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Source: (consider it) Thread: what is spirituality?
Tukai
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I was asked the other day to give a one-sentence definition of the word "spirituality" and have found it hard to do so. What ideas do shipmates have?

Personally, I have had spiritual feelings from time to time, most often when I find myself surrounded by nature - e.g. in the bushland that surrounds the town where I live. At such times I am conscious of the glories of God's creation and the puniness of mankind (and especially myself) in comparison. Other experiences which I might call spiritual include being around a newborn person (i.e. a baby = new life), or experiencing the love of others in times of crisis. But "spirituality" in the abstract? that's harder for me to get a handle on. How about for you?

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Schroedinger's cat

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I would probably come up with something about activities or events or whatever that nourish the soul.

Or those things that your soul finds nourishing and helpful. This is different for each person, and at different times. Which means it is not a static thing, and so you need to explore your own spirituality continually.

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take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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ThunderBunk

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To me, spirituality is something like "God living in us". The activities mentioned so far are spiritual because they are ways of celebrating and cultivating that presence, and indeed tuning into it. So is contemplative prayer, cooking (for some, writing/reading, talking to certain people, the sacraments, etc., etc.

As well as their other effects and aspects, all of them have a way of evoking and responding to the divine presence which can draw us further into it.

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Dafyd
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I'd say spirituality is a practice that puts us in touch with what matters most. Alternatively, it is the virtue or character trait of caring about those things that matter most, as opposed to temporary finite goods and possessions.

Charles Taylor, a Canadian philosopher, coined a couple of terms, hypergoods and moral sources, while talking about the structure of the ethical world in general. A hypergood is an overarching good that gives meaning to lesser goods within one's lifes; God in Christianity, or Nirvana in Buddhism, or Reason-and-Science in scientific rationalism, etc. A moral source is something that refreshes our vision of the good and so gives us the power to live a better life - God (again), or nature, or the story of the struggle of science against religion.
Spirituality is then a practice that connects us to a hypergood or a moral source.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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SusanDoris

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Whenever I see the word spirituality being taken for granted as associated only with faith beliefs, mainly belief in the Christian God, I challenge that!
Every human being has a spiritual aspect to his or her personality, i.e. an instinctive feeling and appreciation of art in all its aspects.
Can anyone think of a single person who does not possess any such aspect?
The feelings, emotions and ascribed meanings of such feelings and experiences would appear to be an essential survival trait. Perhaps this is because those who could sing, or find a piece of cane and turn it into a musical instrument, or make pictures or use words to tell a story helped to make a group of humans more co-operative and safer with, therefore, better survival rates.
I claim to be as spiritual as the next person, but I am totally without any faith belief.
I wonder if anyone can say I am not spiritual and explain why that is?!!

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Paul.
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Spirituality seems to be one of those vague terms that's deliberately open to multiple definitions. It's a way of talking about stuff that would otherwise come under the categories of Religion or Faith or the Supernatural without committing to a specific overall worldview.

This is both a strength and a weakness.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Whenever I see the word spirituality being taken for granted as associated only with faith beliefs, mainly belief in the Christian God, I challenge that!

I would challenge the use of spiritual by an atheist. It pertains to spirit or soul.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Whenever I see the word spirituality being taken for granted as associated only with faith beliefs, mainly belief in the Christian God, I challenge that!

I would challenge the use of spiritual by an atheist. It pertains to spirit or soul.
This seems to imply that you think that atheists do not have a spirit or a soul! If you think that, how do you define your own spirit or your soul and know that you have one and atheists haven't?!

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Whenever I see the word spirituality being taken for granted as associated only with faith beliefs, mainly belief in the Christian God, I challenge that!

I would challenge the use of spiritual by an atheist. It pertains to spirit or soul.
Humanists are atheists, but not gross materialists. There are gross materialists, who (nearly always angrily) deny the existence of anything other than what can be physically observed, seeing the involvement (for example) of certain regions of the brain and neurotransmitters in spiritual experiences as evidence of their inauthenticity, rather than merely of the fact that a human being is having an experience. The spirit cannot be observed directly but can definitely be experienced. Some atheists deny that experience; some don't.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Whenever I see the word spirituality being taken for granted as associated only with faith beliefs, mainly belief in the Christian God, I challenge that!

