by CSW Director Rob Field
What is spirituality? Is it possible to have a single “objective” definition? Or is it better to leave it up to each of us to create our own?
My colleagues and I at Center for Spiritual Wisdom have been talking about this a lot in recent months, and I expect it will be an ongoing topic as long as we call ourselves a “spirituality center.” We’d like more people to know about us and what we do, which means we try to put into words what we mean by “spirituality.” As with any great mystery, however, I’ve concluded we will never be able to plumb the depths of spirituality using a one-size-fits-all definition.
Following the root of the word, “spirituality” points to something that is in or of the spirit. It’s a fourth dimension, distinct from the strictly physical, mental, or emotional realms. Spirituality reminds us there’s more to life than physiology, intellect, emotion, or psychology. If religion is a formal, structured “container,” spirituality belongs inside it. As many people are discovering, however, spirituality does not confine itself to what we typically think of as “religion.”
The Fetzer Institute, a respected foundation that aims to help “build the spiritual foundation for a loving world,” recently published a fascinating, in-depth report titled What Does Spirituality Mean to Us? A Study of Spirituality In the United States. Eight out of every 10 people surveyed for the study consider themselves “spiritual,” and six in 10 aspire to become “more spiritual.” You can read and/or download the entire report HERE, for free.
What is spirituality? Those of us who are spiritually-minded will be discussing this question as long as we have breath. Perhaps a better question is, “What does spirituality mean to you?” At CSW, we especially want to know what it means to you re: what kind of events and programs you’d like to see us offer. You can let us know today by taking our brief, 8-question online survey, which you will find HERE.
My favorite quote from the Fetzer Institute study on spirituality comes from a 19 year-old who describes herself as “moderately spiritual” and “slightly religious.” Grayce speaks for me when she says, “I think it’s a general part of the human experience, that we’re all spiritual in some way. It shapes the way that you believe, and the way that you present your beliefs to others.”
Here’s to a more Vibrant Spiritual Life for all of us!