Spirituality is often associated with morality in most people’s minds. This is the norm in today’s language. From my experience with various Spiritual Masters and paths, spirituality does not have much to do with morality. Are these paths/Masters encouraging people to be immoral? No! For because spirituality seems to have nothing to do with immorality either. Spirituality is beyond the duality of morality and immorality.
By no means am I implying that being moral as wrong or inferior. For societies to exist, certain moralities are needed. It is morality which separates human beings from animals. It is moralities which generally evolve into laws creating a certain order in the society. However, rigidly holding on to morals is a binding too.
Becoming unbound from morals/rules and immorals in the inner-space is true freedom.
Logically speaking, morality makes perfect sense in a realm where everything is temporary and where opposite qualities (like pleasure and pain) exist by nature. Anything that is believed to enhance or uplift the temporary is considered good and anything that is believed to harm is considered bad.
For example, if oneself and everything and everyone around were eternally blissful, immortal, untouched by pain or disappointment or shame – no matter what, morality would not exist in such a dimension.
For any Being experiencing that eternal dimension also, morality would not exist.
Morality, as conditioned by culture and religion, is time and space bound. Several moral codes followed in a culture or religion are really dependent on the time, place, lifestyle of the culture and the given situation. What was considered immoral a few hundred years back can be considered moral in today’s time, and vice versa. What was moral a few hundred years back could be considered immoral now. Similarly what is moral today can be considered immoral after a few hundred years. Even today different cultures have different definitions of what is moral and what is immoral. What is considered as moral in Saudi Arabia can be immoral in America, and vice versa.
One of the issues in the world right now is that while lifestyles of different cultures are slowly coming to a common platform due to rapid technological advances in the last 100 years, their ideas about morality have not come to a common platform. What further exacerbates the problem is that media in one country/culture often potrays other cultures as primitive, superstitious and/or immoral.
Morals from different cultures need not come to a common platform. Firstly, diversity in this world is what makes it so beautiful and secondly morals came about in a culture because they did have some practical significance in that culture at a certain time, and some of those morals probably do have practical significance in that culture even today.
There is a difference between morality that genuinely comes from within (from sensitivity to life), and morality that has been conditioned into the mind by society, by family or by one’s culture from an early age. The former morality is based on love and sensitivity, while the latter is generally based on fear and ego.
It is only when the two moralities meet, can one claim that he is a true follower of his religion or culture.
As Swami Nithyananda beautifully says – One has to discover one’s religion.
Most people either blindly believe or blindly disbelieve moral codes prescribed in their religion or culture, instead of enhancing their own perception.
Spirituality involves expanding one’s perception to the peak. This process of expanding one’s perception or one’s sensitivity is called Yoga in Sanskrit. Even moralities that come from within aren’t eternal. They are true for that time, in that place, in that situation. Hence the importance of staying in the present moment. To be in complete communion with the Universe naturally without any effort. To unclutter one’s mind, so that one’s intuition can work at it’s peak.
In most developed countries, there is a lot of emphasis in the world to develop one’s intellect and reasoning power. In most religious cultures, there is a lot of emphasis to follow the social/cultural/religious beliefs.
There is very little emphasis on developing one’s intuition in the society in either place. This can only happen when spiritual processes (not just religious rituals or academic learning) are encouraged in the society.