Temple Illuminatus

By Zach Herbert

It’s interesting. Since I launched the site and pulled the curtain back on Open Source Spirituality, there’s been one response that I’ve received more than any other.

From moms to metal-heads to former-Mormons. The people are very different, but the message is always the same:

Thank you for putting yourself out there. And for showing that it’s okay to be me.

The funny thing is, the reaction usually comes before they’ve even had a chance to dig into the ideas.

More often than not, it starts with the silly Fuck Spiritual. Be You. picture below (and in the sidebar of my site).

So why is that so shocking?

Why should that, of all things, make any difference to anyone?

Because we’re all afraid to reveal who we really are.

And because “spiritual” people don’t say fuck.

We’ve been handed this idea of what it means to be spiritual… Peaceful. Transcendent. Free from emotion. Free from ego personality.

It’s easy to be “spiritual.” It’s easy to be pleasant and peaceful and unaffected.

It’s easy to pretend.

It’s easy because it’s safe; and it’s fake; and it comes with a roadmap.

All we have to do is follow the stereotype and project the right image. (When in doubt, just smile placidly and say Namaste.)

Being authentic is scary.

We all want, more than anything, to be ourselves. To express ourselves. To be seen and accepted. And appreciated for what we have to offer.

But we’re afraid that if we do express ourselves—if we reveal who we really are—the people in our lives will reject us and abandon us.

They won’t want to see. They won’t accept.

And the shitty thing is…

We’re right.

Not everyone of course. But some.

And sometimes it’s the people who really matter.

It could be your parents, or your best friend, or your lover.

No matter how hard you try, some people will reject you.

And the more you are who you are, the more rejection you’re going to face.

Because the most beautiful thing about you—the thing most likely to offend others—is YOU.

Scary? Yes. But here’s the good part...

Having a personality—being an actual person—let’s people form an opinion.

Sometimes that means you get rejected. But sometimes it means you get to connect and engage at a much deeper level.

But until you put yourself out there, you’re just stuck in the middle. You don’t risk the rejection. But you never make the connection either.

Which brings us back to the Fuck Spiritual. Be You. picture…

I don’t exactly fit the “spiritual” stereotype. And when I was just getting started, I wasn’t sure what to do about that.

I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to not offend the old spiritual-but-not-religious crowd.

I was sure my ideas would help them. But I was also sure that my personality would rub them the wrong way. And so I kept trying to figure out how to take me out of the equation.

It was difficult, and depressing. And it kept me stuck for quite a while.

The turning point came when I attended a New Age expo in Nashville a few years ago.

I remember walking around this giant room, looking for anything different or interesting. I found costumed gurus and costumed psychics and crystal peddlers and approximately 270,000 certified Reiki masters…

And I thought, these are not the people I want to spend the rest of my life hanging out with!

Followed quickly by, what the hell am I going to do??

I already knew that this was my life’s path. I knew that my unusual insights into the contemplative arts were the most meaningful gift I had to give.

But “Open Source Spirituality” didn’t exist yet… It was still in pieces. And it didn’t come together until I realized that I could share that gift with people who I wouldn’t need to hide from.

So I decided to let people see me.

Be You

Initially it was just my own act of courage. An effort to express who I really am, and hopefully build a life engaging with people who I could actually connect with.

But the more I revealed, the more I realized that authenticity was the point.

Not “spiritual.” Not “evolved.” Not “enlightened.”

Authentic.

Whatever that means… However that changes as you grow…

Just be you

For me, that means goofy pictures that express my personality, and a tagline that lets people form an opinion.

For you, it will be something else.

And the “spiritual” crowd? So far they’re predictably offended. They hide their shock, politely dismiss themselves, and go back to Namaste’ing with their friends.

And that’s probably for the best.

There’s a big difference between being spiritual, and being “spiritual.” And I’m definitely not the latter.

The question is: why are YOU here?

What is it that you’re looking for?

If you want to let go of your negative emotions… If you want life to be safe and simple… If you want to make the people you love, love you back…

Then you’re in the wrong place.

Spirituality isn’t safe

It isn’t easy. It isn’t smooth. And it isn’t going to make people love you.

But it will change you.

You’ll wake up. You’ll break down. You’ll weep for beauty and connection. You’ll laugh and love and fight and fuck. And fall ass-backwards into mind-bending experiences that no one will understand…

But you won’t be safe.

