Is spirituality minus the spirit still spiritual?

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This topic contains 82 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #42301

    For me the term “spiritual” is meaningless. This is because it has too many definitions and they are all subjective. Same as the word “God”. As soon as a theist tries to explain what they mean by “god” they render their definition meaningless. They shoot it down in flames but don’t see any fire.  Spiritual is a legacy word from the time when we held the dualistic idea of having a soul. That mindset is still around because we as a species have not yet fully outgrown it. Most people still think in terms of “body and soul” or “mind and spirit”.

    Any time I point out the deficiencies in a definition the person giving it immediately changes it to something else equally meaningless. They assume I “get it” just as they assume I know what they mean when they start talking about gods. If they stopped flogging this dead horse and tried to enjoy some silence, they might figure it out.  For me there is nothing outside of our physical reality. Whatever people are calling spiritual, it is born from human experiences than are grounded in the physical world. It is the only realm that exists.

    This understanding of the world only enhances the sense of beauty and wonder I experience. I can describe such sensations without using the word “spiritual”.

    “But Reg I am able to meditate and lose all sense of time. That is a spiritual event for me”.

    “How long do these experiences normally last for you”?

    “Oh, usually about 10 minutes of so. Sometimes only 5. But the important thing is that time become meaningless and that makes the experience all the more spiritual”.

    “Even if you lose your sense of time for only 5 minutes”?

    “Exactly Reg, you are starting to “get it”!

    Sure I do man. Now I am off up the hill for 15 days.

    #42306

    Unseen
    Participant

    @jake

    “Free thinker” is in a different context than the free will discussion. Or rather a different layer or level. Free thinking, I’d say, is on a surface layer. Whether we are really free or just feel free takes us down to the deepest level. People who argue for free will look at the top or intermediate levels and argue for mankind being what’s been described as “free enough.”

    As an analogy, I’d say look at physical reality. On the top level, things are solid and persistent enough for us to interact with them. We can feel them. Touch them. Examine them. Look down below the level of molecules and into the quantum realm and nothing is solid and in the same state for very long at all. It’s like Heraclitus’s “You can’t step into the same river twice, for it isn’t the same river and neither is the man the same man.”

    #42307

    Unseen
    Participant

    @jake

    There are lots of overly-used words and expressions that mean little or nothing or are becoming cliches.

    Editors call it “dead wood.”

    “At the end of the day” and “When all things are said and done” can usually be eliminated with no damage to meaning.

    “time” as in “In five months time” (“months,” “days,” “weeks,” “hours,” etc. already have the concept of time built in. This is more of a British thing than American.

    “It goes without saying that…” So why say it?

    “blend, merge, mix, combine together” not that different from just blend, merge, mix and combine, is it? No need for “together.”

    Frankly, it goes without saying, that blending together all of these phrases results in, like, terrible writing.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #42309

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, Dya think most self-styled freethinkers have contemplated the implications of free will?

    #42310

    jakelafort
    Participant

    @unseen, There are lots of overly-used words and expressions that mean little or nothing or are becoming cliches.

    That is true. A few writers to mention. Twain and his critique of Cooper in Last of the Mohicans in which Twain dissects one paragraph is well done. What else would you expect from him? And i love, love Errors of Conversation by Jonathan Swift. The one author who had sentences that were insanely long yet was a terrific writer is David Hume. I refer to his History of England series. In writing it is a good idea to be more economical with words.

    @unseen, Frankly, it goes without saying, that blending together all of these phrases results in, like, terrible writing.
    I seeya working. Nicely done.

    #42313

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think most of them would disagree that what they are doing is spiritual, even though what they do could improve their well being, their mental state, (with knitting inner peace), better their lives or even [I cannot believe I am saying this] flourish. Would they be wrong?

    I disagree that most of them would disagree that it’s spiritual.  When people coordinate together with others in their group towards the common good, it’s often found to be a spiritual experience.  How often have you heard ravers say that raving can be a spiritual experience?

