How Did Spirituality Came Into Existence? (Solution found)

There are many theories as to how religious thought originated. But two of the most widely cited ideas have to do with how early humans interacted with their natural environment, said Kelly James Clark, a senior research fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

Can you have spirituality without religion?

  • Spirituality is a belief in a universal essence that flows through everything. However, unlike religion, spirituality does not necessarily define what that essence is. Spirituality without religion is possible, and crafting your own path can be as valuable as following another’s trail.

What is the origin of spirituality?

The word spirituality comes from the Latin “spiritus” which literally means “breath”, signifying Life. It then follows that if we have this amazing gift of Life, then we all have a way that it is being manifested in and through us. So, the simplest definition of spirituality is: ”Spirituality is one’s Way of Life”.

When did spirituality become a thing?

Spiritualism first appeared in the 1840s in the “Burned-over District” of upstate New York, where earlier religious movements such as Millerism and Mormonism had emerged during the Second Great Awakening, although Millerism and Mormonism did not associate themselves with Spiritualism.

What was the first spiritual belief?

Hinduism (founded around the 15th – 5th century BCE) The first and foremost of these is a belief in the Vedas – four texts compiled between the 15th and 5th centuries BCE on the Indian subcontinent, and the faith’s oldest scriptures – which make Hinduism without doubt the oldest religion in existence.

How did religion came into existence?

Origin. The earliest archeological evidence of religious ideas dates back several hundred thousand years, to the Middle and Lower Paleolithic periods. Scientists generally interpret a number of artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic (50,000-13,000 BCE) as representing religious ideas.

What are the 3 elements of spirituality?

The shamans, healers, sages, and wisdom keepers of all times, all continents, and all peoples, in their ageless wisdom, say that human spirituality is composed of three aspects: relationships, values, and life purpose.

What exactly is spirituality?

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature. An opening of the heart is an essential aspect of true spirituality.

What are examples of spirituality?

Spirituality is the state of having a connection to God or the spirit world. An example of spirituality is praying every day.

How do we experience spirituality?

What can I do now?

  1. Try meditation. Check out if there’s a regular class near you or download the Smiling Mind app for a guided meditation.
  2. Practise self-awareness and knowing what’s important to you.
  3. Read books about alternative ways to incorporate spirituality in your life.

Is spirituality a religion?

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality? Religion: This is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality: This is more of an individual practice, and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose.

What is the oldest God?

Inanna is among the oldest deities whose names are recorded in ancient Sumer. She is listed among the earliest seven divine powers: Anu, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nanna, Utu, and Inanna.

What’s the oldest religion?

The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit. ”the Eternal Dharma”), which refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts.

Which religion came first in world?

Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam.

When did people start believing in God?

The exact time when humans first became religious remains unknown, however research in evolutionary archaeology shows credible evidence of religious-cum-ritualistic behavior from around the Middle Paleolithic era ( 45-200 thousand years ago ).

Do we need religion?

Why We Need Religion takes our embodied and affective nature very seriously and shows, in detail and with impressive supporting evidence, that religious commitment—beliefs, practices, rituals, etc. Religion is, in effect, a management system for our emotional lives that helps the human organism stay healthy and well.

The evolutionary origins of religion

What is the origin of religion, and how can we explain why humans seem to be so drawn to religious beliefs? In this guest blog, Mark Vernon examines the trance hypothesis, which is a theory about the origins of religion that is currently gaining traction. 19/08/2019 Identifying and understanding the human proclivity to be religious is a critical undertaking. Living with gods and building lives around intricate rituals and customs is commonplace, and until recently, it was universally practiced worldwide.

It will, however, come as no surprise to hear that the issue of the origins of religion is a source of contention.

In reality, there are currently hundreds of Darwinian theories that claim to be able to explain the religious thought and behavior of human beings in terms of scientific principles.

Theories on ‘Big Gods’ The first camp is frequently referred to as the ‘Big Gods’ camp.

  • It is our primate cousins, the apes, who groom themselves because plucking nits off one another and combing fur reduces tension amongst individuals.
  • Early humans, on the other hand, exhibited enhanced cognitive abilities.
  • Darwinian selection made excellent use of this by putting it to good use.
  • Another evolutionary stage followed, which resulted in the perception of divine creatures eager to exact retribution.
  • They were illusions, but they provided encouragement for prosocial behavior.
  • Although it appears to be plausible at first glance, it is undermined by two pieces of evidence.
  • The first is that Big Gods are not a characteristic of all faiths.

