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A secular approach to the definition of spirituality based on universal human values without attachment to any religions is proposed. Spirituality is considered as a manifestation of comprehensive Love, Honor, Conscience, Will, Responsibility, Nobleness, etc. At the same time, the degree of development of these manifestations of a person is the essence of spirituality, the goal of spiritual development and indicators of a person’s spirituality.
Keywords: spirituality, values, beliefs, development, relationships.

Khvostychenko O. M.
Candidate of Military Sciences, Associate Professor,
World Scientific Noosphere-Ontological Society, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Core values and beliefs have a fundamental impact on human life. After all, they mostly determine the motivation of actions, the way of thinking and behavior of a person, his or her entire lifestyle and depend primarily on his or her worldview. Therefore, research on spirituality, especially spiritual values, is gaining attention and relevance in modern conditions.

The purpose of the article is to propose a secular approach to defining spirituality based on universal values without reference to any religion and to analyze the basic values of a spiritual person based on the research conducted.

In many scientific theories, the main value on Earth is the human being himself-his life, health, well-being, pragmatic relationships, etc. However, in many cases, our real life shows the opposite – more often than not, we are faced with the fact that people are trying to make a person an obedient cog, a convenient performer, unwilling, soulless, unable to defend their interests, and dependent on external forces and the circumstances they create [1].

This is not acceptable for a spiritual person, for whom the attitude to the Supreme, ideals, feelings, as well as honor, responsibility, spiritual strength, peace of mind, etc. [2].

The practice and trends of the third millennium speak in favor of an integrated worldview in the unity of the spiritual and material worlds, in which spiritual issues are still a priority, but the importance of solving problems in the material world is not denied [1]. It is this integrated approach that forms the hierarchy of values and beliefs that ensure successful movement in life, maximizing one’s potential in a state of growing happiness [3].

At the same time, spirituality should be understood in a broad secular sense. It so happens that many people perceive spirituality as religion. However, in the modern information world, a person can develop his or her spirituality, including faith in the Supreme, in God, without adherence to any religious cult. After all, the main thing for a spiritual person is what they feel in their spiritual heart, how it responds to higher energies.

Of course, spirituality is a very complex and delicate sphere, and it is important to have a mentor who demonstrates his or her high spiritual qualities not in words but in everyday life. At the same time, there is a danger of falling into various sects that lure with great promises (and only to some extent fulfill them), but in fact are aimed at pumping out money or other personal goals.

Most often in society, spirituality is left to religions and reduced to observance of religious rites. At best, it is somehow correlated with culture in its superficial sense.

After all, spirituality is exactly what makes a person human, forms the core of life in him or her based on Conscience and Honor, Will and Faith, Responsibility and Feelings [3]. But these are the most important issues for every person, and they are mostly left out of the modern education system. And that is why the education system fails to successfully solve the problem of forming a healthy society both spiritually and materially.

Spirituality is manifested, first of all, through Love (all-encompassing), Honor, Conscience, Will, Responsibility, Nobility, etc. [4]. The degree of disclosure and development of these human qualities, on the one hand, constitute the essence of spirituality, on the other hand, the goal of spiritual development, and on the third hand, they are indicators of human spirituality.

This naturally leads to the intrinsic values of a spiritual person, such as
– the state of all-embracing (universal) Love;
– attitude to the Higher, to oneself, to others according to Honor and Conscience (ideals and faith);
– development through Will and Responsibility — the main condition and the main tool for achieving all life goals;
– relationships based on Goodwill, Nobility, Feelings, etc.

Let us consider these values in more detail.

The state of all-embracing Love. The state of a person’s inner world based on peace and tranquility endows a person with a powerful spiritual force, which, if necessary (especially in extreme situations), gives a person physical strength. The state is formed by cultivating inner peace, a positive attitude to what is happening, adherence to ideals and the disclosure of feelings, including love.

At the same time, calmness means the absence of internal contradictions and emotional background in the mind — everything that interferes with conscious thinking, focusing on the task at hand. Usually, a person’s mind is torn by various emotions, most often negative ones, experiences of past or future periods, doubts, contradictory judgments, and is under external influence (often imaginary: “What will they think of me?!”, “How do I look?!”, i.e., the content is lost in the concern for the external form), etc.

In the conscious mode, the consciousness is at rest – everything that is not related to the solution of a specific task is deliberately turned off, and the person is able to calmly develop decision options and choose the best one based on objective assessments [5]. Such a person is said to be “here and now”. This is achieved by the ability to manage one’s internal state through internal subconscious commands, self-control, self-command, and management of one’s external manifestations [5].

Most people are not trained to manage their state — they automatically react according to the programs of their subconscious, depending on the nature of external influence or the activation of internal problems.

For a spiritual person, the inner state is a great value, so he or she learns to control his or her state, to assess how much positive and joy he or she has, and if negative feelings suddenly rise up, he or she is able to extinguish them, to remain calm and rational (self-control), to make conscious, balanced decisions and to respond adequately to the situation. A spiritual person always strives to get a double interconnected gain — to maintain a positive state (not to spoil the mood of either himself or others) and to resolve the situation with the right reaction, without wasting vital energy and time.

The attitude to the Supreme, to oneself, to others is based on the worldview (acceptance of the Supreme expediency, justice), distinction between good and evil, understanding and realization of ideals, and reliance on feelings. For a spiritual person, Honor is always more precious than life, his thoughts (decisions) and actions are in line with Conscience (no reproaches, no “cats scratching the soul”).

Developmentthe growth of spiritual and physical strength, harmonious improvement of personal qualities and abilities — everything that makes a person happier, opens up opportunities for the best realization of all life goals and one’s purpose. The main tools (including the objects of development) are the will and responsibility. Together, they allow a person to follow discipline and get results that bring them closer to their goals step by step [4].

For a spiritual person, relationships are a source of joy and inspiration [2]. Perhaps no one likes to communicate with people who are quarrelsome, hysterical, angry, or envious. Spiritual relationships are built on the basis of all the best that is in the soul — Benevolence, Nobility, Feelings, etc. [2].

The research shows the need to further elaborate on the understanding of spirituality and spiritual values and to gradually include these issues in educational programs. The secular approach allows us to address these issues without suppressing the feelings of adherents of different religions and without bending to different religious cults, ultimately reaching a holistic new scientific paradigm.

List of references

1. Babich V. P., Mohylko V. A., Onegina V. M. Applied ontology: a monograph: Printing house Madrid, 2013. 364 с.
2. Mianie M.Y., Potemkina A.G. Happiness. Kharkiv: Sozidanie, 2011. 240 с.
3. Khvostychenko O. M. Personality structure as an object of spiritual and intellectual education and training. Spiritual and intellectual education and training of youth in the XXI century: international periodical. collection of scientific papers / edited by V. P. Babych, L. S. Rybalko, L. A. Stefan.
Kharkiv: VNNOT, 2021. Issue 3. С. 24-30.
4. On the meaning of life, life goals and sources of happiness. Spiritual and intellectual education and training of youth in the XXI century: international collection of scientific papers / edited by V. P. Babych. Kharkiv: VNNOT, 2020. Issue 2. pp. 100-111.
5. Mianie M. Human consciousness. Kharkiv: Sozidanie, 2007. 192 с.