Concept of Spirituality

According to Oxford Dictionary, spirituality is something concerned with intelligent or immaterial part of man; intelligent being not connected with material body; with sacred or religious thing.

There are many schools of thought on spirituality. Here I would like to present three concepts which are worth mentioning. They are as follows:

Man-Oriented Spirituality

According to this concept of spirituality, man's outer existent is under the control of conscious mind, and the inner existent is under the grip of subconscious. Thus spirituality is to establish contact with one's own inner personality. Spiritual development is achieved when one able to relate the conscious part with the unconscious. Here, spirituality is achieved from self-realization.

Meditation-Based Spirituality

According to this concept of spirituality, the farther man move away from material or worldly thing, the more spiritual he becomes. In other words, man is supposed to leave material world and devotes his life to becoming one with the non-material world.

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Meditation-based spirituality tells man to stop his thinking process and repeat certain words, chants or mantras. When this is done, he experiences a different kind of feeling or an unknown pleasure. Practitioners associated this pleasure with spirituality. To experience such pleasure, people who follow this form of spirituality retire to a jungle or mountain to meditate leaving behind their home or material life.

Contemplation-Based Spirituality

This concept of spirituality is based on the concept of duality of reality or truth – the Creator and the creature are completely separate from one another. Spirituality from this point of view is the creature (man) wants to make contacts with his Creator (God). In this concept, spirituality results in the realization of God. According to this concept, God has a real and eternal existence. He created all things and has complete control of the universe. The creature is accountable to Him and spirituality can be achieved through contemplation (thought or remembrance) of Him.

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The spirituality in contemplative spirituality is a direct result of intellectual development where a believer ponders over God and His creations. When he gives serious thought to questions regarding the ideology of life such as, "Who am I?" "What is the purpose of my life?" "Is my life governed by destiny or free will?" "What will I go after my death?" A seeker will find spirituality by finding rational answers to such questions.

Jesus Christ once said, "Man cannot live by bread alone." This mean man requires something more to experience fulfillment. Man is composed of two things – body and soul – both needs nourishment to survive. Man body is nourished by material food. Spirituality is needed for the nourishment of the soul.

One is regarded as being spiritual when one's mind is focused on a higher, non-material reality of existence. The opposite of spirituality is materialistic.

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Source by Wan Ibrahim