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 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 83 total)
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  • #42361

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    @jake why is that surprising? Isn’t that what we do? 😂

    #42362

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Belle:

    Words are always meaningful, but they must be analyzed in the proper context of what the original speaker is trying to say and to what audience. Any single individual word cannot be examined by itself. You alway must look at the meaning of the entire thought the speaker or writer is trying to convey.

    No argument context is valuable. The problem is first off many who use the word don’t know what they mean. Second, in many cases context is insufficient to derive meaning. It is pathetic if you get the context and even so need to ask the speaker wtf they are trying to convey. Good communicators would ordinarily not use that word to describe their experiences.

    #42363

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah Belle, we do!

    This is a great forum even though there are so few contributors to have our ideas challenged. Atheist Zone gives no quarter!

    #42364

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    @jake

    The problem is first off many who use the word don’t know what they mean. Second, in many cases context is insufficient to derive meaning. It is pathetic if you get the context and even so need to ask the speaker wtf they are trying to convey. Good communicators would ordinarily not use that word to describe their experiences.

    Ahahahahahahahaha!!!! In a perfect world. Try telling that to every professional translator on the planet and they will ALL laugh hysterically 😂 😂 😂 ROLMFAO!!!!

     

    #42365

    Autumn
    Participant

    Contrast the word spiritual with the word things.

    Sure. Or compare it with words like ‘queer’ in the context of sexual orientation or ‘partner’ in the context of romantic relationships. Both terms frequently draw value from their lack of specificity and resistance to deeper categorization or sometimes even clarity, which in itself can be meaningful.

    If, personally, ‘spiritual’ doesn’t do anything for you speaker or listener, I can’t argue that such a preference is invalid. But much like in visual art, sometimes the value of words is driven more by the negative space.

     

    #42366

    @autumn – That is wrong. It may describe something different to everyone who uses it…

    @simon – Yes, but to the people who use it, it means something.

    Yes, it can and usually does have a subjective meaning. But as a description of an experience, it does not.  But in any objective sense it is meaningless – or at least not meaningful enough to describe an experience.

    I prefer the word numinous but that too has supernatural connotations. It is the word that enters my head when an aesthetic experience warrants it.  Spiritual does not and it sometimes makes me cringe when I hear other people use it. Especially the Quantum Deepak man or some other Woo huckster. There is nothing otherworldly about beautiful and meaningful human experiences that elevate us for a time from the routine. Called them spiritual (when they are physical) denigrates them.

    I recently had a priest call to me (Yes, I debate with them too!). He was bewildered not just that I knew about The Miserere but that I told him I found some of it, like at 1.40 to 1.45 very beautiful (go on, play it from the start). Of course, I reminded him, that I only hear the voices as instruments. (I will show him where I can also get elevated once he realizes he is already an atheist!). Being somewhat of a degenerate at times can lead to very meaningful experiences.

    #42367

    I think if I did not have to hear the phrase  “But I’m not religious, I’m just very spiritual” so often I might entertain the word more. But it is too closely aligned to religious fantasies for me to want to want to include it in my repertoire. Even writing that phrase made me throw up a little in my mouth. Better get some spirit to wash it out.

    #42368

    Davis
    Moderator

    Belle, anyone can reshape a word to suit their narrative. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it is clear what they mean by that word, that their definition doesn’t cause pointless confusion (or confusion on purpose) and that the audience is given a convincing reason to take this definition seriously.

    When someone tries to use a term, and when asked to define it…does so SO broadly it could apply to anything…then the audience has good reason to challenge that use of the word. Especially when a word is already itself defined so differently by different people.

    If I simply decided that from now on: socialising actually means doing stuff with people in general, and then went on to use the term socialising to the point that it confused my audience: “my friend socialised all weekend long visiting the doctor, talking with a colleague about work and organising an event with an acquaintance”, the audience would be clearly asking: why are you using a term that generally applies to engaging in frivolity or non-serious interaction with friends and strangers, in a broader sense to all activity with anyone? While the meaning of the word is slightly similar (doing things with people could be a form of socialising) it is so accompanied by the baggage of what the term means (or has meant) to most other people they are justified in asking why “socialising” has come to mean doing anything with people as opposed to something of a more leisurely nature? Why should I accept this person’s overly broad use of the term or their idiosyncratic use of the term?

    This is all the worse, again, when the term being used is already nebulous and vague…stretched beyond all reason to apply to just about any activity “playing volleyball is spiritual”.

    #42369

    Atheist Zone gives no quarter!

    That is why most of us join in the conversations. We are here to be challenged and to be informed.

