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Interesting Point Of Spirituality


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I've been seeing a different counselor for some of my latest sessions due to her expertise in certain fields. Anyway, she's been different to talk to since she's not a Xian and shares most of my views regarding Xianity.

 

So, we've had some interesting talks about spiritualism and she said something that I'm sure I've heard before, but it just never sunk in.

 

Religion is unhealthy. It's about people reaching out to an unknown and unknowable "god". It's about repressing yourself and your desires to make yourself fit the religion's expectations.

 

Spirituality is healthy. It's about looking inside of yourself and expressing yourself in whatever ways are beneficial to yourself. It is about seeking answers within, not without.

 

I'm paraphrasing in a fashion that I understand it. I'm definitely finding this viewpoint to be relaxing and enjoyable.

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I prefer the term "self awareness" to "spirituality," but I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea.

 

To me, "spirituality" has a flakey new-age crystal homeopathy aura about it. But maybe I'm uber-sensitive, being from California and all.

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I prefer the term "self awareness" to "spirituality," but I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea.

 

To me, "spirituality" has a flakey new-age crystal homeopathy aura about it. But maybe I'm uber-sensitive, being from California and all.

 

I understand what you mean, but I feel like this goes above and beyond "self awareness"...and does delve into the "flakiness" a little, but I'm trying to keep my skepticism intact at the same time.

 

It is about awareness of self, but it is also an awareness of nature and our fellow-man. It's about unity and balance. I think it's very much what Joseph Campbell gets so excited about when he talks about mythology and the hero's journey. I think...still lots to learn and discover.

 

I think Native-American/Canadian myth/spiritualism perhaps gains the best perspective into what I'm trying to see here. They had an understanding of how humanity and nature were supposed to live in harmony with each other while Judaism/Christianity is about dominating over nature.

 

Yeah, it can get flaky, but I think there's more to learn there than we may realize.

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I prefer the term "self awareness" to "spirituality," but I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea.

 

To me, "spirituality" has a flakey new-age crystal homeopathy aura about it. But maybe I'm uber-sensitive, being from California and all.

 

I understand what you mean, but I feel like this goes above and beyond "self awareness"...and does delve into the "flakiness" a little, but I'm trying to keep my skepticism intact at the same time.

 

It is about awareness of self, but it is also an awareness of nature and our fellow-man. It's about unity and balance. I think it's very much what Joseph Campbell gets so excited about when he talks about mythology and the hero's journey. I think...still lots to learn and discover.

 

I think Native-American/Canadian myth/spiritualism perhaps gains the best perspective into what I'm trying to see here. They had an understanding of how humanity and nature were supposed to live in harmony with each other while Judaism/Christianity is about dominating over nature.

 

Yeah, it can get flaky, but I think there's more to learn there than we may realize.

 

I hear you. It's the woo-woo that gets to me. Replacing the god myth with the gaia myth, essentially. I'm all for living in harmony with my surroundings and being aware, and i think it's the healthiest way to live. I also happen to have a built-in cringe factor developed by talking to people who are just as superstitious and brainwashed as any fundy, but their supernatural world revolves around wheat grass juice and "channeling cosmic energy" instead of wine and "being filled with the holy spirit."

 

So while I, personally, pursue a path of awareness that is informed to some degree by Taoism and to some degree by other spiritual disciplines, I am gun-shy when it comes to words like "spirituality." I guess they remind me too much of "supernatural" and "ethers" and similar gobbledy-gook

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I think Native-American/Canadian myth/spiritualism perhaps gains the best perspective into what I'm trying to see here. They had an understanding of how humanity and nature were supposed to live in harmony with each other while Judaism/Christianity is about dominating over nature.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, that's very interesting. I have at times in my life experienced various moments of unity and insight that seemed to be set off by interacting with nature; at a level that really can't be put into words. Once a sea otter popped up in front of me at an unexpected moment; I looked into his eyes and for a moment came likely the closest I've ever been to "cosmic consciousness".

 

Funny thing, though. None of these experiences ever had any kind of "Christian" connection, or any relevance to "Judeo-Christian mysticism", which seems to be something else entirely. (Something creepy at this point) Even when I was a Christian, I wondered if there was a different aspect of God that fell outside of everything discussed in conventional religion, as if making all that irrelevant in a way.

 

Don't know if that makes sense, or not. Feel more peace and unity losing myself in a sunset than sorrounded by temples, churches, and all their props any day. And "cleaner", too, as in more receptive to compassion. Not the drippy kind, the rational, measured kind. As time goes on, I begin to see that most of Christianity isn't about compassion. At times, despite it's pathetic platitudes toward it, it seems almost hostile to it. It's about strength and domination and will. Aggressive. At least in the form it's practiced these days by the "you know whos"....