As a result, whatever techniques our forefathers employed to overcome their problems, dread of divine punishment does not appear to have been among them.

The first links the perception of deities with a cognitive error; the second, on the other hand, does not.

At its most basic level, they contend that our forefathers had to remain extremely alert in order to avoid being preyed upon.

It appears to be overly simple, and the data supports this.

They are adept in determining the source of all forms of movement in their immediate vicinity.

A more advanced version of the idea is also available.

“Teddy declares that it is time for tea,” and so on and so forth.

Children, on the other hand, naturally grow out of this period, and it seems unreasonable to claim that our forefathers did not.

Rather than one cognitive system, there are a number of them, including one for visual information, another for social information, a third for safety information, and so on.

As a result, there is the chance of misinterpretation and ‘false positives,’ which is undesirable.

However, once again, this form of the idea is found to be in conflict with other data.

The title of Daniel Kahneman’s best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, captures this distinction: Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Neither is insignificant, and the two of them can collaborate to the benefit of both, with the implication that the incorrect agency attribution made by one would be accentuated by the other.

Our forefathers would have been able to see through their illusion.

In recent weeks though, a new explanation has surfaced that appears to me to be far more likely.

When the International Society for Science and Religion met recently, the “Trance” hypothesis was brought up as a topic of discussion.

The multidisciplinary aspect of the study is a strength: it appears that there is little value in developing a theory for the genesis of religion if sociologists and theologians cannot agree on what that theory should be.

The theory is that early religiosity developed when our archaic forefathers realized that they could generate euphoric experiences, maybe around the middle Paleolithic period.

This skill was a significant step forward beyond just experiencing awe and amazement, which monkeys and other animals are likely to experience as well, because it allowed for the exploration of altered states of consciousness.

These peoples must have been lured to the trance states by the realization of their own intrinsic value.

There was, however, something else.

The release of endorphins occurs as a result of synchronized exercise in groups.

Grooming chemicals are what they are.

The expansion resulted in the beginning of a second phase of development.

Our forefathers began by painting holy sites and constructing idols, followed by the construction of temples and the ’employment’ of religious professionals such as shamans and priests.

There are several advantages to doing so.

Religion evolved as a universal component of human existence because it was essential to the well-being of human beings and societies over the ages.

The evidence for the trance theory is accumulating on a number of different levels of investigation.

Among other things, a team led by the experimental psychologist Miguel Farias has investigated the influence of synchronized rituals in different sorts of congregations.

As a result, people are more friendly towards one another.

There is a strong desire among them not to let the sun set on their wrath.

Even if it’s difficult to understand, burial customs and cave art, together with brain size and artifacts, all show that ‘trance states and how to enter them are most likely extremely old,’ as Dunbar summarizes in his bookHuman Evolution.

As an example, emphasizing on rituals as a universal aspect of religion bears up under investigation, in contrast to the concept of Big Gods and illusory agency.

Finally, it is important to note that the proposal is theologically agnostic, which makes it particularly useful.

This is a significant step forward from the inherent denigration of religious meaning that the Big Gods and faulty agency theories entail.

They are reacting to what they consider to be objective realities in the world.

The final premise may appear to be a concession to modern believers.

Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being, he argues that early human practices had to be valuable in and of themselves if they were to provide instrumental benefits.

An analogy can be very instructive.

It is necessary to have a lot of imagination in order to see what is not yet there.

According to the inference, our forefathers must have been driven by the inherent worth they discovered in learning the world around them, whether via contemplation or through trance.

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The trance technique is popular among theologians for a variety of additional reasons.

This is what Turner refers to as ‘abstract individualism,’ the belief that we are only social atoms who must be persuaded to cooperate in some way.

It is, rather, fundamentally relational in nature: otherwise, why would you participate in collective rituals in the first place?

It is referred to as embodied cognition.

On the other hand, it is the reason why religious beliefs are always associated with actions, such as kneeling in prayer or going on pilgrimage.

It is embraced in a way that the Big Gods and false agency hypotheses do not, which is why rituals are so important.

It has everything to do with connection and awe.

Think about how we are feeling something similar to what our forefathers felt hundreds of thousands of years ago when they saw the transcendent, whether it was a sunset or a song, the next time you see anything transcendent.

In this manner, believing that religion is a natural element of human development opens the door to valuing religious beliefs both for their own sake and for the advantages they provide to society.

In fact, there is increasing evidence that understanding the world and engaging in ritual practices have gone hand in hand for as long as we can remember, if not longer.

