Global Shift – From Sports to Spirituality

Hey Everyone! Robert here.

While enjoying a hot cup of brown tea from the Meiji Shrine this morning I couldn’t help but ponder something. This idea came out of nowhere and seemed to weigh on my mind insisting to be recognized and to have the attention that it so deserves placed upon it. So here it is…

What if there were a global shift in priorities from sports to spiritual awakening!?

Can you imagine!!! Sports or Spirituality? If you couldn’t have both (and you can’t), which would you consciously choose?

The truth of the matter is that people everywhere are force-fed a number of distractions every day. Most blindly trot along with the herd without the slightest real thought of their own. Sports, politics, religions, and celebrity gossip are currently among the top of the list of things that provide mass distraction. These things serve to cause separation among the people of the world and to increase the ego all while providing the illusion/delusion of togetherness and teamwork. Remember, where there is ego, there is the absence of spirit. Indeed these topics cause a sense of separateness within the world, each country, each state, each city, and even within some households. They cause us to disassociate from one another, dislike and even hate each other. Whatever happened to the idea of “united we stand?” This tactic of divide and conquer has been used for thousands of years and still continues to be effective because the ego continues to fall for it. But the truth remains that all of these things, in their own way, are merely forms of distraction and illusion. They keep people from focusing on the things that have actual importance and value in life. They keep the truth shrouded in mystery when it doesn’t have to be. I see them at this moment as the primary barriers to worldwide spiritual awakening.

While each of these topics could have its own article, I would like to focus on sports for this particular topic at this moment. While writing this article I was reminded that it was Super Bowl time, funny as I had forgotten all about this as I do not have television, nor do I follow any sports. You’ve got to love synchronicity.

It’s common to go into a local supermarket and hear the staff and patrons carrying on about this team or that team, and this player being better than that one. The last time I observed this I stopped for a moment and just listened. It was the only thing these people could find to talk about with one another. They struggle and ultimately fail to have anything else to say to each other. Have people really lost their ability to interact with one other to such a degree that they need sports in order to generate a topic of mutual interest? If so, things are really off track, wouldn’t you agree? I certainly don’t have a problem striking up meaningful conversation with someone, but admittedly, when the conversation turns to superficial things like sports I lose interest immediately. I just see no need to engage in a conversation and doesn’t offer any sense of vibrational uplifting value. Could you imagine if people spoke of meaningful things around the water cooler? What if sports bars turned their focus to meaningful interactions – and beer? 😉 What if their televisions played programs of Eckhart Tolle, Osho, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, or other spiritual leaders with the conversation over a couple of brews being far more significant than cheering for someone to run down a field or throw a ball through a metal ring? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see true spiritual leaders being held in high regard for the value they offer instead of people worshiping sports athletes and so-called celebrities, paying them tens of millions of dollars to provide entertaining distractions – and the worst type of role models for our children and our selves?

Here’s an important question – Why is it that so many men are capable of remembering and becoming emotionally invested in knowing all of the names, stats, injuries, and more of the players on many sports teams, yet they cannot for the life of them remember their own wedding anniversary!? And why is it that this has become acceptable? Think about what exactly this says! A man can recall every stat of every player on multiple teams, yet he cannot bring himself to remember the anniversary of the day he entered into a union with the single-most special person who is supposed to mean more to him than anyone else in the world. He cannot remember his anniversary but does he ever forget the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Olympics? No, no he doesn’t. Does this say that he cares more about sports than his beloved wife? I think the answer is frighteningly obvious. I think the old joke of a sexy wife walking in front of the television completely undressed vying for attention during a sporting event, only to have her husband unable to notice her while motioning for her to move out-of-the-way because he can’t see the game, says it all. It’s funny and very sad) because it’s true. Not a very positive representation of a mature adult man or a healthy loving relationship is it?

But, to be completely fair, it’s no longer just the men. Many women are now following this unfortunate pattern of distraction and ego-strengthening through competitive sports as well. The world needs these strong women to direct their focus in a far more mindful manner, if they are to help lead the world into survival and avoid extinction. people need to kick the drama addiction. The rollercoaster ride of winning and being elated with losing and being pissed at the world is the addiction of sports fans. They love the drama. This form of drama serves to feed the ego and keep one’s vibration in a state of flux so no personal power can be achieved. First its up and then its down, then its up again or did it sink even lower? These emotional and energetic extremes are like a drug that gets the ego hooked. Doesn’t it reveal the truth when people are able to remember so many things that have absolutely no value in life yet there is no more room in their memory to recall the things that actually do matter? Isn’t it sad that a supposedly superior species such as human beings can have so much potential yet actively choose to throw it away for pointless distractions and a mindless existence?

