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"What on earth is 'spirituality' these days?"

 
 
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 09:12 pm
I've been thinking of the word 'spirit' and it's context to the 'new age' 'spiritualism' I see a lot of on the net. (The connection with spiritualism and the internet doesn't really sit well with me. I can't really put my finger on it) Although I see nothing bad about being 'spiritual', I do see something flawed about it when some people make the point that they are 'spiritual' and inadvertantly or advertantly share it with the world. And it got me thinking, "What on earth is 'spirituality' these days?"
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2011 03:27 am
@Procrustes,
It means they're reserving the right to be just slightly irrational if they want to be.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2011 05:12 pm
@rosborne979,
Is there anything rational about 'spirituality'?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2011 05:48 pm
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

I've been thinking of the word 'spirit' and it's context to the 'new age' 'spiritualism' I see a lot of on the net. (The connection with spiritualism and the internet doesn't really sit well with me. I can't really put my finger on it) Although I see nothing bad about being 'spiritual', I do see something flawed about it when some people make the point that they are 'spiritual' and inadvertantly or advertantly share it with the world. And it got me thinking, "What on earth is 'spirituality' these days?"
Spirituality is what it always was: So much of nonsense... Yet we feel it... We have a spiritual conception of reality, like it or not... Even with our physical form, our concepts, we capture so little of what is, and know so little of what there is to know, that all we have is an analogy of sorts... It is better than nothing of course, which is what we have with most of our moral forms; but our feeling of spirituality, magic, and metaphysics generally is a holdover from the childhood of mankind, and even our own childhoods... Knowing better does not help... We want magic and spirits, so we have them... They keep us from the fear of death and reality...
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2011 11:24 pm
@Fido,
I agree that it may be an invention of sorts to make living life (with all it's troubles and blessings) easier for us to deal with. And you have a good point about the childhood of mankind and indeed our very own childhoods. Makes me wonder of the contemporary ways in which 'spirituality' is moving and how the next generation and the generation after that.. etc will 'feel' it.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 09:26 am
@Procrustes,
We have come through the age of reason very much aware of how unreasonable people are; and of how much we use reason to reach irrational goals driven by irrational desires... The problem in part stems from our moral concept of freedom which would be foreign to primitive spiritualists, because it does not set any natural limits on freedom, and has no sense of esprit de corp, morale by another word, which is wrecked when one take his pleasures or survival out of the survival and pleasures of another... We easily accept the madness in ourselves and in others, and in fact, we accept the madness of our economies and government, and often recognize that our religions are so much made of madness that only mad actions can come out of them... I trust the people's willingness to surrender to spiritualism, and to prayer, and to the communities of their churches is the result of the total faliure of modern society to engage them morally...

Our society is built upon misery and injustice, and because we have been so willing to accept injustice for others in other lands and states because we benefitted from their pain, we have no moral defense when now we suffer the same fate... We can go to church and bewail our fates, but in our hearts we know we deserve it, that our trust in madmen, and in mad promises they made have made for us and the world a terrible mess that would take generations to clean up if we started today... There are going to have to be more than a few good spiritual people who are willing to bear the responsibility for fixing our reality even if it means that by the standards of their churches that they will go to hell... To be responsible for ones life and existence means one must live in reality, and reality is hell; but reality never gets any better without the courage to face it and deal with it rationally...

And the spiritualist of our age are not thinking or acting rationally... The new form has failed them, and so they are trying to make the old form (spiritualism) work, when it never worked before... They need a new form completely that answers the needs of today which were the needs of yesterday, and will be the needs of tomorrow... The needs of humanity do not change... We can only change our forms, and people do that -rationally, or they fail to do so out of irrationality...
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 04:37 am
@Fido,
I totally feel your words. I see a great many a people still 'sleeping' while reason conjures up monsters in their dreams.

I never understood why people preached to people about spiritualism. I think it finds people. But there is so much stuff that sinks ones spirits in this world it makes me wonder if there is a way out of this mess.

It reminds me of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do philosophy: "Using no way, as the way."

And Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching:
"Drop wisdom, abandon cleverness,
And the people will be benefited a hundredfold.

Drop humanity, abandon justice,
And the people will return to their natural affections.

Drop shrewdness, abandon sharpness,
And robbers and thieves will cease to be."

