We often speak of spirituality as being transformative, but I am not quite sure what to make of this. Am I being transformed from one thing to another?
There is no fixed you from which to be transformed, and no fixed you into which you can be transformed. There is just transformation, on–going never–ending change. While we often speak of having a willingness to change, the fact is, willing or not, change is the only constant.
So why speak of transformation in the context of spirituality at all? What can it mean?
Spirituality is the art of living with truth, and transformation and change are the truths of our existence. Spirituality is the art of surrendering to what is. And what is, is change. You can resist reality all you want, but in the end you cannot defeat it. Being unspiritual doesn’t mean you can avoid change and transformation, it only means that you will be more troubled and beaten up by the unavoidable reality of change and transformation.
So we should merely go with the flow?
In a sense, but you must be careful to know what the flow is. You can get caught up in the passions of a crowd, lose your sense of self and conscience, and permit and commit acts of real evil. This is a kind of going with the flow, but not the kind we are talking about with regards to spirituality.
There is a direction to spirituality; the spiritual flow is always toward compassion. If the flow is toward compassion, then go with it, if it isn’t then you can be certain that this is not the true flow of life but simply a tempest.
And yet you say God is reality and reality includes all opposites, so how can you say the true flow is always in one direction?
Think of a river. It can drown people, destroy lives and town, wreak much havoc; even as it gives life to the very same people it sometimes kills. And, regardless of what it is doing, its current is always and only one-way. God is reality and reality includes terrible tragedy, but its flow is toward more life, more consciousness, more love. At least as far as we humans can discern.
How do I cultivate the quality of transformation?
Rather than try to cultivate transformation, I would learn to lessen my resistance to transformation. Cease to cling to things and ideas, and stay open and hospitable to whatever you encounter. Measure everything against the quality of compassion, and trust that change is inevitable.