Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Spiritual book discussion - The Spiritual Child - Is childhood spirituality natural?

Spirituality is a vast untapped resource in our understanding of human development, illness, health, and healing. Specifically, research in medicine and psychology has found that people with a developed spirituality get sick less, are happier, and feel more connected and less isolated.
Further, research shows that natural spirituality, if supported in childhood, prepares the adolescent for critical developmental tasks of that age. If supported in adolescence, natural spirituality deepens and can become a significant resource for health and healing through adult life.

Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 28). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In developmental terms, the timing of change in developmental spirituality coincides, exactly, with that of other forms of development and appears interrelated; it emerges alongside secondary sex characteristics, abstract cognitive development such as meta-cognition and meaning making, and onset of fertility. This has been the focus of groundbreaking research in my lab, studies in which we have tracked the development of natural spirituality and its protective effects from childhood through adolescence into emerging adulthood.

Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 29). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

It is an interesting observation and idea that spiritual development is similar to physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. People have known this since time immemorial and societies have supported it until the last 50 years when religion as an institution has faded as an influence in modern life. And so, the question in our contemporary time is, how is spirituality to be nurtured in our current day society when increasing numbers of people report on polling that they are not religious but spiritual. Is this spirituality being nurtured and cultivated somehow? How do parents cultivate it in themselves and in their children?

Join the UU A Way Of Life spiritual book discussion group.

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