Are we evolving to become less spiritual?

gihe

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Been lurking around here for a while, enjoying the humourous (and often vicious) banter between the atheists and spiritualists.

I've noticed in my short lifetime that spiritual views such as creationism, ID and religion in general have become less 'fashionable' of late. From reading historical texts, I get the impression that a good proportion of the people of Earth have been religious for a very, very long time. And clearly, there are still millions and millions of people who believe in a Creator or a God, so this isn't going away anytime soon. So why, in the last twenty years or so, have followers of religion become increasingly despised?

Is it simply the prevalance of the internet that allows opinion to be aired more readily - or is there an actual trend to this?

You will be happy/disappointed to learn that I firmly believe in creation, as opposed to life having arisen from random chance or abiogenetic means. But before the knives come out, I wanted to garner opinion on whether folks think that we, as an adaptable species, are 'evolving' to become less spiritual.
 

wil

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Namaste and welcome.

While our religious beliefs appear to differ in some ways.... I think as a people we are steadily becoming more spiritual.

That we are all getting closer to source, by a variety of methods, that we all can't completely see.

As this is an age of the intellect, many are relying completely on that....but even science is moving us toward understanding science cannot predict.

One last question, does abiogenesis have to be chance? or even if it is chance and is a one in a trillion happening....but the attempts have been many trillion times....
 

gihe

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Thanks for the comments.
With the exception of Snoopy (whose short response makes it difficult to judge), it would seem the viewpoints so far are spiritually oriented. I would like to get an alternative view, however...
 

Gatekeeper

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Been lurking around here for a while, enjoying the humourous (and often vicious) banter between the atheists and spiritualists.

I've noticed in my short lifetime that spiritual views such as creationism, ID and religion in general have become less 'fashionable' of late. From reading historical texts, I get the impression that a good proportion of the people of Earth have been religious for a very, very long time. And clearly, there are still millions and millions of people who believe in a Creator or a God, so this isn't going away anytime soon. So why, in the last twenty years or so, have followers of religion become increasingly despised?

Is it simply the prevalance of the internet that allows opinion to be aired more readily - or is there an actual trend to this?

You will be happy/disappointed to learn that I firmly believe in creation, as opposed to life having arisen from random chance or abiogenetic means. But before the knives come out, I wanted to garner opinion on whether folks think that we, as an adaptable species, are 'evolving' to become less spiritual.

Being religious and being spiritual are two different birds, no? I Am becoming less and less religious, but at the same time more and more spiritual; love being the spiritual aspect of my personal "spirituality". I don't see man becoming less spiritual, only less religious, which I think is probably a good thing. :p
 

peaceandkarma

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Can I say that the big bang was God. This even seems to be described in the Bible with the 'let there be light' text. All the energy thats hidden in every atom can also be described as God. The Bible tells its version of events to the people it was written for it a way that they could understand. They couldn't understand the Universe the way we know it today because the never saw the Universe the way we see it.
Modern science doesn't see the Universe the same way as the Bible, so modern science seems to dismiss the Biblical account. I can personally see a link between the two and I personally feel that Spiritual thought and Science are already united. Spirit use metaphorical images when they communicate and as the Prophets channeled messages, much the same way as mediums do today, their description of the Universe was therefore metaphorical and there would be a lot of light with the big bang.
 

Thomas

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Can I say that the big bang was God.
Caused by God, yes ... but not that God went bang ...

This even seems to be described in the Bible with the 'let there be light' text.
This sets up a problem, as the stars, etc., were not created until later, so the light spoken of here is not 'light' as energy within a defined wavelength that is visible to the eye. Most exegetes read it as light of mind.

The Bible tells its version of events to the people it was written for it a way that they could understand. They couldn't understand the Universe the way we know it today because the never saw the Universe the way we see it.
But nor is the Bible an attempt at a scientific explanation.

God bless,

Thomas
 

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The church has a lot less power than it used to. For a long time religion controlled the people and the laws that governed them and they had no choice but to believe. Nowadays things have changed and (most of) the world is governed by what is best for everyone, which is vital due to the intergration of so many different cultures.
So i wouldn't necessarily say people are becoming less religious but that there are so many different things to believe in now, and science does put forth a well reasoned argument!
 

wil

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So i wouldn't necessarily say people are becoming less religious but that there are so many different things to believe in now, and science does put forth a well reasoned argument!
I would say many folks are becoming less religious..... but not less spritual.
 

peaceandkarma

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Caused by God, yes ... but not that God went bang ...


This sets up a problem, as the stars, etc., were not created until later, so the light spoken of here is not 'light' as energy within a defined wavelength that is visible to the eye. Most exegetes read it as light of mind.


But nor is the Bible an attempt at a scientific explanation.

