- the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
“the shift in priorities allows us to embrace our spirituality in a more profound way.”
There are many definitions of spirituality, these definitions can be shaped by culture, religion, music, language, meditation, personal experience and more. In this blog we look and compile the main dictionary definitions from around the web to see what the recognised and established meaning of Spirituality is as defined by the curators and caretakers of the English language and western thought.
Spirituality has to do with the spirit, not as in ghosts, but as in the essence of being human — your soul or your inner life. Spirituality often has to do with religion, but it doesn’t have to. You might say, “I’m not religious; but I have a strong sense of spirituality,” which might mean that you practice yoga or meditation, or you pray with a group, or you nurture your spirit by spending time in nature. Religions usually have defined beliefs, rituals, and guidelines; spirituality is more individual.
Spiritual means relating to people’s thoughts and beliefs, rather than to their bodies and physical surroundings.
University of Minnesota
Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s primarily about participation in organized religion. For others, it’s a non-religious experience that involves getting in touch with their spiritual selves through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or time in nature.
An instinct toward spirituality appears to be deeply ingrained in humans. People can’t help but ask big questions—research shows that even declared skeptics can’t stifle a sense that there is something greater than the physical world they see.
As the brain processes sensory experiences, it naturally looks for patterns—and people’s conscious selves often seek meaning in those patterns. This can lead to the phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance,” which describes how, once one believes in something, one is strongly inclined to try to explain away anything that conflicts with it. Cognitive dissonance is not unique to religion or spirituality, but often occurs in the context of such beliefs.