While it has been widely observed that the stress of adversity may prompt spiritual/moral growth, for a number of reasons there is little research or theory that explains the basis on which such experience would lead to the emotional maturity and moral sensitivity that characterizes spiritual development. Inquiries are complicated by the fact that the stress of adversity can just as well lead to emotional disintegration. This article advances a model which seeks to clarify the role that adversity plays in promoting spiritual development. Drawing from psychoanalytic theory, neuroscience and yoga psychology, a model is presented which may not only plausibly explain the phenomenon under consideration, but in addition, the role of meditation practice in advancing spiritual/moral growth. Such a practice may be more humane, more reliable and more educationally applicable than any other social or educational policy which would seek to exploit the principles for development elucidated in this model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Religious studies