Spirituality vs Religion
By Leo Gura - July 21, 2014 | 97 Comments
Why everything you know about spirituality is dead wrong!
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org and in this video I’m going to talk about what is spirituality.
What is spirituality? I’m excited about this video because this is something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time. This idea of spirituality is a very advanced idea that I’m excited to share with some of you guys out there, but it also has to be treated in a delicate manner because a lot can go wrong when you’re discussing spirituality.
In this video what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about the fundamentals, just the very basics. I want to basically give you an intro on spirituality. I’m going to tell you what it is, we’re really going to compare spirituality with religion, compare and contrast those two and see how they are very, very different. In fact they are almost the polar opposites.
We’re going to talk a little bit about how to do proper spirituality. I’m going to point you in the right directions so you can go off and start to do some of the research, some of the searching that you will have to do to do true spirituality yourself. In the end spirituality is something that can only be done individually.
I want to cover some of the details of that right now because a lot of people are so, so, so confused about what spirituality is and that’s for some very important reasons that we’re going to cover. I want to dispel some of the myths that are surrounding this.
If you are a religious person, I warn you this video will probably shock and offend you deeply. This is not a video that you want to watch if you’re a religious person, unless you want to find the truth and you’re ready to put aside all the religious stuff that you’ve been doing for perhaps your whole life or for many, many decades and go on a real personal journey to understand what the nature of you is and reality is. That’s ultimately what spirituality is. That’s my definition of it.
Spirituality is different from religion because religion is concerned about many different questions. There is a little bit of overlap, but there’s a very different way in which religion goes about answering some of these questions. Also some of the questions that religion tries to answer are not important to spirituality.
Let’s Compare And Contrast
So let’s start to compare and contrast this stuff. For spirituality, what’s really important is to understand the truth of reality. It’s to come into direct contact with reality through whatever means is out there.
Being totally open-minded to whatever is out there and trying to grasp reality however you can, as close to the source as you can. The reality here is basically deep existential truth about nature, the universe that we live in and ourselves and consciousness and how does all that intermingle and come together. That’s what spirituality is concerned with.
What is religion concerned with? Religion is concerned with that to an extent, but it’s also concerned with a lot of other stuff. Religion is concerned with morality, issues of what is right and what is wrong. Religion is concerned about preservation of certain traditions, certain belief structures. Religion is a lot of times concerned with ritual and upholding various traditions and dong things in very specific ways.
Religion is concerned about questions like good and evil, right and wrong. Also it’s concerned about where the universe came from, what is reality, what is the substance of it, what is the source of this creation and what is our relationship to it. You can see that there is some overlap there, but religion is a lot more expansive than spirituality. Spirituality is a lot more focused.
Now that we have that down, the next important point to make here is that spirituality is really something that is done with a scientific mind, with a scientific attitude. What that means is not scientific in the sense that scientists today. A lot of science today is actually very dogmatic. A lot of science today is based on a lot of beliefs and a lot of theories. People will choose sides and debate and have all these kinds of arguments which are all based in logic, in knowledge, in thoughts.
That’s not what I mean by scientific approach. By scientific approach I mean the empirical approach that early scientists took which was back way in the day, even in the day of let’s say Aristotle. Even back then, philosophers started to understand that one way to understand to understand reality, to understand nature as it actually is not and as we would like it to be, or as we wish it to be, as we fantasize or we believe it to be, but actually how it is, one way to do it is by direct observation.
You can listen to it, you can literally hear the sound of nature. You can look at it, you can observe whether you’re observing with your eyeballs or you’re observing through a telescope or a microscope, there’s some sort of observation going on. Even if you’re running some sort of experiment where you’re not doing a direct experimentation or observation, but you’re experimentation on something and a computer is tracking the results of that so it’s observing the results for you and then it gives you back numbers, then you can look at those numbers and make some conclusions based on those numbers.
That’s what we mean by scientific, empirical approach. It’s very sensory. It’s very first-person. There’s something very powerful about that, empiricism, and this is where a lot of even science but especially religion starts to veer off course is that they try to understand truth and reality by thinking about it, by philosophizing about it, building theories, building models.
