The term “spirituality”, despite its prevalence, raises many questions and misunderstandings. Someone sees in it a departure from social values, others, on the contrary, perceive it as the only way of socialization. How is spirituality formed? How does it affect a person’s life? Can it be leveled up? What do religion and spirituality have in common? Is it necessary to be a believer to achieve it? Is it necessary to neglect material values? Which teachers to trust? Let’s look into this issue.
What is spirituality?
Spirituality is the property of a person or a group of people to be guided in their actions by spiritual (lofty) principles or ideals. If we evaluate the life of society from the standpoint of the pyramid of values according to Abraham Maslow, then spirituality is at the very top of needs, along with self-actualization and human morality.
There are many theories that explain the phenomenon of spirituality. Conventionally, they can be divided into two groups: natural and supernatural. The first describes this phenomenon from the standpoint of psychology, explaining spirituality as a function of the psyche. The second affirms the presence of higher matters or energies that govern human life. Esotericists are convinced that there is a whole spiritual world that lives according to its own laws and rules. It is difficult to say how centralized or chaotic it is. There are many opinions and they differ radically.
In spiritual teachings, it is stated that there are higher powers that rule this world. Christianity and Islam claim that there is only one God. Followers of other religions, on the contrary, are convinced that there are many gods. In occultism, it is customary to talk about Egregor – an intangible entity generated by the collective mind and capable of interacting with people. Egregor acts as a bioenergetic structure, which, like a canvas, is “woven” from human thoughts and emotions.
In fact, the nature of spirituality is not so important. Much more important is its place in human life. After all, if the highest goals endow life with meaning, then what difference does it make who they are generated by, the psyche or the non-material world? In any case, all experts agree on one thing – spirituality goes beyond the scope of one person, acquiring superpersonal forms. It gives the fullness of inner experiences, a unique experience of self-knowledge.
The creation, storage and transfer of spiritual values is called spiritual production. It is included in a more global concept of spiritual activity. Unlike material products, her creations are unlimited. They can be created in any quantity. In addition, spiritual food does not decrease with consumption, but on the contrary, its amount increases. This is the main phenomenon of spirituality, elevating it above the physical world, in which resources are depleted.
The physical embodiment of spirituality forms such a phenomenon as spiritual culture. It is closely connected with other manifestations of culture, forming the ideology and philosophy of groups of people or even entire nations. The generally accepted spiritual values are the ideals of goodness, beauty, love, truth, mutual assistance. They are unchanged in all corners of the globe, and perhaps throughout the entire universe. But can this quality be regarded as an attribute of religiosity?
Relationship between spirituality and religion.
First of all, it is worth defining what a religion is. This phenomenon denotes a system of views convinced of the presence of a higher power that affects the material world. Religion is based on the spirituality and faith of man, his desire for universal harmony. But religion is rather a social institution, which sometimes deviates in its interpretation from universal values.
Not all rituals or ceremonies can be called humane, not to mention the bloody wars that shook humanity more than once. Is this what spirituality is all about? Of course not. Churches and religions are created by people who are not always able to resist temptations and temptations. True spirituality is free from human greed and other vices. Therefore, it cannot be considered as a synonym for religiosity.
Rather, on the contrary, religiosity is one of the ways to develop spirituality. In general, the influence of world religions on society is beneficial, as it helps to prevent the spread of aggression and addictions. Someone needs to be afraid of punishment from higher powers in order not to do evil. Religion provides them with this motivation for integrity. As if, as the phrase of one of the heroes of the series “Next” – “Good will definitely defeat evil, put it on its knees and brutally kill.”
Truly spiritual people do not need such an “explanation”. They bring goodness and love to this world, even without a regular reminder of the Day of Judgment or retribution. Spirituality is a meaningful phenomenon that is chosen voluntarily, devoting oneself to improvement and self-development. Some of the teachings absolutely do not oppose the physical world and mental perfection. On the contrary, the earthly life of a person is positioned by them as a component of the spiritual growth of the individual, without which the transition to a higher energy level is impossible.
According to the Life Balance Wheel, which is actively popularized by coaches and business coaches, a person needs to harmoniously combine his spiritual and biological nature in order to live a full life. Develop in all possible directions, including intellectual, creative and physical improvement. Mental development implies a certain spiritual path that everyone needs to go through. The main thing is to choose your route and not turn off it.