Several weeks ago, I read a "Viewpoint" article with the heading, "When spirituality means 'dopey,' it masks lack of faith." The author's premise, from what I could gather, was that religion's original doctrines should always remain as the essential basis for religious faith. Strict adherence to these traditional doctrines is what makes the Lutheran Church Lutheran, the Catholic Church Catholic, etc. The article goes on the say, that the "profusion of spirituality" in our day is a direct result of the nonconformity to these original doctrines of faith.
The above premise, although seemingly grounded in empirical fact is only a simple expression of what is the most obvious opinion. However, that which is most obvious is not always the most revealing point of view. Given our technical capacity for instant data access and communication, any event or inquiry can be immediately saturated by streams of information, every bit of which, in a greater or lesser degree, is relative. In such prevalent conditions of data overkill, stating what is most obvious seems to us to be most important. Yet, apart from the report of what seems obvious of the conditions of an event, without a comprehensive commingling of related conditions, the obvious, brings little more than a point from which to begin. A more comprehensive view concerning the "profusion of spirituality" in our day. will bring about a greater degree of understanding then the author's dogmatic view.
Spirituality is an aspect of the total make-up of human beings. The source of human being's spiritual aspect is divine. In the earliest evolutionary development of 'mankind,' components of the Divine were installed as the core principles around which 'mankind' was fashioned. In popular, religious scriptural terms, 'mankind' was fashioned from a direct reflection of God's image, God's Spirit. Human beings are therefore, essentially spiritual beings. Religion, is the expression, by human beings of their spiritual core. Human beings aware of their God-Spark within, manifest that awareness through doctrines, rituals, and worships that in turn educate, recognize, and celebrate that awareness through their communities.
In their response to the impulse of their spiritual centers, human beings are continuously working toward clarification; bringing it from within outward to ever increasing levels of expression. Since the spiritual center of human beings has not as yet been perfectly transmuted, its religious manifestation is also imperfect and in a state of continuous refinement.
When a religion is born out of a human being's spiritual core it vibrates it turn with that spiritual impulse which inspired its birth. It however, looses its initial radiance over time, and gradually tunes to more mundane vibrations, while spiritually tiring its rituals and worships. At this point in the evolutionary cycle of religions, human beings are again urged by their spiritual core, to search within out ward for a new religious renewal or birth. The search begins uninterrupted from the ashes of the old; following the life cycle groves of Universal Nature.
Thus the "profusion of spiritually" in our day is not an anxious reaction to a lack of religious faith, nor some fashionable behavior born out of the minds of a handful of individuals, but a natural human response to spiritually defunct religious doctrines, rituals, and worships.
Human beings are currently involved in transmuting tired, traditional doctrines, rituals, and worships into spiritual expressions of a higher, more universal quality. What appears to be spiritual chaos is actually the workings of the collective human mind, exploring itself in an effort to transmute worn out religious forms into renewed religions forms.