I’m always amazed by the ambiguities of what “spirituality” is to people from an empirical standpoint and from a theoretical standpoint. Janet’s sentiments are noble.
While at the International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society I heard a variety of presentations and papers on spirituality, some had to do specifically with representation of a non-physical being’s presence in affecting the life experience of physical beings. A paper and presentation by Dr. David Brisben titled Recognizing God’s active presence in a secular age: recovering a theology of common grace for Christian spirituality. Others heavily referenced spirituality while managing to avoid referencing a non-physical being or interaction through their entire elaboration, like those of Louis Silverstein titled Body as temple/sex as prayer: a spiritual practice. The rhetoric behind spirituality is synonymous with just about any type of human experience. I’m starting to think that the term itself compensates for our inability to elaborate well on what is actually going on physical
Having stated that, I think that it is necessary to explore what incentives people have to be compassionate. While there are some clear (and getting clearer as we invested out scientific abilities in exploring) physiological synergies in human interaction [ This is the study by the Heartmath Inst. http://store.heartmath.org/store/e-books/energetic-heart ], there are some strong philosophical disconnects between the people of the world that require more than education to mend. To be truly pervasive in spreading the compassion in a world of economic incentives to do nearly anyone harm, it will take a series of experiences to build harmonies inside the species. I hope that Janet and everyone else will afford themselves the opportunity to pay-forward some compassion.