What Is Spiritual Personal Development?

You might have read a personal development book within the last year or two. Have you ever read a book on spiritual personal development? What is the difference between the two? Personal development books are also called self-help books. Spiritual personal development is not “self-help.” Spiritual personal development is “God-help.” In that one change of words, from self-help to God-help, is a world of difference.

Spiritual: Spiritual personal development focuses on giving us the tools we need to become mature, spiritual, and productive disciples of Jesus. Spiritual personal development focuses on our spiritual nature. If we feed our spiritual hunger, then the character of God’s Spirit will grow in our hearts.

Personal: First, spiritual growth is a personal matter. Although we live with each other in community, each of us has a personal relationship with God that we must nurture. At the end of the day, each individual disciple is responsible for his or her own spiritual growth. Second, we all grow in different ways. We also grow at different speeds. In this way, spiritual growth is personal.

Development: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 Jesus grew. Growth is good. Since Jesus grew, we need to grow as well. We need to develop into the people that God meant for us to be. God wants us to mature. He is fully committed to helping us grow into solid, mature, fruitful disciples of Jesus.

Do you have a plan for your spiritual personal development? Most of us don’t. This web site will help you develop a plan for your spiritual personal development. It will help you ascertain your spiritual gifts. It will teach you how to make wise, spiritual choices. It will teach you various spiritual disciplines that will help you to connect with God and to feed your spirit. It will help you to set and to achieve spiritual goals in your life.

A wise man once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Let the journey begin!

World Religions

In the present day society as well as in history,
religion is and has been the main driver in
people’s thoughts, actions and intentions.

Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam,
all have books that are used as guide books for
them. The Bible, the Tao, the Bhagavad Gita, The
Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Torah, the Koran to
name a few. They have one statement or concept
that is the same for all. Different variations
but the same meaning. Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you”. Unfortunately that
tenet sometimes gets lost in the many
applications and interpretations of these books.

Religion has had such a huge role in human
history that to try to define it and source it is
a daunting task. Each culture has variations of
the answers to the how’s and why’s” of existence,
but really they all have a common thread. When
you stand back and observe the practices and
beliefs they all saying the same basic things, in
my view.

The main tenet is that there is a God or supreme
being outside ourselves that creates and controls
all things in our lives. This gives us the
comfort of not taking responsibility for anything
that happens and puts it outside of us where we
have no control. With a set of rules given to us
from the holy books we can live our lives with
the assurance that we will go to heaven” when we
die if we follow the rules.

New Age” belief looks at things from a different
perspective. Instead of following the leader the
choice is to follow ones self. A belief that we
are God also and have the power to create what we
desire. How we choose to experience life is up to
us, not set out in a rule book or determined by
any power outside of ourselves.

A controversial concept to say the least as it
goes against the ingrained norms of our society.
Is the next step in human evolution the shift
from the mentality of following the leader? Doing
things how they have been done in the past just
because that’s how they been done? Or is it a
totally new perspective of following yourself and
taking full responsibility for all events in your
life? Are we beginning to examine our actions and
questioning the reasons as to why we do things a
certain way?

If we are truly changing to the perspective of
personal responsibility, than the doctrine and
dogma of religions is in jeopardy of going the
way of the dinosaur. Is there signs of the waning
popularity of following the rigid rules of the
world’s religions? I see it. In Europe, where
religion has always been such a huge part of
daily life the attendance statistics are
plummeting. Rejected by a generation of people
who are questioning the validity and authority of
the church.

I believe the key to the survival of religion is
a complete overhaul of doctrine. The major change
coming from the amount of tolerance they
demonstrate for other religions. Understanding
that there are different flavors of the truth”
and all can be respected and acknowledged as
being valid. Not discounted or persecuted for
their differences as has been the case in history.