And another Lao Tzu quote which gets me out of the bind of reality is:
"Do the non-ado.
Strive for the effortless.
Savour the savouless.
Exalt the low.
Multiply the few.
Requite injury with kindness...

...He who thinks everything easy will end by finding everything difficult.
Therefore, the Sage, who regards everything as difficult,
Meet with no difficulties in the end."

The first thing about 'spirituality' which I confront each time I'm practicing it is that I have no idea what it is, yet have no need for any reasons and no urge to justify my feelings. Although, it isn't always like that.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 06:18 am
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

Is there anything rational about 'spirituality'?
Spirituality isn't rational, but it's very human.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 06:55 am
@Procrustes,
I think it is inevitable that we think of ourselves spiritually... We may be physical beings who might account for all our consciousness with physical causes, and yet that feeling remains perhaps because we are nascent... We esist in time alway being what we were and always becoming what we are, living in dreams, emotions, and desires... Our minds play tricks on us, but also tell us the truth in unexpected ways, such as precognition, or premonition that no rational person would rely on, and yet, that often enough prove correct to make the wise aware...

Out of our loneliness and powerlessness we conjure gods, and out of the enmity of the world we invoke friendly spirits and guardian angels... Spirituality answers a need but not a question... It is an answer, a presumption, but it is not the correct one... As much as possible one should live in the real world... It is easy enough to say of moral forms like justice or liberty that they are good because they serve the spirit of the community, the esprit de corp... Yet, there is something each of us needs personally in these spiritual qualities that serve the spirits, the souls of each of us...And since social forms are made out of these moral forms it is essential to be able to talk about them no matter how etherial they are...

Unfortunately, there is not other way to talk about moral forms as realities then to talk about human beings and their needs as realities even while we conceive of human beings, and life generally as spiritual in nature... If you are talking about spirituality you are talking about a distant and very primitive belief of human kind... It is a wrong belief, but when we say speak of the devil, or tell of rumplestilskins we remind ourselves of it... If I say square, and the name of the square is essential to the form of the square, then I have invoked the object with its essence... In the world of primitives, populated by spirits of objects as well as the actual objects, the name of each object which is held spiritually, since even science cannot fully explain it, that is, how the mind works with concepts, gave to primitive man a power over his environment... Having the concept with the name of the concept he could invoke it into his consciousness at will...And grasping the form does give those who have it greater power than those who do not, but there is no true spirit or spiritual connection... That was always a dead end that has resulted in the dead end of metaphysics...

It is an article of belief for example that we are created equal, and endowed by our creator, etc... But science has come closer to proving humans equal than metaphysics which all rational people reject... What is the point of building a shaky tower of rights built upon so many untenable beliefs of a spiritual reality standing behind our own???...And, since spirituality was the original science since it was accepted as theory, then science as we have it is the result of spirituality... The relationship between science and spirituality, like the one between spirituality and religion is deep and profound, but it really does not answer the questions we need answers to... None of that crap does... We have to be aware of it to be knowledgable, and then, not give it any weight what so ever...

Think of people as real and having real needs because once you begin thinking of them spiritually there is nothing to prevent any indignity to their physical existence...Even death is not death to the spiritually minded person, but it certainly is to the physically minded...The spiritual needs of people follow the physical... Think that you can give them spiritual fulfillment and deny them bread or the other stuff of life and you will find one unfilled by either...

Something else: The common sense of the East only means they looked at reality as clearly as spirituality... Something Ho Shi Mhin said should be remembered... He pointed out that he was fighting for a western philosophy: Materialism, while the West was fighting for values generally considered spiritual; Freedom, for example...
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 01:51 pm
I haven't got time to reply sufficiently right now, but this is an interesting topic. Consider that poetry isn't rational either. William Blake said, "Eternity is in love with the production of time." Something to contemplate.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 10:37 pm
@Fido,
Some of the stuff you say resonates with me, and some of it I've already thought about one way or another.

I think experience is vital in how one can be a 'spiritual person'. Certain experiences can lead people to accept 'spirituality' in any form. What spirituality is is impossible to define but there in lies the possiblity of infinite views.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 10:41 pm
@coluber2001,
Consider the provocation that 'art' can produce 'facts' and not 'facts' producing 'art'. (Good William Blake quote btw)
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 11:13 am
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

Some of the stuff you say resonates with me, and some of it I've already thought about one way or another.

