The common core between spirituality and religion is the belief in something that is greater than yourself. It is a way of exploring possibilities that connect you with the universe as a whole. A religion tends to be structured and has limitations that serve as a guide for living within one’s faith. A religion tends to identify with a particular set of characteristics that requires the participation of community members to sustain itself. Both spirituality and religion serve to provide meaning and direction in life. That being said, I believe that a person can be spiritual without being religious, or a person can be religious and not be spiritual. However, I also believe that the two go hand in hand and must both be used to truly fulfill the self.
Poll and Smith’s Model of Spiritual Development is based on the sense of self related to God. This model comprises of four stages that we continuously move through in various order throughout our lives. The Preawareness Stage is the stage in which individuals neglect the fact that they are spiritual beings and have low prominence for spiritual experiences. The awakening Stage is often brought on by some type of crises being experienced. It is during this stage that individuals began to recognize God and they tend to specifically apply him to the situation at hand. The Recognition Stage, individuals begin to gain a deeper understanding of God and apply this to all areas of their lives. This begins to shape their behaviors, thinking, and understanding. The Integration Stage is the final stage in which individuals reach the peak of their beliefs and understanding of God. They have a personal relationship with God that manifests itself in all areas of their lives and interactions with others. I agree wholeheartedly with Poll and Smith’s Model of Spiritually. I believe that these are all stages in which we all experience at various points in our lives. I think that most of us experience the Preawareness Stage at the...
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