Open Access

ISSN: 2332-0915

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The Varieties of Spiritual Experience

Ken A Bryson

Spirituality underlies the search for meaning in religious experience, 12-Step recovery programs, holistic medicine and the arts. Spirituality is an innate search for ultimate meaning. It leads to participation in values in a way that reflects the best and worst of the human condition. The spiritual tendency can function as a source of good as well as a source of evil in which we empower or disempower other persons, the environment, and the self. While we usually associate spirituality with the desire to do good things through participation in religion, God, family, and humanism, misdirected spiritual energies can be recovered through religious devotion, holistic medicine, and programs designed to promote recovery such as the 12-Step movement. The beauty of the arts is also seen to play a constructive role in directing spirituality towards positive outcomes. Spirituality as a tendency towards the higher good is factual and dynamic rather than normative and static.