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The Psychological Benefits of Spirituality

Posted Oct. 8, 2013 by mrmathew1963 in Open

commented on Oct. 15, 2013
by mrmathew1963

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23

Written by Mathew Naismith

In the following link there is some info on the positive attributes on being spiritually aware plus there are some interesting little quizzes & surveys to fill out. I only completed the first quiz scoring high on self-direction 5.8, universalism 5.2 & benevolence 5.2. My score in power was zilch.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cant-buy-happiness/201302/why-be-spiritual-five-benefits-spirituality

It matters not if we gain or enhance on our spiritual abilities because the psychological benefits alone are world changing on their own. If everyone or even if the majority took up some form of spirituality that wasn’t preferably dogmatic this world would obviously, just at the psychological level, be a lot better off. The link above & below tells us why scientifically. The link below, specifically, goes into the nitty gritty of why & how spirituality is so beneficial psychologically.

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/spirituality.aspx

With the obvious psychological benefits of being spiritually ware & with our own ideological principles & practices one can’t help but not miss the mark in improving on our own lives & the lives of many around us.

The following link takes a different psychological look at how spiritually aware people can suffer more with mental health issues than religious or non-religious people. They of course can’t see why this would be but I’m going to make a stab at it.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unique-everybody-else/201301/troubled-souls-spirituality-mental-health-hazard

Spiritually aware people, unlike religious people, delve into different aspects of spirituality to a greater degree than religious people because usually spiritually aware people have no boundaries or doctrinal inhibitions & because of this spiritually aware people can connect quite differently with the universal consciousness I believe, so what’s the problem with this? A lot of spiritually aware people already well connected realise how difficult it can be in becoming spiritually aware, it can bring out a lot of gremlins in the form of the ego for instance for which our brains have to psychologically sort out usually without assistance unlike religious people. Reprogramming the brain to accept a lot of human faults as being a flaw is harrowing in any circumstance, we can at times expect too much from our human psyche. There is something in spiritually aware people forming groups to support each other psychologically.

There is another reason why spiritually aware people can suffer with mental traumas, ESP is one. While becoming spiritually aware we don’t just have to deal with our own psyche but the psyche of others we can automatically pick up on through ESP for example. I could at one time pick up on what the victims & perpetrators of crime were going through physically & mentally & yes this did affect me mentally, I was quite emotionally ruffled/upset at times. But of course this isn’t all what a spiritually aware person has to go through mentally. Our experiences in what we pick up on vary greatly from person to person but of course the up side is, as we become more experienced the less traumatised emotionally we become. Like I said before, I think it’s important for us to think seriously in getting into groups of people with the same spiritual interests either on the net or one on one for our own psychological wellbeing.

I would also like to add here a little more about myself. I don’t have a problem in expressing my ego like becoming involved in verbal conflicts for instance; I accept this as being a part of me. I accept a lot of my human vices & attachments as this is a reflection of my life which wasn’t pretty at times. I just don’t, at the spiritual/soul level, have a problem with this & I do understand why a lot of other spiritually aware people do but we are not all the same nor are we meant to be in this human reality. We are supposed to learn from diversity as only through diversity can our souls learn more about our whole selves. I would also like to say, please don’t be too hard on yourselves if you can’t or don’t want to stop being your human self, warts & all.

  • 23 Comments  
  • mrmathew1963 Oct 15, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    Praying to my inner God is praying to my inner spirit in my case not that I do this even in the worse scenario, I neither pray nor mediate however under worse conditions I just might. Yes I would pray to keep my sanity & not to some God or divine being that might not exist however on the other hand they just might exist but not for me at present.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 15, 2013

    "As a practice, prayer is the setting of an intention; it is not a plea, but a resolution, and that resolution takes many forms. Whatever that form, the psychology that underlies prayer issues forth from two fairly distinct perspectives. On the one hand, God, or the object of prayer, may be represented as an external construct of the ego, or something "out there". On the other, God may be represented as an interior archetype, or something "in here"."

    "The major Western traditions, such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam subscribe in large measure to the "out there" construct; so, God is primarily "prayed to". The mystic traditions associated with each of these larger traditions -- Gnosticism, Kabala and Sufism, respectively - lend the "in here" aspect to this particular container, resonating with the notion of the Self as divine."

