The following article first appeared in Watkins Review and is based on passages in ‘SPIRITUALITY UNVEILED: AWAKENING TO CREATIVE LIFE’.
Written by Stephen Wollaston (aka Santoshan)
We stand in a unique position where we need to be involved in the making of a New Earth. Our current age calls us to embrace an inclusive, universal and creative spirituality; one that encompasses living the whole of our life as skilfully, peacefully and compassionately as possible. It involves manifesting qualities that lead to recognizing the profound unity we share with all people and Nature and the responsibilities this brings. This is more than just a mere knowing, but a state of being that is authentically lived.
This transforming aspect of spirituality is always there inviting us. It is an expression of supreme creativity that connects us with the powers of the universe, which can be manifested in each moment and called upon to enrich our world and daily interactions. Spirituality is in many ways about being awake to this potential, and the abilities and possibilities that are available to us at all times, which can lead us to being spontaneously creative and to participate skilfully in life as it unfolds.
An integral and creative approach to spirituality is multidimensional and acknowledges an array of levels and stages of unfoldment, without undermining insights of an essential oneness or non-duality. Though it involves travelling through a multiple of spheres, it is a single integration that seeks interaction with the all-ness of healthy living. It is when we include the whole, including the natural world that we open to a path that has been recognized by many traditions: one that is life affirming. It is a spirituality that links us with the beginning of creation, because of its connections with the creative force and mind that has pervaded the universe since its birth.
Deep within us we know intuitively that not only life on our planet, but also the universe has a profound interconnected intelligence and purpose. If we consider how our living universe came into being, and how it is holistic, integral and forever in the process of evolving, we realise it is an important part of who we are, as we are all incredible products of the universe and its awe inspiring creativity.
Through awakening to these deeper dimensions of spirituality, we touch realms of experience that have been realised by many of the world’s great mystics and discover knowledge of the profound connections we share with the creativity of Earth, Nature and the cosmos. Although no two humans, snowflakes or blades of grass are identical, all connect with an underlying unity. All life possesses a unique spark of the divine and its potential to create – to bring about harmony, balance and creative beauty into the world, which are essential facets of healthy spirituality.
When we create, we take part in and celebrate the creativity that exists within our universe. We in fact already possess all that we need to be in a productive interactive relationship with the creativity of the cosmos; we only have to find the intuitive insight that is called for to overcome the appearance of separation from it. When we do this, we open ourselves to the evolving and transforming power of an active spirituality.
Yet past conditioning makes unfoldment difficult. We see ourselves as physically separate. Our senses create the appearance of being singular and set apart from other people, objects and life around us, which leads to self-centred actions. Yet not only do the Buddha’s and many of the world’s great teachings tell us that this is a wrong perception, but quantum physics has also discovered this to be true.
Stephen (aka Santoshan)
is when we are at one with the spiritual core of our being that life starts to speak to us in fresh and dynamic ways, which are not tied to conditioned perceptions. A healthy way forward involves interacting with diverse areas of growth, which include acquiring an Earth-centric vision, awakening to inclusive realms of spirituality and growing beyond the boundaries that separate us. This enlarges who we are and leads us to previously unrecognized potential, to discover new realms of possibility and move beyond restrictive patterns, to realise that change and growth are always possible.
This is a spirituality that embraces and acts upon wisdom that crosses all boundaries in order to include all – to see all as an interrelated and unified sacred whole with profound meaning and purpose, which, if we are open enough to take part in it, can enrich and transform our lives in every moment.
The search is always ongoing, and involves being open to new discoveries and the problems of contemporary living, to learning how to tread lightly upon Earth, live peacefully and purify our minds, hearts and awareness and perform creative acts that are in harmony with the natural world. The creative impulse within us takes on deeper meaning when our actions are performed as expressions of spiritual living and when we recognize our unity with all – with both human and non-human life.
ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE BOOK ‘SPIRITUALITY UNVEILED’:
“This is an example of integral thinking at its best. Santoshan has achieved a masterful synthesis.”
– Marian Van Eyk McCain, editor of ‘GreenSpirit, Path to a New Consciousness’.
“This is a timely book which points a way forward … It also puts God’s beautiful creation back at the heart of our relation with the divine …”
– June Raymond, a Sister of Notre Dame.
“‘Spirituality Unveiled’ is for the here and now … it motivates us to live compassionately and face the challenges of contemporary life with hope.”
– Ian Mowll, Interfaith Minister.
The book, Spirituality Unveiled: Awakening to Creative Life, is published by Earth Books (2011), 144pp, ISBN: 978-1-84694-509-0. £9.99
STEPHEN has served as a council member of GreenSpirit (www.greenspirit.org.uk), their editorial and publishing team and is the designer of GreenSpirit Magazine. He was given the name Santoshan (contentment) by an English swami who trained at the Bihar School of Yoga and has a creative background as a spiritual writer, graphic designer, artist and musician. He was the principal bass guitarist of one of London’s first punk rock bands, The Wasps (see Facebook page and YouTube), and is the author and coauthor of several books on spiritual matters, including ‘Spirituality Unveiled: Awakening to Creative Life’ (Earth Books 2011), ‘Realms of Wondrous Gifts: Psychic, Mediumistic and Miraculous Powers in the Great Mystical and Wisdom Traditions’ (revised Smashwords eBook edition 2012) and ‘The House of Wisdom: Yoga Spirituality of the East and West’ (Mantra Books 2007).
After a significant mystical experience when he was 19 he went on to do a degree in Religious Studies and a Post Graduate Certificate in Religious Education at King’s College London and also studied Psychosynthesis psychology. In recent years he has helped to establish The Gordon Higginson Fellowship (www.ghf-web.com) and write two popular development manuals (‘The Spirit World in Plain English’ and ‘Spirit Gems’) with the renowned UK medium, Glyn Edwards, and has taken a deep interest in creative, Yogic and Nature centred spiritualities. As well as profiled on various websites, books authored and co-authored by Stephen have their own Facebook pages.
Submit Your Own Article