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Posted Sept. 20, 2013 by Jim Centi in Open

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commented on April 24, 2014
by dustproduction



In my opinion, the distinction between spirituality and religion follows:

Most religions are based on writings or talks of one individual who has experienced a reality existing apart from the physical reality, often referred to as the spiritual reality.

Followers of that individual then establish a religion based on their interpretations of the writings or talks of that one individual. It is these numerous interpretations that create a variety of religions. Some religions, such as Christianity, dictate rules of behavior that if followed promise an experience of the spiritual reality in the afterlife.

Here, the distinction between religion and spirituality becomes blurred. There are traditions that promise an experience of the spiritual reality in this life. They recommend certain practices such as meditation or yoga in order to experience the spiritual reality. Examples would be Buddhism, Hinduism and Theosophy. These traditions are often referred to as religions, but in my opinion, they would be more appropriately referred to as spiritual traditions.

This is where the distinction between spirituality and religion becomes further blurred. There are levels of spiritual traditions. On one level, individuals following a particular spiritual tradition often worship a deity or deities.

Attainment of the spiritual reality in this life has been referred to as Cosmic Consciousness, Unity Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, Universal Mind, Unity Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, God Consciousness, The Great Awakening, Spiritual Enlightenment, Oneness with the Universe and the state of Oneness etc.

It is extremely rare that this state is permanent; it can be experienced for only an instant, for a few minutes or hours, it can even be experienced during sleep. The state provides the experience of “direct knowing” as opposed to conceptual understanding. There are simple thought experiments not directly related to spirituality that can produce degrees of the state. I’m informed that atheists who have no spiritual training have experienced the state.

Once this state is experienced, regardless of how it is experienced, individuals experience affinity with a domain beyond “normal” human consciousness. It has been interestingly proposed that this state represents the evolution of human consciousness by comparing it to color vision which did not spontaneously appear in our species, but very gradually through the appearance subtle shades of color appearing first in various individuals.

Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell founded IONS as a result of his experience of this state when in space. He uses the terms Epiphany, Samadhi and Satori to discuss his experience. His very short videos can be viewed by entering “Edgar Mitchell Videos” in the search engine of this site. It seems appropriate that we know a bit about why IONS sponsors these discussions.

Brief comments or questions are welcome. Please avoid lengthy dissertations.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Apr 24, 2014

    New Age thinkers usually enter the ditch on the other side of the road: They idealize altered states of consciousness and draw specious connections between subjective experience and the spookier theories at the frontiers of physics. Here we are told that the Buddha and other contemplatives anticipated modern cosmology or quantum mechanics and that by transcending the sense of self, a person can realize his identity with the One Mind that gave birth to the cosmos.
    In the end, we are left to choose between pseudo-spirituality and pseudo-science.


    "There is no discrete “I” or ego living like a Minotaur in the labyrinth of the brain. And the feeling that there is—the sense of being perched somewhere behind your eyes, looking out at a world that is separate from yourself—can be altered or entirely extinguished. Although such experiences of “self-transcendence” are generally thought about in religious terms, there is nothing, in principle, irrational about them. From both a scientific and a philosophical point of view, they represent a clearer understanding of the way things are.

    A rational approach to spirituality seems to be what is missing from secularism—and from the lives of most people I meet."


  • Anonymous Icon

    morningsider Apr 23, 2014

    Religion is spoken as a swear word here, if you do this you are showing your ignorance. As a Christian I find that only non Christians Knows what it means to be Christian, religion or more simply put ,faith, is a personal journey that includes spirituality, as God (which is one of His many name's) is Spirit. Religion includes science, but there is more to Life than studying the nuts and bolts and must also be seen as a whole, it is not possible to simply express existence, as we are apart of Him and He is in us.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Apr 20, 2014

    Re: Spirituality is believing in yourself !

    Self in a spirit form? Religion incorporates this as well.
    While consciousness seems to require a sense of self it lacks evidence of a spirit.
    Antonio Damasio writes in his book, "The Feeling of What Happens" "Few things are as sad to watch as the sudden and forced disappearance of the conscious mind in someone who remains alive," which indirectly asks, where would the soul or spirit be?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dolannathan Feb 04, 2014

    I see..... religion is believing in God..... Spirituality is believing in yourself !

