I sense a hunger for spirituality today. It is a hunger I share.
But I also sense a disconnect between spirituality and ethics; and between both of these and institutions.
A concern for spirituality can be part of a broader concern for our wellbeing. We are emotional as well as physical; life has spiritual as well as mental dimensions.
Spiritual practices such as meditation, silence, prayer, can help us step out of the stresses of life periodically and for a time. But perhaps there can be a greater goal – to integrate our spirituality with our morality and with a wider worldview?
For example, devoting 10 minutes to private meditation is usually a great idea to calm down and gain perspective on life. But if a loved one needed me during those 10 minutes, or if there was an urgent need nearby, morally it would be right to abandon the meditation for a greater good – love and concern for another. So the spiritual practice finds its place in a wider ethical framework.
And if I believe that love and concern for another is one of the most important things in life, then it might be beneficial for me to attach myself to an even bigger picture where this value is regularly celebrated. I might want to seek out others -inspiring figures from the past, perhaps, and good role models from the present. I might want to join a group of likeminded people who also share this belief.
So spirituality and ethics can start to find a place in a wider social scheme, perhaps even an “institution” – a group instituted at a certain time for a certain purpose.
My own writing is unashamedly derivative. Many of my poems are directly suggested by the powerful words of one of my many “inspirers” that you can read about elsewhere in my blog. I am enthused by a shared message that resonates – and so, I reason, it may resonate with others too.
I would be interested to know if this post resonates at all with you.