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In Search of the Spiritual - Essay Example

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The idea of meditation for 20 minutes twice a day to create communion with God was welcomed by the "hungry people, looking for a deeper relationship with God,” but it didn’t happen all of a sudden…
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In Search of the Spiritual Human instinct compels people to know the Unknown. The attempt to search spirituality has been made in various religions.Americans are no more adamant to pursue the religion determined by their birth but they are experimenting with various faiths in their desire to create a communion with God. “In Search of the Spiritual” is such an attempt to investigate the desire of American people to be one with god through spiritual practices, taking the inkling from East as well as from the holy books on contemplative meditation. The idea of meditation for 20 minutes twice a day to create communion with God was welcomed by the "hungry people, looking for a deeper relationship with God,” but it didn’t happen all of a sudden (Adler 1). A generation back, things were not same. Scientific discoveries led the people to believe that existence of God was just a figment of imagination. God was not searched in any religious places by the followers of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu religions; hardly a streak was visible, attempting to find God in "psychiatry, Zen or drugs” (Adler 1). Desire to realize the existence of God got stronger in Americans belonging to various faiths. This catching or fad was not a new thing; it had been there since the Temple of Solomon, emerging after a relapse of time. As revealed through a joint poll with Beliefnet.com, people from all religions started exhibiting a feeling of tolerance and eagerness to undergo the spiritual journey by passing time in the solitude of Catholic churches, the Cabbala, the Zen, the Buddhists, the Muslims, and other faiths. Now-a-days, the leading religions guide people to get a personal rapport with the Almighty. New ideas are welcomed at the Sunday evening congregation, such as making a sign of the cross with holy water. People are ready to take innovative initiatives in their desire to getting enlightened. Popular trends give an indication (Adler 1). The Beliefnet poll organized by the Newsweek indicated the same trends as were at the time of 1966, of going to the church at the week-end but actual headcount of church-goers was near to 20 percent in comparison to 45 percent in 1966. The interesting element revealed in various surveys is the cause behind visits to religious places is no more social networking but spirituality, the desire to be one with the Almighty. The trend is more focused to prayer and meditation among Americans (Adler 2). People feel bored from the mundane traditional religious practices related to theology and are giving importance to real-life experiences of communion with the Almighty. Actually, people are getting bored from the concurrent political beliefs more than religious practices and rituals. It does not matter what is going on all around if the belief that God resides with-in the body not outside, is proved by kindling a connection with the Almighty. That connection is all that people are seeking: the rest is secondary (Adler 2). The course of American spiritual enlightenment is taking new paths, never taken before. People are open-minded on trying other religions if it quenches their spiritual thirst, leading to salvation. Inclusiveness is yet another trend among Americans along with various religions being followed. It is because these things were not a part of the mundane religious practices of the Sunday school. Finding such diverse viewpoints and practices is not strange on the American land, the reason being the land’s acceptance of various religions, letting them grow and flourish, and creating an ambience suitable for individualism. People want to practice a religion that helps in creating inner strength rather than a commanding figure of God (Adler 2). Various sects of Christianity have also started valuing empowerment to be attained through the presence of the Holy Spirit with-in. That experience is mind-blowing to the worshippers, when all of a sudden, they start jumping and chanting the name of God in ecstasy; the feeling that their soul has come out of the body to enjoy the bliss, having no idea of how much time has passed since the experience lasted (Adler 3). The American spiritual experience hinges on empowerment of the soul through body and mind irrespective of the factor from whose religious spring the enlightenment is coming. It can be Buddhism or for that matter any other religion. Meditation is increasingly becoming a way to practice the experience, which was earlier a part of a monk’s life. Americans are ready to own any religion that promises such an experience. American spirituality has transcended the parameter of sticking to one religion for the fulfillment of spiritual ecstasy (Adler 3). Suddenly, people have started valuing quietness and mysticism. The ecstatic experience of having a vision makes people humble. Good thing is that the Church supports personal experiences on the equal footing as it supports faith. Actually, if a religion teaches people how to inculcate a relationship with God, it needs to be taken seriously (Adler 4). It shows that Americans have grown mentally to seek the presence of God in their hearts, not in different faiths. People remember God the most when they are in despair. It is a testing time, therefore, devotion to God needs to be an all-time occupation of the devotees. Work Cited Adler, Jerry. “In Search of the Spiritual.” Newsweek Magazine. 28 August 2005. 14 July 2012. Read More
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