Spirituality??

Jaiket

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I have no concept of spirituality. I have never used the word in a conversation in my life. So I am curious.

Is spirituality a definitive, objective standard? Or a subjective, personal term?

People use the word all the time but I have no idea if they are referring to the same phenomenon or even slightly related feelings.

I've floated this around other boards but have never recieved a satisfactory answer. The problem is most people feel they cannot articulate it correctly or cannot define it without reference to a 'spirit' or 'soul'. Being athiest and sceptical of the supernatural I have no concept of spirits either.

Anyone else feel the same?

Please do not hesitate to respond.
 

brucegdc

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Since spirituality, in the dictionary meaning means " The state, quality, manner, or fact of being spiritual", and "spiritual" (in the relevant definition) means:
[QUOTE origin="dictionary.com"]
1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
3. Of, from, or relating to God; deific.
4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred.
5. Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.
[/QUOTE]

I'm not surprised you're not comfortable with the term, since it deals specifically with the supernatural - that is, something beyond the mundane and material world. If you're not sure of the existence of deity, soul, or spirits, a concern about them would be difficult.

I usually use the term spirituality in contrast to religion or ethics. My spirituality is the set of beliefs, feelings, and practices I have as a personal connection to the "supernatural". My ethics are the set of behaviors and limits I choose to place on myself and my actions, and my religion is the set of core beliefs and rituals I follow. I think most people use spirituality as a personal term, referring to *their* (often unique) situation, where religion is more of the community-driven beliefs/practices. Which pretty much answers your question, in my opinion - the term itself has objective meaning, but the details of the spirituality are unique to the individual.

... Bruce
 

earl

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Spirituality has so many different meanings for so many different people. I think that is partly due to the fact that to me spirituality is about a journey to find "essence," the innermost "I" of me and Life and as that journey is usually one of ongoing discoveries, there are so many ways people express it:

"In the deepest recesses of ourselves there is a most familiar quitetude. It has been there through all our seeking and craving, as well as all the other events of our lives. It is a point of peace, a silent witnessing awareness that is fundamentally unperturbed no matter what happens." Catherine Ingram

Catherine Ingram is describing this as "Presence," an opening to the essence of ourselves and Life. In this space of openness and willingness, we wait and discover. For some, it will be a space of "God revelation. For others, it is an impersonal, non-theistic revelation. But the biggest irony seems to be that the more we stand outside of who we typically take ourselves to be, the more real we feel and the more connected to All. Essence is simultaneously most I and All. Take care, Earl
 

lunamoth

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Great question, Jaiket. And, amazing answer, earl!

earl said:
Catherine Ingram is describing this as "Presence," an opening to the essence of ourselves and Life. In this space of openness and willingness, we wait and discover. For some, it will be a space of "God revelation. For others, it is an impersonal, non-theistic revelation. But the biggest irony seems to be that the more we stand outside of who we typically take ourselves to be, the more real we feel and the more connected to All. Essence is simultaneously most I and All. Take care, Earl

I agree with earl above that you don't need to be theistic to be spiritual. I believe we are all spiritual beings, but we don't seem to all think about it the same way. In much less poetic terms than earl used, spirituality is the part of you that is more than just a bunch of firing synapses and responses hardwired by genes and physiology and conditioned by nurture and experience. Do you believe you have free will, that you can really choose the next thing you are going to do or think or believe and that there really are an infinite number of ways your life can go from this moment depending on what that is? Then that is the space where your spirituality resides. And what is it that your life is centered on? There is the center of your spirituality.

my 2 c,
lunamoth
 

Paladin

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Jaiket said:
I have no concept of spirituality. I have never used the word in a conversation in my life. So I am curious.
Interesting, have you ever been moved by a peice of music or art? Did you ever glance into the night sky and become awed at what you beheld? Have you ever held a loved one close and felt glad to be you loving them?
Emotional responses? yes, but something was doing the enjoying,something decided it was enjoyable. my point is that the subjective nature is the point of connection to what many refer to as "Spiritual" Rudimentary, yes, but definitely a starting point.

Jaiket said:
Is spirituality a definitive, objective standard? Or a subjective, personal term?
At the risk of sounding cryptic, yes. I refer you to the works of Abraham Maslow.

Jaiket said:
People use the word all the time but I have no idea if they are referring to the same phenomenon or even slightly related feelings.
Yes they do, and sometimes they are on the same page, but often they begin to argue about what it is they see and experience.

Jaiket said:
I've floated this around other boards but have never recieved a satisfactory answer. The problem is most people feel they cannot articulate it correctly or cannot define it without reference to a 'spirit' or 'soul'. Being athiest and sceptical of the supernatural I have no concept of spirits either.
If we accept the premise that there is an "Ultimate Truth" whether determined by scientific or religious means we have common ground for discussion. There is a point where science and religion begin to become traveling companions without the need for apologetics. It can be demonstrated that by caring for the subjective part of our being we affect our objective experience. From this point we can begin a dialogue based on what appears to be objectively helpful as far as trying to apprehend the human condition.


