What is Spirituality?

Here are some definitions of spirituality that resonate with us. Those without author credits were found on websites that didn’t attribute the text.

The essence of spirituality is the search to know our true selves, to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great spiritual teachings, and the goal of all the great mystics.” – Peter Russell

The spirit is that part of man which is concerned with the ultimate meaning of things and with a person’s relationship to that which transcends the material.” – B. Simsen

“Spirituality is the human capacity to experience the transcendent dimensions of life. A transcendent dimension of life is anything that is immaterial and therefore cannot be scientifically observed and measured, but nevertheless is experienced as real. Love is a good example.” – David Jenkins, director of MD Anderson’s Department of Chaplaincy.

“Spirituality is an expression of how a person relates to a larger whole – that which an individual perceives as greater than him or herself.” – George A. Sprecace, MD

Here is one definition (of many possible) from Mindy: The spiritual life starts with a recognition that we human beings are more than mere flesh, blood, and bone. We are alive in a place where the extraordinary is commonplace (e.g. creativity and coincidence), where the most meaningful aspects of life often cannot be weighed and measured (e.g. dreams, generosity, aesthetic appreciation, imagination). Once one’s curiosity about the mysterious aspects of life is ignited, a passionate seeking for answers and understanding begins. If you have ever asked such questions as: “How did I get here?” “What is my purpose in life?”, “What force set the planets in motion?”, “What is the extent of human potential?”,  “What happens after death?” — you are a spiritual seeker.

One recent USAToday/CNN/Gallup Poll found that 30% of Americans call themselves “spiritual but not religious“: “Many feel free to define God in a way that makes sense to them, irrespective of how their church or family may feel about it. This is in dramatic contrast to traditional society, where the community of believers shared common beliefs and homogenous practices based on those beliefs.”

Here are the results of an online poll about what spirituality is:

  • Awareness 20%
  • Faith 12%
  • Giving 4%
  • Love 30%
  • Religion 1%
  • All of the above 29%
  • Something else 0%

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