  • NoetPoet Jan 27, 2014

    Re: "A reminder to all, I do not respond to the negative comments of SM devotees."


    Spirituality = religion - all the things you don't like about religion + ideas from miscellaneous sources which you personally like.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Robert Johnston Jan 27, 2014

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for your welcome. Yes, it has been two or three years since I've written much for IONS. My dear beautiful wife was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, scoliosis,and temporal mandibular joint disorder and has demanded my caregiving most of 24/7. I am totally committed to giving her as happy a loving environment as I possibly can. Despite the time limits I have managed to squeeze out some time for writing for the Integral Leadership Review (the editor gives me all the space I want :-). I'm back because when brousing a bit a few topics caught my interest. so here I am caught like a fish on baited hooks you folks have cast onto the waters.

    Yours toward expanding mutual respect, empathy, knowledge, compassion, and integral health,

    Warm regards,


  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jan 26, 2014

    @ Robert Johnston

    Hi Bob,

    Seems like it’s been several years: nice to hear from you again.

    Discussions seems to have deteriorated since our last exchanges. I’ve given up posting long topics. I recall on the old site some of my topics received around 500 reads. This new site doesn't reflect the number of reads and rating; only comments.

    I've tried posting a few long topics and the comments were so scant, it seemed to be a futile endeavor.

    One of the problems is that not only is there a bifurcation between devotees of scientific materialism (SM) and spirituality……which brings negative comments from the SM devotees; there are difficulties when an experience of the spiritual domain is transformed into language.

    I intuit that the difficulties in the spiritual exchanges arise because when an affinity with spirituality is translated into language one can appear to be expressing personal beliefs.

    My most succinct comment on spirituality is that we are non-localized spiritual entities having the experience of a human being and everything (we spiritual entities) are interconnected or entangled within the non-local domain. (Quantum Entanglement).

    A reminder to all, I do not respond to the negative comments of SM devotees.

    Bob, my posting to Discussions is infrequent, so please don’t expect an immediate response or ongoing exchange.

    Again Bob, nice to hear from you…..Best wishes…….Jim

  • NoetPoet Jan 26, 2014

    "Religion is the study or comparative analysis of philosophical theories of union with a higher or deeper reality."

    That sounds more like theology than religion.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Robert Johnston Jan 26, 2014

    Hi Jim, the infinite omnipresent spirituality I practice is within and around and interconnects all religions, therefore to me each religion is an option no matter what it is. Yours toward mutual empathy, respect, wisdom, compassion, and integral health . . . individually, socially, ecosystemically, and omniversally, Bob

  • CReal Jan 26, 2014

    Spirituality is embracing or integrating awareness as a dynamic aspect of reality. Religion is the study or comparative analysis of philosophical theories of union with a higher or deeper reality. Spirituality is the second order of affirmation after focusing upon a religious theory that resonates with one's way of life. There is no difference except in the level of personal intellectual absorption. Religious research becomes spiritual reality.

  • Anonymous Icon

    kevala Jan 16, 2014

    It's interesting to see the vast difference in opinion on these terms. It makes me think caution is called for whenever using any of them! Clarification seems necessary for proper communication, given the relatively broad differences.

  • NoetPoet Jan 15, 2014

    Spirituality, religion, magic, superstition, and cult are all synonyms for the same thing.

    "Spirituality" is what we call religion when we personally agree with it.

    "Religion" is what we call it when we don't agree personally with it but have (often grudging) respect for others who do.

    "Magic" is what we call it when we feel threatened by it and/or when we want to make it seem extra special.

    "Superstition" is what we call it when we don't respect it.

    "Cult" is what we call it when it has a small number of dedicated followers and hasn't been around long enough for the (usually considerable) imperfections of its founders to be airbrushed out of the historical record.

  • Anonymous Icon

    kevala Jan 15, 2014

    I see spirituality and religion as qualities and quantities of the same condition. Spirituality is abstractly the seeking of purpose, truth, and attainment within reality, and religion is the consensus practice and abidance of spiritual tenets. An individual has spirituality, and a group has religion when they agree upon certain aspects of each individual's spirituality.