Also, a change of the use of fear that religions
have practiced as a control” mechanism for
people. The fear that if they don’t follow the
rule book there will be grave consequences for
them in their lives. Religion has and does use
this tactic to keep their flock” in the fold,
asking them to give their personal power over to
God and all will be well for them.

And lastly, a shift in how the religions describe
our relationship to God. That we are lowly
servants unable to think or create for ourselves.
I believe if you really listen to the teachings
of Jesus, he describes how are all like him and
have the same attributes that he has but that is
a topic for another time. There is room for all
these changes in religion without changing the
essence of the reason they were created in the
first place.

Can we all worship together? Can we learn to not
only tolerate but celebrate the differences that
each religion has? I believe so. And I also
believe that, if there is no change, then world
religions are destined to follow the path that
leads to extinction.

Religion And Your Health

Did you know a person may or may not support a medical practice or advancement based on his or her religion? It’s true, and to a degree it’s not at all shocking. Many Christians and Catholics alike oppose abortions because they feel an abortion murders a child and therefore goes against God and his Word, i.e., the Bible. The abortion debate has been going on for years, so that’s no surprise; however, whether or not a particular medical practice is supported by a particular religion goes beyond just abortion. It stretches out to other medical procedures covered by health insurance, as well as health insurance itself. Practices covered by health insurance such as birth control and other forms of contraception and the withdrawal of a life support system, i.e., “pulling the plug,” are sometimes supported or not supported based solely on a person’s religion. Many health insurance policies cover birth control and other forms of contraception, and many women take advantage of this coverage because they aren’t interested in becoming mothers; however, contraception is frowned upon by some religions. For example, many Catholics do not use any form of birth control because they feel it goes against the Catholic religion; yet, there are actually Catholics out there who support birth control, despite the Pope’s, and the religion’s itself, disapproval and assertion that it goes against the Catholic religion. Similar to abortion, many people feel that shutting off a vegetative person’s life support system is the same as committing murder, and is therefore immoral and goes against their religion. At the same time, the cost to keep a person who is in a vegetative state on life support is extremely high, and many health insurance policies won’t pay for it for very long, if at all. When it comes to certain kinds of medical coverage provided by, or not provided by, health insurance, many people list religion as a deciding factor. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=91280&ca=Religion