It’s important to remember that any form of competitive sport strengthens the ego, it’s a simple fact, there’s no way around it. Any competitive sport that pits one person against another for any form of dominance breeds separation and egotism. That’s not to say that they don’t offer other forms of value, but their primary existence is merely that of entertainment and ego-strengthening. Entertainment is used as a form of escapism, it takes people farther away from being able to live consciously in the here and now. It causes them to waste their life and not even realize it. The same goes for the Dungeons and Dragons of sports – creating a fantasy league. Grown adults pretending to make teams of their dream players. Ummmm? It allows people time to escape their real life and immerse themselves in a distraction but in doing so, they waste precious time on pointless non-sense. This keeps your mind from focusing on anything real, anything meaningful, and it prevents your spiritual evolution.

Instead of people screaming at their television sets, getting severely pissed off over their team losing, creating “fantasy” leagues, overturning vehicles, rioting and looting, or getting into fights or even killing one another over a sporting event; wouldn’t it be incredible to engage in activities that brought everyone closer together and compassionately worked to care for the well-being of the planet? This shift from activities that cause human separation into those that generate human connection would allow the human species to fully awaken. Imagine this… Instead of people being pulled away from one another and falsely led to believe that they are different from or better than another; what if they engaged in things that allowed them to see the truth? The truth that everyone is connected, we are all one, we are all the same. That people are supposed to love and care for one another. Imagine if the world’s masses escaped the illusion of political parties and governments? What if they escaped the illusion of one religious belief system being the only right way? What if they lost interest in mind-numbing drivel that is known as celebrity gossip? And what if people were able to shift all of that passion, raw emotion, energy, and mental power that is given away so willingly to competitive sports and directed it toward living in harmony with all others? I wish right now that each of you reading this will take a moment and envision this in your mind. Please make the effort to do it. Just imagine what this amazing world could be like and how we could manifest our potential.

At some point there must be a shift in our awareness away from these meaningless, ego-strengthening, distractions back to the things in life that truly matter. Yes, I said “must.” There is no question about it and no time to waste with fluffy encouragement. We must reclaim an understanding for things that add value to our lives and the lives of others. We need to shift the focus of our priorities to those aspects of life that consciously improve our lives, our connection to one another, and a sense of peace and harmony throughout the world. We must shift our focus from sports to spirituality. From ego to essence. Just imagine if people took all the passion, interest, emotion and money that they give to sports and they were able to invest it all into a worldwide spiritual awakening. It would be enough to substantially change the world.

The numbers here are so significant that if this shift from sports for spiritual awakening were to take place it would act as a catalyst catapulting nearly the entire world population into spiritual evolution. It would be the equivalent to a worldwide spiritual tsunami of awakening! A massive wave sweeping the entire world, bathing its inhabitants in the glow of enlightenment. Imagine if right now, suddenly, everyone in the world shifted their interest from sports to spiritual awakening!

Can you imagine the world we could create if we could shift our focus from these mindless distractions and place all that energy toward personal improvement, spiritual evolution, and a sense of worldwide connection and harmony? Imagine filling stadiums with people, packing every seat, as a way to come together and share heart opening, mentally stimulating ideas that enhanced our lives and bring people closer together. What if we were able to shift the multi-billion dollar sports industry into a multi-billion dollar movement for spiritual awakening? imagine if every person around the globe placed their focus on awakening instead of sports? Violence would cease, greed would transform into giving, compassion would flourish, empires and egos would topple, awakening and well-being would become contagious infecting nearly everyone, hearts would open and connect like never before, the world would heal and happiness would reign.

Okay, so I suppose that was a thought worthy of some recognition and attention, huh? Now it must be brought into reality. Are we ready? If so, turn off the damn TV and kiss your beautiful wife! I mean really kiss her, like you actually mean it. When was the last time you did that? Get off the couch and get into your life. Open your heart to others and talk about things that truly matter. Listen to the guidance of your heart and no longer accept the brainwashing. It’s time for us to stop fearing one another and begin embracing each other and treating each other like the family that we truly are. Are you with me? I hope so because I can’t do it alone. Even so, I won’t stop trying.

