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My subtle research on religious history leads me to believe that humans, regardless of geographical orientation, are spiritual organisms. Men and women commenced to venerate as soon as they recognized the presence of the spiritual — they incline towards religious spiritualism as one turns toward beauty. These early convictions symbolically represent our curiosity over this scenic and nonetheless mystical world we live in.

We find it fascinating that we exist and we want to know why. We have tremendous capacity for wonder and are captivated by the cosmos; we marvel at the control of this “it” that keeps these planetary bodies in orbit. We long to find the hidden secrets that help to feed these mysterious springs of life.

We seek importance and, one might argue, fall easily into desolation if we are unable to make sense of our individual circumstance. The mere idea of death is difficult to bear. For the self-conscious, we are certain of our eventual defenselessness.

We regularly attempt to advance our individual nature by assessing what seems to be a transcending ideal. For some, the fashionable celebrity bravura is perhaps understood as a manifestation of our innate spiritual yearning, but one that has been transferred to something worldly. Feeling associated to such unusual existences could be satisfying, giving us a chance to move temporarily beyond ourselves. But if we do not, or no longer, feel this satisfaction through forms of traditional devoutness, it is not surprising that this devoted desire is sought through, for example, music, art, communal activities, or even, unfortunately, drugs and, for some, violence.

Believe it or not, in many traditions, religion infused all aspects of life. Many activities now considered commonplace were practiced as profoundly sacred: sports, dice games, farming, care of civilization, tugs-of-war, town planning, commerce, and, among others, education. This illustration does not belittle the traditional position for prayer. Instead, it demonstrates how spiritualism can be inclusive.

Whatever you do, hopefully it’s positive. Hopefully it’s meaningful. And hopefully you're sincere. When your self-authored nonfictional narrative ends, at least you can say you tried.

Yosof Wanly holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation. In addition, he holds an M.S. in Sciences of Narration from al-Madina International University and a B.S. in Public Health from Oregon State University. 


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