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This beginner level of the course should not be considered some kind of “spirituality for dummies” or “the idiot’s guide to spirituality”. Although my sincere wish is to make spirituality easy and attractive to everybody, I invite you to consider the perspective of being proud of engaging ourselves with seriously based spirituality. Spirituality is able to be joyful, it appreciates the sense of humour and the pleasure of relax, but we should avoid interpreting this as a low value spirituality. “Beginner” here does not mean “not very interested”, “not seriously involved”; it means that I want to help you to meet spirituality the way we meet a sincere and interesting friend, rather than the way we meet a discouraging mountain to climb. We can even notice that the content of the course for beginners cannot be ignored by the advanced students. It contains essential elements that set up a correctly framed basis to build the most advanced discussions.

You can see that in this course the beginner level consists mostly on practice of spirituality. This might seem illogical from certain points of view: how can we face the practice of spirituality if we don’t even have a correct theoretical idea of what spirituality essentially is? However, we all know that today a lot of disciplines, like for example languages, swimming, driving, are more and more taught trying to follow what happens in nature: babies don’t start from theory to dive into life: they just start living. Later, they will be interested in understanding all the theories on life and everything. This does not mean that starting from practice is “the good way”; it is just an attempt to follow the best ways to meet not only spirituality, but also our human structures. Moreover, starting from theory would make spirituality not really interesting and attracting how it actually deserves to be conceived. We can even add that the basics of every spirituality lie in practice. All the spiritualities of this world were born as practical life and experience; afterwords, people studied theory. Practice can also be the strongest kind of criticism towards theory. A good way of making theory considers organizing a good listening of the already existent practice. So, let’s dive in and let’s consider this beginner level of the course as an experience, rather than a lot of concepts to bear in mind. We learn spirituality by absorbing it through life; later on we will be mature enough to appreciate and enjoy playing with ideas and theories. Don’t worry if you don’t understand now a lot of things. I know that carrying on without understanding seems absurd to many people; you might also be worried about missing some points and ideas that won’t be reconsidered later and will be left unclarified for ever. You can use the forum or contact me to get specific help; otherwise I invite you not to worry too much: it is my interest not to leave unclarified essential points. This is a normal aspect of any activity of learning: we can’t get everything clear as soon as we meet it: we all need some patience, to some extent, to go on leaving some points temporarily aside. The pieces of the mosaic will compose during the journey. We have an example of this situation on the story of Mary, about whom Luke’s gospel says that she kept those things in her heart, having the patience to wait for the time of better understanding. A consequence of being based on practice is that a lot of implicit questions, like “what is spirituality exactly?”, “why should I be interested on it?”, are not considered directly. The place to study questions and answers in deep and critically is the advanced level, that is intentionally dedicated to the theory about spirituality. In the advanced section you can find an in depth study of the definition of spirituality, entitled What is spirituality? that you can read right now if you feel in need of a thorough clarification of what we are talking about. Focusing on practice does not mean that in this beginner level we will proceed like blind people. Practice will be organized trying to make it speaking by itself, although we are aware that unclarified questions can cause misunderstanding and wrong convictions. The problem is that, in any path, it is impossible to meet all aspects all at once. We just need the necessary patience to give time to the path to develop itself.

Hello, everybody. This video is an introduction to the course of spirituality, first level. The whole course is organized in four levels: first level, beginners, second level, intermediate, third level, experienced, fourth level, advanced. This first level is meant absolutely for everybody. This means that even if you have no idea about spirituality or if you feel confused among the high number of courses, instructions, instructors, masters of spirituality, high number of ideas, conceptions, this course is for you, because, in this elementary level, you will be introduced to make some order in the confusion that actually is now in the world, all over the world, about spirituality.

Another characteristic that I expect from the students is that this course is for those who want seriousness. I don’t know if you realize this, but, in all the courses that you can find all over the world, seriousness is a very rare aspect, a very rare feature. I mean, I see a lot of people who go on just by improvisation, especially because today almost nobody has clear ideas about what spirituality is, so everybody can just start and say “I’m a teacher of spirituality”. What I’m doing is not just this, just saying “Okay, nobody knows, so I can say I’m a good teacher”. What I’m doing in this course is based on research, on criticism, dialogue with history, science, philosophy, psychology, all the most important and serious academical disciplines, so, something that is supposed to have a strong background and not just improvising to do whatever spontaneously comes out.

And I know that this might cause some uncertainty because spirituality is meant by many people like something that must be spontaneous, must give space to what is instinctively inside you, so, how is it, that I want to do something serious and something even academical? Actually, what I’m doing is something that wants to be balanced, so, a strong background, a strong ground, that is ability to dialogue with science and most university or academical disciplines, but also complete awareness that we are humans, so that spirituality is not just knowledge of some things, but is shaping your personality. So, I’m aware that this course is not just to give you a lot of information, so that at the end, if you know all of this information you are good, you can receive high marks at the exam. We understand that a teacher of spirituality who knows everything about spirituality, but doesn’t experience in their life silence, meditation, listening to life, to nature, even if that person has a lot of information, a lot of knowledge about spirituality, cannot be considered a good teacher of spirituality. So, spirituality is not just knowledge, information, we are aware of this. So, what I’m trying to transmit is not just structured information, but, as much as possible, some instrument to shape your life, so that it’s not just study of spirituality, but I call it “spiritual study”, that is, you need to be a spiritual person in order to be a good student either a teacher of spirituality.