    I was once booted of a Christian forum because “I tended to disagree with people most of the time even though I was polite at all times”.  !!!

    #42370

    Autumn
    Participant

    But as a description of an experience, it does not. But in any objective sense it is meaningless – or at least not meaningful enough to describe an experience.

    Of course it can describe an experience. If the experience at some level conforms to one of the following, the ‘spiritual’ is an entirely valid adjective:

    adjective
    1 relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things: I’m responsible for his spiritual welfare.
    • having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional communion: he never forgot his spiritual father.
    • (of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.

    2 relating to religion or religious belief: the country’s spiritual leader.

    Objectively, ‘spiritual’ describes that experience. It gives you one guidepost for furthering understanding. Or, it gives you one warning sign for backing out the door, if that’s your inclination.

    The fact that it doesn’t reveal a great deal just isn’t so problematic. It reveals one thing while leaving others uncertain. Further inquiry can reveal more things. To some extent ‘atheism’ is similar in that it reveals one thing about a person’s belief. But it tells us even less about what they believe than a term like ‘Latter Day Saint’. The thing is, with the term ‘atheist’, people keep trying to load it down with too much baggage, so when you use it, you may spend the first portion of a conversation just correcting faulty assumptions. Wouldn’t it be nicer if instead the person could say, “Ah, so you don’t believe in gods? What can you tell me of the things you do believe in,” instead of them saying, “You don’t believe in God, so basically you think eugenics and murder and rape are okay?”.

    ‘Spiritual’ can very easily be treated in the former capacity. We know the experience fits broadly into the realm of the definitions up above (though perhaps in practice, usage is even more broad). While that doesn’t tell us a lot, it tells us a little. And if instead of needing to know precisely what’s attached to it, we can explore from there.

     

    #42371

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I am feeling a spiritual rabbit hole is upon us.

    So dispirited that it is time to play a Negro Spiritual that not only nails the zeitgeist of a people and time but captures my saturnine spirit.

    #42372

    Autumn
    Participant

    Atheist Zone gives no quarter! That is why most of us join in the conversations. We are here to be challenged and to be informed. I was once booted of a Christian forum because “I tended to disagree with people most of the time even though I was polite at all times”. !!!

    I dated a woman once who would occasionally get a little frustrated with me. She said I was a bit like her father. Her father would never concede when she was right, but would point out where she was wrong. When she confronted him on it once, he explained as a mathematician, there was no need to affirm what was right because it was right, but what was wrong needed to be address and corrected or resolved.

    In most conversations, that’s not the best approach if taken to the extreme. We do need to affirm agreement for many reasons, but it is true I’ve always tended toward the places where views conflict rather than align. Those clashes is where the most learning and engagement tends to happen. The person I disagree with the most is myself. On a good day, the thoughts that make it out of my head are the ones that survived my own criticisms. On all the others, I’m probably stuck in stream of consciousness mode.

    With age, I’ve been less enthusiastic about ‘debate’. I find, as a generalization, people speak past each other too much. It’s nice when that doesn’t happen though.

    #42373

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn: Sure. Or compare it with words like ‘queer’ in the context of sexual orientation or ‘partner’ in the context of romantic relationships. Both terms frequently draw value from their lack of specificity and resistance to deeper categorization or sometimes even clarity, which in itself can be meaningful.

    If, personally, ‘spiritual’ doesn’t do anything for you speaker or listener, I can’t argue that such a preference is invalid. But much like in visual art, sometimes the value of words is driven more by the negative space.

    I have thoughts. Gonna keep those thoughts close to the vest. Shabaladuch ka flanky flanky…

    #42374

    Autumn
    Participant

    I have thoughts. Gonna keep those thoughts close to the vest. Shabaladuch ka flanky flanky…

    Just as long as you are aware that as per the rules of the internet, that means I win by default. Just wanted that settled before I get my trophy engraved. Although, seeing as I am technically a millennial, ‘winner’ is defined as ‘everyone’ and all of the trophies just say ‘participant’.

    #42376

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think if I did not have to hear the phrase “But I’m not religious, I’m just very spiritual” so often I might entertain the word more. But it is too closely aligned to religious fantasies for me to want to want to include it in my repertoire. Even writing that phrase made me throw up a little in my mouth. Better get some spirit to wash it out.

    What often comes along with “I’m spiritual”? Belief in a wide variety of woo. Food and diet woo. Medical woo. Quasi-Hindu and Quasi-Buddhist woo. Etc.

    Decades ago, I dated one of these spiritual people for a short time. She regaled me with “verified” tales of pyramid power and used terms like “field” and “energy” in way that revealed she had no idea what such terms actually mean.

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