This article is the result of the study of the following problem – the role of culture in the formation and spiritual development of the individual. To assess the significance of culture, the author considers various interpretations of the “culture” concept, the nature of culture as a means of accumulation, storage, transmission of human experience, its multitasking, as well as the process of spiritual development of the individual in the triunity of “body-soul-spirit” in the cultural space. The author analyzes the humanitarian culture that contributes to the spiritual growth and perfection of the individual. The conclusion is made about the relationship between culture and spirituality: the possibility of developing and educating the spirit, soul and body at different levels of influence – spiritual, intellectual, cultural, moral, labor, physical, aesthetic, etc. An important emphasis in the article is placed on the problems of spiritual and moral guidelines of the modern generation, brought up in the conditions of digitalization of everyday life, the predominance of contactless (correspondence, network) ways of communication. At the same time, the education of universal and national cultural values is an integral part of a harmonious personality development, which is emphasized by both teachers and psychologists, and is reflected, in the state approach to education, patriotism and national identity promoted in society. General cultural humanitarian values should become the basis for the development of the spiritual world of a person, regardless of the technological structure and the prevailing norms of behavior, country, race, and religion.
In the rapidly developing world of science, technology, and information technology, insufficient attention is paid to the problem of spirituality (spiritual growth) of the individual, which is the basis of the inner world of a person with its uniqueness. In modern society, the younger generation is mainly focused on the values dictated by the market economy. Young people are influenced by the media, which often promotes a way of life – to live beautifully and freely, without obligations to other people and society. As a result, there is a shift in cultural orientations, a reorientation of young people – from a preference for intangible values to material ones (Dyagilev & Zamiralova, 2020). Practicality, as the dominant value, often contributes to the development of selfish aspirations, which largely determines the behavior of young people as consumers (Kirillova, 2019). Therefore, the problem of spiritual and moral guidelines, the return to historical spiritual origins, the education of universal, national, and cultural values in the development of the individual is relevant. The urgency of the problem also lies in the fact that it is necessary to take into account in the development of the individual the essence of human nature, as a trinity of “body-soul-spirit”, the significance of this energy component; spirituality, their interrelation, interpenetration, influence on the inner world of the individual.
In the scientific world, there are several meaningful interpretations of the concept of “culture”, which, in turn, led to different methodological approaches to its cognition. The analysis of the works of foreign and domestic researchers showed these differences in approaches:
- humanitarian culture – the division of two cultures into scientific-technical and humanitarian, the analysis of the process of the individual spiritual growth in the cultural space, the study of the tradition of Christian morality in modern education (Kashaeva, 2017; Rickert, 1998; Snow, 1963);
- tuning fork culture – as a new qualitative level of relations between man, nature, society, and culture (Honigman, 1954; Madzhuga et al., 2019; Spengler, 2019);
- the formation of culture for familiarization with it, which occurs in the process of interaction of the media system with cultural values in the cultural concepts of the media (Gryaznova et al., 2020; Orochovska & Abysova, 2016; Shutaleva et al., 2020);
- innovative culture for the regulation of social subjects innovative behavior (Sergeeva et al., 2019);
- culture, as a spiritual and value activity of a person, as a set of human progress, contributing to the spiritual improvement of the individual (Bolshakov, 2002).
In the framework of this study, the humanitarian culture and its significance in the development and upbringing of a person will be considered in more detail.
What is the relationship between culture and spirituality?
How does culture affect the spiritual world of a person?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is defined by the author as an analysis of the humanitarian culture role in the formation and spiritual growth of the individual, which is actualized by the current situation of the existing (traditional, pre-digital) value system transformation.
The research is based on the philosophical and cultural methodology, applied general scientific methods of theoretical knowledge: analysis, comparison and generalization of foreign and Russian studies on the role of culture in the formation and spiritual growth of the individual.
Culture is often divided into spiritual, which includes the sphere of spiritual production (religion, philosophy, science, art, etc.) and material, which covers the sphere of material production and its products (technology, technology). There is a unity between spiritual and material culture – both are the result of human activity, having a spiritual origin – ideas, plans. However, between them there are differences: in the spiritual culture is the main spiritual content (the manifestation of the spirit in the world and man, of the soul, which consists in the predominance of spiritual, moral interests), the material culture is often no signs of spirituality. However, the rejection of the material component is one of the extreme concepts. On the contrary, material opportunities allow you to increase your spiritual potential, improving your education, adopting the best from other cultures. The goal is to achieve harmony between material and spiritual growth.
Culture is multifunctional, as it acts as a means of accumulating, storing, and transmitting human experience. In more detail, we would like to focus on the culture that contributes to the spiritual improvement of the individual – humanitarian.
