” Self-awareness is not self-centeredness, and spirituality is not narcissism. ‘Know thyself’ is not a narcissistic pursuit.”
Marianne Williamson, Author
The Pros and Cons of Spirituality
Spirituality can be defined as religious processes and esoteric traditions that aim to connect the individual in order to connect to the true inner self on a mental level. Religion and spirituality are quite similar, however, spirituality is a much broader term since it also includes esoteric fields that go way beyond religious aspects. Spirituality has been present for thousands of years in the history of mankind.
However, in our nowadays society, it seems like spiritualism has lost its importance and people, especially in our Western world, seem not to be willing to connect to their inner spirit anymore.
This is a pity since spiritualism has many great things to offer. In this article, the pros and cons of spiritualism are examined.
Advantages of Spirituality
- Focus on things that really matter to you
- Refrain from excessive unnecessary consumption
- Higher level of empathy and compassion
- You may understand how the world works
- Positive aura
- You may find a purpose in life
- Doing good increases your mental strength
- You may be able to exclude negative people from your life
- Positive environmental impact
- Spirituality can help you overcome traumatic events
- You will be able to understand yourself better
- More stable personality
- Better ability to handle pressure
- Spiritualism may improve your overall health level
Focus on things that really matter to you
One advantage of spiritualism is that it gives you the chance to focus on the things that really matter to you. You may not know it yet, but many things that you do in your daily life are just due to the fact that others want you to do them. We are all biased in our decisions in the direction of the norms society imposes on us.
By engaging in spiritual practices, you will be better able to understand yourself and to figure out what you really want to do with your life. This also includes figuring out what values you want to promote, even though those values might not always be in line with the values of our mainstream society.
Refrain from excessive unnecessary consumption
Spiritualism also shows you that most of our material things are actually not important and contribute little to no actual value to our daily lives. However, TV or internet advertising promote those products and we are therefore led to the belief that we would need them.
Through spiritual thinking, you might sooner realize that most of the products that are advertised as crucial for our daily life are actually unnecessary garbage and your quality of life would not suffer too much without them.
This insight might not only save you plenty of money, it could also protect our natural resources from depletion since fewer goods have to be produced if everyone of us lowers his or her consumption levels.
Higher level of empathy and compassion
In general, engaging in spirituality often gives people the opportunity to feel a higher level of compassion and empathy with each other. Spirituality gives us the opportunity to really think beyond our cultural norms and to question everything we have been taught before. This questioning process is extremely helpful since it allows us to think in many different directions and enlarges our spiritual horizon.
You may understand how the world works
Even though there is likely no living human who entirely understands how the world works and why we are here, spiritual practices can give you some insights on those topics and you may be better able to understand what matters and what you want to do with your life.
You might also be better able to understand why people are doing certain things since you may develop the ability to feel with them.
Thus, spirituality can also be regarded as kind of a toolbox to give you better insights regarding how life works, at least if you are able to practice hard and to allow for alternative ways of thinking.
Another upside of spirituality is that it allows people to stay positive even in difficult times since they are likely to be more balanced in their moods and feelings and know that bad times are over after a certain period of time.
In general, some studies have shown that people who engage in spiritual practices are more likely to develop a stable personality, which is important in all aspects of life since those people are usually better able to deal with problems in a proper manner.
You may find a purpose in life
Many people in our nowadays society also struggle to find a purpose in life. Everything is so fast, so much information is shared every day and we are barely able to process all of this in a healthy manner.
However, many of us feel that this information processing could not be the only thing that matters in life and that there has to be something else to get up every day in the morning.
Spirituality can show you this kind of purpose in life since you may be able to figure out what really matters to you and to share it with the world.
Doing good increases your mental strength
Most spiritual practices show us that we should treat each other with respect and do good whenever we can. Helping others and giving them joy in their lives will also significantly increase your mental strengths.
Especially in difficult times in your life, this can be extremely helpful. You might not have fun right now since you are going through a hard time in your life.
However, since you know that you can make many other people happy, you will have higher chances to keep motivated to make it through those hard times.
