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Beyond Belief: Taking Spirituality Seriously

Posted Dec. 6, 2013 by dustproduction in Open

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commented on Aug. 30, 2014
by SufferingServant

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19

Many have argued that the world's problems may be ultimately 'spiritual' in nature, and much of the population, atheists and believers alike, claim to have a spiritual dimension to their lives. But what do we really mean by the spiritual?

A major new series rethinking the cultural and social value of spirituality, with speakers to include Madeleine Bunting, Robert Rowland Smith, Elizabeth Oldfield and Jonathan Rowson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyQILTtDUos&feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs

  • 19 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    SufferingServant Aug 30, 2014

    Corrected:
    I am fully aware I am not or well ever be 'ultimately true', I know I can always only be partially-true *at best*. This is what humbles me.

  • Anonymous Icon

    SufferingServant Aug 30, 2014

    Ah yes. It is important to be humbled - lest your 'selfish ego' grow to large and narcissism is developed.

    People often consider me to have a large ego, but I don't believe I do. I've been humbled in my ineptitude repeatedly. To be humbled I think can push us towards not sharing our experiences though. We don't wish to share what we know if we believe we don't really know anything, even if we know we know more than another individual. The logic may seem odd, or even counter-intuitive to other things I say, but I don't believe it is odd or counter-intuitive.

    I am fully aware I am not or well ever be 'ultimately true', I know I can always only be partially-true. This is what humbles me.

    Though, I believe I can 'see' what is ultimately true. Not that I believe I can 'see' the entire ultimate truth, but that I can see the 'big picture' and in doing so I can see how the smaller pictures fit into the big picture.

    In other words, I'm feel that I'm simultaneously humble and prideful. Humbled in that I know I can never be ultimately true, prideful in that I'm confident in my capacity to discern what is true - because I can 'see' what is ultimately true (but know I cannot fully comprehend it).

    Seems strange, I know. But if I wasn't prideful, I would only be humble and alas I wouldn't share anything at all in my humility.

    If I don't see how a small picture fits into the big picture, I readily admit it. But when I do, I'm compelled to be confident in my expression of truth.

    Thanks again for sharing :-)

  • Anonymous Icon

    listening Aug 30, 2014

    I agree with you, SuSe that it is a natural desire to share our discoveries and experiences,especially for those who "know"--an important part of bringing beings together.

    I guess that adage I quoted about "those who know don't write" was only to remind myself to be humble and remember always that I don't have the whole answer to anything, and maybe I'm totally wrong.

  • Anonymous Icon

    SufferingServant Aug 30, 2014

    Beautiful words again, listening. Thank you for sharing!

    I agree with you mostly, except I don't agree with this: "Those who write don't know. Those who know don't write"

    I do agree it is most often true, but don't agree that it is always true.

    I believe one you are 'awakened' or 'enlightened' to the 'truth', eventually you should be compelled to share that truth, just as you are. But, we must also realize words can only be partially truths. A book can lead to 'the Ultimate truth', but they words are only partially true at best. Perfection is a journey followed by inward reflection on what you learned, have learned, and will learn. Then followed by outward confirmation, and again by inward reflection.

    Many people in the past have understood the 'truth' and wrote it down in metaphors built on metaphors. Just because we don't always understand the metaphors doesn't mean they aren't 'true'. It just means we still have a journey ahead of us.

    I disagree that must always focus on 'letting go'. Once we are spiritually awakened, we must eventually let go of our selfish desires to keep this information to ourselves. We should be compelled to swim against the tide, to share with others even though we know there will be resistance.

    It's kind of like Nirvana in Buddhism. I believe it's selfish to want to hold on to the state of Nirvana and stay there. I believe we should aim to bring others to Nirvana, and in doing so we move down one path to the 'state beyond Nirvana'. Some call this next state the Holy Grail, or the Philosophers Stone. We can only reach this by descending from 'self' and then after a few steps ascending to a new self. This new self is 'old self' merged with 'all'. To help yourself is to also help 'all'. To help 'all' is to also help your 'self'.

    Hope that makes some sense, hah. Typing all of this on my phone so please forgive any autocorrections.

