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Spirituality might work if it wasn't so stupid.

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posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 09:30 PM
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Spirituality might work if it wasn’t so stupid.

I recently took in an ill family member in an attempt to offer a garden in which to continue her battle, at least something different from the landfill she is in habitual relation with. I love her dearly, but she considers herself “spiritual and not religious”, and lets me know quite often how “spiritual” she is. Although I am polite and a gentleman, given my discriminating tastes, you might understand how I would respond to a situation in which incense and spiritual sounds on compact disc have become the norm. But it has offered an objective view of a type I used to find in myself during my younger days.

What does it mean to be spiritual? Who cares, really. Observe a so-called spiritual person, their output, their expression, and evaluate accordingly.

First, in regards to the practicality of spirituality, I see little benefit. So you’ve reached enlightenment. Now what? What do you as an enlightened being endowed with full infinite wisdom have to offer the world? It almost sounds like you should be set to task in changing the world for the better. Maybe you should design something so great it might change the direction of humanity. But that’s not your method. What is the industry of spirituality?

If you’ve ever seen the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, you might have witnessed it for yourself in the presence of the sadhus. It’s no secret what is occurring when a wicker bowl is passed around at a church. The industry of spirituality is begging. Spirituality, as observed, is performance art, evidenced by the strange costumes and posey. It is a book deal as evidenced by the popularity of spiritual self-help placebos. In this manner, churches and sacred places are simply museums of idolatry, where a man reads aloud and waves a book that was perhaps once relevant thousands of years before, all at the cost of our own dignity and whatever change we have in our pockets.

In my own opinion, the word “spiritual” is derogatory, a sign of a weaker more tender sort, whom I have some instinctual obligation to defend from bullies whenever the need should arise. But surely they are “spiritual”, which usually entails that they have read a book or two on spirituality, or maybe they meditate, or that they can control their dreams, and other such lapses of judgement—all of which also leads to a keen understanding of the universe. The non-sequitur that spiritual practice should lead to understanding is what bothers me most.

Imagine, dear reader, how a person sitting lotus with eyes closed is examining anything more than the back of her eyelids. Now I highly recommend routine exercise, but that’s all meditation is: routine exercise, a sport for soccer moms. But where knowledge is concerned, what the meditator is learning about the world is in direct proportion to how much of the world she is observing—none at all. And of course, you will adamantly announce the benefits of meditation are palpable, but as far as I can see, they are no different than the benefits of getting a good nights sleep.

However, I think the principle “whatever we are doing we are getting better at” is valid in this case. The meditator is simply getting better at meditating, which, if we observe its results in human affairs, means very little. Following this, the whole notion that transcendental meditation should be taught in schools, complete with gongs and the ideologies of someone like Russell Brand, is an insidious one. The child’s eyes, during their most influential stages, should always be open to the world, not closed. I’m sure you’ll find that the child who does the opposite—who doesn’t close her eyes, and who doesn’t meditate and conform when told to, who expresses rather than suppresses her learning faculties—will become the more exceptional adult.

How much more stupefying can spirituality get? There’s something of a resignation in it, explicitly found in spiritual teachings and practices, and its propensity for narcotic dosages. It’s not a quest for truth, but an escape from it. It is not an advance, but a retreat. It’s not a moment of clarity, it is a drug; ideas such as union with god or mystical experience being the exact same as getting lost in religious enthusiasm, a once popular euphamism for psychotic episode. It’s just too easy for someone to pass by and say “I’ll have what she’s having”.

Spirituality is anti-truth. Take the whole metaphor of “going inward for knowledge” or “finding truth within” to its logical extremes. Something could only go so far inward before it becomes a point or nothing at all. When something goes inward, it shrinks. Not even the metaphor leads one to believe one is learning. If we imagined someone meditating their whole lives, from birth to death, assuming they did not focus on anything of the senses, we could conclude that they only learned how to die quietly. Focusing inward is always focusing on oneself and oneself only, the sign of self-concern, a universal human trait and nothing out of the ordinary. Furthermore, human beings are quite finite and exhaustible. That inner spiritual place you constantly search within can only be as big as you are. How much time do you need? Are you lost in there?

Believe it or not, when it comes to spirituality and spiritual folk in general, I am a delighted optimist. Most of my friends consider themselves spiritual. They are good company. They are accepting of others, and laughter is a prerequisite. They are charitable and charming and seemingly indifferent to what others think of them. It is pleasant to be around them in play and sensuality. If you find yourself at a large music festival, or a party, find the spiritual people and be with them. Get close to them. They are, in the universal and particular sense, great lovers. But they are most important the exact times they are not being spiritual, when they get out of and get over themselves, actively engaging in life.

