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  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default What is spirituality?

    Spirituality is most properly defined as a quest for another world. This suggests, as a reasonable man would think, that the prophets experienced intuitions which transformed them from within.

    Then they went about to pass down their teachings to others. They translated their ideas into concrete symbols, something that could be more easily related to our world. Yet, the common-place folk figured that it is not the intuitions that hold transforming power, but the concrete objects and symbols the prophets allude to. Deification of scripture is the case in point. That is, how we think that every single word in the bible is divinely inspired. Or how we think there is something sacred about the wine and bread that we eat. Or how Jesus literally rose from the dead.

    This is where our spirituality turns into superstition, we worship not God but our ink and paper, and whatever notions befitted the prejudices of the prophets who taught us our religion. The biggest threat to spirituality is the Judeo-Christian anthropomorphic notion of God. God is best thought of as the greatest possible good. Yet with the Judeo-Christian religious tradition it has been reduced to no more than a powerful person. As we see in our Old Testament, such a person is far from all good, and therefore the original notion of 'God' has been lost. What is abstract to the point of ineffability, which is exactly what our great prophets experienced cannot be instantiated--it cannot be made concrete as easily as they'd have us believe. Therefore the very idea of the greatest possible good in the world becoming a person is absurd.

    This is another example of our spirituality degenerating into fables.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said except with your initial definition of spirituality. I don't think it's a quest for other worlds, but rather an exploration of one's own mind and the deeper layers of THIS world.

    If you look up its' definition on wikipedia you get a whole range of definition.

    a few examples:

    -Having to do with deep, often religious, feelings and beliefs, including a person’s sense of peace, purpose, connection to others and beliefs ...

    -An inner sense of something greater than oneself. Recognition of a meaning to existence that transcends one's immediate circumstances.

    I already disagree with the above, but some other definitions take it one step further into the absurd.
    a few examples :

    -property or income owned by a church

    -A specific way of living some particular aspect of the Gospel

    No wonder many people dismiss spirituality as nonsense, or associate it with new age.

    The only decent definition imho is :
    Spirituality concerns itself with matters of the mind.

  3. #3
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=vince;77041]I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said except with your initial definition of spirituality. I don't think it's a quest for other worlds, but rather an exploration of one's own mind and the deeper layers of THIS world.

    If you look up its' definition on wikipedia you get a whole range of definition.

    a few examples:

    -Having to do with deep, often religious, feelings and beliefs, including a person
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    The only decent definition imho is :
    Spirituality concerns itself with matters of the mind.



    I think this is too general. One can be a materialist philosopher, and by that definition be spiritual. We could even say that every person who has a sound inner life, is spiritual. Therefore the requirement for spirituality is being non-philistine.

    Seems to me that there needs to be a close affinity between your thought and the 'other-world'. Religions often tend not to be spiritual because the 'other-world' can be accessed only through intuitions, yet they insist on scrupulous observance of concrete symbols that were supposed to represent those intuitions and therefore fail to see past them.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    I think this is too general. One can be a materialist philosopher, and by that definition be spiritual. We could even say that every person who has a sound inner life, is spiritual. Therefore the requirement for spirituality is being non-philistine.
    Well, that's basically how I see it. A person's spirituality can however be cultivated further & further, through intellectual pursuit and other means. Every human being has a bodily aspect but also a spiritual aspect, unless they're braindead, in my perspective. It just varies from person to person how well they've developed their spiritual side.
    I don't really make a distinction between spirit and mind, if that clarifies anything.

    It's difficult to pinpoint this matter, basically because it's not part of the material world. Very much in the same sense as psychology is an odd branch of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Seems to me that there needs to be a close affinity between your thought and the 'other-world'. Religions often tend not to be spiritual because the 'other-world' can be accessed only through intuitions, yet they insist on scrupulous observance of concrete symbols that were supposed to represent those intuitions and therefore fail to see past them.
    Now that I come to think about it, it's probably true that religion works through intuition. I never saw it like that. In that sense I understand your way of defining spirituality.

    For most people, religion is indeed a dogmatic experience rather than anything else.