  • Anonymous Icon

    listening Aug 30, 2014

    In my humble experience--words, languages, concepts, expectations, desires, and actively holding onto particular explanations or analyses--these are obstacles, pointers perhaps, but not pathways toward spirituality/consciousness/awareness. Awareness is more about letting go than holding on. The more we hold onto this small physical part and all that it has experienced in this one meager lifetime (actually the fraction processed and remembered and mistakenly processed and mis-remembered) and all this "individual/islanded" mind thinks it knows, the less we are able to become aware of the greater whole.

    Words really are an obstacle. I hope mine are taken in the spirit in which I offer them. Perhaps connecting with whole-consciousness/awareness is more like learning to ride a bicycle than knowing how to build a bike or explaining the dynamics of balance and movement. Ultimately you have to get on the seat and find your own balance. No amount of talking to you about how it works really helps, especially not while you are teetering and trying. You just remain calm and get on the seat again and again. As for the value of what others said long ago? If they purportedly rode bikes successfully, then I am reassured to keep working toward the experience, too.

    I am always reminded when I share anything about matters of Spirituality/Awareness/Consciousness, the old saying, "Those who write don't know. Those who know don't write".

    And yet I write. These characters/letters on the screen don't show the hesitation or the humility that one feels at addressing such a profound topic. I do so because I may have a tiny piece of a puzzle to add, and I am drawn to connecting with you all in that "field of awareness", and akin to when I often feel the presence of the person calling me on the phone before it rings I feel you here/there.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 29, 2014

    Re: "what they are trying to do is come off as profound and wise while simultaneously absolving themselves of any responsibility for actually tackling those problems"

    So we invented praying, asking a higher power to act on our behalf.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 30, 2014

    Re: In older languages like hebrew and sanscrit single words had blended concepts. For example 'dharma' refers to 'knowledge/understanding of all phenomena' . There is no single words in English that have such broad meaning.

    Interesting to note that only in matters for which there is no evidence, like spirituality, do we care about what people did thousands of years ago. And even in this things we do not attempt to understand them from a historical perspective, but rather a modern memetic one.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 19, 2013

    I'm not sure the reply answers the question of "to what end" we must be in acceptance of the things, "that are beyond our limited understanding."
    By "accept" do you mean place "belief in?"

    Let me make this analogy. People today make the claim that we need to save the planet, but the planet is beyond our limited control, and more to the point it will take care of itself as it has for a billion or more years. What they mean to say is that we need to save the conditions that allow us, humankind, to survive in this planet. We need to save ourself, not the planet.

    And BTW: did you listen to the discussion?

  • bestearth Dec 18, 2013

    To what end? There is a star a zillion millions across space. We may know it's is there but what difference does that star make to you in your daily physical existence for the relatively brief time you are here to experience it? If these things are beyond our limited understanding, why are we even attempting to discuss them?

    That star is a miracle and that makes a world of difference. English is the worst language in the world to have a discussion of a spiritual nature. It is an alpha-numerically reversed version of Hebrew. A backwords language that detunes the human instrument making it very hard for most of its users to feel connected to creation. I agree with Len Horowitz. I felt this all along and now I know why.

    In older languages like hebrew and sanscrit single words had blended concepts. For example 'dharma' refers to 'knowledge/understanding of all phenomena' . There is no single words in English that have such broad meaning.

    Those that can feel and have compensated for the crippling effects of this language choose to view life as a miracle. Whereas the disconnected person says that something distant has no effect on anything. The star has no effect? Stars have been one of the most awe inspiring motifs for artists and all great thinkers , the very looking at them requires one to look up and reach out for them. To wonder and feel in awe of creation and to become a creator.

  • mrmathew1963 Dec 18, 2013

    G'day DJA12

    Welcome to IONS DJA12, yes it is good to see others think in & outside the square depending on what kind of reasoning process they use.

    My wife & I haven't watched TV for over six yrs now, miss the docs but not the other mindless rubbish.

    I believe science will prove or disprove everything one day as long as it keeps evolving & doesn't get stuck on one reasoning process. Science & spirituality are the same to me they just use different reasoning processes.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 18, 2013

    re: We have to accept that there are things, such as spirits, that are beyond our limited understanding.

