Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Individuality of Spirituality

Originally posted on April 30, 2016

This essay builds on the other essay published today, “Objective Reality,” and also points to personal expectations that go “Beyond Psychotherapy.” First, note that many of the procedures that constitute “psychotherapy” as a corrective for problematic thinking have applications beyond the medical model! They may be used for personal development, which in turn includes many things, such as future work choice, specialization, personal goals, relationship issues, and even spirituality. People need to be affirmed as different, in contrast with several centuries ago, when orthodoxy was not only compulsory, but thought to be a reasonable expectation. (In the 20th century, true orthodoxy declined and most theologians absorbed enough psychology to know that some heterodoxy was inevitable.)

Certainly, each person pursues all beliefs through the "lens" of unconscious orientations. So, for example, regarding religion, one person teaches Sunday School, another visits the sick, a third assists in the rituals, a fourth volunteers to help with the grounds upkeep. In India they vividly recognize that people must celebrate their relationship to the Sacred, each person in his or her own individual way.  They have names for the way they do this, as forms of yoga, being yoked. Some study, some meditate, some do service, some do rituals, etc.

Indeed, it may become part of spiritual education to help each student discover in what way his or her spirituality may be best expressed, taking account of individual differences in temper-ament, interest, and so forth. The implicit question is, “What works for you as a vehicle to put you in right relationship with what is holy, higher, or deeper?”

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