But First -- Are You Spiritual?
Cognate words in Swedish are andlighet, which has strong connotations of the church-going little old lady, and spiritualitet, which means "a humorous way with words" (though less well-read Swedes have begun to use it to denote spirituality in the American non-sense). Spirituality seems to be what younger Swedes mean when they say "I'm not religious, but I do believe in something".
I think the main reason that it's so hard to understand "spirituality" is that it refers to feelings that are impossible to communicate clearly. Each American who professes spirituality very likely means different things, though they will never know that as they can't visit the insides of each other's brains. To explain what they mean, they may cite their feelings when watching the stars, walking in majestic natural scenery or gazing into the eyes of babies. Those things of course awaken profound feelings of something or other* in me too. But what do they have to do with spirits? Concretely speaking, there's no such thing as spirits or souls. There's just brains harbouring thoughts and emotions. Evolution has made sure to equip me with wonderful feelings for babies. It's a good way to help them stay alive until maturity, which is all that evolution really cares about.
So "spirituality" can mean pretty much anything. I'm tentatively translating the word as "undogmatic religion". A good thing about old-school dogmatic religions with carefully worded creeds and rigidly delimited canons of literature is that you know exactly what they expect you to believe. I only need to read the first line of the Nicene Creed to know that I'm not a Christian. But how do I know whether myself or anyobody else is spiritual? Really no way of telling. You can't reasonably contradict me if I say you're murglezoinggg either, as none of us knows what the word means.
Maybe I'm in fact a deeply spiritual man. Or a highly neebzeebluffle one. I guess I'll never know.
* Douglas Adams & John Lloyd. 1983. The Meaning of Liff. "Hambledon (n.). The sound of a single-engined aircraft flying by, heard whilst lying in a summer field in England, which somehow concentrates the silence and sense of space and timelessness and leaves one with a profound feeling of something or other."
[More blog entries about spirituality, religion; andlighet, religion.]