Which is more important in spirituality: theory or practice? Well, that’s the wrong question to ask. Both are important, and in this foundational episode, I will discuss how and why. I will also show you how they relate to each other, and which one you should focus on on different parts of your path.
I said it many times before, and here I will say it again. The goal of spirituality is not for you to adopt spiritual beliefs. That’s called religion and it’s a different beast altogether. Spiritual theories are not to be believed but to be experienced. They come from direct experience, they are transmitted through speech or writing, but then they should become direct experiences again. This is how true wisdom flows from Master to disciple.
If the wisdom gets stuck on the theoretical level, it’s not real wisdom, it’s simply knowledge. You will know about it but you won’t know it, and there’s a huge difference. For example, if I wanted to introduce you to an apple, I could speak about its size, its color, its taste, its texture or its form. I could tell you a great story of its origins, where and how they eat it, where it grows and what types of apples exist.
This way, you would know many things about the apple, and yet you wouldn’t know it at all. If I wanted you to truly know the apple, I would physically show it to you so you can see it, give it to your hands so you can touch it and smell it, and tell you to take a bite so you can taste it. Then your superficial knowledge would turn into true knowledge.
Of course, I can’t do the same with spiritual matters, because they are entirely subjective. I can’t directly give it to you, so the second best is to speak about it. But remember: the map is not equal to the territory. I am simply giving you guidance, a theoretical map for your path. But if you don’t turn the theory into practice, you will be like a failed adventurer, fantasizing about a great journey but never taking the first step.
This is where most people fail in spirituality without even realizing it. They think they are making great progress, exploring their inner depths, when in fact they are just exploring the map, stuck in one place. I call these kind of spiritual seekers armchair spiritualists, philosophizing, theorizing and debating metaphysical matters but not daring to apply them to themselves. This is nothing more than mental masturbation.
I’m not saying that theory is not important, otherwise you would be wandering aimlessly, not knowing where to turn to, what the destination is and how to reach it. But what do you think is more crucial: having the map or taking the steps?
I believe most people spend too much time stuffing their heads with spiritual knowledge, reading books, watching videos, contemplating ideas. And then they try to cram some practice into the little time they have left, and wonder why it doesn’t work. But the balance should be just the opposite: only 20% spiritual theory and 80% spiritual practice.
With that said, this balance can radically change according to your spiritual maturity. In the beginning, when you first discover spirituality for yourself, you will probably be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of spiritual theory that’s all new to you. You will be like a sponge, soaking up every tiny bit of information from here and there, trying to put an order into the chaos.
The same thing may happen with spiritual practices. You will try perhaps dozens of them, making a good start but then abandoning most of them either because a practice doesn’t stand close to you, or turns out to be too hard. This is not a problem, because the goal in this phase is to find the spiritual practice that’s perfect for you. Let me add, that this may also change with time.
In my case, it started with trekking in nature, then I found death awareness, later I took up writing as a spiritual practice, and I am slowly turning to serving nature and humanity in a direct way. So, a practice doesn’t have to last until the end of your life, but it is best to choose only one at a time and see where it leads you. But my most important advice to you: less theory, more practice!
In this free report, I’ll reveal my number one secret to spiritual enlightenment that almost nobody else speaks about. Download it now below, to find out what it is! I can guarantee you, you’ll be surprised!