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In Search of the Spiritual


Term spiritual originates from the word spirit. It is mainly concerned with the human spirit rather than the body or physicality. Spirituality is in search of religious and spiritual satisfaction. Its focus is on socialization agents, culture, status, manifest and latent functions, profane and sacredness, which are all based on spirituality. In essence, this happens during the transformation of religious practices and people’s dire need of closeness to their God.

In the 1960s, religious practices were not wide spread and were mostly popular in the Quaboag Valley in Central Massachusetts. During this era, Father Thomas Keating, who was the abbot of St. Josephs Abbey, noticed the attraction to exotic religious practices. These were practices that were held from the East by many young Roman Catholics. According to him and his Trappist beliefs, meditation could not be an option. “He invited the great Zen master Roshi Sasaki to lead retreats at the abbey” (Adler, 2005). His main insight was to help common people invent with though influential spiritual techniques.

Agents of socialization help one to become socially intricate and be accepted in the society where they live. These agents formulate the base of the social command, and it is with their assistance that an individual and society intermingle with each other. During the era of 1960s, religion was considered a socialization agent. This mainly happened, as different people were brought together religiously. Difference in religion and religious beliefs mattered. Muslims and other religions never interacted much with the Christians. Balance of power and superiority was in pursuit at this time. The East had more exotic type of worship compared to the meditation that the Father later invented. This attracted the young Roman Catholics (Adler, 2005). Social status also appeared to have been based on one’s church of fellowship, for example, the rise of prestigious protestant denominations.

Upon stumbling on a book The Cloud Unknowing, Father William Meninger and his brother Father Thomas Keating decided to go fully explore meditation in 1974. They called it “contemplative meditation”. The practitioners found a quiet and peaceful place and sat with closed eyes. This they did twice a day for twenty minutes. This acted as socializing agents, as people were in search of closeness to their Gods. By coming together during meditation, they interacted and, thus, socialized. The meditation was known as centering prayer.

Culture is majorly defined as behaviors and beliefs distinguishing a particular society. Culturally, people believed in God. Thus, historically, people always sort after what drew them close to God. Some points appeared later on in places like midtown Manhattan, where Americans were believed to be denying the existence of God. The covering of Time Magazine, which was issued April 8, 1966, on a Good Friday, tormented its numerous readers by asking the question “Is God Dead?” In essence, this was caused by increasing belief in science. God and acts of spirituality were deemed unreal (Adler, 2005). This article was considered profane and non-religious by staunch Christians and generally anybody who believed in religion and God. Intellectual belief in science and lack of spirituality is and was considered profane.

Manifest functions are pre-planned and consciously done. Latent functions are unintentional and unconscious. Articles like the one in Time magazine, “Is God Dead?”, are deemed as latent functions. These were unconsciously written mainly to support science but with no specific harm to Christians. Arkansas Baptists, American Hindus, Muslims, or Buddhists earned no recognition with the exception for a way that triggered the alarming view of religious and spiritual seekers who were desperately turning to psychiatry, Zen practices, or drugs.

History archives that the frontline of “angst-ridden intellectuals in Time”, which tried to depict God as galaxy vague creature somewhere in the galaxy, did not strike the country. What was done in 1966 was done with good intention but did not have any meaning. After some time, a call for good behavior led to some changes. They were in search of meaning for the letter so that they could edit the article to protect their civil rights. What was caused in this cycle of regeneration that played out couple of times since the era of Solomon’s Temple was a desire for an instant, transcendent knowledge of God. It is an exceptionally American reception of the different paths which people take to find religion.


To conclude, religious beliefs and practices have changed. Different generations become accustomed to different worship ways. Some practices transcend way back. These are commonly preserved practices that mostly sustain the image of a religion, like the sign of the cross by Catholics, for example. Socially, trends have changed. Most youth prefer more exotic kinds of worship, while adults and aged prefer a form of prayer which they consider to bring them closer to God, for instance, meditation. A poll that was conducted by incorporation of Beliefnet.com shows the extent of their inquisitiveness across the religions. Everywhere, the peak of spiritual uprise: calling, collapsing, “foot-stomping service” of the novel upsurge of Pentecostals is observed. This shows pride and consideration of one’s religion to be superior to the rest.

The curiosity is caused by small yet noticeable inter-religious battle of superiority. In this era, though, the latent function magazines are barely published. Televangelism and rise of many churches have appeared more than simply powerful. There is still science and there are also atheists. Strong Christian activities like crusades and practices have risen and pulled congregations. Pagan religions seek God in phenomenon of the ordinary world and countless groups of Buddhists pursue enlightenment via meditations and prayers.  Exertions of “American Muslims” strive to attain more God-oriented Islam. These all show that people are running from profanity and want to socialize more with God.

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