    For instance, Hinduism is a religion. Many different sects of Hinduism exist, and these break down further into regional practices. However, ultimately, the real practice of Hinduism is on an individual level - the Hindu practices that which he or she agrees upon with other followers of his or her religious beliefs, and does so within the framework of his or her personal, internal spirituality.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Espero Jan 14, 2014

    Some information in response to dustproduction's query dated October 17, 2015:
    At the end of 1982 the Church of Scientology was taken over by government agents and became a false spiritual way out, as those upper levels were labelled a security threat.
    At that time a lot of OT3's as they are called came out of the chuch (all the names quoted underneath were at least at this spiritual level).
    At the same time a MLM company was launched by Barry COE (not a scientologist), it's name was Starway and it attracted a lot of people that left the CofS at the time. His deputy was Peter M. Greene who wrote "The Network Marketer's Manual, A Textbook on Multi-Level Marketing". He was a member of L. Ron Hubbard inner circle. His book is highly interesting and enlightning on philosophical matters other than MLM.
    Jarom Garonne who was declared suppressive by the CofS was one of the top guys on the first levels of Starway and did a lot of sponsoring with his workshops "How to make your dreams come true" and was very successful with a big network under him.
    "The Enlightenment" was written by D. Alan Holmes or those workshops (he was also an OT3). On page 3 of that book you can read: In Tribute To : Zeus/ Gautama Siddharta/ Jesus Christ/ L. Ron Hubbard. Unhappily the too innovative Starway MLM enterprise went down the drain because the technology to do a worldwide "internet" connection was not yet feasible at the time.
    A search on these directions in the USA could give some results.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 17, 2013

    Oops, I pasted in the wrong link.

    No, I see nothing here in this story that puts light on anything. I see it to be fiction. The Magic Castle might have a record of who performed on the night in question, until the records were destroyed in their fire. But this is more than likely fiction.

    Here is something to consider from the news:

    DMANISI, Georgia (AP) — The discovery of a 1.8-million-year-old skull of a human ancestor buried under a medieval Georgian village provides a vivid picture of early evolution and indicates our family tree may have fewer branches than some believe, scientists say.

    The fossil is the most complete pre-human skull uncovered. With other partial remains previously found at the rural site, it gives researchers the earliest evidence of human ancestors moving out of Africa and spreading north to the rest of the world, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

    How do we reconcile this news item with the ideas of religion and beliefs in the spiritual is not an invention of humans?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 17, 2013


  • bestearth Oct 17, 2013

    So you liked it then.

    Maybe he didn't get around to it. Maybe this guy knows, he read it too. Ron Van Dyke on "The Enlightenment", a commentary. Richard Bach wrote a famous book "Illusions" on a similar theme.


    Also try silverlegion.com and read the transcripts of conversations between Tanaath, Drake and Sunfire. About this stage here "planet earth". And what's going on in space and other dimensions.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 17, 2013

    Thank you for taking the time to share the link. The last name is "Holmes," and the search under "Jones" as in D Alan Jones, which was the original suggestion, was of no help.

    I immediately encountered the same trouble as a person named "Needlenight" on the internet did in trying to research Mr Holmes:

    "Does anyone know the author?(D. Alan Holmes)
    II have found a "first edition" of the book. In the end of this version he writes: "Comming soon: The Enlightenment Part 1 - A Handbook on Immortality". Suggesting that this was meant to be a series. He also wrote in the beginning of this edition: "This book represents a literary preview of the motion picture "The Enlightenment".

    However, I have had no luck finding anything online about Part 1, or a movie connected to this book (The one I posted in the OP was Part 0).

    Also I have not been able to find anything on the author at all, I only found the book for sale on Amazon for a price of $198,98
    Small fun fact, I also noticed the book has 198 pages and was published in 1982.(198 repeats itself alot when you research this book, fun coincidence at least)

    The only names I have found other than the authers are the following.
    Charles Wildbank - He made the artwork for the book
    Richard Bach - In the other edition I found of the book, it says: "Special Affection to Richard Bach".
    Jarome Garonne - Again:"Special Thanks and Acknowledgement to my friend and fellow truth seeker, Jarom Garonne. Without his support and inspiration this book would not exist."

