I have always considered myself to be a spiritual person and I have always found myself drawn to other people I would describe as spiritual. But what does spiritual mean? I think I know in my heart and soul what it means, but it is difficult to put into words.
Spiritual does not mean religious. Some of the most spiritual people I know are not religious at all, indeed they would hate to be thought of as religious even if they could be identified by a religious label.
Of course some spiritual people are religious; or at least they use religious labels to define themselves in part. It doesn’t seem to matter very much what religion they are though. I know deeply spiritual people who are Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Jews, Pagans, Muslims or even sometimes Satanists like me. Of course I also know plenty of people of all of those faiths who don’t seem to be spiritual at all.
Spiritual people don’t have to believe in any form of deity. Some of the most spiritual people in my estimation are atheists. I am not sure if they would like to be described as spiritual, but in my humble opinion they often are.
So what does it mean to be spiritual? I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer and I am certainly not clever enough to sum it up in one neat sentence, but I think spiritual people would probably identfy with the majority of the following ideas.
A sense that life is precious.
A belief that life is a learning experience that should be entered into as joyfully as possible.
An ability to learn from misfortunes and mistakes.
An intolerance for injustice.
Diversity is something to celebrate not something to be feared.
The ability to be moved to tears by music and art.
An affinity with nature.
A sense of awe and wonder.
Being young at heart whatever the physical age.
A joy of learning.
The ability to be responsible and mature while retaining a childlike sense of fun and wonder.
A sense that there are many things beyond what science can presently explain.
A fondness for deep thoughts and long conversations.
Success is not measured by material possessions or wealth.
Respect for wisdom where-ever it come from.
Lack of prejudice.
A tendency to be reflective.
A sense of connection to everything else.
I am sure this list is not complete. There may be some important things missing and there may be a few things that other spiritual people would disagree with. But perhaps there is one final quality that most spiritual people have; and that is the ability to recognize each other.
- How Spiritual Nourishment Can Improve Health in 7 Ways (angperegrino.com)
- Spirituality and Religion (legendofanomad.wordpress.com)
- Spirituality May Boost Mental Health (nlm.nih.gov)