Mark Vernon’s new novel is a sprawling epic with a backstory that dates back about 3000 years. The book is titled A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, and it is available on Amazon (John Hunt Publishing).

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Is it possible to trace the origins of religion and understand why humans are so drawn to religious beliefs? During this guest blog post, Mark Vernon investigates the trance hypothesis, which is a new theory about the origins of religion. 19/08/2019 Being able to comprehend human proclivity for religious belief is a critical goal. A widespread and, until recently, universal practice is to live with gods and build one’s life around elaborate rituals and practices. This raises the question of what has changed and what may have been lost if it is not universally accepted anymore.

  1. The evolutionary accounts are frequently at the center of the conflict and debate.” To be sure, the number of Darwinian proposals that attempt to explain the religious mind and behavior of human beings in scientific terms is growing by the day.
  2. Theories of ‘Big Gods’ First and foremost, the term “Big Gods” is frequently applied to the first camp.
  3. It is our primate cousins, the apes, who groom themselves because picking nits off one another and combing fur helps to relieve stress between individuals.
  4. Early humans, on the other hand, possessed additional cognitive abilities that later evolved.
  5. Moreover, Darwinian selection made good use of this.
  6. Another evolutionary step followed, which resulted in the perception of divine entities eager to exact revenge.
  7. These delusions were supported by prosocial behavior, despite the fact that they were false.

Despite the fact that it appears plausible at first glance, it is undermined by two pieces of information.

The first is that Big Gods are not a characteristic of all religions.

In other words, whatever mechanisms our forefathers employed to overcome their difficulties, fear of divine punishment does not appear to have been among them.

They are referred to as cognitive mistake theories.

Their most basic argument is that our forefathers had to be extremely alert in order to avoid being preyed upon.

According to the evidence, it appears to be a simple solution.

Every type of movement in their environment is easily deduced as to its source.

There are more sophisticated versions of the theory available to researchers.

In other words, “Teddy says it’s time for tea,” or something along those lines.

As a result, it appears implausible to suggest that our forefathers did not pass through this stage of development.

Rather than one cognitive system, there are a number of them, including one for visual information, another for social information, a third for safety information, and so forth.

As a result, there is the possibility of confusion and “false positives,” as well as other problems.

Although this version of the hypothesis does not conflict with other evidence, it does so on a second occasion.

Behavioral science and cognitive science The title of Daniel Kahneman’s best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, perfectly captures the distinction.

Neither is insignificant, and the two of them can collaborate to the benefit of both, with the implication that the false agency attribution made by one would be exposed by the other.

It is likely that our forefathers were able to see through their illusions.

In recent weeks however, a new theory has surfaced that appears to be much more credible in my opinion than the old one.

A group of academics, including cognitive scientists, evolutionary psychologists, sociologists, theologians, and philosophers, are currently investigating the topic.

It helps that Robin Dunbar, an Oxford professor of anthropology and experimental psychology, is in charge of the project, which lends credibility to his work as well.

After that, they began to dance and drum, to drink, to chant, to eat, to fast.

Animistic rituals and shamanistic abilities of all kinds were learned and honed during the process.

Spirits, ancestors, and transcendence could pass through the world, which became multidimensional and porous.

It is possible to achieve ecstasy as a side effect of learning something new.

They relieve stress in the same way that aspirin relieves pain, and as a result they increase prosocial behavior by putting an end to squabbles and misunderstandings.

Overall, the development of religious beliefs facilitated the expansion of human groupings.

As information received from transcendent worlds increased throughout time, it is possible that more formal forms of religion began to appear.

Dubbed the “doctrinal phase,” Dunbar suggests that the prior immersion experiences have been more systematized during this period.

The advantages of the ecstatic experience may therefore be shared more widely because not everyone is required to undergo the experience.

In support of the trance theory is the following evidence: At a variety of different levels, evidence is mounting in support of the trance theory, including: Researchers are investigating the impact of endorphins in religious situations in the most basic terms.

They assert that even modest levels of collective behavior, such as standing to sing hymns or kneeling to pray, can cause endorphin levels to rise, according to the researchers.

Alternative studies of indigenous hunter–gatherers, such as those conducted with the San Bushmen of southern Africa, have revealed that rituals are clearly tied to both the maintenance of transcendent experiences and the reduction of social strife.

The archeological record contains physical evidence that supports the new account.

Afterwards, there is a variety of social assistance.

In a way, these rituals and actions operate as a sort of glue, binding together other religious aspects that are present in varied degrees.

In other words, it proposes that trance states have intrinsic worth without requiring us to select what the altered states of consciousness convey.