    Charles Wildbank:
    Here is a website to the only artist, named Charles Wildbank, that I have been able to find.
    I can not know for sure, that this is the Charles Wildbank mentioned in the book. Probably a long shot, but I wrote him a mail asking if he knew a D. Alan Holmes.
    No reply yet.

    Richard Bach:
    Same thing as Wildbank, send a mail asking if he knew the author.
    This Richard Bach claims to be the descendant Johann Sebastian Bach(Probably not important, but fun fact)
    Again, I can not know for sure that this is the Richard Bach mentioned in the book.

    Jarome Garonne:
    Does not exist on the internet what so ever. The following is all I have on him(from the book):
    "This book is originally printed and published by D. Alan Holmes, as a textbook for "How to make your dreams come true" workshops by Jarom Garonne of Los Angeles, California."


    Does anyone have any ideas, on where to go from here? I would really like to know if the next book in the series exists."

  • bestearth Oct 17, 2013

    Here you go, this little book can be read in one sitting..


  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 14, 2013

    RE: 'The Enlightenment' by D Alan Jones

    Link please! If it is available, and you want people to find this obscure tidbit, please, provide a link to it.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 13, 2013

    G'day bestearth

    Thanks for the info, will have to take a peek.

    I've been in certain conscious states that I felt like we are going home & once we get their we will realise nothing that we have experienced was a big deal, it is like all our lives took a split second to experience which makes sense when we talk about realities of no time. I have also felt realities like this one are experiments of a kind however I still don't believe realities like this one are an illusion. The real illusion is thinking this is all we are, this is only a tiny part of who we are but it still doesn't make it an illusion nit that it would worry me if it was.

  • bestearth Oct 13, 2013

    Hi Mathew,

    You may like 'The Enlightenment' by D Alan Jones available as a free pdf on the internet. It may answer some questions about illusions. i find myself in agreement with D Alan Jones. It made sense to me.

    The idea that we had to squash ourselves into a little body to be here, formerly we were the size of stars and played out there. There's rules to this 'illusion' the main one..You must have no memory of who you are, your prehistory. There is a good reason for it, that way the game is convincing, our bodies are sensation amplifiers, pain amplified, pleasure amplified, feelings amplified. We learn the consequesces of our actions and thoughts through the feedback of sensations.

    Why? I think that there's an experiment going on here ever since the human body was created as a new game, someones pet illusion. The game was so enjoyable,alluring, so intense that souls kept wanting to ride again and over eons forgot what they had been. Fell into a deep trance, became enarmoured with physical life. When their body died or was killed their soul felt lost out there no longer knew what to do. Even trickster beings were there to greet them in the form they could accept, the saviour of their choice and the 'karmic administrators' would convince the individual that he needed to go back and resolve the unresolved. And so back we go. The people who are waking up now haven't been here long enough to be called a 'Terran', a local. they are incarnates who are waking up first. There are many incarnates here.

    From a higher level also another reason may be to see what kind of being could be produced from an intense learning environment with extrordinary diversity and adversity available to experience. At the end of the cycle a deeply wise, richly experienced and capable being may emege from the furnace here...planet earth, Gaia. And then be capable of joining an advanced community of worlds, reunited with long lost cousins from other parts. And ready for the next adventure all made possible by the unfathomable one ,The Creator, whom they all acknowledge with reverence, no matter how advanced they are. The creators mind is something astonishing, it makes me wonder. Cheers.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 12, 2013

    G'day dustproduction

    I have a rigid (dogmatic) belief that I'm here right now as a human being but to others where not here at all because all this is an illusion which I understand but don't fully believe. Any energy form that vibrates in what ever way exists therefore cannot be an illusion, we are just not all we think we are which is another thing I rigidly believe.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 12, 2013

    Re: "individual with rigid beliefs"

    Who here thinks they do not have "rigid beliefs?" Raise your hand.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 10, 2013

    @ Jim

    No worries Jim. My post was just what was on my mind and with no one in mind. One Sundy morning in a little country church just one old farmer showed up and sat at the back. The preacher stared in on his sermon and after three and a half hours he finally ended and afterwards walked back to greet the farmer. The preacher ask the farmer how he liked the sermon. The farmer replied " Well preacher its like this if I go out to feed my cattle and just one old cow shows up I don't dump out the whole load."

