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What is spirituality?

 
 
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 06:38 am
It is somewhat discredited in the west, being something we can't quanitfy, and often being associated with beliefs that don't stand up to reason or scientific evidence.
What is it?
pq
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:53 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
PQ,

As a one liner ....

Spirituality is a state of mind or being involving transcendence of the "self".

Tradititional reductionist science tends to claim that such a state is illusory, but
recent developments like Quantum Mechanics have raised sufficient ontological questions about the status of "observers" to encourage some of their number to support concepts like "holistic consciousness".



OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 08:00 am
concerned with matters of spirit ?
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 05:49 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
recent developments like Quantum Mechanics have raised sufficient ontological questions about the status of "observers" to encourage some of their number to support concepts like "holistic consciousness".


Do you think that is a 'way forward' in that case? Are we waiting for more 'evidence.'
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 06:47 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Be nice and define all that.

What is Quantum Mechanics without capital letters?
What is ontological?
What is holistic?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 12:15 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
What is Quantum Mechanics without capital letters?
What is ontological?
What is holistic?


QM...an established model in subatomic physics where the act of observation affects the observed phenomena such that "objective reality" becomes problematic.

Ontology...philosophy of of "existence" or "being" or "reality".

Holistic...single unified totallity...as in the idea of "holistic consciousness" where all consciousness is part of the same entity or force which permeates all aspects of "reality". (David Bohm the physicist was an example of one such advocate)
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 01:06 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
PQ,

"Forward" implies we specify a preferred direction. What is happening is a limited number of "paradigm shifts" in attitudes to "knowledge", one of which has taken an ecological route which follows holistic principles. (see Capra "The Web of Life"). The ecology movement, together with Bohm's exhortations for us to engage in "critical dialogue" does give support for some aspects of "spirituality" but politics has tended to muddy the waters.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 06:35 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

PQ,

As a one liner ....

Spirituality is a state of mind or being involving transcendence of the "self".

Tradititional reductionist science tends to claim that such a state is illusory, but
recent developments like Quantum Mechanics have raised sufficient ontological questions about the status of "observers" to encourage some of their number to support concepts like "holistic consciousness".







Fresco-
Is this state of mind a 'cognitive' one, or an emotional one, or a bit of both?
I understand the concept of transcending the self philosophically to the limited extent you have seen me talk on these boards.
I have also meditated over a period of time, (not very well, admittedly)- so have understood it superficially in the zen buddhist sense too.
It just all seems so 'dry'.
I can't help but think spirituality is more of an emotion than anything else.
Am I really wrong on that?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 12:53 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
My model for understanding "spirituality" comes from Hesse's Siddhartha (available on line). In this, the eponymous subject goes through stages of self transcendence in which all the attachments of living, physical, emotional and intellectual, gradually drop away. My conclusion therefore is that spirituality is not one of these three states, but rather it is the observation of ourselves and others in those states, which then has a modifying effect on subsequent thought and action.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 08:15 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
What is spirituality? pq
In my opinion,
spirituality is the consensus of people who live in spirit,
as distinct from those who inhabit material bodies.

This applies, particularly, to people whose material vehicles have
worn out and become dysfunctional. After returning to re-inhabit
their material Earthly bodies, those people have informed us
that a Judgment Day exists; u r then the judge of how well
u did in that incarnation, according to 2 criteria:

1. Love
and
2. Learning.

These criteria have been reported on a 100% basis,
of those who had a (remembered) Life Review Experience.
Those experiences are reported to take place in the Presence
of a Being of Light of (intuited) very great intelligence and unconditional Love.

It is my opinion, that "being spiritual"
is running one 's life by those 2 criteria.

I believe that u shoud get extra credit
if u employed fonetic spelling; I 'll c if I can get a 3rd criterion added.





David
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2010 05:58 pm
@fresco,
I agree with the concept of 'observation' as much as I can understand it.

Fresco, do you think there is any validity to the 'emotional' concept for the 'layman.'
I think for most religious believers the attraction lies in the 'spiritual' feeling of being 'aware' of belonging to something larger than oneself.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 01:05 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
I agree with the concept of 'observation' as much as I can understand it.
U might consider checking out your local bookstores New Age section
for the literature of Near Death Experiences; most of it written by medical doctors,
concerning their patientss experiences, if u r interested.

www.IANDS.org is also available

I wish u love and learning



David
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 01:20 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
PQ,

In the sense that "belonging" involves "closure against the void" I think you are correct. i.e. Religion is the palliative against Shakespeare's "Life ...a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury...signifying nothing".
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Sep, 2010 04:26 pm
@fresco,
Fresco, I have some more questions if I may ask them:
I apologise for the patchy wording and lack of concision in advance:

Do you think, for the 'layman', the 'archetypal believer' the spirituality found within religion could be described as an emotional reaction to a web of concepts that need not 'make sense' in a watertight manner since they are bolstered by the concept of 'faith'?
I know you define spirituality as transcendence of the self, and whilst I think you are right, I do not think the large majority of religious believers would understand this concept, and therefore may equate spirituality to a sense of 'stillness' or 'longing' in relation to the concepts they are meditating on, normally inconceivable notions of 'god' etc.

Do you think that artworks are useful for religious believers since they provide sites in which these symbols and concepts can hold 1) a physical reality, which includes 2) relationships to one another which need not be expressed through 'logical' terms.

Would you say that 'religion' and 'argument' (in the academic sense) are mutually exclusive?

What would you say the role of music is in religious worship?

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Sep, 2010 06:13 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Whew ...that lot takes a bit of digesting!

