It is not possible to experience spirituality firsthand without making a partisan choice and practicing some particular spirituality, for example a religion, a philosophy, an art, or even, for example, a sport. Despite this, it is possible to identify certain fundamental activities which are quite common to all types of spiritual experience and can be lived as an essential experience of spirituality, even without adhering to any particular spirituality. One of these fundamental practical activities is finding oneself in the presence of a person, followed by an opposite moment, that is, placing oneself in a situation of solitude and silence, preferably in a beautiful and serene naturalistic landscape, in which to meditate on what the previous experience produced in us.

To express this in even easier and more concrete terms we can say this: do you want to understand what spirituality is? Then stay close to someone, then separate in solitude and be silent. In silence you will be able to rethink what you felt while you were with that person or those persons and how the sensations of that being of yours alongside others still remain within you; you will be able to think about whether and how the presence of the other has influenced and continues to influence your life considered globally, especially from a point of view about its sense. These thoughts and feelings are spirituality.

Hello everybody, this video is connected to the post “Memory of the presence” on Spiritual Study.

In the post I said that a spiritual experience can be lived, can be experienced, can be made in relationship with the people that we met. So, if I met somebody, maybe today or another day, I can, when I’m alone, think again about it. Or the experience can also be in the same moment when I’m with somebody. If it’s possible I can make myself aware, with more attention to the experience that I’m living, of that person with me. This is what I said in the article, in the lesson. Now we can face an objection, a question, that is: what about if the person who is with me actually creates to me a weird, a bad, a suffering experience, because, we know, not rarely the person that we need to stay with are not the person that we want to stay with. So this can create to us some even suffering. We can remember even the words of the philosopher Sartre, who said: the hell is the other people, the other person, because they frame me inside their cage, inside their schemes, they make me like an object. So, if their experience of being with other people can be so negative, how can this be called a spiritual experience? In other words, thi can be referred to the more general problem of the evil in life or in the world, that is, how can I manage living this life with evil in what I experience? A symbol of this problem can be considered, at least in the context of Christian religion, the cross, the death of Jesus. In that experience he is the person who suffers, because of the other people who are around him, because they didn’t accept him, they put him in the cross, so, can we think that this is a spiritual experience or shall we exclude it from the definition of spirituality?

The wide definition that I give to spirituality, that is “inner life”, includes this: everything is a spiritual experience, even when we are suffering, and in this case, in this context, about the presence of some specific people that make us uncomfortable, make us suffering. Let’s try to better understand how this can be considered a spiritual experience, because, when we think about spiritual, this makes us think something positive. So, where is the positive in the negative experience of being with other people? Now we can think to clarify this question of a reaction that actually happens dramatically when we suffer really deeply, really hard. This reaction is when we are without hope, we are desperate and we cry. It’s the normal reaction that we see especially in children, obviously most rarely in adult people, but this is what makes us feel like very humans. A person who never cries, even in the most dramatic and deeply tragic moments, we perceive that that person lacks some humanity. So this suggests us that the experience of crying, that we see most frequently in children, actually gives us some direction to understand how the negative experience of being with other people who make us uncomfortable can be a spiritual experience. How and why?

Our human reaction of crying let’s us understand that in that moment our nature makes us to put outside, externally, to externalize what we are living inside: this is when a baby or an adult cries. What’s the the meaning, the sense of this putting externally what we have inside? We can consider it again the way to orientate how the negative experience of other people being with us can be a spiritual experience, because crying is not like saying: okay the world is negative there is no hope. Crying, even if it expresses desperation, suffering, actually is still an action, is still a reaction. The most obvious function that we can think about crying is trying to recall the attention of other people, to ask for help. Obviously crying is almost identical to saying “please, help me”, but there is something else in the depth of the phenomenon of crying. As I said, it is putting outside externally what we have inside and actually this becomes a spiritual communication, a spiritual bridge with the persons whoever they are, that are around us, that are near us. So this means that spirituality, in this case, is not the solution of the problem, is not gaining happiness, rather it is communication of humanity and this way I am communicating humanity not only to the other people, but actually even to myself. I am revealing my humanity to myself. So this means that the phenomenon of crying, being connected with the rest of our spirituality, the rest of our abilities to show what is inside us, our subjectivity, our humanity, puts us in this context that is spirituality, that means: okay I can’t solve the problem, I can’t remove my suffering, but still, in that situation of suffering, I can manage, I can make an exchange, we can even say a traffic of giving humanity and receiving humanity, an exchange of humanity. And essentially this is spirituality. So, this is, I think, something very authentic about how to live spirituality when we are suffering ,because of the presence of other people or maybe in any situation of suffering. Everything can become spirituality when, while living it, I put in it some exchange of humanity, I give you my humanity and I want to receive your humanity. At this point, when I understand how deep this becomes, how a deep experience it is this, it’s not any more a problem if actually I have not found the solution how to to resolve this problem of suffering. Obviously, it’s better if we can find the solution, we don’t want to be separated by the rational research of finding solutions, but spirituality is not just finding solutions and gaining happiness, that actually can become something really shallow. So this way I’m not encouraging people to cry, obviously, but anyway crying, even if it’s not the ideal obviously, it’s an extremely important aspect of our being human and how we can be spiritual, authentically spiritual, in any situation. Then we can add also trying to solve the situation, try to discuss, or even to protest to shout to the other people who are oppressing us, but this would be more, like saying, making us the kings of the situation, wanting to be able to solve everything, but we are humans, we are not able to solve everything. So, there are moments, when life, it’s like life calls us to give value to the experience of crying and this makes us authentically humans, authentically spiritual.

Okay this was the reflection I made about this topic. I would like that everybody, me, you, would be able to discover more and more the universe that is in our humanity and in our spirituality so let’s collaborate in this building for a more human world.
See you in next lessons.