January 23, 2012

Ambivalence & Doubt on the Spiritual Path. ~ Belle DeArmon Alonzo


When you read spiritual books, Buddhism books, and self-help books, they are written by people who know things.

These writers have a certain view of the world, and they would like to share it with you. The writers and teachers think that if you start to see things more like they do, your life will improve and you will feel better.

I like Byron Katie’s idea that each individual is wise with personal experience. Unique wisdom I can support. But I personally do not know anything much about the spiritual path for certain. I have many moments of small realizations as I go through my daily life. But I have no view of the world that I would specifically want to share with others.

My spiritual beliefs and views change very often.I read many books, from self-help advocates to spiritual teachers, to teachers of Shamanism and teachers of Buddhism.

I find many details that ring true for me. But I do not find any one path that works. I create my own path that is a patchwork of scraps from many wise people whose books I have read.

I struggled with huge doubt about considering myself a spiritual person for at least two years or more. During this time my life path was unclear, because on a different level I felt that spiritual study was actually my passion in life.

Now I am studying Transpersonal Psychologyin a Masters program. So, maybe I am now a spiritual person. But I am still ambivalent about what I believe exactly. And I certainly do not know enough about how I see the world to ever try to convince anyone else of a particular viewpoint.


I see the future of spirituality as being very personal and unique. As wisdom and traditions from throughout the world become available to read about extensively, I’m thinking other people may want to create their own spiritual paths too.

When you ask spirituality free people about what they believe, there’s no phrase that can answer it.

When you ask how this unique person views the world, it’s a conversation that takes hours of deep and thoughtful discussion.

Building your own spiritual path from scratch and life experience is not easy, quite the opposite.

I often feel quite confused and bewildered about life. But I’ll take the confusion.

My goal is complete spiritual freedom and spiritual individuality. The future is full of intricate details and nuances that take thoughtful study of what is interesting to you.

As we notice the benefits of slowing down in life and taking our time to appreciate the world and nature, I think many of us will find the time to focus on the exact, unique spiritual path that allows us to feel passionate and fascinated by life. And so the doubt, ambivalence, and confusion show a glimmer of a positive side of spiritual freedom.


Belle is studying Transpersonal Psychology in an online Masters program. She enjoys reading tons of spiritual books and then knitting while she ponders the ideas. You can find her on twitter as @bellemusic or on her blog, www.prettycheerful.com.

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