I would challenge the use of spiritual by an atheist. It pertains to spirit or soul.
This seems to imply that you think that atheists do not have a spirit or a soul! If you think that, how do you define your own spirit or your soul and know that you have one and atheists haven't?!
I think you have misunderstood what lilBuddha is saying. It's not that she doesn't think atheists have a soul. The atheists themselves don't think they have souls. So why are they hijacking a word that at root means spirit or soul? They are, by their own lights, misusing the word. I think that is lilBuddha's point. She will of course correct me, and rightfully so, if I got it wrong.

All that said, I think her objection presupposes a dualism that is not necessary for speaking of spirit. (Spirit or soul -- I am just going to use the one word because the text was getting clunky trying to say "spirit or soul" over and over.) One can believe in a spirit not as an additional existence that is parallel to, or inhabiting, the body. Rather one can believe spirit is a feature of, or a function of, or an "epiphenomenon" of, the body. If this is the case, then one can be a "gross materialist" and still be spiritual and think in terms of the spiritual. One is just focusing on one of the many things the body does: the one that appreciates sunsets and towering forests and Gregorian chant.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I think you have misunderstood what lilBuddha is saying. It's not that she doesn't think atheists have a soul. The atheists themselves don't think they have souls. So why are they hijacking a word that at root means spirit or soul? They are, by their own lights, misusing the word. I think that is lilBuddha's point. She will of course correct me, and rightfully so, if I got it wrong.

Nah, nah, you feel me, bruv.

quote:

All that said, I think her objection presupposes a dualism that is not necessary for speaking of spirit.

The dualism isn't necessary for the word, but I think is for the topic of "spirituality". Otherwise the word becomes essentially meaningless.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Jammy Dodger

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Rather than attempt a definition I will just say that I use the word "spirituality" as a collective term for whatever things (usually practices) that help a person connect with "the spiritual" (whatever that means for them) so for Christians it might be what things help them feel connected to God.

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wild haggis
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In 200's spirituality became part of the English National Curriculum. It wasn't RE but crossed all subject areas. You can't really put it in one sentence.

I remember hearing one professor at Kings in London, explaining that trying to describe spirituality was like catching a puff of air in a jam jar. You know it is there, you can't really see it and to describe it............

I suppose it is what makes us human; the ability to think outside of ourselves, to empathise, to be have sense of awe and wonder (ah.... I hear all those primary teachers I gave workshops to going ******!!!!). We had to ensure we had activities that created awe and wonder and a chance to reflect in each subject of the curriculum. It was actually a good exercise because then you were developing thinking and not just regurgitation of facts.

Probably awe and wonder is as good as any a definition. It can encompass religion or not.

Do animals have a spirituality? Who knows.

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wild haggis

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The dualism isn't necessary for the word, but I think is for the topic of "spirituality". Otherwise the word becomes essentially meaningless.

Aaaaand we have reached "agree to disagree" territory! [Smile]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I think you have misunderstood what lilBuddha is saying. It's not that she doesn't think atheists have a soul. The atheists themselves don't think they have souls.

Thank you for reply. As far as I know, it is not that atheists don’t think they have a soul or spirit, it is that they regard the words as labels for different aspects of humans, but do not believe they are in any way separable from the whole physical person.


quote:
All that said, I think her objection presupposes a dualism that is not necessary for speaking of spirit. (Spirit or soul -- I am just going to use the one word because the text was getting clunky trying to say "spirit or soul" over and over.) One can believe in a spirit not as an additional existence that is parallel to, or inhabiting, the body. Rather one can believe spirit is a feature of, or a function of, or an "epiphenomenon" of, the body. If this is the case, then one can be a "gross materialist" and still be spiritual and think in terms of the spiritual. One is just focusing on one of the many things the body does: the one that appreciates sunsets and towering forests and Gregorian chant.
Agreed. In other words be a complete human being
[Fixed the typo in the UBB at the end because the loose code was bothering me. -Gwai

[ 28. October 2017, 17:16: Message edited by: Gwai ]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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SusanDoris

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Sorry - messed up tags!

