Spirit

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(Medhananda:) “Spirit is the abnormal rush, the enthusiasm which takes hold of the established order and changes it dramatically. The modern term ‘spirituality’ has been wrongly applied to the ‘finer’ perceptions of life, to the superior intellect and to the most tender religious emotions, the nice pious feelings. Newman even compares the spirit to the sweet perfume which permeates the folds of an old garment! He never met the ‘tremendum’ of our ancestors. For them there was nothing weak or tender or hesitant or sweet in the movements of the spirit. There could be nothing more dangerous to a nice quiet life!
         Genuine spiritual experience was always an overwhelming happening. Think of how Saul came to be Paul! Its hallmark was its deep and lasting influence on the personality of a human being, and frequently the total transformation of a whole tribe: sometimes the creation of a new age.”[1]


“What is the role of the spirit?

One might say that it is both the conscious intermediary between the Supreme and the manifestation, and the meeting-place of the manifestation with the Supreme.
         Spirit is capable of understanding and communicating with the highest Godhead and at the same time it is the purest, one might say the least distorted intermediary of the highest Godhead in the outermost manifestation. It is spirit which, with the help of the soul, turns the consciousness towards the Highest, the Divine, and it is in the spirit that the consciousness can begin to understand the Divine.
         It might be said that what is called ‘spirit’ is the atmosphere brought into the material world by the Grace so that it may awaken to the consciousness of its origin and aspire to return to it. It is indeed a kind of atmosphere which liberates, opens the doors, sets the consciousness free. This is what enables the realisation of the truth and gives aspiration its full power of accomplishment.
         From a higher standpoint, this could be put in another way: it is this action, this luminous and liberating influence that is known as ‘spirit’. All that opens to us the road to the supreme realities, pulls us out from the mud of the Ignorance in which we are stuck, opens the doors to us, shows us the path, leads us to where we have to go — this is what man has called ‘spirit’. It is the atmosphere created by the Divine Grace in the universe to save it from the darkness into which it has fallen.”[2]


“[S]o long as one just speaks of the spirit and it is something one has read about, whose existence one vaguely knows about, but not a very concrete reality for the consciousness, this means that one is not born into the spirit. And when one is born into the spirit, it becomes something much more concrete, much more living, much more real, much more tangible than the whole material world.”[3]





See also