What Is the Meaning of the Term, Spiritual?
That which is spiritual is sacred and the concept of sacred is interchangeable with the concept of "holy"-a word derived from an Old English word meaning, "whole" and perfect in goodness. A religious person may be spiritual, but a spiritual person is not necessarily religious.
Spirituality refers to the evolutionary process as it drives us forward, eventually, to perfect wholeness. It relates to the expansion or evolution of consciousness. And, thus all activity-be it physical, emotional, intuitional and so forth-that leads towards greater perfection, goodness and wholeness is therefore spiritual. The scientist working, for example, on a cancer cure is involved in spiritual work, as is the diplomat attempting to bring harmony between warring parties or the artist seeking to create a beautiful masterpiece for enhancing the quality of life.
Spiritual values are qualified by ever-widening horizons, synthesis, growth and wholeness as well as greater vision, understanding and integration.
We know that without the physical sun, the world would be a dark, cold, dead place. Without the Soul-the heart of the inner spiritual wisdom-the inner sun, the world is full of psychological darkness in the form of ignorance, selfishness and separateness.
The renaissance or resurrection that is needed today is for the liberation of the spiritual essence within the heart of humanity. For, there is no way for us to resolve our many global problems and issues unless we are willing to recognize the inner spiritual essence and accept the true and lasting authority of the Soul-the divine spiritual essence at the heart of each human being.
Following are some definitions of that which is "spiritual" from the Ageless Wisdom Teachings presented within two of the books authored by Alice A. Bailey:
The word 'spiritual' does not refer to religious matters, so-called. All activity which drives the human being forward towards some form of development-physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, social-if it is in advance of his present state is essentially spiritual in nature and is indicative of the livingness of the inner divine entity. The spirit of man is undying; it forever endures, progressing from point to point and stage to stage upon the Path of Evolution, unfolding steadily and sequentially the divine attributes and aspects. Education in the New Age, p.1
In the future, illumination will be viewed primarily from the intellectual angle and the whole subject will be approached mentally, and not so definitely (as is the case today) from the angle of religion. ….One of the major contributions of the present age to the unfoldment of the race has been the growing recognition that spirituality is not to be confused with and confined to the acceptance and the following of the precepts contained in the world Scriptures; .…God can be known by His works, and these works can be more easily appreciated through the revelations of science than by the hymns, prayers and sermons of the churches throughout the world. Education in the New Age, pp. 55/7
This group [the New Group of World Servers] gives the word 'spiritual' a wide significance; they believe it to mean an inclusive endeavour towards human betterment, uplift and understanding; they give it the connotation of tolerance, international synthetic communion, religious inclusiveness, and all trends of thought which concern the esoteric development of the human being. A Treatise on White Magic, p. 414