I do like the sort ofmiddle ground ideas and definitions of spirit/soul in this thread.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Martin60
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A roomful of Monet. Coming upon a burgeoning Himalayan maple. Xerxes largo. The weather prayer in Patton. Light Sonic. Shaking hands last night with the guy I had to eject two weeks ago.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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Spirituality for me can sometimes simply be the fact that we are all here, clinging to an apparently unique and biologically active planet. To the best of our knowledge located somewhere in an unimaginably vast and infinite Cosmos/Realm/Whatever.

All here flora and fauna. Some of which,(us), are 'gifted' with the realisation that we will die.
We may opt to look skywards, we may opt for retail therapy, we may opt to ignore the whole shebang.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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HCH
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It may be that spirituality can be characterized negatively. If someone has no spiritual life, what is noticeably missing, from his own point of view and from the point of view of those around him?
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Enoch
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SusanDoris, I don't know whether this is the same query as LilBuddha is raising, but I'm still puzzled how a full-blown atheist can recognise the concept of 'spirituality' as having any meaning at all. It's hard enough even for us who do believe to get a grip on how to define it. But if there is no God, then presumably there's no supernatural, no place in the created order for either to exist in and nowhere in human identity for us to have a spirit or a soul, yet alone to be able to distinguish between them.

I don't agree with this of course. But what a materialist feels when they experiences a beautiful sunset, a great work of art or an inspiring piece of music, can just as easily be explained according to his or her own parameters, as an emotional response.

Is this anything more that another version of the inconsistency at the heart of Professor Dawkins's advocacy of the concept of a meme? If his version of reality were correct, then there is nowhere in that reality, as he understands it, for any meme to live, move and have its being - but Professor Dawkins, clever though he might be, doesn't seem to be able to see that.

If either of those explanations were to strike an atheist as inconsistent with 'life, the universe and everything' as they experience it, then it calls to question whether the fundamentals of atheism are quite as tenable as most atheists have convinced themselves they are.

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Martin60
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So, do you feel anything you wouldn't feel if there were no God? Or would you feel differently if there actually isn't and then there was?

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Love wins

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
If someone has no spiritual life, what is noticeably missing, from his own point of view and from the point of view of those around him?

I suppose the opposite of spirituality in that sense of the word is materialism, in one sense of that the word. 'Materialism' means two different things: the philosophical doctrine that everything that exists is made of matter (/energy); and the attitude that what's important is solely wealth, status, pleasure, et al. Someone can be a materialist in either sense but not in the other.
So the materialistic attitude is the opposite of spirituality.
That's not to say someone without spirituality is amoral (they can believe that there are rules regulating what someone may or may not do in the pursuit of material goods).

Actually, that's perhaps not quite right. There are goods lying outside what one might call 'materialistic', such as social goods, friendship, etc, that don't require a spiritual life. But I think what might be missing is the sense that they fit within a larger picture.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
It may be that spirituality can be characterized negatively. If someone has no spiritual life, what is noticeably missing, from his own point of view and from the point of view of those around him?

Can you think of anyone anywhere in the world who does not have some sort of a 'spiritual life'? I do of course include music in my definition of spiritual.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
So, do you feel anything you wouldn't feel if there were no God?

Just one thing. In the worst moments (at death beds, or when in terrible pain, loneliness or fear) I feel a peace I can’t attribute to anything within myself.

All other ‘spiritual’ feelings I see as my own reactions to stimuli - beautiful forests etc etc

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Tortuf
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Spirituality to me is the practice of not separating yourself from God (or creation if you please.) I try to practice it by being fully present in the moment without trying to shield myself from it by fear or judgment.

Then, when I fully experience creation just as it comes to me I can tell my ego to let go of control and just be. If I don't have to understand, or judge, I can be what I am; a part of a greater whole that encompasses me and of which I am a welcome part.

