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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

    Default Spirituality

    We have had a lot of great conversation about religion this OT week. Can we talk about spirituality? Of course, spirituality often goes along with religion, but you certainly can be spiritual and work on developing a spiritual life without religion. Wikipedia defines spirituality as:

    Spirituality is the concept of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality;[1] an inner pathenabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the "deepest values and meanings by which people live."[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer andcontemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life. Spiritual experiences can include being connected to a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; joining with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divinerealm.[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
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    8,013

    Default

    I would say I am spiritual but not religious. I am trying to broaden my horizons and educate myself on what different religions believe and have to offer, but I don't go to church, don't worship a diety, and have a hard time reconciling religion vs. science.

    I will say that I am in awe of nature, love all creatures (ok, except potato bugs that give me the heebie jeebies like nothing else), have had some psychic experiences, think I believe in reincarnation, spend time meditating, and believe in ghosts or messages from beyond.

    I just have a hard time with the whole "organized religion" thing. I appreciate that people believe and give their lives to God and find comfort in that. Heck, I'd love to have something that gave me comfort and made me feel secure or led me on a path.

    I think the idea of heaven is great and I've read a few books about near-death experiences that make me think, Why not? Sounds good to me!

    I try to live my life as a good person. I don't cheat. I don't tell big whopper lies (only little ones meant to not hurt someone's feelings). I don't kick puppies or small children. I volunteer and donate money. I hold the door open for old ladies. I say please and thank you. I am a good neighbor. I don't know if subscribing to a religion would make me into a better person or not.

    I think also what I struggle with is "why am I here?" Am I more than just a living organism that goes through a life cycle, or is there a greater purpose? Still trying to figure that one out...if there is a god and he does have a plan for me, I'd like to know what it is, because so far I'm just going with the flow...
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    6,901

    Default

    I don't understand why we need more than the real world; it is full of wonder and inspiration and joy. If you need to go around inventing imaginary "spiritual" realms, perhaps you aren't looking closely enough at the real world? have you studied the marvel that is a snowflake? really thought about what it means that the earth is whizzing at a tremendous speed through space? watched an insect or bird engage in utterly inhumane, but very beautiful, behaviors and wondered as to what was going on inside the creature's thought processes? picked up a book on quantum physics and had your mind utterly blown?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2007
    Location
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Posts
    1,330

    Default

    I believe spirituality can be defined as anything that elevates the human spirit. So Wendy what you are writing about, marveling at the world around us, is my source of spiritual nourishment.
    www.ctannerjensen.com
    http://ctannerjensen.blogspot.com/
    Equine Art capturing the essence of the grace,strength, and beauty of the Sport Horse."


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,085

    Default

    I think I would put myself in the "spiritual" category as well. I was baptized and confirmed Episcopalian, but there is so much about Christianity I don't buy. I love Christmas, but I love it for the wrong reasons...well, wrong according to Christians.

    I pray. To who, or what, I really don't know. I don't think it matters. I'm really not so sure that there's a hell. I do think there's a heaven, and that there's more than one way to get there.

    I think, that like Wendy said, if we look at the tangible world around us we can really be amazed. The fact that a person can dream up a piece of music that's never been heard of or imagined before is incredible, and enough proof for me that there is a god, or something that drives all this.

    And finally, I think that humans are basically good. Sometimes it's hard to believe that when we hear about all the violence that goes on...but I think that kindnesses occur much more often. We just don't hear about them.
    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    9,989

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I don't understand why we need more than the real world; it is full of wonder and inspiration and joy. If you need to go around inventing imaginary "spiritual" realms, perhaps you aren't looking closely enough at the real world? have you studied the marvel that is a snowflake? really thought about what it means that the earth is whizzing at a tremendous speed through space? watched an insect or bird engage in utterly inhumane, but very beautiful, behaviors and wondered as to what was going on inside the creature's thought processes? picked up a book on quantum physics and had your mind utterly blown?
    I think you need to read EqT's para describing spirituality again.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,488

    Default

    Humans are the only creatures on Earth with a demonstrated ability to see that which is not.

    This ability to "imagine" or "visualize" has permitted the COTH Forum to exist. It also lead to the development of the wheel, the domestication of animals and plants, powered flight, etc. And, of course, nuclear weapons, Ponzi schemes, concentration camps, etc .

    Historically, most "spiritual" writing and action addresses physical questions. Why does it rain or not rain? If we dance enough or sacrifice enough or pray enough will that make rain? Or stop rain? If we pitch a virgin into the volcano every year will that prevent eruption? If we kill a sheep before a battle will that cause some deity to intervene? If we cut the heart of a human and let the blood run down the steps of the sacred pyramid will that guarantee a bountiful harvest?

    The Renaissance and the rise of science (at least in the West) turned "spiritual" inquiry away from the purely physical and towards more ethereal matters.

    Whether or not a "spirit world" exists is but one question. Assuming that it does then what impact, if any, does it have on the material world? If there is an impact then we must ask what, if anything, we humans can do to increase or mitigate that impact?

    For me, I guess the second question is the critical one. If there is no impact by non-corporeal beings on us humans then what does it matter if they do or do not exist? If they can't influence us then why would we spend any assets trying to influence them? Unless and until I see some evidence of that impact I'm pretty skeptical.

    One way that the "spirit world" does impact us is when someone develops a believe in a spiritual entity or doctrine and then convinces others to share that belief and act on that sharing. This really does not answer the second question. It does explain one way of "spiritual intervention."

    Needless to say the local parish priest often despairs of my salvation.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    ....in a classroom in Fl, by the ocean
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    3,677

    Default

    I believe in the power of energy, the power of positive thinking, I believe in the idea of the Golden and Silver Rules. I believe in jingles.

    I think that some people believe what they want to believe and see what they want to see.

    Example.

    My father found a good sized rock (about the size of a soccer ball) out in a wooded area in Maine. It has some wear and tear on it, as this area in Maine has lots of glacier deposits. On this rock, he "sees" the Virgin Mary. He had found this rock after beating cancer. When I look at this rock I see a figure with a hood and cloak on. I tease him and tell him its the grim reaper.

    Neither of us are religious, he more so than I.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,593

    Default

    Maybe I am just jaded with major religion but I feel as if religion and spirituality are almost mutually exclusive. Religion is so divisive where spirituality is all encompassing. I am very spiritual and see the world as my church so obviously the whole world is welcome there.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,300

    Default

    I use organized religion (the more organized, the better; about the only form of Protestantism I can stand is High Anglican) mostly because on the spiritual end, I generally only feel 'spiritual' when not being irritated by the presence of human beings and without an external motivation for it (ie Catholic rules and philosophy) I would probably be even less tolerant of them than I already am. Catholicism is indeed good for guilting me into committing otherwise pathologically irrational acts of charity, despite having a deeper belief in ghosts than literal God or the goodness of mankind. (I've seen evidence of the former, secondary evidence of the second, and I'm waiting on the third.) It probably helps that Catholicism explicitly does not conflict with things like geologic ages and natural selection, while some of the wackier Christian offshoots do.

    I get a spiritual rush from things like open spaces and wildness, and find more evidence of the supernatural in that than in people.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2006
    Location
    Spooner, WI
    Posts
    2,196

    Default

    I am spiritual. I believe everything is connected and all living things matter.

    My joy soars in the spring when the peepers start. Or watching a flock of snow geese with the sun glimmering off their wings looking like diamonds in the sky. The smell of wood smoke in the deep winter.... muskrats working for winter in my pond. OMG so many things. When people are selfless, sends me to the moon.


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