I think experience is vital in how one can be a 'spiritual person'. Certain experiences can lead people to accept 'spirituality' in any form. What spirituality is is impossible to define but there in lies the possiblity of infinite views.
Consider when you were young, and you needed your mother, and your mother suddenly arrived... Did you then not feel the magic of your desires??? And when it was dark, and you knew nothing of electricity and some one turned on the lights, did you not then feel the magic??? It is so easy to have magical or spiritual thinking that it is a wonder there is not more of it... If I say: Good Luck, or bless you; will you think less of me, or more???
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 10:59 pm
@Fido,
The desire for anything satisfies an experiential magnetism that accompanies that desire. In my experience, controlling or supressing desire is a battle hard fought and rarely won. To extinguish it all together takes extreme patience (although it returns as desire can never be destroyed). It was from a certain age where I started to 'melt away' all my learned notions of this world and found the things that were 'really' important were right under my nose the whole time. The desire I speak of transformed itself to seek the intangible and never the material. From that experience I unlearned things to learn what was important.

You can say good luck. You can say bless you, if you're bold enough. I wouldn't think less of anyone who said those things. But if you said either one nicely, I wouldn't think more of you.. I'd have grattitude towards you as an equal.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Nov, 2011 07:11 am
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

The desire for anything satisfies an experiential magnetism that accompanies that desire. In my experience, controlling or supressing desire is a battle hard fought and rarely won. To extinguish it all together takes extreme patience (although it returns as desire can never be destroyed). It was from a certain age where I started to 'melt away' all my learned notions of this world and found the things that were 'really' important were right under my nose the whole time. The desire I speak of transformed itself to seek the intangible and never the material. From that experience I unlearned things to learn what was important.

You can say good luck. You can say bless you, if you're bold enough. I wouldn't think less of anyone who said those things. But if you said either one nicely, I wouldn't think more of you.. I'd have grattitude towards you as an equal.
What that woman said about Cocaine goes for any desire: Quiting is easy; I've done it many times...

It is more important to avoid being destroyed by ones desires than to destroy ones desires... Behind so much of what people do is the death wish often concealed by such phrases as: it is to die for, or after such and such, then I can die... Life is all... If I am taking my pleasure out of the life of another it is death I am wishing for both of us... It is a given, that there will never be enough life for us to know all and experience all, that we must pick and choose, and that no matter how much we deny death personally that in the end we must submit to the humiliation of it... But life is all, and all meaning wrapped up in a single conceptual manifold, and while we might presume immortality in our spirituality what we likely get we already have: Life...With the lose of life all is lost, all meaning, certainly all pride and dignity... The dead do not care and we will not care, and caring like love comes and goes with life... If you love, do not thing that the spirit of love will touch the object of your affection... Give your love in caring and sharing, and forget spirits... We think spiritual... All our concepts are spiritual qualities standing for the object themselves... But it is only the way our minds work...We can build a new reality with the help of our illusions... Nothing in the world will make our illusions real... Peace
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Nov, 2011 03:31 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
If I am taking my pleasure out of the life of another it is death I am wishing for both of us...


I'm not too sure what you mean by this. Death is 'real' enough. Fear of death is irrational to me. Fear of anything is irrational. This said, wishing death upon anyone doesn't morally take hold with me. In my mind it does not resonate with 'spiritual' overtones, but I do understand that the desire for life's pleasures need not be sought after or expected; it doesn't seem balanced to revel in pleasure nor ignore it completely. It seems extreme to take it to the level of death in my opinion.

Quote:
We think spiritual... All our concepts are spiritual qualities standing for the object themselves... But it is only the way our minds work...We can build a new reality with the help of our illusions... Nothing in the world will make our illusions real...


Semantically speaking, the word 'illusions' isn't the word I had in mind, but I 'understand' where you are coming from. To think of where 'ideas' come from and how they turn into reality is really quite remarkable. 'Ideas' are funny in the sense that humans can absorb an 'idea' and make it have 'sex' with another 'idea' to make a completely new 'ideational offspring' (a concept I heard from a guy named Matt Riddey, who isn't into spiritualism I would think). In your previous response you said something that resonated with me and it was something along the lines of: if you take away the mystery there is no more magic left (apologies for the bad paraphrasing). So thinking 'spiritually' or 'thinking' in general isn't a much of a stretch when you say 'We think spiritual...'. The human body is still mysterious as much as anything in this life. To deem the 'unknowable' 'spiritual' fits in the logic in my mind (logic here merely means an association between the ambiguousness of the word 'spirituality' and the opaque 'unknowable'). Although defintions are always susceptible to change and be percieved in a variety of ways...
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 11:27 am
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

Quote:
If I am taking my pleasure out of the life of another it is death I am wishing for both of us...