I can know that I am not separate from God's creation.

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SusanDoris

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# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
SusanDoris, I don't know whether this is the same query as LilBuddha is raising, but I'm still puzzled how a full-blown atheist can recognise the concept of 'spirituality' as having any meaning at all.

Could that be because you limit your definition of spirituality as having to be connected with a faith belief? I have the impression that religions think they have a monopoly on the word!
quote:
It's hard enough even for us who do believe to get a grip on how to define it. But if there is no God, then presumably there's no supernatural, no place in the created order for either to exist in and nowhere in human identity for us to have a spirit or a soul, yet alone to be able to distinguish between them.
It is, I think, fairly straightforward!! The abstract nouns, spirit and soul, are simply words which enable us to discuss aspects or characteristics of our personalities. The genes we are born with give us a basic character but unless we have words to consider different aspects, how would we be able to consider all aspects of a person? As soon as anyone sets limits on defining the word, then one is confined by those limits. As an atheist I am not confined by religious ideas of what is a spirit or what is spiritual.; nor am I confined by the idea that a spirit is an identifiable, separate part of a human, especially since it cannot be observed in any way.
quote:
I don't agree with this of course. But what a materialist feels when they experiences a beautiful sunset, a great work of art or an inspiring piece of music, can just as easily be explained according to his or her own parameters, as an emotional response.
Well, yes, I certainly agree, we can each define it as we wish. My emotions when looking at such events are just as meaningful to me as those who believe that the spirit is separate are to them.
quote:
Is this anything more that another version of the inconsistency at the heart of Professor Dawkins's advocacy of the concept of a meme? If his version of reality were correct, then there is nowhere in that reality, as he understands it, for any meme to live, move and have its being - but Professor Dawkins, clever though he might be, doesn't seem to be able to see that.
How would you be able to convince him?! ‘Meme’ seems to be a word as elusive of definition as spirit!
quote:
If either of those explanations were to strike an atheist as inconsistent with 'life, the universe and everything' as they experience it, then it calls to question whether the fundamentals of atheism are quite as tenable as most atheists have convinced themselves they are.
Well, now, I’ll have to ask for a description of what you think are the ‘fundamentals’ of atheism!! The one thing that atheists have in common is a lack of belief in any god/spirit/etc, however they might express that lack of belief.

Thank you - that was very interesting.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Enoch
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SusanDoris, I won't go into this in full now as I've got to get on with my day. Yes, according to Humpty Dumpty, words can have whatever meaning one chooses to give them. But it is still inconsistent for an atheist to talk about spirit and spirituality while denying any possibility that spirit can exist, or allowing for any place in the universe where such a thing can be. It's 'cake and eat it territory', like Brexiteers who delude themselves that we should be entitled to have all the benefits of the EU without either belonging to it or fitting in with its requirements.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
But it is still inconsistent for an atheist to talk about spirit and spirituality while denying any possibility that spirit can exist, or allowing for any place in the universe where such a thing can be.

No more so than someone who doesn't believe anything exists except matter using 'materialism' to mean an attitude only interested in wealth and status, etc. The word 'spirit' in English is used in a variety of dead metaphorical senses: eg, high spirits, spirit of the age, etc.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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quetzalcoatl
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Exactly. It's more false etymology or bad etymology to say that use of the word 'spirituality' commits one to a non-materialist view of the universe. This is clearly false, since people are able to say that 'this music has decided spiritual values', without believing in ghosts or God. Language is a funny old thing.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
So, do you feel anything you wouldn't feel if there were no God?

Just one thing. In the worst moments (at death beds, or when in terrible pain, loneliness or fear) I feel a peace I can’t attribute to anything within myself.

All other ‘spiritual’ feelings I see as my own reactions to stimuli - beautiful forests etc etc

Rationally it's entirely attributable to your narrative with nothing left over. It's a wonderful provision.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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Fascinating point by Boogie - something I can't attribute to anything within myself. This is a real puzzler, and people often hit it during intense meditation. I don't think the result is always spirit or God, since you can conceive of something inside oneself that isn't oneself, without it being supernatural. Sort of.

