Some of the most interesting facts about spirituality is that it has nothing to with religion, it can reconnect our modern society with what it craves most and that spirituality is as old as human kind.
People use the word “spirituality” quite often, in conversations, books, and social media posts, but do we really understand the meaning of spirituality?
Many believe it to be about religious beliefs, akin to Christianity, which is where it gets its roots. However, spirituality has evolved into the 20th Century to be far from what it meant in the 1970’s, and is more about human life, human existence, and the human spirit.
For many, spirituality is a term that is complicated, confusing, and obscure. For others, it is a fascinating topic that they are deeply interested in making into a lifestyle. For yet others, just as the air they breathe, spirituality simply is.
In this very short introduction, we will answer questions and look at several facts about spirituality that you might not know, and explore how modern spirituality exists in our everyday lives.
1. Modern Spirituality is not Religious, but is Secular
One of the most misunderstood facts about spirituality is that it often gets confused with religion.
Although spirituality and Christianity have convoluted connections, they are not one and the same. While Christianity is based on a belief that Christ died to become the savior of humanity, spirituality does not worship one singular deity as its rescuer.
In spirituality, you strive for a lifestyle that demonstrates human existence and helps the human spirit reach its full potential.
Despite its Christian roots, secular spirituality is more about striving for inner peace and personal growth than it is about searching for a savior.
It is more about becoming a spiritual being than following one. It is a belief system that says if we all work to become our best, highest selves, then the world will learn to live in peace and harmony.
2. Spirituality is Thousands of Years Old
There have been many books and papers written on spirituality over the centuries. The very first time that the term “spirituality” was known to have been used was in 1637.
At that time, a French philosopher by the name of Rene’ Descartes used the word to explain his own religious and psychological beliefs.
3. It Can Lead You To Inner Peace
When you participate in spiritual practices, it can help you to find peace within yourself and with the rest of the world.
By turning your thoughts inward and examining how you respond to what happens around you, you can get a sense of calm.
Spiritual intelligence enables you to focus more on human destiny and self sacrifice with spiritual discipline, leading to a more inspiring life.
4. It Can Lead You Closer to Life’s Deepest Meaning
Another of the interesting facts about spirituality and spiritual practices is that they can help you on your path to finding the deepest meaning in life.
When learning your purpose in non religious contexts, it can be easier to stay on the right path to reaching your ultimate purpose. Active practical spirituality is about human flourishing and the ultimate goal of self transcendence.
5. It Has Its Own Saints with Spiritual Intelligence
The term “secular saint” refers to a person who is respected for their spiritual experience, or inspiring lifestyle, regardless of their religion.
It is someone with a high spiritual intelligence whose spiritual development has been one of self-sacrifice and selfless contribution. These saints don’t strive for religious power; instead these types foster self transcendence.
6. Spiritual Practices are Related to Spiritual Development
Spirituality and spiritual practices help you along the path to your spiritual development. They focus more on disciplined activities related to reaching the ultimate purpose of human existence than more immediately pleasurable activities.
This often means solitary retreats to focus on personal growth that leads to a more successful life.
7. Spirituality Can Include Meditation and Contemplation Artistic Practices
The term “spirituality” can also mean having a sense of self awareness and can include different styles of meditation and contemplation artistic principles and practices.
Traveling on solitary retreats to a religious shrine or place of religious power in a broadly based quest to focus on one’s own mental health, psychological beliefs, and gaining spiritual intelligence is a spiritual experience.
8. There are Four Main Types
The four main types of spirituality include mystical, active practical, prophetic practical, and ascetical.
- Active practical focuses on applying spirituality into our lives daily.
- Prophetic practical is more of a religious spirituality that focuses on issues within mankind’s flawed social institutions and concerns for social justice.
- Mystical is about self transcendence to become one with god, the universe, the absolute, etc.
- Ascetical is a term that applies to those who abstain from more immediately pleasurable activities in order to reach spiritual goals.
These various styles of spiritualism enable people to tune in to their spiritual side and work on becoming humanely productive in their lives.
9. Spirituality Helps Find Your Authentic Self
You can reach the highest motivations of becoming your true, authentic self through the various styles of spirituality. Instead of remaining as an unauthentic person, you can move into your true nature as a spiritual being who contributes to society.
The highest motivations in spirituality aren’t about material things or being in a position of power. It is about being humanely productive and learning to enable people to become the best versions of themselves as you do the same.
10. The Ultimate Goal in Spirituality is a Better You in a Better World
Instead of building monetary capital, you are working on spiritual capital, which is the potential value that spirituality might bring into our daily lives.
This term evolved to mean the practice of living a humanely productive and successful life. It involves quantifying the value of moral, spiritual, and psychological practices to society at large.
Although secular spirituality is not considered to be connected to any religion, traditional spirituality does have its roots in several different faiths. It appears in non religious and religious belief systems, and is vitally important in both. Because of this, we will mention a few facts about spirituality in religion.
- Evangelical Christian – As mentioned, the evangelical Christian views spirituality as following in the steps of Jesus Christ, the son of God who was crucified as a criminal despite the fact that he “knew no sin.” Although the term “Christian” has been used in history to excuse horrific atrocities, the true following of Christ would mean living a peaceful, blameless life as he did.
- Catholic Christian – The Catholic Christian practices spirituality though living out acts of faith. Through various private prayers to their religious saints, acts of symbolism, and sacrificial lifestyle changes, the Catholic Christian seeks to become closer to their God. It is important to note that there are differences in the Roman Catholic and other Catholic beliefs, just as there are many different types of Evangelical Christian Churches.
- Islam – In Islam, the word “Jihad” symbolizes their inner struggle towards spirituality while also fighting an outer, physical struggle or war. “Greater Jihad” describes the inner struggle of an Islamist to fulfill their religious duties. Just as Christianity, there are different branches of Islamic faith, some of which have been used to excuse atrocities that were not spiritually beneficial to mankind. Islamic Sufism is about following and seeking the God Allah.
- Buddhism – The religion of practicing Buddhism literally means calling things into existence, producing, cultivating, or developing. These practices are known as Bhavana. Of course, the Buddhist deity is known as Buddha.
- Hinduism – This religion has no deity, no religious authorities, governing body, prophets, or holy book that is binding to their belief. To the Hindu practitioner, spirituality is a journey towards Moksha, or an awareness of higher truths and the true reality of nature in an attempt to become more self-aware.
While spirituality does not have to be connected to any religion, it could be considered a religious experience. The decision to practice spirituality in a secular, atheistic, or traditional religious way is strictly a personal choice.