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Can you be a spiritual agnostic?

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36 comments

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8

Yes. I am spiritual. It has NOTHING to do with religion either (as the typical misguided person assumes)

I am Spiritual in the sense that I believe that we all have an inner energy that can be used to radiate love and kindness towards others and being loving to ourselves (even if it's giving ourselves peace and quiet).

...I also believe that energy can run ‘off the rails!’

5

Of course. For example, meditation and mindful living are spiritual practices as are participating in compassionate living and giving and having an attitude of gratitude.


Waaijman discerns four forms of spiritual practices:[115]

  1. Somatic practices, especially deprivation and diminishment. Deprivation aims to purify the body. Diminishment concerns the repulsement of ego-oriented impulses. Examples include fasting and poverty.[115]
  2. Psychological practices, for example meditation.[116]
  3. Social practices. Examples include the practice of obedience and communal ownership, reforming ego-orientedness into other-orientedness.[116]
  4. Spiritual. All practices aim at purifying ego-centeredness, and direct the abilities at the divine reality.[116]

Spiritual practices may include meditation, mindfulness, prayer, the contemplation of sacred texts, ethical development,[98] and spiritual retreats in a convent. Love and/or compassion are often[quantify] described as the mainstay of spiritual development.[98]

Within spirituality is also found "a common emphasis on the value of thoughtfulness, tolerance for breadth and practices and beliefs, and appreciation for the insights of other religious communities, as well as other sources of authority within the social sciences."[117]

From: [en.wikipedia.org]

5

"Spiritual" is a bogus term. In the end it can mean anything you want it to mean.

DenoPenno Level 8 Feb 16, 2019
4

Absolutely. Sam Harris just released a meditation app. They're many atheist Buddhists. I think spiritual values have much to recommend.

Deiter Level 8 Feb 16, 2019

Sam Harris has clarified several times that I have seen that his meditation does not imply spirituality. It is easily explained without spirit but it provides clarity and focus. No spirits required.

@CK-One We're seeing the use of this word in completely different ways. That's not how I use it.

Does meditation equate to spirituality?

@MissKathleen It takes you there – closer, anyway. Meditation or mindfulness – I don't have a meditation practice, tho I'd like to get one – leads us away from the animal impulses, hungers, and anxieties. It clears the way to a higher, more controlled mindedness even if that only means simply muffling some of the chatter. To me, getting out of that animal mode – the evolved brain – is more spiritual. Spiritual is not ego or id. When you're not wallowing in those hungers, when the "you" isn't the center, then you're getting to the realm of spiritual: Effing the ineffable.

I once had to research the differences between the spiritual and the religious for a writing project. What I found was they're completely different. Religion has been traumatized for too long to be of much use to anyone.

@CK-One
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Harris embrace the word spiritual, on more than one occasion. It’s the supernatural that he condemns.

@Deiter I meditate daily, but do not consider myself spiritual.

@MissKathleen You're the Lord of the Manor. Call it whatever.

What do you think spiritual is?

@Deiter no idea...I have no woo-woo.

@skado How can you honestly separate the two? I'm not trying to be glib but I feel like spiritual is rooted in the supernatural and those things that we do not understand. If you are talking about feeling more present, say so. If you feel like you have opened your mind and cleared your thoughts then just say so. Spirituality muddies the water in my opinion and I can't help but see it that way. How do you see spiritual that doesn't include supernatural?

@CK-One
The word spirit is defined in a non-supernatural context as least as often as it is used supernaturally:

  • an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.

  • spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.

  • excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That's the spirit!

  • temper or disposition: meek in spirit.

  • an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.

  • the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.

  • vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.

  • the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter): the spirit of the law.

[dictionary.com]

Sam:

@skado Whoa. You don't play. You bring receipts!

@MissKathleen When I think of "spiritual" I think of it as an ethos or non-materialist value. This may not be how others see it.

Put it this way: Imagine the differences between Donald Trump and Jimmy Carter. Public service can be a spiritual value. Presumably that's what Buddha did and presumably what Jesus way trying to do, though, Paul seems to co-opt Christ's message and turns it into a brand to sell the product of Xtianity.

Acquisition of material wealth, OTOH, I'd say is not a spiritual value. So too when you empty your mind of fears, anxieties, guilts, frustrations through mindfulness or meditation, and distance yourself from the ego. The ego is about acquisition – the opposite of spirituality.

@Deiter it doesn’t matter to me what anyone calls it. I am at peace with who I am.

