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Spirituality may include belief in supernatural powers,as in religion , but the emphasis is on experience. What is referred to as"religion" and what is referred to as "spirituality" are often the same. In recent years, "spirituality" has often carriedconnotations of the believer's faith being more personal, less dogmatic, more open to newideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established religions. Those given to speaking of"spirituality" rather than "religion" are apt to believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow.

Others hold that spirituality is not religion, per se, but the active and vital connection to a force, power, orsense of the deep self.

Some proponents of spirituality believe that the goal of 'being spiritual' is to simultaneously improve one's wisdom , willpower and communion with God/universe, which necessitates the removal of illusionsat the sensory, feeling and thinking aspectes of a person. The ' Plato 's cave' analogy inbook VII of The Republic is one of the most well known descriptions of the spiritual development process.

Other spiritual proponents point out that that spirituality is a two-stroke process. The upward stroke relates to inner growthand the downward stroke relates towards manifesting improvements in the world/reality around us as a result of the inwardchange.

The rule of thumb when evaluating any spiritual approach is that six months of diligent, proper practice should manifestnoticeable improvement in one's life. If not, then the usual advice is to pick an approach that is more likely to assist you inachieving your specific goals.


Spiritual communities

See also

External links


  • Bolman, L. G., and Deal, T. E. Leading With Soul. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.
  • Borysenko, J. A Woman's Journey to God. New York: Riverhead Books, 1999.
  • Cannon, K. G. Katie's Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community. New York: Continuum, 1996.
  • Deloria, V., Jr. God is Red. 2d Ed. Golden, Co: North American Press, 1992.
  • Dillard, C. B.; Abdur-Rashid, D.; and Tyson, C. A. "My Soul is a Witness." International Journal of QualitativeStudies in Education 13, no. 5 (September 2000): 447-462.
  • Dirkx, J. M. "Nurturing Soul in Adult Learning." in Transformative Learning in Action. New Directionsfor Adult and Continuing Education No. 74, edited by P. Cranton, pp. 79-88. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
  • Eck, D. A New Religious America. San Francisco: Harper, 2001.
  • English, L., and Gillen, M., eds. Addressing the Spiritual Dimensions of Adult Learning. New Directions forAdult and Continuing Education, No. 85. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

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