I totally agree that they are spiritual for self journey. But they can also be 'experienced' in terms of your own consciousness, as to the stages that it has to ascend i it's spiritual transformation.
Funny thing is that over the years, I've done a few little self interpretations here and there that are mostly a little botched, and un-sequenced,... because I've probably taken a little bit from here and there with all the different variations that exist in sikhi world! ...However, nowadays,... I see it a little more clearly and actually realise that all the information and facts you will ever need were mostly right there in the pauris from 34 beginning with "Rati ruti tithi var" .
DHARAM Khand, like Gurpreet says, is the 1st stage of realisation or as I would describe ->the Path of DHARAM.
Guru Nanak ji tells us,.. that we are on earth, which is itself a DHARMSAAL. DHARAMSAAL is described as what I understand, an old "inn" or meeting place/place of rest/ some en route location. ..etc,, This means that we ALL start here or end up here, no matter what dharam. A single Dharam is required as the path to the top of the mountain. If we imagine all the different dharams as individual paths to the top, and we can only walk on one single one all the way according to where and what situation/place we are in. DHARAMSAAL, in it stopover sense, shows that, we/manukhs, are all here in the Dharamsaal according to our KARAMS and our binding to the Lak chaurasi joon cycle. It becomes apparent from gurbani later on, that we are all in the same lakh chaurasi cycle, and have this one-off opportunity to take DHARAM.
I may be wrong, but I understand, that as our first steps and reason for ending up in this joon; is to work on BOTH our KARAM and DHARAM. (not to confuse the 'karams' here with KARAMKHAND later on)
Overall, in these 5 khand pauris, Guruji has explained the route or journey to -->> SACHKHAND, and to which we can transform our consciousness into 'permanently'. Sachkhand is actually existing here and everywhere because ''Sackhand vasai Nirankar'' and Nirankar is himself the creator and in the creation (remember- Farida Khalak Khalk Meh Khalk Vasay Rab Maahe "The Creator God Is In The Creation, And The Creation Abides In God" ).. He is the All-pervading, all-knowing, right here, right now. So Sachkhand is not some million miles away.
I can try explain in more depth and following the gurbani- tuks when I get more time......but in a nutshell,.... We start by taking path of DHARAM KHAND and working our KARAMS. Gurbani explains in many places after japji, that taking DHARAM and giving full devotion of self seva, self sacrificing Mat and haumai to satguru.-->, can get you walking the mountain path in Hukam, as per gurmukh and being in 100% gurmat. This will start erasing all your karams one by one! ..... this is 1st DHARAMKHAND realm.
(Amerdeep ji questioned of why khands are never mentioned again in bani?...and I would understand that all the bani that follows, expounds and opens up in depth of exactly how one is to transform their consciousness after taking birth on the Dharamsaal to get to Sachkhand). Also, in another thread, I explained my understanding of the later jath pahara tirajh suniar/ Goldsmith verse as being a technique of helping you practice and realise yourself in this transforming process, by using technique of NAAM JAP. when one starts Dharam khand steps.
Second stage is GYAAN KHAND. and this stage begins when Naad becomes manifest. (Gyan Khand meh gyan patchand, tithai NAAD binodh kod anand)...or should I say that Gyan begins at Naad. The gyaan is not just intuitive knowledge. But it is a continuous gyaan of increased awareness, consciousness expansion, ridd sidh- nau nidh and all the signals mentioned in prabh ka simran pauri of sukhmani sahib lets say... all the washing of dirt from mann, purification ,,gyaan to help power 5 dhuts etc Then is SARAM KHAND and KARAM KHAND, which are very close and describe the path/stage leading one up to "Sacha Darbar" or the court of the lord. These are the heavens that are mentioned in many faiths and assumed to be final destinations,... but Guru Nanak Dev ji has given us the ultimate guide to beyond these angelic heavens and joys that sit outside the door of Waheguru's darbar. (I'm sure that heavens are not sachkhand). Saram Khand and Karam Khand are described as being near impossible to depict or express, but Dhan dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji sachey patshah has given the nishanees (insignias) with subtle hints in those pauris, so that they can be acknowledged and recognized to the seeker.