Thomas

To me, I feel the Bible expains creation how it would have been understood at the time it was written. Its still metaphoric but more accurate than other examples of creation from the same time period. I can see the big bang theory in the Bible myself.
I see the Universe as God as to me everything in the Universe, every atom is part of a living God thats envolving.
 

Thomas

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... Its still metaphoric but more accurate than other examples of creation from the same time period.
I think metaphors often transcend the literal.

I see the Universe as God as to me everything in the Universe, every atom is part of a living God thats envolving.
Ah ... that's where you and the Bible would part company, then.

God bless,

Thomas
 

taijasi

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I can see the big bang theory in the Bible myself. I see the Universe as God as to me everything in the Universe, every atom is part of a living God thats envolving.
You're certainly not alone here, peaceandkarma!

I think this is the more enlightened viewpoint. Science already tells us this, in fact. Religion(s) which can't see this ... ah, well they'll be left behind. And in that sense, as far as the literalists go, or those who still can't make the pieces fit ... so will they.

Our evolution seems to progress, in both material and spiritual respects, and I believe that this is as God would have it. Anything less is an insult to the very notion of in Intelligent, Loving [let alone Purposeful and Powerful] Deity.

Some, however, are blinded in their grasp of things, because they cannot break free of a certain mold. So when it comes to evolution, or trying to match metaphysical thinking to more practical, scientific thinking, they won't even consider how close science has come to telling us straight information about the nature of God.

After all, if God is revealed [even in PART] via the Cosmos, as God's `Creation' [or expression], then a study of the latter will eventually reveal to us something regarding the former. In the study of Humanity, too, we will learn a great deal regarding both God and also regarding the Cosmos. A wise man knows that all of these are inextricably linked.

It may be true that we can fathom planets wherein no material physical evolution has [yet] arisen, just as we can contemplate a type of spiritual evolution wherein mankind exists without having as yet descended into the material world. This is the error of the evolutionists ~ and plenty of other thinkers alike ~ who can only see Humanity as somehow rising ... from ashes and dust.

The material world is the LAST in the order of Creation; but then, any man familiar with esoteric teachings would not debate this. ANY person familiar with the Mysteries [here I refer to the Lesser Mysteries] is well aware that Humanity does not simply come into being ex nihilo, or because some combination of cells and atoms in the physical world reached a certain level of complexity [through ANY agency] ... thereby attaining to the sophistication necessary for Deity to breathe life into him.

The Mysteries have always taught, in every religion of the globe and in every time period, that Humanity most certainly evolves through progressive spiritual and material evolution toward definite Goals and Purposes ... as set forth and defined by Hierarchies [Orders] of Beings Whom and which are most capable of guiding and directing us. This being the case, it comes to be understood by anyone paying attention that the material and the spiritual worlds parallel each other in terms of their progression, since one literally uses the other as its means of expression. In modern terminology, these are sometimes referred to as the interior and the exterior aspects of our being ... or the exoteric world and the esoteric. Some will know this via paraphrasal of the Hermetic Axiom: `As above, so below; as within, so without.'

Be wary of that man who will distort these meanings, place his own interpretation upon them to suit his [mistaken] interpretations of scripture, or otherwise misrepresent what we already know regarding material and spiritual evolution. His efforts, even where well-intentioned and well-motivated, will simply lead astray any who attempt to follow them. It is a case of forcing round pegs into square holes, for in his case, he not only begins with a complete misunderstanding of what he is trying to match on the one hand [a round peg, rather than a square one] ... but he also has a fundamental lack in the notion of what a hole is, on the other [yes, they can be squared, but most of us recognize them as otherwise].

So, while it's putting the cart before the horse for strict Darwinian evolutionists, or even for modern scientists who view this question via the lens of modern evolutionary theory ... I think an astute observer can see through obvious evidence [somehow lacking to the materialists and atheists] that indeed, we are tending toward something. That's a general statement, but insofar as it goes, I would agree even with the most narrow-minded of Creationists.

Of COURSE the Cosmos is Intelligently guided, born of a Loving Being [or `Creator'] ... and tending toward a Purpose [far beyond our ken, yet even affecting our tiny little globe, as well as every life upon it!]. Conclusions beyond that, however, will be different for a deist or a theist than for the pantheists or panentheists among us; and hylozoists [panpsychists] such as myself, Nick, A. Theos and others here at IO will try and remind us of certain concepts ... and do our best to elucidate them or raise questions as to, "Why not this?" whenever such discussions as the present one arise.

cheers,
~andrew
 

taijasi

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As for becoming less spiritual, specifically, this is a question which goes much further into matters than I know how to do concisely or without an extended discussion. In short, I believe that as Humanity becomes increasingly exposed to one particular take [or set of teachings] regarding our spiritual nature ... including answers to basic questions about our origins, destiny, the purpose for our being here and how we may proceed to achieving that purpose & reaching our destiny, just in proportion as we become ready for the next `piece of the puzzle,' so will that need be met by God's Stewards.

