Recreational-therapeutic Spirituality vs. Religious Moral

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Posted 06 Jul 2009 in English, Teropong


Some people are worry about the burgeoning of spiritual centers in urban areas. They question why do people living in a modern city drifted by rationalism, individualism and secular point of view participate in spiritual groups considered as irrational and backwards? Does not it reflect the ambiguity or even paradox of modern people? While, may be it is true that modern people are full of paradoxes, or they are even have lost their modern orientations, but the trend is indeed a sign of natural cultural process.

Human beings, wherever and whenever, cannot be reduced into just technical parts of society. Man and woman posses mind, body, and spirit (soul). To some extent modern cultures have successfully provide minds and body’s needs but unable to feed spiritual thirstiness. A huge number of modern people are now living in anxious and continuously searching for medium to balance their life. Spiritual centers appearing in neo-Sufism, yoga, meditation, holism, reiki, Human Potential Movement, and many others, are sort of urban institution to furnish modern people.

It seems, however, that current urban spiritual centres are not merely for balancing modern life. Due to high demand of spiritual markets and the ability of urban people to purchase whatever spiritual cost, the centres develop programs that are suitable for the modern: instant, systematically programmed, easily to be performed, and commodified. The result is spiritual hybrid form greater emphasis on practical efficacy rather than piety and morals for social control. Participating in spiritual centres is narrowed just for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Spirituality is seen as a panacea of exhausted modern culture.

rumi mediation-club yoga

For many people, involving in spiritual centre will be more interesting and enjoyable than performing religion. For them, religion only teaches restrictions and rules; forbids people doing this and that in order to follow certain tenet. Will religious values as social control lost out and be replaced by pragmatic spiritual efficacies? Will spirituality successfully take over religion (Carrette and King, 2005)? As long as religious elites neglect this socio-religious and cultural shifts and are failed to provide appropriate spiritual canals for urban people, the fate of religions are really in “danger.”

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