    For me spirituality is better in many ways then a lot of vain, false and misleading religions preachers. When a person follows the light that everyone has within they are more than likely going in a good direction. We all need some help however and garnishing wisdom from the humble and as the scriptures say the weak things of the world will help us more then a football stadium full of prideful preachers.
    A long time ago some churches wanted to promote modesty by having young people boys and girls swim in the swimming pool at different times.

    One Sunday the preacher was preaching against "mixed bathing". Said he " I went by the city swimming pool and there they were the boys and the girls swimming on the same end of the pool. It was real bad. Those girls didn't have enough clothes on to wad a shotgun with, I have seen more cotton stuffed in the top of an aspirin bottle then what those girls had on. One of the deacons sitting on the front row raised his hand and ask "preacher what did the boys have on?" The preacher replied " you know I never noticed"

    Make a good day Jim

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Oct 10, 2013


    Hi Bill,

    I don’t know if your comment is directed to me, but I suspect that it was.

    I look for what I recognize to be truth wherever I find it. There was a time when I had a file which contained only the quotes of Jesus, but I can’t find it now. Here is one of my favorites:

    “When Jesus was demanded by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke: 20 and 21

    My comment was made after I scanned the topic and noticed the several exchanges between you and Dustproduction and it seemed like a few of Dustproductions comments reflected contempt for religion. One of his comments that reflected this was “How much of this rhetoric description of religion is a western white male point of view?”

    My comment was intended only as humor to break up an exchange between a spiritual individual such as you and an individual with rigid beliefs which have not changed since I stopped posting to Discussions over a year ago.

    If indeed your comment was directed at me, I apologize and hope that you will eventually recognize who I am and in the spirit of Jesus, someday forgive me.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 10, 2013

    It is easy to forget our history if we don't study it. And If we fail to remember our past then we surly are bound to repeat it. Not all truth is found in the Bible, however for those who have never read it or studied it does give a lot of wisdom and warnings for those who tend to repeat the past. For the novice the Bible is a good place to start.

    I fine there are few people who want the read the Bible to gain wisdom but read to find faults and errors. Can a person be spiritual and read the Bible? The answer should be self evident. Can a Muslin be spiritual and still go to the Mosque to say his prayers every Friday? That also should be self evident. The definition of spirituality may be one open for discussion. It is difficult to know what is in a persons mind and heart by just reading a few post here.

  • mrmathew1963 Oct 09, 2013

    G'day Jim

    Good for you mate, the egos a touchy little human trait indeed!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Oct 09, 2013

    Billgreengeans and Dustproduction,

    I hope you two don’t mind, but I would like to step between you and tell a short story.

    In a small southern town there was a preacher who preached with the fire and brimstone that some preachers do.

    He began to scream loud, over and over “Everything you want to know is in the bible! Everything you want to know is in the bible!”

    When he paused for a moment to catch his breath, a woman in the back raised her hand and asked with a trembling voice “Reverend, what does the bible say about PMS?”

    This caught the minister somewhat off guard and he paused and thought for a moment finally, he said “Yes it does, it says that Mary rode Joseph’s ass all the way to Bethlehem!”

    Lighten up you two. Bill, remember your words to the effect that it’s all a game.

    Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. Whoever wrote this song was somewhat enlightened and teaching us as children.

    Dusty, I don't need to know who wrote it!

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 09, 2013

    I know you haven't read it. And your right David didn't take Mary to Bethlehem. It was Joseph who took his wife Mary to Bethlehem. Caught lying again.

    The law of Moses is the bases for the Jurisprudence of Great Britton and most of the USA. After you read the Bible, read Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 09, 2013

    And it would follow that you then believe the bible was written through divine guidance as well and is the absolute word of God.
    What makes you believe I have not read the bible? Historical scholars have drawn into question the historical accuracy of the details of the new testament. i.e. David needing to take Mary to Bethlehem to be taxed is an unfounded, and is a distortion made to fit the prophecies of the old testament. The fact that only certain "gospel" are included, and others that provided alternative details or interpretation on the life of Jesus, into what is now considered the bible needs explanation before I can consider you knowledgable about your own religion.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 08, 2013

    @ dustproduction

    The one historical book of religion that you should start with is the King James Version of the Holy Bible. When you have read and studied that let me know and I forward additional books.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 07, 2013

    Yes, so provide at least one that looks at the historical aspects of religions.
    I will follow with a list of the ones I can refer you to. by Karen Armstrong, Robin Lane Fox, etc.

