philosophical and theological term

Spirituality is a name given to matters of the spirit. These can be any kind of meaningful personal activity or peaceful experience. There is not one agreed upon way to explain what happens. It is a concept so people can see and understand it in different ways. Some people believe spirituality is a part of religion. Others who are not religious, still seek and have spiritual experiences.

Matters of the spirit

Labyrinth for spirituality and meditative walking

"Matters of the spirit" may include the meaning in a person's life (or in all life), and how to find and improve on it. They may also include someone's search for God, the supernatural, a divine influence in their lives, or information about the afterlife, and how to best deal with each. "Matters of the spirit" may also include how to live among others as a group, or in a certain environment.

"Spiritual, but not religious"


Some who do not believe in an organized religion may still be interested in the "spirits" of humanity or of nature and live a certain way, or worship ancestors or creation because it gives them a sense of happiness to do so. This is referred to as spiritual but not religious.[1]

Another common usage refers to people who ascribe to ideals "greater than themselves." For many, this leads to a pursuit of some form of enlightenment, often through meditation, yoga,[2] philosophy or, in some cases, a study of Metaphysics.

Many philosophers work to find answers to spiritual questions, although some may deny the existence of a 'god' or any supernatural influences. Throughout the world however, philosophers have often had ideas about spirituality. The following are a few 20th century examples:

  • Arne Naess - the founder of deep ecology
  • Gregory Bateson - philosopher
  • Jiddu Krishnamurti - renowned Indian thinker
  • Osho/Shri Rashneesh - Indian scholar who, while a critic of religion, worked to create a new spiritual movement
  • Felicitas Goodman - researched the subject of trance


  1. Lipka, Michael; Gecewicz, Claire. "More Americans now say they're spiritual but not religious". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  2. See: Feuerstein, Georg (2003), The deeper dimension of yoga: Theory and practice, Shambhala, ISBN 1-57062-935-8, page 3;
    • Quote: “Yoga is not easy to define. In most general terms, the Sanskrit word yoga stands for spiritual discipline in Hinduism, Jainism, and certain schools of Buddhism. (...). Yoga is the equivalent of Christian mysticism, Moslem Sufism, or the Jewish Kabbalah”

Other websites


  Media related to Spirituality at Wikimedia Commons