Transcending To A Higher Place: Spirituality

1083 words - 5 pages

The word “spiritual” is universal and is known in many different contexts. The word “spiritual” began around the year 1300. It originated from Medieval Latin ecclesiastical use of the Latin “spiritualis” meaning “of or pertaining to breath, breathing, wind, or air, pertaining to the spirit. (Harper, Online Etymology, 2014.) Merriam-Webster defines the literal meaning of the word as “of or relating to religion or religious beliefs.” Though these origins speak to the traditional religious definition of “spiritual,” nontraditional religions, philosophy, meditation, and even atheism all make use of the word.
Though it may seem to some people that the word “religion” and “spiritual” are at odds, many find their spirituality in religion. When the religion is found, a person strives to do better and to be a better person. The person strives to please his or her almighty, and even though he or she still have some problems along the way, he or she continues with the help of his or her faith in his or her religion. Often those who are involved in a religion lead more happy and productive lives. There is more social contact and, more likely than not, more support. The mental activity that comes with optimism and volunteering learned coping strategies that enhance one’s ability to deal with stress, and psychological factors such as “reason for being” lead to a happier life. It may also be that religious people engage in behaviors related to good health, such as less substance abuse. All religions have some form of contact with their spiritual creator. Mostly the common theme is prayer. Though different religions have different ways of doing this, it is a way for the person to keep in touch with his or her God. This is one of the main ways people grow spiritually in their religion. When practiced faithfully, it is believed by some that the methods of being religious will bring one more enlightenment over time.
Nontraditional religions also have deeply spiritual beliefs. There are four main different types of spiritualist beliefs that follow the more nontraditional path. There are people who believe that spiritualism is a religion and should have no connection with other religions at all. Liturgical worship borrows its beliefs from Christianity, again without all of the set rules and regulations. African-American spiritualist churches resemble the faith from the churches that tend to encourage ecstatic worship styles derived from African-American Protestant Baptist and Pentecostal practices. There are also those that follow spiritualist leader Leafy Anderson’s theologies. She was a medium and claimed that she had contact with the chief Black Hawk. These congregations still hold special service honoring Black Hawk and the Native American tribes. Another form of spirituality is nature worshiping. Nature worship is often considered the primitive source of modern religious beliefs and can be found in theism, panentheism, desim,...

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