Epoché as a spiritual practice?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by DT Strain, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Naturalists (those without supernatural beliefs) who nonetheless wish to pursue spiritual (literally: 'essential') practices aimed at greater wisdom, equanimity, and happiness in life, can consider their approach to knowledge and claims to be a part of their spirituality - even an important spiritual practice of humility.

    But to truly practice it as a spiritual value, the catch is twofold:

    (a) It must flow from a motivation of compassion. A humble approach to knowledge and claims must be pursued with the good it can do for all beings, not because of superiority, snobbery, or conceit, and;

    (b) It must be engaged as a personal practice. Meaning we follow Epictetus' instruction not to explain our philosophy but to embody it. We keep in mind that we engage in this practice as a matter of self discipline we have chosen to undertake. We do not practice it in the form of telling others what they ought to believe or disrespect their beliefs.

    Thoughts and comments?

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  2. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    But notice, he wrote the Enchiridion. I agree with the concept, and the discussions here are but learning, not preaching, exercises.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I would have thought that common to all spiritual practice?

    That's not to knock it, by the way ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  4. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Indeed Thomas, I think that's true. I suppose the reason for calling that out here, is to point out the important differences in a naturalistic (non-supernatural) approach *as a spiritual practice* as opposed to those who merely have a naturalistic worldview, but either (a) give it little thought or substance, or (b) go around bashing others' beliefs in a debative or snobbish manner.

    This is also another reason for using the ancient Greek term - because by having a name of this sort, it psychologically puts it into the same conceptual family as many other ancient spiritual practices.

    When we take on an evidence-based belief process as a spiritual practice, the tone becomes completely different - one of humility and respect for others. This is part of what I try to practice and preach in Spiritual Naturalism.

    Best wishes :)
     
  5. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Speaking of spiritual naturalism, have you ever looked at the last chapter of Whitehead's "Process and Reality"? Pretty much the best 20 pages on G-d in philosophy since Plotinus (IMHO). If it is too dense, Ivor Leclerc's last chapter in "Whitehead's Metaphysics" is best intro (Hartshorne's works also do it, but much longer than LeClerc's).
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Good call.

    Good point again. Theurgy was an integral part of philosophy.

    I have come to the view that 'the esoteric' as spoken of by Plato et al does not refer to 'knowledge' but a 'knowing', or rather, the esoteric is not in the knowing, but in the doing ... and the reason for the doing is usually quite mundane, founded on the spiritual virtues which are so out of fashion these days ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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