9 thoughts on “Global Shift – From Sports to Spirituality

  1. Very nice article. Currently I am conflicted – at what point are sports bad? Should I continue to ‘play?’ Are they really the cause, or just a reflection of the ego?

    • Hey Bob!

      Thanks for your interest in this topic and for asking such an important question. As I have come to know it, sports are detrimental when they become a distraction or strengthen one’s ego. When someone spends to much time and mental energy memorizing teams, players names and stats, and other basically useless information, it distracts from life and the things that are important in life. When do sports become “bad?” Well, my answer is that any sport based in competition is in direct opposition to our spiritual growth. I wouldn’t consider these things to be bad necessarily, just not good if you’re interested in attaining spiritual growth as we cannot live in spirit when we’re living in ego. The athleticism of sports is fantastic, but the competitive nature of them is not. There are many outstanding sports that are outside of the realm of competition that you may consider. Personally, I greatly enjoy mountain hiking, swimming, trail hiking, martial arts (non-competitive), physical resistance training, and so on.

      I never tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. I would simply feel out of line doing so. That’s part of each person’s individual life journey to figure out for themselves as best they can. My suggestion would be to understand very clearly what you desire from the sport you’re involved in… is it the social interaction with others? Is it the physical workout? Is it a sense of belonging? Is it the idea of winning? Is it the joy of defeating someone else? What benefits does it offer you? Are you now more interested in overcoming your ego and shifting into a more spiritual way of living? Some are ready to do so and others are not. These are questions you will need to ask yourself. When you have a clear direction for where you are in life and what you desire from life right now and in the future, you’ll most likely have a clear answer to your question. After you ponder these questions, stop and feel what activity you’re drawn to most. Feel what’s right for you. Following my feeling (intuition, not emotion) has always taken me in the right direction, whether I clearly understood why at the time or not. I hope this helps offer some form of clarity for you.

      Best of luck to you, my friend!
      In Appreciation,
      ~Robert

  2. disagree completely that sports are bad and that they ‘feed the ego’. Competition and being competitive is built in to the human psyche – most of us are competitive to a certain degree and some of us enjoy being competitive with one another…this is healthy and is nothing wrong with it. It gets unhealthy when we strive ONLY to win at the expense of others and start to find ways to ‘win at all costs’ – like cheating and drug taking, or ignoring loved ones for the gain of winning. If I didn’t do my sport though, I’d not be able to connect with nature, the higher source every day and more importantly wouldn’t have a way to give back to the world by serving i.e.- teaching others how to get healthy, enjoy sporting challenges, and explore the great outdoors…that’s my dharma. You talk mainly about spectators sitting on couches, getting obsessed with the spectating..yes, that’s a complete waste of life, but getting healthy and enjoy competitive sport is absolutely and wholly not, as long as it’s kept in balance with the rest of your life! (ex pro athlete).

    • “Well, my answer is that any sport based in competition is in direct opposition to our spiritual growth.”…

      …disagree – not if you strive to be the best YOU can be…and only focus on the greatest ‘competitor’ there is…yourself and learn self mastery through doing sports (or business). It’s one the strongest ways to improve spiritual growth in fact…!!!

      • Hello,

        Thanks for your comment, I appreciate your view here. I would like to offer something to consider…

        It has been my personal experience that the act of a competitive sport has absolutely no connection to spirituality or spiritual growth. They are apples and oranges. Spirituality is not about being your best, it’s about being. Any act that carries a sense of competition involves the ego, there is just no way around it. One cannot simply strive to be the best they can be when competing against another, because their best is reliant upon defeating the opponent.

        I appreciate your viewpoint. Thank you and take care.
        ~ Robert

    • Hello once again, my friend.

      Thank you for elaborating further on your view regarding this topic. This topic can be a challenge to grasp when our cultures have come to place so much importance on competitive sports and have diluted spirituality to the point of being a misused buzz-word. But, I feel this is one of the primary reasons for the rampant ego too.