More than that, religious individuals would argue that they have no reason to expect anything in return for their faith.

That intuition will be accommodated by the new account.

Nonetheless, as noted by the anthropologist Agustin Fuentes, the symbol has a deeper significance than that.

The reason for this is that, in most cases, a practice must be adopted before an adaptive benefit can be achieved.

Consider what it would have required for our forefathers to progress from just lifting a stone to break a nut, as other animals do, to cutting a stone and constructing an elegant hand axe, as we do today.

This requires understanding, awareness, and patience, and it may take several generations to accomplish.

It is possible that unexpected practical benefits will arise as a result of this understanding.

Among the criticisms leveled at the previous suggestions by Léon Turner of the University of Cambridge was that, in addition to their theological shortcomings, they were also undesirable because of what they said about human beings.

Trance theory, on the other hand, does not need this kind of rationalization.

With his reflections on how humans interpret the world through embodied experiences, including anything from having emotions to having a body, psychologist of religion Fraser Watts contributed to these advancements.

Just to give you an example, individuals instinctively wave their hands when describing things; if they are taught not to do so, they lose their capacity to communicate quickly.

The act of thinking involves the entire body.

Another argument for considering trance to be the birth of religion is that it is intriguing.

Here’s how to put it: Think about how we are feeling something similar to what our forefathers felt hundreds of thousands of years ago when we see the transcendent, whether it is a sunset or a song, the next time you see anything transcendent.

In this manner, believing that religion is a natural element of human development opens the door to valuing religious beliefs both for their own sake and for the advantages they provide to others.

According to emerging research, knowing the world and partaking in ritual behaviors have always gone hand-in-hand, dating back to the beginning of recorded history.

Approximately 3000 years ago, Mark Vernon’s latest book begins a long and engrossing saga. It’s titled A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, and it’s available for purchase on Amazon.com (John Hunt Publishing).

Differentiating Spirituality from Religion

What is the origin of religion, and how can we explain why humans seem to be so drawn to religious ideas? In this guest blog, Mark Vernon examines the trance hypothesis, which is a new theory about the origins of religion that is currently gaining traction. 19/08/2019 Understanding the human proclivity to believe in gods is a critical goal. God-worshipping and building lives around elaborate rituals and practices are commonplace, and until recently, almost universal. If it is no longer universal, it raises the question of what has changed and what may have been lost.

  • The evolutionary accounts are frequently at the center of the conflict and debate.
  • Until recently, most people could be divided into two groups.
  • Apes, our primate cousins, groom each other because picking nits off each other’s fur and combing fur relieves stress between individuals.
  • Early humans, on the other hand, possessed enhanced cognitive abilities.
  • Darwinian selection made excellent use of this.
  • Another evolutionary step followed, which resulted in a perception of divine entities eager to exact punishment.
  • However, despite being delusions, they were conducive to prosocial behavior.
  • It appears to be plausible at first glance, but it is undermined by two pieces of evidence.
  • The first is that big gods are not a feature of all religions.
  • It appears that fear of divine punishment was not one of the mechanisms our forefathers employed to overcome their difficulties.
  • [page numbering is indented] As a result, they are referred to as ‘false agency’ hypotheses.

Consequently, evolution favored those early humans who held the most superstitions; while these misguided individuals were wrong about the evil spirit they falsely imagined was stalking them from above, they were correct in their decision to flee because, on occasion, the branches were swaying due to the weight of a hungry panther.

  • For example, observations of modern hunter–gatherers reveal that they are extremely sensitive to the environments in which they live.
  • There is no reason to believe that this level of alertness is necessitated by neurotic tendencies.
  • One study looked at the development of infants, who have a natural tendency to attribute agency to toys and inanimate objects, as well as the development of adults.
  • Our forefathers were childlike as well, and they lived in fantasy worlds full of gods, according to the implication.
  • Another variant is based on the notion that human cognition can be divided into modules.
  • Because of the adaptive advantage of linking safety information with visual information, these separate modules can also overlap and merge.
  • As a result, false agency is attributed and gods are perceived.
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For example, it is widely accepted that human cognition can be divided into two modes of operation.

Propositional and specific is the slow mode of operation; intuitive and integrated is the fast mode.

As a result, it’s difficult to imagine how belief in gods, which arose as a result of cognitive errors, could have survived for so long and spread so widely.

In conclusion, proposals involving “Big Gods” and “false agencies” have been tested and found to be ineffective.

Is the ‘trance’ hypothesis a viable option?

