Can spirituality really be taught?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by iBrian, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Blue

    Blue Member

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    The Jesuits would say so, regarding the question:

    "Can spirituality be taught?"

    Does that equate to indoctrination or 'brainwashing'?
     
  2. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    Dear Metro tramp

    I agree

    Dear Blue

    well this as been the case by those that have not integrated their own knowledge, cults have been known to control,dominate and brainwash. I have met a few people that have gone through this and they still have not let go of the brain washing...very sad indeed. As an observer all those that got involved in such organisations were coming from a powerful desire and craving.....hence they have not achieved what they set out to achieve bringing ultimate disappointment, disenchantment and lost hope. They also seem to be people who live in their heads instead of their hearts and have not integrated the basics.

    In my experience if a spiritual teacher is doing their job properly they become redundant very quickly, through sharing with other's how to access the light within oneself. Gnosis!

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Member

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    I don't know on what basis you draw your conclusions, SacredStar.
    With respect, I have yet to meet a Jesuit who is not sincere about his spirituality, or convinced of his personally validated truths.

    Their educational processes work. Their Spirituality can be learned through their educational processes.

    Similarly, those being 'processed' by Cultish techniques are just as likely to be confirmed and happy in their spirituality as those who are not.

    The fact is that 'indoctrination' occurs.... with perceiveably judged 'bad' or 'good' results according to one's perspectives.

    I say all indoctrination is not 'good', spiritual, religious, political. or otherwise,because it encourages the person indoctrinated to be 'blind' ot others' views,be they spiritual, religious or political.

    Therefore for good or ill, 'spirituality' can be learned and can be taught - as your reference to a Spiritual Teacher attests.

    As you say, I cannot see what it means to use integrated knowledge of their own... when you say:
    "have not integrated their own knowledge".
    What does that mean? How does it work, or not work?
    Indoctrination is indoctrination, from an evil standpoint or a good. Can anyone stand against it, especially if they are 5, 6 or 7 years old? (Which was the point about the Jesuits supposed saying.)

    They can only be protected against it by learning, rationality and reasoning with a firm basis of objective knowledge and objective understandings... and even then it may still 'work'!
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Incidentally, using a term like 'Gnosis' is not a wise thing to do... all it refers to is intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, which happened to be an esoteric 'form' or 'type' of knowledge sought by the Gnostics.

    Intuitive apprehensions are notoriously unreliable in reality.

    Again, this is not personal opinion, but fact based in the denotation of the word.
    If we are going to claim additional esoteric connotations for words, as you may do, on top of their denotations, we tread a perhaps even more dangerous path.

    Many thanks for an interesting and courteous debate today.

    :)
     
  5. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Actually, brainwashing is an accurate term. No matter what belief system you decide to follow, or create, you have decided to mold yourself to a certain standard. You act in the manner that standard dictates, and eventually it becomes habit, it becomes you. And I would bet that you have actually changed the chemical and physical makeup of your brain in doing so. This is the process of transformation. I suppose brainwashing has bad connotations when it involves aggressive prosyltization of people who for whatever reason are weak or vulnerable at the time, and to an end that is oppressive or harmful or takes advantage.

    I prefer the term transformation because it has positive connotations. The thing that brainwashing adds is that if for some reason you decide to change course, your brain is altered so it is difficult to let go of some of the habits.
     
  6. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    Dear Blue

    I was referring to estoteric christianity not mainstream religion.

    I agree but it is interesting to view different peoples experiences and perspectives thereof.

    I agree

    I was referring to teachers who do not walk their talk. e.g. like Jesus rebuked the Jewish priests for not living the truth.

    There are also modern day spiritual teachers that had knowledge but did not integrate it. E.g. they are not operating from the heart. For instance a spiritual teacher that wishes to control, dominate or brainwash other's is against the true essence of spirituality e.g. unconditional love, acceptance, honoring others uniqueness and individuality, compassion. These teachers are operating from a place of desire of power for self and not from the the heart, in these cases it is also abuse of energy. In my language they are operating from the lower levels of consciousness, of root, sacrel and solar plexus. Due to a lack of their integration of the universal spiritual truths they have not moved their energy truly into their hearts of giving divine love.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Member

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    For instance a spiritual teacher that wishes to control, dominate or brainwash other's is against the true essence of spirituality e.g. unconditional love, acceptance, honoring others uniqueness and individuality, compassion. These teachers are operating from a place of desire of power for self and not from the the heart,

    I could not agree more, as you might by now expect.

    You do say something rather strange though, to slide away from the main points of discussion - you refer to 'esoteric' Christianity... isn't all of Christianity 'esoteric'?

