Spiritual development is to discover, design, and deliver truths and principles about a worldview in order to build wisdom and skills and connect with the spirit world and overcome our desires of the flesh. If you believe in God it would include worshiping God and glorifying God.
Spiritual development doesn’t have to focus on a specific religion, though it could help, because there are many people who have studied religions and can help others learn, instead of hoping to figure it out on your own. If the word religion has a strong negative feeling for you, consider thinking of it as a philosophy, or an invitation to think and feel beyond our physical world.
All worldviews have similarities including the understanding that humans struggle with selfish desires, and our selfish desires can be overcome by developing internal personal beliefs and values based on truths and principles, or by external social laws.
Humans want to belong and be accepted in a community. Despite our selfish nature we have great capacity for love, joy, and peace. All humans will face challenges in the world, and we have a desire to overcome challenges for a better future. However, our desire for a better future often struggles with our desire for immediate pleasure.
The core differences in worldviews are the belief of a spirit world, how life came into existence, whether humans have souls, the cause of our selfish nature, and the cure. Our future self is depending on our present self to deliberately develop. Spiritual development can be the bridge to a better future self.
Spiritual Development includes knowledge about the situation, strategy, and tactics. The situation is our heart holds our spirit, our energy, and our deepest feelings of meaning in life. However, our mind holds the keys to the door of our heart. All spiritual battles (including emotional) are waged in our mind. Our primary battle is with our human nature, the path of least resistance, and our emotions.
The strategy is to strengthen our inner ability to focus on the moment and be calm, clear, courageous, and compassionate. This is often referred to as enlightenment, or in the Christian worldview as sanctification. If you believe in God, your spiritual development strategy would include obeying and glorifying God.
The most common tactic would be to continuously learn about your worldview and building relationships with those who share your worldview, often referred to as fellowship. Meditation is a powerful tactic to help with enlightenment or sanctification, even without a religious aspect. If you believe in God, learning and using your strengths glorifies Him. Depending on your worldview, giving to a religious organization (time and/or money) is a spiritual development tactic. If you are a Christian the great commandments (love God and your neighbor) and the great commission (spread the Gospel and help disciple others) are tactics.
The following is based on the book Making Sense of Your World by W. Gary Phillips, William E. Brown, and John Stonestreet.
Truth and reality are only known through the senses and science. The origin of life is natural causes, or evolution. We are self-conscious creatures with no source for ultimate meaning or afterlife, and morality is human-created or relative. Includes Atheism, Agnosticism, and Humanism.
Truth and reality are known through our senses, science, and the spirit, which connects all things. The origin of life is a fragmented divine unity, where humans are an expression of divine oneness. Humans create or receive meaning through seeking unity with the divine oneness, and morality is human-centered. Includes Buddhism and Hinduism.
Truth and reality are known through our senses, science, and the spirit. The origin of all living things is intelligent design, by God. Human identity is based on being created in the image of God, and morality is centered on God. The meaning of life is to obey, worship, and glorify God. We have a soul that will either spend eternity with God or away from God. Includes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Christianity believes in a Holy Triune that includes God.
Reality cannot be known. Basically, all truth is a social construct and is relative to each of our perceptions of life.
If you are interested in Christianity check out https://TheBestBibleVerses.com for a one-page Scripture Foundation Guide with the overall best Bible verses, a one-page spiritual warfare guide (Christian Operation Order), and a one-page Christian Daily Prayer. There are also pages on God is real, Jesus is the Christ, and Church resources.
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