Reflection 2, Spiritual growth and development

In this blog, we are most concerned about spiritual growth and development.  As religions and belief systems have evolved throughout history, so have the possibilities of individuals and groups to achieve higher levels of spirituality. Like physical reality, spiritual reality has and continues to evolve. The individual capacity to manifest and manipulate thought, feelings and volition is embryonic in an infant. It is the purpose of human existence to realize these potentialities and develop these faculties. It is the purpose of education to help the individual to do so.  The sign of a healthy person and society is the maturing expression of these universal human capacities.

These capacities need to be trained and encourages from the earliest years. The discipline needed to reach a state where these natural human traits are fully functioning is what separates those who attain from those who do not. The religions of the world have been the primary source for realizing this potential. As it is these capabilities that distinguish humans from other creatures and from creation as a whole, it is to these realities that we should focus our greatest attention. The world religions affirm this truth and viewpoint. However, these religions and their truths and viewpoints have evolved according to the developed capacity of the people for which they were revealed. Therefore their teachings, spiritual, moral, social, and otherwise were given in a way that was suited to the relative development and culture of the society in which they were taught.

Modern people and culture are greatly influenced by science and technology, more so than any previous generation. Religions of the past, which did not have to address such realities or complexities, are unable to meet the needs of present-day society. Cultures throughout the world are struggling to make these divine religions meant for another time and people fit today’s problems and circumstances. As a result we are seeing a breakdown of the influence of these past religions and their miss application to the times and exigencies. Though these faiths were the key influences in the development and progress of peoples and civilizations of the past, they have become the cause of disunity and destruction today. Their genetic material has not evolved to meet the requirements of the present age.

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About rodclarken

Dr. Rodney H Clarken is professor emeritus, School of Education, Northern Michigan University.
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