Based on more than 30 years of psychological counseling and
pastoral care, Howard Clinebell believes that humans have seven spiritual
hungers in common:
All people need to experience regularly the
healing and empowerment of love - from others, self, and an ultimate
Everyone needs to experience renewing times of
transcendence - moments that expand us beyond the immediate sensory spheres.
Everybody needs vital beliefs that give some
sense of meaning and hope the midst of losses, tragedies, and failures.
Every person needs to have values, priorities,
and life commitments - usually centered in issues of justice, integrity, and
love - that guide us in personally and socially responsible living.
Each human being needs to discover and develop
their inner wisdom, creativity and love of their unique transpersonal/spiritual
All people need a deepening awareness of oneness
with other people and with the natural world, the wonderful web of all living
Every human being needs spiritual resources to
help heal the painful wounds of grief, guilt, resentment, unforgiveness,
self-rejection, and shame. We also need spiritual resources to deepen our
experiences of trust, self-esteem, hope, joy and love of life.
Clinebell feels that everybody must pay
attention to these needs to feel whole and fulfilled, making spirituality
central to human well-being (Clinebell, 1992).
Readers who feel uncomfortable with the words spiritual or
spirituality can substitute their own words - perhaps words like connection or
love or meaning.
Do you recognize any of these spiritual needs in yourself?