The humanitarian sphere refers to a wide range of general views and approaches in the field of culture and education: culture acts as a social memory of humanity, education – as a form of transmission of social experience. Humanitarian culture explores the spiritual life of a person and society, influencing the feelings and emotions of an individual, contributes to the development of the spiritual and spiritual component of a person. Spirituality is structurally part of the humanitarian culture; they are interconnected and interpenetrate each other, since the humanitarian factor is one of the defining indicators of spirituality. There is no doubt about the importance of humanitarian knowledge for the spiritual growth of the individual, which puts the person in the first place as the main value and the main dimension of society. In addition to forming the general culture of a person, meeting his aesthetic needs, humanitarian knowledge occupies a significant place in education and science, since in order to contribute to culture, a person needs to assimilate the spiritual values created before him, to develop his own personal cultural background (Kalenchuk & Sokolova, 2019; Sosnovskaya et al., 2019).
The spiritual world of a person is the basis of harmony in life, it is a sphere of the subjective inner world, in which he manifests his abilities: intellectual, creative and other, which are expressed in certain types of activities, in the system of values. The criteria of a person’s spirituality are his spiritual activity aimed at determining the truth, self-knowledge, production and consumption of spiritual values expressed in ideas, images, and laws. As a result of the individual’s spiritual activity (creativity), a special type of culture is formed – spiritual culture.
The most significant types of spiritual culture are considered to be religion, philosophy, science and art, intellectual, moral, and artistic culture. Intellectual culture, acting as a culture of thinking, the culture of speech, in its essence, is a cultural process that affects the development of the individual. Art, as a phenomenon of spiritual culture that has an aesthetic impact on a person, represents a special sphere of human activity, generated by the human spirit. The cognitive-heuristic function of art reflects the cognitive role of art, expressed in the ability to reflect and master those aspects of life that are difficult for science to access.
The spiritual core of culture is religion. Religion, as one of the oldest forms of culture, has a special experience of humanity, connected with the understanding of the relationship between nature and man. The manifestations of irrationality, intuition, faith, and superstition that exist in culture represent a kind of spiritual experience that is internally interconnected with religion. By directly influencing the human consciousness with a creed, a ritual, a confession, a sermon, religion seeks to touch the eternal.
The most important component of culture is the value-normative system that forms its internal core, because it gives order and predictability to society. With the help of the “value” concept, the personal meaning for a person is characterized. The system of values is distributed according to their social significance and importance. The most important of them is the life of a person. The importance is attached to spiritual values that ensure the development of the individual, his freedom and material values that ensure the existence of the individual. Starting to form in childhood and then growing up under the influence of life experience, spiritual values are determined by the characteristics of the individual, the system of education and represent the spiritual world of the individual. Independently setting priorities, the individual forms his own system of values, depending on the state of consciousness and changing throughout life. Thus, a worldview is formed, which is the basis of the spiritual world of a person, a unique set of individual personality characteristics. As the most important component of human spirituality, the worldview is a set of views, norms, attitudes that determine a person's attitude to the world and act as guidelines for his behavior.
The value functions of culture consist in the formation of values, ideals, norms, through the system of which the regulation of human activity is carried out. Culture, in this regard, is considered as the ennobling of a person and the environment by creating spiritual values. In the value system of any culture, there are always universal and national values.
Universal values are put above national values, because they are eternal, permanent, have an absolute character, are important for all mankind, acting as a regulator of human behavior. Reflecting the experience of humanity, these values are formulated in religious and moral systems in the form of commandments, etc. Morality, as one of the universal values, is often associated with religious faith. God, at the same time, acts as the embodiment of the highest moral values.
Permeating all spheres of human activity, morality, as a universal value, fulfills an educational role, since moral norms act as universal, expressing the specifics of the human, ideals and principles. Moral norms are supported precisely by public opinion, public assessments-approval or censure, ideas about good and evil, conscience, duty, and justice. Acting as a normative function of culture, morality regulates the behavior of people.
The problem of values, particularly national values, has always attracted the attention of teachers, who suggested that they should pay more attention to “all Russian”, and that their native language should be promoted as the core of national education. So, Bobylev (2018) considers the problem of spiritual and moral education of young people, involving the assimilation of moral values and norms. Kartashova et al. (2018), Pushkarev and Pushkareva (2020) researched issues of identity formation in the modern information society. In connection with the transition to digital technologies, the information glut associated with active computerization, one of the characteristic trends in the modern cultural development of young people and society as a whole has become a decrease in interest and craving for reading (Zalutskaya, 2020).
