About Spirituality and Religion
Premise: a vital contributor to any family's nurturance level is if and how family leaders value and promote members' spiritual growth. "Spiritual growth" means "developing the ability to experience meaningful contact with a benign Higher Power." Spirit comes from the Latin word meaning "to breathe." Person-al spirituality is a unique mix of conscious (mental) awareness and beliefs (faith) + unconscious "senses" + mystical mind-body "states." The effects of spirituality range from nurturing (promoting optimal health and growth) to harm-ful (inhibiting wholistic health and growth).
Persons and families may evolve unique ways to grow spiritually, like me-ditation, prayer, retreats, and experiences alone or in social organizations like churches. Religion, including the occult, is a man-made set of beliefs, sym-bols, rituals, revered texts, organizations, roles, and rules that may or may not promote true spiritual growth. Compulsive religious rituals can provide tempora-ry self-medication (vs. healing) from unbearable inner pain.
Some people discount, ignore, ridicule, and/or avoid personal spirituality. Folk wisdom and a growing body of research suggests that people valuing spiritu-ality and growth tend to have more satisfying, healthy, stable lives, relationships, and families; and more success at preventing and reducing psychological wounds than atheists ("there is no God") and agnostics ("I don't know or care if a Higher Power exists.")
All 8 Lessons in this Self-discovery Web site implicitly encourage people to value and promote nurturing spiritual faith and growth in their lives. Lesson 1 proposes that most (all?) people have a personality subself specializing in spir-itual awareness. It ranges from undeveloped to paralyzed to influential.