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 07, 2013

    "Please list any book you have studied that examine the historical nature of religions"

    Why are you planning on studying them yourself?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 05, 2013

    Although 46% of Americans believe that humans were created less than 10,000 years ago according to a Gallup poll, another survey showed that merely 11% of Americans belong to a religion openly rejecting evolution or Big Bang cosmology, so the mainstream religions representing the majority can be a powerful ally against the anti-scientific fundamentalists.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 05, 2013

    Re: "studying religions for a while now"

    Please list any book you have studied that examine the historical nature of religions

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 02, 2013

    In studying religions for a while now, I have concluded that most all religions have as their basic belief what is know in Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim, although not limited to these, as the Ten Commandments. Almost all societies adhere to these rules and almost all western law is based on them. I keep using almost because someone will find an exception some where.

    Why do we have such rules and what has been the benefit or detriment of having this tradition be carried on for a long time, I mean since Moses?

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 02, 2013

    n studying religions for a while now, I have concluded that most all religions have as their basic belief what is know in Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim, although not limited to these, as the Ten Commandments. Almost all societies adhere to these rules and almost all western law is based on them. I keep using almost because someone will find an exception some where.
    Why do we have such rules and what has been the benefit or detriment of having this tradition be carried on for a long time, I mean since Moses?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 01, 2013

    How much of this rhetoric description of religion is a western white male point of view?

  • Billgreenjeans Sep 30, 2013

    In studying religions for a while now, I have concluded that most all religions have as their basic belief what is know in Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim, although not limited to these, as the Ten Commandments. Almost all societies adhere to these rules and almost all western law is based on them. I keep using almost because someone will find an exception some where.
    Why do we have such rules and what has been the benefit or detriment of having this tradition be carried on for a long time, I mean since Moses?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 29, 2013

    Here is the unfinished business that needs to be address. What is SM? When it was questioned here it was stated that "we" had moved on. Since it is resurfacing again, I will repost this. Perhaps it will not be ignored this time.

    Let's tackle this debate head on: What is Scientific Materialism? There is more to it than the oversimplification the commenter has offered us.

    "In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter.

    Many current and recent philosophers—e.g., Daniel Dennett, Willard Van Orman Quine, Donald Davidson, John Rogers Searle, and Jerry Fodor—operate within a broadly physicalist or materialist framework, producing rival accounts of how best to accommodate mind—functionalism, anomalous monism, identity theory, and so on.[10]
    Scientific 'Materialism' is often synonymous with, and has so far been described, as being a reductive materialism. In recent years, Paul and Patricia Churchland have advocated a radically contrasting position (at least, in regards to certain hypotheses); eliminativist materialism holds that some mental phenomena simply do not exist at all, and that talk of those mental phenomena reflects a totally spurious "folk psychology" and Introspection illusion. That is, an eliminative materialist might suggest that a concept like 'belief' simply has no basis in fact - the way folk science speaks of demon-caused illnesses. Reductive materialism being at one end of a continuum (our theories will reduce to facts) and eliminative materialism on the other (certain theories will need to be eliminated in light of new facts), Revisionary materialism is somewhere in the middle.[10]
    Some scientific materialists have been criticized, for example by Noam Chomsky, for failing to provide clear definitions for what constitutes matter, leaving the term 'materialism' without any definite meaning. Chomsky also states that since the concept of matter may be affected by new scientific discoveries, as has happened in the past, scientific materialists are being dogmatic in assuming the opposite.[11]

    10 ^ Jump up to: a b http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/materialism-eliminative/#SpeProFolPsy, by William Ramsey
    11 ^ Jump up to: a b Chomsky, Noam (2000) New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind

    But some modern day physicists and science writers have argued that scientific finds in physics such as quantum mechanics and chaos theory have disproven materialism.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Sep 24, 2013

    Universal Physics Truth wise:

    "Spirit" moves ...away from... the Core. (Because it is the *dream* of life.)

