I have always associated my spiritual path with the practice of philosophy. The latter can be a wonderful support to avoid many traps of spirituality such as illusion. However, words can be confusing or misinterpreted and I want to share with you some insights about these notions.
There is no real need here to develop what spirituality is. Philosophy is a little trickier. In the Western world, philosophy was developed in ancient Greece as a quest for Wisdom and a way to better know ourselves. At that time, it was closely associated with a spiritual goal and used almost as a spiritual technique. On this point there are a lot of similarities with eastern traditions. Progressively, philosophy in the western world became more focus on “rational thinking.”
What we should keep in mind about philosophy, is that every works from philosophers is not considered as a sacred book revealed by God. It is the result of meditations, analysis, observations, inner experiences that allow a philosopher to reach a higher state of consciousness. This inner path is achieved without the use of a dogma.
Most of the time, spirituality is based on individual practices, rather than religious dogma.
Initiations have been an essential spiritual process of the Western Tradition. These methods of spiritual awakening have been developed in Greece and Egypt between the 1st and 5th centuries.
We find similar ceremonies in various eastern traditions such as Tantric and Esoteric Buddhism along with original schools of Yoga.
Initiations were established in order to really activate different centers of energy within the subtle bodies of the adept, opening their perception of the invisible worlds. The yoga path considered in its totality is similar to these ancient western practices.
In the western world, initiations can be found in several groups, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian to say the least. Modern initiatory (or ancient) Orders have been inspired by these sacred rituals. Of course, only few of them are today authentic heirs of these famous ancient schools.
Consequently, the idea of "lineage" is fundamental in genuine traditions. Chains of Masters have maintained the flame of the knowledge until today. This is true for eastern schools of Yoga for example and western traditions.
As part of my learning of Philosophy and Spirituality, I worked in some of the most respectable of these schools. I have been received to the highest level of some such as Freemasonry, and I am currently the head of some spiritual lineages.
Today I practice and teach both the Eastern path, mainly rooted on yoga and the western path.