There Are Two Alternatives
Ultimately what this does is it creates the opposite effect because there is something that you have to consider here. Here’s something to consider. There’s two alternatives. Consider one alternative which is the one that you probably believe, which is this: that we live in a reality in a universe and this universe we happen to be inhabitants of it. We have this mind, we have this brain, we have all the stuff that we see but then we interpret it through the thoughts that we have so we have all our theories and models.
The current model that you’re kind of operating under, the paradigm really, it’s more than a model it’s a paradigm, you’re so immersed in it is that you can grasp the truth. Truth simply means reality. That’s what truth is. Truth is just reality. You can grasp reality and you can understand it and you can experience it through thought.
That’s what the paradigm is. This is the scientific paradigm. This is also the religious paradigm.
What does this mean? This means that literally you think that if you’re thinking about nature, if you’re thinking about a physics equation for example, you’re thinking about a math equation, or you’re thinking about history, or you’re thinking about a fact of the world, that if you’re thinking about it then somehow you can get to the truth of it through thought. You think to yourself, some models of the world are faulty, they’re not very accurate. Other models of the world, they are more accurate, they tend to produce better results if you’re working under them.
You tend to say, the ones that are more accurate, the ones that tend to produce results in life, those tend to be the true ones. So you will take something like Einstein’s theory of relativity or you will take some sort of mathematical axiom or you will just take some sort of general truth about life, you’ll take that and say, “That is very accurate. We can use that to make predictable results about reality and therefore that is the truth.”
You think that you’re connected with the truth and that you’ve got it. Let’s consider that that’s one possibility. That could be a reality that we live in, is that our mind is actually capable of grasping true logical thoughts and language.
The other alternative though is the following. Here’s where I need you to be very open-minded because you need to really seriously consider this other alternative. Here’s the other alternative. The other alternative is that reality is so vast, so intricate and so complex that it cannot be grasped at all with thoughts or language or logic, which are all pretty much the same thing.
Really consider the ramifications of that. What if we live in a reality where you can’t actually grasp the truth of it through thought. Maybe your thought is useful to you in many circumstances of life. Maybe it’s useful for you to take care of your kids and to do your job and to get a promotion and to lose some weight, to do some personal development or whatever.
That’s fine, but what if all of that thought had absolutely zero truth in it? There was no reality in it? It’s kind of a scary notion because once you start to accept this notion, which is actually true by the way, once you start to accept this notion then your whole paradigm starts to change about what reality actually is.
That’s the problem here is that spirituality is concerned about access to direct reality, to the truth. Your thoughts, if you do a careful self-investigation, you’ll discover that your thoughts are not going to allow you to do this. Why is this the case, you might wonder.
The Case Of The Orange
Consider an example. Consider an example where we take a piece of fruit. Let’s say we take an orange. If I taste this orange I get a sense of what this orange is. I get a sense of its flavor, of its color, of its smell, of its feel, of its texture, of its essence.
I get that when I interact with this orange. Now if you never interact with an orange and only I interact with it and you never see this orange, you never hear bout it, you’ve never tasted an orange in your life and I go and I try to explain what an orange is to you is that going to be possible? What you’ll discover is that it’s not possible.
I can make some sort of general and vague analogies about oranges, I can tell you what it might be similar to that has been in your experience, but actually the orange itself, you don’t know it and you will never know it through the words and language that I use. No matter how poetic I am I’m not going to get across the taste of an orange to you, or the tartness of its peel, or the way that the way of the texture of that orange feels. This is a very troubling thing because it means you need direct access to the orange in order to feel it, to see it, to really interact with it, to experience the truth of it and that my words and my language isn’t going to do it any justice.
This is kind of like an analogy. This is an analogy that I’m using to help you to understand what we’re talking about here. Spirituality is actually a very, very, very advanced concept. This is the most advanced concept that you will ever run across in your personal development or in any domain of life.
It’s very advanced because people have all sorts of very confused notions about it. The people that think that they are spiritual, the people who are religious and believe that they are spiritual, and the people that just think they are spiritual without the religious component they are all very mistaken about this. Ninety-nine point nine nine nine nine nine percent of anybody that you’re going to find out there is not going to be able to give you an accurate and proper explanation of spirituality because they are very confused about it themselves.
