One of the first readings in my new course of study focused on psychotherapy and spirituality, I embark upon a journey of discovering what exactly spirituality is, what it might entail, how it might be different in every individual person, and what exactly my own spirituality might be. The concept is complex, and reducing it down into a short little introductory book like Philip Sheldrake attempts is no easy feat. While he presents the diversity of interpretation and complexity that the term “spirituality” brings in the modern day, I left almost with more questions than answers. I understand that spirituality is a personal thing that each person has to discover and somehow define themselves in each of their own lives, but it truly is a baffling idea to even begin to study: where do you ever start? That’s the real question, I feel.
Sheldrake presents different contexts wherein spirituality may be found, how these might relate to different religions, life practices, and world-views. What he obtains in presenting the great breadth of the topic, however, he does at the expense of depth. This was designed to be a short introduction, after all, and therefore each idea that is discussed appears to just whip right by to get to the next one. I suppose that what it does succeed in, however, is intriguing some interest in delving deeper into whatever facet or spiritual mindset inspires the reader the most. As such, this is a quick and somewhat interesting read to begin understanding the complexity of spirituality in today’s world, despite maybe not being the most comprehensive as each subject is sped through with an apparent intensity to get to the next topic.
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