Socialization should be a spur for spiritualization, not a substitute for it

Many people find spiritual association a good place for socialization. As spiritually-minded people are often warm, gentle and thoughtful, their association can be a comforting place to hang out.

However, spiritual association offers much more that socialization; it offers spiritualization of consciousness. Of course, if some issues are occupying people’s minds, spiritualists may address them to break the ice or to show spirituality’s relevance.

But ultimately, all issues can be best tackled by raising our consciousness to the spiritual level, wherein our inner calm and clarity helps us discern the optimal solution. To spiritualize our consciousness, the most efficacious way is to focus on Krishna, the supreme spiritual reality, the all-pure and all-purifying Absolute Truth. And the easiest way to focus on Krishna is by discussing about him. Through such discussions, we understand his greatness and sweetness from various perspectives, and therein find sublime enlightenment and fulfillment. The Bhagavad-gita (10.09) declares such discussion to be the defining characteristic of spiritual association.

However, even in spiritual association, we may discuss mundane subjects that we anyway discuss elsewhere. By thus failing to rise above the level of socialization, we keep our discussions at the superficiality that characterize most mundane socializing circles. And we unwittingly deprive ourselves of spiritual association’s special benediction.

In contrast, when we focus on raising our consciousness amidst spiritual association, our devotionally enriched consciousness becomes our enduring asset. Sometimes, we may not have spiritual association. Or sometimes, we may find ourselves in certain quarters of spiritual association that are not so warm. Nonetheless, we can still seek shelter and strength in our inner absorption in Krishna. And, by our words and actions, we may even create a warm spiritual association that helps people enrich their consciousness.

Thus can those who seek socialization come to savor spiritualization.

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