By DEB SCHEIN | Growing Wonder
In late March of this year, March 28, 2023, I happened to read an article from The New York Times titled: What Happens When an Artist Loses His Sight. It was written by Roger Rosenblatt, a writer and contributor to both Time magazine, PBS “NewsHour”, and author of a new book titled, “Cataract Blues.”. What caught my attention was Rosenblatt’s attention to the unseen forces in the universe and his implying, but never using, the word spirituality.
He writes that when he began to lose his eye sight, he started to reflect upon all “the invisible forces that govern our lives (such as) gravity, electric currents, magnetic fields and also love, grief, morality, faith and creativity.” Rosenblatt goes on to include, “The presence and power of invisible things and of a secret music — of the spheres and of ourselves.” Rosenblatt’s reflections reminded me of Lisa Miller’s book, “The Awakened Brain” (2021). In her book, she shares that when we are healthy, when we flow with the universe, we also vibrate at the same frequency as the universe.
I thank Rosenblatt for highlighting these hidden, invisible qualities of life and earth. Yet, it saddens me that he did not use the word spirituality. Unfortunately, it appears that we are still unable to even talk about the word spirituality or use it even when it so applicably belongs. Indirectly, Rosenblatt also captures how we are both naturally and innately spiritual; yet how we also require some external, connecting forces to continue our spiritual journeys. He does this all without even mentioning the words that tie his thoughts to that missing, invisible word – spirituality.
I would therefore like to share some thoughts of my own work in spirituality. I began looking at spiritual development of young children. My lens has grown and changed. I am currently writing about spiritual flourishing. Unlike development, flourishing requires connection, belonging, and relationships. Yes, spiritual flourishing is invisible and yet, it can be a very powerful force in helping us humans to be more optimistic, better able to make good choices for ourselves and the world. Research is showing that spiritual flourishing can lead to resiliency and empathy so needed today (Miller, 2021). The word spirituality, for me, reflects our human ability to wonder, to seek out moments of awe, and joy. It appears that we need relationships, community, love, and nature in order to achieve this invisible accomplishment of spiritual flourishing. I believe it should be integrated into our school curriculum, our child rearing practices, our ways of thinking of ourselves as spiritual humans. It should no long be a hidden, unspeakable, invisible force but a desired concept that reflects who we are from a universal perspective.