Sunday, March 30, 2008

'Research' on 'trendy spiritualism'

"Youngsters happier with traditional values " - chanced upon this article in The Times of India today. It's an edited version of a "research"  article by a Dr Rosemary Aird in Australia .

The quick conclusion of this research apparently is that "shifting from traditional religious beliefs to self-focused spirituality is not making young adults happier " . Does it mean it makes them unhappier ? That's left unsaid but strongly implied . 

Today most organized religions represent the interpretations of mankind rather than some higher power. Being an active participant in religious activities and believing in God (or a Higher Power ) are not the same thing (while it is always strongly implied to be ) . If people truly believed in God then their life would reflect that faith every moment (at least a lot of moments). Religion would be seen as the medium to God and not as an end in itself . 

For most of humanity religion is strongly introduced into one's life before one has the capacity to understand and make the choice on what to embrace . The journey of questioning and sifting through this 'religious inheritance' to find answers for oneself takes courage . Understandably it rattles the 'religious guard' . Warnings of unhappiness and misfortune abound . When couched as a 'research finding' it appears more credible .

Here's a excerpt from the article...

"This focus on self fulfillment and improvement over others' wellbeing could undermine a person's mental health with many people feeling more isolated, less healthy and having poorer relationships," Dr Aird said.

She said so-called new spirituality promotes the idea that self-transformation will lead to a positive and constructive change in self and society.

"But there is a contradiction," Dr Aird said.

"How can one change society if one is focused on oneself * ?"

How does one impact an external world without first transforming oneself * ? Perhaps the future research of Dr Aird will shed some light on this subject ? 

*Unless Dr Aird's reference was to superficial interactions and physical actions alone . 

The 'research' is clearly biased towards it's conclusions . The edited article in TOI is irresponsible . 

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