Our awareness of transcendence

Let’s start at the heart of the matter with a simple definition: What is the human capacity for spirituality?

At the core of spirituality is the transcendent relationship, a dynamic sense of connection with a higher power or sacred presence. To feel transcendent is to know ourselves beyond the limits of the physical or ordinary self, as part of the greater universe. The name or identity of the higher power may differ in the way it is understood across people and tradition, but regardless of those variations, the transcendent relationship opens us into a sense of a sacred world with direction and connection that gives us meaning and purpose. The transcendent relationship may be perceived as a personal dialogue with God, or a sense of oneness with the universe (as it often is in Eastern traditions), or a sense of relationship with a universal spirit through the many living beings and natural forms around us, from majestic mountains to soaring eagles. The transcendent presence can be felt as a guide in our relationship to other people or nature. What makes us spiritual is our awareness that our lives, our relationships, and the natural world both seen and unseen are filled with an ultimate presence. It is our awareness of transcendence, in us, around us, through us, and beyond us, that is spiritual. 

From “The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving” By Lisa Miller, PhD