Tuesday , June 19, 2018

Vugt: Spirituality of aging and dying

TRUE human wisdom requires that a person makes the long journey into the wilderness of life’s joys, sufferings, possibilities, and uncanny unities amid diversity. There are five stages of experiential learning:

Exposure – consciousness and readiness for further experience.

Participation – becoming part of the experience.

Identification – coming together of the learner and the experience.

Internalization – experience affecting life.

Dissemination – positive sharing through personalized sharing.

All steps are pursued in view of the vision-mission-goals of a particular educational system or institution where ideal graduates and personal attributes are partly measured by their impact on society.

Program outcomes are directed at competencies, while course designs are focused on intended learning outcomes within a learning environment characterized by outcome-based experiential tasks which learners are expected to do or achieve.

In the case of aging and dying, lived experiences contribute to deeper and enriched learning. Unless we are confronted with and have experienced firsthand the reality of aging, dying and death, we might not be able to understand what people go through in the various ramifications of aging, death and dying. Here lies the beauty of the Experiential Taxonomy of five major steps/processes as basic framework in this exposition.

Death is not reserved for senior citizens, the aging and the infirm. It can happen to anyone regardless of chronological age, just like the most recent and current occurrences that went/are viral on social media.

Lately, most people we have seen on television, read and/or heard of were young and able-bodied persons when their lives were snuffed in varied circumstances, to our dismay, but with only trickles of complaint and concern from the general public.

We have not yet raised our voices in unison and anger as a nation, At the moment, varied voices are heard; some instinctual, others brash. Our ongoing discernment has not led us to act proactively at this point.

What is spirituality? We shall dwell on it by way of vignettes and models later. We only know that based on our experience, spirituality has grown in us. Or is it the other way around?

We define spirituality as a way of life based on one’s outlook or attitude; it is a perspective, a stance towards life born out of one’s experience, conviction and world view. It is not just a concept but springs from one’s interconnectivity with the Divine or in being possessed by God in the many ramifications of life. It evolves through the years. It is very different from organized religion or a particular faith tradition, but is closely related or connected to it.

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