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  1. #51
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I think we're more conscious ^^^ or sensitive to something...something....I've always considered myself more spiritual than religious, so I can assure you it isn't a product of "religious brainwashing" or any other such nonsense that non-believers tend to spew out in a knee jerk fashion.
    I tend to agree, as a non-believer. It seems like people will often jump to the spiritual = religious conclusion when they aren't mutually exclusive. To me it's like what Alwar was saying earlier, taking wonder in the existence of things like the universe and the fact that, despite the randomness and the apparent rarity of life here we are posting on internet forums.

    I think the nature of the human mind makes us inclined to wonder "how" and "why", and that wonder and awe is what makes people spiritual. The ideas and things we come up with to answer them aren't what make spirituality.
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  2. #52
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abhaya View Post
    "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive." - Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell wrote the book "Hero With a Thousand Faces." In it he compares common themes of mythologies around the world and asserts they all share from a common "monomyth." He asks the question why do people from opposite sides of the globe have similar stories. He also draws from people like Carl Jung. He draws on the dreams retold by psychoanalysts and likens dreams to personalized myths, and myths as depersonalized dreams. Dreams and myths, while they are not based on fact, serve as catalysts for growth. He asserts that the failure of modern mythology, or religion, is to adapt a message to the modern times, especially when religious institutions demand a literal interpretation of scripture in an increasingly scientific minded world.

    Spirituality can be interpreted as a tool for self-growth, it does not necessarily mean one has to believe in God. One can even call a session with a psychologist "spiritual." The definition of spiritual in the dictionary includes "of or relating to the mind or intellect." Spirituality - "incorporeal or immaterial nature." If we believe there are things of value in life that are not tangible, you might be spiritual. For example, duty, responsibility, love, growth. If you hold those as values you might consider yourself spiritual.

    Personally, I don't like the new-age connotations of the word spiritual but I do believe in a non-material component to life. It's lame that so many people on a typology forum derived from the works of Carl Jung are quick to deride spirituality. You are unwitting hypocrites.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  3. #53

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    Even vague explanations provide a sense of security and we are insecure beings despite our collective chutzpah.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #54
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    For some, it's the promise of life after death.
    For others, it's the feeling of something behind the veil.
    For others, it's the sense of community beyond what is immediately apparent, either the international community of believers, or their ancestors.
    For others, it's the analogy of deep truths.
    For others, it's the standard of behavior that clearly can be followed.
    For others, it's the society and community that these beliefs create and engender.

    For me, it's none of these. Society and community are written into our genetic code as much as needing to eat. Proper behavior derives from this. The deep truths about the universe we live in are knowable if we find out the language to describe them in. The community with the rest of the world and with my ancestors are written in my DNA. Things that are behind the veil are something to be found out, not something to be explained away.

    And life after death? As far as I know, there's no way to come up with a certain answer... so I guess I will have to wait until then to find out!

    Do I believe there is something ineffable about us that cannot be explained by physical properties? Personally, yes. However, I am open to the suggestion that it is a trick we play on ourselves, an illusion of the electrical patterns that create our thoughts. There are only two ways to answer that question - either discover the other side, or prove that it is our own selves.

    Either way, I love the universe too much to concern myself otherwise. There's enough here to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by helen View Post
    People are spiritual because they have spirits.
    Where is the proof that we have spirits? and lets suppose we did have a spirit, then why is it unconsciousness can be induced by head/brain trauma, if our conciousness is part of the "spiritual world" then why is there evidence showing, our conciousness is linked to our physical body, i.e. the brain and is part of chemical reactions and electrical impulses?

  6. #56
    Senior Member durentu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King T View Post
    Where is the proof that we have spirits? and lets suppose we did have a spirit, then why is it unconsciousness can be induced by head/brain trauma, if our conciousness is part of the "spiritual world" then why is there evidence showing, our conciousness is linked to our physical body, i.e. the brain and is part of chemical reactions and electrical impulses?
    When I connect certain dots, I find the proof and purpose of spirituality to be clearer. True it's my own pet theory, but I cannot deny how much this pet theory rings true. I present to you, the dots I connect.

    (The punchline is that spirituality is the right side of the brain)

    It's common knowledge that our right brain is artistic and our left brain is analytic. Right brain is parallel processing while our left brain is serial processing.

    Jill Taylor, a neuroscientist had a hemorrhage in her left brain and she describes the experience. The left side correlates to the individuation, singularity, and identity while the right brain correlates to togetherness, openness and connection. She was able to describe what is was like without the left chunk of her brain. The description sounds very close to a spiritual transcendance and religious catharsis.

    Sir Ken Robinson makes a good point. He noted that every major public school system essentially strip mines the brain for a specific commodity and that the model student are people who live in their minds and off to one side. I wager that this is the left side of the brain. The analytical, the planning, 'intelligence' are all valuable in the workforce. He mentions that whenever there is a school budget problem, the arts (right brain) are cut and the reading, writing, arithmetic (3 R's) are pushed to the top (left brain)

    Jose Abreu believes that there are 2 paths to spirituality, music and religion. He also says that in modern day, there is a spirituality crisis. In light of this, it's curious to wonder if the left vs right brain is the reason behind the battle between science and religion.

