The Search for Meaning and the Rise of Spirituality

To most folks, life is a mysterious adventure. There is no true certainty as to what will happen to any individual within the next hour, the next week, or in the next decade– let alone after death.  This uncertainty is universally scary. In order to find meaning and purpose in the midst of such uncertainty, people often turn to religion. Whether that is organized religion, or a personal worldview and set of rituals, religion is used as a way to find meaning in life. This search for meaning runs deep in human history and serves a plethora of purposes. Meaning provides a reason to persevere through life’s challenges, it explains inevitable crisis like death and suffering, and functions as a way to connect to a community. Whether an atheist or a devout Catholic, it seems that few individuals go through life without any sense of personal meaning. However, this meaning does not have to be legitimized, or told through a specific, organized story. These stories are present in organized religion, and function as a platform for communities of people to believe in a united meaning. One of the benefits of organized religion is that it is less frightening to put your faith into something when a community is also devoting themselves to the same cause. The tradition in organized religion runs deep. However, organized religion has lost prominence in recent years as many modern social standards began to contradict that of ancient sacred texts. Although organized religion has seen a demise, personal, spiritual religious practices are more present than before, and the search for meaning is streamlined through the daily lives of spiritual people across the globe.