physical world. Their religious formulations are based on it, and only when you get into the mystical elements of these religious traditions can this split be seen through. This split in which heaven and earth are two different things is not the fault of Western culture but rather, a reflection of a characteristic of the development of ego itself: its loss of contact with reality. As we develop, the environment inevitably fails to hold us completely. The spiritual element—our essential nature—is rarely fully or even partially held, while our physical nature, our minds, and our emotions receive much more holding. Because we gradually lose touch with what is not held within us, the spiritual recedes from our awareness and becomes split off. While we are by nature spirit manifesting in a body, as our ego develops, we become blind to that reality. It is analogous to becoming color-blind, seeing only part of the spectrum. We see the physical world but we do not see the fundamental or spiritual component of it. We could call this seeing and experiencing of only part of what we are and what is around us essential blindness.