Religion and Fanaticism

Religion And Fanaticism 26/11 Mumbai was under siege, some 20 odd young men brandishing AK 47 rifles went on a killing spree at a busy railway station, and five stars hotels killing hundreds. This incident brings back memories of the now infamous 9/11 where a handful of highly motivated, misguided souls took controls of aircrafts and banged into the World Trade Center destroying it completely and killing thousands. These incidents again make us realize how susceptible we are in the face of such terror activities, where a group of highly trained and motivated people inflict so much pain and agony to the innocents. The very fact that the actors who perpetrate these acts are ready to die makes them more dangerous, because the very fear of death, the ultimate fear, itself is absent from their psyche and hence they can go to any extent to inflict terror in the minds of people, or they can go to any extent to get the authorities to bend on their knees. The very pertinent example would be the Hijack of Indian Airlines Flight IC 864 to Afghanistan. Their ( Of the hijackers, who were mainly terrorist from Pakistan owing allegiance to Taliban ) demand from the then Indian Government was to get their 20 operatives released from various jails that they were put in and Indian Government had to give in to their pressures as lives of 265 innocent Indians were at stake. The Pilots of the United Airlines aircrafts very well knew that their lives will be snuffed in seconds when they saw the world trade center getting larger and larger in front of their wind screens. Their psychology was so strong that with the knowledge of their death in seconds they kept flying straight into World Trade Center. Unfortunately majority of such terrorist activities are perpetrated by the religious fanatics of Islam. Such tendencies are not limited to Islam alone but it is seen mostly in the abhramic religion ie Islam Christianity and Judaism. I urge my readers not to misunderstand me as I revere all religion as no religion in the world tells its followers to go and kill in the name of religion. In its essence and origin, Islam is a religion of mercy and peace, of kindness and tolerance, and of knowledge and enlightenment; it is not a religion of violence, fanaticism and ignorance. What happens is that because of a miniscule group of misguided souls the entire religion and the followers of it suffers. The pain that a innocent Muslim goes through when their religion becomes the center stage of any terrorist activity is very evident in the following article written by a Muslim devout in Khalij Times. I reproduce that letter verbatim for my readers. “Khaleej Times: No Time to Hide for Muslims by Aijaz Zaka Syed (View from Dubai ) Every time innocents are targeted in the name of Islam around the world, one can’t face one’s non-Muslim friends and colleagues. I feel like burying myself in the ground. Growing up in a religious family, one never thought one would see the day when being a Muslim could be a source of shame. A distraught friend who has devoted her life to speaking and fighting on behalf of Arabs and Muslims wrote in yesterday saying “I’ve had it with the Arabs and Muslims and Islamic militancy. Forgive me but I am throwing in the towel.” I couldn’t write back to her but understood her pain… She grew up in Mumbai and is understandably upset. My friend went on to say: “The Muslims and Islam have a problem and only they can solve it. If they do not, the whole world will turn against them.” Can you blame the world if it’s turning against Muslims? What do you expect when not a single day passes without the name of our faith being dragged through the mud by fellow believers around the world? Is this what Islam and the noble Prophet teach and stand for? It’s all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves these psychopaths do not represent us. However, the world finds it hard to accept this line of argument because it sees the extremists increasingly assert themselves and take the centre-stage while the mainstream Islam remains silent.” Religion seems to offer a particularly fertile matrix, in which fanaticism can grow, is religious belief itself the cause of fanaticism? Or is religion simply one of many catalysts that can transform desperation into extremism? We might find the answers in the teachings of the Founders of the world’s major religious systems. What do they say about fanaticism and religious zeal? Did they espouse it or promote it? And if not, where does it come from? Some particularly sharp insights may be found in the Bahá’í Writings. Bahá’u’lláh clearly condemned fanaticism of all kinds. In a statement that seems to foreshadow our times, He wrote: Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction. (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 13 Religion itself breeds fanatics. If the teachings of the Manifestations of God had been followed, fanaticism would never have taken root within the religions they established. We can say this because fanaticism and hatred are so clearly contrary to their explicit teachings. It uses religion as a tool to further aims that have nothing to do with true religion. If we use a hammer to open a jar, we’re going to destroy the jar. Hammers are not meant for opening jars, and they are powerful enough tools to do considerable damage when misused. Religion is one of the most potent forces known to humanity. Misused, it is capable of doing correspondingly great damage. Why do the fanatics succeed? The answer lies in a short story. A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, Owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a unch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories. The essence of this story is simple. The terrorists are very small in number but they are very cohesive. Their negative attitude is cohesive as well. Therefore they can inflict so much pain. The good and peace loving people are much much larger in number but are not cohesive at all and hence their positivity and goodness does not percolate down the society. The fanatics are so cohesive that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to ecome suicide bombers. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians , Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, Indians including Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. Each religion brings out its own doctrines and insists upon them as being the only true ones. And not only does it do that, but also it thinks that he who does not believe in them must go to some horrible place. Some will even draw the sword to compel others to believe as they do. This is not through wickedness, but through a particular disease of human brain called fanaticism. They are very sincere, these fanatics, the most sincere of human beings; but they are quite as irresponsible as other lunatics in the world. This disease of fanaticism is one of the most dangerous of all diseases. All the wickedness of human nature is roused by it. Anger is stirred up, nerves are high strung, and human being becomes like tigers.” Thus faith turns into fanaticism. The communal frenzy erupts and religious wars are fought with ensuing mass destruction and chaos. There is no doubt that more blood is shed on religious wars and persecution than on any other cause. But this is no fault of an individual. It is the evolutionary weakness. It is not a crafty design of one individual, or one particular religion. Our inability to convert faith into the knowledge of direct perception (of the truths as preached by the religious seers) is responsible for this. The mammal in us is still strong; we have as yet failed to evolve as complete human beings. When a person embodies values like spiritual wisdom, purity of heart, qualities of universal love and altruism, we call him a saint or a sage. Sometimes such a person contributes to the welfare of humanity in such a great measure that he is referred to as God -the founder of a religion. Such examples are Sri Krishna, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and many more. The list is unending; we encounter such great souls in every religion of every continent and in every era. These great souls have intuitive knowledge of oneness of human race. Their intuition is based on their experience or realization and conforms to rationality and reason. They speak from the experience of realization of Divinity acquired after transcending the limitations of body-mind complex. They have the direct knowledge of Reality. Millions of followers of these saints intellectually and emotionally grasp their message of love and compassion; but cannot claim to have experienced these values as direct knowledge. They believe in what the saints say. None of the saints or their religion preaches hatred and killing. Every religion preach that humankind is a single family and the earth its common homeland. There is no place for fanaticism or the fanatics. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=585159&ca=Religion