A group of academics, including cognitive scientists, evolutionary psychologists, sociologists, theologians, and philosophers, is investigating the topic.

The credibility of the project is also enhanced by the presence of Robin Dunbar, an Oxford professor of anthropology and experimental psychology who is leading the effort.

They began dancing, drumming, imbibing, chanting, feasting, and fasting in preparation for the festival.

A comprehensive set of animistic rituals and shamanistic abilities were learned.

Spirits, ancestors, and transcendence could pass through the world, which became multidimensional and permeable.

Acquiring ecstasy has the side effect of making you more adaptable.

These opioid hormones reduce tension in the same way that aspirin reduces pain, and as a result, they increase prosocial behavior by dissolving squabbles.

Shortly put, the emergence of religious belief facilitated the expansion of human groups.

After a period of time, perhaps as a result of increasing knowledge gained from transcendent worlds, more formal forms of religiosity began to emerge.

As part of the ‘doctrinal phase,’ Dunbar refers to the process by which earlier immersive experiences became systematized.

Because of this, not everyone will be able to have the ecstatic experience, and the benefits of the experience will be more widely available.

There is some evidence to support the trance hypothesis.

The effects of endorphins in religious settings are being studied, to put it bluntly.

They contend that even minor amounts of group behavior, such as rising to sing hymns or kneeling to pray, cause endorphin levels to rise.

Alternatively, studies of indigenous hunter–gatherers, such as the San Bushmen of southern Africa, have revealed that rituals are clearly connected to both the maintenance of transcendent experiences and the reduction of societal strife.

The archeological record also contains physical evidence that supports the new story.

Then there’s a variety of different kinds of social support.

These rituals and actions serve as a sort of glue, binding together various religious aspects that are present in varied degrees.

It indicates that trance states have intrinsic worth without the need to select what the altered states of consciousness convey.

Furthermore, religious individuals would argue that they do not require anything in return for their beliefs.

This notion can be accommodated by the new account.

However, as anthropologist Agustin Fuentes has pointed out, it has a deeper importance than that.

This is due to the fact that, in most cases, a practice must be adopted before an adaptive advantage can be realized.

Consider what it would have required for our forefathers to progress from just lifting a stone to break a nut, as other animals do, to cutting a stone and constructing an elegant hand axe.

This requires understanding, awareness, and patience, and it may take many generations to accomplish.

It is possible that unexpected practical gains will result as a result of this interpretation.

Among the criticisms leveled at the earlier proposals by Léon Turner of the University of Cambridge was the fact that, in addition to their theological shortcomings, they were also objectionable because of what they implied about human beings.

However, according to the trance theory, such reductionism is not essential.

Fraser Watts, a psychologist who specializes in religion, contributed to these advancements by examining how human understanding is intimately linked to embodied experiences – everything from having emotions to having a body.

Take, for example, the natural tendency of individuals to wave their hands when describing things, and when they are ordered not to, their capacity to talk quickly diminishes.

Thought is a multisensory experience.

There is one more reason why the idea of trance as the origin of religion is appealing.

To put it another way, consider this.

Alternatively, the next time you contemplate the image of a religious figure, whether it’s a stone saint or a person on a cross, remember that you’re engaging in a practice that has been found to be beneficial in various ways for tens of thousands of years.

To put it another way, the trance hypothesis recognizes that science and religion are not in opposition to one another.

The tale told in Mark Vernon’s latest book is a long one that goes back around 3000 years. It’s titled A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, and it’s available for purchase on Amazon (John Hunt Publishing).

Definitions of Religion and Spirituality

Let me begin with a brief discussion on religion. In 1979, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language published a definition of religion that read as follows:

  • Is a concern with what exists beyond the visible world (operating on the basis of faith and intuition rather than reason)
  • Generally includes the concept of an eternal principle, or transcendental spiritual entity that has created the world, governs it, controls its destinies, or intervenes occasionally in the natural course of its history
  • Is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices that are generally agreed upon

This easy description encompasses all of the main faiths in American society, with the exception of Unitarian Universalism, which explicitly rejects the concept of a shared set of beliefs. Most major religions (including Christianity, Judaism and Islam) are concerned with the afterlife and involve a belief in God/Allah. They also share a common set of beliefs and practices (particularly as recorded in the Bible and the Koran), and they express themselves through rituals, prayers, and other practices.

Several years ago, a colleague and I (LoveTalbot, 1999) compiled a variety of definitions of spirituality from the literature of religion, social science, and other helpful disciplines and combined them into one comprehensive definition (e.g., nursing, counseling, social work).