[ 29. October 2017, 09:11: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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rolyn
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I often think it is believers who lack belief rather than atheists.
'Help me in my unbelief' and all that.

Presumably atheists just say, show me a little green man on Mars and I’ll believe it to be real....

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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That's me rolyn. Just looking out the window I find it impossible to envisage transcending, there being a level of existence between the Ground of Being and the physical. In dealing with my demented 87 year old mother in-house there is nothing within me but huge dark hardness of heart.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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Reality is hard, hard, hard.
Yet spiritually must seep in somehow. How else could we,—apes who just got lucky— have managed to stay sane as a group?
Stayed sane though what.... a couple million years of being aware that we exist, aware that we are Different from other animals.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Stercus Tauri
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To quote from something I scribbled elsewhere a few years ago:

Much nonsense is talked about spirituality. I once wrote an article with, and about, an autistic friend who feels a strong sense of spirituality. For background, I asked a number of wise and learned friends what they thought was meant by ‘spirituality’. I received some profound and abstruse replies, but my favourite was from an old friend in Scotland, D------. “Ten per cent prayer and ninety per cent bullshit!”, he said, and I think he may have been right. He died a while ago, so he may be debating it somewhere else now, but probably won’t have changed his mind about it.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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Stercus Tauri
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A much better quote from Eugene Peterson in Christianity Today, March 2005:

CT Interviewer: This corruption of the word 'spirituality' even in Christian circles - does it have something to do with the New Age movement?

Eugene Peterson: The New Age stuff is old age. It's been around for a long time. It's a cheap shortcut to - I guess we have to use the word - spirituality. It avoids the ordinary, the everyday, the physical, the material. It's a form of Gnosticism, and it has a terrific appeal because it's a spirituality that doesn't have anything to do with doing the dishes or changing diapers or going to work. There's not much integration with work, people, sin, trouble, inconvenience. I've been a pastor most of my life, for some 45 years. I love doing this. But to tell you the truth, the people who give me the most distress are those who come asking, "Pastor, how can I be spiritual?" Forget about being spiritual. How about loving your husband? Now that's a good place to start. But that's not what they're interested in. How about learning to love your kids, accept them the way they are? My name shouldn't even be connected with spirituality.


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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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quetzalcoatl
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The notion of the 'corruption' of the word spirituality makes me uneasy. Does somebody have a monopoly on it, so that they can make pronouncements on the validity of others' views?

When I helped run meditation retreats, we got a ton of people who would come along talking of a spiritual need. Are they corrupted? I don't think so, they might argue that religion is!

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Exactly. It's more false etymology or bad etymology to say that use of the word 'spirituality' commits one to a non-materialist view of the universe. This is clearly false, since people are able to say that 'this music has decided spiritual values', without believing in ghosts or God. Language is a funny old thing.

and

The notion of the 'corruption' of the word spirituality makes me uneasy. Does somebody have a monopoly on it, so that they can make pronouncements on the validity of others' views?

When I helped run meditation retreats, we got a ton of people who would come along talking of a spiritual need. Are they corrupted? I don't think so, they might argue that religion is!

Yebbut - in both cases, what do they mean by it?

Is there any dimension which enables them to mean anything by the word at all? Or does it just sound good, give a person a sort of vague inner glow sensation?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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quetzalcoatl
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'Spiritual' is often used to refer to notions of fulfilment, deeper meaning, purpose, love, connection,and so on. I don't think this implies the supernatural.

I'm surprised that Susan hasn't referred to the 'Little Book of Atheist Spirituality', Comte-Sponville.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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quetzalcoatl
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I forgot to say that mysticism (and transcendence) itself need not be about the supernatural. See the massive amount of stuff written about non-dualism in various religions and non-religious areas.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
'Spiritual' is often used to refer to notions of fulfilment, deeper meaning, purpose, love, connection,and so on. I don't think this implies the supernatural.

I'm surprised that Susan hasn't referred to the 'Little Book of Atheist Spirituality', Comte-Sponville.