Jaiket said:
Anyone else feel the same?
I have often felt the same way, if you can separate the religious from their texts and trappings you might just get a meaningful and helpful discussion.

Welcome to CR friend ,I am glad you are here!

Jaiket said:
Please do not hesitate to respond.
 

Quahom1

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brucegdc said:
Since spirituality, in the dictionary meaning means " The state, quality, manner, or fact of being spiritual", and "spiritual" (in the relevant definition) means:
[QUOTE origin="dictionary.com"]
1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
3. Of, from, or relating to God; deific.
4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred.
5. Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here. To me "spirituality" is the essence of who we were, are, and will be sans a body. Unlike our physical form, our spirit (uality), is not restricted to a particular place or time.

When we think of one, where are we? In our mind we are with them. Doesn't matter if it is present thinking, past thinking, or thinking of a possible future. We are where we "think" we are (if only for a moment).

I agree with Bruce that Spirituality goes way beyond the bounds of any religion. It is the state of being. Not to pander any specific belief here, but it was once said "I am who am", by one person, and the term "homosapien, sapien", literally means he who knows he knows.

eh, what? gotta stretch my wings from time to time...:D

v/r

Q
 

InLove

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Amazingly well-put, Paladin. Thank you. Off to research the works of Maslow...

Everyone has given such insightful and enlightening responses, for that matter. I love this place. Great questions, Jaiket, and good to see you again.:)

InPeace,
InLove
 

In the Now

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In case it is of any interest, Nick Roach was asked the question...

"Is psychological self-study (self-knowledge, etc.) necessary for spiritual change? Must we change the way we live and act?"

Nick seems to be saying, contrary to popular understandings, it's all spiritual. It seems the person interviewing was not convinced. http://www.nickroach.co.uk/email%20interview.htm

The issue appears to me to be with the term 'Spiritual Change'.

To me there is only consciousness (I imagine this is what is termed 'spirit') and is experienced as 'I am' (or the stillness or nothing within etc). When experienced, the experience is that this 'I am' (or consciousness) is constant, though the conscious experience of it may not be. So, as far as it is seen, 'Spirit' does not seem to change. It remains behind the scenes, in the scene, watching the scene etc. Only the images change.

However, what does seem to change is one's relationship or experience of this 'I am' (etc), leading up to realisation of being 'I' as a constant and seeing it is creating all the forms. I take it this is what is termed 'Spiritual change'?!.

So the question to me is, which part of realising the spirit or consciousness or 'I' is termed 'spiritual change' and which isn't. Before a person asks questions such as 'Who am 'I'? and 'There must be more than this?' etc... I suggest they must have been changing for some time to get to the point of even asking the questions. A person cannot look within or seriously ask the big questions until they have had enough experience of being separate to now look for the truth.

That is why my answer may have seemed strange to you, and indeed why I struggled to give it any answer at all. There is 'spirit or consciousness' dreaming it is separate and after a while starts to see it isn't. The person is growing in self-knowledge with every experience, whether it is before it looks for the truth, while it is looking for the truth, or indeed after it seems to have found the truth.
 

Jaiket

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brucegdc said:
I usually use the term spirituality in contrast to religion or ethics. My spirituality is the set of beliefs, feelings, and practices I have as a personal connection to the "supernatural".
You have connections to the supernatural? Is there any way you could explain this without confusing me further? :)

brucegdc said:
I think most people use spirituality as a personal term, referring to *their* (often unique) situation, where religion is more of the community-driven beliefs/practices.
I suspect this also.
 

brucegdc

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Jaiket said:
You have connections to the supernatural? Is there any way you could explain this without confusing me further? :)

I suspect this also.

Without confusing you further? Probably not. I tend to have that effect on people...

In my mind, the supernatural is that set of things that cannot be explained by physics (at least before quantum physics took over....[see WHKeith's new book for a great read on that - 'The Science of the Craft'] [wonder if that plug will lure him back online here?]. ). My personal connections are those that are mostly ad-hoc, and unstructured. Pleas for light traffic on I270, for example, so I can get to my meeting on time... In addition, there's the "hunches", and "feelings" that often serve as guideposts to things that need to be done/investigated - inbound connections, so to speak. Not to mention those brilliant ideas that come from nowhere as I'm about to give up on a problem.

That confusing enough? <grin>
 
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Dear Jaiket,

To realize the the essence of spirituality, you have first to try to believe in souls and spirits. i know it is a hard matter for you since you used to live without that belief. Unfortunately we become living in a very materialistic world wherin the principale of takes and returns prevail, even at the expanse of our human relations. this materialistic world closes our spiritual windows to God who enrishes our poor souls which lack feeding and this is the reason of sadness of those who have achieved the highest degrees of materialistic wealth.
Dear Jaiket,
keep in touch with your heart because it our connection with God, and i am sure there in one humilated corner in your heart you will find the answer. God does not create only to feed this body and realize joys that are temporary. ther are other things in life that are deep,spiritual and their cotentement are lasting. search and you will find.
with my best wishes
 

Awaiting_the_fifth

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dailogue is the best said:
this materialistic world closes our spiritual windows to God who enrishes our poor souls

keep in touch with your heart because it our connection with God,

God does not create only to feed this body and realize joys that are temporary.
I do wish some people would remember that we are not all monotheists.

