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What is the Spiritual Dynamic to the Human Persona


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I have often heard the idea of holistic wellness described as physical, mental, and spiritual. I understand the first two, but I am not sure if I can describe the spiritual aspect. I think I know what is describing: how we feel about our lives and our place in it, but I am not entirely sure that is correct.

 

I wanted to hear how other people interpret or understand someone's spiritual well being.

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2 hours ago, Hierophant said:

I have often heard the idea of holistic wellness described as physical, mental, and spiritual. I understand the first two, but I am not sure if I can describe the spiritual aspect. I think I know what is describing: how we feel about our lives and our place in it, but I am not entirely sure that is correct.

 

I wanted to hear how other people interpret or understand someone's spiritual well being.

 

Since I deconverted I've often wished that there was an alternative word to "spiritual" for those of us who do not believe in gods or the supernatural.  A word that captured the sense of awe I feel beneath a starry sky, or the joy I feel when hiking in the woods, or listening to music or poetry that moves me.  Maybe the Greeks have a word for it - surely they do - but I haven't found one in English that fits perfectly.  In the context you've used it, maybe "emotional" comes closest.  It's not physical, it's different from the intellectual part of us.

 

Even without a better word to use in its place, if somebody were to ask me about my spiritual well-being, I think I'd answer that I am in better shape "spiritually" than I have ever been before, even without religious beliefs.  I feel a sense of peace with who I am, even while I have things I want to improve.  I no longer have the cognitive dissonance that often came with being a Christian, and I feel blessedly (another quasi-religious word!) free of dogma.  I feel able to explore ideas and philosophies that were often restricted by my former religious faith.

 

But enough about me...

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3 minutes ago, TABA said:

 

Since I deconverted I've often wished that there was an alternative word to "spiritual" for those of us who do not believe in gods or the supernatural.  A word that captured the sense of awe I feel beneath a starry sky, or the joy I feel when hiking in the woods, or listening to music or poetry that moves me.  Maybe the Greeks have a word for it - surely they do - but I haven't found one in English that fits perfectly.  In the context you've used it, maybe "emotional" comes closest.  It's not physical, it's different from the intellectual part of us.

 

Even without a better word to use in its place, if somebody were to ask me about my spiritual well-being, I think I'd answer that I am in better shape "spiritually" than I have ever been before, even without religious beliefs.  I feel a sense of peace with who I am, even while I have things I want to improve.  I no longer have the cognitive dissonance that often came with being a Christian, and I feel blessedly (another quasi-religious word!) free of dogma.  I feel able to explore ideas and philosophies that were often restricted by my former religious faith.

 

But enough about me...

 

I was thinking of another word that would fit as well, but like you, I wasn't quite sure what really captures it. Perhaps emotional well-being is a good descriptive term, but it doesn't fit perfectly either. Thanks for your input.

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I guess spiritual well being implies contentment with your belief in an unseen world and your current understanding/interpretation of it.

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Spiritual is a poorly defined term that no one really agrees on.

 

If I say to you that I went into the mountains and had a spiritual experience, without any context about me you actually have no idea what I'm talking about.

 

Do I mean I 'meet' God? Or do I just mean I felt awe and magnificence at the mountains and appreciated their beauty which resulted in positive emotions for me?

 

Currently how the word is used in society these days it could mean either of these quite easily.

 

Magical is another word that gets used. If I say I went fishing and had a magical experience, does that mean I had a great time and caught lots of fish, or that I did a fish casting spell which magicked fish into my kayak?

 

So the TL;DR answer to the thread question is I don't know because the word spiritual is poorly defined. (I mean the root of the word, "spirit" implies some supernatural entity for a start!)

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In my view, the mental arises from the physical, and the spiritual is illusory. But, as LF says, 'spiritual' is not particularly well-defined. So who knows?

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1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Magical is another word that gets used. If I say I went fishing and had a magical experience, does that mean I had a great time and caught lots of fish, or that I did a fish casting spell which magicked fish into my kayak?

 

I've had some pretty magical fishing trips the last two years. Maybe a little bit of both. I sure as hell willed that 35" bull redfish last January. I was hell bent on catching a bull red on that flats fishing guide boat. And bam, nailed it!!!! The sunrise was magical too, beautiful scenery. By little brother, hell bent on getting a bull red himself, willed a competitive catch after me. But mine was a little bigger and I won the magic contest, that magical morning.....

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Think of Pandora (from Avatar). The connections between the planet and the people (intelligent life forms). They portrayed that well. Spiritual to people in the rain forests is a very interconnection with nature, the planet, and natural order type of thing. 

 

Not everyone is naturally inclined to it, though. I've found that it's like surfing or playing an instrument. Either you're inclined to it or you're not. Not everyone can take to playing music no matter how hard they try. Other's may go straight to rapid advancement as if they've known how to do it all along. Spiritual thinking is very similar. Those who have it were pretty much wired that way. And even in the absence of god belief, you'll find spiritual minded people who take it in a different direction. I've gone over some magick issues with midnite over the years. And have found that it's not uncommon to find completely atheistic mages. In fact, non-theistic thinking seems to have gotten more and more common in esoteric circles between the 19th century and today. 

