The moment I say “spirituality”, people say, “Yes, I want to be peaceful.” You do not have to walk the spiritual path for peace. A glass of wine could do it or take a long walk and then lie down in the shade of a tree; you will sleep peacefully. Spirituality is not for someone who is seeking peacefulness. Spirituality is for someone who is seeking ultimate liberation, who is willing to shed everything that is false and arrive at the true nature of one’s existence.
Why it is stressed that the human life is of significance is simply because it is the only life here right now which can use its discretion to go beyond its compulsions. No other life on this planet has this intellectual discretion. This is not a small gift. This is not a small possibility. Just having this discretion, even if you have not exercised it to its fullest extent yet, it is a tremendous possibility.
When people asked Gautama the Buddha, “Why are you spending time with these thousands of people who are no good for anything? You are a spiritual teacher, you should spend time with a focused group.” Gautama said all of them are Bodhisattvas, that is why. Bodhisattva means a potential Buddha. Right now one may be living a limited life, but one has the potential. As long as the seed is intact, it is just a question of finding fertile soil, that’s all. And the seed cannot be destroyed. A seed which looks like a dead pebble, which looks inanimate, can become a great flowering if you just give it the possibility.
So allowing this possibility to take root and to flower is the whole process. This is not a social process; this is not a psychological process. It distresses me to hear many so-called “spiritual” teachers going about talking as if spirituality is just a question of attitude. “Just change your attitude, be loving, everything will be ok.” If you are loving, the life process can become pleasant. Nothing spiritual will happen to you. Pleasantness is a good way to live, for sure an intelligent way to exist, but it does not deliver you anywhere.
What we refer to as the spiritual process is that which delivers you to a dimension that is beyond your current perception of life. It is not a picnic, nor is it a journey. It is a pilgrimage. What is the difference between a travel, a journey and a pilgrimage? People move from one place to another for a variety of reasons. There are explorers who are always looking for virgin land that they want to put their footprint on, they want to prove something. There are travelers who are curious to see everything, so they travel. There are tourists who just go to relax. There are other kinds of tourists who just go to escape from their work or family. But a pilgrim is not going for any of these purposes. A pilgrimage is a way of getting yourself out of the way; if you do not budge, it is a way of wearing yourself out. A process of destroying all that is limited and compulsive and arriving to a boundless state of consciousness.
An 84-year-old man went to the doctor. The doctor said your heart is not doing too well. Then the old man asked, “Should I give up my sex life?” The doctor looked at him and asked, “Ok, which one do you want to give up, thinking about it or talking about it?” This is the kind of spirituality that is going on today, thinking about it and talking about it. But you cannot think about spirituality nor can you talk about it. It is the very root of what you call as life; one has to just sink deeper into it. We are trying to live life, but we are not allowing life to happen in its full glory. When you allow life to happen in its ultimate glory, that is spiritual process. Spirituality is not about moving away from life but about becoming life. It is not about going somewhere, it is a home-coming.