It’s very, very tricky. The whole point of spirituality is that there is a reality and this reality it literally is not communicable. That means that there are truths that cannot be communicated. That means that not only can I not communicate it to you, but it also goes even deeper.
It goes deeper than the orange example because in the orange example, you can just look at the orange and experience it. It goes deeper than that though because your own thoughts that you’re having about this orange are actually impeding you from experiencing the truth, the raw truth of what this orange because you have a lot of mental filter that you put on top of this orange. You think that it’s an orange. You put a label on it.
You put certain other mental labels and associations on it. It tastes sweet, it’s sour, maybe it’s bitter, maybe it’s rotten, maybe it’s pretty, maybe it’s round, maybe it’s something else. This is all that your mind is adding on top of it. It’s very hard to remove the mental filters that you’ve got to get to the direct experience of the orange.
If you could do that, consider the possibility that it’s possible, if you could do that, what would you have? You would have a pure, direct… it wouldn’t even be an experience because experience is layered with lots of mental labels. It would be something that’s more pure than experience. It would be direct. It would be just a direct contact with truth.
This is what true spirituality is. This is extremely different from religion and it’s even very different from science, but the scientific and empirical approach here is still very useful. All that means is you’re doing observation.
Spirituality is not about thinking stuff. It’s not about believing stuff. It’s not about having faith. It’s not about any kind of rituals. It’s not about going and praying with somebody.
It’s not about becoming a hippie. It’s not about meditation. It’s not about any of that. All it is is it’s direct contact with reality. That’s what true spirituality is and very, very few people understand this and even fewer people actually practice this. It’s very difficult to practice this.
Your mind is ingenious at preventing you from direct access to truth, to reality. You might say, “Leo, how is it possible to have direct contact with reality? Is that even possible? Aren’t I always going to be experiencing it through some sort of perceiver-perception type of paradigm and there’s going to be always some sort of mental filter?
“Even if not mental filters then can’t we say that this experience of this orange, that’s particular to me as a human being? Wouldn’t it then be different for example for a monkey or it would be different for another human being. Maybe I see the orange in a little different way than the next guy or girl sees that orange.
“Aren’t I always stuck in at least having to go through my perceptions? What perceptions are true? How can you say that the perceptions that you have here for example that color that I see, this person that I interact with, how can you say that those raw perceptions that that’s reality?
“What about the stuff that’s underpinning that? What about the matter that’s there, the substance? What is that person actually aside from the way that I see that person?” That’s an interesting question. That’s a question that you’re going to have to really study hard. That’s not something that you can be closed-minded about like most people are.
What you’re actually going to find if you’re very honest with yourself as you do this investigation is you’re going to find, interestingly enough, that there is a possibility of direct access to reality. That’s a very amazing thing. Very, very few people understand this and very few people have had those kinds of experiences but they are possible.
I’m just throwing that out there for you as something that you might want to pursue for yourself and start to look into if you’re curious about this stuff. If you’re really curious about what existence is, you can find out. Not through a book, not through philosophy, not through theory building, or beliefs, or chanting, or any of that kind of stuff, but through direct experience.
Consider this possibility that there’s something in reality that you can’t communicate. In fact if I experience reality, real reality, I can’t communicate it to you. Every attempt that I would make would have to go through language, through thought and that would instantly the truth that was there. It’s very interesting that this is how it is.
The History Of Religion
I want to go into a little bit about the history of religion because people will hear this and then they’ll start to wonder, “How does this connect with religion? Is there any truth within religion? It’s seems like there’s some sort of spiritual components within religion, but then there’s a lot of stuff that people don’t like about religion, there’s a lot of different religious faction, how do we start to reconcile this? Is there one truth, is there multiple truths?”
What you’re going to discover is that there is only one truth, but let’s talk a little bit about the religions and how they started. See the problem the spiritual truths, because they’re not communicable that creates a very big barrier. It creates a barrier of transference. That means that there’s this block, this wall, that literally that if one person gets it he can’t pass it on to the next person. That other person has to work and do exactly the same thing that this person did in order to get it.
