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What Spirituality Is

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This thread is aiming to discover what spirituality is as opposed to religion and its purpose or advantages, if any.


Stanford University scientists found for instance that feelings of awe can make you a nicer person - less materialistic, more helpful to others (Psychological Science journal).


Self-belief helps people handle abuse better (Study on football referees by Northumbria University psychology department).


This ties in with optimism being an advantage in life, not only for the individual self but society itself (communion and community).


I seem to a remember another study saying it led to a longer life span but I'd need to search through my cuttings to find that, providing I made a note of it: By the way, for optimism also read extroversion.


Awe comes from the new, the unseen revealed. For me that translates as life is magic and death for the soul is disillusionment. From this it could be inferred that pessimism is bad for you - after all an optimist isn't going to kill himself but a depressed pessimist is (Suicide bombers, according to a recent British study were already suicidal before deciding to dedicate theirs deaths to a cause).


For my take on this please visit my Facebook page, under Accumulation / Discharge Cycle as an explanation / diagrammatic form (www.facebook.com/tony.sandy.7/photos_albums)


Oh by the way, I view pessimists as predators (hope assassins) or free radicals in the body, preying on the efforts of others, rather than making any of their own.

Edited by paigetheoracle
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"This thread is aiming to discover what spirituality is as opposed to religion and its purpose or advantages . . . "

That this very question can be asked strongly suggests that existing definitions are unconvincing? And that we may have imagined or defined that idea in considerable error.  And If that is the case, I would agree.  But to begin with, one must ask some rather hard questions of human nature itself. For when looking at current environmental trajectories, with talk of a sixth mass extinction of which our spicies must take responsibility and suffer the consequences, it is difficult to see our species as spiritual at all. No doubt 'Aspiration' would be part of any definition but as my example suggests, we have yet to realize those aspirations to become either sustainable and thus fully moral, except by relative cultural standards, and appear to be heading in the wrong direction to do so. Yet by asking the original question, one must admit . . . we don't know what the right direction is or if we can even realize such a 'state' by any means or measure of our own understanding.


That may be the ultimate paradox of our species. We can imagine the "greater dream of a more rational, more just, a greener and peaceful planet. But those who hoped for a sighting, even a glimpse of the dream coming to fuition, a reflection of human intellectual, moral and spiritual progress have been disappointed. History continues to be written otherwise." would suggest that evolution has fixed some limits to our progress we are unable to yet recognize or untangle. And that may require an ultimate proof to do so!

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