“Choices” sees the individual human as an integrated whole being with physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. While integrated, these aspects have hierarchal characteristics from physical, to mental, to spiritual. The ultimate spiritual need of humans involves knowledge of one’s place in the universe, the affirmation of personal existence, and a settled sense of being. While many people look to religion to meet their spiritual needs, other people meet their spiritual needs without formal religious belief and practice. Since humans are integrated whole beings, every behavior has a spiritual component. The meeting of any need also serves to support the meeting of the core spiritual need, the affirmation of personal existence. For example, we experience affirmation of personal existence when we eat a nourishing meal, which meets a physical need. When we use our creativity to solve problems and when we learn something new and meet our fun need, we also have a sense of being “alive.” When we make a positive productive choice, we not only meet our freedom need, we also have an awareness of rightness about ourselves. When we accomplish a task, we meet our control need, which, in turn, gives us a sense of being. When someone lets us know that we are important, we meet our love need and affirm the knowledge of our existence.
Objectives: The students will
1. Take part in a game that will transition into a discussion of spiritual needs and the emotional indicators of spiritual needs
2. Explore the kinds of feelings and thoughts that indicate they have unmet spiritual need
3. Recognize that they have met their spiritual needs when they have a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, when they have a sense of wholeness, and when they have a sense of connectedness to ultimate reality
4. Identify points at which they feel they have met and not met their spiritual need
5. Affirm the role choice plays in meeting and not meeting spiritual need
Things to Think About:
1. Human beings have an essential need to connect to ultimate reality—to know they have a place in the universe.
2. A great deal of human anguish actually has spiritual roots. Many behaviors may respond to a spiritual need but may not get at the need.
3. Most cultures address spirituality through religion. However, if people do not embrace religion, they tend reject spirituality. Still, they have spiritual needs that they must meet to be whole and complete persons.
4. Although many people meet their spiritual needs through religious beliefs and practices, others adequately meet theirs without affiliating with an organized religion. Music, movies, paintings, and other forms of art often involve spiritual themes in both religious and non-religious ways.
5. To meet spiritual need, just as with meeting any other need, we must make choices.
1. We have continuing spiritual needs just as we have continuing physical, mental needs. Meeting our spiritual needs rounds out our total needs package.
2. Spiritual needs include:
a. A sense of purpose and meaning in life
b. Giving back to life
c. A sense of wholeness and self
d. A confident assurance that “I am”
e. A connectedness to ultimate reality
3. Choices distinguish between spirituality and religion. Spirituality refers to a dimension of human existence. Many people look to religion to meet their spiritual needs. However, a person has spiritual needs that he or she can and must meet with or without religious beliefs and practices.