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Q: Spirituality ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Spirituality
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: qpet-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 03 Feb 2003 19:42 PST
Expires: 05 Mar 2003 19:42 PST
Question ID: 157008
What are the most comon definitions of "spirituality"?
Subject: Re: Spirituality
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 04 Feb 2003 13:41 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Qpet,

I’ve been working on your question for many hours and have read
through hundreds of definitions of spirituality. I will provide you
with the most common definitions that came up during my research.
While not official or scientific, I believe it will give you a good
idea of the most frequent definitions of spirituality.

What is spirituality?

Spirituality has been defined in numerous ways. 

-  A belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than

-  A sense of interconnectedness with all living creatures.

-  An awareness of the purpose and meaning of life and the development
of personal, absolute values.

“Although spirituality is often associated with religious life, many
believe that personal spirituality can be developed outside of
religion. Acts of compassion and selflessness, altruism, and the
experience of inner peace are all characteristics of spirituality.”

Source: Medformation Website

Personal Definitions of Spirituality:

Maurice Zeldman, a leader in a Science and Spirituality discussion
group organized personal definitions of spirituality in no particular

- “ a person's capacity and means to deal with and explain life's
issues which have no obvious explanation. It is also the means by
which a person conducts life and defines life goals.

- Spirituality: an experiential process of touching those things which
are of ultimate and essential value and worth.

- Acts of charity and kindness and noble self-sacrifice especially
from the private ranks of life; all these things and more, inspire a
sense of awe in me that I deem to be Spiritual.

- My Spirituality's a sight of the eternal hills and the unresting
sea, and of something beautiful the hand of man has made or sung or

- An awareness of a natural order in the universe and of the exquisite
checks and balances found in life forms at various levels; anatomic,
biochemical and physiologic.

- My sense of the spiritual seems to reside more in my intuitive
rather than my rational sphere. Love, joy, sorrow, hope, empathy, awe
all well up within me and sustain me, not so much from the reality of
particular situations but seem to come from some deeper wellspring.

- Spirituality: The human impulse to seek and unite with a reality
beyond the appearances of the world, fulfilling the need for a

- Whatever is generally beautiful and awe-inspiring in nature; not
always good by human standards; but generally kind and loving in human
nature. Much of what people strive for after satisfying the basic
needs of life, has to do with enriching their higher spiritual nature
through music, art, poetry, acts of kindness, forgiving, and
understanding others.

- Spirituality is subjectively experiencing life both inside and
outside of myself.
-  Finally, spirituality is a belief. Even atheists, who do not
believe in a creator, have a belief. They cannot prove their belief
any more than a "true believer" can prove his or hers.
- I define Spirituality as: A connection, in some profound and
elemental way, with something which is either outside or within
Source: Sunnyhill Website

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.”

- Many find singing or listening to music spiritual.

Source: Message by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan

According to a new national poll in Spirituality and Health magazine,

- 20% of Americans define themselves as solely spiritual.
- 8% say they are only religious.
- 80% say spirituality plays a central role in their lives.
- 40% say the same about religion.
- 59% percent of Americans describe themselves as spiritual and

In an article that ran with the poll, authors Elizabeth Lesser and
Huston Smith said:

“Spirituality is about what we do with our desires, longings and

"Spirituality is the wise art of making life a sacred adventure," 

"Religion is organized, institutionalized spirituality . . . the only
way spiritual truths gain traction in history."

Memphis: The new Appeal

Here are the original results in a poll about what spirituality is:

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

Spirituality: The Aumara Light & Healing Circle

The Role of Spirituality in End-of-Life by George A. Sprecace MD

“Spirituality is an expression of how a person relates to a larger
whole - that which an individual perceives as greater than him or


Spirituality provides a source of meaning and understanding about the
significance of being human.  It addresses the question of "Why am I
here?" An expression of spirituality can occur without any specific
religious belief.


Spirituality often contains habits, rituals, gestures and symbols that
can help a person interpret and manage existence.”

Allergy Associates of New London

"However it’s defined, spirituality is something that shapes who we
are as people and how we make decisions.”

Source: News USA

What is Spirituality to me?
by Michael Thompson

“It's about seeing life as a great adventure. 
It's about surrendering my will to the Creator's. 
It's about celebrating the sacredness in everything. 
It's about willingness to tackle new challenges head on. 
It's about movement towards reuniting with the Creator. 
It's about acknowledging the Divine Order in the universe. 
It's about having compassion for others, even if I'd rather not. 
It's about being serene and forgiving those who cause me pain. 
It's about pausing to give thanks for the glorious, golden dawn. 
It's about appreciating the fading, iridescent glow of the sunset. 
Ultimately, it's about responsibility and taking charge of my life.” 

SFC: A Quest for Greater Spiritual Understanding

In the article “Finding our way in this new spiritual landscape” by
Robert Owens Scott, a list of activities was given and people were
asked which, if any, they find spiritual:

- “91% of us see praying as a spiritual activity 
- 81% see attending worship services as spiritual 
- 80% believe that parenting is spiritual — and even those who say
they are not spiritual believe that parenting is
- 67% consider a walk in the forest a divine experience 
- 52% of adults affirm that making love is a spiritual activity,
although men are more likely to have transcendent sex (57% yes/38% no)
than women, who are divided about 50/50 on the question. Contrary to
what some might expect, people who are religious are more likely than
the nonreligious to say that making love is spiritual
- But, though cleanliness may be next to godliness, only 29% of
Americans find anything spiritual about cleaning.”

Spirituality & Health Magazine

The term spirituality is often vaguely defined or confused with the
idea of religion or a particular sectarian belief system.

“Spirituality is also defined as a capacity and tendency that is
innate and unique to all persons. This spiritual tendency moves the
individual toward knowledge, love, meaning, peace, hope,
transcendence, connectedness, compassion, wellness, and wholeness.
Spirituality includes one's capacity for creativity, growth, and the
development of a value system. Spirituality encompasses a variety of
phenomena, including experiences, beliefs, and practices. Spirituality
is approached from a variety of perspectives, including
psychospiritual, religious, and transpersonal. While spirituality is
usually expressed through culture, it both precedes and transcends

Association for Spritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling

“Spirituality  refers to a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or
values that give meaning and purpose to life, especially during
difficult times.  Spiritual health involves the capacity for love,
compassion, forgiveness, altruism, joy, and fulfillment.  It is an
antidote to cynicism, anger, fear, anxiety, self-absorption, and
pessimism.  Spirituality transcends the individual and can be a common
bond among people.”
College of health Sciences: Core concepts in health

What is spirituality? 

“Spirituality is the essence of a person's being. Spirituality is who
we are. It is tied to the individual's worldview. It can encompass
many things such as religion, identity, heritage, culture and so on.
For each person, spirituality is different, although there are many
groups who share common spiritualities.”

A Spiritual Journey by Nereda White

There are many definitions of spirituality but they all encompass
belief and values.

“Spirituality will be unique for each individual…a search for meaning…
within the particular experience or life event, usually with reference
to a power other than self. (Speck)”

“Spirituality is defined by Murray and Zentner(1988) as ‘a quality
that goes beyond religious affiliation that strives, for inspiration,
reverence, awe, meaning and purpose, even in those who do not believe
in any God. The spiritual dimension tries to be in harmony with the
universe, strives for answers about the infinite, and comes into focus
when the person faces emotional stress, physical illness and death”

East Midlands Churches Forum

Hamilton and Jackson (1998) conducted a qualitative study of the
conceptions of spirituality among women in the helping professions.
Participants' definitions centered on three main themes:
- The further development of self-awareness
- A sense of interconnectedness
- A relationship to a higher power

Source: Eric Digests

“Put in practical terms, spirituality is "the way [a person]… seeks,
finds or creates, uses, and expands personal meaning in the context of
place in the entire universe" (Thibault et al., 1991).
Geriatric Times

“Spirituality, for some people, plays an important part in quality of
life, coping, and the search for meaning in crises.”

“Spirituality provides a source of meaning and understanding about the
significance of being human.  It addresses the question of "Why am I
here?" An expression of spirituality can occur without any specific
religious belief.”

Search Criteria:
Spirituality, definition, description, explanation, survey, poll,

Thank you for your interesting question and I hope this response has
provided you with the information you were seeking.

Best Regards,
qpet-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
Excellent bobbie7 -beyond the call of duty!Broad and detailed, just what I needed!

Subject: Re: Spirituality
From: bobbie7-ga on 04 Feb 2003 16:23 PST
Dear Qpet,
Thank you for the nice comments, rating and tip!
I'm glad you are pleased with my research and I really enjoyed doing it as well.

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