Thus, spirituality may give you the power to move on independent of what kind of bad things happen to you right now in your life.
You may be able to exclude negative people from your life
Part of the spiritual quest is also to exclude negative people who try to bring you down from your daily life. You will soon figure out how important it is to choose the right people to spend your time with. Toxic people can have a huge negative impact on you.
Thus, spirituality can also help you to figure out with whom you want to spend your time with and to exclude people who are not worth your time. Always remember that your time on this planet is precious and limited and you should wisely choose how to use it.
Positive environmental impact
Spirituality can also have a significant positive impact on our environment. Since spiritual persons are likely much more aware of how their actions affect others, people who engage in spiritualism may consume less since they know that our excessive consumption levels are hurting our planet due to resource depletion, pollution and the global warming issue.
Thus, by going spiritual, you might be able to reduce your overall consumption level and therefore to improve your ecological footprint.
Spirituality can help you overcome traumatic events
Some people experienced traumatic events in their previous lives. Conventional medical treatments are often not sufficient for those kinds of extreme events since they manifest negative feelings on a spiritual level and many of our mainstream medical practices are not able to deal with those problems sufficiently.
Especially for those mental problems that can arise from traumatic past experiences, spirituality can be a great tool to overcome those problems since people are often able to connect with the inner self and to solve their inner emotional conflicts.
You will be able to understand yourself better
Another major goal of spiritualism is that you will be able to understand yourself better. In our daily life, we carry out many tasks without ever questioning them since they seem to be normal to us. However, this only feels normal to us since we have been programmed our whole life for going to work at a certain time, to eat at a certain time, to go to bed at a certain time and so on.
By engaging in spiritual practices, you will be better able to figure out why you are doing certain things which will also give you the opportunity to change your daily habitats in a direction that may be better in line with your core values.
More stable personality
Another important benefit of spiritual thinking is that spiritual persons often have a much more stable personality. Listening to our feelings and to understand them is an exhausting task that takes plenty of courage. It is one of the hardest things to do in your life and can be quite painful.
Thus, if you question yourself on a regular basis on this deep inner level, you will personally grow and develop a quite strong personality, which will give you the opportunity to succeed in all parts of life since you will no longer be scared of most things anymore.
Better ability to handle pressure
Spiritual persons may also be able to better handle pressure in their daily lives. Since they know what matters to them, they are often able to take problems at work with a grain of salt and stay mentally stable since they know there are more important things in life. Thus, a spiritual attitude towards life can also help to deal with all sorts of pressure.
Spiritualism may improve your overall health level
Since spiritualism allows people to develop a more stable personality, it is also a great way to improve our overall health level since spiritual persons will be better able to deal with problems and will be less likely to suffer from mental health issues.
Since our body and our brain are connected in a complex manner, lower chances for mental health problems often also imply lower chances for physical health problems. Thus, spirituality may also be able to significantly improve our overall health state.
Disadvantages of Spiritualism
- May not be socially accepted in our society
- Getting to know spirituality takes time
- It can be exhausting
- High level of self-discipline required
- You might wonder if you are on the right track
- People may make fun of you
- Many unnecessary expensive things for spiritual practices
- Fake gurus are a problem
- Different spiritual practices may interfere with each other
- Reliance on supernatural powers can be dangerous
May not be socially accepted in our society
As the previous analysis has shown, there are several advantages of going spiritual. However, there are also some problems related to it. One downside of spiritualism is that it may not be socially accepted in our society yet.
Even though there are some mainstream religions that many people belong to, there are many other forms of spirituality which many people never heard of and which are not tolerated yet in many regions on our planet.
Thus, depending on where you live, you might have a hard time practicing your form of spirituality and may suffer from serious social isolation due to this.
Getting to know spirituality takes time
Spirituality is not a quick fix to solve your problems. In fact, it takes a pretty long time to become a truly spiritual person, to fundamentally question your value system and to develop a strong spiritual personality on the values you discovered in your spiritual journey.
