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OUR TWO WORLDS, SPIRITUAL AND MATERIAL
Posted: 24 September 2013 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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PLaClair - 24 September 2013 10:28 AM

What I don’t understand, Occam, is your final sentence, in the context of your post. Given the nature of this subject matter and the observations in your first two sentences, why would anyone be in a position of having to “admit” that “spiritual beliefs” must be seen (if only grudgingly) to include beliefs that would lead to an Inquisition?

I think you’re really twisting this one PLaClair. It seems obvious to me. The leaders of the Inquisition claimed they were doing their work for God. It was their spiritual beliefs that motivated them. They claim the same connection to Christ that a soccer mom in the suburbs claims today, but they were in a position to take that belief and do something with it that no one could in a democratic society. So soccer mom is a position of either agreeing a major part of her own church tradition was horribly wrong or admitting that spiritual beliefs can lead to the desire to torture non-believers.

I have had forum chats with people about Christians in Africa that support their country’s death penalty for homosexuals. They admit that if they are sticking to their literal interpretation of the Bible, those Africans are following their spiritual beliefs correctly. They usually make this admission grudgingly.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Occam. - 24 September 2013 08:39 AM

I agree that few would characterize Moslem terrorist actions as spiritual, but I think many would accept the idea of them being spiritually driven.  The problem isn’t with the definition; rather that most people are religious (theistic if that suits you better) and automatically accept spiritual as positive so don’t connect it with a negative action.  I believe most Christians would admit (grudgingly) that the Spanish Inquisition was based on spiritual beliefs but not “a form of harmony”.

Occam

Part of the problem is that there is no definition of “spritual” that most people accept. It can mean anything anyone wants it to mean. It can mean religion, or faith, or belief in the supernatural or just a woo-woo feeling nobody can explain the cause of. That’s the reason I don’t like to use the word. When someone says he’s “spiritual” nobody can know what the person means by it.

By certain definitions of spiritual, it can be seen as a motivating factor in terrorist acts. The terrorists believe in a god and they believe that god wants them to defend that belief by any means possible, even mass murder. I call that spirituality. I define spirituality as belief in the supernatural, no matter what that entails. A belief in any god is spirituality. If others have different definitions, I wish they would post them and explain them.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Lois - 24 September 2013 03:41 PM

I define spirituality as belief in the supernatural, no matter what that entails. A belief in any god is spirituality. If others have different definitions, I wish they would post them and explain them.

I could be sitting on top of a mountain and watching the sunset listening to some classical music.
While doing that I could reflect upon myself being comprised of the same elemental particles that the rest of the Universe is comprised of.
And how my particles came together in a natural process that is highly rare in the context of the universe, and how my particles will revert to the same state
that they originally came from.
In other words my parents ate food that provided the particles to create me.
I became me.  Then I will eventually revert back to food again essentially.
So listening to Strauss on the top of a mountain contemplating that while watching the sunset, I could call that spiritual.
Definitely.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lausten - 24 September 2013 11:21 AM
PLaClair - 24 September 2013 10:28 AM

What I don’t understand, Occam, is your final sentence, in the context of your post. Given the nature of this subject matter and the observations in your first two sentences, why would anyone be in a position of having to “admit” that “spiritual beliefs” must be seen (if only grudgingly) to include beliefs that would lead to an Inquisition?

I think you’re really twisting this one PLaClair. It seems obvious to me. The leaders of the Inquisition claimed they were doing their work for God. It was their spiritual beliefs that motivated them. They claim the same connection to Christ that a soccer mom in the suburbs claims today, but they were in a position to take that belief and do something with it that no one could in a democratic society. So soccer mom is a position of either agreeing a major part of her own church tradition was horribly wrong or admitting that spiritual beliefs can lead to the desire to torture non-believers.

I have had forum chats with people about Christians in Africa that support their country’s death penalty for homosexuals. They admit that if they are sticking to their literal interpretation of the Bible, those Africans are following their spiritual beliefs correctly. They usually make this admission grudgingly.

I’m not twisting, only defining spirituality in a particular way, which I’ve already explained a few times (to answer Lois’ request): integration within and without (wholeness and connectedness, respectively) and a heightened sense of vitality. So the ideal spiritual state might be summarized as “being exuberantly at one with everything.” By that definition, something is not spiritual just because it conforms to someone’s conception of God or religion; on the contrary, if that conception of God or religion doesn’t meet the criteria, then that conception is not spiritual within that understanding of the terms. So while Inquisition leaders might call their activities spiritual, I would not. I would argue to them that their way is divisive, which is an opposite of spiritual. That is why - going back to Occam’s comment - a person wouldn’t have to “admit” that someone else’s idea of God or religion is spiritual. I was questioning his assumption.

“Why do that?” you might ask. I’ll answer that question with Gene Roddenberry’s response to someone who gave him advice about his Star Trek series. He replied “No, this is my vision.” Roddenberry wasn’t pushing or dictating to people; he was offering a vision in which people of color had a future, people were treated fairly, people were inquisitive, etc. I have a conception of and vision for spirituality and religion. I think they work. They work for me. Others agree with that vision. Those are the people I want to work with to offer this vision to others. Those who are left flat by this vision don’t have to join. But this is my vision, and I say that there are some conceptions of God and religion that are not only not spiritual; they’re anti-spiritual and/or are impediments to spirituality. Others are free to see it differently but that is how I see it, and I am far from alone.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Vyazma, first it depends on which Strauss you meant.  If it’s Rickard, I cringe.  The others are OK, and I’d enjoy doing the same things as you describe except that it might be Schubert or Mozart. smile  And I would describe it as a wonderful emotional experience rather than spiritual.

