Even though Dr. D’Souza titled his presentation ‘the Science of Well-being’ his ultimate aim was to introduce what is known as “The Spirituality Augmented Well-being Therapy” which I felt was another brand of “Art of Living” which is a private enterprise in spirituality by Sri Sri Ravisankar.
Economists classify industry into three sectors viz. Primary, concerning agriculture sector, Secondary, concerning industrial sector and Tertiary concerning services. Now, there is a Fourth Sector in industry namely Spirituality Sector.
What is spirituality?Traditionally, many religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience. Among other factors, declining membership of organized religions and the growth of secularism in the western world have given rise to a broader view of spirituality. The term "spiritual" is now frequently used in contexts in which the term "religious" was formally employed.
Words translatable as 'spirituality' first began to arise in the 5th century and only entered common use toward the end of the Middle Ages. Spiritual innovators who operated within the context of a religious tradition often became marginalized or suppressed as heretics or separated out as schismatic. In these circumstances, anthropologists generally treat so-called "spiritual" practices such as shamanism in the sphere of the religious, and class even non-traditional activities such as those of Robespierre’s Cult of the Supreme Being in the province of religion.
Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology (or revealed religion) which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning.
Spirituality as big businessRenowned commentator Amelia Gentleman wrote in New York Time on the 11th June, 2005: “While Western workers pop antidepressants and tranquilizers to beat stress,
Gayatri Mehra, media manager with a religious channel says, " Religion has been commercialized in a big way. People are always eager to watch religious serials or listen to sermons on various channels. Senior citizens as well as devotees lay a lot of emphasis on religion and the arena of spiritualism. There are several gurus, swamis and saints who have followers in
Spiritually augmented well-being therapyThe proponents of this new brand like call it Spiritually Augmented Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or SACBT. This is nothing but smuggling of spirituality through back door into the realm of cognitive science for the purpose of making cognitive therapy a business like Art of Living. It satisfies neither the spiritual needs of the mentally ill nor that of the psychiatrists. It is designed to serve the greed of the therapist.
Spiritual needs of the mental patientsI have no doubt that there are some spiritual needs mental patients. Majority of my patients are believers. I advise them to pray because in cognitive psychology prayer is self suggestion. I even formulate prayers is such a way as to promote positive attitudes towards life for the believing patients in accordance with their religious faith.
The leaflet of the Royal College of Psychiatrists,
Spirituality involves experiences of:
· a deep-seated sense of meaning and purpose in life
· a sense of belonging
· a sense of connection of 'the deeply personal with the universal'
· acceptance, integration and a sense of wholeness.http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfo/treatments/spirituality.aspx