    As for music, Oliver Sacks in his book, Musicophilia and Nova special Musical Minds, tells us that with otherwise debilitating mental trauma and illnesses, music has been shown to have an extraordinary ability to bring order in the mind, in the midst of chaos. Essentially healing. He also explains that music is mentally demanding and requires the mind to be fully engaged, both left and right sides. He also states that music is at the heart of every civilization. Beth Abraham hospital in Bronx, NY promotes music therapy. Moby is there too.

    Besides religion and music, there are other paths to spirituality. The most popular forms, such as meditation, nature walking, yoga, ocean and the beach, plain staring into a fire, etc all seem to turn off the left side of the brain and emphasize the right side of the brain. This self-awareness, nirvana or oneness with the universe is very similar to what Jill Taylor has described and wished for everyone, as she has fondly dubbed it, "La-la land".

    Ray Kurzweil and his book, The Singularity is Near, talks about spindle cells. These cells are what gives humans (and some primates) the ability to make predictions. Humans have the most of these cells (80,000), however what's more interesting is that our right half has about 45,000 and our left half as 35,000. Doesn't this mean that our right brain has the advantage over our left brain?

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book Flow, he described the optimal experience phenomena of when people are "in the zone". One of the similar characterists between various activities that occur when someone is in flow is the timelessness, or time warp. When people are in flow, playing music, working, tasting, having sex etc, all report that time would be faster or slower or even be halted. It's only after the activity that they realize what they've done and start to reflect on it. This to me sounds like the right brain is highly active and involved.

    The majority of the world doesn't have computers and for that matter, plain old telephone service. But it seemed to me that people without a telephone in their house are happier than the ones with a telephone. It seems odd to me, but I had lived with a host family while I was in Australia. The beauty of these people absolutely floored me. Extremely kind, their children were happy. The husband was of British descent and the wife of aboriginal descent. No telephone and if they needed to, they would use the public phone down the block. If they had an emergency or anything like that, they'd ask the neighbor for help. This is extremely bizarre when compared to my New York upbringing, where supposedly everything was better than the rest of the world. They weren't well versed in sciences as I was, however they were happy.

    It's only recently have I understood, at least for myself, what spirituality really is. And that spirituality is the right side of the brain, the part that most have forgotten that we had, from what I can tell.

    For completeness, this is what I see:
    the 4 areas of our lives that we must try to keep in balance are our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

    Mental = Left side of brain
    Spiritual = Right side of brain
    Emotional = VTA/midbrain (core emotions like love/hate/flight or fight)
    Physical = Spinal cord

    I'll admit that the pieces don't fit quite right, but it's not completely wrong.

    Have a look, maybe you'll agree.

  7. #57
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I'd be intrigued to see what other NTs (or others) make of this...could be interesting to see what you guys can brainstorm together
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  8. #58
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    I'd be intrigued to see what other NTs (or others) make of this...could be interesting to see what you guys can brainstorm together
    Sorry, I wish I could give an interesting exegesis on the institution of spirituality, but all I keep coming back to is "an accident of human evolution".

    As soon as evidence arises that this is not the case, then I'll start brainstorming!

  9. #59
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Sorry, I wish I could give an interesting exegesis on the institution of spirituality, but all I keep coming back to is "an accident of human evolution".

    As soon as evidence arises that this is not the case, then I'll start brainstorming!
    Well...look at it from this point of view. NTs usually have no problem hypothesizing about theories or things that are yet to be proven though based on science. Why not try the same tactic on spirituality? Durentu gave a great kick-off on this, I'd say

    Or...be willing to admit that this is not something you'd want to hypothesize on because it's just not that interesting to you. But..if it isn't...and you're not willing to delve into it, why is it that you do judge it without knowing it?
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  10. #60
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Well...look at it from this point of view. NTs usually have no problem hypothesizing about theories or things that are yet to be proven though based on science. Why not try the same tactic on spirituality? Durentu gave a great kick-off on this, I'd say

    Or...be willing to admit that this is not something you'd want to hypothesize on because it's just not that interesting to you. But..if it isn't...and you're not willing to delve into it, why is it that you do judge it without knowing it?
    It's not as if I'm unfamiliar with spirituality as a whole. Like most people, I grew up in a religious household. Most of my family still goes to church and performs the various religious rituals they were brought up in.

    And it's not that it's uninteresting - way too many people devote such time and energy to it for it not to be. It's just more that it's unnecessary - I can develop just as much of a sense of wonder about the material universe without needing to contemplate a metaphysical realm. Likewise, most spiritual concepts require violating at least some sense of empiricism, particularly the need for evidence that's shared among all people.

    This is a question I can wait until death to find out about, as far as I'm concerned. What's tangible has more than enough to take care of things for now.

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