by Nancy H. McMoneagle, TMI President & Executive Director
It’s a big word, a weighty word despite its ethereal connotation, and it carries layers of cultural overlay. Readers of Robert A. Monroe will not find the word in his books. In his resolve to demystify the esoteric, Bob strove to use, and sometimes create, language that would not trigger preexisting beliefs. He felt that starting off with a clean slate helped people to discover the truth for themselves, to more effectively “turn beliefs into ‘Knowns’.”
But the process allowed me to look deeply within and find language for what I found. It was a valuable exercise. I invite you to try it!
Due in part to Bob’s efforts, things are different today. The concept of spirituality has evolved, expanded, and reformed to include a connection with something larger than ourselves beyond traditional religious and philosophical meanings.
Recently I was asked to contribute to an article in Awareness Magazine, “Women and Spirituality.” Although I grew up with Bob’s guidance and bore witness to his spiritual development, it was a challenge to define my own relationship with spirituality—at least, to do so clearly and succinctly. The magazine gave me a limit of two to three sentences! But the process allowed me to look deeply within and find language for what I found. It was a valuable exercise.
I invite you to try it!
Here’s what I came up with:
What is spirituality?
Spirituality references the meta-physical—that which goes beyond the material, mundane world; it includes a conscious sense of that which is greater than the individual, egocentric self, and embraces a connection to a unifying principal—an “All That Is.” Spirituality is about how we perceive, connect with, and bring this greater unifying principal into our lives. It is about consciously living from a more transcendent space of love, gratitude, kindness, compassion, nonjudgement, inclusiveness, respect and honor for all beings, resulting in a perception and experience of the profound sanctity and interconnectedness in all of life.
Spirituality is my context for most everything—from the love and activities with family, friends, and animal companions, to the energy and intention shared in endeavors with my co-workers and colleagues around the world.
How does spirituality guide/inspire/present itself to me in my work/life?
Spirituality supports my intention to live as consciously, completely, and as constructively as possible, with a sense of gratitude for and connection with All—no matter what transpires. Quietly honoring and acknowledging the spirit (Inner Light, Essence, divinity, soul—by whatever term) in everyone and in every creature enriches me and helps me to keep a larger, less ego-involved perspective/overview in relationships, both personal and professional. Holding a viewpoint that there is some greater plan or divine design at work in our lives that goes beyond physical matter reality inspires me and informs my decision making at all levels. Spirituality is my context for most everything—from the love and activities with family, friends, and animal companions, to the energy and intention shared in endeavors with my co-workers and colleagues around the world.
How do you define spirituality?
We are interested in your answers. Remember—two to three sentences per question only.
Nancy “Scooter” McMoneagle is the stepdaughter of Robert A. Monroe. She helped Bob and Nancy Monroe to pioneer and create The Monroe Institute for consciousness research and education. As TMI’s current president and executive director, Nancy’s main focus and intent is to help individuals achieve a greater overview of their lives and to inspire within them a sense of enthusiasm about who they are and what they have to offer.