Spirituality may involve perceiving or wishing to perceive life as more important ("higher"), more complex or more integrated with one's world view; as contrasted with the merely sensual. Spirituality can comprise both inner growth, changing oneself as one changes one's relationship with the external universe, and the outer process of transforming the physical reality around oneself as a result of the inward change. A sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality — connection to something "greater" than oneself, which includes an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence. Many spiritual traditions, accordingly, share a common spiritual theme: the "path", "work", practice, or tradition of perceiving and internalizing one's "true" nature and relationship to the rest of existence (God, creation (the universe), or life), and of becoming free of the lesser egoic self (or ego) in favor of being more fully one's "true" "Self".
An important distinction exists between spirituality in religion and spirituality as opposed to religion. In recent years, spirituality in religion often carries connotations of a believer having a faith more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the doctrinal/dogmatic faiths of mature religions. People of a more New-Age disposition tend to regard spirituality not as religion, but as the active connection to a force/power/energy, spirit, or sense of the deep self.
Though many people practice prayer and believe it affects their health, only limited scientific evidence supports the efficacy of prayer. In keeping with a general increase in interest in spirituality and complementary and alternative treatments, prayer has garnered attention among a growing number of behavioral scientists. For instance, praying for a few minutes would be exoteric, but the saying of that same prayer by a devout person for many hours on end would, over time, become esoteric.
Does our ego interfere with our spiritual progress? It is simply that our common experience, what we get if we do not develop our spiritual faculties, is exoteric.
A disembodied mind will quickly get depressed, no matter how powerful.
If we can become the transformers of power by cultivating a new way of being together in our everyday lives, then we help reverse the downward spiral from fear to love, from war to peace, from alienation to connection.