Volume 6 / Issue 1 SPRING 2020

4 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 6 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 0 Secular, global society has for many years been troubled, facing a wide range of significant challenges [1]. In this context, in search of both intelligent explanations and healthy solutions, a lecture given to mark the inauguration of a spiritual library, drawing on library-related themes – the meanings of key words from the lecture title, the value of books, and the benefits of silence – explores the notion of life as a journey in six stages towards spiritual maturity and wisdom. According to the lecturer, individual souls can be described as being permanently and harmoniously connected with an overarching, universal spirit. Nevertheless, the arc of this pilgrimage involves a split from infancy between the false everyday Ego and the true spiritual Self , which separation may begin healing as worldly ambitions give way to more spiritual priorities. Scientific observations and spiritual intuitions can both be shown to evince a holistic vision of universal connectedness. Wisdom, and associated spiritual values, are based on this profound sense of kinship with all others, with nature, and with the divine. People can improve their chances of experiencing cosmic wholeness through wisdom exercises, especially through engaging deeply with silence – as evidence by the lecturer’s personal story of having “the feeling that God was speaking directly into my ear”– and through the careful study of wisdom literature, a number of examples of which, from different religious traditions, are recommended. Prior to a concluding summary, the lecture ends by addressing the question of what might happen to the human soul after the body dies. Received April 9, 2020 Revised April 14, 2020 Accepted April 14, 2020 Key words Spirituality, soul, psyche, silence, wisdom