WARNING: Starbucks Spirituality Rant



I hear so much talk and discussion involving all kinds of elaborate spiritual and philosophical verbiage, beliefs, concepts, explanations, etc. It all lacks credibility in my mind if there is not an outward expression and manifestation of it in terms of active engagement in our world and the affairs of humankind. Otherwise, it all just starts to feel like Starbucks spirituality, which is class-privilege “spirituality” where people sit around all comfy drinking their gourmet coffee and pontificating all their nice-sounding spiritual platitudes and formulas, but never taking any direct action. Inner anarchy is turning away from the false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies that have been programmed into our heads, and turning toward, listening, following, speaking and acting from our higher spiritual awareness. Authentic spirituality cannot tolerate those systems and structures in our world that violate the truth of our higher awareness, and perpetuate greed, injustice, oppression, division, fear and scarcity. Jesus lived inner anarchy. For Jesus following the spirit meant confronting, challenging, subverting and undermining the religious and worldly hierarchies of dominance, control, injustice and oppression. If Jesus came back today, I’m not sure what would anger him more – the lies of false religion, or the bankruptcy of Starbucks spirituality. This doesn’t have anything to do with one’s personality (introvert vs extrovert) or the “inner” work needing to come before the outward expression. The two should have never been divided, as if they are two different and unrelated things. There is no “process” of spiritual growth that doesn’t involve both… simultaneously… always. This doesn’t mean that one has to run out into the world and single-handedly achieve some great victory or epic change. What it does mean is that we take direct where we are as an expression of our higher awareness. We do not idly stand by or turn a blind eye to the false mindsets, beliefs, narratives and ideologies at work in our world that cause of human division, injustice, oppression and suffering. We take direct action to confront, challenge, subvert, and undermine those beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies, and the systems and structures that perpetuate them. In there place, we lift up the alternative. We build and create new ways of operating in the world based on what we know is real and true through our higher awareness. This is going to require some real thinking, effort, and self-organization on our part. Thinking is not the antithesis of spirituality. Action is not the antithesis of spirituality. Effort is not the antithesis of spirituality. Self-organization is not the antithesis of spirituality. Confronting, challenging, subverting, and undermining the status quo is not the antithesis of spirituality. Authentic spirituality is not rainbows, ponies, and nice-sounding spirtiualese, or elaborate/heady and ego-gratifying pontifications. Of course, there is a deep and abiding reflective, contemplative, and inward aspect of our spiritual lives. But authentic spirituality is also powerful, authoritative, robust, vigorous, scrappy, and gritty. I hear people say how revolution has to happen inside a person first. But too often one’s own individual change and revolution never moves beyond me, myself and I.


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