Here’s what happened with religions, at least this is kind of my theory about it. Every religion, every major religion, we can track to being started by a prophet. Jesus started Christianity, you had the Buddha who started Buddhism, you’ve got Mohammed and Islam, and every even lesser religion that’s not as well known tends to be centered around a prophet.
Why does this happen? It’s interesting because of this logic and language barrier that we have, there’s basically two types of people when it comes to spirituality.
There’s the person who actually has direct experience, so let’s take this orange for example. You’ve got this orange, you’ve got direct experience of the orange. You’ve got the truth of the orange. There’s that type of person.
The second type of person is the one that doesn’t have that experience. He doesn’t have the truth. So you’ve got these two types of people.
Here’s what tends to happen: the first type of person is very genuine. The first type of person, he goes, he experiences this orange. When you actually experience reality directly, it’s an amazing experience. It’s an awe-striking experience. It will literally strike awe in you.
An Amazing Experience
It’s a very powerful experience. It’s so powerful in fact that it’s going to leave you silent. It’s going to leave you dumbstruck. Inevitably what happens is because this is such an amazing experience, what happens is that this original person, this prophet, he goes, he has this experience, then he gets really excited about it after the fact. This is a really amazing thing.
This changes how you see your entire world. Imagine if you saw a truth like that. You saw a truth that changed literally the paradigm of how you saw the entire world. It could literally change how you feel about the entire world, could end a lot of your suffering in life.
It made you feel a lot of love and compassion for everybody else out there because you felt at one with everybody. You get this truth and then you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, it would be really nice to share this with people. I wish others around me could get in on this, could see this amazing thing.”
Of course in your eagerness you go out there and you try to point, you try to tell people, “Hey look! Look at this amazing thing that I saw. It’s amazing.” Other people look at you and they kind of look at you, see you as a little bit weird, a little bit wacky because your ways are a little bit different than theirs but they sense that there’s something about you, something kind of genuine about you. There’s some genuine passion and it sounds like you’re really convinced that you saw something amazing.
What could this be? They wonder. So they start listening to you. They come like, “Tell me, tell me! Tell me what you saw”.
So this person who saw this experience will start to go and talk. He’ll give a lecture. He’ll give a sermon, he’ll paint a nice picture, maybe he’ll write a poem, he’ll write a story, an allegory, use a metaphor. Whatever means of communication he uses, that person who hasn’t experienced it, he’s going to have a problem because all he’s got is he’s got the story and he’s got the belief.
So it’s like me telling you what an orange is without you ever having seen an orange. What’s going to happen? If I talk to you long enough, eventually you’re going to start to feel like, “I know what an orange is. Yeah, an orange it’s kind of like yellow. It’s kind of maybe like a lemon.
“I’ve seen lemons. I could imagine it’s kind of like a bigger lemon. It’s not yellow it’s maybe a little bit more reddish, so it’s kind of similar to an apple, but kind of halfway in between an apple and a lemon maybe is an orange. It’s a citrus, I have some experience with citruses so maybe it’s little bit like that and they say it’s sweet so it’s sweet kind of maybe like sugar. Oh, okay. I know what an orange is.”
The Undisciplined Mind
The undisciplined mind will do this. It will jump to all sorts of conclusions and it will say, “Yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Yeah I know that orange I know what an orange is like. Maybe I’ll experience an orange sometime, but I already know what it’s like”.
Then that person says, “Yeah, this is an amazing orange. Look at this orange”. That person who’s never experienced it.
Then he’ll run off and he’ll tell his friend. He’ll say, “Look, I heard about this amazing fruit it’s called an orange. Let me describe it to you. It’s like this. It’s orange and it’s round. It’s a citrus kind of like a lemon, kind of like an apple, somewhere in between. It’s sweet like sugar and it’s got all these other properties”.
That person will go, “Oh man, that’s an amazing thing. I’ve never seen an orange before, but I can picture it. I know what you’re talking about. Man, that’s really cool. So there’s an orange out there. Okay, great. Let’s tell our other buddies about the orange. Let me tell my wife. Let me tell my kids about this orange”.