For this reason, having reached a point of greatest darkness [recently] in our evolution during the DARK AGES, it was necessary for a better self-understanding, other-understanding, God-understanding, etc. to introduce Humanity to several Movements [of consciousness] and Awakenings [of Soul, or Spirit] which we all know well ... yet which can only be properly understood if we have some grasp of the Divine Milieu which forms the backdrop against which all of this is occurring. As I mentioned on another thread recently, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on Tielhard de Chardin's Vision of the Future of Humanity. And Teilhard most certainly foresaw an OMEGA POINT toward which all of Humanity is gradually, if tediously, tending. He also spoke of the Divine Milieu, and this is as good a term as any when it comes to helping us focus on our tiny place and role within the greater pleroma.

The Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Labour Movement, 19th Century Spiritualism, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism and the like ... all of these are inspired from above. Each has its specific goals and objectives for helping to stimulate a certain portion of Humanity's Consciousness, or one or another type of Soul awareness and activity. In that, even the Scientific Revolution had and has SPIRITUAL GOALS ... and that is why the Divine Beings working on the Inner Side of Life have done Their best to bring these efforts all into a modern, synthetic result, or integrated PRODUCT as far as Humanity [and our Awareness] is concerned.

Communications technology, improvements in our means of travel [let us count the many methods and their advancements] ... the dawning awareness for every person on our planet that we are ONE Family and ONE Humanity, not simply hundreds & thousands of disparate racial or national or even individual units ... THIS is what God's Stewards have been seeking. And They have worked for well more than 2000 years in order to bring us to the present point, although it is clear that we are getting close to various types of breakthroughs in our collective understanding.

All this being said, there are sometimes stages of our growth wherein we take one step back before we then take two steps forward. There are moments when, as we see amply illustrated here at IO, beautifully represented in our discussions, resistance to change and progress literally propels us BACKWARD against the backdrop of overall growth and increased spirituality. Simply because of human ignorance [or nescience], and because of xenophobia and a fear of the unknown, the man who cannot yet trust God ... because he DOUBTS all except what is familiar to him ... shows us clearly what it means to show less than what it is that God expects of us.

And this is understandable, it is PLANNED for by Those on the Inner Side who can see the future, because They know well that in order to attain to what is the current Goal [for the next few hundred years, for example], one must take into account ALL of the factors affecting our growth ... all of the trends, both positive and negative, which accelerate or slow us on the Way.

There are those who get it, those who sort of get it ... and those who really don't get it at all, yet even of the group who do not consciously follow much of the new teaching [which is ever a re-presentation of the old, PLUS whatever Humanity is ready for of the New] ~ even this last group can and does participate and assist, to a certain degree, with the ingress of Divine Inspiration and the building of the New World. Those who have begun to consciously sense and respond to the Plan [in the brain, in waking consciousness] will do so to different degrees, and would characterize their budding awareness differently, even within the same cross-section of society, or as adherents to the same religion or ideology. Yet all are aware, to some degree, that we are cooperating in the SAME VISION, and working, each through the means that he has been given, to reach that Vision as soon as possible, for the benefit and upliftment of all.

Be wary of those who would divest you of this realization, if it is yours. And guard well your Chalice. We know what Water is poured into this vessel, why it is lifted up ... and for Whom this is all being prepared.

It is a solemn ritual, but the need is greater than ever. There may even be time for the newcomers to play their part ... but the naysayers, they shall be left at the gate.

Even Heinlein knew what a Water Brother was. ;)
 

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gihe said:
Is it simply the prevalance of the internet that allows opinion to be aired more readily - or is there an actual trend to this?
There is not an overall trend other than what has already been going on for a long, long time. People ask the same questions over and over, and when they get their answers they take them to the grave mainly because there are no pat answers. You can't just tell somebody anything. The important questions require personal experiences, time and events to pass. There continues to be a generation gap. The internet and also freedom of speech allow more people to participate in the discussion and in pursuing the answers, but it is the same conversation over and over. I do think people are growing up faster and living a little longer.
 

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I would say many folks are becoming less religious..... but not less spritual.

I completely agree with this. I think it is becoming clearer that separate religions are answering some but not all the questions. As Science gets closer to the Theory of Everything, then I think the spiritual communities will do the same and see that actually, these individuals faiths are all part of a much bigger picture.

Q
 

Thomas

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I think as secularism advances in the developed world, one must acknowledge that humanity's relationship with nature and the supernatural are both diminishing.

This process began with the Enlightenment, and was hammered home by the Industrial Revolution. Now people are inculcated into the view of themselves as consumers, and human life has become a negotiable commodity.

