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Laughing at the meaning of spirituality and other altitude symptoms: Annapurna week 2/3.

3 minutes read

The human urge to name and categorize everything: how we've exchanged our authentic connection with the spirit for rituals, religions, politics, and meaningless words that separate us from the true meaning of connection.

One week into the Himalayas and an ancient spiritual veil starts to drape over the mountains; as we ascend we are leaving Nepalese hinduism behind, and walking into Tibetan Buddhism. Portal found – we traveled 1000 years back in time as soon as we hit the 4000 meters altitude mark.

Less and less oxygen, breathing feels harder but breath travels to deeper places, unknown depths of me never touched by breath.

From latin spiritus – which means breath.

Altitude is breath's sense of humor.

What the fuck is a spiritual path anyways?

Further humor: after a week in the spiritual roof of the earth I feel "less spiritual" than I've ever felt. I feel more human. More earthy. More grounded; closer to nature, further from any need to search for answers.

I laugh shamelessly at the narrative of coming to India, to Nepal, to these "high vibrations" places to follow your spiritual path. Ha. As if a spiritual path was accessible by foot? As if a spiritual path even existed! If anything, this trip has made me come closer to my Harley Quinn side; my chaos side. Maybe these travels have the absolute opposite effect on me: now I want to come face to face with the chaos.

Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.
- from the Tao Te Ching

Mountains, Tao, repetition, nature, spaciousness. Suddenly it hits (or maybe I hear Tom saying this all the time): we have created a whole linguistic world that separates us from the true feeling of spirituality: whatever moves your spirit.

What if spirituality is just making peace with chaos? Forget about all these meditations, prayers, rituals. All this buffer between the source and us.

Paradise lost: straining from nature

Spirituality is connection with nature. Very simple. But we love complicating things:

Originally, there was our connection with nature; god was evident around us because we were nature ourselves. Enough proof. At some point – when we begin to loose connection with nature – we feel the urge to explain nature's way; ritual is born. We begin to create religions and thoughts around that connection with God (as in, nature):  the first linguistic barrier is created. First buffer from reality and the source.

From that point on, all sort of systems, rules, regulations emerge. Morals and ethics; if you do this you are a good person, if you do that you're a bad one. Heaven, hell; Systems of rewards and punishments. Religions, politics, what is the difference at this point? And this is where we stand now; apple bitten, paradise lost.

Where did paradise go?

Paradise is there, we just built a wall around it.

The only separation between us, and the source (nature, god) would be the single moment where we needed to go out of our way for more proof.  If we never separated ourselves from nature, we wouldn't need to follow those rules and systems; we follow nature.

Ritual then is not necessary. The power of nature is enough proof of spirit – you feel the rain on your skin, you stand barefoot on the sand, you smell the moss-infused air walking on the forest. Whatever moves your spirit is proof.

Final thoughts

Another week observing how Nepalese mountain people take their sweet, eternal time slowly move the wood, light the fire, and boil some water to make tea.  And at these seconds, I witness what moves their spirit. These seconds become light enough to slip from time itself. And words like "spirituality", "enlightenment" and other meaningless agreements also slip and demolish that barrier between the source, and ourselves.

Beautiful poem by a beautiful human

Poem by Tom Lewin

This post was powered by very intense mountain conversations with Tom, and an obsession with the Tao Te Ching.

Gracias gracias for your time, I really do appreciate you reading this!


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