You won’t avoid the things you don’t want to feel.

And if you use it as a path to authenticity, you’ll face an awful lot of rejection.

Because that’s the price of being YOU.

It’s the part that none of us signs up for—but all of us get anyway.

Not the most enticing pitch, is it?

Call it truth in advertising.

And if you still think that spiritual people don’t say fuck… If you still think it’s all about an even hand and a safe and steady passage… No worries. Keep up the search. And thanks for stopping by.

For the rest of you…

YOU, with the irreverent spirit…

YOU, with the inner-grin and the hopeful heart…

YOU, with everything to gain; and everything to lose…

Welcome home.

We’ve been waiting for you.

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Comment by Zephonith Serpent Woman on January 27, 2018 at 12:36am

Comment by Kristina Dodson on January 26, 2018 at 7:21am

This put me in mind of that saying: there's your truth, there's my truth and then there's the real truth which lies somewhere in the middle, or better yet, "all truths are half-truths."

I tend to view spiritual enlightenment as a true understanding of the self and my connection to the universe and all that's in it, but I know others see it a bit differently. Some believe that spiritual enlightenment is attained by also gaining control of their thoughts and emotions and maintaining a positive vibration regardless of the situation. They feel that to give a negative thought or emotion expression, to give it credence, allows that negative thought or emotion to affect them in a negative way and thus lowers their vibration.

Now, most of us have been taught from an early age that 'fuck' is a "bad" word. It's not that hard to see how some people would associate the word 'fuck' with a lower vibration then, if you view it in that context. To some, saying any sort of "bad" word essentially lowers their vibration. I believe this is why some people react negatively to a "bad" word, even if they haven't heard of the law of vibration. 

I personally don't believe that saying the word 'fuck' is going to affect my spiritual growth one way or another, but I do know that some would see it as a lack of control on my part, especially if it was said in anger. If I was pissed or aggravated about something and said 'fuck,' then in their opinion, I have allowed something to negatively affect me on a personal level, I'm now polarized to a negative degree and therefore I've become unbalanced.

So, does saying 'fuck' mess with you spiritually? If you believe it does, if that is your truth, then yes, it does. Does that perception of truth transfer to me if I say 'fuck'? Only if I allow it.

I can drop food on the floor by accident and say, "aw, fuck," without even thinking about it, and will experience nothing negative as a result. It's just a word. I'm not offended by it nor do I see it as "bad." Low-brow, maybe, but I don't associate the word with anything particularly "bad."

On the other hand, I might be in the grocery store, drop a can of soup and say 'fuck', and someone gets offended and  gives me a disapproving look. I might then feel "bad" because I offended them. Note, I don't feel "bad" about the word, I feel "bad" because of the reaction the word received. Then, I might also get mad, not because they are offended - I feel "bad" about that, remember. No, I'm mad now because I feel chastised and I've allowed their disapproval to bother me, affect me in a negative way. So, this experience has lowered my vibration. The word itself didn't do it, but the resulting reactions to the word did. Cause and effect.

In one person's truth, saying 'fuck' would have spiritual repercussions. In my truth, it's just a word I use to express how I'm feeling or thinking at that moment. It's an honest reaction, an honest expression, so I don't feel it lowers my vibration by saying it.

As far as I can tell, I've never suffered any ill effects due to the word 'fuck' itself. It didn't conjure up any demons or ruin my day because I said it or heard it. To me, it's just a word. At some point or another, I've probably used that word to express every emotion I've experienced, from fear to joy and everything else in between. However, I do try to refrain from saying it in the presence of those who I think might find it offensive. It's not just meant as a common courtesy on my part, though I do try to be considerate of others lol, but I refrain from using the word because it also serves as a means of protecting my own vibrations.

Just my thoughts on the matter. :)

Comment by Zephonith Serpent Woman on January 19, 2018 at 8:30am

Comment by Cian Rhys on January 18, 2018 at 7:54am

Comment by savlove on January 18, 2018 at 4:16am

"Keep ya doped with religion & sex & TV

'Till you think you're so clever and classless and free

Butchoo still fookin' peasants as far as I can see" ---       {Jock 'n Yono Lennonlnigus}

Comment by Karen Black on January 17, 2018 at 11:14am

Comment by Cian Rhys on January 17, 2018 at 4:59am

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