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A website for the book by Ian J Thompson:

"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"


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Previous: 28. Spiritual Growth Up: 28. Spiritual Growth Next: 28.2 Permanent development

28.1 The need for spiritual growth

By spiritual growth, I refer to all development towards the maturity of our own spiritual loves and their associated wisdom. Sometimes that growth is described in religious language, for example in terms of a path or pilgrimage guided by the love and grace of God, as we are being reborn or regenerated into a new life with God. Others consider spiritual growth in humanistic terms, as the development of integrity concerning what is loving and true in our lives. Some think it comes from God. Others think of it as the unfolding of human potentialities.

In all cases, it is clear that we need spiritual growth since we start life when newly born, without explicit knowledge of these things and without any sense of our own spiritual loves. It is commonly accepted that spiritual growth comes about during our adult life, starting in early adulthood when we first take responsibility for our own actions. It then depends on both the internal decisions and external actions we make during our life.

Theistic science will in particular examine the development, progression and operation of our spiritual loves, which are the processes that exist and operate in the spiritual degree 1. These processes are primarily loves, according to our generative structure, but they must have associated thoughts and understandings in order to be effective. In Section 23.5, it was surmised that most of us do not come into the fullness of our spiritual life until after bodily death. That would mean that there will be two kinds of understanding that should be associated with and guide our spiritual life. The first is the understanding in those spiritual degrees 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 themselves, and the second is understanding in our mentality, in particular in the corresponding degrees 2.11, and 2.12 and 2.13. The first understanding can be called truly spiritual wisdom. The second understanding is the internal or higher rational in our minds. It is this second kind of understanding which is (or should be) readily accessible and usable to us in our ordinary lives. It is the primary instrument for guiding us in our spiritual growth while we live on earth.

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