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Getting Spiritually Clean - Where to Go For a Spiritual Cleansing

By Jose Bulao | Submitted On October 21, 2010

There is a natural tendency for us to choose that which is clean and generally we prefer to be clean ourselves physically. We want to eat clean foods, to drink clean water and wear clean clothes.

When a person has spiritually awakened, there comes a time when he wants to be clean not only physically but also spiritually. He wants clean living. If he has engaged in taking illegal drugs, he now wants to get rid of this habit. If he has taken alcohol compulsively he now wants to stop this slavery to alcohol. He wants clean living. And he asks, How or where can he get spiritual cleansing?

We have to know first what is the meaning of spiritually clean. We know what it means to be physically clean. There is no dirt in our body, no foreign object or stain or particles in our body like dust or grease. We know also what it means to be mentally clean. We do not have a dirty mind, we are not thinking of something that is not supposed to be in our mind, like evil thoughts.

In the same way by spiritually clean we mean that there is nothing dirty or foreign to our spirit, something that is not supposed to be there. And the two things that are not supposed to be there, which make our spirit unclean, are hatred and fear. If a person has these or one of these, he has an unclean spirit.

Why do hatred and fear make our spirit unclean? Because they are foreign to the nature of the spirit. Watch those who we say or describe as full of the spirit. The two qualities which they exude more than all other qualities are those of love and boldness. These latter belong to the spirit as natural qualities, whereas their opposite, hatred and fear are most foreign to the spirit and make it unclean.

So, where do you go for spiritual cleansing? Of course you go to the Spirit of purity, the one who is clean, who has no evil thought, who has no hatred and no fear. If you are near him and you are one with him you will not experience these dirts or uncleanness of the spirit. You associate with this Spirit and follow his directions on how you may be cleaned spiritually. Because by ourselves we cannot get rid of these two emotions that dirty our spirit.

There is a story in southern Philippines which illustrates to us how deep-seated hatred is in us.

The story relates that in some communities if you have offended a member of that community, the member or his relative will plant a bamboo. This bamboo will remind the community that you have offended its members and so they will take a revenge against you for this offense, no matter how distant in the future is the revenge.

And here is the reason why they plant a bamboo and not a tree. The tree grows old and it dies after so many years, even if takes hundreds of years. But the bamboo never dies of its own. It spreads its roots and multiplies its shoots and grows more and more. You cannot kill it by just felling it down, not even by burning it. After the burning young shoots will germinate and start all over again the growth of the bamboo.

The bamboo will remind the community of your offense forever and the community will take steps to take its revenge on you.

That is how deep-seated hatred is in us. We may not plant a literal bamboo, but the hatred goes deeper than the roots of the bamboo, into our deepest consciousness, making our spirit unclean, destroying our life.

That is why we need the Spirit to uproot this hatred from our life. It is interesting that both Hinduism and Christianity portray the Spirit as a cleansing spirit. In Hinduism we have Shiva, the destroyer of the universe, of the impurities in our world. In Christianity the Spirit is represented as fire. Fire destroys and purifies metals.

The Spirit is the one who purifies us, who makes us clean. The purification is painful, because it is as if by fire, but the fruit of this is spiritual purity, we become loving and bold. If you are a Christian you can trust in the shed blood of Jesus as the agent that has cleaned your spirit of all dirt and impurities, making you bold and loving. But if you say you are a Christian, and you trust in the blood of Jesus to clean your spirit, but you have not experienced being bold and loving that blood is still useless to you. You are not clean spiritually. It is all theory to you.

Again fear is most natural to us and we cannot get rid of it. When as children we heard the thunder we naturally got afraid. We are naturally afraid to die. As we grow we experience so many other fears, fear of height, fear of people, fear of darkness, etc., even fear of ourselves. We are not confident. We are unclean spiritually. Fear is not supposed to be in our spirit.

Again, where do we go for getting rid of fear? To the Spirit of boldness. It is told that the Apostles became bold and fearless when the Spirit descended upon them. As we associate more with this Spirit we become bold and fearless, that is, clean spiritually.

This spiritual cleanness has no negative relation with sexual activities. There are some people who think that sexual activity makes the spirit unclean. When Watchman Nee got married, some of the Christians around him got offended because they did not expect that such a spiritual man should marry, engage in sexual activity. They did not realize that sex of itself does not make a person spiritually unclean. If sex is done in hatred and fear, then the spirit is made unclean, not by the sex but by the hatred and hear that accompany it. But if it is done in love and with confidence, it does not make the spirit unclean.

Now that you know what spiritual cleanliness is, how to get clean, where to go to be cleaned spiritually, it is for you to be always in communication with the Spirit of spiritual cleanliness if you want to be clean spiritually. He will clean you, meaning he will make us bold and loving. Only he has the power to do this. As he is the only one who plants in you that uneasiness and spiritual hunger for spiritual cleanliness. That is why we go to him. He will wake us up spiritually and cleanse us. No amount of water washing can clean our spirits. At best water washing can only remind us of the spiritual washing, the spiritual cleansing.

Jose Bulao, a Carmelite Secular, wants to help you attain a higher degree of spirituality. He is a Carmelite formator, helping other Carmelites in their spiritual growth. Prior to this work he taught philosophy, theology or religious studies at Notre Dame University and Ignatian College in Cotabato City, Philippines. At present he teaches at De La Vida College, still in Cotabato City. To learn about the various aspects of spirituality and how you can benefit from these click this site http://spirituality4now.blogspot.com/

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