The Scent of a Flower

by rthieme on September 19, 1998

An email friend asked, “How’s your spiritual journey?”

Then a friend called who I had just seen at a National Speakers Association convention. NSA is a huge circus tent into which all of us talking animals come prancing and dancing and making our various noises. One of the “center ring” presentations was overtly religious, and my friend called to say he had been upset at the man’s presumption, that the guy felt he had the right to advance his personal views that way.

I often write and speak about what I call techno-spirituality, by which I mean our diverse ways of being fully human in a wired world. Our spiritual quests are linked to the imagery of our traditions and how we couple with them. Mental artifacts couple with digital ones. The digital world is becoming the “space” in which we live and move and have our being. Because digital imagery works differently than writing or print, our ways of holding ourselves as possibilities for action in the world (one definition of spirituality) are transformed.

Our religious structures are subsumed in the spiritual awakening of not only humankind, but all sentient beings that inhabit the millions of planets that orbit a billion suns. As Gandhi said, “God has no religion.” Nevertheless, religions abound, most of them “good enough” vehicles to get us where we’re going. They’re airplanes that self-destruct just as we touch down at our final destination.

My spirituality? It’s OK, thanks. It’s there and it’s not there. Once our spirituality becomes Everything, it becomes Nothing. Context is content, the medium the message.

Life unfolds like a flower. The “spiritual journey” is merely its scent. A rose doesn’t have to say it’s a rose, it merely has to be one, letting its pale fragrance do the talking.

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