Spirituality is a vast concept of believing in something that goes past the self. It might include religious conventions focusing on a belief in the higher power. However, it might also be more of a holistic belief or ideology in a special connection to the people and the world.
Spirituality provides a worldview that indicates that there is more to life than what individuals experience on a physical and sensory level. Religious activity and spiritual poems about God have been a source of relief and comfort for many people. Moreover, some use spirituality to cope with their life challenges.
The Link Between Poetry and Spirituality
There is a very close connection between poetry and spirituality. In a way, spirituality is the soul and heart of some of the best poetry of all times. It is the nonmaterial, the incorporeal, the soul, and all those things that we cannot see but still believe in.
In addition, the literal meanings of spirituality are wind and breath. It comprises the very air that we breathe and what it is made of. Spirit encapsulates our sentiments and thoughts as perceptive beings. It is the animating belief that gives us life.
Our life experiences play a major role in shaping our individuality and core. It links up with poetry as a poetic expression is there to convey those life experiences. It is an excellent medium to use to express our soul, our inner self, as it provides a philosophical insight into life. It explains why we live and die and what purpose we serve while we are here.
Poetry is a powerful tool of expression that penetrates the core of every life dilemma. It can take the form of words that reverberate with rhythmic songs, much like chants. In addition, it can take the form of prayers that are made to the higher power.
All of these practices deepen our connection to the world, people, and the universe as a whole. Poetry written with meaning and deep insight can create strong contact with our subconscious. Thus, it leads to a state of meditation. As soon as you put your pen on the paper, your words start to pour out like water from a cup.
Poetry takes the time to understand and explain the flow of the universe. All humans crave a connection to something that is bigger than themselves. We want to believe that life has a deeper meaning and purpose than what we can see in the physical world.
Furthermore, poetry connects us to something supreme, which differs for everyone. It could be Buddha, God, Brahma, or Jesus for some people and meditating out in nature for others. In short, it is a widely diverse and universal experience.
The God’s Presence in Poetry
Why do we link poetry with faith? There are multiple reasons. Literature is an expression and reflection of life. Poetry is an intense medium that matches the intense experience and intimacy of faith. Just like we cannot fully understand faith, neither can we completely understand poetry. The beauty and terror of reading poetry and having faith are in essence, embracing the mystery that comes with it.
In a grand sense, the influence of poetry is not necessarily life-altering. However, on an individual and reflective level, it provides fresh perspectives and emotional connections. Poems act as a call to witness the tiniest life details, to acknowledge the significance in tininess, and to see the humanity in each other.
Some of the best poems are the ones that distill an emotion or a moment. They include influential imagery and eventually invigorate the spirit through provocation or challenge of what the poetry represents. It suggests that the poet’s personal experience and catharsis can influence the humanity of the reader. Non-religious people who are constantly seeking spiritual fulfillment open themselves to grace.
One could call it an unrecognizable and subconscious experience of grace. Even if faith and God are not named by the individual who is experiencing the grace, a mystical connection is not precluded. Furthermore, an individual’s ability to move beyond the restrictions of being earth-bound indicates their cognizance of a parallel dimension. That is where poetry meets spirituality.
The Impact of Reading & Writing Spiritual Poetry
One of the best ways you can elevate the awareness and strength of your consciousness is to use poetry. Much like going to the gym is the exercise for your body, using words and language is the experience for your mind. Hence, you can think of writing poetry as a highly intensive workout.
Whereas reading poetry is analogous to a moderate fat-burning workout session. The reason why consciousness is always linked to reading/writing is that language is deeply rooted in our consciousness as human beings. Consciousness links closely to language. Our brains evolved by associating linguistic tokens (symbols and words) to our state of beings.
Unless you have an excellent consciousness, it can be challenging to figure out why you feel the way you feel, think the way you think, and are the way you are. In addition, our thought patterns and biochemical responses become cyclical and addictive. The way you behave, think, and fee becomes automated, much like a default setting.
If you think that you are living an out-of-balance pattern of being, consider spiritual practices and poetry tools to break this pattern. Poetic living can create a space for you where you can explore your conscious choices. Also, reading and writing poetry can help you master the art of being a mindful observer of your consciousness.
Poetry serves as a channel that transmits knowledge from a higher self to a human self. One cannot deny the quality and spiritual nature of poetic wisdom. Poetry happens at the intersection between the divine and the human. It is when your consciousness merges with that of the universe.
There is a plethora of excellent spiritual poetry written throughout ages, from Shelley, Tennyson, and Keats to Emily Dickinson and Rumi, and from Greek Horace to Japanese Haiku. I hope you their incredible poetry and feel the universal connection and love through their wisdom. Maybe it will encourage you to write some of your own spiritual poems.
Simon Barreto is a creative writing senior where he is currently working as a senior poetry editor. He has received many poetry awards and has done several collaborations with different poetry magazines worldwide. Here he talks about spiritual and poetic wisdom and how spiritual poems about God can help you connect to your deeper consciousness.