Discovering Reality as Old as the Hills Assisted with Gandhi’s Light: Some Notes on Practical Spirituality and Human Development
In the human experience life is a process of discovery. Born into this world with a consciousness of existence, the newborn moves into the second stage of existence wondering in its own way: “What is this reality?” While in the womb, the experience is closely the same as the mother’s. Nourishment, emotions, and physical health condition the child to the mother’s experience. The birth process itself is traumatic, resulting in a new world. The discovery of new existence can be inviting and welcoming or harsh and constrictive. The child’s new realization will posture him or her emotionally for life.
Practical spirituality approached in this way opens up an understanding of the effects of life’s experiences as developmental from both a conceptual and an emotional viewpoint. Emotional experiences form the internal responses to life’s offerings. As mental reasoning develops itself by the use of concepts and constructs of a worldview, the mental and emotional become related to the diversity and complexities of life. Human emotional history and the mind’s formation informed by culture, ideology, and experience make up the stuff of life. True of individuals and true of society, the implications for human development are here for reflection and study. My goal is to “transform to conform to the way of nature,” by seeking truth.
This chapter presents the challenge of practical spirituality from the experience of the author’s portrayal of the life and message of Mahatma Gandhi.
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