Spirituality: Should it replace religion?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by juice, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. juice

    juice Curious Seeker

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    This has been a tough personal question for me for the past few years.
    I keep wondering why do I need to replace one religion with another?
    Do I really need religion or focus on my own beliefs?
    I grew up in Christianity,but slowly conflicted and questioning what is it true purpose in my life.
    I read all these religious text,but still looking for answers to why we are still worse off than ever before.
    Why must we suffer and why some knowledge got to be so secretive to the masses?
    Why everything is such a sin, even though one way or the other you going to commit that sin in order to survive.
     
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  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    I think in a way religion is the shell of the nut. Truths were revealed by 'transcendent beings' and some of what they said and did was written down -- often long after, by word-of-mouth, etc.

    Often the words themselves became the object of veneration, in order to make sure they would not be changed and the meaning they concealed altered and diluted by future generations, to suit their own contemporary belief systems.

    The shell of the nut. Monks have kept chanting the same prayers unchanged, and transcribing scripture with the utmost fidelity possible to them for centuries upon centuries.

    That is so individuals like us could access those scriptures, as unadulterated as reasonably possible. From there, it's up to ourselves to meditate and make our own choices.

    So of course there are going to be ancient mores and brutalities mixed up with the transcendent truth contained in scripture, because they are so ancient and because the monks have so carefully worked to pass them on without changing them over thousands of years.

    Nowadays science is demonstrating that scripture may not be a reliable source of material scientific fact. There are people who argue about it. The word of scripture, etc.

    Of course since the invention of the printing press, and now with the internet, monks and religion hardly seem relevant or necessary to us. But still the scriptures remain intact. It's difficult to try to change the words of scripture and get away with doing so.

    But to me the value of scripture is to explain spiritual laws. These laws might often sound illogical to a materialist person.

    There are monks to maintain the rituals and traditions. That's what they do. They are the keepers of the flame and without them there would be no honestly transmitted scripture. Imo

    (post edited)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
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  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Hugz, the struggle is real.

    To me, It is all about finding what speaks to you. For some it is science, for others one of the many religions, or something spiritual...

    For me find that golden rule that resonates...
     
  4. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    "...I read all these religious text,but still looking for answers to why we are still worse off than ever before.
    Why must we suffer ..."


    Are you blaming religion for not creating a perfect world? Are you saying it would be a better world without religion? Would people behave better?

    EDIT: Ok, the headline: 'Spirituality, should it replace religion?'

    Religion without spirituality is for politicians and other thieves and hypocrites and con-men, and always was, imo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Granted, some of the most spiritual and righteous people I've every known, never cracked open a Bible or subscribed to a particular religion. One way or the other, the forces of good speak to us all regardless, but then, so do the forces of evil. So, while I have no problem separating the politics and business of religion from spirituality, for me, faith and spirituality go hand in hand. Can't have one without the other and religion gives me focus. Fleshes things out as it were.

    Every man is free to do as he sees fit, but as long as even one chooses an unrighteous path, there will be conflict and suffering. That's just the consequences of our own actions though, not the result of religion.

    Yes we all sin. Temptations of the flesh are many and we all fall short, but despite what some churches would have us believe, everything is not a sin nor is it end of story when it is. There is forgiveness for the repentant and opportunity to make amends.
     
  6. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    I see missing from the equation the factor called "renunciation".

    It would seem counter-logic to consider renunciation to have value.

    But imo renunciation is a factor of "Zen" albeit, I speak in terms of being in positive pursuit ... and how the idea of renunciation is a part of acquiring set goals.

    No Pain No Gain ... No renunciation, No Accommodations [???]
     
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  7. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Spirituality: Should it replace religion?

    So Jesus was asked to sum up all prayers into one prayer...it's called the "Our Father"
    That prayer imo contains all Spiritual guidance needed. Why say more?

    Ya wants me t'talk bout vegetarianism and non-violence and wielding a sword is akin to a butchers knife and how bodily fluids transfer karma what to speak of being a leg or breast man and how you were nursed as a baby by a female that the family later ate.


    And how the word 'Yahoo' has lost it's original meaning.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Depends what we mean by 'spiritual'?

    This can range from a belief in the New Age, Gaia, faeries, dream-catchers, ghosts, messages from beyond the veil, etc. through prayers and devotions to the traditional religions and there into very deep and dark waters (speaking metaphorically) ...

    As discussed before, when people identity as 'spiritual but not religious' they are rejecting 'organised religion', and I'm inclined to ask what a 'disorganised religion' might look like, and how effective might it be?

    What distinguishes the 'SBNR' from an atheist or agnostic?

    Spirituality, for some, merely means a set of moral and ethical standards, the practice of empathy and altruism. But there are many moral/ethical codes that operate on rational principles — the Golden Rule — without the need of invoking spirituality.

    Spirituality is often packaged along with a set of practices that are subjectively and reassuring beneficial and quite possibly promoting 'a healthy lifestyle'. Meditation, yoga and tai chi are forms of exercise that make sense independent of any spiritual justification.

    We keep coming back to the point that 'spiritual' refers to the terrain of religion, a terrain in which one has a priori rejected maps, guidebooks and even the destination, along with the tools of traverse. As someone once commented, SBNR is like putting to sea without compass or chart, but with a sense that one will find once's destination somehow ...

