Spiritual Growth And Why It Counts

By Therese Yemana

Spiritual growth has for a long time a significant component of a person's sense of wellbeing, even before man has conceptualized the idea and broke it down in many ways that ultimately ended up in numerous ways on how to build upon it. You name it - yoga, karma, or even reincarnation. There are so many that they range from the most mystical to the most practical. But even when you're treading your own "spiritual path", or in deep need of what spiritual fulfillment, an in-depth knowledge of what spirituality is can be very helpful in more ways than one.

To ensure that we completely understand what spirituality is, maybe it is important that we discuss the meaning of the root word itself; Spirit is an intangible property, one that refers to something incorporeal, something mysterious and never bound by the material world. The most acclaimed scholar and physicist, Albert Einstein, referred to spirituality with these words: "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science". This brings us to the 2 things that he pointed out - science and art. Both of these have dominated human's awareness while achieving answers to the mysteries that have confounded us about the world. These two indulgences, polar opposites as they may be, have paved the way to the development of technology and human awareness.

The quest for answers is deeply rooted to our inherent need to achieve knowledge about ourselves, and how we're connected to everything around us. Ordinary routines such as fixing a car engine or observing an ant farm are unconscious manifestations of this need, and as a result, connected to spirituality. You only have to read Robert M. Pasig's magnum opus, Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, to know what I'm talking about. While this disagrees with the concept of spirituality as something not bound in the material world, these physical avenues are useful channels that let us achieve that transcendence, and as a result provide us a glance into the unexplainable.

Many people achieve spiritual sustenance through meditation. Meditation is a process of serious contemplation, or turning inward to attain a profound condition of peacefulness, focus and awareness. The idea of meditation came from the Eastern cultures, and it has been developed by the West as a form of prayer. Buddhist monks are astute in their belief that meditation is the best way to Enlightenment, which explains the sanguine temperament through which they deal with others.

A common misunderstanding most people make is having the idea that spirituality is exclusive to religion. While it is true that religion has aided many people to lead spiritual lives, it only signifies a few aspects that constitute the entire meaning of spirituality. Spirituality is a confluence, a heightened understanding of what we are and how we're connected to the whole spectrum of existence, and the foresight that everything little thing is equally important and dependent on each other.

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