Being spiritual doesn’t mean being better than others.  It doesn’t require that you live an ascetic life.  It doesn’t mean that you have risen above everyone else.  On the contrary.  What it means is that you look at yourself and see clearly who and what you are: a human being like everyone else. And then take that understanding one step farther: clean up your shit.

You can’t lift yourself out of this world and still participate in it.  I have met so many spiritual people of various faiths who profess to know the way to enlightenment and that are leading the way.  And yet they have all the issues and failings and problems that everyone else does.  So where is their path leading?  And with so many paths to choose from, why try to follow theirs?  Isn’t your own just as good?

Fools Crow, I feel, captures the essence of what it is to be a spiritual being.  He called it being a hollow bone.  In the Native Tradition bird bones are used as whistles for sacred ceremonies.  To make a whistle that will call Spirit and allow the ceremony to take place, the bone must be transformed.  It must be removed from the bird with gratitude and thankfulness for its sacrifice and its gift.  The bone must then be stripped of any feathers, flesh or other attachments, then boiled to remove the natural oils that would cause it to become rancid and break down the bone structure.  Once this is done it is carved to create the necessary structure for the whistle and is decorated to imbue it with the purpose for the carrier or the ceremony.  When all this is done it is ready to be used in ceremony.  It is spiritual.  And yet, in the end, it is still a bone.  A hollow bone ready to be the conduit for Spirit.  It is both of earth and of Spirit.  It is whole.

To be spiritual is to be a hollow bone.  Not to rise above the world, but to be in it.  To remove yourself from what you have been, with thanks and gratitude not judgement and negativity, to cleanse the self of what no longer is necessary but still remains, then to construct the new form of self for a new life, a new function.  While still being the essential you.  A hollow bone.