"Spiritual but not religious"

Vajradhara

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Namaste path of one,

thank you for the post.

An increasing number of folks in the US, and I would imagine in some other places too, are saying they have no religion but are spiritual.

What do you think it means to be "spiritual but not religious" and why?

mostly i have the impression that it's due to not understanding what the words mean especially given the penchant for "religion" to be reduced to an idea of meaningless rituals where by contrast "spirituality" is rich with meaning.

i'm certain that there is a strong element of antiestablishmentairianism happening as well as most beings have arisen in societies with a religious metatheme but this seems like just another manifestation of rebellion without any thought for anything other than rebellion for its own sake.

Do you belong to any religious institution (church, synagogue, coven, whatever)? Do you think you are religious? What about if you are spiritual? Why or why not?

i'm a member of the Sangha, as are all Buddhists even if they don't go to some place to meet up :)

i'm religious since Buddhism is a religion and i'm a member of it :)

i don't have a working definition of spiritual, per se, and thus cannot say if i'm that as well but it seems to me that most folks don't have a real good idea of what spiritual means other than as a contrast to the aforementioned "meaningless" rituals of religion and, feeling meaning in their lives, self identify as spiritual.

This phrase is used all over the place on surveys, but what the heck does it *mean* to people? :confused:

that's one of the reasons why i don't put much stock in said surveys..without making clear definitions available to the takes of the poll there is no telling if the people checking one box or the other even have the same ideas about it.

metta,

~v
 

path_of_one

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Salty, that is a very interesting and detailed break-down. If religion is about tradition (i.e., past practice) and ideology is about belief systems/rules (i.e., contemporary ideas)... what about contemporary practice and past belief systems/rules?

That is, are you splitting practice from beliefs (orthopraxy from orthodoxy) or past from current? What about relationships between practice and beliefs?

It's a thought experiment, but can a religion exist without either practice/tradition or beliefs/ideology? All religions have to start at some point, so at that point of origin, what is their tradition? And how can we see religions held together, if they differ in tradition or ideology, but claim commonalities, such as sacred text?

Curiouser and curiouser...
 

karmatika

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Well, isnt it that all of us are a bit spiritual in one way or another? I practice Sivananda Yoga, and thinking I was the most non spiritual person, found myself in the Bahamas (sounds spiritual? probably not...) chanting as a part of my yoga practice. and I am the last to pray to gods...
but what can you do when you take a Teachers Training Course in a place called Paradise Island?
 

shawn

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Religion is supposed to be a teacher which leads individuals to an understanding of the unity of life and their place within it.
We are born into ignorance and need to re-learn everything with the new body we are given.
Religion is supposed to assist with that.
But somewhere along the way it has lost sight of its purpose and seeks to control people with mythologies (and has been rather effective at that game).

We are all a part of the Life Eternal and so are all spiritual.
We are a part of the cycles of birth/life/death/re-birth.
But we have largely forgotten so many things.

Many people are having experiences of this intimate connection(spirituality) and then see that the religions which surround them do not address such experience and so they reject it (their religions).
The more awakened/evolved can always see through the monkey-shines of their predecessors.
So such a trend is a cause for hope and should be looked at with a smile.:)
 

jackie cox

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I wrote up a serious post, when I tried to review the post, I was kicked off the forum, whats up with that, is there an administraitor, who looks into the posts and manipulates the post, I wonder if this forum uses microsofts endora software ?
 

lunamoth

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I wrote up a serious post, when I tried to review the post, I was kicked off the forum, whats up with that, is there an administraitor, who looks into the posts and manipulates the post, I wonder if this forum uses microsofts endora software ?


Hi Jackie,

What probably happened is that you 'timed out' while writing your post (it happens to me all the time if I write a longer post or leave and come back to it later, so that more than say ten minutes elapses). If you know you've taken a long time to write a post you might copy save it just in case before hitting submit.

Even if you hit submit and it takes you to the log-in page, if you log in from there it should submit your post so you don't have to re-do it. Just don't hit refresh or back-page in the mean while.

It has to do with 'cookies,' and I think if you post a lot and frequently that will no longer happen. But it still happens to me. :(

Anyway, mods will not edit your post under most normal conditions. I think you need to have ten or more posts before you can include links. A mod will usually PM you if for some reason a post needs to be edited.

Hope this helps!

luna
 

amfortas

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Perhaps folks are feeling about for meaning...perhaps the Old Ways have lost meaning, and become rote, ossified, but folks cling to them as a refuge from the Abyss.
To me, the big, organised religions have lost whatever it was that made them a refuge in the first place...taken over by Worldly Powers for the purpose of control and greed and power.
We are discouraged by these Powers, by proxy of "society", from finding our own Peace w/ the Big Questions.
If everyone was a Rumi, or Meister Eckhart, what need would there be for Controllers?
I think that these distinctions point to a Deep, political problem that most are afraid to address, lest they be labelled 'heretics' or 'Unamerican', or whatever.
 

wil

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If everyone was a Rumi, or Meister Eckhart, what need would there be for Controllers?
Listening to a program on Speaking of Faith on NPR with Thay, he said something to the affect of he wouldn't want to live in a world without conflict and suffering, for we would never learn forgiveness and compassion.
 

