The “Spiritual” Journey Within

100,000 miles of fibers!

An elderly friend of mine likes to loan me “spiritual” reading material.  Some of it is quite interesting but I don’t find it as fascinating as he does.  I respect him and enjoy speaking with him but his curiosity about spiritual matters tends toward the dramatic and new age.

He gave me a copy of a woman’s story.  In her twenties she had a “collision with the infinite” catching a bus in Paris.  As I read her story I immediately thought: I hope she gets a brain scan.  Seriously.  I’ve lost several friends to brain tumors and this woman’s story sounded right away like a tumor.  Sure enough, I turned the page and learned she had died 12 years later of a brain tumor.

This story brought out some anger.  Anger that this was presented as an “amazing spiritual experience of the infinite.”  I was troubled that these stories are passed around to vulnerable people (like my elderly friend) to draw them into the drama and wish for the “bliss” associated with these incredible (unbelievable) tales of “another consciousness.”  One friend of my wife “battled” her cancer by traveling the world, spending thousands of dollars on “spiritual healing” and died, leaving her husband alone.  He lost their house.


I’ve just been reading the National Geographic magazine on human brain research.  Now THAT’s fascinating!  I see that there are 100,000 miles of fibers (white matter) connecting the regions of the brain.  100,000 miles. . .of fibers. . .in the brain. . .in my brain. . .in yours.  Powerful; delicate; sensitive; relatively unknown; undiscovered wilderness; a place of pilgrimage; right inside each of us.


I’m not saying every so-called “spiritual” experience is a matter for brain science, but I have a strong suspicion that most of what passes for “spiritual events” or “encounters with the divine” has more to do with what wonderous things are happening close by. . .VERY close indeed.


4 thoughts on “The “Spiritual” Journey Within

  1. Interesting line of thinking. Personally I see this life as being a physical experience that is being conducted and overseen by a spiritual reality, and a “being,” who is my over soul. Therefore, I am physical and spiritual at the same time. The physical can not exist without the spiritual aspect of me, but the spiritual can exist without the physical, and that is because, the spiritual part of me is the reality of both who and what I am. And yes, the human body is amazing, but the spiritual being who created it is even more amazing!

    1. Ok, Sanora. I have no problem with people of faith who are also fascinated by the wonders of the human body and physical world. Science is an incredible tool for discovery–a practice of wonder. If one chooses to believe in some other reality, some other world, I have to ask: Why? As I often ask, Why isn’t Nature enough for you? This world is the only one we know, the only one we all live in and die in. To imagine another seems sad to me. There’s so much beauty and goodness here. Why be distracted by something “super”? Be well.

      1. Well I can only speak for myself. When I didn’t believe In God, I was happily involved in my life and the world. I had many hobbies and I was enjoying life. I have to admit that there was so much more of it I could have seen. Everyone’s story is different I think, and mine included a few hard knocks that caused a naturally introspective personality like mine, to go deeper inside of itself searching for answers to my personal situation. The search was gradual and long, going on to close to thirty years now, and I was mainly interested in what I could “not” see in life. I can’t see my mind or my thoughts, or my beliefs, and yet these were the building blocks of my life. I was fascinated at why I, (and other people), had so little self control over our emotions, or why I might believe one thing, and someone else would believe something different, even though our lives could be very similar in many areas. To me the world became obvious,…there it was,… all you had to do to appreciate it was to look at it. But, the important things which seemed to govern the world, were (in my mind) all hidden! So my search has been for the cause behind the effect, and there is nothing wrong with living just withing the effect and enjoying it, it’s a matter of choice. If things like war and crime and murder bother you, to the extent where they are spoiling the effect for you, then you need to look into causes, because that is where the change need s to happen. If you take people out of the world, then world is a perfect place, because the natural world is perfect (relatively speaking). It is only when you add people to the equation that, from a human perspective, it seems to loose it’s luster. So I am happy now to know what I know, and I have my answers (many of them) but it is not something I can stop because creation is a big place and there will never be a day when I have it all figured out,…I guess that is really what holds my interest.
        Nice talking with you. I’m happy to have met you.

  2. Yes, Sanora, much of this is personal perspective. As for what is “spiritual” and somehow apart from what can be seen and verified, I think a person has to choose what is reasonable/practical or comforting fiction/imagination. I’m with you about not having all answers and that the natural world is, in some sense, “perfect.” These questions do keep our interest, don’t they?
    Peaceful paths, Chris

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