Outline of Spirituality
Spirituality may refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being, or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”
Spiritual practices, including yoga, fasting, meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Music, poetry, and literature would help to attain perfect inner peace.
Sufism (tasawwuf) is the path followed by Sufis to reach the Truth—God. While Sufism usually expresses the theoretical or philosophical aspect of this search, the practical aspect is usually referred to as “being a dervish.”
Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them.
Spirituality referred to a religious process of re-formation which “aims to recover the original shape of man“, oriented at “the image of God” as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.
Religion, esotericism, and mysticism
Occultism and practical mysticism
- Ewert Cousins, preface to Antoine Faivre and Jacob Needleman, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Crossroad Publishing 1992.
- Philip Sheldrake, A Brief History of Spirituality, Wiley-Blackwell 2007 p. 1-2
- Margaret A. Burkhardt and Mary Gail Nagai-Jacobson, Spirituality: living our connectedness, Delmar Cengage Learning, p. xiii