Eudaimonist

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Listening to a program on Speaking of Faith on NPR with Thay, he said something to the affect of he wouldn't want to live in a world without conflict and suffering, for we would never learn forgiveness and compassion.

I would hate to make my meaning in life dependent on the conflict and suffering of others.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 

citizenzen

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I would hate to make my meaning in life dependent on the conflict and suffering of others.

Once we solved all human suffering (as if) we could always turn our focus to the other creatures of the world.

There'd still be plenty of opportunity to exercise our compassion.
 

Eudaimonist

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Once we solved all human suffering (as if) we could always turn our focus to the other creatures of the world.

There'd still be plenty of opportunity to exercise our compassion.

That's not any consolation at all. It's still like saying: "Thank goodness there's evil in the world!"

Compassion is admirable, but I'd prefer for my highest values to arise from positive causes and conditions. That way, I need not desire evil to exist to give meaning to my existence.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 

path_of_one

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I think compassion can come from a positive space rather than a negative one.

One side of compassion says: "I wish to help ease suffering."

The other side of compassion says: "I wish to spread joy and peace."
 

iBrian

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I come from a family of working class peasants :))) - no real religious belief or practices.

When the subject was broached, generally there was a belief in there being "something else" as in a spiritual realm - but no belief that any religious system was able to describe it.

In that regard, there could certainly be a description of believing in the spiritual, but just not religious, if that's of any help.
 

Eudaimonist

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The other side of compassion says: "I wish to spread joy and peace."

I personally wouldn't use the word "compassion" to convey that concept (for nitpicky dictionary definition reasons), but I agree that this solves the problem neatly.

There are forms of benevolence that don't assume suffering as a starting point, and seek only to enhance the lives of others. "Kindness" comes to mind. I regard kindness as a virtue.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 

Dondi

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wil said:
Listening to a program on Speaking of Faith on NPR with Thay, he said something to the affect of he wouldn't want to live in a world without conflict and suffering, for we would never learn forgiveness and compassion.

I would hate to make my meaning in life dependent on the conflict and suffering of others.


eudaimonia,

Mark

I'd have to agree with Mark here. The fact that we do have conflict and suffering is consequential. It is the result of a lack of forgiveness and compassion.
 

nativeastral

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I'd have to agree with Mark here. The fact that we do have conflict and suffering is consequential. It is the result of a lack of forgiveness and compassion.

yet buddhism rests on the fact of human suffering, christianity the same in the sin concept, and judaism's continual suffering in their covenantal relationship.

chrysippus of soli [280-207BC], a stoic who grew up in the neighbourhood of Tarsus said 'there could be no justice unless there was injustice, no courage less cowardice, no truth unless there were falsehood', so age old realisation on human imperfection despite our knowledge and understandings of human history that tells us that virtues gives us an easier conscience and happier life [with others].
 

path_of_one

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I personally wouldn't use the word "compassion" to convey that concept (for nitpicky dictionary definition reasons), but I agree that this solves the problem neatly.

There are forms of benevolence that don't assume suffering as a starting point, and seek only to enhance the lives of others. "Kindness" comes to mind. I regard kindness as a virtue.


eudaimonia,

Mark

Me too, and I realize I am using the word unconventionally. Usually, I would say "loving-kindness" but in the West, compassion is often better understood, since love and kindness often brings to mind nice social things rather than a deep-seated unity, a "being with, being part of" another.

Empathy might be a better way to describe the foundation. When we cultivate a sense of unity with other beings and feel deeply connected to them, we wish for their happiness just as we wish for our own. We cease to think of "our need" vs. "their need" and instead see that our need is theirs and vice versa. In this way, we wish to spread joy and peace, we love others and are kind.

In the absence of this as a widespread behavior, suffering arises as a result of the conflict between the perceived self and other, and compassion allows the empathic, loving, kind response.
 

citizenzen

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yet buddhism rests on the fact of human suffering...

Buddhism does not "rest" on suffering as it is a method for ending it.

Buddhism rests on Buddha Nature: perfection, wisdom, compassion. That is unconditioned, unchanging.

Everything else is conditioned, changing, temporary, illusory... including suffering.
 

Eudaimonist

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Buddhism does not "rest" on suffering as it is a method for ending it.

Buddhism rests on Buddha Nature: perfection, wisdom, compassion. That is unconditioned, unchanging.

Everything else is conditioned, changing, temporary, illusory... including suffering.

I think he meant that "life is suffering" is one of the noble truths of Buddhism.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 
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