      Please understand, I did not say that “sports are bad.” I understand they have value, but overcoming the ego is not one of them. It’s simply a contradiction of terms. I stated that competition fosters the ego, and that’s a basic and well known truth in spiritual teachings. Being competitive is an aspect of the ego’s nature and that’s why most people are competitive to whatever degree. Once the ego is overcome, all desire for competition fades away like the details of last night’s dream. When the ego is no longer involved, the person loses any desire to be better than another, they even let go of the need to be better than themselves. Instead, they just enjoy being and they do what they love for the enjoyment of doing it without the need to be better than they were before. Sure, they may become more masterful through the continuation of their activity, but to them it’s simply a by-product of doing what they enjoy, not about striving to be the best, even their own best. The very term “best” is one based in ego.

      I agree with you, that it becomes “unhealthy” when the competition reaches a point of being at the expense of someone else. But, it’s the nature of competition to have a loser, or those who lose, therefore it is always at the expense of another.

      I understand what you’re saying about being able to connect to nature, but that too has nothing to do with sports. Connecting to nature is not accomplished through “conquering it” in some way; it’s the ability to act in appreciation of it, and appreciate the experience of being in it. Knowing that you are connected to the trees, the streams, the grass; that you are made of the same base elements, that is connecting to nature. At least in the context I use. I also agree that getting healthy and enjoying nature is of great benefit, but that doesn’t make it “spiritual.”

      The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is that any form of competition fosters the ego. Competition by its own nature cannot be a spiritual act or practice.

      I appreciate that you disagree, it offers the opportunity to lively conversation. Please keep in mind, I’m not trying to change what you believe so that you agree with me. I’m merely sharing what I’ve come to know as truth. I hope this offers something new to think about and reflect on, should you choose to do so.

      Thank you and take care.
      ~ Robert

  3. I agree that in a larger perspective; competition does kill spirituality. However; through competition and experiencing competitive environments and people and situations; a person is given the gift of inner revelation about their ego state and inner characteristics. Sports competition can helps bring awareness to the individual on things such as how healthy is your ego, how do you handle losses and emotions associated with it, how weak or strong is your self esteem under external pressure and how do you handle yourself while winning or losing. These reveal characteristics of the ego as well as the soul’s characteristics. Like I learned from competing in sports that I value respect and integrity regardless of skill level or wins and that I am very empathic and understanding person as a result. Because of these inner revelations I am more aware of what I wish to practice in my sports; to learn to detach from the outcome and to learn to enjoy just participating and doing and learning to separate myself from the hungry egos that usually fill all sports competitions. I do admit it is challenging at times because you are faced with the ego drama all the time; but there is a grace and tolerance that can be practiced in the face of everything. Nice article!

    • Hello and thank you for sharing you comment. I always appreciate hearing new perspectives.

      I appreciate your point of view, but I feel the logic may be slightly flawed. The mind attempts to justify and validate countless beliefs and desires. However, this doesn’t make the justification valid. This is just one trap of the mind that must be avoided. It sounds as if you have a very healthy view of competitive sports and I applaud that, however, a truth cannot be bent to serve our desires. I would like to offer you something to consider and possibly factor into your own unique life situation in a way that is most beneficial.

      What we must understand is that every healthy human mind develops an ego when we’re young. That ego serves a purpose, but what happens once that purpose has been fulfilled? The ego doesn’t just go away, unfortunately,it begins to dominate the mind. The ego takes over. As adults, the mind is completely dominated by the ego to the point of suppressing the soul so that people can no longer hear its voice. This is the way most people live their life until they pass form it. The only way to change this mental state is through meditative practices that engage the mind directly and facilitate the death of the ego and transformation from ego to essence. I fully support sport based activities for physical fitness and a healthy physical body, but not for the mind and certainly not for anything involving the soul. There is nothing spiritual about competition regardless of what we may wish to believe. Believng something doesn’t make it real or determine it to be true; usually just the opposite.

      When participating in any form competition, not just sports, the egoic mind is engaged. Because of this the mind is dominated by the ego and this cannot result in the “gift of inner revelation” about the ego. This is the same notion as attempting to fix a problem with the same mindset that created it in the first place. It’s never successful. One cannot engage the mind in a meaningful, non-egoic manner when the act of competition has invoked that very ego. After spending two and a half decades practicing the mind sciences of authentic systems, I have experienced this as a truth through my own direct personal experience. Through this I understand a process of accessing the mind directly to explore the workings of the mind and from that, when the ego is overcome, explore the workings of the spirit. Accessing the workings of the mind cannot take place when involved in competitive activities.