    If religion can be refuted on the lack of acceptable evidence, then the SBNR are standing on even more uncertain ground. They have nothing to fall back on at all, other than a subjective conviction.

    In the absence of evidence for objective meaning, the most plausible explanation for why people are SBNR is that it allows them to reject the traditional framework, but keep just enough in touch or intact to validate self-worth and emotional security. At worst, it's FOM: 'I reject all that religious crap, but if there's something to it, I want in!'

    Religion provides reassurance that we are not as cosmically insignificant as science might suggest. Disaffection with traditional religions shifts people’s attention toward (even) more amorphous kinds of reassurances that spirituality seems to offer and support.

    The reality however is that spirituality is no better than religion at making sense of the world in ways consistent with the contemporary argument, rather it's worse, in that it often lacks a philosophical and metaphysical foundation, or is obliged to borrow from the very thing it rejects to formulate one.

    In the words of one psycho-analyst: If you don’t like religion, you shouldn’t be spiritual either.

    +++

    I sometimes think the SBNR argument is a recourse to old superstitions. It's a way of making sense of the universe on purely subjective grounds. 'It', whatever 'It' might be, is warm, cuddly, benign. The idea that everything happens for a reason. It's interesting that the SBNR and the New Age share the past – Druids, Wicca, Gnostics, Gaia, etc., dream-catchers, drum camps, dance tents, etc. On the one hand there is a marked tendency to accept these modern narratives without any kind of critical evaluation or discernment, whilst on the other well-reasoned 'traditional' religions are rejected out-of-hand and often on the most spurious basis.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The Dalai Lama is known to have sent seekers away with the advice: "If you cannot find what you're looking for in your own tradition, you'll not find it here."


    Depends where the transcendent fits in the picture, if at all.


    The answer is easy enough. Doubts, on the other hand, are another kettle of fish.


    In what way worse off? Religion isn't a magic wand, rather they enshrine a set of principles that are not easy to achieve. If there's a problem,it's not with religion ...

    Why indeed when all the advice is there.

    Not sure what secrets you're talking about here?

    Well, not everything's a sin? And you don't have to sin in order to survive. Again, this might be more to do with your viewpoint than any inherent flaw in religion ...
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Might be more relevant to the discussion than at first appears!

    I recall an exchange between a guru and a seeker. The seeker stormed up to the guru in his ashram and said, "I have read ... " and went on the list the classics from a variety of sources. "And still I cannot find the answer. Which way should I go now?"
    "Back the way you came," the guru replied.
     
  11. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    I've been know to say that. Not rejecting 'organized religion' per se, just mean though I'm Christian and read the Bible, I've never felt the need to do so in a structured church setting. We were always taught at home and I still commune with God on that level.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    OK, but I'd say, from previous posts, yours is a very Christian-oriented upbringing/practice.

    My issue with SBNR is it allows one, indeed invites one, to cherry-pick, and of course human nature being what it is, there tend to be a certain tendency to pick what suits rather than what's best, a picking and choosing that embraces what feels good rather than what feels true.

    The SBNR thing is one among a group of contemporary popular memes, such as 'all paths lead to the top of the mountain' and 'all religions say essentially the same thing' ...
     
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  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    But I don't like the rotten cherries.
     
  14. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    I use the expression myself. What I mean by it is, I focus more on the spiritual aspects of religion rather than the business and political side of things. A bit of childhood baggage I suppose having seen the way my mom was looked down upon for not having an offering for the collection plate. As a result, we too took to reading the Bible at home.

    It's come to mean something else this side of the pond though and I tend to more or less side with Thomas in that regard.
     
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  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the Three Jewels as a universal idea summed up in the Buddhist: 'Buddha, Dharma and Sangha', then often it can be the third jewel which people of faith can sometimes find the most testing, an outlook which Christ challenged in his Parable of the Rich Man and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14).

    Basically it's a reminder about humility ... but it's often put to the test.

    From my own experience I have been aware of looking at people in the congregation wondering, 'what are they doing here'? Someone dressed as if out for a raucous Saturday night; the person who appears very devout, but in dialogue soon reveals themselves as an utter racist; the emotional basket-case; the person who, on Christmas Day of all days, alongside my mother in the pew, moved her handbag to conceal (and subsequently steal) a gold bracelet, a family heirloom, that had fallen off my mother's wrist.

    I am told by insiders that the monastic life is the extreme test of living in close community with your neighbour.
     
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  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    We are all works in progress.
     
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  17. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    If religion brings you no happiness or no sense of meaning, you can always take the Epicurean route in creating or joining your own philosophical community. But even here mystery abounds.


     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Good questions. And since you have been asking them for years, you did not receive any good answers, I assume.

    I have no answer beyond all the very good ones already given by the others here. I'll ask you a few questions instead:

    Whom have you been asking, so far, apart from the texts and people on a web forum?

    What is at stakes for you, why do you ask?

    What would you be willing to give up in return for answers?

    Do you have a good friend you can meet in person, to talk with, when your questions are going in circles?
     
  19. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    Yes. Religion is about, rules, power and control. Where as spirituality is about a connection with the Devine
     
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