    "Prayer, like meditation, influences our state of mind, which, in turn, influences our "state of body". It reduces the experience of anxiety, elevates a depressed mood, lowers blood pressure, stabilizes sleep patterns and impacts autonomic functions like digestion and breathing. Further, in influencing our state of body-mind, prayer and meditation also influence our thinking. This prompts a shift in the habits of the mind, and, subsequently, patterns of behavior. These changes, in turn and over time, induce changes in the brain, further influencing our subjective and objective experience of the world and how we participate in it."

    These quotes are from Michael J. Formica, M.S., M.A., Ed.M., is a psychotherapist, teacher and writer, who contributed them in another Psychology Today article. While I disagreed with his articles conclusion these quotes serve to make the same point that you are making Matthew; Pray has more to do with the mind and body than it does the spirit.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 14, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    No I shouldn't lump all sciences into one category not saying I did that however, I thought.

    No I didn't look at the vid because I'm on limited downloads.

    Sometimes I question too much myself, sitting within the quietness & just letting it be is very rewarding however I don't like taking on a concept that doesn't at least make common sense. This isn't saying it's got to make logical sense just common sense. To most people it made no logical sense nor common sense to fly but we still took it up, the logical & common sense of flying showed itself when war broke out to.

    When people are desperate/destitute they will prey which helps them cope better under such circumstances, this is common sense but it’s illogical in praying to a God or deity for salvation that just might not exist or save them. I would pray for my own inner God to save me psychologically & if that means praying to something that doesn't exist or can save me so be it especially if it still works psychologically, why not pray especially when destitute or unhappy, you have nothing to lose except your sanity.

    It’s probably strange for a spiritually aware person to use common sense instead of blind faith within their ideological views but we are all different creatures following our own unique path, how is one concept of reason (path) supposed to understand another’s? We should never expect this whatever the path it is.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 14, 2013

    Let's not confuse pure science with applied science. Condemning all of science refutes the research of IONS, (although we might also question what religion or brand of spirituality IONS subscribes to).

    "Applied science is a discipline of science that applies existing scientific knowledge to develop more practical applications, such as technology or inventions.
    Within natural science, disciplines that are basic science, also called pure science, develop information to predict and perhaps explain—thus somehow understand—phenomena in the natural world. Applied science applies the basic science toward practical endeavors."

    Did you listen to Feynman. He says, "We should pre determine what it is, except to find out more about it." I too have no problem with doubting and asking, which is the more difficult road, than to have faith in the thing that might be "wrong."

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 14, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    Yes, science is limited to certain abstracts of life where’s spirituality isn’t as opposed to religion. The self-correction of spirituality is shown by its balanced approach to its environment & self, science doesn’t care what it destroys in there endeavours to reach a conclusion & of course it serves to feed the destructive consumerist materialistic form of life we have now as well.

    Yes, science within its limited logics is self-corrective but only within its own deductive reasoning’s, it doesn’t correct itself when it devices destructive & harmful chemical products or weapons like we have seen lately for example.

    The way most of us make babies is still the same from day dot but it doesn’t make it antiquated so why should the way we find a connection & peace within ourselves be any different. Science has proven to me that not all newly formed concepts are beneficial by far; chemical weaponry is a good example of this for starters.

    You seem to be just into logics which can & does hinder one's objectiveness in what they see because it's limited, logics used on it's own is limiting just like spirituality on it's own is limiting. Modern day science derived from philosophy & mysticism, both philosophy & mysticism on their own are limiting but together they gave us science. Science on it's own like any deductive reasoning process is limited to it's basic concepts but joined together with another concept gives us yet another deductive reasoning process. We have always evolved through this process of different & sometimes opposite concepts coming together to form a totally different concept of understanding. Logics hopefully isn’t the be & end all otherwise we will stop evolving.

    How do new science techniques come about? We now have quantum vacuum, physics & mechanics which are slightly different within their deductive reasoning’s & concepts especially from basic sciences, they evolved by taking on different deductive concepts of understanding. Not all of what quantum physics is about is of logics; there are some real strange theories bandied about.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 14, 2013

    Richard Feynman compares Science to Mystic Answers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YltEym9H0x4#t=34

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 14, 2013

    Re: Both science & spirituality were formed by other factors of perception,

    But science limits it's investigation to understanding what is material. It has a framework that allows for self correction.
    There are a myriad of spiritual models, each based on rather antiquated concepts, thousands of years old. These models require blind faith and speculate endlessly about an alternative intended to distract us from our current subjective existence.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 12, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    All our perceptions came from learned behaviour even if we don't realise it so to a scientist their perception is going to be logically based because this is the behaviour that is expected of them but a religious person perception is based on faith. Each other’s perception is obviously going to be wrong to the other even though both have their basis of existence. Neither one is wrong or right over the other in my opinion because they both have their basis for existing however on occasions when they are joined by a person who is both a spiritual & science minded we get a different perception again.

