Rem B. Edwards
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This article explores a form of ethics and spirituality based on the nearly universal but often undeveloped human capacity for identifying self with others and with non-personal values. It begins with commonplace non-moral identification experiences, then describes identification with others in ethical and spiritual unions. Freud’s psychological emphasis on identification is linked with ethics and spirituality, though Freud would have objected. Robert S. Hartman’s three kinds of goodness—systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic—are applied to abundant ethical and spiritual living through identification. Intrinsic identification with intrinsic values is the highest moral ideal; intrinsic identification with ultimate reality and with goodness in all its forms is the highest spiritual ideal.
Keywords Spirituality  Spiritual development  Identification psychology  Robert S. Hartman  Ethics and Identification  Spirituality and Identification  Christian Values  Mysticism  Values in Religion
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