  • Is an internal process of seeking personal authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness as an aspect of identity development
  • Is the process of continually transcending one’s current locus of centricity (e.g., egocentricity)
  • Is the development of a greater connectedness to oneself and others through relationships and union with community
  • Is the process of deriving meaning, purpose, and direction in one’s life
  • And
  • Involves an increasing openness to exploring a relationshi

Comparing the Definitions

On the surface, it appears that the two definitions have some areas of overlap. It is important to note that there is a common interest in both religion and spirituality for that which exists beyond the corporeal, logical, and visible realm. In all cases, the goal is to create a method of comprehending or knowing something which exists outside of our physical, time-limited reality. One facet of the “beyond” is the concept of a supreme entity, which is one part of the “beyond.” In religion, a deity or a group of beings are identified.

  1. A religious person who has reached a high level of spiritual development may very easily recognize such entity as God.
  2. As a matter of fact, it is this sense of “beyond the natural world,” that is, the supernatural, that distinguishes the concept of spiritual growth from the concept of human development.
  3. Religion is concerned with problems such as god and divine power.
  4. One such area is the question of how to take action.
  5. As opposed to religious practices such as prayers and exercises, spirituality is characterized by the use of terms such as process, transcending, developing, deriving, and investigating, all of which connote activity and movement in one form or another.
  6. ‘Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith,’ by Sharon Parks, is available on Amazon (2000) Her writings, like those of James Fowler before her, emphasize faith formation as the most important part of spiritual development.
  7. Parks acknowledges that faith may be a negatively charged term, and that this distinguishes the concept of faith from the concept of belief.

As used in this article, spirituality is defined as the dynamic process of faith formation, whereas religion is defined as the provision of beliefs to believers.

In other words, it is the act of discovering and making connections between different experiences and events.

Also of note is that both definitions make reference to exterior and interior dimensions of the object.

Its major concern is with things that are not apparent to the naked eye, it is centered on the existence of a superior being or everlasting principle, and it involves a set of beliefs and behaviors that are universally accepted and are not personal to the individual.

Even while there is a movement outward from oneself via self-transcendence, closeness to others, and interaction with that which exists beyond the known and knowable universe, spirituality is fundamentally an interior activity that must be maintained throughout one’s lifetime.

The search for meaning, transcendence, completeness, and purpose, as well as the “apprehension of spirit (or Spirit) as the animating substance at the center of existence,” according to Parks, is more of a personal quest than a public one.

For faith to exist and be active, it must exist outside the realm of ordinary perception and experience in order to be truly known. It must also exist inside ourselves and the particulars of our experience in order to be truly known.

Beyond the Comparisons

Upon first glance, it appears that the two definitions have some areas of commonality. It is the concern for that which exists beyond the physical, intellectual, and visible cosmos that is the primary area of intersection between religion and spirituality. In both cases, the goal is to create a method of comprehending or knowing something which exists outside of our physical, time-bound universe. The concept of a superior entity is one facet of the “beyond.” An individual person or group of individuals is named in religious texts and ceremonies.

  1. A religious person who has reached a high level of spiritual development may very easily recognize such entity as the divine presence.
  2. As a matter of fact, it is this sense of “beyond the natural world,” that is, the supernatural, that distinguishes the notion of spiritual growth from the concept of human development.
  3. Religion is concerned with questions of god and divine power.
  4. Consider the question of what to do in response to a problem.
  5. As opposed to religious practices such as prayers and exercises, spirituality is characterized by the use of terms such as process, transcending, developing, deriving, and investigating, all of which connote activity and movement.
  6. ‘Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith’ is the book written by Sharon Parks (2000) Her writings, like those of James Fowler before her, emphasize faith formation as the most important part of spiritual growth.
  7. The idea of faith, according to Parks, is distinct from the notion of belief since faith may be a negatively charged term.

While religion supplies believers with beliefs, spirituality is defined as a dynamic process of faith growth in the context of this debate.

Connection making is the process of identifying and forming relationships between experiences and occurrences.

Also included are references to the exterior and interior dimensions in both definitions.

Its major concern is with things that are not apparent to the naked eye, it is centered on the existence of a superior being or everlasting principle, and it involves a set of beliefs and behaviors that are universally accepted and are not specific to any one person.

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Even while there is a movement outward from oneself via self-transcendence, closeness to others, and interaction with that which exists beyond the known and knowable universe, spirituality is fundamentally an interior activity that must be maintained throughout one’s life.