So what happens is that this idea spreads throughout people and everybody starts to believe like they know what an orange is, but really only the first person who was speaking about that orange knows. That’s the person who is the prophet. This is how religions get started.
You have someone like Jesus, or you have someone like Mohammed, or you have someone like the Buddha, he does the hard, hard, hard direct observation and empirical work that’s necessary to pierce into the truth of reality, he does that work. It’s difficult to do that. He does that and then that makes him a little bit weird. That makes him a little bit different because to do that takes an exceptional human being.
Most of us in life we’re very concerned about our survival. We’re very concerned about raising our kids, having sex and making money and getting some entertainment in, living a comfortable lifestyle and dying happy and living happy. That’s what we want most of us. See, that’s survival. That has nothing to do with reality.
Consider that possibility as well, that your survival and the fact that you’re surviving in this world, doing whatever it is that you’re doing, running your ordinary everyday affairs that has absolutely nothing to do with what existence is. That knowing existence and experiencing existence directly, that this might not have any practical value to you whatsoever. It might not make you wealthier or any happier, or any better at interacting with other people or any better at your job, or any better at your relationship or anything else. Maybe it has absolutely zero value, but maybe it’s the truth. Consider that truth might have zero value to you.
It’s an interesting consideration because a lot of people are so busy chasing value that they don’t look at where the truth is. If you’re only looking in this direction because you believe that value is here, there’s no value there, but the truth happens to be there then are you ever going to look that way? You won’t.
That’s what most people do in life is that they never look this way, but the prophets they do. So someone like Jesus, he starts a religion based on this. The problem is that it’s very hard to pierce into this truth and so everybody that he’s talking to, maybe a couple of people will go and do the hard work that he did to pierce into this truth. Most people, ninety-nine point nine, nine, nine percent that you tell this to, will not do that.
Their mind is very dogmatic. It quickly jumps and pounces on a belief and it says, “Oh, that’s right, I believe in that. I have faith in that. I know exactly what that is. It was clearly explained to me. I read it in a book, I memorized these scriptures, I practiced these rituals, I do this prayer, I do this chanting, I do this meditation and therefore I am in this truth.”
Actually you’re not in that truth at all. That’s a mental word game that you’re playing in your mind. This is the offensive part because this means that all your religious beliefs and all your religious ideas are nonsense. They mean nothing and they count for absolutely nothing.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian, or Buddhist, or Muslim, it doesn’t matter. All of this is just belief. If you’re an atheist, that’s also a belief. If you’re a scientist and you believe in scientific theorems, that’s also a belief.
Right now you’re drawing fine distinctions between, “That person, he is Islamic so I don’t believe what he believes, but I’m Christian so this is right”. Or, “Screw both those guys”, you might say, “I’m scientific. I’m a scientific minded person. I am very realistic, very hard-nosed. I don’t buy into any of that mystical nonsense, none of those scriptures so it’s a science”.
In the end all of that has something very much in common. It’s the belief structures, it’s the logic, it’s the language. There’s something that’s much more fundamental that you’re totally missing out while you’re doing those little language games of yours. That’s all it is it’s just a language game.
The Basic Structure Of Religions
Every religion basically looks like this. You have this original nugget of truth right here. What the original prophet or founder discovered. Then what happens after that is it starts to spread.
It’s an interesting truth. People like hearing about it. Rituals get built, cultures get built around it, societies get built around it and so it spreads from one to the next person. It spreads hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people.
As that’s happening, what’s happening is you’ve got the original person who is after a little bit no longer there he’s dead and then you’ve got his little messengers running around and spreading his message. What’s happening because you’ve got these two types of person and they are both based in dogma and belief, they are just blabber mouthing. It’s called blabber mouthery.
When you flap your mouth talking beliefs, thinking thoughts, talking language and believing it so strongly that you think it’s real when in fact none of it is real at all. Your thoughts and your language has no connection in truth. Truth is something you directly experience. People start blabber mouthing and one blabbermouth to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next.