    Which perception is wrong? We have to choose for ourselves either as individuals or as a collective. At times certain perceptions are forced upon us in certain cultures which brings us back to learned behaviour which doesn’t make one right or wrong over all else just different.

    Both science & spirituality were formed by other factors of perception, what will the perception of science & spirituality together give us? Just a different perception which will be neither wrong nor right but to a person with a different perception this of course will be wrong, human nature!!

    There are scientific finding of sorts that hint on ourselves having a soul like measuring the body soon after death for example which isn’t sound proof but a theory but what hasn’t started out as a theory & been proven to be fact further on down the track when we latter on could measure such things scientifically? We have only scratched the surface to our own self-discovery as science keeps finding out as it evolves.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 12, 2013


    When we are afforded this historical perceptive for our understanding of our spirit, and can see that the concept was a human invention, shaped into its present understanding through many factors, mostly religion.

    If we now turn our attention to how it is that we have come to develop our own personal understandings of spirit, we will find that it was acquired in much the same way that we acquired a language; spirit was spoken about, in particular ways, in the environment in which we were raised. This might be personal in that it was an aspect of our family and, or, in a more general sense in cultural ways.

    Either way, our own understanding is not our invention, it is instead something that was shaped out of the elements that we find. Since there is not evidence of an actual soul or spirit, we can only speak of it in terms of an unsupported belief. One that might be explainable in a material sense, given our propensity to assign agency to the unexplainable.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 12, 2013

    @ Matthew,

    Again, I am please to see that you are willing to engage in a discussion in an investigative manner. This will moves us away from a debate of abstract terminology and allows us to construct a model shaped by mutual understanding.

    You seem to be on the right track in your descriptions of spirit as it applies to the two examples. Spirit, as it applies to the concept of a team spirit or school spirit is a sense within an individual. There might be a collective synergetic energy that is created within the dynamic of the networked group, but the motivative for this is generated by the individual's mental perception of what it is they imagine they are participating in.

    If we were to analyze the individual members of a sports team, and measure the total of their individual abilities, the sum of their collective abilities could be more than the sum of their individual abilities. A team's ability to generate this added accomplishment is sometimes referred to as "chemistry" being the individuals. This is what we might say is the spirit of the team, but as we can see it has a material explanation.

    Might this be the case of what is referred to as a spirit with in the individual?

    I can suggest that from a historical perceptive, spirit was a concept invented to define what was unexplainable to humans at the time. "Spirits" were assigned human like qualities and were assign to the unexplained to such as forces of nature forces, animal behaviors, and other things which we now have a material explanation. This same invention of spirit was also applied to ourselves. The essence of a person , both their subjective senses and their objective being was embodied in a spirit or soul. These essences of ours were thought to exits in a place where others that created the forces of life on earth dwelled once we cease to be alive, since they were not visible to us.

    The term consciousness and psyche are similar terms. If we look at the term "eudaimonia" it too has a similar aspect to it that can serve to illustrate my point. While we may think the word means or refers to a persons happiness, it does so from an objective sense; others observe whether or not a person had had a happy life.

    to be con't....

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 09, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    So we are going to make a deductive analysis according to our personal perception which of course is going to be different to others people’s perception resulting in a different outcome, maybe!! I don't know much about this sort of stuff because I've read very little about it, all I can do is go by my own perception in what I have experienced in life.

    You seem to be referring to team spirit as a collective & a ghost as such to individualism. You see I think we still have our own individual consciousness when we pass on but this isn't the universal consciousness of the collective, when we become one again we then become one with the universal consciousness I believe but to do this we need to drop all attachments. Ghosts haven't achieved this because of their attachments to physicality mostly; this is shown by their interaction with us in many ways.

    This is all speculative of course, nothing concrete as we would understand.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 09, 2013

    G'day Bill

    Whoops, error on my part, I did mean to state for science to find the answers it does need the joining of spirituality & science to do so I believe but of course I could be wrong here.

