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Author Topic: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality  (Read 2666 times)

HarpingHawke

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Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« on: June 08, 2014, 10:58:31 pm »
I seem to have noticed in the past year or so that the teenagers that consciously chose a religious (or nonreligious) path for themselves (without doing it to piss off family) seem to be more emotionally mature than their counterparts who have not done so. It doesn't even have to be that they're concrete in the specifics, only that they've made the decision to begin searching.

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?
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EclecticWheel

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 11:24:44 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?


I was an introspective teen and involved in spiritual seeking.  I had been like that since childhood.  Other teens I knew who were spiritually sensitive often seemed mature and intelligent.  I think this makes them more likely to ponder abstract concepts and thus spirituality, but spiritual discipline may also help them mature as well.

As to your last question, no, I don't think people brought up neo-pagan are necessarily more self aware than Jews, Christians, or Muslims.  I've known very self aware neo-pagans, and I've known others raised in it who were about as aware as a brick.  The same goes for Christians I have known.  I have not known as many Jews or Muslims, but of the ones I have known I would not be inclined to think they were somehow disadvantaged compared to those raised as neo-pagans in terms of self-awareness.  Many of them were very bright and sensitive and generally accepting of others' spiritualities.
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missgraceless

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 08:26:36 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
I seem to have noticed in the past year or so that the teenagers that consciously chose a religious (or nonreligious) path for themselves (without doing it to piss off family) seem to be more emotionally mature than their counterparts who have not done so. It doesn't even have to be that they're concrete in the specifics, only that they've made the decision to begin searching.

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

 
1. Thinking back, the friends that I knew who weren't necessarily JIC (whether atheist or something else), definitely had a larger grasp on the universe. And even now, my JIC friends have a tendency to be more... lacking in the self-awareness area.

2. I think it depends. I know when I was a teen I felt an obligation to be more mature, but that could also be because my mother's and my roles were reversed. Due to her health issues (with some laziness thrown in), I was taking care of her when I was still in junior high. When I started looking into paganism (the fluffy neo-Wiccish flavor), I felt like I had more responsibility to the gods in addition to my own earthly duties.

My witchy friend Joyce (who's also the mother of one of my other friends) knew she was spiritually different from when she was a kid. Her daughter/my friend Julia was raised both pagan and Christian, and she's definitely more self-aware and mature than our other 20-something friends. But I'm not sure if that's because of the spirituality or circumstances of growing up.
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Emma Eldritch

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 12:30:57 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
I seem to have noticed in the past year or so that the teenagers that consciously chose a religious (or nonreligious) path for themselves (without doing it to piss off family) seem to be more emotionally mature than their counterparts who have not done so. It doesn't even have to be that they're concrete in the specifics, only that they've made the decision to begin searching.

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

 
I cannot answer question one, as the youngest people I tend to be around are usually in their early 20s. As for question two... I think the maturity comes first. I think that anyone who decides to take up a new religion/spirituality or leave an old one is the sort of person who has a drive to examine the self. I also think that a fair bit of dedication has to be involved, as spiritual pursuits tend to be a lot of work for a payoff that is very gradual.

I'm not sure I can definitively answer your last question, but I can relate it a bit to my own experiences anyway:

I was raised without religion, but in my teens was transplanted into Bible country. In high school, while most of my friends were pretty much 'meh' on religion, I did know some very rabid evangelical Christians. Later on, my sister and I hung out with five or six other girls who were interested in paganism and we had our own little baby!coven until everything fell apart due to teenage drama.

The evangelical kids were, generally, less worldly than the more secular kids at school. They'd been raised in the church, so they thought of the Bible as law. Not really big on questioning that law, either. But on the other hand, a lot of them were out there doing charity work and trying to help the less fortunate while the rest of us brats were throwing parties or hanging out in cemeteries or whatever the hell we were doing.

Of the pagan group, the most 'mature' of us little Craft wannabes were those of us who were interested in the religious side of the Wicca 101 books. This isn't to knock magic (I love magic) but it's pretty clear that the fun of spells and figuring out spirit animals and all that jazz is a lot more enticing than religious aspects.  As far as I know, of our little clique only three of us are still practising witchcraft, although one of us turned into a Mega Hippie, so she maintains a very nature-oriented spirituality. So, sure, we were mature enough to examine our spiritual decisions, but the group still split because of dramaaaaaaaaaa.

So. I dunno. Inconclusive!

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 01:04:16 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
I seem to have noticed in the past year or so that the teenagers that consciously chose a religious (or nonreligious) path for themselves (without doing it to piss off family) seem to be more emotionally mature than their counterparts who have not done so. It doesn't even have to be that they're concrete in the specifics, only that they've made the decision to begin searching.

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

 
1. I'm... not really sure I can answer this. Sorry.

2. I didn't really pick it up because I was mature. I picked it up because I was sick of male this and male that and wanted to worship a Goddess. I did end up maturing through my changing spirituality, though. So religion came first then the maturity, I guess.

