Spirituality is a Complete Way of Life

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, The Sunday Guardian, September 15, 2013, Page 12 

Man is an intellectual being. He is endowed with a mind, which is his greatest faculty. It is only the possession of this mind and his independent thinking, which distinguish him from animals. Real spirituality is that which has the power to address our minds. Any kind of spirituality attained at a level lesser than that of our minds is not true spirituality.

When a scientist discovers the scientific world, he doesn't leave the material world, but rather stays here, studies and makes discoveries in this very world. Spirituality is also a science. Consequently, in spiritual science the same method is valid, i.e. undergoing spiritual experiences while remaining in the material world. Spirituality, in fact, is a process of converting our everyday material events into spiritual experiences. While living his social life, man is affected by events, which trigger negative thoughts such as malice, lust, anger, arrogance, greed, etc. But when man raises himself above his immediate surroundings, i.e. from the material level to a higher level of thinking, he experiences real spirituality.

At this elevated level, man is able to eradicate his negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Thus, we can say that there are two levels of thinking — the lower level and the higher level. A higher level of thinking makes man a spiritual person and a lower level of thinking results in the "animalisation" of man, in which state there is no appreciable difference between the life of a man and that of an animal. Spirituality, as an intellectual activity, is a science of inner development, and material things indirectly contribute towards that development. Spirituality does not, as some may imagine, arrest the thinking process, but rather enhances intellectual activity in the complete sense of the word. In short, spirituality makes a man a superman. It is a complete way of life