That is because it was a few years ago that my reader read it to me! I liked it very much. I'll see if I can get an audio copy.
****
When I was younger and could listen to music with better hearing (!!), there were parts of music (e.g. Rachmaninov Piano concerto No.3, when I'd stop whatever I was doing to listen with full attention to that certain part, because it would go straight to my soul. Well, that's what it felt like. That doesn't mean that I ever thought the soul was a separate part of my brain or anything.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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wild haggis
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There seems to be a confusion between "spiritual" and "religious" or "believing" in this thread. But is that what spirituality really is? Is it just belief and if so belief in what or whom?

I think before you can have a discussion you need to define your terms. Otherwise you end up on a roundabout of misunderstanding.

Is having a religious faith being spiritual and everyone else isn't? Does that mean that someone who doesn't have the same faith as you isn't spiritual? (Heard that in some churches).

I don't think being religious and being spiritual are the same thing.

If we believe that we are created in the image of God, what does that mean (supposing you do believe in God)? We don't look like him - well I don't look like Jesus for starters(not got a beard!) and God the Father and the Holy Spirit, what do they look like? So what do we mean by being created in God's image?

Could that not possibly be that God being a spirit created us humans with a spiritual element, different from animals? That is his/her image - being spirit.

That may mean having imagination, having empathy with others, emotions, sense of the other outside ourselves, sense of beauty etc.

Could that be what spirituality is?
Back to awe and wonder, I suppose.

It is then inclusive and can cover any human, no matter what faith or none, no matter what disability or none. If we limit to to faith in a particular religion or creed of that religion then it means that spirituality is only accessible by the adherents of that faith.

And if God made us all.......that's inclusive, isn't it? Or did God only make Christians?

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wild haggis

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quetzalcoatl
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Ah, the soul. Errm, 'Arry the bottle said it was the form of the body.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Ah, the soul. Errm, 'Arry the bottle said it was the form of the body.

Who?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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quetzalcoatl
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Aristotle. Old rhyming slang for something or other.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Could that not possibly be that God being a spirit created us humans with a spiritual element, different from animals? That is his/her image - being spirit.

That may mean having imagination, having empathy with others, emotions, sense of the other outside ourselves, sense of beauty etc.

Whatever it means to be in the image of God I think it has to apply to the whole human being, not merely part of the human being. We're supposed to worship God with heart and soul and mind and strength, not merely those bits of us that are in God's image.
I rather like the idea that as the images of the gods or kings were in ancient near Eastern religion the signs of the gods' or kings' presence or authority, so human beings are supposed to be signs of God's presence and rule. Another context for the question would be Jesus' question about the coin for the temple tax: 'whose image is on this coin? Then, give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's'. We are to regard each other human being as God's representative.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Could that not possibly be that God being a spirit created us humans with a spiritual element, different from animals? That is his/her image - being spirit.

That may mean having imagination, having empathy with others, emotions, sense of the other outside ourselves, sense of beauty etc.

Whatever it means to be in the image of God I think it has to apply to the whole human being, not merely part of the human being. We're supposed to worship God with heart and soul and mind and strength, not merely those bits of us that are in God's image.
I rather like the idea that as the images of the gods or kings were in ancient near Eastern religion the signs of the gods' or kings' presence or authority, so human beings are supposed to be signs of God's presence and rule. Another context for the question would be Jesus' question about the coin for the temple tax: 'whose image is on this coin? Then, give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's'. We are to regard each other human being as God's representative.

Thanks for the sermon, but that doesn’t answer any of wild haggis’s excellent questions.

I don’t have any answers but those questions are a good start.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Aristotle. Old rhyming slang for something or other.

Arse. It is the acme of CRS. Even beyond, 'Could you sausage me a Gregory?'.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Fascinating point by Boogie - something I can't attribute to anything within myself. This is a real puzzler, and people often hit it during intense meditation. I don't think the result is always spirit or God, since you can conceive of something inside oneself that isn't oneself, without it being supernatural. Sort of.

That's draught beer: on tap. Therefore it's endogenous psychopharmacology.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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Chewing gum as well, pretty indigestible.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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