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Many, if not all, disruptive behaviors are attempts to meet love, power, freedom, fun, and/or spiritual needs. The needs are legitimate; the behaviors are not. When students learn to meet their needs adequately and appropriately, disruptive behaviors will diminish and disappear. This lesson looks at helping students identify and meet their spiritual need appropriately.
Our spiritual need involves the knowledge of our place in the universe, the affirmation of personal existence, a settled sense of being, and the actualization of giving back to life. While many people look to religion to meet their spiritual need, other people meet their spiritual needs without formal religious belief and practice. Choices maintains that, in order to be healthy human beings, all people have spiritual needs they must meet whether they have religious beliefs and practices or not.
Objectives: The students will
1. Identify their spiritual need
2. Distinguish between spirituality and religion
3. Recognize their need for purpose and meaning in their lives
4. Recognize their need for connectedness to ultimate reality
5. State a tentative life purpose
Things to Think About:
1. Ultimately, all our needs are spiritual. That is, we have a supreme need to have assurance of our existence. Meeting any physical or mental need adequately gives us a brief affirmation of our being. However, we only meet this need satisfactorily when we connect to ultimate reality, when we have purpose and meaning in our lives, and when we give back to life.
2. Many human behaviors including religious practices can actually get in the way of meeting our spiritual need appropriately. We have these behaviors because we have developed inadequate pictures of how to meet our needs. These behaviors become substitutes for meeting our spiritual need.
3. To adequately meet our needs and live the best possible life, we must identify and intentionally address our spiritual need. That is, we must develop appropriate pictures of our spiritual need. We also must have adequate pictures of how we might meet this need.
4. The core of spiritual need is to connect with ultimate reality. Choices defines ultimate reality as that which nothing is “greater than.” Human beings can only meet their spiritual need through a sense of connection with ultimate reality as they conceptualize it.
1. We have continuing spiritual needs just as we have continuing physical, mental, and social needs. Meeting our spiritual needs make us whole and complete persons. Because spiritual needs are even less tangible than mental needs, many people tend to ignore them or substitute other behaviors in lieu of behaviors that meet spiritual needs.
2. Spiritual needs include:
a. A sense of purpose and meaning in life; giving something back
b. A sense of wholeness and self; and a confident assurance that “I am”
c. A connectedness to ultimate reality
3. Choices distinguishes between spirituality and religion. Spirituality refers to a dimension of human existence. A person has spiritual needs that he or she can and must meet whether he or she has religious beliefs and practices or not.
4. All behaviors have a spiritual component.
a. Anytime we meet a need, we also receive affirmation of our being or our sense of “I am.”
b. Some behaviors may give us the sense of “being alive” but may meet our spiritual need. Only our assured sense of connectedness to ultimate reality can essentially affirm our being.
c. Many human personal difficulties occur because we try to meet spiritual needs by substituting a non-spiritual need-meeting behavior.