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Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
Atchley: Spirituality and Aging
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Atchley: Spirituality and Aging

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  • Discovering what has been there all along.
  • Short List of Questions on the next slide.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Spirituality and the Meaning of Life After 50 Robert C. Atchley, Ph.D.
    • 2. We are spiritual beings.
    • 3. Spirit is the “vital principle or animating force within living beings.” It is also an awareness that this vitality exists. American Heritage Dictionary, 2003, p. 1313.
    • 4. Spirituality is a capacity to be aware of the aliveness that accompanies our sensory and mental experiences.
    • 5. As a concern, spirituality has grown substantially since the 1950s. <ul><li>In 2010, Books in Print listed more than 120,000 titles having to do with spirituality. </li></ul>
    • 6. Spiritual capacity and interest increase with age throughout adulthood. <ul><li>80% of adults see themselves as spiritual. </li></ul><ul><li>69% seek spiritual growth. </li></ul><ul><li>85% see spirituality as a source of life meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>74% say spirituality has grown in importance over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: www.gallup.com </li></ul>
    • 7. What areas of consciousness process spiritual experience? <ul><li>Present-moment awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Transcending the personal self – </li></ul><ul><li>The “I Am” without words </li></ul><ul><li>Openness to direct experience of the sacred. </li></ul>
    • 8. What qualities do people report as characterizing spiritual experience?
    • 9. Wonder
    • 10. Stillness
    • 11. Majesty
    • 12. Playfulness
    • 13. Peace
    • 14. Mystery
    • 15. Connectedness
    • 16. What other qualities would you put on your list?
    • 17. Spiritual experiences are usually positive. People who have them are usually motivated to want more.
    • 18. Motivation to grow in spiritual capacity and increase awareness of spiritual experience leads many people to engage in a conscious spiritual journey.
    • 19. Spiritual Journeys are stories that summarize how we became the spiritual beings we are today.
    • 20. Each spiritual journey is unique. Accounts of spiritual journeys are a rich source of data on spiritual development and the interplay between spirituality and other parts of life.
    • 21. Spiritual intentions are not fixed, but instead are adaptable and responsive to what we learn from experience.
    • 22. The curriculum for the spiritual journey is shaped by enduring questions.
    • 23. Enduring Questions <ul><li>What is my spiritual nature? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes an experience spiritual? </li></ul><ul><li>How does spirituality manifest in my world? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I think about my spiritual journey? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I want spirituality to be a central factor in my life decisions? </li></ul>
    • 24. What other questions would you add to your list?
    • 25. Growing Spiritually is sometimes difficult. It usually involves commitment, discipline, and coping with discomfort.
    • 26. Spiritual journeys occur in a social context.
    • 27. Mentors, teachers, peers, and texts provide a sense of spiritual possibility.
    • 28. Spiritual relationships and community can have benefits. <ul><li>Protection against ego </li></ul><ul><li>Protection against charisma </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual aid </li></ul><ul><li>Social support </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to serve and be served </li></ul>
    • 29. Most of those who are highly developed spiritually are elders.
    • 30. Sages and spiritual elders bring much to the community. <ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Listening </li></ul><ul><li>Generativity </li></ul><ul><li>Beingness </li></ul><ul><li>Wisdom </li></ul>
    • 31. How Libraries Can Help <ul><li>Train staff about spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Selected lists of readings </li></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities to explore and share spiritual journeys </li></ul><ul><li>Use non-religious language concerning spirituality in secular contexts </li></ul>
    • 32. Pointing fingers are important.
    • 33. BON VOYAGE !
    • 34. For more, see Robert C. Atchley, Spirituality and Aging , Johns Hopkins University Press (2009)

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