    Free will might not totally exist at the human level but it does at the soul level I believe. The human self is but a vessel for the soul to experience itself through so it's quite menial really, so it's no big deal if we have free will or not at the human level. This is probably totally wrong but that is what I perceive going by the experiences I've had in my lifetime.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 09, 2013

    So, let's separate the two thoughts regarding a spirit and consciousness for a moment.

    We might choice to create an understanding of spirit in by examining what is meant by team spirit or school spirit, and then apply it to the individual. This perceptive is vastly different from the perceptive that of a soul being ghost-like, and a part of the individual's being that somehow separates at the time of death.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 09, 2013

    @mrmathew1963
    No worries mate I think science and spiritually will converge and all will be made clear. When that happens is anyone's guess. We all, well almost all, have a sprit giving our bodies life. When the sprit leaves for good life leaves as well. Knowing this is a comfort and a peace of mind. What ever is said there is no evidence that free choice does not exist.

    Make a G'day mate

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 08, 2013


    G'day dustproduction

    Interesting question again, culled from pre-existing concepts!! Like any other ideological concept, certain portions of a concept have usually come from other ideological concepts so yes this is so but does it make it any less feasible than any other concept?

    Modern day science derived from philosophy & mysticism, philosophy or mysticism most probably on their own wouldn’t have produced the science we have today but together they were the forerunners of modern day science. Science, like any concept of thought, derived through many ideological processes including witchcraft & alchemy. Witchcraft isn’t as hoogly-boogly as most people think, they used a lot of herbal potions which was the forerunner of modern day chemistry. Anything we don’t understand we call magic or spiritual in some way especially in the olden days of ignorance & illiteracy.

    So the big question is, did I have influences from other ideologies to contrive my own ideological modes of thought? Yes but not in the beginning. If two people at the same time see draws opening & shutting on their own or hear a female singing when there is no one else around you have just got to wonder. My whole family, who were all atheists, had various ghostly happenings happen to them.

    I do understand with people who have had none of these experiences to put all this down to delusional episodes or something but until one experiences these happenings first hand these people have no idea. Yes science today can’t measure a lot of unexplained things but it doesn’t make it delusional or wrong in some way. Science a hundred years ago couldn’t measure half the things they can now; it didn’t make what they are measuring today delusional or an impossibility period. Yes the scientists a hundred years ago knocked a lot of theories that are more than just theories today because of ignorance, it is the ignorance of scientist today disclaiming something because they are unable to measure it, not much has changed!!

    The reason I believe, as opposed to certainty, that science will prove or disprove everything one day is if something is of some form of energy it can be measured, if not now some time in the future.

    As with the last question, how do you know there isn’t a higher power within you just because science is unable to measure such things as yet? I don’t believe in a higher power myself, this usually refers to something we know little about & again not much has changed here either. If it’s unexplainable or unmeasurable it’s got to be something mystical/magical or divine to a spiritually aware person. See the similarities of science minded people to spiritually minded people, both use a deductive reasoning process to evaluate one outcome or another; both have perceived an outcome in accordance with their own concepts. Most concepts of today have derived from mysticism & philosophy, two quite opposing concepts to one degree or another, interesting isn’t it!!

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 08, 2013

    G'day Bill

    Bill, I didn't say I'm certain that science will find answers to spiritual questions. I quote: "I do (believe) science will answer all these unexplained occurrences one day". There is a big difference between certain & a belief I believe, certain pertains to dogmatism but saying I believe doesn't in my mind but of course I could be wrong as I usually thankfully am.

    Don't do this Bill, I have a certain respect for you & your ideologies, don't stoop to such low depths to prove your points please. I get this so much on the net it's not funny.

    You seem to be saying here that all science pertains to materialistic logic, it doesn't. It's obvious I'm not talking about materialistic scientists & science because there is no way they can, at this point, see themselves looking into anything remotely connected to the spiritual but some scientists are.

    Science will thankfully keep disproving it's own theories & deductions as well. I see science as being just as spiritual than a religion of faith, both are connected to the universal consciousness but in a different way. This doesn't make one wrong & the other right it's just they use different deductive reasoning within their own processes, each to their own.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 08, 2013

    @ matthew

    I am exploring this question with no preconceived agenda. My questions are therefore an attempt to understand the beliefs of others, and more importantly, how these beliefs are formed. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, but our beliefs are subject to change and evolve over time.
    You are describing your beliefs in a spiritualness that is personal, but is this set of beliefs a hybrid of sorts, culled from preexisting concepts?

