"Spiritual" is perhaps the most eye roll worthy adjective in use today. The original meaning of the word "spirit" is "breath" or "air", and then over the years it picked up a bevy of meanings, all tinted by history and easily confused by the inherent vagueness of the term. Without accepting any type of doctrinaire religion, either inside the monotheistic mode or out of it, the world spiritual might have connotations of awe, majesty and the ineffable. However, through some strange process, its modern connotations are almost more of a fashion or a style. To say that a person is "spiritual" probably means they have an easy manner and like to wear earth tones. Although always a vague word, spiritual has migrated to being truly insipid, suggesting nothing more than an aesthetic of restfulness.

And don't even start me on "spiritual but not religious".

And yet, for all its abuse, I sometimes find myself having to use the term "spiritual", although sometimes I have to apologize and explain before I do so. To call experiences spiritual seems to be a natural and important category. I was recently talking to a female friend of mine, and when she said that she had a long and unrequited love for a man, I asked her what she saw in him. After naming off the usual suspects, I asked her if there was anything spiritually fulfilling that made the otherwise troublesome relationship worthwhile. And of course, I could have avoided the dread word "spiritual", but to do so, I would have had to replace it with a string of words to communicate my meaning: "Does this relationship provide you with mental and emotional growth that is beyond your normal experiences in such, and do so in a lasting way that communicates to something deeper in your being, giving you a lasting and dramatic change in your life", or something to that effect. In other words, although the vagueness and recent insipidity are both barriers to the use of the adjective "spiritual", it is still a word that communicates something, and an important something.