    "Soul" moves ...toward... the Core. (Because it is the *truth* of life.)

    "Religion" is a journey, among others, that tries to represent both, but more often than not becomes such a "comfort zone" that it then becomes a stopping ground, a stalemate, where its adherents get so lost and addicted to the perceived security of their beliefs (tradition, culture, etc.) that they'll sooner go to war on their behalf than redirect themselves.

    Atheism, as typically experienced by convention, gives people who question religion, or vehemently "hate" or are suspicious of religion, and everything in between, a place to go to express themselves, but they don't know anything more than religionists do, in terms of Universal Truth.

    An example of a Conscious, realized, highly spirit-ual AND atheist "religion" is Buddhism, because, despite all their beautiful robes and temples, etc., they are actually serious physicists who are Awake to Universal Truth (high lama level), but balance their Awakening with the everyday celebration and dream of life. The Dalai Lama acknowledges their need to project (dream) "enough" to teach it! (Same with myself!)

    You can't live on the Core, but you never truly forget what's there, On(c)e you've been there, and you never venture so far away from it that you can't return. A true Enlightened One returns to it about 10,000 times a day! :).

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 24, 2013

    Do you listen to the talk? The labels are not as important as the distinct differences in the two groups. And this is not to say that the groups are exactly delineated, but there are clear differences in personality types.

  • Billgreenjeans Sep 24, 2013

    The "right wing" "left wing" labels are meaningless now. Maybe freedom loving and slave are more appropriate.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 23, 2013

    There are a number of studies that indicate that liberals are more inclined to be spiritual, while conservatives tend to be religious.
    Jo Haight discusses this in a TEDTalk.

    "It really is a fact that liberals are much higher than conservatives on a major personality trait called openness to experience. People who are high in openness to experience just crave novelty, variety, diversity, new ideas, travel. People low on it like things that are familiar, that are safe and dependable."

    The main researcher of this trait, Robert McCrae says that, "Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views" -- they like a society which is open and changing -- "whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional, right-wing views."


  • mrmathew1963 Sep 20, 2013

    G'day Jim

    There can of course be many similarities however the biggest difference is religion has to relate to an ism where's spirituality doesn't necessarily need such doctrinal ideologies to function.

    Definition of ism:

    : a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
    : an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief

    We can see by just looking at the definition where spirituality differs so much from religion. I believe spirituality is primarily of feelings/emotions where’s religion is primarily of action because of its usually strict doctrines. Bible bashing is a good example of this action & purging is another good example.

    In my mind because spirituality is of feeling & emotions psychology should play a big part because most people who turn to spirituality for salvation or relief usually have psychological issues which can make it awfully hard finding this oneness & peace within themselves. It can also be quite harrowing for the recipient because spirituality does bring forth a lot of psychological problems.

    G’day dustproduction

    Well conversed in my mind but only because I agree with you of course otherwise it wouldn’t be well conversed.....Human nature!!!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 20, 2013

    A belief in spirit communication.
    A belief that the soul continues to exist after the death of the physical body.
    Personal responsibility for life circumstances.
    Even after death it is possible for the soul to learn and improve
    A belief in a God, often referred to as "Infinite Intelligence".
    The natural world considered as an expression of said intelligence.

    Spirituality is a modern day form 'spiritualism,' a religion that was developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-speaking countries. By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe, mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 20, 2013

    The Dalai Lama differentiates rather better:
    "…I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another, an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of metaphysical or supernatural reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or nirvana. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, rituals, prayer and so on. Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit –such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony –which bring happiness to both self and others. While ritual and prayer, along with the questions of nirvana and salvation, are directly connected with religious faith, these inner qualities need not be, however. There is thus no reason why the individual should not develop them, even to a high degree, without recourse to any religious or metaphysical belief system. This is why I sometimes say that religion is something we can perhaps do without. What we cannot do without are these basic spiritual qualities."

    Humanists, and many others such as scientists, would not necessarily want to call those essential human qualities which contribute to the happiness of oneself and others "spiritual". I would prefer to categorize many of the qualities listed by the Dalai Lama as moral or emotional.

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