Seek not just spiritual expression – seek a spiritual expressway

The word ‘spirit’ sometimes signifies a person’s driving essence, as in “he has an untiring spirit.” When we aspire to express our defining core, we may say, “I want to express my spirit.” We may express ourselves through music, art or journaling; or struggle to find a suitable medium for self-expression.

However, while looking for spiritual expression, we may overlook our need for something far more important: a spiritual expressway. The word ‘spirit’ also signifies a level of existence, as indicated in the phrase “matter and spirit.” In this sense, spirit, when applied to individuals, refers to the soul, our eternal non-material core.

The soul’s greatest need is a spiritual expressway, a path to raise its consciousness from the material level of reality to the spiritual level. The Bhagavad-gita explains that we are irreducible units of consciousness, eternal parts of the all-attractive supreme spiritual reality, God, Krishna. Presently, we are covered by material illusions, which make us forget our spiritual essence and then make us look for our spirit elsewhere. The culmination of spiritual expression is not just in expressing whatever we presently consider as our core; the culmination is in traversing a spiritual expressway to realize who we actually are and then express both our eternal essence and our current essence, determined by our psychophysical nature, in loving service to our Lord.

The Gita analyzes various spiritual expressways and concludes that bhakti-yoga is the best expressway – it urges us to give up all other paths and surrender to Krishna (18.66). When we surrender to him, the resulting absorption in him enables us, by his omnipotent grace, to transcend all obstacles. Including the obstacle of the absence of a compatible channel for spiritual expression, for we will have attained the purpose of such expression: spiritual realization and the supreme satisfaction thereof.

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