Describing Spirituality

28 02 2008

I’ve thinking a lot about how to describe spirituality to people.  

I believe that spirituality is a deeply personal urge to find ultimate meaning. Spirituality operates beneath traditional and exterior religious forms and is expressed through the symbols available in the social context in which people find themselves.

Yust et al. (eds) in their recent book, Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality, offer this definition: “Spirituality is the intrinsic human capacity for self transcendence in which the individual participates in the sacred – something greater than the self. It propels the search for connectedness, meaning, purpose, and ethical responsibility. It is experienced, formed, shaped, and expressed through a wide range of religious narratives, beliefs, and practices, and is shaped by many influences in family, community, society, culture, and nature.”

This definition is helpful because it extends to how spirituality is formed.

I attended a day session led by Brian Thorne about the intersection between person centred psychology and spiritual direction. He offered an interesting (quite secular) definition of spirituality, essentially defining it as a yearning for transcendence and meaning. “There is a desire to uncover meaning behind the apparent randomness and contradictions of experience and nomore so than in grappling with the mysteries of birth, death, relatedness and suffering . . . ”

Importantly, spirituality is not limited to Christian experience, but is a core human experience.




One response

26 11 2009

Great story, I did not thought it would be so stunning when I read the title!

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