Banatlao, Romeo

Role of Spirituality in Transforming People

by Romeo Banatlao


Attending Saturday classes is always an opportunity for me to recharge my energies, to bring back good memories, to revolutionize new ideas and to open many possibilities in seeing lives. Similarly, it is also an encounter to catch up with newly-found friends and colleagues in the undying search for truth.

Amidst the interwoven inputs on physical science, social sciences, arts and humanities in a multi-disciplinary approaches embracing disciplines in their own unique paradigms in dealing with cosmos and humanity. The concept of spirituality struck me most, maybe because I am planning to write my paper on spirituality using Folk Religiosity as the backdrop of the study so as to explore the cosmic spirituality of the devotees in a particular place. To develop a paper, I need to know a working definition of spirituality and understand its basic concepts. I remember my erstwhile professor in Theology saying that spirituality is experiential and dynamic simply because it is also culture-based. Some mystics and theologians look spirituality as something that is liberating and free, and should not be confined to a particular system or belief, it should, however, take into account all the possibilities and modes of interpretation. Intellectuals talk about spirituality as a new language of community, environmental consciousness and contemporary lifestyle.

The task of this reflection paper is to present the roots of spirituality found on human experience. In all its metaphors and images, signs, and symbols, our own daily and ordinary experience becomes the essential element in transforming lives in this symbiotic community. Significant questions may bring from this reflection: What is the role of spirituality in the transformation of persons and society? And how does spirituality can change or offers a new paradigm of re-creating lives.

I personally believe that spirituality is not merely a relationship that is static but a dynamic movement toward transformation. Spirituality is encompassing, not exclusive, and open to interactions amidst the advent of pluralistic ideas and realms. Spirituality embraces every area of life and involves realities that are interwoven in any kind of human relationship. Spirituality, as a transformative process, inspires people to change, to be free and responsible to be loving and compassionate to the multiverse and to enjoy whatever choices and options in the present life. The dynamic presence of spirituality touches the very core of our existence that leads to the transformation of lives regardless of age, gender and faith traditions. The challenge is to live experience that would lead the transformation of people and the community at large. All efforts that bring to change the injustices against all creatures into harmony are  indeed a serious task and the collective participation of how spirituality works and lives. Everyone must be willing to transform itself and continue to be accountable to the process of transformation.

The whole semester gave me a chance to internally look into myself and scrutinize my dynamic relationship to multiverse. The sharing of new ideas as competently presented by Dr. Dejillas brought me into a journey of understanding the history, evolution, and challenges to re-create a new kind of living life and my relationships with nature - both living and non-living. I guess, my reflection will be of great help in writing a phenomenological inquiry on cosmic spirituality of a group people in a particular place and will give me a better understanding of the multifaceted dimension of spirituality and its interdisciplinary character. Likewise the reflection helped me to review my current state of life and confront the existential questions as I trace the wealth of my humanity.