'Spirituality', as it is currently widely regarded, is just another commodity.

Prior to the 17th century, the idea of spirituality as distinct from religion was unheard of — but since then the emergence of the ego, of personalism rather than the person, the cult of the individual in the last 70-odd years, and the reduction of the spiritual domain from the metacosmic to the self-reflective, all point to a reduction of the idea of the spirit to one of personal psychic activity.

This is highlighted by the phrase "I am spiritual, but not religious" (taking 'religion' to mean a union between the self and the Other, however you determine that other to be) which in effect replaces the 'Other' with the individual self at the centre of a self-reflective and relativist universe.

I think this phrase is an illusory idea fostered by a commodity-oriented culture which treats people as consumers, and values their worth purely as consumers and producers.

Thus 'spirituality' is more and more seen as private, personal, and of one's own determination, directed towards one's own well-being, as defined in a cultural context.

How does one measure one's spirituality?

So I would say we're being discreetly oriented towards regarding the self, and the activity of the self, from a consumer perspective ... so the idea of the personal spirit, which is ego, is growing, whereas the idea of a collective and communal spirit, is diminishing.

Just look at where people spend their money.

God bless,

Thomas
 

wil

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Where people spend their money? Can you expand on that?

I think the demise of religions is from the sticking to teaching ideas that simply don't float...and folks know they don't.

Now you, Thomas, have a mystical, metaphysical bent that goes beyond what Catholicism teaches in Catholic Schools and on Sundays. You've gone the extra mile to get beyond and behind the generic public level of the religion for the masses and into the mysteries. Unfortunately, many will not make it to that level, because they are rejecting the catechism.

Same with this creationist movement in the US...sure it attracts a vocal percentage of people, but it simply can't garner the masses because it boldy rejects what we know and see in our world....

Spirituality on the other hand....can be embracing science, the inner workings of the cell, of the atom, of the universe in awe, realizing we are imbedded in this creation....spirituality does not require Jesus, or G!d, or Mohamed, or Krishna, or Buddha for everyone to experience it....some of us do...some of us need the crutch, the connection, need to be told what and how to experience....others revel in it, roll in it, embrace it.
 

Thomas

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Where people spend their money? Can you expand on that?
The moneys spent on creating an unreal self-image — cosmetics, therapy, body-culture, etc, etc.

I think the demise of religions is from the sticking to teaching ideas that simply don't float...and folks know they don't.
Not really ... virtue doesn't go out of date, nor does truth ... the demise of religion is sign of the consumer-centric indoctrination.

Check out "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times" here or here.

Now you, Thomas, have a mystical, metaphysical bent that goes beyond what Catholicism teaches in Catholic Schools and on Sundays. You've gone the extra mile to get beyond and behind the generic public level of the religion for the masses and into the mysteries. Unfortunately, many will not make it to that level, because they are rejecting the catechism.
That's my point ... there's many who have a lot to say about things they know nothing about.

But you don't have to go that extra mile to be a spiritual person, and going that extra mile is not a sign of spirituality (the 'Tanner of Alexandria', again).

Spirituality is about love. And humility. The love of other, not the love of self. Spirituality is self-effacing.

Big-S Spirituality is a Gift of Grace; little-s spirituality is a function of the faculty.

Spirituality on the other hand....can be embracing science, the inner workings of the cell, of the atom, of the universe in awe, realizing we are imbedded in this creation....
That's natural spirituality ... small-s spirituality.

spirituality does not require Jesus, or G!d, or Mohamed, or Krishna, or Buddha for everyone to experience it...
Big-S spirituality does ... that's the distinction I'm drawing out. Big-S Spirituality is the Indwelling Pneuma or Shekinah or Barakah ... it's not about you ...

some of us need the crutch, the connection, need to be told what and how to experience....others revel in it, roll in it, embrace it.
I think quote the reverse, I think true Spirituality is not an experience, and it's precisely because it is not an experiential dimension that we poor consumer-oriented beings turn to an ersatz experiential pseudo-spirituality that seeming gets a result, and is therefore favoured over the real thing.

I'm talking about the distinction between that, and big-S spirituality, which is transcendent and metacosmic — beyond images and beyond forms, beyond experience — the kind of spirituality the mystics speak of.

Culture more and more conditions us to a sale-or-return mentality;
Most people pursue spirituality because they want to feel spiritual ... they want to register some kind of reward/effect ... which is not the order of spirituality I'm talking about.

The transcendent order of spirituality is not only inseparably embedded in religion, it's only through religion one can access it, as it were.

It seems to me that if and when we pass a Buddha on the road, we simply wouldn't know. It's the one who announces himself as a Buddha one needs to be wary of ... especially when it's ourselves coming to meet us ...

God bless,

Thomas
 
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