So, I was saying that you might feel confused because there are a lot of ideas in the world about spirituality, so, most probably you already have your idea of spirituality, and I don’t know what is your idea. So, most probably, seeing what I can see in the world, considering what I can see in the world, most probably we need to have a dialogue also about what spirituality is. So, probably you will need to correct your ideas about spirituality, probably you don’t like the idea that I’m going to transmit you. So, if you don’t like it, I can’t solve this problem, I can just say that the idea of what spirituality is, that I am teaching you, is based on research, so it’s based on considering all the spiritualities of the world and trying to make a synthesis, a concept that is like an umbrella, able to embrace all spiritualities.

So, talking about this, we can also clarify that we need not to confuse spirituality with spiritualities. I mean, I see that in a lot of most courses and teachings about spirituality they are not really about spirituality as such, but they are about one kind of spirituality, maybe it’s either yoga or meditation or oriental or believing or atheist and so on. What I’m going to teach in this course is spirituality as such, that is, the most general idea of spirituality that can be applied to all spiritualities, any spirituality, so that at the end you will get a large sight of what spirituality is and not just a narrow perspective or of a very specialistic spirituality. Then, afterwards, you can choose to specialize yourself, your culture, your personality, in something more specific, but what I’m going to introduce you towards to is the widest concept of spirituality, embracing really everything.

This is not a lack of meaning, it is meaning, it has meaning, and you will realize that it’s not just “everything is spirituality”; it’s a good orientation to have something with a physionomy, with a name, with a definition, not just something too generic. General does not mean generic, lacking a physionomy.

Since this course is for beginners, you should expect that, although we are going to talk about several things, we cannot clarify everything, because clarifying means building good concepts, so, since at the beginning a lot of concepts are not clarified, we have not discussed them, so I expect from you some patience. I know that, when we are talking about the several topics, a lot of questions will arise in your mind: but this...? How is this...? How is that...? Why is this...? But now, since this is an introduction for beginners, we cannot analyze everything, so, for now I ask you to make a note of your questions and put them aside and you will realize that while you go on on the course and on the levels of the course, you will see that automatically you will be building the best resources so that by yourself you will be able to build your answers, so you won’t need to wait for an answer from me, and this means that you will be not only a student, but, the more you will go on, the more you will become a teacher, a real teacher of spirituality.

Another thing: why I? That is: why should you follow this course and not another one? Who am I? Just a few words: I’m an ex-catholic priest, so, I can say that my experience is in the roots of the word “spirituality”, because the word “spirituality” was born in the context of Christianity, so, having known quite well from the inside Christianity, the context of Christianity, this is, I think, something that makes me with a serious experience about what spirituality is and my specific passion has always been for philosophy, so, a critical view of all spiritualities you will notice is that is a special feature of this course, so, I’m not going to explain you in detail all, every single spirituality. Even myself, I’m not an expert of all single spiritualities. What is this course for is to make a good introduction to the whole of spirituality to what spirituality is as such in general.

Another thing is: I said that a good teacher is not just a lot of knowledge, but a personality, so now we can notice that these lessons are not aimed to be just information, structure, structured information, but you can notice that, at least in my intention, they are meant to be really meditation. What’s the difference between a lesson and a meditation? It’s the fact that the way how I structure concepts, the rhythm of talking, the style of the behavior, although I can’t transmit so much just by talking this way, but, as much as possible, I will try to transmit something that is a meditation, an experience, a style of life. Just to make an example, I was watching, some time ago, somebody else who was making videos on spirituality, but, for some reason, I don’t know, there was a rhythmic music in the background, while that person was talking, and I was wondering: why this music in the background? This is not spirituality, this is distracting from listening, so the rhythm how I talk, as i said, is not the whole, but just an aspect that I would like you to notice, but it’s not completely meditation, because, anyway, this is aimed to be a course, study, lessons, so it’s meditation in some percentage, at some degree, just to be faithful to the content of what I’m teaching, and anyway, on the other side, a degree of objectivity of information will be present in this study, so, it’s a balance that I’m trying to make in these lessons, balance between information and experience, experience made in these lessons and that I expect you to put all your intelligence, your all your ability, so that you will build this balance in your person, balance between information and spiritual experience.

Last notice. Keep an eye to the next levels: this is the first level; as soon, as long as I go on, I’m going to build also the next levels of the course, so keep an eye while the next levels will start being present on the website and I would like to keep in touch with you, so feel free to make questions, send message and for this I’ve made available especially a discussion forum on internet, so you can register on the forum and we can have discussions, not only the students with me, but the students between themselves, so that we enrich each other because, me as a teacher, I as a teacher need as well to learn from you. Okay, so I hope that you will find this course useful, good to build your culture and your spirituality, so see you in the starting of the lessons.