Guest Articles >> Spirituality

Personal Spiritual Growth and Development

By l.m.

Can we define what spiritual growth or personal development is? Not really.

There's no official definition. We use these terms to talk about developing better mindsets, bringing more awareness, and achieving higher levels of consciousness. Spiritual growth also mean integrating spirituality into your everyday life.

However, to my mind, there is a fine line that separates personal development and spiritual growth:

While personal development includes everything that makes us function better in the world and doesn't have to be spiritual, spiritual development means some kind of implicit or explicit acceptance that we are guided by God, or say, a power higher than us.

The difference is subtle, since we as individuals are also an instance of God. So, by pursuing personal development and improving our personal or professional life, we also grow spiritually and come closer to the realization of our own Divinity (be it called Enlightenment, Nirvana, Samadhi, or Ascension).

Spiritual growth is not an easy task. Our society of today is ruled by money, materialistic aspirations and brute power. If you try to make a step out of the circle of physical desires and consumer's logic, you may find yourself walking the path which is less common. Personal development means finding the right balance between our material needs on one hand and our deeper spiritual needs on the other.

Outer Material Needs and Inner Introspection

If you are a beginner, the first point you need to understand is that growing spiritually means turning your attention away from the outer world and directing it inside, to your inner world. For the most part of your life you have been focused on the outside material objects. Now, if you have to even begin to grow spiritually, you will have to look inwardly into your own depths. Turning your attention inside is not mere introspection centered around examining your daily events. Looking inwardly means closely inspecting your emotions, thoughts, prejudices and motivational impulses.

outer perception and inner focusing Spiritual and personal growth also means addressing your own bad habits, wrong beliefs, and character flaws. This part may be painful, but you should know that at the end of the road the reward will be great and your satisfaction immense.

I remember when I first started honestly looking at my flawed character at the beginning of my spiritual journey. I was terrified at the realization how blind I had been. How much the illusion had taken over. Now I know that the more damaged people are the stronger the egoistic illusion they find themselves in.

There is nothing more pleasing than changing your own flawed inner world from the darkness of disarray and confusion often present there to the harmony, peace and bright light of your own soul. Changing your inner self, means automatically changing your outer self. While previously unable to deal with the many typical interpersonal problems, you will now learn how to react properly in any situation. Spiritual growth workshops are ideal for learning the fundamentals.

Limitless Potential

Spiritual growth means building up your potentials as a human being. Contrary to what is commonly believed, our potentials are not developed to their full extend. As a matter of fact we use only a fraction of the powers of our brain. This is a scientific fact. Only the sky is your limit in terms of the limits of personal development. Every religion, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism recognizes this fact. They all emphasize the need for inner development of our spiritual being. All rules of conduct, moral issues, and norms have been formulated in order to ensure easier personal and spiritual development. Even psychology of today, and science in general talks of spiritual development as a necessary step in human evolution and development.

Here I don't refer to just developing intelligence; I mean developing the large areas of the brain that remain unused. That's possible, it's not just popular folklore. Spiritual development can activate those areas, and there is alternative research now acknowledging that fact — like for example, neuroplasticity.

The Ultimate Question: Who Am I?

There comes a moment in everybody's life when the question of a deeper meaning of existence becomes dominant. Have you experienced that deep and profoundly lucid moment when the question “Who Am I?” reverberates within your inner being? I remember when that question first came to me with its full power and intensity. Prior to that moment, I'd been able to answer that question the way we usually answer it in our everyday life: I am this body, I am my profession, I am my thoughts, I am a father, mother, husband, wife .... you get the picture. But, who am I really? Not the roles that I am playing, not the false identifications.

Only within, and only when you have grown spiritually to the necessary level of development you can answer this question and meet the Creator of all things - God in you. Yes God is also within you, He resides in your spiritual heart. Your life is no accident. It serves a higher purpose. Maybe you do not see this purpose presently, maybe it is not really possible to see it now, but if you continue to improve and purify your emotions, develop your intellectual capacity, and keep your physical body pure and in good shape, one day your higher purpose will be revealed to you. Spiritual growth means looking forward to achieving our destiny, getting to know our goals, and understanding that our highest ideals are indeed achievable. If you know a human being without a higher purpose, help him or her to start growing spiritually and they will soon be able to see it for themselves.

All thing are One

Living in the confines of our limited lower personalities, we are unable to realize the great truth of existence — all things are One. When we work on our spiritual development, there comes a moment when we become capable of transcending our lower nature. That is the moment when we feel the connection and relation to everything that is - to all living or seemingly inanimate things. That is not a mere intellectual recognition. That is a living pulsating fact, one that we can feel, experience and breathe every single moment. The recognition of the underlying unity of all existing things deepens our respect and love for the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms of Nature. Finally, we feel connected to every human being on our planet, and even to the beings of the so called higher spiritual hierarchies, such as the angels and archangels.

Set the goals of your spiritual growth high, as high as possible. There is no point aiming too low. Aim at getting the highest possible development, and even if you succeed to go half the way in this life, your spiritual achievement will be immense. You need no special books of lessons, just follow the life lessons prepared for you by the life events themselves. I am tempted to say that in the ideal case you won't even need a specific technique for growing spiritually, such as meditation for example. You may argue that the things are not so simple, and you would be right of course, especially at the beginning of the journey where various exercises can be very useful, Think meditation, contemplation, breathing for pranic accumulation, rebirthing - circular breathing, yoga, invocations, or using metaphysical stones. They all can be useful, and there are many many more spiritual methods, techniques, programs, schools and paths.

We all grow and learn together. The entire creation is growing together. There is nothing unimportant, even the smallest of creations is given the chance to advance and develop its full Divine Spiritual Potential. Don't just wait the things to happen, make them happen, here and now.

About the Author

l.m. is a member of the sunnyray editorial staff.


tendai mugoni says:



This is very much inspirational and i would wish to get monthly newsletters or any publications to share with my team of pastors,discipleship students and church leaders

sunnyray says:

Thank you very much, pastor Stephen. Currently we have no publication to share, but we will keep your offer in mind for the future.

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