Studies of the historical Jesus present him as a deeply spiritual being. One who understands that realization is found from transcendence -that which is expressed in religious language as an intimate and intense relationship with Father God-. I am struck by the daily nature of his spiritual experience, which goes beyond religious requirements. Religions are normally built from three axes: Spaces, times and sacred people. Studies show Jesus as someone who invites us to find the meaning of existence from the full understanding of the life project. That is why I think his proposal is that we be able to scan reality and understand what is the purpose that drives us to live and understand the meaning of situations beyond the urgency and immediacy in which we live.
Jesus understands that spirituality does not have to be tied to a territory. When the Samaritan woman asks him if the place of worship is on Mount Garizim or in Jerusalem, his answer shows that it is a relationship that occurs in the intimacy of singularity and not in physical spaces: neither in Jerusalem, nor on the mount, but in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4, 20-22). But there is also his attitude to overcome the temple -which for some scholars is the religious cause of his death- and present the community as the space for meeting with God (John 2,18-22; Matthew 18,20). . The places are not to find him, but to meet and share what we have found in him.
It also makes it clear that there are no sacred times, its relationship with Saturday proves it (Mark 2,27; Matthew 12,5. Luke 13,10-16). Whoever reduces the encounter with God to special times, takes him out of his life in the most simple and ordinary moments, which is where the meaning of existence really passes. One cannot be spiritual only in some specific situations, but in all moments of life, even in those that scandalize some moralists, and for that reason they fear them.
Scholars claim that the historical Jesus never used expressions that distinguished him as someone “sacred.” The titles he gave himself were “Master” and “Son of Man” -which means: human, man-, which express Jesus’ daily understanding of his being and of the his ministry. This is strange at a time when those who believe themselves to be spiritual seek to feel like super humans and try to discriminate against all those who do not have the same practices. What Jesus proposes is a spirituality as an existential ethic that requires a commitment to values, practices and a discourse of social justice in which love is the fundamental piece.
Being spiritual is beyond the experience of some religions. It is understanding that life is appreciated and celebrated in every situation. Many religious are not spiritual and this is demonstrated by their daily actions. Of course, there are also many who live their spiritual experience by participating in intense religious experiences and committing themselves to life. Spirituality for Humansmy recent book, is an invitation to live life not from the myopia of the urgent, but from the understanding of the totality of existence.