 

Sorry to ramble, but two cultures that appreciate beauty, freedom, art and music and my sea otter experience are unlikely to want to ram swords through each other. I dunno...

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I prefer the term "self awareness" to "spirituality," but I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea.

 

To me, "spirituality" has a flakey new-age crystal homeopathy aura about it. But maybe I'm uber-sensitive, being from California and all.

 

I understand what you mean, but I feel like this goes above and beyond "self awareness"...and does delve into the "flakiness" a little, but I'm trying to keep my skepticism intact at the same time.

 

It is about awareness of self, but it is also an awareness of nature and our fellow-man. It's about unity and balance. I think it's very much what Joseph Campbell gets so excited about when he talks about mythology and the hero's journey. I think...still lots to learn and discover.

 

I think Native-American/Canadian myth/spiritualism perhaps gains the best perspective into what I'm trying to see here. They had an understanding of how humanity and nature were supposed to live in harmony with each other while Judaism/Christianity is about dominating over nature.

 

Yeah, it can get flaky, but I think there's more to learn there than we may realize.

 

 

Ohhh Joseph Campbell, yeah definitely he has a very good grasp on myth and it's purpose in a mentally/spiritually healthy individual. As for "flaky" I think there is always that place where flaky meets normal. Like "homeopathy" is classed along with "natural healthcare" But some natural healthcare practices work. And some people say chiropractic care is flaky and BS, but I've known many people who traditional western medicine has failed and chiropractic helped. I've had a knee problem that chiropractic has helped.

 

I have eight tarot decks, largely cause I think they're pretty. I don't believe they are magic or tell the future. To me they are a psychological tool. Like in a spread every position in the spread has a specific meaning, and every card has certain meanings. When you apply a question or problem to that, you don't have to believe in mystical whoo whoo or divination for the cards to be a helpful tool. Because they cause you to look at your problem or situation from a different angle you might not have thought of before just by necessity of the cards and positions in the spread having meaning applied to your question.

 

And of course what is flakey will be different for each person.

 

 

I like what your therapist said about spirituality vs. religion though. It seems like spirituality when it's healthy for a person is the practice of finding a personal mythology. Something that encompasses what you believe about the world around you and that expresses properly those things while connecting you with the higher things... your morality, nature, the bigger picture.

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I have at times in my life experienced various moments of unity and insight that seemed to be set off by interacting with nature; at a level that really can't be put into words. Once a sea otter popped up in front of me at an unexpected moment; I looked into his eyes and for a moment came likely the closest I've ever been to "cosmic consciousness".

 

Feel more peace and unity losing myself in a sunset than sorrounded by temples, churches, and all their props any day. And "cleaner", too, as in more receptive to compassion.

 

The otter moment, Franko...beautiful. I can relate to everything you've written here. The cosmos, the grass, the trees, the sounds of nature, move me.

 

I read in my recent Bible studies the idea that the first son so often comes to demise in the Bible to underscore that God's will is a greater power than nature (birth order).

 

It's an interesting religious book.

 

Phanta

 

 

Thank you, Phanta. I've not commented much, but I've always enjoyed your passionate approach to your own sense of spiritualism and your love for the nuances of beautiful things.

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I've been seeing a different counselor for some of my latest sessions due to her expertise in certain fields. Anyway, she's been different to talk to since she's not a Xian and shares most of my views regarding Xianity.

 

So, we've had some interesting talks about spiritualism and she said something that I'm sure I've heard before, but it just never sunk in.

 

Religion is unhealthy. It's about people reaching out to an unknown and unknowable "god". It's about repressing yourself and your desires to make yourself fit the religion's expectations.

 

Spirituality is healthy. It's about looking inside of yourself and expressing yourself in whatever ways are beneficial to yourself. It is about seeking answers within, not without.

 

I'm paraphrasing in a fashion that I understand it. I'm definitely finding this viewpoint to be relaxing and enjoyable.

I also find it relaxing and enjoyable. Nothing kills spirituality faster than religion.

 

I'm glad you found this. :)

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I prefer the term "self awareness" to "spirituality," but I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea.

 

To me, "spirituality" has a flakey new-age crystal homeopathy aura about it. But maybe I'm uber-sensitive, being from California and all.

 

I understand what you mean, but I feel like this goes above and beyond "self awareness"...and does delve into the "flakiness" a little, but I'm trying to keep my skepticism intact at the same time.

