Julie put up an interesting post over at T&S asking “Are Women More Spiritual Than Men?” This question has come up at several Mormon blogs recently and it has become pretty clear to me that before we can answer it we need to define the word “spiritual”. So what does spiritual mean to you?
I personally equate spirituality with adeptness at hearing the voice of God. By that definition, the better that someone is at receiving personal revelation and inspiration from God the more spiritual that person is. We sometimes call this being “in tune” with the Holy Spirit in Mormonism.
Of course “adeptness at hearing the voice of God” is a bit nebulous too. I suppose it has a quality and a quantity component to it; something like how clearly can one discern the voice of God and how regularly do they have a revelatory dialogue with God.
Hmmm… now I’ve got myself brainstorming a little… So if we put those two things on a 1-10 scale we might come up with a hypothetical “spirituality score” for people and we could even graphically chart it. Like if a person was really good at comprehending revelation/inspiration when it arrived we might give her an 8 on the quality axis. But if she didn’t receive incoming inspiration from God all that often we might give her a 4 on the quantity axis. So her spirituality score would be 32. (Hehehe. This is obviously ridiculous but I’m just brainstorming here…)
Anyway, I like the general idea of adeptness of receiving inspiration/revelation (or “in-tune-ness”) as the core of a definition of spirituality because it seems like the term spirituality ought to have something to do with, well, the Spirit. The logic would be that the more spiritually in tune a person was the more likely she would be to display commendable behaviors/traits like charity, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, generosity, etc. (Though I suppose one could display those commendble traits without technically being particularly “spiritual” by this definition.)
So how would you define “being spiritual”? Once we come up with a definition we might be better able to tackle the spirituality battle of the sexes question that keeps popping up in the bloggernacle.