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Featured Spiritual Health: What is it and Why is it Important?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I attended a seminar over the weekend that focused amongst other weighty topics ‘Spiritual Health’. As a medical doctor I’ve worked in the field of health for many years. When I worked in psychiatry, mental health was a central concern. As a general practitioner the main focus is physical health. Perhaps in the future I’ll become an interfaith chaplain and my main concern will be spiritual health. Who knows!?

    When considering spiritual health as with physical health it’s useful to consider the daily habits and practices that would promote health. For example eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of physical exercises, being socially connected, avoidance of harmful substances and adequate sleep are all essential to maintaining good physical health. In my faith prayer, reading and studying sacred writings, application of what is learned, service to our community and teaching others are essential to good spiritual health.

    What is spiritual health to you? Is it important and what steps would you take to achieve and maintain it? Is there anything in your worldview that is particularly emphasised to optimise health?
     
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  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    What is the difference between spiritual health and mental health?
     
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  3. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Hi Adrian,

    Unfortunately my first dose of spiritual health today is to eat ‘humble pie’ and acknowledge the supremacy and greatness of the All Blacks and congratulate them on yet another Bledisloe Cup win.
     
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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Great question that could generate plenty of discussion on its own. A sign of good mental health might be one who is happy whereas someone who is spirituality healthy with have good character and integrity in the way they conduct themselves.
     
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  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    After the game in Perth I questioned my faith in the All Blacks for sure. After Eden Park my faith is restored! How could I have been so weak to ever have doubted?:D
     
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  6. RESOLUTION

    RESOLUTION Active Member

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    Spiritual health can take on many different roles. If I had to select one reality of Spiritual health for myself, then being in a relationship with God would be the primary choice.
    Our source of well-being spiritually would be the knowing of God himself. In the realty of those who were known to have a relationship with God they were well in body and soul.
    Take Moses for exampl:-7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
    We need to ensure we do not confuse the physical with the spiritual. Knowing God made Moses spiritually and physically strong and healthy.

    We need our own source of spiritual oil/spirit. We cannot give others from our own source they must have a source of their own.
     
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  7. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    So spiritual health seemingly implies one's action are controlled, modified, restricted by some concept of good.
    Someone spiritually healthy only does good?

    Good to me is fairly arbitrary. IOW, what I see as good may not been seen as good by someone else. So it maybe hard to set any standard by which to judge another's spiritual health.
     
    #7 Nakosis, Aug 19, 2019
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  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Considering your post we would shared some understanding of what it means to be spiritually healthy but may differ too.

    In my faith a relationship with the God of Abraham is central. Prayer and reflection on sacred writings are essential. We would see the Torah and Gospels as authentic.

    Where we may differ is the necessity of deeds as well as faith (James 2:14-26). Love too (1 Corinthians 13:2).
     
  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    If being good was so arbitrary then the practice of any religion or judicial system would be the domain of elites only.
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I'm wholistic in approach, so see the 3 (physical, mental, spiritual) as intertwined. Observation supports that. Guilt, a result of certain spiritual approaches can have damaging mental and physical effects. A healthy physical diet helps maintain good mental health and ability, as well as being conducive (sattvic diet in my faith) to spirituality.

    Diet is often used only as it pertains to the physical, but in my understanding, it can also be applied to the other two. What kind of books do you read, what kind of movies do you watch, what are your spiritual activities? Are they regular? Do you allow each body to take breaks for recuperation, or are you in a marathon?

    So yeah, it's rather complex.
     
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  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Spiritual health to me means a combination of two things. First you have what you need, and secondly you learn to be content with what you have. You need a little of each. Few people can be content with nothing. Some can't be content with anything. A person in extreme poverty is often affected and not spiritually healthy, but wealth and ease does not guarantee spiritual health. Freedom doesn't guarantee it. Each person is different, but they must learn contentment. Sometimes that requires more friends, more liberty, more wealth, more babies, better food, better conditions: often not. Often people need to learn contentment.
     
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  12. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I think that diet can affect physical and mental health.
    But spiritual health is more about what comes out of your mouth than what goes into it.
    What makes a person courageous, honest, or kind?
     
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  13. David J

    David J Member

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    Good character and integrity can be influenced by one's physical health. And there are other factors like genetics and environmental influence.
     
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  14. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    A doctor might determine health by asking what a person's appetite is like
    In this case what are the persons spiritual desires?
    Do they 'hunger and thirst for righteousness' as the sermon on the mount says?
    Do they have an appetite for going to church, praying, reading the Bible or no?

    There is even an invitation in the Psalms to 'Taste and see that the Lord is Good" which is from a really crazy time in the life of David when he had to escape from a dangerous philistine king
    Here is a song that's kinda like a Texan New York fusion...



    There is a book called What to do when you don't desire God by John Piper
     
  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I generally mistrust anyone who uses the term "spiritual health" sincerely. I think it's generally a combination of:

    - real universal concerns like fulfillment and emotional health,
    - for religious people, seeing to the tenets and observances of their religion, and
    - trying to impose the idea that at least low-level religiosity is a human need.

    If someone told me that their job is to see to people's "spiritual health," my first bet would be that they're a hospital chaplain who's trying to find ways to put their nose into things that they really have no business being involved with.
     
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  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    You just get a majority of folks to agree what is good. Then they enforce that. A different majority may decide to enforce something else.
    However what you say is true. These systems of justice and religion generally favor the elites.
     
  17. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Spiritual health can be ambiguous but I will go in the direction of John Piper
    where the healthier you are the more you desire and enjoy God

     
  18. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Honesty, and all the things that bring peace and love are far from arbitrary. If goodness is on a personal whim then anything goes. Iow, there really is something very real about virtues and vices. It all comes down to how a person themself desires to be treated. Spiritual health is about general principles in life that bring about good results. There is not anything religious about it. Its a heart issue and a lot of people do not recognize their own spirituality. So then spirituality gets stuffed into a religious context and it does not have to be that way.
     
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  19. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Sure, you do what is good for you. I just don't think we ought to assume what is right/good for ourselves is good for everyone else.
     
  20. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I would answer this question with a modified quote from John Wesley because someone who has this as a goal is on the way to true spiritual health:

    “[Give all the love] you can,
    By all the means you can,
    In all the ways you can,
    In all the places you can,
    At all the times you can,
    To all the people you can,
    As long as ever you can.”
     
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