Limitations of Spiritual Practice

Human beings are biased by design – always looking to “either-or”, “us-vs-them”, resist, blame or separate things.   It’s no wonder we are riddled with problems.  The medical and natural treatment communities create sides to defend, and endless things to fight over about how to manage a physical body. The same war is waged in how to manage the non-physical aspects of being human as well: mind and spirit.

The human being has four fundamental aspects: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. These four overlap, but that does not mean they are best addressed all at once, all the time, in one big amorphous cloud of understanding. Sometimes it’s best to divide and conquer: to isolate one aspect and deal with it on its own terms.  Each aspect, from physical to spiritual, gets ever more subtle. Sometimes it’s best to deal with the grosser, more tangible aspects first, before fine-tuning things in the more subtle realms.

We tend to get attached (biased) to our own methods, blinding ourselves to the value of other approaches.  Many spiritual aspirants think spiritual practice can fix everything in their lives, but ignoring the more earthy aspects of physical life can cause major problems. A great essay on this can be found in Robert Masters’ Spiritual Bypassing.


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