Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it's about participating in organized religion: going to a church, synagogue, mosque, and so on. For others, it's more personal—some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. 

Research shows that even skeptics can't stifle the sense that there is something greater than the concrete world we see. As the brain processes sensory experiences, we naturally look for patterns and then seek out meaning in those patterns. And the phenomenon known as "cognitive dissonance" shows that once we believe in something, we will try to explain away anything that conflicts with it.

Humans can't help but ask big questions—the instinct seems wired in our minds. 

Recent posts on Spirituality

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous: Does It Make Sense?

By Emily T. Troscianko on February 17, 2018 in A Hunger Artist
I analyse the ABA literature to explore whether or not the translation from alcohol addiction to eating disorders results in coherent and constructive principles and practices.

Standing at the Edge: The New Book by Roshi Joan Halifax

By Mark Matousek on February 15, 2018 in Ethical Wisdom
In her new book, Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet, medical anthropologist and Zen master Joan Halifax investigates "moral distress" and burnout.

R & Deism: An Atheist's Religious Children's Story

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 14, 2018 in Ambigamy
Many people take religion so seriously that it throws their judgment off. Here's a children's story to cultivate serious spiritual play.

Cosmological Evolution and the Future of Life

Could life have a natural transcendent purpose? If so, what would the implications be for human morality and destiny?
Charles Mayer/Penguin

Three Tips on Mindfulness from a Buddhist Psychiatrist

Mark Epstein has long been interested in bridging psychology and Buddhism. His latest book offers wisdom for both mindfulness beginners and seasoned practitioners.

How to Spot Real Ghosts

By Eric Haseltine Ph.D. on February 13, 2018 in Long Fuse, Big Bang
Learn why and how the very first ghosts paid us a visit.

The Problem of Self-centeredness and the Paradox of Religion

By Mark Leary Ph.D. on February 11, 2018 in Toward a Less Egoic World
Religious sages throughout history knew that self-preoccupation was a serious problem, but something went wrong.

Interview on The Spirituality of Awe

By Kirk J. Schneider Ph.D. on February 11, 2018 in Awakening to Awe
What can be done to foster a sense of awe toward life in a digital age?

Hardening of the Smarteries

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 10, 2018 in Ambigamy
Cultishness is not a product of what you believe but how you clutch and strut it. Here's a test for figuring out who has gone cultish with a few comments on why people do.

How to Use Meaningful Coincidences

Step back to imagine how meaningful coincidences can influence your confidence in certain decisions and your understanding of how the world works.

Are Your Valentines Up-To-Date?

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on February 10, 2018 in Life, Refracted
Valentine's Day prods us to question ways in which we express our love and through which others experience it. Here are some thoughts about keeping your love language fresh

Finding Inspiration Along the Way

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Boundless
Tanaaz Chubb provides a new take on positive psychology.

Indigenous Healing Psychology

Richard Katz narrates the evolution of his wisdom through encounters with some of the giants of psychology at Harvard as well as honored Indigenous healers in other cultures.
Charles Mayer/Penguin

Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself

By Tara Well Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in The Clarity
Mark Epstein, M.D., shares fascinating secrets to taming the ego in his popular new book.

The Awe of Impermanence

By Cecilia Dintino PsyD on February 04, 2018 in Midlife Matters
In Times of Uncertainty, Awe Reminds Us That Nothing Lasts and Nothing Ends
Wikimedia Commons

On Religious Certainty, Violence and War

How is it that the people who hold the highest ideals of love and brotherhood fall prey to divisiveness and hatred? What is it about religion that pairs it so closely to violence?
Alex Pattakos

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Meaning

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on February 03, 2018 in The Meaningful Life
Are you living a happy life or a meaningful life?
Edvard Munch

Winchester: Truth is Better than Fiction

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 03, 2018 in Shadow Boxing
New movie sidesteps psychological richness to focus on cheap horror.

A Legendary Creative Math Genius: Srinivasa Ramanujan

By V. Krishna Kumar Ph.D. on February 02, 2018 in Psychology Masala
Ramanujan and Hardy, legendary collaborators, were different yet united in purpose.
Wikimedia Commons image by Cotydreams

Is Your Self-Expression Damaging Your Relationships?

Does your manner of self-expression damage trust in your relationships? How can we find a balance so that we can be emotionally honest while preserving safe connections?

With Moral Do's and Don'ts, the Don'ts are Better

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 31, 2018 in Ambigamy
Constraint-based morality: In a free society you don't want to tell people how to live. Still, you've got to put a leash on dangerous behavior.

When Religion Promotes Violence

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on January 31, 2018 in The Pursuit of Peace
New data suggests religion is perceived to be the greatest source of conflict in the world today. Why does religion sometimes promote conflict, and how could it foster peace?
Jean MacPhail - used with permission

Spiritual and Inspirational, 'A Spiral Life'.

'I stood before this glorious being... He slowly raised his eyes and looked at me...I felt myself dissolving into wave upon wave of bliss...'

The Story of Hurt

It may mean having to cast one’s line deeper into the existential ocean beyond the universal triggers for hurt. It will not be easy, but do no forget self-compassion.

Human GPS, An Intuitive Capacity That Most of Us May Have

Have you ever found yourself right where you need to be without really knowing how you got there? You are not the only one.
Kelly Bulkeley

The Power of Rebound Dreaming

Don't worry about temporary sleep deprivation; you can use it as a springboard for intensified dreaming.

Death and "Divine Intervention"

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on January 29, 2018 in The Secular Life
When tragedy strikes, why do people think God plays favorites?

Called to Unbelief

Sometimes we have to un-believe in order to find faith.

The Religion of Aging

By Mario D Garrett Ph.D. on January 27, 2018 in iAge
Whether we find meaning of aging in religion or other means, one thing is certain, we will try and make sense of the process.