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What is Spirituality?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Left Coast, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy New Year!
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    The term 'spiritual' is one that many people seem to identify with, especially as so many Westerners are fleeing traditional religious labels. Even some atheists embrace a kind of secular spirituality. Yet what is meant by this term can be surprisingly difficult to pin down in my experience.

    Resist the urge to Google or cite a dictionary definition for purposes of this thread.

    Do you identify as spiritual in any way? If so, what do you mean by that?
     
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  2. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I'll give you an example of what I'd list as one of my spiritual beliefs.

    Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist, had a stroke which damaged the left side of her brain and sent it offline. With only the right side engaged, she experienced what has been described by others as an "oceanic feeling." A feeling of being at one with a Loving All.

    This kind of report and many others like it convince me that our unconscious might be in touch with a greater reality. I use the word spiritual to contrast my opinions with the philosophical materialists who, IMO, limit their opinions to the left brain and conscious reality.
     
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  3. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    The easy way ?

    The Cosmos is floating in Spirits, you're lucky to get some !
     
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  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I've been blind seven days
    but I did not stop 'seeing'
    got lucky and my eyes recovered

    I've known my limbs to be unresponsive
    but I did not stop 'feeling'
    got lucky....I recovered

    but some day I shall again lose my eyes
    my hands
    my legs
    and all else
    all at once

    and I shall continue
     
    #4 Thief, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  5. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Yes I identify as spiritual. I mean that I believe we are more than a physical body and I try to live my life in harmony with the higher spiritual realms of love and peace.
     
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  6. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    I would say that, personally, spirituality to me means a sense of something greater than myself, my interactions with that something, and the effects it produces - iow, how it determines my life choices
     
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  7. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Spiritual to me is two part :)
    1: Cultivation of a spiritual teaching hightens our spiritual awareness.
    2: The cultivation show us that we are truly spiritual beings trapped in physical body. We can exist without the body but in my understanding in a very subtle energy body. So spirituality leads to the answer who we truly are :)
     
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  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think it is contemplative, but I think we all are wrong about so many things that it hardly matters if we misunderstand the meaning of the word. Its like we spill 95% of the drink and that little 5% left in the bottom of the glass is all of the meaning we can get at. We live in the instinctual, compelled by feeling at all times such that spiritual is a passing train that we aren't on. We might wave as it goes by.
     
  9. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    hey @Thief ,

    They build bricks from `mud to build `God's` mansions !
     
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  10. Gargovic Malkav

    Gargovic Malkav Active Member

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    I worship and believe in the One I see as the Source of Everything as a result of experience and faith. Label me as you see fit.
    One way to describe it is perhaps: That which you acknowledge as real or "out there", but cannot be sensed with the physical senses or properly measured. The word is about abstraction while words themselves aren't abstract. This makes it difficult to describe.
     
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  11. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy New Year!
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    Fascinating story about the neuroscientist, I hadn't heard it. Do you think it's possible to "unite the left and right sides of the brain" here, so to speak? Is it possible that there is some "greater reality" we are part if, but that reality is also material and/or potentially discoverable through empirical means?
     
  12. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I see it as the attempt to understand the manifestation of the inner self. Whatever brings peace, happiness, fulfillment to this "I" is that rides around in this meat suit.
     
  13. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    mindful and proactive vs reactive and mindless
     
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  14. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy New Year!
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    These analogies are intriguing. So is spirituality, in your view, some aspect of reality we don't understand, or only barely understand? I want to make sure I understand.
     
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  15. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Spirituality is our core being when we are at rest. While were wrapped up in "thought world" we move our attention to all the comotion of that world and away from our resting state. In rest, the mind is quiet and we simply let the world in without judgments or ideas to distract us.

    The response to this awareness is a sense of grounded and timeless connection to ourselves, our physicalness, and the rest of the world energetically. The sense is of great love and peace arising from everything. It is life without fear. That's spirituality. It's who and what we are when not swept up in "thought world", or non-reality.
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Judging by the way it's used, I generally take "spirituality" to be a euphemism for religion that's used by religious people who don't like the word "religion."
     
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  17. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Asinine, socialist-leaning, puerile filth
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    Apart from any meaning in the divine sense - arising from some creator or creative force - it's hardly unusual humans might sense something greater than themselves, in whatever form (greater overall awareness concerning life?), and label such spirituality, since the more we have discovered (through science) about the universe and our little role in such, we inevitably have become lesser rather than greater, even allowing for all the progress we have made. So I can understand where such comes from and see no harm in such (and no doubt many benefits), especially if it contributes to humans being better citizens of planet Earth, even if I don't really sense anything, apart from the obvious - that we are tiny in comparison to all else - and cultivating greater awareness is usually a benefit to oneself and to others.
     
    #17 Mock Turtle, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  18. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    It's a good point the word is used in a lot of ways.

    I've tended to use 'spiritual' to refer to everything related to the part of us that preexists this body, and will continue after this body at least until the balancing of the scales.
     
  19. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I can't intelligently answer your questions. However, I'll share with you the only successful attempt I've ever made at vivid dreaming -- The House At Night Analogy:

    Imagine a house at night. The interior is artificially lit. Outside in the darkness, which expands forever into the infinite, is a faceless, powerful creature.

    The lit interior = conscious reality when we are awake

    The darkness outside = a greater reality

    The faceless, powerful creature = our unconscious mind which operates 24/7.

    My guess is that it's faceless because it can't form intent (Intent being the province of the conscious ego).

    The walls of the house represent the construction of a barrier in the brain between the conscious and the unconscious.

    Here's a link to the very popular 20 minute Ted talk by Jill Bolte Taylor.
    jill bolte taylor ted - Bing video
     
    #19 joe1776, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  20. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    I agree that spirituality is tricky to pin down.

    That said, I think that when we think about questions like:

    - where did i come from?
    - why am i here?

    We're getting into the spiritual realm.
     
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