      Competitive sports cannot produce an environment capable of revealing characteristics of the soul, because the ego is invoked in every form of competition without fail and as we understand, ego and essence (ego) do not and cannot, by their very nature, co-exist. A person lives from ego or they live from essence. When one lives from essence (spirit), there can be no ego, it has to have been overcome. This is why spiritual systems have the practice of “allowing the self to die while you’re alive.” The word “self” refers to the ego and the death of the ego (self) cannot take place when the mind is involved in competitive sports or other competitive activities. People are brainwashed into believing that competition is good and healthy and we’re mistakenly lead to believe it’s part of being a good consumer, but I contend this is not the case at all. Look at how the mind clings to the rationalization that sports are good for the mind. This clinging is a form of mental attachment which stems from the ego. The stronger to the attachment of the mind to competition, the stronger the ego, and the more intensely the mind fights to cling to this attachment through beliefs, opinions, and rationalizations. Clinging to something doesn’t make it true. That would be like insisting to continue believing in Santa as an adult just because you enjoyed the idea of it so much as a child. I prefer cooperation to competition. Cooperation is the guidance of the soul whereas competition is the guidance of the ego.

      Competitive sports cannot provide benefit in regards to spirituality or mental mastery through overcoming the ego. The primary reason is that the ego can be recognized through any form of activity that invokes it, there’s nothing more beneficial in this regard about sports. Competitive sports only serves to foster the growth of the ego which prevents the competitor from ever overcoming it. It is not a gift because the mind taking part in competitive sports is dominated by the ego in the first place, thats why it’s so attractive to the person. Sure, the ego can be recognized while you do it, but the conditions do not exist to perform anything of value to overcome it. What good does it do to keep seeing the same behavior again and again without the practices in place to change them? While we may like to pretend that we can detach ourselves from the outcome of a competitive activity, the fact is that this is not really taking place. It’s a mental trick most often referred to as a form of delusion. The egoic mind will not allow detachment from the outcome, and the mind free from ego has no interest in it. The awakened mind is detached from the egoic nature of competition, but the act of competition itself re-invokes this egoic state, which may be why those free from ego have no interest in competition in whatever form it may take, be it sports or business.

      Here are a few truths about the ego I’ve come to experience, and many of my students have experienced for themselves as well.

      1. Competition of ANY kind invokes the ego.
      2. Competition serves to strengthen the ego.
      3. Competition is a distraction from authentic mental practices that would assist in overcoming the ego.
      4. Competition invokes the ego. Where there is ego, there is the absence of essence (soul).
      5. Competition serves the egoic mind, whereas Cooperation nourishes the essence (soul).

      Maybe I should write an article on the 20 most common mental tricks played on us by our own ego? I hope this might help shed light on this subject or at least offer something new to consider. Thank you again for sharing, I truly enjoy hearing from everyone here. What an outstanding community of great people interested in raising their vibration and awakening.

      Take care, my friend.
      ~Robert

  4. Hi Robert. Enjoyed your article/feedback and i would like to add to the discussion with a short story and perspective.

    About a year ago when i felt like i was at my breaking point, (facing depression, addictions, and a recently torn hamstring) I stumbled into Spirituality and it changed my life. Ive played soccer my entire life and with that, ill admit, it became more than a passion. I was out of soccer for 6 months healing my hamstring, during this time i had several enlightenment experiences.

    Once my hamstring was healthy again, I thought it was time to bring back the sport to which gave me much purpose and joy with this “new understanding” that competition really didn’t matter, but only to find my ego kicked back into gear.

    The sport was no longer enjoyable and all i could think was do i just up and quit the sport ive played my entire life or is this another challenge to overcome the ego.

    Isn’t life just like a sport? A game where we face diversity/challenges/unfairness but must continue to play to grow in various areas of our life?

    Does ego have to play a role in sports competition? The biggest allure to sports (for me) has always been the joy it brings me when im “in the zone”, out of thought, playing simply in the moment. The act of doing the sport over being the winner/loser.

    The world cup for example brings people from around the world together to watch a beautiful game. Is it not enough just knowing that ultimately winning or losing isn’t what makes the sport enjoyable to watch and play?

    Thanks!

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