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Visionary artist beyond our age
Copyright 2004 Gallery Djupet
All rights reserved to Michael U Johansson
Spirituality is, in a narrow sense, a concern with matters of the spirit. The spiritual, concerning as it does eternal
verities regarding Man's ultimate nature, is often contrasted with the temporal or the worldly. It may include belief in
supernatural powers, as in religion, but the emphasis is on personal experience. It may be an expression for life
perceived as higher, more complex or more integrated with one's worldview, as contrasted with the merely
sensual.

The spiritual and the religious
An important distinction needs to be made between spirituality in religion and spirituality as opposed to religion.
In recent years, spirituality in religion often carries connotations of the believer's faith being more personal, less
dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established
religions. It also can connote the nature of a believer's personal relationship or "connection" with their God or belief
system, as opposed to the general relationship with the Deity understood to be shared by all members of that faith.
Those who speak of spirituality as opposed to religion generally believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and
that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow. Rather, adherents of this definition of the term
emphasize the importance of finding one's own path to God, rather than following what others say works. The best
way to describe this view is: the path which makes the most sense is the correct one (for oneself). Many adherents
of orthodox religions who consider spirituality to be an aspect of their religious experience are more likely to
contrast spirituality with secular "worldliness" than with the ritual expression of their religion. Others of a more New
Age disposition hold that spirituality is not religion, per se, but the active and vital connection to a force, spirit, or
sense of the deep self. As cultural historian and yogi William Irwin Thompson put it, "Religion is not identical with
spirituality; rather religion is the form spirituality takes in civilization." (1981, 31)
Directed spirituality
One aspect of 'Being spiritual' is goal-directed, with aims such as: simultaneously improve one's wisdom and
willpower, achieve a closer connection to Deity/the universe, and remove illusions or false ideas at the sensory,
feeling and thinking aspects of a person. The 'Plato's cave' analogy in book VII of The Republic is one of the most
well known descriptions of the spiritual development process, and thus, an excellent aid in understanding what
"spiritual development" exactly entails.Others say that spirituality is a two-stroke process: the "upward stroke" is
inner growth, changing oneself as one changes his/her relationship with God, and the "downward stroke" is
manifesting improvements in the physical reality around oneself as a result of the inward change. Another
connotation is that change will come onto itself with the realization that all is oneself; whereupon the divine inward
manifests the diverse outward for experience and progress.
Spirituality and personal well-being
Spirituality, according to most adherants, is an essential part of an individual's holistic health
and well-being. Due to its broad scope and personal nature, however, spirituality can perhaps
be better understood by highlighting key concepts that arise when people are asked to
describe what spirituality means to them.