Spirituality, which I would define as a supra-scientific view of life and the universe, does not require belief in any god.
 

InLove

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I have no concept of spirituality. I have never used the word in a conversation in my life. So I am curious.

Is spirituality a definitive, objective standard? Or a subjective, personal term?

People use the word all the time but I have no idea if they are referring to the same phenomenon or even slightly related feelings.
You have never used the word "spirituality" in a conversation, yet you ask whether it is definitive, objective, subjective or personal? That in itself is a phenomenon.

Anywho, I wish you peace on your way. If you truly seek wisdom, then it will come to you. I am sure of it.

InPeace,
InLove
 

louis

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From Louis -
I have the same problem, if you want to call it that. I have also
asked for definitions and been told it's a "personal" thing .
But if so personal, why can't anyone define it ?
Or maybe they just don't want to examine it closely - in case it
might turn out to be something explainable - like a simple case
of "wishful thinking" disguised as something more significant ...
 

earl

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louis said:
From Louis -
I have the same problem, if you want to call it that. I have also
asked for definitions and been told it's a "personal" thing .
But if so personal, why can't anyone define it ?
Or maybe they just don't want to examine it closely - in case it
might turn out to be something explainable - like a simple case
of "wishful thinking" disguised as something more significant ...
Hi Louis. In a bit more flowery way earlier in this thread I offered my view re "spirituality." Straight from the dictionary I would offer another definition which is basically a variant on what i said earlier. One of the dictionary definitions of "spirit" is "the essence of a person." So, "spirituality" would imply relating to that essence. The "essence" of a person would seem to be highly personal and for most of a spiritual orientation simulataneously highly "universal;" by the way, seems as if "spiritual" truths are just chock full of paradoxical implications. Have a good one, Earl
 

lunamoth

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louis said:
From Louis -
I have the same problem, if you want to call it that. I have also
asked for definitions and been told it's a "personal" thing .
But if so personal, why can't anyone define it ?
Or maybe they just don't want to examine it closely - in case it
might turn out to be something explainable - like a simple case
of "wishful thinking" disguised as something more significant ...

Hi louis! Glad to see you back. :)

lunamoth
 

ISFP

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like others have said, i'm not sure one can define spirituality, only give their own definitions and testimonies. spirituality is, i suppose, a personal connection to the transcendent, within or without the context of religion.

i get the impression that mysticism and spirituality are closely linked.
 

THUNK

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Jaiket said:
I've floated this around other boards but have never recieved a satisfactory answer. The problem is most people feel they cannot articulate it correctly or cannot define it without reference to a 'spirit' or 'soul'. Being athiest and sceptical of the supernatural I have no concept of spirits either.

Anyone else feel the same?

Please do not hesitate to respond.
Spirituality is merely the emmotional equivalent of cigarettes.
The regular user is addicted and always on the lookout for thier next 'fix'.
As with cigarettes, the addict requires lots of 'spiritual encounters'.
Essentially a Human survival and motivation mechanism.

For me it is more imortant to be 'fully aware' rather than spiritual. Awareness brings truth and enables you too act properly.

For example; I am aware that a Chicken has a highly developed emmotional sense. They can grieve, worry, suffer and form strong bonds. I therefore would only eat Chicken that was reared in humane circumstances. Although Im not religious I consider a Chickens life just as valuable as mine. The only difference is Im more intelligent. Really, I shouldnt eat it at all.

So, although many people consider themselves 'spiritual', the flaw is that they 'pick 'n' mix' thier spiritual blend. In other words thier spirituality is merely a self indulgent feedback tool - like cigarretes.
 

InLove

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Hello, and Peace,

Thunk, while I do not share your perspective on spirituality, I gotta give you this--you certainly have a unique way of expressing your thoughts!:)

InPeace,
InLove
 

THUNK

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InLove said:
Hello, and Peace,

Thunk, while I do not share your perspective on spirituality, I gotta give you this--you certainly have a unique way of expressing your thoughts!:)

InPeace,
InLove
Cheers mate.

Look Im not here to bash anyone, I merely seek answers. Ive never been drawn to the religions Ive thus far encountered due to too many inconsistencies and worst of all people blind to simple truths.

Ive met Monks who claim they are spiritual.

The Monks seek enlightenment and inner peace through sacrifice, worship and obedience (wow - not), but thier sacrifice (ie inputs) are no greater than others sacrifice for example in order to build a business.

The Monks seek a sense of wellbeing instead of money but its still essentially selfish endeavour, but they wouldnt recognise this.

THEY MISTAKE PLEASURE & SELF ENRICHMENT FOR SPIRITUALITY.

Id truly admire them if they instead undertook true sacrifice merely for the benefit of others / the planet, instead of having a cushy stress free life of silence and worship.

I dont beleive Jesus would have spent most of his time in peacefull, stress - free quiet reflection in a Monastery when there were people and other species in dire need of shelter, space and nourishment.
 
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