Spiritual but useless – The Sage and the Dead Fly

White Robes are a must

Spiritual Warfare – A Brendan Carl Clarke Original

I move in circles of spiritual types of every stripe. I always thought that these fine folks would be a great influence upon me, and I guess, in some ways that’s true… but… and here it comes; lots of these people are useless in every way. Too harsh? I shall elaborate:

One of my own teachers told me the following little gem: “Most practitioners of the spiritual life are merely running from reality”. He stared at me a few seconds to let that message sink in. “and until they get over that, they are just pretending”.

That was quite shocking, “Just Pretending to be Spiritual”

How to Pretend to be Spiritual

  1. Buy yourself some flowing white robes
  2. Fill your house with colorful crystals
  3. Talk in soft dulcet tones and constantly sport a soft little smile
  4. Write a Spiritual Blog? (Maybe)

Spiritual warfare are you a spiritual gangster
Pretending might look nice, but it won’t get you anywhere

So, those who pretend are also seeking liberation, but they are bumping up against just ONE of the many traps on the path to wisdom. Spiritual but useless means that they say the words and go through the motions but essentially, they suffer exactly the same as everyone else or worse, but then cover the whole thing up with a forced “I’m alright. The universe shall provide”. They know full well, that there is an abyss within them and desperately struggle to turn away from that and look into the proverbial light.

Hey! Who’re You Calling Useless?

Do you want to attain a state of ambiguous wonderfulness as promised by books and spiritual speakers? Do you want to be free from suffering? These are all high-minded goals, but at the expense of the everyday. It is at the costly expense of the mundane.

Spiritual warfare and spiritual gangster
The ancient technique to obtain ultimate wisdom… Clean your house

So…” (My teacher again) “I went to a place in Madrid, to stay with a person not completely unknown in spiritual circles, and I was struck by dirt and messiness of the Ashram. I went to the bathroom and saw that it had been cleaned, but not very well. I went to my bedroom and there was a dead fly on the windowsill. Something is not going right, here. I mentioned the dead fly to one of the long term meditators, who responded with “The dead fly? Yeah, that’s been there for ages” and she smiled cheerfully.” This was in an ASHRAM!

Meditation for spiritual warfare
White robes, correct posture, cool hairstyle… but what a mess.

Keep moving in the world of the mindful and the spiritual and you will meet many people who are dreadfully unhealthy because they ignore their health needs, horribly poor because they are incapable of holding a job or saving, addicted to spending, addicted to social media, criticizing “those dreadful nasty bad people”. These spiritual aspirants are gazing into the sky and awaiting inspiration, but maybe they could redirect their attention.

“Modern man can’t see God because he doesn’t look low enough?”

Carl Jung

Spiritual AND Grounded

“It’s fine to have your head in the clouds as long as you have both feet on the ground” That’s a quote from my own diary. Don’t you just LOVE people who quote themselves? The idea, though, is that to obtain the lofty heights to which the ones who call themselves “spiritual” do aspire, you have to start low.

Is THIS Spiritual?

  • Brushing your teeth
  • cleaning your house
  • Removing a dead fly from the windowsill
  • Doing push ups
  • Going to your mum’s house on Sundays (and being nice)
  • Painting your room
  • Getting to work on time
  • Being polite to everyone… even those who don’t vote like you do.
  • Eating healthy food and not eating junk.

Spiritual Grounding

This is what “being grounded” means. You must take care of visceral, concrete practicalities. You cannot just leap straight up to Sage level without the sure footing of having your life in order. This is generally not what people think they are getting into when they start a mindfulness path.

Clean your room, do the dishes, pick up that mess you’ve been ignoring, take care of that medical issue you have been avoiding, dump that idiotic bad habit you know perfectly is awful and dreadful, do even the utterly tedious items on your to do list, call your mum, apologize to that person you were rude to instead of waiting for them to forget it, do your job…

Now you can meditate. (White robes and crystals are entirely optional)

Brendan C. Clarke

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