There’s a very strong tendency. I noticed it myself, I like to blabbermouth too and I have been careful with that, to hold myself back. A lot of people are not very careful and thy love to blabbermouth. I love to blabbermouth. It’s a very natural tendency, we’re very social creatures.
So blabber mouthery happens and what happens is from this original kernel of truth gets built all this nonsense all this blabber mouthery, all this theory and philosophy keeps getting built and built and built. Rituals get built, traditions get built. It all gets built up until there’s this little nugget of truth down here but everything above it, ninety-nine percent right here is just total nonsense.
Then the rest and the majority of the population then work and live from this area. They have no connection whatsoever to this nugget. They are living up here in this cloud of total nonsense. What’s worse is that they really believe that it’s true. They really believe that they’ve really stumbled onto something when in fact they haven’t stumbled onto anything at all.
The Irony Of Religion
In fact that’s ironic because the original point of religion was to help to spread this truth, this beautiful profound awesome truth to help other people see it, to spread it, but ironically religion ends up doing the complete opposite because once you start going down the path of believing in thoughts, attaching yourself to thoughts, to beliefs, once you go down that road there’s almost no coming back. It’s very hard to come back from that. So what religion ends up doing, and I think every religious prophet would agree with this if they were alive and they really saw what was going on, whether with Christianity, with Islam, with Buddhism, anything else, they would see and they would really denounce their religion because their religion is doing the exact opposite thing.
It’s making people dogmatic and closed-minded. It’s keeping people with the rituals and the traditions and the beliefs. That’s keeping people from doing the empirical investigation that’s necessary to actually pierce into the truth.
It’s kind of like if I wanted to go to New York and I’m standing in Los Angeles. If I’m in Los Angeles and I want to go to New York I need to head north and I need to head east. The north-east direction that will take me to New-York, but if I get the wrong map and I start heading south-west from Los Angeles, I’m not reaching New York. I’m going to get very, very lost. I’m going the exact opposite direction and the best I can hope for is maybe Australia which is very far from New York.
This is what’s happening to you if you are taking part in organized religion. This is actually what’s happening to you if you are taking part in science. Any kind of beliefs will put you in the opposite direction. Right now it’s hard for you to appreciate this because you need to do a lot of conscious self-investigation very honestly. This is not easy work. You need to do that just to start to see the level of corruption that’s going on in your own belief systems. How fundamentally flawed your understanding is of life and yourself.
Back to this point about the religions getting built. We have these blabber mouths, they were talking. They built this religion within a certain social context. It was a certain time, there were certain cultural traditions so based on that the religion grew up. Every religion has its own peculiarities, its own customs, its own things that it holds as taboo and as evil and as bad or as wrong. So you’ve got these things popping up all over the world and then those religions splintered and fractured in many different ways and so you had this kind of multiplicity and expansion and evolution of these various religions, but in the end they were all belief-based.
So then you might ask, “Well Leo, what are you talking about here. You’ve got this religious stuff, okay, I can kind of maybe see that, but then what is this spiritual experience that you’re talking about? What is this spirituality? Is this some sort of mystical god? Is this some sort of afterlife that you’re talking about?
“Did you have some sort of religious experience? What are you talking about here? Also, aren’t you blabber mouthing right now? You said that it can’t be communicated so what are you communicating to me now?”
What I can say is that it can’t be communicated. I’ve had some little taste, a little taste of what it could be like to really tap into the truth. I’ve had a little taste of it. It’s very powerful. It makes me want to go out there and blabber mouth that’s why I know this stuff happens the way it does.
It’s very clear once you get to this point and you see it it’s pretty clear how all this stuff works. How these religions get created and that’s something that very advanced. That’s something that I’m going to cover in a lot of videos. The reason that I’m talking about it here is not to convey any truths to you. I’m not conveying any truths to you right now.
You Either Believe It Or You Don’t
Anything that I’m conveying to you, it’s a story. It’s a belief. You’re either going to believe it, or you’re not going to believe it. Whatever you do, it’s not going to change your beliefs. The truth is something that I can’t communicate to you.
