PDF 81-102 (Українська)


existential values
life meaning

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The article analyzes theoretically the phenomenon of spirituality and its interpretations in the foreign and national psychology.

The article shows that a commonly accepted general definition of this concept in psychology is absent, and various attempts to explain it reflect insufficient clarity of its understanding and attempts to separate it from the concepts of "mental" and "moral" and from strictly religious or strictly laic explanations.

The foreign psychological approaches, in particular, the existential (V. Frankl, R. May, L. Binswanger) one, include the spiritual plane into understanding of a person and his/her existence; life meanings and existential values are examined on this plane, which not only can give a meaning for a human life, but also raise an individual to the highest development and moral perfection.

The national psychology, in which the theme of spirituality was forbidden for a long time, apprehends this concept too ambiguously: from misunderstanding or non-acceptance and rejection of the spirituality essence (this approach was characteristic for the soviet period) to equalising it with the cultural development of society or an individual.

In the national psychology, the most profound understanding of spirituality and its meaning in an individual’s life has been made by B.S. Bratus. He analyzes the role of spirituality as the basis for creation of a new humanistic paradigm, where a person is regarded as a goal and as a value, not as means, and has made a conclusion about the possibility to bring personal psychology into the moral space, so he develops the eschatological psychology or axiological psychology based on these ideas. The other national scholar, working in this field, is V.I. Slobodchikov, who understands spirituality as a personal lifestyle that opens sacred personal relationship with a higher power, the God, which gives meaning to an individual’s life and helps him/her to understand his/her life purpose; in contrast to D.O. Leontyev’s views, who reduces spirituality to the highest level of human self-regulation.

The article concludes that spirituality, which understanding can be wholly subjective because its polysemic and philosophical depth, is intrinsic to the human nature and is unfolded on an individual’s life path, and the necessary components of spirituality are: an individual’s morality, living in harmony with own conscience, the recognition of the Divine Principle as the basis of own existence, orientation to eternal sacred values.
PDF 81-102 (Українська)


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