The disciple asked: “ Master, many spiritual people say that we are souls or spirits having a physical, human experience; therefore, they teach to avoid activities which will support the experience of being flesh rather than spirit. Many have special diets and avoid mainstream forms of physical exercise. What could you share with me about that?”
The master observed his disciple for a few seconds and responded: “Many will emphasize the ideal and forget what is. That gap will create an inner fight in the follower and dishonesty within.” The disciple wasn’t expecting such generic answer, so he asked for further clarification.
The master said: “ I gave a general answer. If you had experience on what I said, you wouldn’t ask for more. Please remember this: As my answers become more specific they are further away from what is, even though; you may think that you understood.” The disciple did not understand that response either, but thankfully; the master continued.
“ As is your consciousness, so will be your understanding. Your activities will be accordingly. Many want specific answers from an authority so they can follow them based on trust and create a religion or philosophy to proselytize believing to have the right answer, the truth. However; in spirituality you need to walk the path yourself. Knowing the path intellectually is not walking it. But walking it, is to know it.” And then paused for a few seconds to continue: “We are conditioned through society. Many may need to physically exercise according to what society has sold them to be good, respectable, desirable: The gym, the swimming pool or to go out and run. They may create a habit, their bodies are used to that activity which will give them identity, as- I am this- and that could become an addiction fueled through the ideals of improvement and competition, supported by society. The body needs to exercise but exercise is not meant to exhaust you but to give you energy. Others have exercised their entire lives through work. Walking to the office, cleaning the house, farm work etc. but without conscious awareness. Finally there are others using meditative movements as exercise, conscious movements which are not only exercising the body but preparing them for conscious living. Their activities and consciousness will give them their diets. The range goes from eating anything to almost nothing to live well. Many believe that a can of soda is necessary to live or to drink alcohol, or to eat processed food. Others are conditioned to pleasure their sense of taste to eat endlessly, although the human body needs little food to function properly. These individuals are unaware of their addiction for the conditioning of society supports consumerism. They may believe that a person’s well being and happiness depends on obtaining consumer goods and material possessions.”
The disciple said: “ But that is the majority of people.”
The master said: “That is why they are not here now with you. Their consciousness is different. it does not mean that you are better, but just at another stage of the many faces of Life. As we walk the spiritual path our activities will change and so our diet. That change will be natural without inner conflict, in harmony with your new BEING. The only requisite is to honestly die from your old self: Your old beliefs, everything you think you know. I emphasize the word honesty. If we haven’t crossed that threshold we will not be ready for that ideal preached by religions and philosophies.”
The disciple then had an Aha! moment: “Oh, religions and philosophies may emphasize the goal, the final result rather than attending to the individual process, for not everyone is the same.” The master replied: “ Their goal is to massify everything, to gain followers. Even truth sometimes is determined by the number of followers a system has, but spirituality is not concerned with those things. Spiritual progress merges in a seldom walked narrow path.”
“What is the concern of spirituality then?” Asked the disciple.
“Your consciousness.” replied the master.