    To what end? There is a star a zillion millions across space. We may know it's is there but what difference does that star make to you in your daily physical existence for the relatively brief time you are here to experience it? If these things are beyond our limited understanding, why are we even attempting to discuss them?

  • DJA12 Dec 18, 2013

    Yesterdai I joined IONS and discovered this Discussion Group. I can't tell you how ecstatic I was to find people who can actually think. I was beginning to believe that most everyone knew more about the latest reality show than the remote viewing program of the military. I chose this because none of the friends and relatives I have ever heard of it. I retired 9-13 and decided since I had time now to write an educational blog
    scienceandspirituality.net . Science is not an enemy. Anyone who says they understand QM is a liar. We have to accept that there are things, such as spirits, that are beyond our limited understanding. Maybe understanding that there is something much greater may detract from our current obsession with material things.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 17, 2013

    Great point, we should be so lucky as to never have to heard it discussed ever again.

    However, there is a definition of spirit that I have referred to before that is not incorporated into what is spiritual: "those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period."

    This seems to be the ancient meaning of the word that has been co-opted by those that were intent on selling religion.

  • NoetPoet Dec 17, 2013

    "The funny thing about "Spirit" is that is cannot be discussed, or even named."

    For something that cannot be discussed or even named, people sure do talk alot about this "Spirit"!

  • frequencytuner Dec 16, 2013

    The funny thing about "Spirit" is that is cannot be discussed, or even named. What we can discuss is the mind, the body, the earth, society and all the things we can effect change upon. "Spirit", however, is an experience beyond words aside from pale allegories and metaphors. It is like water. Imagine a bowl of water. Every thought that the mind grasps at is likened to poking a finger into the water. This causes ripples and distorts the clarity and calmness of the water for a while. The more we talk about it, the harder it is to understand. The more we try and 'know' about it, the less we can comprehend. The more we think about it, the harder it is to experience.

    The Beatles said it best: "Let it be".

  • NoetPoet Dec 16, 2013

    "Spirituality", "consciousness", "quantum", all of these make fine ingredients for any word salad.

    I suspect that when people say the world's problems are ultimately "spiritual" in nature, what they are trying to do is come off as profound and wise while simultaneously absolving themselves of any responsibility for actually tackling those problems in a realistic effective manner.

    When people say they have a "spiritual dimension" to their lives it usually means that they like to feel warm, fuzzy and personally significant from time to time.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 13, 2013

    How odd that a serious discussion regarding spirituality is not taken seriously.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 07, 2013

    Not wanting this discussion to drop down to far before others had the chance to see it.
    Like the word consciousness, the word spirit can refer to ideas and concepts that are very different, bth in the subjective sense and the objective sense; yin and yang.

    Many comment about their subjective spiritual sense, but might only notice an objective spirit of others in the negative sense. But this is both context and perception driven.

  • frequencytuner Dec 06, 2013

    I regularly bring all topics and discussions back to the concept of yin and yang, and for a good reason that this topic speaks to directly. If we consider spirit being the unmanifest, potential, wave-like matrix that underlies material reality, matter would be then the manifest, actual particles that constitute and form the concept of material reality. To take this one step further, consider the difference between 'reality', a video and a picture. Which one of these is truly fluid? The picture is but a single moment captured, a video is a series of consecutive moments captured and 'reality' is the fluid dynamic of the eternal process of change and evolution. One point to emphasize here is that the picture and video are strictly visual while the perception of 'reality' is dictated by all 5 senses.

    That being said, beyond material, physical reality, which is like the fish caught and plucked form the stream, lies the stream itself which all of this 'reality' springs forth from: spirit. It is like how consciousness does not need thought to exist, but thought needs consciousness to bring it into existence. In this light we understand that a fish plucked from a river with a deformity or disease must have obtained this condition from the water or something in the water. This water, or spirit, if it is tainted, will manifest physically in the same manner as a deformed fish from a toxic river. This "spiritual dimension" is more like the canvas, ink and artist while the material universe is the art: concepts to ponder.

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