  6. #6
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    For most people, religion is indeed a dogmatic experience rather than anything else.
    That, also is too narrow of a definition. One can have a dogmatic adherence to a set of baseball playing rules. Does this make such a person religious?

    I wouldnt think so. A religion tends to have a comprehensive worldview, an outline of ethics and an inquiry into cosmology. Of course with some axioms acceped as incontrovertible. Or on authority.

    The last is certainly the salient aspect of religiosity, though far from the only one. As otherwise too many things would be religious, because we make many decisions dogmatically and feel them justified by authority. In such an event, the way you brush your teeth or the way you drive your car would also have to be called religious.

    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    Well, that's basically how I see it. A person's spirituality can however be cultivated further & further, through intellectual pursuit and other means. Every human being has a bodily aspect but also a spiritual aspect, unless they're braindead, in my perspective. It just varies from person to person how well they've developed their spiritual side.
    I don't really make a distinction between spirit and mind, if that clarifies anything..
    In this regard everyone is spiritual to the extent that they use their mind. We all do to some extent, so we are all spiritual. In this regard even thinking about how to cook the best meal, or how to park your car would also be spiritual because you exercise your mind whilst doing that. Again, too many things would be spiritual by that definition. Much like your definition of religiosity, this one depicts only one, though far from essential quality of religiosity. Because of this it could apply to many other things as well. Spirituality cannot claim proprietorship of that definition.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    That, also is too narrow of a definition. One can have a dogmatic adherence to a set of baseball playing rules. Does this make such a person religious?

    I wouldnt think so. A religion tends to have a comprehensive worldview, an outline of ethics and an inquiry into cosmology. Of course with some axioms acceped as incontrovertible. Or on authority.

    The last is certainly the salient aspect of religiosity, though far from the only one. As otherwise too many things would be religious, because we make many decisions dogmatically and feel them justified by authority. In such an event, the way you brush your teeth or the way you drive your car would also have to be called religious.
    In your previous post, you said people follow text rather than intuition. That makes it a dogmatic experience, for those people, doesn't it ? I was actually agreeing with you, rather than defining anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    In this regard everyone is spiritual to the extent that they use their mind. We all do to some extent, so we are all spiritual. In this regard even thinking about how to cook the best meal, or how to park your car would also be spiritual because you exercise your mind whilst doing that. Again, too many things would be spiritual by that definition. Much like your definition of religiosity, this one depicts only one, though far from essential quality of religiosity. Because of this it could apply to many other things as well. Spirituality cannot claim proprietorship of that definition.
    The way we think about cooking our meal is indeed a spiritual affair, to me. Like I said before, I make no distinction between spirit & mind. Every single person however has different ways of doing things, like cooking for instance. Some have more refined ways or sometimes more creative ways of doing it, etcetera.
    I don't quite understand what's wrong with a broad definition. I don't want to narrow it down, just for practical purposes, or for easier labeling. Things outside the physical reality happen to be abstract, or open for broad interpretation.
    So that's what it is for me.

  8. #8
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    In your previous post, you said people follow text rather than intuition. That makes it a dogmatic experience, for those people, doesn't it ? I was actually agreeing with you, rather than defining anything.



    The way we think about cooking our meal is indeed a spiritual affair, to me. Like I said before, I make no distinction between spirit & mind. Every single person however has different ways of doing things, like cooking for instance. Some have more refined ways or sometimes more creative ways of doing it, etcetera.
    I don't quite understand what's wrong with a broad definition. I don't want to narrow it down, just for practical purposes, or for easier labeling. Things outside the physical reality happen to be abstract, or open for broad interpretation.
    So that's what it is for me.
    Than we are not talking about the same thing when we use the word spirituality.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Whoa...deja vu. Bluewing, didn't we have a discussion like this in another thread not too long ago? It seems to be ending the same way. Spirituality means such different things to different people. Asking "what is spirituality?" invites so many different subjective answers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Than we are not talking about the same thing when we use the word spirituality.
    Then why for the love of god do you start a thread "what is spirituality?" when apparently you only tolerate of people to come up with your defintion of it.

    I was trying to discuss something, you know like exchanging & evolving ideas... but all you seem to care about is arguing.



    Pathetic. I'm out.

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