Since moving to the West Coast, I have picked up on a lot of new terminology that many of you would consider “So0o0o LA,”. Which is funny because it’s true. There is definitely a community of performative spiritual junkies sprinkled throughout the 310. If we are being honest, it’s part of the reason I started Spiriosity- my ow passion project exploring religion and spirituality. I was whiplashed from the self-righteous dogma of the Bible Belt (I’m from North Carolina, y’all; Go Deacs) to the crystal loving, green juicing, yogis of the West Coast. My exposure to spiritual community was so dichotomous. I either had to commit to one religion and submit to its rules, or I could go to events teaching me how to sync my cycle to that of the moon (Yes, that is a thing). Each option had its own set of pro’s and con’s; interesting to a degree, but not able to quench my spiritual thirst. My Spiritual journey became one of solitude, without community. On this long and winding road, I picked up some terms that resonated with me and my connection to the world around me. What I have realized in feeling more secure in my spiritual identity, is that the reason why so many people in LA use these terms is because many people come here to heal. LA is a city full of transplants. Whether they tell you they are here for “a change of pace”, to “be closer to the beach” or simply for the “weather”, they all come down to elements of healing. A change of pace is a change in vibrational speed of things, closer to the beach is closer to nature and a force greater than man himself, and weather here means sunshine which at the rudimentary level actually means vitamin D- a precursor for serotonin (yep, the happy neurotransmitter). These are all spiritual quests. Even if these individuals don’t consciously identify with seeking spiritual satisfaction through their move out West, that is in fact what they were doing. Now, maybe not every single person that ever moved to Los Angeles was on a spiritual quest, but a good majority of them were- knowingly or not. This is preciously why the terminology I am about to share with you seems “So0o0 LA”. Because enough people came here on their quest and achieved, to at least some degree, what they were spiritually seeking. It’s why there are esoteric practices and gatherings on this side of country. People are actively trying to spiritually figure it out. It’s something I have learned to love about Los Angeles, the active participation in healing. I talk a lot about being an active participate in your own healing journey, I go into more detail here. (link to article about sitting is the new smoking)
I want to share with you some this spiritual terminology that you may or may not be familiar with. I think it is important for people to be exposed to these terms, and to challenge the typical linguistics utilized around religious and spiritual dialogue. They say religion and politics are the two topics to avoid at the dinner table. I’m going to go ahead and disrupt this societal rule (at least in vein of religion) and encourage you to talk about religion and spirituality at the dinner table. I literally call my events “round tables” where all we do is discuss and consider various religious and spiritual topics. The caveat to this- is understanding that there are different spiritual archetypes sitting at the table. To find out your spiritual archetype- take this quiz.
What this means is that there are varying levels of spiritual identification participating in this conversation. In order to have an effective discussion to include all levels of religiosity and spirituality, specific spiritual terminology must be understood. This terminology considers alternative words for “God”, “Savior”, “Holy” and so on. The list of spiritual terminology is endless, this is simply a means to get your gears going in the right direction of spiritual curiosity and inquiry. Eckart Tolle states that language is simply a way to understand concepts that cannot be put into words. He uses the example of honey. If you have never heard the word honey, you would not suddenly realize what honey was after hearing the word, or saying the word. Only because you have experienced honey do you equate these arbitrary letters to the texture, taste, and color of what we call honey. The same is true for the term God. He states that words are simply sign posts leading us in the direction of deeper understanding of an elusive topic. Words are something man has made up to organize and understand the world around them. So please read this thesaurus with an open mind, and a knowing that these words exist to facilitate a richer understanding of religious/spiritual concepts.
Source – When people use this word they are typically referring to what the everyday person would call “God”. Source takes away not only gender, but also human characteristics of any kind. Source is connected to concepts of omnipotence (perfect unlimited power), omnificence (perfect unlimited knowingness) and omnibenevolence (perfect unlimited goodness).
Spirit – Spirit is commonly it is referring to the innermost part of oneself. Your “spirit” hosts your intuition and knowingness for your highest good. Your spirit is your “gut feeling” and your inner energy. Your spirit is connected to source.
Light- Light can be interchanged with the term, Source. Sometimes, light is synonymous with the omnibenevolence component of source (think light = good). Often times in meditation or prayer, one will visualize light, which is connected to the concept of pure positive energy (again light = good). “Sending Light” = Sending the general energy of goodness
Frequency – Frequency refers to the spectrum from which one’s energy is operating from. My law of attraction blog helps to break down this topic further. This is hard to explain without knowingness of the solar system metaphor utilized in the law of attraction blog. Let me give you examples. Someone who is reading a book in a park, is on a different frequency than someone who is fighting in a boxing match. In that moment, those two frequencies are separate and unique. Frequency can also refer to the general energy state of different individuals. For example, someone who constantly plays the victim is operating from a different frequency compared to someone who chooses to see the silver lining.
Vibe– Vibe refers to the general energy behind something. Your spirit or intuition informs you on the vibe of a person or situation. Typically, when someone “reads a vibe” they are reading the frequency of someone or something. This is a nonphysical sensation that is read by your highest self. Synonym: Aura
Chakra– Energy centers in the body that correspond to different physical and nonphysical ailments and health
Channeling– Channeling is the act of attaining information through some nonphysical spirit or source and bringing it forth to the physical world (speaking, writing).
Consciousness- Consciousness, when typically understand in spiritual terminology, is equate able to the term “enlightenment” or “awake”. Raising your vibe or vibration or frequency, typically equates with raising your consciousness. “Woke” is a similar way to understand consciousness; although the term “woke” typically refers to social injustice and equality specifically.
Energy– Energy is simply the nonphysical that exists
Cosmos/Universe-. The cosmos and the universe combine our traditional understanding of heaven, but blend it with the physical realm that we know on earth. The universe and the cosmos is the setting in which source exists.
Mantra– A grounding word, phrase, or sound that is typically repeated during meditation. A mantra can also be something that is repeated throughout the day or throughout a difficult time. The purpose of the mantra is to pull you out of your monkey mind and into the present moment; I would even assert it works to keep your nervous system calm.