 

It is about awareness of self, but it is also an awareness of nature and our fellow-man. It's about unity and balance. I think it's very much what Joseph Campbell gets so excited about when he talks about mythology and the hero's journey. I think...still lots to learn and discover.

 

I think Native-American/Canadian myth/spiritualism perhaps gains the best perspective into what I'm trying to see here. They had an understanding of how humanity and nature were supposed to live in harmony with each other while Judaism/Christianity is about dominating over nature.

 

Yeah, it can get flaky, but I think there's more to learn there than we may realize.

Awesome! I agree 100%

 

By the way, I love Joseph Campbell. (See signature below!) :D

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Thank you, Phanta. I've not commented much, but I've always enjoyed your passionate approach to your own sense of spiritualism and your love for the nuances of beautiful things.

 

Thank you for your kind words. In the face-to-face world, I reckon we would enjoy a mindful walk in the woods. As it is, within the limits of internet communication, may I call you friend?

 

Phanta

 

 

 

Absolutely. I tend to like a lot of the members here; it's good to be on a site with so many thoughtful people.

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It's about unity and balance.

 

 

I think this is so true about spirituality, or self-awareness.

 

 

I think what's important is that the spirituality pursued is consistent with the worldview one holds to. OR one has to be willing to disregard the "woo woo" elements.

 

It's like when you read a book or watch a movie, there needs to be a willing suspension of disbelief or you won't be able to get into it.

 

Like with Tai Chi or Kung Fu. You can practice it, but do you really believe all that stuff about Chi? It's a throwback to a time when internal alchemy was considered a viable principle of reality. Can you tolerate the mythology and still derive the sense of unity and balance you seek?

 

I find it sufficient to "be" in the moment. To stop chasing thoughts and letting them consume me. After I have been in this state for a while, I have thoughts based on the snippets of knowledge I have derived from science and nature studies. I let it blend with my world.

 

Pretty soon I have achieved a sense of unity and balance, well-being, peace and insight. All without having to disregard ancient myths AND without unproven beliefs about the world.

 

Religion would try to systematize and formalize this and make everyone conform to it. That is where religion goes wrong. It's like religion is a round hole. And I am a square peg. There may be plenty of round pegs out there who love the religion. But I would have to carve off too much of myself to conform to the religion.

 

There's no peace, unity or balance in that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ahhh, I love this Mark; that's exactly along my line of thought. Spirituality is so totally within; that, 'aha!' moment; or that all is well feeling when you just 'be;' or the wonder when you look into the heavens and you realize, you are indeed made of star dust.

 

I had, at what the time I called an odd experience as I still considered myself a christian--a liberal one at that--but christian nonetheless. I was carousing the gorilla section of the zoo a few years back; I was fascinated by their human like movements, and I smiled as they interacted with each other and the other onlookers. As I inched my way closer to the display front, I caught the interest of one of the beta gorilla males; we were no more then three feet away from each other, separated by the plastic alloy; our eyes locked for about thirty or so seconds; I was astonished at the connection--sure it could have just been my mind or wishful thinking--but I looked into the most human eyes I have ever seen; a spiritual moment? Yes, but a moment that was completely physical. I knew as I starred into that animals eyes that we shared a moment in time; that we shared a place in space; and that deep down within our physical cores we shared DNA. It was quite the moment for myself.

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  • 1 month later...

Reading this thread has just made me think completely different about spirituality. I remember once in high school, my geometry teacher told us to go outside and 'be' one day. I was completely unaware of what she meant at the time. But by the time I made it outside, I realized what she meant. My head was clear, my heart was open, and I just 'was'. I existed in that moment in time and space and was filled with such peace and joy. I saw beauty in our little courtyard, colors of flowers I had never seen, sounds of bugs that harmonized with each other. However, I was a 'huge' christian at this time and when I got back inside I made sure to thank jesus for allowing me to see such beauty that God had created. Anyways, I think I've always been more spiritual than religious, people in my religious circle were sure to remind me that everything I experienced was because of God. Even when I was younger, I enjoyed being outdoors (regardless of allergies) and talked with to the moon and marveled at nature. I'm glad to now have this same desire to just 'be' but now without the ties and rules of religion. It's very freeing. Thanks for your post Mark, I like the definitions you gave.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow you hit the nail on the head with this thread thats the whole point true spiritualists have been trying to get across throughout history. Your path of spirituality isnt based one what religion you choose but your own path to happiness and spreading love and peace. I personallly believe religion to be a tool used by those stooped to their head in greed and hunger for power to control the minds of people for their own agenda. Thanks for this thread that was truly a breath of fresh air to hear you realizing that. :3:

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