Occam

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Posted: 24 September 2013 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Occam. - 24 September 2013 06:18 PM

Vyazma, first it depends on which Strauss you meant.  If it’s Rickard, I cringe.  The others are OK, and I’d enjoy doing the same things as you describe except that it might be Schubert or Mozart. smile  And I would describe it as a wonderful emotional experience rather than spiritual.

Occam

You’re entirely free to do that but I get the sense that it goes beyond that. If you can’t appreciate why someone else might call it spiritual, then I would have to say that limits your ability to understand others.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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And since you have shown a quite limited ability to understand either my posts or the meaning behind the, you also have demonstrated a severely degraded ability to appreciate others.

Occam

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Posted: 24 September 2013 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Occam. - 24 September 2013 06:36 PM

And since you have shown a quite limited ability to understand either my posts or the meaning behind the, you also have demonstrated a severely degraded ability to appreciate others.

Occam

Oh, you want to play that game? OK.

I don’t agree with you. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand you. There’s a vast difference between that and being unable to appreciate why someone else would use the word “spiritual.” I don’t berate you for using the word “emotional.” It’s a perfectly good word to use. But you have displayed an inability to appreciate why some of us would use the word “spiritual.” I haven’t done that, so your attempt at drawing a parallel fails - miserably.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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And if you don’t appreciate Richard Strauss’ music, you’re missing something there too.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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VYAZMA - 24 September 2013 03:55 PM
Lois - 24 September 2013 03:41 PM

I define spirituality as belief in the supernatural, no matter what that entails. A belief in any god is spirituality. If others have different definitions, I wish they would post them and explain them.

I could be sitting on top of a mountain and watching the sunset listening to some classical music.
While doing that I could reflect upon myself being comprised of the same elemental particles that the rest of the Universe is comprised of.
And how my particles came together in a natural process that is highly rare in the context of the universe, and how my particles will revert to the same state
that they originally came from.
In other words my parents ate food that provided the particles to create me.
I became me.  Then I will eventually revert back to food again essentially.
So listening to Strauss on the top of a mountain contemplating that while watching the sunset, I could call that spiritual.
Definitely.

Can you explain the difference between an emotional experience and a spiritual one?

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Posted: 24 September 2013 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Lois - 24 September 2013 09:03 PM
VYAZMA - 24 September 2013 03:55 PM
Lois - 24 September 2013 03:41 PM

I define spirituality as belief in the supernatural, no matter what that entails. A belief in any god is spirituality. If others have different definitions, I wish they would post them and explain them.

I could be sitting on top of a mountain and watching the sunset listening to some classical music.
While doing that I could reflect upon myself being comprised of the same elemental particles that the rest of the Universe is comprised of.
And how my particles came together in a natural process that is highly rare in the context of the universe, and how my particles will revert to the same state
that they originally came from.
In other words my parents ate food that provided the particles to create me.
I became me.  Then I will eventually revert back to food again essentially.
So listening to Strauss on the top of a mountain contemplating that while watching the sunset, I could call that spiritual.
Definitely.

Can you explain the difference between an emotional experience and a spiritual one?

The question isn’t directed to me, and I hope VYAZMA will answer it independently, but I can answer that question.

Each of the experiences VYAZMA describes in his post invoke his relationship to what people often describe as “something greater than himself.” The common element is that he sees himself as part of the world, or universe, or nature or its laws - probably all of those. And all the experiences he (she?) describes are uplifting. No doubt, they have an emotional component but emotion alone does not well describe them.

To demonstrate the point, contrast the experiences VYAZMA has described with the experience of being upset because you just spilled hot coffee on yourself, or your significant other just cheated on you, or the TV went blank in the final few moments of a big game. Those are all emotional experiences but most people wouldn’t call them spiritual, because they don’t bring to mind our relationship to the greater whole, and they aren’t uplifting.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lois - 24 September 2013 09:03 PM

Can you explain the difference between an emotional experience and a spiritual one?

PlaClair pretty much describes the difference here:

......contrast the experiences VYAZMA has described with the experience of being upset because you just spilled hot coffee on yourself, or your significant other just cheated on you, or the TV went blank in the final few moments of a big game. Those are all emotional experiences but most people wouldn’t call them spiritual, because they don’t bring to mind our relationship to the greater whole, and they aren’t uplifting.

But there are uplifting emotional moments too.  And I could describe the “mountaintop” scenario as emotional I guess.
But I would never use the word emotional!!!
If I was describing that to somebody I would never say:
“I was on the mountain and saw the sunset and it was Emotional”
I would NEVER say that.  Too me that sounds,  I hate to use the term, but it sounds a little faggy.
Spiritual would work.  Emotional might make people think I was crying or something.
Spiritual denotes that I had a handle on the situation.  I was digging the cosmic realities so to speak!
Emotional denotes I was up on the mountain weeping and laughing at the same time.
I could also use the term spiritual because anybody I told that story to would already know I was an atheist.

But like I said before, I wouldn’t give a crap if I told somebody it was spiritual and they thought I saw god!
I don’t care if people think I believe in god. What difference does it make?  NONE!

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