    Alcoholics Anonymous uses the term "higher power." They allow an individual to name that "higher power" so for some it is nature, for others it is a god. How is it that anything can serve as a higher power if that thing is not in us to begin with?

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 08, 2013

    @ mrmathew1963

    I don't think dogma is something that does not change. You are certain( dogmatic) that science will find answers to spiritual questions. While this maybe so we have been promised this for quite sometime now. Materialistic science has indicated that all spiritual and physical life is already known with only the details to be filled in.

    Science will continue to make shocking discoveries that it wish it hadn't. Non locality,for example, can not be put back in its box. And regardless of what some here say presentiment has been proven to exist. We know more that we think we know.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 08, 2013

    G'day Bill

    It is obvious spirituality & religion are different within their spiritualism & I disagree that dogmas play a part in (all) spiritual circumstances, I for one don't follow any set spiritual/religious ideology nor do I think I'm dogmatic in anyway because to be dogmatic you have to have a firm belief but I don't. If I was to label myself I would call myself an agnostic with no set ideological views but on the other hand I am spiritually aware.

    Why am I spiritually aware? I've had experiences in the past that science today can't answer, it would see to me there is more than we know but I do believe science will answer all these unexplained occurrences one day. I don't look at spirituality as being hoogly-boogly stuff nor do I look at it as being something above myself or others.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 08, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    Very good question. I don't follow any ism or have I even read many spiritual or religious orientated literature so I'm probably not the one to answer this question but as always I do have my own interpretation of what spirituality means.

    I see spirit being a little different to spirituality, spirit is to do with the soul & spirituality to me relates to everything because really there is nothing mystical however in saying this I find this physical reality quite magical & mystical in many ways, science has proven this time & time again how mystical & magical this universe is, it is indeed a huge WOW. I'm not the run of the mill spiritually aware person.

    Everything is supposed to be apart of consciousness so everything is spiritual because like I said there really isn't anything mystical in the sense that something is almighty or divine. So why do we relate spirituality to something more mystical divine? A lot Spiritually aware people want to separate themselves from main stream society because of the obvious, it's supposed to be flawed in some way & we can't be associated with flaws while we are spiritual. This is where I find spirituality quite hypocritical. Where is the oneness & acceptance, we separate ourselves from obvious flaws & call ourselves spiritual, what's this got to do with oneness & we are obviously unaccepting especially of anything to do with the ego. If we are unaccepting & fearful of expressing the ego within ourselves we must either consciously or subconsciously or both be unaccepting of this is others as well. We are one entity so if we are unaccepting of our own ego we are unaccepting of everyone's ego. Non-acceptance has nothing to do with being a true spiritualist in my mind.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 08, 2013

    It seems that those posting here have a preconceived notion of what a religious person and a spiritual person is and never the twain shall meet. The definition below from Psychology Today includes religious people as being spiritual. Stereotyping people can be misleading. No one has cornered the market on spirituality and dogma plays a part in all spiritual and religious circumstances including and especially the religion of materialistic science.

    I had a friend with great psychic abilities who was a spiritual and religious person and while she had tough moments of being able to read the thoughts of others to the point of great sadness for her, she never varied from her religions faith. I know her faith kept her able to function and work as anyone else.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 08, 2013

    This is the definition of spirituality that Psychology Today uses:

    PSYCH BASICS
    Spirituality
    Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it's about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it's more personal: Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks.

    Research shows that even skeptics can't stifle the sense that there is something greater than the concrete world we see. As the brain processes sensory experiences, we naturally look for patterns, and then seek out meaning in those patterns. And the phenomenon known as "cognitive dissonance" shows that once we believe in something, we will try to explain away anything that conflicts with it.

    Humans can't help but ask big questions—the instinct seems wired in our minds.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 08, 2013

    I appreciate this posting as a sincere effort to share knowledge that aims at bettering the plight of individuals.
    That said, I personally have reservations about what it is that we have come to accept and define "spirit" to mean.
    What are its origins? It is a concept that is no doubt thousands of years old. And yet it continues to evolve into a modern day concept that is too often confused with our conscious experience.
    Are the two the same thing? I will suggest that they are not.
    What do others think, are they the same?

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