Thus, if you are just looking for a quick way to get rid of your problems, spirituality might not help you too much since it is a long-term quest and may take several years until you might see positive results.
It can be exhausting
Another problem of spirituality is that it can be quite exhausting to question the norms of society and to really learn more about your inner self. It also takes high levels of courage to do so.
Most people do not want to be confronted with their weaknesses and shortcomings and rather prefer to suppress those feelings. Thus, don’t expect the spiritual quest to be easy! It might challenge you quite a lot on a mental level.
High level of self-discipline required
In order not to quit if you encounter mentally exhausting experiences, the spiritual quest requires high levels of self-discipline. Many people might just want to quit after they learned more about themselves since they might simply not be willing to accept certain kinds of truths.
Thus, in order to continue to live like a spiritual person, it requires a quite stable character and many people may quit before they actually get to know the merits of a spiritual lifestyle.
You might wonder if you are on the right track
Spirituality also comes with a high level of insecurity. Especially if you just started your spiritual quest, it may seem daunting and you might be overwhelmed with all those new impressions and changes in your value system.
Thus, you might often wonder whether you are on the right track or not. In order to overcome those insecurities, it is crucial to believe in yourself and into your core values in order to stay strong and continue your spiritual mission.
People may make fun of you
Especially in our Western world, most people are quite materialistic and have never learned to deal with their feelings. Insecurities are often covered by buying a fancy car, new clothes, the latest phone and so on. Many people may even make fun of you if you tell them that you are a spiritual person since they never learned what that actually means.
However, it is on you to show them that there is a rational side related to spiritualism. By doing so, you might be able to convince some people and to spread the knowledge regarding the benefits of being a spiritualist.
Many unnecessary expensive things for spiritual practices
Since the awareness regarding spiritualism has increased over the past decades, many companies try to exploit this fact and try to sell all kinds of unnecessary stuff to people. However, if you are a truly spiritual person, you don’t need any of those things.
Always make clear to yourself that your spirit is not dependent on any material things and therefore, buying those things will not help you at all to grow in character.
Fake gurus are a problem
Another big issue related to spirituality is so-called fake gurus. There are many people on the internet right now claiming to know what spirituality is all about and how to solve all your problems.
However, those people often front and do not have any actual spiritual knowledge. They rather want to sell you on the idea that your problems can be solved quickly and easily. Thus, don’t fall for those fake gurus! Listen to your spiritual inner self instead!
Different spiritual practices may interfere with each other
Another problem of spiritualism and religion that has been quite prevalent in the history of mankind is the fact that different beliefs often clash with each other and that the values of those belief systems are too different in order to co-exist. Thus, in the worst case, religious and spiritual beliefs may even lead to serious conflicts among the local population.
Reliance on supernatural powers can be dangerous
People are also often confused when it comes to spirituality. Many people take it too far and just rely on some supernatural power which may solve all their problems for them.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. You have to solve your problems by yourself. Spirituality can only give you the courage and the will to do so and can support you in your mission.
However, it will never solve your problems if you don’t actively work to do so.
Top 10 Spirituality Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Spirituality Pros||Spirituality Cons|
|Positive attitude towards life||Lack of social acceptance|
|Higher level of awareness||Many people are mental children|
|Higher level of empathy and compassion||Spiritualism can be exhausting|
|Increase in mental strength||It is a long journey|
|Ability to solve problems in a calm manner||Not a quick fix for problems|
|Understand yourself better||Self-discipline necessary|
|Personal growth||Problem of fake gurus|
|Improvements in overall health||Relying on supernatural powers might be dangerous|
|Focus on things that really matter||People may make fun of you|
|Positive environmental impact||Feeling of insecurity|
In many traditional ancient cultures, spirituality played an important role and there are even some cultures on our planet right now that still live in line with those spiritual values.
Spirituality can have a significant positive impact on everyone of us in all areas of our daily life. However, it also implies some problems.
In the end, you have to evaluate all the pros and cons of spiritualism by yourself in order to decide whether the spiritual quest might be suitable for you or not.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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