I'm not too sure what you mean by this. Death is 'real' enough. Fear of death is irrational to me. Fear of anything is irrational. This said, wishing death upon anyone doesn't morally take hold with me. In my mind it does not resonate with 'spiritual' overtones, but I do understand that the desire for life's pleasures need not be sought after or expected; it doesn't seem balanced to revel in pleasure nor ignore it completely. It seems extreme to take it to the level of death in my opinion.

Quote:
We think spiritual... All our concepts are spiritual qualities standing for the object themselves... But it is only the way our minds work...We can build a new reality with the help of our illusions... Nothing in the world will make our illusions real...


Semantically speaking, the word 'illusions' isn't the word I had in mind, but I 'understand' where you are coming from. To think of where 'ideas' come from and how they turn into reality is really quite remarkable. 'Ideas' are funny in the sense that humans can absorb an 'idea' and make it have 'sex' with another 'idea' to make a completely new 'ideational offspring' (a concept I heard from a guy named Matt Riddey, who isn't into spiritualism I would think). In your previous response you said something that resonated with me and it was something along the lines of: if you take away the mystery there is no more magic left (apologies for the bad paraphrasing). So thinking 'spiritually' or 'thinking' in general isn't a much of a stretch when you say 'We think spiritual...'. The human body is still mysterious as much as anything in this life. To deem the 'unknowable' 'spiritual' fits in the logic in my mind (logic here merely means an association between the ambiguousness of the word 'spirituality' and the opaque 'unknowable'). Although defintions are always susceptible to change and be percieved in a variety of ways...
Death isn't real... Life, as unreal as it is is the most real reality, and it is with the possession of life, if we can apply the word possession to it, that all reality gets its meaning... Life is meaning, and death is no meaning... The dead having no life have nothing to find meaningful either, and nothing to find it meaningful with...

Our concepts and forms are all allegories of sorts... Even simple concepts like numbers -all based upon one -are full of conjectures... One is supposed to be the equal of one; Correct... In a field of cows each counts as one, and not one is the equal of another so the equality is taken for granted and not entirely meaningless...

No matter how much we know about a certain class of objects by way of our concepts, we can never say we know enough, even of the essential elements of the object... With a concept we have to an extent captured how one object differs from another...That is: in what sense it can be classed as this, rather than as that...
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 02:50 am
@Fido,
Quote:
Death isn't real...

Would you say this to someone about to jump off a cliff?... All the stuff about life having meaning makes sense. Your idea about death not being real is troubling. In one view point I can understand that 'there is no such thing as death' cos it can be imagined merely as a transitional phase of transformation of energy per se, but what we label as 'death' still happens in order for the latter to occur, whatever it be.

Quote:
With a concept we have to an extent captured how one object differs from another...That is: in what sense it can be classed as this, rather than as that...

In our sense of our innate ability to discern.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 02:04 pm
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

Quote:
Death isn't real...

Would you say this to someone about to jump off a cliff?... All the stuff about life having meaning makes sense. Your idea about death not being real is troubling. In one view point I can understand that 'there is no such thing as death' cos it can be imagined merely as a transitional phase of transformation of energy per se, but what we label as 'death' still happens in order for the latter to occur, whatever it be.

Quote:
With a concept we have to an extent captured how one object differs from another...That is: in what sense it can be classed as this, rather than as that...

In our sense of our innate ability to discern.
We call death, death just like we call space, space, and nothing, nothing... To give nothing a name does not make it more of something, but giving a name to our greatest fear may help... I expect thinking death was nothing would give a lot of people the courage to commit suicide, but fuzzy thinking probably is responsible for many deaths, including suicides...
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 07:36 pm
@Fido,
I agree with you there (take it from a guy who's been there).

What I find tough is when life gets you down (no matter how small a matter), trying to remember the things one is grateful for becomes an arduous feat.. But it helps immensely Smile
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