Spirituality And Religion

Spirituality is one of the most discussed topics but at the same time, unfortunately, it is one of the most misconceived subjects of all times. Most of the times Spirituality and Religion are not understood in the right sense. Before we understand what Spirituality is, let us look at an example that will help us make things easier to explain. Dictionaries define Science as “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena”. Physics, Chemistry are categorized as sciences because they lay down the rules and theories pertaining to a specific branch. And then there is Engineering – “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems”. So, Science defines the rules and Engineering explains how to apply those rules in your life to make a better living. Physics proves that a fast-moving fluid has a lower pressure than slow-moving fluid and Engineering make an airplane fly based on that rule! This is how Spirituality and Religion should be correlated too, but with one difference. Purpose of Engineering is not to prove that a scientific principle is valid. But Engineering only applies already proven principles of Science. Consider the example of an airplane as mentioned above – Bernoulli proved an aerodynamic law and then it was applied by aeronautical engineers to fly an airplane. But what if Bernoulli only stated the law and gave no proof for it? What if he said “I know that the law exists. But I cannot prove it to you. If you wish you can build an airplane based on my principle and see the results for yourself”. The law is still valid but now this comes to the question of belief and faith. Those who choose to believe will succeed to fly and others will remain grounded. But you may have a craving question by now – On what basis do I believe something that is not proven? Well, by looking at someone who is flying, already. That’s how. So, that is what Spirituality does for you – it makes statements, gives answers to your questions and tries to tell you the truth but unlike Science, you cannot prove a spiritual theory to someone by writing it on a paper. Instead, you should choose to believe in it or not. There is no compulsion of any sort. If you do believe in what it offers, then it means that you choose to build the plane. You choose to do the engineering on an unproven principle and with the intention of proving it i.e. proving it to yourself alone. But does everyone have to build the same plane? I like to build it in one way and you may like it differently. But eventually result is the same. A Religion is an engineered plane that will take you home, that will prove that spirituality was indeed telling you the truth. I may like to follow one religion and you may like some other. But then, result is the same. We both fly! I do not have to comment on your plane to make mine fly. You may want to repeat the same question – On what basis do I believe something that is not proven? In the earlier example of Bernoulli, it was easy because it will be evident when you see others succeeding to fly. How can I say that in case of spirituality? Well, there is no visible plane for me to look at! Answer will be lengthy and needs a dedicated article. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=377935&ca=Religion

Numerology Or The Spiritual Meaning Of Numbers

The spiritual meaning of numbers is what numerology is all about. There’s a belief within the numerology community that everything and all things possess vibrating frequencies. By looking closely at these frequencies you can interpret their spiritual meanings, and/or what they are trying to tell you. It is believed that numbers have a very powerful relationship with nature. They are looked at as significant symbolic expressions since their characteristics make them more important than what their numerical value states.