    What is the added value of calling this “spiritual” with all its historical and religious baggage than just calling it say: social-self-development-cooperation?

    “Social-self-development-cooperation” is bland corporate-speak that doesn’t seem to mean a lot.  It’s not catchy.  “Spiritual” is worth using because it captures what most people feel – that they contain a “spirit” that has a mental health of its own, valenced into good or poor.

    Inner peace, happiness, self-actualisation – these all belong to the domain of “flourishing”, as does “working together with others for the common good”.

    #42314

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    “But Reg I am able to meditate and lose all sense of time. That is a spiritual event for me”. “How long do these experiences normally last for you”? “Oh, usually about 10 minutes of so. Sometimes only 5. But the important thing is that time become meaningless and that makes the experience all the more spiritual”.

    It sounds like someone’s trying to be “spiritual” who doesn’t understand it.  It’s not synonymous with “trippy”.  People sometimes say it just to sound clever.

    On the other hand, people sometimes incorporate the concept of “flow” into spirituality.  Flow is a form of feeling good.

    #42315

    @simonIt sounds like someone’s trying to be “spiritual” who doesn’t understand it…

    But that Simon is exactly why I said the term is meaningless. It is entirely subjective. On what authority are you claiming his version of spiritual is incorrect and that your definition is correct.

    His reasons for claiming the experiences are spiritual are bogus. To claim his lost sense of time lasted for 10 minutes is a contradiction. Ever been engrossed in a book and “lost track of time” or driven on the freeway and can’t remember driving the last few miles? These are no different to what occurs in meditation. These are all normal or even banal human experiences and are easily explained. At least they are when we view them as physical experiences.

    #42316

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    He’s probably meditating using a timer, so it’s not a contradiction to say he lost track of time, entered a flow state, for ten minutes.

    You could say I’m calling bogusness, based on my own subjective definition.  However, I don’t think that is too far away from what most people mean.  The term is used in the army.  In the army they are concerned with people’s moral identities and moral injuries, and personal well being in service.

    #42317

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I don’t think it’s what almost everybody who uses the term “spiritual” means by it.

    What do almost everybody else mean by the term?

    #42318

    No, he did not use any timer apart from his own mental clock.  So it is a contradiction. Imagine if I said I had a spiritual experience because I lost all sense of time for about 7 hours when I was asleep.

    #42319

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What’s the word?  Eejit.  This contradiction suggests that the guy is not talking about anything consistent or real.

    #42320

    _Robert_
    Participant

    When I called bullshit on christianity after 30 years I thought I still needed “something spiritual” in my life. Quitting cold turkey is tough. I did some looking into all that new-age jazz, including Wicca. It’s kind of fun and some stuff is maybe a bit therapeutic if “hooking up” can be considered therapy, LOL. Yeah, it’s just religion-lite. More nonsense. The sex was kinky, but I bet I had some ‘spells’ put on me when I bailed out.

    #42321

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Simon, the spiritual apologist did okay considering how difficult it is to defend.

    One value squarely in spiritual’s corner is obfuscation and ambiguity. There are times a writer/speaker intends that angle. Spiritual is a helper.

    Davis indicates that alarm bells may go off when a potential date prospect uses the word. However it might be a great ice breaker and way to quickly appreciate and assess the mindset of that prospect. “Yeah i am not religious. I am spiritual. “Oh, well i never liked that word because i never know what the speaker means. Tell me three or four ways in which you are spiritual.” “Lets see…oh i have sort of adopted this medieval custom that may have originated during the plague..yeah i am sort of a flagellant. What else? I also and this may come across as a bit odd but i assure you its not that out there…I induce death and am brought back to life..it gives me incredible clarity and makes me treasure my life all the more. Oh and then i produce youtube videos that reflect my unique perspective. Let me bring one up to show you. Okay take a look.”

    #42322

    Davis
    Moderator

    To be clear here Simon, you are claiming that most people playing in a volleyball league would call their membership “spiritual”?

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