Hi. I thought this post might provide a little value. First some definitions:
Now arguably Wikipedia is hardly from 'God's mouth to our ears',
but then again for purposes of this post it's just background material
and I won't be dwelling on 99% of any of that.
The reason that I brought up mysticism, spirituality and religion is
for purposes of disambiguation; I'll really only be discussing liminality
and mysticism, for reasons that will soon be obvious.
Let's start with religion then. Per the definition,: "Religion is an
organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence"
Now I'm not going to get into the evolutionary psychology of religion;
why it exists, what role it has served or anything like that. I will
simply note, that there is a deep need in humans to have explanations
for things which can never be proven; and how "misery loves company".
If you can't prove your faith or that your holy man or 'god' even exists,
then there is a deep psychological need to hang around others who
share your views. Also if you can 'convert' others to your point of view,
then that 'demonstrates the truth' of your way.. and this brings further
comfort. In fact if one could convert every living person in the world
to your religions' point of view, then there would be a 'de-facto' 'truth'
and the fact there is not one drop of validity to any of it would stop
This link is interesting: World Religious Statistics
Simple math says that monotheistic beliefs have converted 46.44% of humanity
to a consensual point of view, that there is "one god". 46.44% of humanity
believes that there is one 'god' and I don't think that many of us would disagree
that this mass effort to fill this deep need to find something in nothing
has done anything positive. We live on the brink of total destruction of
our ecosystem and world. Perhaps a different type of thinking is indicated?
Ok a few words about spirituality. This paragraph from the Wikipedia reference
above is surprisingly effective at defining the gist of it:
"The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where
"the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.The use of the term "spirituality" has
changed throughout the ages. In modern times spirituality is often separated from Abrahamic religions, and connotes a blend of humanistic psychology
with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development. The notion of "spiritual
experience" plays an important role in modern spirituality, but has a relatively recent origin."
To this I'd say that many 'spiritual people' whom I've met or conversed with,
are seeking meaning and are seeking what is 'real', in particular the 'core
reality' of their own being and such matters as 'life after death' and modern
concepts of 'creating your own reality'. A more recent addition to spirituality
is mixing in fanciful stories about aliens. This has become surprisingly popular
as you get all the benefits of talking about angels/demons/spirits while not
invoking religion or sounding quite as bat# crazy.
Well here's the issue with spirituality from my perspective; its every bit as much
about the fear of death and the need for solid answers when none are possible,
just like with religion. In addition, if anything, its almost worse than religion,
as at least with religion you might have all your nonsense condensed down to
one book. With spirituality you can have cat-aliens from Atlantis waging a
war with Orion-Demons from the underworld and you can have 50 different,
contradictory books involved. However most spiritual people don't define
'god' as some monster who eats people for eternity. So I tend to overlook
the colorful beliefs. You might find love and compassion in a spiritual
person, without all the terrible dehumanizing baggage.
In fact a truly SINCERE seeker of spiritual truth may start to discard
all the garbage beliefs of the master control system and actually find
freedom. It's dang hard, but it does happen.
A quick summary about both religion and spirituality:
One's personal sense of stability is based upon maintaining that
various ridiculous, improvable and contradicting concepts which
arose in some other humans mind (a 2000 year old shepherd say,
or a new age confidence man) are actually true. It takes an
enormous amount of personal brain energy to keep this mountainous
pile of cards from collapsing. And really few of those concepts
lead to wisdom, happiness, or a way forward for the human race.
In fact most of these concepts are part of an exotic control system
which is driving the human race to utmost destruction.
Wouldn't it be interesting to discover who/what is behind that
master control system? That certainly is a worthy goal. But
before we can do that, we need to free up some more minds
from 'the matrix'. Wouldn't it be nice if that were possible?
I'll discuss Mysticism, both beginning, intermediate and advanced
in conjunction with Liminality in the next post.. this one ran long.
And yes, I know that I've insulted many people as usual.. so take
these words in any manner you wish.. but some people have asked
me to post these words, so here they are..