When it comes to interpreting the spiritual meaning of numbers there are two ways you can do this. The first way is that you can study the connection a certain number has to several principles that are universally accepted. The second way is by looking at what the number represents in regards to its symbol.

Each number within the numeric table has several traits and spiritual meanings. The first number, number one typically shows anyone who is creative, a person that is a leader, and typically portrays a man. The number one is symbolized by alpha. The number two in most cases per trays of female, one that shows balance and harmony being important, and shows submissiveness. Different meanings arise with the number three and these can be sensuality, charity, hope, the holy Trinity, and even being divided. The number four signifies a person that holds a lot of power, is a builder, and shows stability within their lives.

The fifth number or number five show someone that has a vast imagination, who values freedom within their life, and who is a visionary. Number six shows a person that is nurturing and cares for children, is a healer, or one that protects. The number seven shows a person that is analytical or a thinker, and one that values science and the role education plays in life. The number eight symbolizes a male that is surrounded by riches and wealth. The number nine can be looked upon as a person that is a humanitarian. One that is religious in life and who values helping other people.

Eleven shows a person that is a trailblazer or teacher and role model for all. Within the number twelve you will find a person of wisdom, one who manifest dreams, and the future. The interpretation of the spiritual meaning of numbers or numerology is complex in nature. There is certainly way more ways to interpret the meanings of certain numbers, and there’s more value to numerology than just assigning the meanings to the numbers. It is by understanding the spiritual meaning of numbers that a person can move on to more complex and the higher level of numerology.

Belief

On the other hand, religious fanatics, superstitious beliefs, taking everything for gospel, implicit confidence, naive faith, blind belief. These are the two different sides of the same coin. So what is belief? Is it good or evil, advantageous or disadvantageous, does the society benefit from it? We have already got used to such phrases as “faith undergirds morals” and often hear that “Christian virtues are faith, hope and charity”. We have accustomed ourselves to the though that belief is a grace. But what if we try to look at it from another angle?

There are several points describing belief as a dangerous moral value. The first is that belief is evil when it is backed by insufficient evidence; and wrong belief can lead to destruction, death, catastrophe. The second is belief is sinful when it is blind and staunch; because it gives no way to doubting which is a real driving force of our civilization. The third says that belief influences not only a particular person who actually believes, but many other people as well. The forth says that even if not realized in deeds, belief is still significant, because it influences person’s mind and outlook. And the last one suggests thatbelief deters us from being fair, for “no man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a belief on one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness a if he were really in doubt and unbiased.

Blind belief is as dead as its opposite – complete absence of belief, absolute doubting. We cannot any longer believe in the same way as our ancestors did.

While for them reason was essential for mathematics politics or science, it could not give humans access to the divine.

Our Connection To God

Human beings can know the truth with certainty through observation, logic, and faith. If we are made in the image of God, perhaps a connection to Him is encoded in our DNA. In fact, recent research has suggested that it is in our DNA to seek and follow to a single God. If we seek a connection to God, and read His Word in the Holy Bible and learn to listen for His voice in daily life, expressed in a particular pattern and personality in the evens of nature and events, then we can be confident that we know in increasing amount of the truth created by God.

The concept of right and wrong, and the conscious, is built into human DNA in order to keep the species from destroying itself. In fact, the conscience is also part of the soul and is located in part of the brain that is able to develop at the age of 26 weeks after conception. This is an argument purported by some in the medical profession that a fetus is not human until the 26 week post conception.

If we are connected to God through our DNA, the sense of right and wrong are being relayed to us though the Creator along that connection. Sociopathic individuals have no conscious and do not care about right and wrong. It is found that they were affected negatively in the first 90 days post partum by adverse people, situations, or interferences that produced a lack of bonding with their mothers. It is thought that the brain chemistry and structure for conscience is destroyed in these individuals.