For your bonus question: I was raised non-religious (not Pagan at all) and took a deep interest in Space, Science, Greek and Egyptian mythology and I think I developed more awareness then, say, my ex-friend who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household. She didn't seem to express the same awareness. So I guess it's possible?

Darkhawk

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 02:01:04 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

 
Doing things that leads to doing self-awareness work tends to lead to a higher density of the self-aware.  Actively choosing a different religion among them.  (However, many people who do that do not do any more self-awareness work than is required to land somewhere and buy a few books.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

catloverkid

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 03:41:43 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

 
I'm 19 for another month, that counts as teenaged, right?

1. I grew up in the church, around church kids, and I can say that I thought my church friends were more mature than the kids in school, but I didn't know the kids in school very well, I was never very social, and still am not. So I don't know about that one.

2. I think it depends on if you grow up in it or not; if you've always counted yourself as being part of a religion you'd not have to find the maturity to seek it out, unless you wanted to get deeper into it, or find another one. But I do think that if you conciously seek out a religion, and are willing to do the work to make it work, then the maturity comes first.

As for the third one, I have no experience. Raised Christian.
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Night Owl

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2014, 01:03:45 pm »
Quote from: catloverkid;149693
I'm 19 for another month, that counts as teenaged, right?

1. I grew up in the church, around church kids, and I can say that I thought my church friends were more mature than the kids in school, but I didn't know the kids in school very well, I was never very social, and still am not. So I don't know about that one.

2. I think it depends on if you grow up in it or not; if you've always counted yourself as being part of a religion you'd not have to find the maturity to seek it out, unless you wanted to get deeper into it, or find another one. But I do think that if you conciously seek out a religion, and are willing to do the work to make it work, then the maturity comes first.

As for the third one, I have no experience. Raised Christian.

 
As a teen, I thought I should make a response to this, too.

1. I don't know any other teens who chose their own religious path (or nonreligious path). So, I can't speak for that. I'd like to think of myself as mature: I can make decisions for myself, explore things outside of my parent's worldview, and I'm pretty serious about school. But I also know I'm not mature and I'm not going to be for a long time. When I was 10 I thought I was mature. I wasn't. When I was 10 I read "The God Delusion" and decided that all things religion were horrible (My parents are atheists, but not extreme atheists). And I thought I was mature for doing so. I Had A Point Of View (which in my little mind made me super mature), but I hadn't got the maturity to understand the points of view of others. And it's the same now. I'm going to look back at what I've done now and say "Damn. That was immature." But right now, because of that immaturity, I can't tell when I'm being immature. So I think it's OK.

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

Eeeeh... This whole religion thing has at several points made me do some serious soul-searching, which might give me an extra few maturity points? I think that to choose your own path, first you have to realize that you are a person separate from your family, capable of doing your own damn thing. But that doesn't necessarily come with maturity, it just comes with being a teenager. Your view shifts. I don't think that it really has anything to do with maturity.

3. I wasn't raised pagan. I was raised an atheist. And I don't think it gave me extra perspective, at all. Instead of having an unwavering belief in God like a christian kid, I had an unwavering belief in the lack of God.

catloverkid

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 10:35:16 pm »
Quote from: Night Owl;149755
I Had A Point Of View (which in my little mind made me super mature), but I hadn't got the maturity to understand the points of view of others. And it's the same now. I'm going to look back at what I've done now and say "Damn. That was immature."

 
Oh god, this. I feel this so hard. When I was thirteen or fourteen I heard a sermon and decided I was a Creationist. I got right into it, too. Got magazines and debated evolution with people and everything.

I mean, now, I don't really care what you believe, as long as it makes you happy. I don't particuarly care how we came into being. We just did, and here we are. How we live is more important.

But god it was embarassing, to looking back on.
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baduhmtisss

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2014, 07:55:21 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
I seem to have noticed in the past year or so that the teenagers that consciously chose a religious (or nonreligious) path for themselves (without doing it to piss off family) seem to be more emotionally mature than their counterparts who have not done so. It doesn't even have to be that they're concrete in the specifics, only that they've made the decision to begin searching.

My questions are these:

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

I look forward to seeing your answers!

I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

I think that these are wonderful, yet very difficult questions to answer.

Speaking for myself, the spirituality and the community I involved myself in, gave me the maturity I have today. I'm by no means fabulous, but I've been told I'm more mature then most 'adults' people meet. For me, it's disconcerting.

For question one, I'm a teen, who doesn't really like other teens. Other teens who I've met that attempt to be spiritually aware within a pagan context, tend to lack the ability to see past the neo-wiccan or neo-pagan perspective. They don't particularly care about the fine details, they would rather parade around shooting their new found spirituality in every christian's face, because OMG THEY'RE SO MUCH MORE SPIRITUALLY AWARE, AND OMG THE CHRISTIAN GOD IS BAD.

