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Featured What’s the Difference Between Physical and Spiritual Happiness?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Nov 24, 2022.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Everything is rooted in the physical while we are living in a physical body, since that is the source of all our thoughts and feelings, which originate in the brain and are processed in the mind. However, we can choose what to focus upon, and that is where our thoughts and feelings will be directed, which will drive our behavior, and that is what we will be happy about. For example, I can choose to focus my mind on God and loving and serving others and that is what I will that is what will drive my behavior, and that is what will make me happy, or I can choose to focus my mind on sex and passion and things of the material world in general, and that is what will drive my behavior and that is what I will be happy about.
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    There is certainly some truth to that.
     
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  3. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    The sources you come up with amaze me. Especially this one.:D
     
  4. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    This is unproductive arguing. You were doing well until now. He is not worth arguing with, in my opinion.
     
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I thought you would like that I quoted Abdu'l-Baha. ;) I was just lucky to get that Baha'iTeachings.org article yesterday, as it was just what the doctor ordered to get me through Thanksgiving Day all alone. :(
     
  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Read on. As often happens, I worked it out later. That is the purpose of a discussion.
     
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  7. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Brain scans of people feeling happy show the same regardless of the reason for feeling joy.
    People claim to fall in love and have a spiritual connection and spiritual love. Then often divorce or break up.
    What evidence gives you reason to think there is a spiritual happiness? Many people have been religious and claimed to have this love for God but later realized their beliefs were not justified and became secular. They also realized that they were just feeling physical states just like any other. Based on beliefs.

    If spiritual happiness is any different why are studies on religious people showing the same brain changes as any person feeling happy feelings?
     
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  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That's true and that is because the feeling of happiness originates in the brain.
    Spiritual happiness can come and go, if one loses their faith.
    Spiritual happiness is not confined to religious people and religious people are not necessarily spiritually happy.
    Spiritual happiness comes from loving God and others and developing spiritual virtues.
     
    #48 Trailblazer, Nov 25, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
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  9. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I neither believe in God nor in soul. My happiness is with the family. Happiness is also in fulfillment of our wants - a secure home, food, sex, our preferred drink, etc.
     
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  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Physical happiness is triggered by external stimuli.
    "Spiritual" happiness is triggered by internal thoughts and or images however the physical process is exactly the same.

    One can learn to be happy by nurturing a positive attitude. By finding personal meaning though helping others. Through personal relationships and taking care of your own health.

    Religion has evolved to provide a sense of well-being which is a key to happiness but it is still no guarantee.
    People can ignore health concerns because of religious belief. Or ostracize family members because of religious beliefs. It can cause unnecessary self-judgement if one is not living up to the expectations of their belief.

    Also should we really be happy all the time? Maybe being human requires occasionally being sad or even fearful. The "ideal" eternal happiness, maybe it is not so ideal.
     
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  12. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    That sounds like someone that doesn't have a particularly high libido. That is not me.

    Though I won't die if I don't have sex, I do feel very uncomfortable, analogous to feeling hungry all the time. Regrettably, I have been much less successful in satisfying that "hunger" than I would wish. I'm not bitter about it, I understand that people vary and that no woman is obligated to have sex with anyone, particularly me. Thankfully, masturbation is a constant friend, but there are elements missing. (It's like having a quick sandwich when you are hungry as opposed to a delicious three course meal). There's also an emotional aspect. If a woman values me enough to welcome me into her body, even on a temporary basis, I find it emotionally rewarding.

    To sum up, a regular supply of sex would make me happier, by reducing my unhappiness!

    A last thought. In my experience getting married, for a man, is the the most certain way I know to end, or severely restrict, your sex life. I'm not alone in this. Look it up.
     
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  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I view that as both physical and spiritual happiness and I view you as a spiritual person, because you love your family and you are dedicated to them. Love is where it's at. Whether you believe in God or not is not really important, how you live and what you live for is what matters. IMO

    There is nothing wrong with wanting a secure home, food, sex, or a preferred drink. That is not contrary to spirituality.
     
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  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That is correct. All happiness originates in the brain and mind, and is the result of thoughts and feelings we have, and it is what we do as a result of those thoughts and feelings that makes us happy.
    I consider personal relationships and helping others to be spiritual happiness. All spiritual happiness involves taking care of your body because the body is the temple of the soul.
    I do not equate spiritual happiness with religious belief and it does not necessarily have to be associated with a belief in God. I associate spiritual happiness with the spiritual virtues such as love, justice, righteousness, trustworthiness, benevolence, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy.
    I see no need to be happy all the time. Life is full of ups and downs and some people have more of one or the other. The expectation that some religious folks have that we must always be happy is unrealistic and it certainly does not come from any scriptures. That is interesting that you bring this up because I was going to start a thread on this a while ago, but then decided to wait, since I am too busy with the other threads I started.

    Below is part of what I wrote up to post in my thread.

    God Never Said That... God Wants You To Be Happy
    The idea of eternal happiness refers to happiness we will experience in the spiritual world (heaven) after our physical death. It is not possible to achieve in the physical world since this world is only temporary, not eternal.
     
