More on “Lay Spirituality”

Poems and Reflections ilaria 4 dicembre 2008

  Dear Lay Friends, I would like to talk about Lay Spirituality again. Please find here below a text that can be forwarded – if you agree with it – to promote free spiritual expression in a lay  and syncretistic manner. I would really appreciate if any of you would be willing to translate this writing in any language (French, German, Chinese, Spanish, etc.) and then spread it around in internet in that language and in all possible ways.I am asking for your help because there is still a lot of distortion by the various religions on the true meaning of “lay” and “spirituality” and its really important to make it clear….

Thank you for the cooperation you will want to give…

Cheerfully your’s  Paolo D’Arpini


More  about “Lay Spirituality”

I would like to clarify the lexical, etymological and conceptual meaning of “Lay Spirituality” that is erroneously used to describe a manner of spiritual expression on behalf of the lay members of any religion… In truth, the term “lay” comes from the Greek “laikos” which means to not belong to a religious, philosophical or political model. “Lay” means “not pertaining to any socially structured context” similar to the word in Sanskrit  ”pariah”. So it is unthinkable for a member of any religion to express themselves in a “lay” manner regarding that movement.
In reality “Lay Spirituality” is a natural spirituality, man’s spontaneous search for his origin, for life’s mysterious meaning, this yearning leads to get to know oneself. The English word that comes closer to expressing this concept is “awe”.   
Let me begin by saying that “spirit” for me means “synthesis of intelligence and conscience” and I also confirm that I am not a “believer” in any way, what I say is based on my direct experience of existing and on being conscious of it.


I do not need any one to confirm it and this is true -obviously- for everyone.
One doesn’t have to “believe” in one’s existence to say “I am”, we know this already without a shadow of doubt. Meanwhile to claim and to assume to have or not have faith we have to use the term “believe” or “not believe”.


We can come to the conclusion that being and being conscious of it,  is natural and unmistakeably true, while if one claims something that is grounded on ones thoughts or on mental speculation, it is only a process, a way of conceptualising.
I do not want to make things difficult but it is obvious that no one will ever say: “I believe  I am” whilst regarding any other statement (either an abstract or concrete thought pattern) one will always have to use the word “I believe in this or in that…. In religion or atheism” or in anything else we have faith in…

“I am” is therefore pure and simple truth and it is useless to explain the reason and the import of “being” because any interpretation can only be defined as speculation and therefore  subject to opinion.
Leave it to the “sophists” to claim that conscience is the result of a divine spark or the casual course of matter that is transformed into life. While “I am” is the only incontrovertible fact that needs no proof or discussion. It makes no sense to discuss about “ways”…. or on “hypothesis”.  I am saying this to quiet down any conflict on the reality of the fact I have just expressed (and all can acknowledge it with a serene mind). This is Lay spirituality.


“Lay Spirituality” is a simple recognition of the spontaneous being of each one of us …. To be conscious of  Self ! 

Paolo D’Arpini


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