What is Spirituality?

September 29, 2010

Earlier this month I spent a weekend with two hundred thirty-nine other men at a gathering of S/M enthusiasts. During an encounter with a friend, I began to explore the possibility of a spiritual side of S/M.

I created a brief survey that I asked other participants to compete. One man wrote, “To answer these questions, a respondent has to understand what his ‘spirituality’ is and be able to define it.” This led me to think about my own definition of spirituality. I’ve been writing this blog as “Spirituality from One Gay Man’s Perspective,” but I’ve never given my definition.

The philosopher Ken Wilber uses two definitions, one is the highest level in any field of human endeavor – Beethoven’s symphonies or Michelangelo’s sculpture – and the other, the endeavor to find meaning in life.

To me spirituality is something that cannot be fully expressed – that I don’t as yet fully know (hence my calling myself a spiritual explorer) – but that has been known by the great masters – Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu – as the basis of their teachings. This basis, however, has been lost as dogmatic religions developed around the lives of these masters. At times, spirituality has reemerged in the lives of mystics, but for the most part it is buried under traditions, mindless ritual and hierarchical authority.

My definition obviously relates to Wilber’s second definition, though in the first – in the works Beethoven and Michelangelo – we may find glimpses of the spirituality out of which the teachings of the masters developed.

In future postings, I’ll give the results of my survey – which may become the basis for some kind of work uniting spirituality with the S/M side of sexuality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: