Spirituality and How to Nurture It Within

Like some of you, I’ve always hungered after spirituality. As a consequence, I have learned many things about it over the years.

What is Spirituality?

I like the way Rabbi Kaplan defines it. He says spirituality is “the progressive unlearning of the strange ideas about God you’ve been taught…”

If it is not obvious to you why I like this definition, that’s only because this is likely the first article of mine you’ve ever read. I write much and often about the failure of religion in my own life. "Failure" is probably too strong a word. Perhaps I should say "my disappointment with organized religion." I have not left the church, as many of my readers have. I do understand, however, why many have consciously chosen to move beyond the church of their childhood.

Christianity, as a faith-tradition, is undergoing a metamorphosis. I'm sure there are many who rejoice at the thought of the world might finally move beyond religion. But religion is here to stay. So is Christianity. It is chaning, however, and none too soon.

How to Nuture a Spiritual Life

I have spent the greater part of my adult life learning how not to be religious and spiritual. If you were raised, as I was, in a family where religion was worn like a garment, easily put on when needed and discarded when not, you know what I'm saying. I was surrounded by religious people all the time. I'm not sure, however, if spirituality was often in the mix.

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I've always had an interest in spirituality. I've made it my ambition, therefore, to learn as much about it as possible. As a consequence, I have learned that many things, and, yet, I, too, how little I really know. What follows are a few reflections on what I think is important for all spiritual seekers to remember about spirituality and how to nurture a spiritual life.

1. Spirituality is not something you attain; it is instead the nature of who you are.

You have likely heard of the over-quoted Christian philosopherTeilhard de Chardin who is credited with sayinng, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience."

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Dr. Steve McSwain
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