Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Spirituality in Aging


What is spirituality?

Spirituality, as opposed to materiality, is always invisible, immeasurable, and lasting. Spirituality is like the wind—it is invisible and yet palpable. It provides guidance, direction, and understanding to the mind or the soul. Spirituality takes the form of love, joy, and peace, and it is often expressed in human action and behavior. Materiality, on the other hand, is always visible, measurable, and transient. Humans need both spirituality and materiality: the former to understand the self, and the latter to understand the world and the universe. However, as aging continues, materiality often gives way to spirituality. Therefore, spirituality plays a pivotal role in the golden years.

Spirituality not only energizes the body but also inspires the mind—a body-mind connection necessary for holistic wellness and well-being in the golden years.

Spirituality provides the rites of passage from adulthood to the golden years. But this transition can be painful and even devastating, such as from the orderly to the disorderly, or from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Without the separation from the comfort zones, there will be no enlightenment leading to the ultimate transformation of self, which is essential in the golden years.

Spirituality, at a deeper level, means a desire to have a personal relationship with God.

How to believe in spirituality or discover your own spirituality?

According to St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), in life there are certain things we do not believe unless we understand them, and there are other things that we do not understand unless we believe them. According to St. Augustine, believing is not opposed to understanding, nor is it independent of understanding. His famous “faith seeking understanding” is a conscious act of believing first, without which unbelief closes the door to further understanding.

So, begin to believe in order to understand more. To begin your journey of seeking spirituality in your golden years, you must, first and foremost, believe in seeking knowledge to understand your spirituality. Do not close that door to further understanding.

Many people do not believe in spirituality because they cannot see it with their own eyes: they believe that “seeing is believing.”

According to Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, seeing is not believing, but believing is the beginning of seeing:

“The more we look, the less we see.
The more we hear, the less we listen.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 12)

 “When a wise man hears of the Creator,
he immediately begins to do some soul-searching.
When an average man hears of the Creator,
he half believes him, and half doubts him.
When a foolish man hears of the Creator,
he laughs out loud.
If he did not laugh,
there would be no Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 41)

“The more we look, the less we see.
The more we hear, the less we listen.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 12)

According to Lao Tzu, you must reverse the conventional mindset of “seeing is believing”; do not just think out of the box but create your own box to “believe in order to see.” That is to say, you must demonstrate the intent not only to believe in and also to seek spirituality in your golden years.

With the intent, come your awareness of your inner longings and your consciousness of an inner voice speaking to you.

Then you must persist and persevere in your search and pursuit of spirituality, such as daily prayers and acts of compassion.

Finally, down the road, life crises and problems may further awaken you to your own innate spirituality.

To sum up, spirituality is awareness of your true self with the desire to become wholesome, connecting your body and your spirit through your mind. Spirituality is also a deep longing to have a closer contact with the Creator to receive His divine guidance in your everyday living throughout your golden years.

Believing in spirituality may help you believing in yourself once again as well as believing in your own spirituality in your golden years.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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