Today, there are increasing trends that contribute to the decline of national feelings, the erasure of national characteristics. Therefore, so much attention is paid to education. It is education, as a purposeful process, that contributes to the formation and development of the individual. The system of education should correspond to the system of values functioning in the society. It is necessary to revive education with national values: family, respect for the child’s parents, his cultural identity, language, values of the country in which the person lives, because life, good, homeland for the child begins with the nearest environment and only then begins the understanding of universal values.
Spiritual development is a complex process that involves the deliberate evolution of personal qualities, the transformation of a person as a whole, when there is a unity of the three main components of human nature: spirit, soul, body and personality, seeking natural balance. Personal spiritual development requires growth, progress, a qualitative change in the person himself, which manifests itself in self-improvement, which allows the individual to reveal his potential in creativity, self-realization and self-knowledge of his essence, the search for a life purpose and God in himself.
Spirituality is often seen as a connection to God. Due to the fact that spiritual life reflects the inner life of a person, much attention is paid to spiritual education, which leads to higher spiritual values. It manifests itself in the development of the spiritual nature of man, directs the development of the individual, his intellect along the moral path, since morality is a necessary condition for spiritual development.
Man, created in the image and likeness of God, is a trinity: the unity of spirit, soul and body. The recognition of the soul has always been the main theme of all philosophical theories. World science, unlike Soviet science, has never denied the soul and considered it the source of life, the spiritual component of a person, the focus of emotions and feelings.
Christian psychology reveals the relationship between the spiritual and spiritual life of a person. Archbishop and neurosurgeon Luka (1978) (V. F. Voino-Yasenetsky) in his work “Spirit, Soul, Body” explains the inner life of a person: during life, the spirit and soul of a person are inseparably united into a single entity. The archbishop notes that the elements of a person’s mental activity, his feelings, thought processes associated with the activity of the brain, perceptions, both organic and sensory, which make up the elements of self-sensation and self-perception, are mortal. Those elements of self-consciousness that are associated with the life of the spirit are immortal (Luka, 1978).
Ostrovsky (2017) notes that in Christian psychology, the human spirit is considered as a more important substrate of memory compared to the brain. If everything that happens in our consciousness as a reflection of the external and internal world (our thoughts, feelings, volitional acts) is stored in the spirit, then the soul is a complex of organic and sensory perceptions, thoughts, memories, emotions and volitional acts, united by self-consciousness.
Various sciences: philosophy, psychology, bioenergetics and others put forward hypotheses, considering the soul as a kind of ideal-material integrity, the substance of the personality, which make up its natural essence. It is this ideal-material totality that determines in a person his natural-social essence, his individuality and uniqueness, the ability to spiritual life, creativity.
As a unique creation of God, only man has in himself the union of spirit and matter, representing the unity of the three forces: spirit, soul and body, which support life in him, which are in balance. If we know quite a lot about the body, something about the soul, then we know almost nothing about our spirit and its functions, laws. Everything we know about the human spirit is taken from the Scriptures and the personal experiences of individuals. Knowledge of the human spirit is important, because it is only in the spirit, which is the Divine energy, that man meets God. The spirit, as a third force arising from the antagonism of the soul and mind, harmonizes them. Thus, the spirit is the highest component of man, located in the innermost sphere of his being; the body is the outer shell of the soul, and the soul is the outer shell of the spirit. Knowing the essence of the concept of “spirit”, “soul”, we can conclude that all the components of a person are subject to education – spirit, soul, mind (intellect), body, and their integrity. The correct worldview coordinates them, since the worldview is the personality core.
Summarizing the above, it should be noted that the correct understanding of the essence of human nature as a triunity of “body-soul-spirit”, each of them is subject to education, contributes to the harmonious development of the individual.
In connection with the transition to digital technologies, information saturation associated with active computerization, one of the characteristic trends of modern cultural development of young people and society as a whole, has become a decrease in interest in reading, as a result, the literacy of the population has decreased.
Thus, as a result of the analysis, we can conclude about the relationship between spirituality and culture. Due to the fact that the criterion of a person’s spirituality is his activity as the production of spiritual culture and values that simultaneously act as cultural, therefore, spirituality is structurally included in culture, their interpenetration and interdependence can be traced. Therefore, culture, directly, spiritually influencing the inner world of a person, creates opportunities for knowledge and harmonious individual growth.
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15 July 2021
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Globalization, digital education, leadership, challenges of the time, оn-line pedagogy, universal and national values
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Nadtochey, Z. (2021). Culture And The Spiritual World Of Man. In A. G. Shirin, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, E. Y. Ignateva, & N. A. Shaydorova (Eds.), Education in a Changing World: Global Challenges and National Priorities, vol 114. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 711-718). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.07.02.85