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Spirituality: the journey within

education Updated: Jun 24, 2009 12:35 IST
Jitender Nagpal
Jitender Nagpal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The most beautiful experience is the mysterious. It is this fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.


— Albert Einstein



In today's progressive times, the young people are far more advanced than what people of their age were two decades ago. The distinct difference allows the youngsters to have more freedom to express their thoughts and ideas and have vast access to knowledge in the era of limitless information. If they are to compete on a global scale, they have all the reasons and responsibility to become knowledgeable, aware and empowered.



The route people take to adulthood has become much more difficult with the pressure on for high-level academic qualifications. When young people are faced with all these choices, many experience distressing states such as anxiety, depression… However the general emotional experience of adolescents is less likely to reach the point when professional intervention is needed.



The findings are likely to fuel debates about how we are raising our children and whether they reflect early parenting. One also wonders whether behaviour patterns are linked to our education system with its emphasis on academic achievement, and poor extra-curricular activities, where there is hardly any stress on sports activity or personal growth.



What is the impact of spirituality on the lives of young people? Does spiritual engagement make young people happier? And what exactly do young people believe in when they say that they have spiritual beliefs?



Some emerging questions…


The essence of spirituality is the search to know our true selves, to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great spiritual teachings, and the goal of all the great mystics.



Throughout the history of humanity it has been said that the self we know — the individual ego — is a very limited form of identity.


Behind this identity is a deeper identity, what is often called the “true self”. This can be thought of as the essence of consciousness.


How can the true self facilitate spiritual growth?



There are many benefits of spirituality in its emerging scientific vision.
Focus on personal goals


Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what’s most meaningful in your life. By clarifying what’s important to you, you can eliminate stress by focusing less on the unimportant things that can sometimes seem to consume you.



Connect to the world. The more you feel you have a purpose in the world, the less solitary you feel – even when you're alone. This can lead to an inner peace during difficult times.



Release control


When you feel part of a greater whole, you realise that you aren't responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of tough times as well as the joys of life's blessings with those around you.



Expand your support network


Whether you find spirituality in a church, mosque, temple or synagogue, in your family, or in walks with a friend through nature, this sharing of spiritual expression can help build relationships.



Lead a healthier life


Some research seems to indicate that people who consider themselves spiritual are often better able to cope with stress and heal from illness or addiction. Spiritual awakening is a journey, and just as with literal travel, this metaphorical passage is different for everyone and has a common rendezvous of harmony and well being.

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