I'll think about those questions before giving a fuller answer, but as a couple of guiding snippets:
Regarding "intelligence"...Gurdjieff famously said " there's no intellectual slumming here".
And regarding music....the SES interpreted Gurdjieff to be giving indications about "good music" (Mozart) and "bad music" (Beethoven) according to whether it was written under the influence of particular ghunas (Sattva versus Rajas respectively)
Obviously you can make of these what you may, but remember that such systems tend to be didactic by definition (Esotericism = Hidden Truth).

Against these claims, a fuller answer would need to take into account system-free thinking such as that of Krishnamurti (et al).
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2010 10:14 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Do you think, for the 'layman', the 'archetypal believer' the spirituality found within religion could be described as an emotional reaction to a web of concepts that need not 'make sense' in a watertight manner since they are bolstered by the concept of 'faith'?


Yes, "making sense" need not entail consistent logic.

Quote:
I know you define spirituality as transcendence of the self, and whilst I think you are right, I do not think the large majority of religious believers would understand this concept, and therefore may equate spirituality to a sense of 'stillness' or 'longing' in relation to the concepts they are meditating on, normally inconceivable notions of 'god' etc.


Religion and spirituality different yet overlapping concepts. They overlap in those religions where "self sacrifice" and "self dissipation" rub shoulders. But they depart on the issue of "soul" which equates to "self preservation". Your hypothetical layman is likely to equate self sacrifice as a transactional exchange for "security of soul".

Quote:
Do you think that artworks are useful for religious believers since they provide sites in which these symbols and concepts can hold 1) a physical reality, which includes 2) relationships to one another which need not be expressed through 'logical' terms.


Yes to both.

Quote:
Would you say that 'religion' and 'argument' (in the academic sense) are mutually exclusive?


Yes if you mean classical logical argument.


Quote:
What would you say the role of music is in religious worship?


Choral participation strengthens the tribal function of religion
Repetition of any sort has a ritualistic function which suggests the strength of "the eternal" in the face chasnge and disorder.
Emotonal responses to music may enhance feelings of transcendence.

0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 06:28 am
@fresco,
Thank you Fresco.
Glad to see my thinking is developing on roughly the right track... As you say, these things need thinking about, I shall post back if I think of any other related issues.I have two things for now, however:

1)
Quote:
Obviously you can make of these what you may, but remember that such systems tend to be didactic by definition (Esotericism = Hidden Truth).

Ok, systems are tautologies for the expression of esoteric ideas, in the manner that the systems provide 'frames' for understanding the concepts, I think I get that. Sorry, because this is probably obvious, but are you claiming it is the systems that are didactic or esotericism in itself which is, or can you not separate the issue in this manner, since we cannot 'know' esoteric knowledge in the conscious sense without the use of a system...

2) This is slightly unrelated, I apologise, but I thought you'd know the answer: when your thought process 'shifts' slightly, and you come to understand concepts in a different light, is this a conscious realisation of subconscious thoughts that were already known, or is it a conscious creation of thoughts that were not present in any sense before? I ask since I go through phases of thinking hard and not thinking at all, and I want to know if when I am not thinking at all (largely when I am being extremely social for long stretches and get out of the habit) I am, in effect, wasting 'development' time.
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 06:54 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

It is somewhat discredited in the west, being something we can't quanitfy, and often being associated with beliefs that don't stand up to reason or scientific evidence.
What is it?
pq

Your conclusions are incorrect... America like much of the West has a serious dicotomy which is more healthy than unhealthy at this point... For one, Ho Chi Minh noted that while the East is known for holding spiritual values, that North Vietnam was fighting for a traditional Western value: Materialism, while the West was fighting for a spiritual value: Liberty...


Not one of us can escape our moral forms which are all spirtitual values... All concepts are spiritual representations of reality... The unconscious mind, and mind itself is a spiritual/moral form... Instincts considered as the unconscious will are spiritual/moral qualities... It does not matter where a person lives, we cannot escape the spiritual representation of our existence...

As far as metaphysical nonsense, actually believing in spirits, souls, gods, angel, and the like; they are so much waste of time and life... Such thoughts are the remnants of childhood, and humanity's childhood when ignorance and imagination colluded to spell us Gods and Demons as explanations for the effects we saw without apparent cause...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 07:00 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

PQ,

As a one liner ....

Spirituality is a state of mind or being involving transcendence of the "self".

Tradititional reductionist science tends to claim that such a state is illusory, but
recent developments like Quantum Mechanics have raised sufficient ontological questions about the status of "observers" to encourage some of their number to support concepts like "holistic consciousness".

I am reading a biography of sorts about Freud, and there was a definition of neurosis that was quite simple; that neurotics have trouble with the definition of self and not self... I would say, that neurotic attachments to fetishes and beliefs in religion and magic likely spring from this point, which is the point you suggest is true...



fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 09:49 am
@Fido,
As I remember it, "neurosis" is defined as "interfering with normal activities", the issue being "what constitutes normality"? From one academic perspective, the various facets of "self" might be acquired through different social contexts, and some of these might be antagonistic to each other. No doubt Freud would have argued for compartmentalization of such antagonists (I've forgotten his technical vocabulary for this). However the problem still arises as to which of these facets(or even separate "selves") is going to be deemed to be "normal" since with their original contexts all would be. It is only when two facets surface together (as in sexuality and religious observence) that problems of interference might occur.

One esoteric (aspiring spiritual) view of the above comes from Gurdjieff who claims that multifaceted selves are the norm. Such an individual has no hope of transcending his argumentative committee of inner voices. It is only by "observing such selves" that stable "higher consciousness" can evolve. i.e. In Freudian terms we may all be bordering on "the neurotic" !
 

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