There is no single, widely-agreed definition of spirituality. Social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for the sacred, for that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration, “a transcendent dimension within human experience…discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context.”
According to Waaijman, the traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of re-formation which “aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God. To accomplish this, the re-formation is oriented at a mold, which represents the original shape: in Judaism the Torah, in Christianity Christ, in Buddhism Buddha, in the Islam Muhammad.”
In modern times spirituality has come to mean the internal experience of the individual. It still denotes a process of transformation, but in a context separate from organized religious institutions: “spiritual but not religious.” Houtman and Aupers suggest that modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions.
Waaijman points out that “spirituality” is only one term of a range of words which denote the praxis of spirituality. Some other terms are “Hasidism, contemplation, kabbala, asceticism, mysticism, perfection, devotion and piety”.
Spirituality can be sought not only through traditional organized religions, but also through movements such as liberalism, feminist theology, and green politics. Spirituality is also now associated with mental health, managing substance abuse,marital functioning, parenting, and coping. It has been suggested that spirituality also leads to finding purpose and meaning in life.
We might see true spirituality as God dwelling in man again. Perhaps eventually understanding it as cosmic consciousness condensing into form and becoming aware of it. That is a large step for mankind from where we are now.
The result, according to the narrator, is a sense of oneness and willingness to operate free from intellectual pursuits driven by the desire to dominate the environment. Each individual soul has purpose, like a thread in the tapestry of life that is just as important as any other thread. The beauty of the tapestry is dependent on the threads, no matter the color, diameter or length.
When all the threads become aware of the tapestry, it becomes alive and whole – able to be viewed. Individuals are like fractals of the tapestry, able to contain the original yet finding form, fit and function within it as their own filaments combine to form the whole.
Just because we are still in the throes of bi-polar behavior toward ourselves and our planet does not mean that advanced races have not overcome those tendencies. Young planetary civilizations, like ours, haven’t learned to get along with each other as of yet. It would seem that, because of this, we would have no comparison to those that have.
Of course it seems nearly impossible for us now, but as we consider the future of our race, the advancement of consciousness (science and spirituality beginning to nest in a type of pure shareable energy, if you will, the outcome could be very different. Advances seem excruciatingly slow at present, if at all, yet a consistent interaction (at least for some) with shared consciousness beyond our own might accelerate the process.