What Is Spirituality?

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, spirituality is a non-religious experience that varies from person to person—some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, a belief in the supernatural, or even long walks. 

Not everyone is spiritual, but the instinct towards spirituality is deeply ingrained in humans. 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, it naturally looks for patterns—and our more conscious selves often then seek out meaning in those patterns. This can, in certain instances, lead to the phenomenon known as "cognitive dissonance," which shows that once we believe in something, we’re strongly inclined to try to explain away anything that conflicts with it. Cognitive dissonance is not unique to religion or spirituality, but it can often occur in the context of such beliefs.

In short, humans can't help but ask big questions—it’s wired into our minds.

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