The search for meaning, transcendence, completeness, and purpose, as well as the “apprehension of spirit (or Spirit) as the animating element at the center of existence,” according to Parks, is more of a personal than a public endeavor.

For faith to exist and be active, it must exist outside the sphere of ordinary perception and experience in order to be truly known. It must also exist inside ourselves and our unique circumstances in order to be truly known.

Differentiated Notions of Religion and Spirituality Applied to College Students

Considering the development of traditional aged undergraduate students, we can see that distinguishing between the conceptions of religion and spirituality has genuine effects when we look at the development of traditional aged undergraduate students. Examples include the findings of researchers Pascarella and Terenzini (1991), who discovered that the majority of research done in the domain of religious attitude modification fell into two categories: general religiosity and participation in religious activities.

  1. Given that religion and spirituality are supposed to be one and the same thing, one may conclude that spirituality is also on the decline.
  2. It is possible to claim that some of them are related to the rejection of spirituality, but the majority do not address concerns of spirituality in the sense stated above; they are essentially basic outward measurements or procedures linked with religious beliefs and practices.
  3. While there are changes in students found in the literature over the past 30 years that are not generally connected with religion, they are consistent with the premises relating to spirituality and spiritual development and may be explained by a variety of factors.
  4. Each of these shifts may be argued to be at least in part spiritual in character, depending on your perspective.
  5. The literal interpretation of moral principles and religious teachings is prevalent throughout the early developmental phases.
  6. New professors may be discovered, but sooner or later, interpreters will come to dispute on their interpretations.

(p. 240-241) 240-241 Although spirituality is created within a community or tradition, this description is consistent with the definition of spirituality stated above in that spirituality is ultimately personal and individual, and it is a process.

Implications

I believe that the consequences for people who work with college students are self-evident. First and foremost, we must examine how we employ and interpret the concepts of religion and spirituality in our lives. Do we use them interchangeably as though they were synonyms? Do we make any distinctions between them in discussion and in practice? Do we object to others’ usage of the phrases as if they were interchangeable? After that, we must analyze the implications of our assumptions on our interactions with and views of our students in the classroom.

  • Do we acknowledge that a student’s rejection of his or her family’s religious beliefs and practices may, in fact, be a positive step in the student’s spiritual growth?
  • I feel that preserving and supporting religious plurality in higher education has a great deal of value for individuals who are engaged in fostering spiritual growth on college campuses.
  • Finally, I believe that another aspect is the necessity for individuals dealing with college students to challenge them to distinguish between the two conceptions discussed above.
  • To provide feedback, comments, or critiques on this article, please email me at [email protected]

References

A. Chickering and L. Reisser are two authors that have written about this topic (1993). Education and self-identification (2nd Ed.). Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco. P. G. Love and D. Talbot are co-authors of this paper (1999). Definition of spiritual development: A concern that has been overlooked in student affairs. The NASPA Journal, volume 37, number 1, pages 361-375. S. Parks et al (2000). mentoring young people in their search for meaning, purpose, and faith: big questions, worthwhile dreams Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.

  • Pascarella and P.
  • What college does to a person’s life.
  • J.
  • The Random House English language dictionary is a comprehensive resource for learning the English language.

What is spirituality?

A. Chickering and L. Reisser published a paper in which they discussed their research findings (1993). Education and one’s own personal brand (2nd Ed.). Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA. The authors, P. G. Love and D. Talbot, have written a paper entitled (1999). Definition of spiritual development: A consideration that has been overlooked in the field of student affairs 37(1), 363-375 in the NASPA Journal. Smith, S. S. Parks & Associates, Inc. (2000). Mentoring young adults in their search for meaning, purpose, and faith is a rewarding experience.

Terenzini, P., Pascarella, E. (1991). Students’ reactions to college. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA. J. Stein (ed.) is the author of this publication (1979). The English language dictionary published by Random House. Random House Publishing Group, New York, 2001.

What is spirituality?

Spirituality is something that is frequently discussed, but it is also something that is frequently misinterpreted. The majority of people mistakenly believe that spirituality and religion are synonymous, and as a result, they bring their religious ideas and prejudices into debates about spirituality. Despite the fact that spiritualism is emphasized by all faiths as a component of faith, it is possible to be’spiritual’ without being religious or a member of an organized organization.

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?

Many people talk about spirituality, yet it’s something that’s frequently misinterpreted. Many individuals believe that spirituality and religion are synonymous, and as a result, they bring their religious views and preconceptions to conversations about spirituality. It is possible to be “spiritual” without being religious or a member of an organized religion, even though spiritualism is emphasized as a component of faith in all religious traditions.

