Chapter

The Spiritual Path

Roger S. Gottlieb

in Spirituality

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738748
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979349 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738748.003.0003
The Spiritual Path

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Spirituality is a movement away from suffering, and towards a way of life that liberates us from the self-defeating patterns of the conventional social ego. To further this movement we need a new understanding of ourselves and practices to transform that understanding from a momentary flash of insight to deeply engrained habits. The sequence of pain, new understanding, practices, and developing virtues is often called the “spiritual path.” Here spirituality is a long, difficult, uneven, and unpredictable process. This chapter describes some of the characteristic features of this journey: the contextual nature of spiritual virtues, the dangers of “spiritual materialism,” some paradoxes which arise, how the comparatively unimportant role of verbal creeds combines with the absolutely important place of spiritual discipline, spirituality's connections to and separations from mysticism and morality, how spirituality manifests itself in a wide variety of styles, and the inevitability of suffering

Keywords: spirituality; spiritual path; spiritual materialism; spiritual discipline; mysticism; morality; suffering; compassion; faith

Chapter.  12219 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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