    Are you simply referring to sects that depart from Pauline Christianity, for it was Paul who founded the 'religion', not Jesus of Nazareth?
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Just in case you misunderstand my last comments:
    esoteric means that which is intelligible only to those with special knowledge.
    Isn't that what all Christians claim?

    No one can be a Christian, an Hindu, or even a Pagan without at least partaking of what can be called the 'knowledge' in a spiritual sense, and IS 'special' because of that.
     
  9. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    Dear Blue

    "I could not agree more, as you might by now expect."

    Yes big smiles and hugs!

    "You do say something rather strange though, to slide away from the main points of discussion - you refer to 'esoteric' Christianity... isn't all of Christianity 'esoteric'?"

    I agree with you, but some people do not feel that the things I speak of should be part of mainline Christianity. I just have a different understanding and interpretation of the same. And feel it is good to share all views to enhance the richness of the legacy.

    "Are you simply referring to sects that depart from Pauline Christianity, for it was Paul who founded the 'religion', not Jesus of Nazareth?"

    No I am referring to modern day spiritual teachers.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Member

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    I can only but agree with you, SacredStar.

    You have used and explained a personal connotation and that is fine by me... if not others! lol:)
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Probably my bad use of language again. :)
     
  12. Mathghamhain

    Mathghamhain Member

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    I used to study Shiatsu, Sotai & Qi Gong until I got laid off. It is not your use of language, some people do wierd things to be spiritual. Some will pay alot of money to do something they say is spiritual. It goes back to what is spirituality & what do you do to be spiritual?

    Is it going to church, doing rituals, prayer/meditation, bible study(or is there another book you would use), studing healing arts(reiki or others), fasting and I know alot of Native American spiritual exercises are just awareness exercises.

    Some even study Martial Arts, like Tai Chi or Aikido.

    Can spirituality be taught, I think it can but we have to do the homework!

    Mathghamhain
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Mathghamhain

    I agree with all the points you raise, and your conclusion.

    ---A great first post, not just because I agree with it, but because it is rationally argued and presented.

    Welcome. :cool:
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    with my metaphor hat on, i would have to say that spirituality can be/is taught just as music can be/is taught.

    but:

    people must live. living costs money. earning money takes time. therefore it is not unreasonable for a teacher (especially one who's in demand) to expect remuneration for their time. the remuneration may be direct, or indirect - ie you pay a membership fee, tithes, the price of a book, or whatever.

    the inner core of spirituality, like the inner core of music (and dance, while we're on the subject) cannot be created where it does not exist; but it can be nurtured where it does.

    it is the "homework" that is free.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Member

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    the inner core of spirituality, like the inner core of music (and dance, while we're on the subject) cannot be created where it does not exist; but it can be nurtured where it does.

    =====

    I reckon you are right, BB.

    It all comes down to the skills, however you define 'skills', I think.

    A sense of spirituality can be nurtured and that involves learning not just in a selfishly personal experiential way, but by learning the 'techniques' that nourish that sense of spirituality, from a guide who can show the way to further enlightenment.

    Is this not what has happened throughout human history?

    I am always reminded in this type of discussion of that wonderful little book by Richard Bach, called 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'.
     
  16. Mathghamhain

    Mathghamhain Member

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    Thanks Blue, would have replied sooner but I was having trouble with my computer.

    I have seen how people buy things as if to show they are spiritual, I think it has to be something inside & not the shirt you wear. I can buy a guitar but that does not make me a musician. As BB was saying, I can pay for lessons to learn but if I do not practice I will not get anywere.

    Mathghamhain
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Mathghamhain .

    I agree, "I think it has to be something inside & not the shirt you wear." - a good way of putting it, I thought.
     
  18. MattWolf

    MattWolf OM

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    I think a willing mind makes many things possible. No, you cannot "download" your spirituality into someone else. But you can teach certain internal inquiries and techniques that can help someone find their own.
     
  19. Green Knight

    Green Knight Member

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    Indeed it can just do the three courses of Landmark Education. I've been a student of Krishnamurti, Carlos Castaneda, and I've read all kinds of books on spirituality and philosophy. Some of the techniques used in Landmark Education courses are akin to techniques described in Carlos Castaneda's books. If you perform those techniques you will be enlightened. You will gain freedom from the ego and live a life bathed in bliss.:)
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi Green Knight, and that sounds great. :)

    It's just a shame Castenada's "Teaching's of Don Juan" is actually a work of fiction, and "Teachings of Don Juan" at the end reads too much like HP Lovecraft. :)

    Krishnamurti is a good recommendation for reading material, but I think if he were alive today, he would proverbially slap you for claiming that reading his words makes one enlightened. :)
     

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