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  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    High libido or low libido, the fact is that sex is not a necessity, like food and water.
    You are more fortunate than most men if you can still perform at your age, but then this is the age of Viagra and Cialis. This did not used to be the case, as in the past most men were impotent by their 70s and 80s.
    I see nothing wrong with that, since you are not 'under the laws' of any religion. If I got married again I'd be happy to oblige my husband if it made him happy, since that is love, and love is where it's at. Of course, I might expect him to do some work on and around the house and yard, because that is what would make me happy. Fair is fair.
    I do not think you are right about that. Being married and having a partner who is always there is the best way to guarantee sex will be readily available. I speak from experience. Of course, it all depends upon whether you require more than one partner and your partner's attitude towards sex. ;)
     
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  16. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Which demonstrates that emotions come from the brain. Once again the need for a soul is redundant.



    None of that answers the questions. You just made the same claims?
    So when other religions loved their gods, Inana, Krishna, Zeus, that is spiritual love even if the God is fake?
    We know happiness comes from the brain. We have no evidence of emotions coming from anywhere else. Neurologists have done all types of brain studies and nothing suggests a spirit is involved.
    Nothing suggests a God is ever involved. So having thoughts about a deity gives people happiness. That seems like something the physical brain is doing.
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The soul works through the brain and while we are living on earth in a physical body. The soul is associated with the brain and it directs the brain and the body. Emotions come from the brain but the soul is responsible for those emotions so the soul is not redundant.
    I am not qualified to judge other people's gods or their spiritual love. I only know about my own.
    Neurologists cannot study the spirit of man (the soul) because the soul is a mystery of God that has never been unraveled.

    Yes, having thoughts about a deity gives some people happiness and that is something the physical brain is doing, since the brain is where feelings of happiness originate. If a person's brain is not functioning they cannot be either happy or sad.
     
  18. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    That's what I said. I don't die in total darkness either, but I would be pretty miserable if I never had any light.

    True, but there is a difference between desire and ability. That's why there are these medications, men still want to but can't get an erection. Women are lucky, a bit of lubrication is easy.

    Yes, but ...

    Many studies have shown it to be true. That is that women's desire for sex diminishes, which may not always be reflected in actual frequency. This link goes into it in more detail.

    Why Marital Satisfaction Is Closely Linked to Women’s Sexual Desire

    Of course if the woman is "kind" I suppose it's better than just avoiding it, but I'm odd in that I would rather not "do It" with someone that doesn't want to. I guess "paying for it" with household chores might work for some, but not me. I would expect a fair sharing of these things without involving sex as a reward. Maybe I'm not typical. You know I'm not! But what I want is mutually agreed, mutually desired intimacy. I can always "handle it" myself if that's not available.
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I have not researched this but I am wondering if the continued desire in men is psychological rather than physical.
    Of course if it is testosterone that keeps the desire going that would explain it at least in part.

    Of course there must be physical reasons why men still want to have sex but can't get an erection, and certain drugs are used to override that inability. What did men do before these drugs came on the market? I just don't know if this is a good idea to try to keep having sex after the body is saying no because of the natural process of aging. The same applies to women who go through menopause and no longer have hormones that are responsible for sexual desire.
    From that article:
    In two longitudinal studies (one spanning one year and one spanning four years), the researchers found that, on average, women’s levels of sexual desire were not only lower than men’s at the beginning of their marriages, but much more variable than men’s. Men’s levels of sexual desire stayed higher and more constant than women’s throughout the duration of both studies.

    I guess I am not the norm because my level of sexual desire was much higher than my husband's when we got married and for years after that.

    From that article:
    Furthermore, declines in women’s sexual desire predicted declining marital satisfaction for both members of the couple. Interestingly, although women’s sexual desire declined over time, couples’ sexual frequency did not, suggesting that women were likely to engage in sex even when they did not desire it.

    I can understand why this might be the case, since men's hormones do not drop that much in middle and older age the way women's hormones do. I can understand why that might lead to marital dissatisfaction and even if the sex continues, as it is no fun having sex with someone who does not desire sex. I went through that early in my marriage although it did not take long for me to find a way to remedy that situation.
    I was not suggesting "paying for it" with household chores. I think there should be a fair sharing of these chores without involving sex as a reward. Unfortunately, in my marriage there was not a fair sharing, so over time I became resentful and that is part of the reason I no longer wanted to have sex. My late husband was also angry at me whenever I asked him to do anything and I cannot feel love for someone who is angry at me. Even if I had wanted sex, I cannot separate sex from love, I can only do it in a loving relationship.
     
  20. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Spiritual definitely is the capacity, potential, and ability to become virtuous and to live that out in actions that manifest from the heart.

    Physical definitely is based on chemistry, and how those chemicals make people feel.

    I'm not sure happiness is anything more than fleeting emotions.

    Enduring, unbreakable joy is a higher pursuit than mere happiness. In a world where death and loss are inevitable it's hard to have unbreakable joy. Even joy gets smashed to pieces from loss.

    I try to never give in to the pain of loss, and always remind myself to keep remembrance alive and settled upon the future becoming. So I try to keep alive all the goodness that I've experienced in a forward looking way. I don't dwell on the past in any way involving finality.
    But if my memories have finality, then I'm no different than all that have come before me, and all that will come after me. We all go the same way as our loved ones.

    Ultimately for me the joy of spiritual pursuits rests with a forward looking remembrance of those I've lost in my life. But if death were ultimately final, then I find it's best to keep alive memories of those lost in a most positive way.
     
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