I recently posted a promo picture to my social media accounts in an effort to market my spiritual fiction book series, The Last Prophet. I was surprised to receive a comment on Facebook that had me thinking. The comment was “Spiritual is not fiction.” A simple enough comment that could have been understood in different ways, both positive and negative, but the only reply I could give to the commenter was “You are right. Spiritual is not fiction, but the book series and its contents are spiritual in nature.” I doubt my reply to the person was sufficient, but it was the best I could do at the time. Both the commenter and the word “spiritual” had me thinking… what is spiritual fiction really?
One definition for spiritual is as follows:
- Of, relating to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.
- Of or relating to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.
- Closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.: the professor’s spiritual heir in linguistics.
- Of or relating to spirits or to spiritualists; supernatural or spiritualistic.
- Characterized by or suggesting predominance of the spirit; ethereal or delicately refined: She is more of a spiritual type than her rowdy brother.
- Of or relating to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature.
- Of or relating to sacred things or matters; religious; devotional; sacred
(Complete definition can be found at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spiritual?s=t)
Those who follow my Facebook page or any of my other social media sites know that I often post or re-post images, pictures, or quotes of a religiously spiritual nature. I have discovered that many of my followers on social media are from religious or cultural backgrounds very different from my own. Although we are from a variety of diverse upbringings, religious beliefs, and countries, it is through our interest in spirituality that we find our common interest and common ground. Some may call the genre metaphysical, but I don’t think it is the same. While metaphysical has to do with things “beyond” the physical nature of things, spiritual deals with that which others describe very specifically as “spirit” (again, see the above definition).
The way I define my writing within the fiction genre is “spiritual” because I deal with things that I have understood to be of the spirit, supernatural, moral or religious. I make up stories, in essence, and that is why it is fiction. It does not mean that I believe spirituality is fiction. On the contrary, it is real and tangible in my mind. I say this because I can see the evidence of its existence in various ways – miracles, both small and great; the fact that life exists and the boundless wonders of discovery, my children and watching them grow each day, the resilience of the human spirit in the face of evil or adversity. All these are evidence of something spiritual living inside the physical. Can spirit be fully explained? Yes, but not easily, and certainly not with philosophy or science or religion or reason alone. The best explanation is lived rather than tested, experienced rather than studied.
How would you explain “spiritual” to someone? Is it the same as metaphysical? Should it be explained? Please comment in the space provided.
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