That's my experience, but I'm sure there is more teens out there who are not this way.

For question two, personally, the Spirituality came first. It's also my experience. I had a drive to find something that was spiritually fulfilling for myself, and by remaining open minded along with investigating EVERYTHING, I grew a healthier understanding of the world around me. By no means am I done maturing, but I tend to think I've done good for my age. I've got a lot more work to do, though.

And, last but not least, the third question. I do not particularly think it matters what religion a child was raised in, it matters what the parents taught them.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 07:57:59 pm by Raine »
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8BitLady

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2014, 07:21:03 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668

2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?


I know when I was a teenager, I didn't seem to 'fit' with my peers. I also tended to read a lot of books and basically keep to myself. I also seemed to hang around my mom and her friends when they came over. I was also pretty much a straight A student.
So, I guess... I was mature, then found Paganism/Wicca.

AineLlewellyn

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 03:46:24 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668

1. For those of you that spend time with teens (or are teens yourselves), do you notice this at all?

I've noticed a few things, with regard to religion and maturity.

Some people who are passionate or at least very involved in the religion they were raised in can be mature - which I'm using here to mean respectful to others, understand boundaries, etc - or they can be very pushy about their faith and, in doing so, really immature. And that goes beyond the typical 'pushy' faiths; I've had teen Pagans, raised by other Pagans, who throw fits if you don't do things Their Way, cause that's The Right Way.

I've also noticed that teens who strike out on their own, choosing their religion, can be very mature...or, again, really pushy about it. Some of this is just that glow of joining a new faith. But I haven't really noticed some clear connection between maturity and religious choice. That's more of a...individual person thing, in my experience.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
2. Do you think that teens who pick their general spiritual paths now do so because they are mature, or do you think that their spirituality makes them mature? To rephrase, did the maturity come first, or did the religion?

For me, since I started working on my own religion when I was a teen, and had been highly but vaguely spiritual for years before, the religion came first. The gods pretty much had to shove maturity onto me. Some of my friends who were highly religious were amazingly mature. I was not one of them.

And I want to point out - a lot of what I was told was mature (such as disliking-to-hating my peers) I now view as pretty abhorrently immature. I matured when I learned that even if I didn't fit in with my peers - and I still don't fit in very well - that didn't make me better or de facto more mature. That I fit in better with adults did not make me more mature. (In fact, what it meant, in reality, was that I was quiet and submissive in a way the adults in my life preferred, giving the appearance of 'maturity' when it reality I was just not 'in their way'.)

Like, I knew I matured when I stopped detesting humanity. Or, well, stopped detesting it for the reasons I had been, which were incredibly petty.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;149668
I have an extra question for anyone who's willing: Do you think that kids raised some kind of Pagan are more self-aware (and just aware in general) than kids raised JIC?

 
I think Pagan kids are just as lacking in self-awareness as JCI kids. Cause, well, they're all kids and teens, so they're all going through a lot. It depends on the individual kid and their family situation how they handle self-awareness and growth. I know I was a total brat of a teenager, even having been raised in a Pagan-ish household.

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 11:11:45 pm »
Quote from: ainellewellyn;151346
And I want to point out - a lot of what I was told was mature (such as disliking-to-hating my peers) I now view as pretty abhorrently immature. I matured when I learned that even if I didn't fit in with my peers - and I still don't fit in very well - that didn't make me better or de facto more mature. That I fit in better with adults did not make me more mature. (In fact, what it meant, in reality, was that I was quiet and submissive in a way the adults in my life preferred, giving the appearance of 'maturity' when it reality I was just not 'in their way'.)

Like, I knew I matured when I stopped detesting humanity. Or, well, stopped detesting it for the reasons I had been, which were incredibly petty.

 
All of this. Being unpopular does not mean you're mature. (I pretty much thought it did, back then. Heh.)

Juniperberry

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 02:22:57 am »
Quote from: ainellewellyn
Like, I knew I matured when I stopped detesting humanity. Or, well, stopped detesting it for the reasons I had been, which were incredibly petty.

This is one of my favorite things ever: Maturity Growth Climb

I especially like:  

(Immature vs Mature)

Focuses on differences vs Focuses on having friends
Takes problems out on others vs talking problems out with others
Takes everything personally vs understands
Blames world for problems vs blames self for world.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 02:24:38 am by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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Re: Link Between Maturity and Spirituality
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 03:43:05 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;151521
This is one of my favorite things ever: Maturity Growth Climb

I especially like:  

(Immature vs Mature)

Focuses on differences vs Focuses on having friends
Takes problems out on others vs talking problems out with others
Takes everything personally vs understands
Blames world for problems vs blames self for world.

 
I like this. I may just have to use it somewhere... :)
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

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