Spiritual health is one of four dimensions to well-being as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), which include physical, social, and mental. Although spiritual health was not included in their initial definition of health in 1946, it has evolved to recognize that “the spiritual dimension plays a great role in motivating people’s achievements in all aspects of life”. The complete description of the spiritual dimension as articulated by the World Health Assembly in 1984 through resolution WHA 37.13 is as follows:
The spiritual dimension is understood to imply a phenomenon that is not material in nature, but belongs to the realm of ideas, beliefs, values and ethics that have arisen in the minds and conscience of human beings, particularly ennobling ideas. Ennobling ideas have given rise to health ideals, which have led to a practical strategy for Health for All that aims at attaining a goal that has both a material and non-material component. If the material component of the strategy can be provided to people, the non-material or spiritual one is something that has to arise within people and communities in keeping with their social and cultural patterns. The spiritual dimension plays a great role in motivating people’s achievement in all aspects of life.
This description identifies that through embracing spirit, great things can arise! However, it has to come from within each of us. It is not something that others can do for us or give to us. As individuals embrace spirit collectively, a shift from reactive to creative energy can occur. Spiritual work is based not only on individual reflection but on community participation. Although religious institutions may have their drawbacks, their fundamentals remain very relevant. In addition, there are new opportunities to embrace spirit, such as Logosynthesis®.
Embracing and engaging spirit is an important dimension of well-being but it must start from within each of us.