Like all great philosophical statements, that gave me something to contemplate. Are there only two types of people in the world? And if so, what are they?
Today I think there are spiritual people and people who just are not, or who resist the urge to be what I consider spiritual.
Ok, for all the ages, here is my definitive take on what the difference is: a spiritual person is constantly thinking of ways to be a better person and help the world, and a "worldly" person is constantly thinking of ways to "get ahead." Spirituality implies inner awareness or consciousness while worldliness is just that, awareness focused on the outer world. Of course, most of us are made up of a combination of the two.
There is a wonderful Native American story about the two wolves inside each of us, the wolf of aggression and the wolf of peaceful cooperation, always at war within each of us. "Which one wins?" asks the child and the Grandparent wisely answers, "The one you feed."
It doesn't matter one bit what religion you follow to be a spiritual person, or if you follow a religion at all. Religions can, over time, harden into dogma so that people who talk the accepted "party line" can fool themselves into thinking they are being spiritual. A true Christian follows the teachings of Jesus and tries their best to apply them in every life situation. This has absolutely nothing to do with the people who call themselves Christians and think going to church is proof of that, but act selfishly.
The same is true of the so-called New Age movement, where there are plenty of totally dippy people spouting "woke" philosophies and acting in egotistical ways. It may be the same in every religion. There are so many ways to pervert even the purest of teachings, to misread and twist the original intention to use it for power and control. This is the similarity of all fundamentalism, which is led by dogma and ideology and not by inner experience.
I was so fortunate in 1980 to meet a true Guru, part of an ancient lineage since passed down to his successor, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. He taught that God lived inside every person, and that teaching gives us a focus to turn within, become still and listen. Like every other person with the two wolves battling away, I realize the hard part is making the choice to turn within and listen. The world pulls us outward, toward having and getting and defining ourselves by our outer life. The inner world is one of being. It's in making that choice that the power lies.
It was Bill Murray, in the movie "What about Bob." He plays the loving and loveable and totally annoying patient of Richard Dreyfuss's uptight, controlling, and socially acceptable psychiatrist. It's a good metaphor for our times where we see old rigid structures struggling to control social change that is new and vibrant. The outer world has changed so much since I was born, while the inner remains unchanging and eternal. And that is the peace of an inner life.