I’m also in the process of finding it out for myself so for me this is not done, this is just the beginning. What this video can help you with is it can help point you. It can help dispel some of the bullshit that has really been pointing you in the wrong direction. It’s kind of like me giving you a better map. Right now if you’re heading to Australia and you want to get to New York, the map you’re using is not going to do it.
Maybe this map that I’m giving you will help you, but don’t make the mistake you usually do with everything else in your life of assuming this map is the territory. This map is not the territory. This map is not New York. The little path I drew from L.A to New York, that’s not actually the path that you’re going to take.
That’s a conceptualization, that’s a model, that’s a belief. That’s not the truth. The truth is the path that you actually take. The truth is the destination that you actually reach. It’s New York City.
When you’re in New York City that’s when you’re actually there. That’s when you’re actually experience it. When you look at a map that’s not actually New York City and that’s the whole point here is that you are so, so, so busy in your life looking at false images rather than looking directly at what you’re after.
You might ask, “Well, what is it that I’m after? What is this spiritual truth that you keep alluding to so vaguely?” Ultimately it’s this, and again keep in mind that this is just going to be a story for you but it’s this.
The truth is that your ego, you, who you think you are, yourself, that that is an illusion. That that is a fiction created by your mind and that this does not actually exist in reality. What exists is reality in the present moment without any mental labels or conceptualizations. What exists something very interesting.
The traditional model that we have of perceiver, I’m the perceiver and I’m perceiving something so perceiver-perception, that model is not correct. There is no perceiver and perception distinction. There is only one substance.
The perceiver is the perception, and who you think you are, your identification with yourself and with your personal history and your physical body and your mind and your thoughts and your understanding of the world, that this is a complete fiction. That the control that you think your thoughts have over your life is a complete fiction, and that the separation that exists between you and other people and other objects is a fiction.
What does that leave you with? That leaves you with life. You are life, life is one. There have been a lot of names and labels for this and they’re just names and labels. God, infinite consciousness, oneness, unity, yoga, non-duality… there’s a lot of different labels in all the different religions and cultures about this but this is all that they’re really alluding to is this.
The Shocking Truth
Now this is the most threatening thing that you can hear. It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or you’re a spiritual type of person or you meditate or you do yoga or you fancy yourself an atheist or an agnostic. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t partake in any of this philosophical debate.
If you hear what I’m telling you it’s going to deeply, deeply shock you if you actually consider the truth of it and you say to yourself, “Oh man, this might actually be a reality”. If you open your mind to it and you say, “Oh man, could that actually be true? It sounds far out there but could it be true?” If you open yourself up to that it’s very scary.
In the end the truth is very beautiful but it’s going to be initially very scary to you because your ego is scared shitless that it will be found out. The whole problem here is that you’re very, very identified with yourself. See, religious people will say, “Well, I really, really believe in God. I really put my faith in God”. Or a scientific person will say, “I really know the truth of this mathematical equation or this mathematical experiment.
Actually that’s not what’s going on there. It’s very deceptive. If you’re really keen and observant, what you’re going to find out is what’s going on in all those situations is you’re really believing in gods, or in mathematical equations or scientific experiments. What you’re really truly believing in is ego. Yourself. What you’re really believing in is thoughts.
With this spiritual understanding, if you do the direct investigation, what you’re going to find is who you are, who you think you are, this body that you think you are, all the experience that you’ve had in your life, all the stuff that you did, all the will power you have to control and direct your life, that all of that is not real but it is a thought story. It is a very, very elaborate and very, very tricky and sneaky highly deceptive thought story. It’s possible to shed this thought story.
When you do that’s when you get a state of enlightenment. That’s when you get an awakening. That’s when it’s called. The reason it’s called that is because you raise your consciousness high enough, you become so observant that you see the oneness that is here.
You see that this ego is an illusion and you see it as being the illusion that it is then something clicks in you and all of a sudden you expand. You expand from this little piece of space that you occupied in the universe, that you think you occupy now, you expand from that and suddenly you are everything. You expand to everything.
It’s a very powerful, powerful experience and that experience cannot be explained. That experience cannot be detailed. No one can force you to believe it. It’s not something that you have to have faith in. This is something that you either experience or you don’t. If you don’t you’re stuck in this dualistic way of thinking of really being totally attached to your thoughts. Your thoughts of who you are, your ego, your need to preserve yourself.
