Handout 2: Stages of Spiritual Growth
WHAT STAGE ARE YOU IN?
A Faith Stage Checklist
from Finding Your Religion by Scotty McLennan (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999)
Reprinted with permission.
Stage One (Magic)
Is your world full of spirits and demons?
Are fairy tales your favorite kind of literature?
Do you think God makes everything happen, for good and bad?
Stage Two (Reality)
Do you spend a lot of time trying to determine what's real and what's not?
Are scriptures true in a concrete and literal sense, rather than being stories and maxims that may or may not be real?
Do you feel that you can influence God's actions by being good?
Stage Three (Dependence)
Do you have a very important peer group or leader who is primarily responsible for shaping your faith?
Is it important to you to understand and follow religious doctrine and moral rules?
Is your main image of God that of a perfect parent?
Stage Four (Independence)
Is your spiritual life unique and personal?
Do you often find yourself wanting to demystify scripture?
Do you think of God or Ultimate Reality primarily as an impersonal force or spirit (or as nonexistent)?
Stage Five (Interdependence)
Do you find a spiritual community important to you at the same time that you maintain your own distinctive faith?
Do you experience spiritual power in religious symbols and myths that you can also analyze objectively?
Do you conceive of God or Ultimate Reality both as a person and as an impersonal force?
Stage Six (Unity)
Do you sense yourself in community with religiously committed people of any and all traditions?
Is your consciousness ego-free and beyond paradox and ambiguity?
Do you often feel that God or divine spirit is in everything and that everything exists in God or divine spirit?