Why does the human being need to find answers?

05.06.2020

The scientistic position is based on scientific knowledge and theories and on chance as an explanation of these questions. 

Relationship between psychology and spirituality

Spirituality is often linked to disciplines such as religion, philosophy, or neurology (Neurologist V. Ramachandran has shown that mentally healthy people have increased activity in the temporal lobe when exposed to spiritual words or themes) and is currently also object of attention of psychology, more directly in transpersonal and humanistic psychology (among whose references are A. Maslow, G. Allport and C. Rogers) that include spirituality as part of an integrated and multidimensional conception of the human being (as a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual reality).

Within the realm of psychology, psychologists Koenig, McCullough and Larson point to spirituality as the personal quest to understand the answers to the latest questions about life, its meaning and the relationship with the sacred or the transcendent, which may or may not lead to the development of religious rituals and the formation of a community.

The relationship between psychology and spirituality is justified by the fact that the experience of existential questions occurs through mental phenomena such as meditation, states of consciousness, introspection, mystical experiences, self-transcendence, self-realization, etc. , which are subject of study of psychology. However, the essence of this relationship rests on two basic questions:

  • Why does the human being need to have answers to existential questions to configure his spirituality?
  • What can psychology contribute to the spirituality of the person?

Why does the human being need answers?

Human beings have a tendency to live in a balanced, calm and placid state of mind that allows them to live in harmony with themselves and with their environment, but in many people this state is altered by the concern caused by not having a satisfactory response to they. This concern of psychological origin arises from two demands of human nature that have to do with survival and its relationship with the external environment:

The need for meaning

The need for things to have a meaning, a meaning (including life itself), which drives him to discover and explain everything around him (why, how and why things happen), and for this you need to acquire more and more knowledge.

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Regarding this need, it should be noted that the human being is naturally curious and eager for knowledge (it is related to the principle of sufficient reason described by philosophy, which maintains that everything that exists has a reason that explains its existence and drives man to wonder about the reasons that sustain what surrounds him), and in this desire to know he uses his mental faculties to achieve it (intelligence, memory, creativity, intuition, etc.). In this regard, Martin Seligman considers wisdom and love of knowledge (curiosity and interest in the world, interest in learning, critical thinking and an open mind) as one of the virtues required to achieve well-being.

To obtain an explanation and a meaning to the world where we live, we mainly resort to the mental program that governs the cause-effect relationship, which starts from the premise that all observed phenomena have a cause (a reason to exist), and to know this cause information is needed. If we had all the necessary information on these questions, perhaps we could find a valid answer to them through reasoning, observation and experimentation. But the problem is that we currently lack complete and truthful information, and this lack prevents us from knowing the absolute truth about them and drives us to create numerous theories and hypotheses to supply it.

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