And I think this is exactly the folly of spirituality in all its variety and forms, expressed best and ironically in Buddha’s raft analogy: Get off the bloody raft when you get to the other side; do not stay on it or carry it to the next river. And how do you know when you’re at the other side? Quite simply when the raft is of no more use. Rest it ashore, tip your hat in gratitude, and walk on your merry way. You’re needed back on land.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis
edit on 8-3-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Spirituality and religion are the same thiandand every truth in the is half truth there is no real truth universal laws are real science is real. There are other world's out there your brain is a very powerful thing don't bash people for exploring these worlds. You need these ppl people that don't judge that take you for who you are there's a lot of bad In the world and material thinking there has to be a balance like everything else. Real spiritual people don't label themselves as such. Labels are for boxes not humans.


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posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



What do you as an enlightened being endowed with full infinite wisdom have to offer the world?


No less than you.

Someone who claims to be "enlightened" doesn't claim to have infinite wisdom of any kind as far as I can tell. They claim to have wisdom, but infinite wisdom? Hardly. You're projecting your own presuppositions onto other people.



If you’ve ever seen the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, you might have witnessed it for yourself in the presence of the sadhus. It’s no secret what is occurring when a wicker bowl is passed around at a church. The industry of spirituality is begging. Spirituality, as observed, is performance art, evidenced by the strange costumes and posey. It is a book deal as evidenced by the popularity of spiritual self-help placebos. In this manner, churches and sacred places are simply museums of idolatry, where a man reads aloud and waves a book that was perhaps once relevant thousands of years before, all at the cost of our own dignity and whatever change we have in our pockets.


It seems as though you are confusing spirituality with religion and religious ceremonies. Religion is the opposite of spirituality, it suppresses it. Not all spiritual people dress up or are part of any "performance art", they live simply and within their means. Those who perform rituals and gather en masse to worship a god are not spiritual, they are followers of the herd. Spirituality is personal, no rituals or dressing up is needed in order to truly be spiritual.

It seems as though those who have hijacked spirituality (religion) have muddied the waters of what your understanding of spirituality is.



Most of my friends consider themselves spiritual. They are good company. They are accepting of others, and laughter is a prerequisite. They are charitable and charming and seemingly indifferent to what others think of them. It is pleasant to be around them in play and sensuality. If you find yourself at a large music festival, or a party, find the spiritual people and be with them. Get close to them. They are, in the universal and particular sense, great lovers.


So what is your rant about exactly? If spiritual people are charitable and charming, aren't those things they offer the world? If they are great lovers, isn't that something else they offer to the world? Why do you ask a demeaning question then give the answers you were looking for a few paragraphs later?

If they are great company to be around, how is that not something they offer to the world, great company?



But they are most important the exact times they are not being spiritual, when they get out of and get over themselves, actively engaging in life.


How can you relate spiritual people with being great lovers and charitable then deny them those qualities when it comes to their spirituality? That doesn't make any sense.



What does it mean to be spiritual? Who cares, really. Observe a so-called spiritual person, their output, their expression, and evaluate accordingly.


If you don't care then why do you tell us to observe their output and evaluate accordingly? If your evaluation is that they are great lovers and great company, why do you ask what they offer? If you don't care what being spiritual means then why do you care to observe their output?

You were all over the place in this OP, you seemed to be questioning yourself most of the time.
edit on 3/8/2015 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:01 PM
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9 paragraphs of: anti-gay

1 paragraph of: no really i have gay friends

1 paragraph of: be safe and wrap it up

I don't get it. You're ticked off that you lost your naive youth? Not sure what else you're really saying here.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1


How can one be fun to be with when they are currently self-absorbed? There is no correlation between spirituality and great company, I’m sorry to say. I am saying when they are not spiritual, that is, not self-engaged and exploring spiritual worlds, is where they can be satisfying. Go converse with a meditating man and let me know how that conversation goes. I never stated that only spiritual people are charitable and charming. Take me for instance. Are you not charmed?

And it is you who has hijacked spirituality, with your tall tale that those who worship gods are not spiritual. Anyone can call themselves spiritual. The idea that your conception of spirituality stands above another’s only pleads my case.

Really, who cares what spirituality means when it is different for every person? Look at what results of those who call themselves spiritual, yourself for instance, and show me any thing that opposes what I stated.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

In short: get over yourself.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



The idea that your conception of spirituality stands above another’s only pleads my case.


So what does this say about your conception that "spirituality is stupid"? It says that your conception of spirituality stands above another's.

Are you pleading against yourself here? Seems that way.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1


So what does this say about your conception that "spirituality is stupid"? It says that your conception of spirituality stands above another's.


No. That's why I plead a case with arguments. Give it a shot sometime.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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While I am far from an expert, when I say I am more spiritual than religious I am trying to express that I have left the mold I was raised in. I have moved on from Sunday school memorizing bible verses without understanding them due to that being FAITH. I no longer have fear I'll be damned because I am curious and have read and prefer sacred texts not of the faith that was shoved down my throat.

I don't attend a Mega church for entertainment, I don't participate in Wednesday evening Church activities. Because there is so much out there to learn and decide for ourselves if its great or stupid and religions have taught their followers to have a horrible historical habit of using curiosity as a weapon for being accused as not having faith.