 

I think that as long as the fact remains that humans are material and whatever else, the material and whatever else IS the universe itself personified, and we're not separable from the realm we exist within - a spiritual dynamic to the human persona will always persist. Even in the face of non-theistic thinking. Because it wasn't about gods at the base of it, before the concept of gods even existed. It's more about nature and the environment which was later personified in different directions and mythologized. It has been de-mythologized. And yet it still persists in these cases. 

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One definition of spirituality: Spirituality is a feeling of something positive that is benevolent and greater than yourself...or a feeling that you are greater than your physical body or that you transcend your physical limitations somehow. Or that there is a benevolent transcendent being you commune with that gives you some positive experience or positive benefit. Spirituality might be sacred and personal or maybe you share it with other like-minded people. 

 

Physical, mental and spiritual sounds cool, but if you have a strong conviction that spirituality is baloney, then just go with physical and mental well-being. You'll be just fine. :) 

 

Spirituality is whatever you decide it is. 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/8/2020 at 12:39 AM, Joshpantera said:

Think of Pandora

Yes.  Because if you have Evanescense and Flyleaf on your playlist, you'll probably also like Taylor Swift.  Fucking Pandora.  🙄

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On 8/9/2020 at 11:50 AM, midniterider said:

Spirituality is whatever you decide it is. 

 

We use language to communicate. In order to communicate clearly words must have meaning.

 

By saying "Spirituality is whatever you decide it is. " you've essentially rendered the word meaningless.

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19 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

We use language to communicate. In order to communicate clearly words must have meaning.

 

By saying "Spirituality is whatever you decide it is. " you've essentially rendered the word meaningless.

Yes, spirituality is meaningless.

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I think there may be a valid distinction to be drawn between subjective and objective truth. Or, at least, between subjective and objective modes of knowledge. Those who are familiar with me and my posts here will know that I've already tried to draw a distinction between ontological and epistemic truth. I could spend some time exploring the subjective/objective distinction as well... and I may, perhaps, elsewhere.

 

For now, I'll just say that I think that assertions of the sort "spirituality is inherently subjective" are not, per se, incoherent. However, this is not quite the same as saying "spirituality is whatever you decide it is". I'm not at all sure what this is supposed to mean.

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Yes, spirituality is meaningless.

 

I agree with you, but that wasn't the point I was making.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

We use language to communicate. In order to communicate clearly words must have meaning.

 

By saying "Spirituality is whatever you decide it is. " you've essentially rendered the word meaningless.

 

I meant your own personal spiritual practice, traditions and beliefs are whatever you want them to be. 

 

The dictionary definition of spirituality is: the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

 

Here is a more expansive definition of spirituality: 

 

Per the Wikipedia:

 

The meaning of spirituality has developed and expanded over time, and various connotations can be found alongside each other.[1][2][3][note 1] Traditionally, spirituality referred to a religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man",[note 2] oriented at "the image of God"[4][5] as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world. The term was used within early Christianity to refer to a life oriented toward the Holy Spirit[6] and broadened during the Late Middle Ages to include mental aspects of life.[7] In modern times, the term both spread to other religious traditions[8] and broadened to refer to a wider range of experience, including a range of esoteric traditions and religious traditions. Modern usages tend to refer to a subjective experience of a sacred dimension[9] and the "deepest values and meanings by which people live",[10][11] often in a context separate from organized religious institutions,[12] such as a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm,[13] personal growth,[14] a quest for an ultimate or sacred meaning,[15] religious experience,[16] or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension".[17]

 

edit:  I wont be trying to prove spirituality is like some real concrete thing. I'm just responding to the OP: "I wanted to hear how other people interpret or understand someone's spiritual well being." 

 

edit 2: So, I think spiritual well-being for me is a sense of connectedness to the rest of the universe. My favorite upanishad quote is this:  In Whom reside all beings, and Who resides in all beings by virtue of His being the giver of grace to all – I am that Soul of the Universe, the Supreme Being, I am that Soul of the Universe, the Supreme Being.

 

 

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1 hour ago, midniterider said:

 

I meant your own personal spiritual practice, traditions and beliefs are whatever you want them to be. 

 

Right, so what ever you want them to be within the accepted framework of what spirituality generally is understood to be. Gotcha.

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3 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

Where is there evidence that a "human spirit" even exists?

What if we are just highly-evolved animals that took a weird evolutionary detour along the way?

 

 

I have a spirit.  My dog has a spirit.  As a matter of fact, she is much more spirited than I am!  Especially when you tell her there is a squirrel in the yard.

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3 hours ago, Weezer said:

I have a spirit.  My dog has a spirit.  As a matter of fact, she is much more spirited than I am!  Especially when you tell her there is a squirrel in the yard.

 

I hope you realize I said that with tongue in cheek. 

 

7 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

 

What if we are just highly-evolved animals that took a weird evolutionary detour along the way?

 

I don't know you well enough to know if you are joking.  And don't know how you define spirit. Honestly, I thought highly evolved animals is what we are.  

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12 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

I hope you realize I said that with tongue in cheek.

 

-yes, understood.

 

 

12 hours ago, Weezer said:

I don't know you well enough to know if you are joking.  And don't know how you define spirit. Honestly, I thought highly evolved animals is what we are.  

 

I don't know how anyone defines "spirit".

It's one of those generalities people throw-around in the expectation that everyone else will agree with their implied definition.

 

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