Why do people practise spirituality?

A person’s life might be filled with ups and downs, happy times and bad times. Many individuals consider spirituality to be an excellent means of finding comfort and serenity in their lives. It is frequently used in conjunction with other techniques such as yoga, which are all geared at stress relief and emotional release. Spirituality is a method of getting a different viewpoint. Spirituality recognizes that your function in life has higher significance than the tasks you perform on a daily basis.

Spirituality may also be employed as a coping mechanism when faced with adversity or uncertainty.

What can I do now?

  • Learn more about the various ways in which spirituality may be expressed. Make use of meditation to obtain a better understanding of your situation
  • Learn about the history and practice of many styles of spirituality by doing some research.

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Finding the most appropriate place to begin might be difficult at times. You can use our ‘What’s on your mind?’ feature to help you figure out what’s best for you. What exactly is on your mind?

Why Do We Have Religion Anyway?

There are 7 billion people on the planet, and the great majority of them practice some form of religion, which can range from enormous multinational churches to obscure spiritual traditions and tiny sects. While no one knows exactly how many religions exist on the earth, there are at least that many ideas for why we have religion in the first place, regardless of the number of faiths. One theory holds that as humans progressed from tiny hunter-gatherer tribes to huge agrarian communities, our forefathers found it necessary to foster cooperation and tolerance among people who were not related to them.

  • However, that is only one possibility.
  • However, these are all just hypotheses.
  • In a recent paper, a group of psychology scientists at Queen’s University in Ontario proposed a unique theory regarding the origins of religion, and they also provided some preliminary scientific data to support their hypothesis.
  • They put this notion to the test in four rather straightforward tests that used conventional measures of self-control.
  • Then, using a pretext, they forced all of the volunteers to swallow an unpalatable mixture of orange juice and vinegar, one ounce at a time.
  • They were told that they may stop at any moment and that they could take as much time as they wanted.
  • They found that the more orange juice and vinegar they pushed down, the stronger their self-control became.
  • Because society and religion require us to accept many things we don’t particularly care for in the name of the greater good, the scientists interpret this discovery as proof of a specific type of self-control on our side.
  • In another experiment, the scientists primed some of the volunteers with religious terms that were buried in plain sight, but this time they were informed (falsely) that the experiment had come to an end and that they would get a monetary reward.
  • This is a frequently used laboratory paradigm for testing the effort of discipline in the face of temptation, and in fact, nearly twice as many of those who practiced religion afterwards chose to spend their money on more material things.
  • Studies have shown that our cognitive strength (in the form of glucose, which serves as the brain’s fuel) is finite.

The third experiment was based on a better understanding of this process, which is sometimes referred to as “ego depletion.” The scientists sought to explore if people who are cognitively fatigued may be “refueled” by religious memories, therefore they had just half of the participants do a mentally taxing activity while listening to loud music in order to test this hypothesis.

As a result, there were four groups at this point: Depleted controls, depleted controls that have been religiously primed, undepleted controls, and religiously primed controls were used.

The impossible assignment was included to put them through their paces while dealing with enormous difficulty—yet another test of their self-control.

Among individuals who were mentally fatigued, those who had religion on their thoughts were able to persevere for a longer period of time at the difficult job, showing that religious priming helped to recover their cognitive abilities as well as their patience in the process.

This, according to the experts, provides compelling evidence of the replenishing impact of religion on self-discipline.

The first three studies had demonstrated that religion had a direct causal influence on self-control—as well as downstream consequences on enduring discomfort, postponing rewards, and exercising patience—as well as on enduring discomfort, delaying rewards, and exercising patience.

In order to rule out these possibilities, the scientists utilized a self-control test that was fully secular, meaning that it had no moral connotations: the so-called Stroop task.

It is really tough and needs much mental effort and self-control.

The findings, which will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Psychological Science, revealed that religiously primed participants exhibited much greater self-control than either controls or those who had been primed to think about death.

This was a surprising discovery, and it shows that engaging an innate moral sensitivity may have some of the same consequences as religion in terms of psychological well-being.

One idea is that religion causes individuals to be more conscious of a God who is always on the lookout, and as a result, they become more self-aware.

A more secular interpretation is that religious priming causes people to be more worried about their reputation in the community, which results in their being more careful with their own behavior.

On Second Thought, a novel by Wray Herbert, was just released in paperback edition. Excerpts from his two blogs, “We’re Only Human” and “Full Frontal Psychology,” appear on a regular basis in Scientific American and The Huffington Post, among other publications.

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