Meaning of Spirituality
No single statement or word can go to define spirituality because of the broadness of the idea in terms of space and divergent viewpoints. Haught (2008) relates the term with the traditional ideology arguing on the fundamental human strife for reformation to recover humanity’s original shape characterized by the image of God (Shelly & Miller, 2010). A more simplistic definition is the general perception that life entails a deeper sense of association with a being or alternative greater in power compared to that of humankind. Essentially, the association entails an individual’s search for a deeper purpose and meaning of life. Spirituality accords meaning to life, which transcends into a person’s behavior. Therefore, spirituality is a wider concept compared to religion as it involves an experience with an outer or heavenly being. Spirituality in nursing is a concept that influences an individual’s worldview, thus requires full consideration in the determination of holistic care.
Pluralism, Scientism, and Postmodernism
Pluralism is a philosophical concept used to draw acceptance across a broad scope of topics. The concept emphasizes on a diversity of standards, stands, and purview as opposed to a single approach or form of interpretation (Mayes, 2013). Postmodernism, on the other hand, can be defined as a group of rhetorical, critical, and strategic practices based on objective information. Similarly, scientism is based on objective information as it entails the excessive confidence in scientific practices, techniques, and knowledge (Mayes, 2013). Therefore, pluralism, scientism, and postmodernism are all philosophical concepts that argue against the tenets of spirituality. Objective information destabilizes the truth in some concepts, which characterize spirituality such as epistemic certainty, formless identity and omnipresence (Crisp, 2010). Scientific knowledge until today has been one of the primary factors impeding full acceptance and adoption of spirituality in nursing care and healthcare in general.
The Seven Basic Worldview Questions
What is prime reality?
The question inquires on one’s belief in the supernatural. In relation to this question, I do believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, God who is the originator and creator of all life on earth. God oversees my reality. However, it is not clear to me whether there are other gods in the universe. Irrespective of their existence, God to me represents the greatest Supreme Being.
What is the nature of the world around you?
Arguably, this is a rather dilemmatic inquiry to me. For one, I do believe that the material world was created in an orderly fashion. In its realization, it is both subjective and objective as one attaches both emotional and physical value to the world. Secondly, it is both eternal and temporal. The debacle over this question is that I believe in both the story of creation while equally finding truth in the theory of evolution. Both accounts occur in an orderly fashion, entail both subjective and objective purviews and eternal and temporal value.
What is a human being?
Science alone cannot correctly describe or find the meaning behind the inquiry of what a human being is. The evolution theory asserts that all human beings were once apes and later changed drastically through biological differentiation, which is very incorrect. Man is created in the likeness of God and emulates his characteristics. In this, we are complex and unique creatures with a higher purpose. A purpose based on our emotions and relationship with God, which each individual experiences differently.
What happens to a person at death?
Death is a personal concept to me as I have firsthand experience of how it feels to lose close friends and family members. In this, I have no alternative but to have hope and perceive death as a phase of life towards an afterlife. Death transcends heavenly place where we all go to reconnect with lost loved ones for eternity.
Why is it possible to know anything at all?
Different people have divergent ways of understanding human rationality. We all acquire small chunks of knowledge from the universe while other forms of knowledge are gifted through the evolution process. There is no reason why we have knowledge because it is in our nature. Humans are created by God who is all knowing and he accorded us with the ability to discover knowledge.
How do people know what is right or wrong?
Human beings have free will. Morality and ethical principles arise from the freedom of human choice. To me, understanding of right and wrong is developed through experience. It is determined by what feels good and what is correct in the eyes of God as stipulated by his instructions to humankind. God, parents, teachers, and elders all give us strong moral inclinations from birth to adulthood, which we use to walk the path of sainthood.
What is the meaning of human history?
Human history does not focus on time, but rather the meaning of humanity in the context of time. However, meaning is individualistic and thus is what a person makes it to be. Therefore, time is a delusion. To me, human history refers to the constant struggle to better oneself in terms of personality and success. My worldviews are influenced heavily be religion and familial values input within me since childhood.
Crisp, B. R. (2010). Spirituality and social work. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Mayes, A. D. (2013). Beyond the edge: Spiritual transitions for adventurous souls. London: SPCK Publishing.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2010). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press.
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