Spirituality And Personality

1337 Words 6 Pages
Several juxtapositions dominate the relationship between the traditional academic life and a spiritual life. In a time when traditional Western thought advocates a dualistic approach of either/or, the relationship of spirituality to the academic life of a university could never be more at odds. For many, the potential ambiguity of spirituality undermines the very structure and pursuit of specific truth universities hold dear; however, the study and practice of spirituality encourages academic merit and moving beyond study into application. As Sheldrake emphasizes, maintaining a creative tension between the polarized ideas in all disciplines brings about the dialectical blend of academia and spirituality. The academic life of a university …show more content…
The call to meditation and self-reflection in spiritual practices often becomes convoluted, evident in a radical interior withdrawal into selfish privacy, while with exteriority, it leads to an uncompromising dependence on the empirical reality. In the academic world, radical interiority often develops when scholars withdraw from the world without intention of returning. A sense of intellectual and spiritual ego arises from this withdrawal, creating an interesting dichotomy between Gottlieb’s terms “spiritual materialism” and “the cult of personality”, both detrimental to the pursuit of academia. On the one hand, spiritual materialism cultivates a sense of attachment to spiritual practices, or to thought process in the academy. This tendency to claim spirituality as one’s own undermines the very detachment sought in a spiritual journey. On the other hand, the cult of personality leads to a false sense of contentment in which dependence on a teacher overtakes actual experience, evident in religion, spiritual practice, and academia. Spiritual illusions and the dichotomy of interiority and exteriority cause grave problems in both spiritual and academic

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