The Cause Of All Your Suffering
In the end you don’t experience truth and this creates a lot of suffering in your life. In fact all suffering in your life is created from this very core, very fundamental problem. If this is your first time hearing this then it’s probably going to offend you, shock you, make you outraged. Notice that. Notice what’s happening there.
Notice that there’s a voice inside your head doing a lot of talking right now, coming up with a lot of counterpoints, a lot of arguments, a lot of reasons, a lot of evidence, a lot of good logic about why this can’t be the case. Also notice the voice inside you saying, “Leo, how are you telling me all this? You’re telling me that all these beliefs are false but yet you’re out here and you’re talking you’re communicating about all these beliefs”.
That’s right but I’m not telling you to take my words at face value. My words are not what’s true. My words are just a map for you if you want. If you want to pursue this investigation further then this is what’s going to put you on the right track. The empirical approach, the shedding of all your beliefs, the shedding of all the different things that you think you know.
The real questioning of how much you can obtain through thought, through logic and through language. I want to shoot a lot more videos on this topic because this is a very advanced topic. As I’m progressing, I consider myself right now a newbie in this area, as I’m progressing, I want to maybe through some stuff out there that will help you progress too. I can never do it for you.
Nothing I say will ever be the truth for you, but it can point you in the right direction and what’s important for you is to not mistake my pointers for the truth. Not get caught in this trap because this trap is extremely tricky and this whole exercise of doing careful observation, it’s all about seeing the deception that is going on in your own mind because that’s all that it is. The truth is right there right in front of you right before your eyes right now. If you want to you could see it right now if you got rid of the deceptions.
In practice getting rid of the deceptions is very difficult. This is something that requires a lot of discipline. This is something that requires extreme self-honesty.
When I first heard about this, I was reading a book. I first started to get a sense that this could be a possibility because I myself was an atheist for a long time, didn’t really care about religion, didn’t really believe the nonsense that religions, considered myself on the right path, I did a lot of study with philosophy. I studied a lot of this stuff and it was very fascinating to me in my youth, but then later just a few years ago when I started to read this stuff and I got a sense that this is a possibility. This ego thing, this ego deception is a possibility.
That week I spent some days lying on my couch in a fetal position, literally in a cloud of depression because of this and that is an ego defense mechanism as well. Your ego will do everything in its power, this could be the most emotionally challenging thing you’ve ever done in your life, your ego will do absolutely everything to deceive you of your current truth. It will do absolutely everything to make sure that your current paradigm stays in place.
You have to be extremely self-observant, extremely open-minded to spot these deceptions that your ego is creating all the time. It’s creating it all the time, every single minute of your life this is happening. I’m going to shoot a lot more video on this stuff so this hopefully piqued your interest then join me, sign up and more will come as I discover more myself.
For now this is it, I’m going to be signing off. This is what I have to say about spirituality, what it is and some comparisons to religion. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. I’d love to hear from you and then also please like this, share it, click the like button for me right now. Throw it on Facebook the more people see these videos the more free content I can post for you guys.
Finally come sign up to my newsletter, this is the newsletter, it’s a free newsletter at Actualized.org. When you sign up you’re going to be getting updates, new videos and articles that I’m releasing to my subscribers every single week. We delved into this extremely advanced topic of spirituality but besides this really my bread and butter is helping you design extraordinary lives.
I think spirituality can be a really powerful component. It’s the most powerful component if you actually get there, but a lot of people will not be ready to get there quite yet. A lot of people simply need to work on their psychology, work on their neurotic thinking, work on their negative thinking, work on their depression, work on their anger problems, work on their money problems, work on their health problems.
I’ve got a lot of mindsets that will help you to do that. I’m very results oriented so this is kind of an atypical video for me because with this I’m not focused on results. With this I’m focused on having you see the truth. With my other videos I’m more focused on getting practical results that help you create an extraordinary life so if you’re interested in that stuff sign up and you’ll be all set on track with weekly updates.