Everything you're typing sounds as if its not your friends spirituality that you find frustrating. It sounds almost as if this was the last straw on feeling helpless in helping your friend. That just means you care. You're a great friend.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: Iamthatbish




I don't attend a Mega church for entertainment, I don't participate in Wednesday evening Church activities. Because there is so much out there to learn and decide for ourselves if its great or stupid and religions have taught their followers to have a horrible historical habit of using curiosity as a weapon for being accused as not having faith.


That is the beauty of this sort of freedom: to be able to look with fresh eyes again, curiosity. My only concern is that people are facing the wrong direction.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

I've sat in the presence of His Holiness (capitalized so that he may appear divine) and though he is funny and of good cheer, and very skilled in reciting Buddhist doctrine, his grand conclusion is that everyone wants to be happy. I suppose this wisdom has not hit mainstream yet.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Yes, arguments that contradict themselves. You accuse me of putting other people's spirituality underneath mine yet you put EVERYONE'S spirituality underneath your worldview. You call spirituality "stupid". How arrogant can you possibly be? You imply spiritual people have absolutely nothing to offer to the world yet then go on to call them lovely people, even though those qualities you apply to spiritual people have no basis in their spirituality.

Again, it seems like you're making a case against yourself here.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




You call spirituality "stupid". How arrogant can you possibly be?


I love the charge of arrogance, because a certain amount of arrogance is necessary in order to call someone else arrogant. s

Yes, I know people who consider themselves spiritual. They are fine people. I don't see a problem here.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:49 PM
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Meditating is clearing the mind and that helps people have better concentration so that when a person speaks to them they can be fully paying attention taking in every word without distraction; so that is one of the things people who meditate offer to the world.

Finding truth within means Spirit rather than body. It's about love and generosity rather than only focusing on pleasing the body with materialism. It's about asking yourself "how can I give from my spirit and help others?" rather than "what can think person do for me? sex? food? money? etc." It's about finding that space within rather than focusing on the body, that calm gentle space of peace , acceptance, and love.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




I love the charge of arrogance, because a certain amount of arrogance is necessary in order to call someone else arrogant.


So you've set up an argument that loops around itself infinitely so that you will never have to admit to your own hypocrisy. Nice.

There is no arrogance in calling someone else's arrogance out, it is calling it for what it is. That's like saying someone's a liar for pointing out someone else's lies. How does that make sense?



Yes, I know people who consider themselves spiritual. They are fine people. I don't see a problem here.


Yet you call those people's (your "friends") views "stupid", something they hold very dearly to themselves. Nice.

What exactly does that say about yourself?



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

Careful, enlightened. Your rage is beginning to show. Don't let your emotions get the better of you.

Let's discuss the idea, not the person.

Where is it I am wrong again?



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: pl3bscheese

In short: get over yourself.


Right, that's the thing. You never did. The snobbish behavior you used to wrap up under the package of being spiritual is now wrapped up in some sort of pseudo-philosophical self-image.

You admit to have gone through this same stage in the past, and yet you're now tripping out on people who are simply where they are? Why? Can't be them, must be you!

There's all kinds of addicts out there. These people who talk down alcoholics, a year prior throwing shot glasses across the bar. They don't hate the alcoholics, they hate the fact that their issues still follow them into sobriety.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 11:04 PM
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a reply to: arpgme



Meditating is clearing the mind and that helps people have better concentration so that when a person speaks to them they can be fully paying attention taking in every word without distraction; so that is one of the things people who meditate offer to the world.

Finding truth within means Spirit rather than body. It's about love and generosity rather than only focusing on pleasing the body with materialism. It's about asking yourself "how can I give from my spirit and help others?" rather than "what can think person do for me? sex? food? money? etc." It's about finding that space within rather than focusing on the body, that calm gentle space of peace , acceptance, and love.


The sad part is, focusing on "inner spaces" for calm and peace and love are pleasing to the body as well, and subject to the very same self-seaking. It's no more habitual than any dependency on feeling good.



posted on Mar, 8 2015 @ 11:04 PM
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LesMisanthrope I do not know what you have experienced in you life so I have a hard time to point towards a spiritual tool that you will except and maybe test.

I like to both have the creative side and the logic side in equal limit seeking an objective truth instead of a subjective view.

Some spiritual people like to only see the creative side of the mind and do not want to temper the creative side with observation and evaluation. That is from my point of view sometimes a flaw that makes them not able to connect understanding with people, who do not want ambiguity to exact objective truth.

This video is an example. I like Deepak Chopra since he can get people to think out of the box and his work on energy healing will probably one day help us understand the placebo effect. I dislike that he is not doing the science work sometimes (for instance here where he do not get the right abstraction size of the Microtubules).

If I want out of box creative artistic thinking Deepak Chopra.
If I want creativity tempered by logic creating a scientific theory Stuart Hameroff.


edit on 8-3-2015 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)




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