@skado Thank you for the clarification. I have watched many hours of Sam Harris and hadn't seen these. I appreciate his sentiment, reclaim from the warped meaning it has become but I disagree with the idea that spirituality matches this. I think that spirituality is inexorably linked to supernatural subjects. I'm really irritated by believers saying that atheism is a religion and this just reinforces that falsehood. It is a step backwards. Too much baggage.

In my humble opinion, create a new word that matches your meaning. It would only require some creativity.

@CK-One
I know many people would agree with you, but I don't see that the etymology of the word or the full history of its use back up that claim. How, for example, do the dictionary definitions I listed above link "spirit" to the supernatural? If I say the spirit of the evening was somber, everyone knows exactly what I mean, and no one thinks I'm talking about ghosts. If I use a made up word, no one will know what I'm talking about. I feel the responsibility to get creative lies with the people who are uncomfortable with the existing word. It doesn't bother me.

4

If by spirituality you mean belief in the supernatural, then I would think not. If by spirituality you think, as I do, that nature is a dazzling, miraculous, overwhelmingly beautiful and mysterious realm of which we collectively, as a conscious being are an extension, then yes.

With respect to mythical gods of old I am an atheist. But there is an ultimate reality beyond the reach of our senses which we can not understand with our space/time/matter model. Since we are almost totally ignorant, whatever name you give ultimate reality is nothing but an empty label.

@WilliamFleming Spirituality is not about religion. It's about inner consciousness and awareness of our feelings towards ourselves and others. We create energy that attracts the things we want to receive from people, places, and things.

4

atheism isn't a religion so it hasn't got rules. it has a definition: lack of belief in a deity, or belief in the lack of a deity (people argue about which; i think it's either). the definition is ALL it has. no one excommunicates you from atheism if you consider yourself spiritual. i personally think spirituality is religion light, but i am not the atheist pope, so that's just me. if you feel comfortable not believing in any gods but feeling nontheless that the trees are holy or ghosts are about or your pets cross the rainbow bridge or whatever, i may raise an eyebrow, but what is my raised eyebrow to you (or anyone), right?

g

genessa Level 8 Feb 16, 2019
3

Of course. I don't believe in an invisible omnipotent god; or heaven and hell; I don't believe that my life will be redeemed if I accept Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour, etc. I do, however, believe in an interconnectedness between me and other people, nature, animals. Since this life is the only one I know I have, I want to do right by the world now. That's my spirituality.

GinaKay Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
3

My take on ‘that spiritual feeling.’
I am not quite sure why so many people have that deeply spiritual feeling of connection or oneness, or part of something greater that we don’t understand, I feel it may be due to the fact that we really are connected to the Earth and all living things, which in turn are connected to the universe in a very basic way. I believe it is this, that gave rise to all gods and religions throughout history as a misinterpretation of these feelings. It would explain why gods and/or religious beliefs are so wide spread throughout history globally…

RichieO Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
2

Depends on what you mean by spiritual of course. And everybody is free to choose how they see the word. To me it just refers to attitude, mood, or emotional state, like team spirit, or the spirit of the times, etc. So to me everybody is spiritual, or subject to changing moods or attitudes. Spiritual practices are those which are aimed at taming runaway emotions or destructive attitudes.

skado Level 8 Feb 16, 2019
2

I can't resist posting this:

resserts Level 8 Feb 16, 2019
2

You can be anything you want as long as you don't mind believing things without evidence.

icolan Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
2

You can be a plaid apatosaurus for all I care.

2

if that is your sense of things, you have no choice.

hankster Level 9 Feb 16, 2019
2

Yes.

Frctnal Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
2

Be whatever you like

Amisja Level 8 Feb 16, 2019
1

Sure. Why not?

1

Sure. But true atheists might mock you.

I'm kidding of course. Agnostics inherently are not purist. They're open to multiple possibilities. Atheist principles are usually more black and white where spirituality is concerned but even they are open to others living as they would like. Maybe not for themselves or by definition that might make them a little agnostic.

CK-One Level 6 Feb 16, 2019
1

I see myself as on so yes. There is a tradition of keeping someone "alive" by sharing their memory and I still practice learning my ancestors and teaching my kids lenage to keep the memories of those people that have passed in our family "alive" though I know they are no longer exist. And one day I will find Wakanda and I am the force and the force is within me.

Khetanna Level 4 Feb 16, 2019
1

Yes. You can and happens all the time. Think about Santa clause and the tooth fairy.

Santa Claus does not exist yet it is a personification of the Xmas spirit. And so, god/Jesus are personifications or the spirit representing what we consider good right and fair.

You are an atheist agnostic etc yet, the spirit / idea is still embraced.

1

Quick answer: Yes.
Spirituality is about your relationship with yourself.
No external deity required.

Andy4608 Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
1

I guess.
I'm one.

1

Sure

Marine Level 8 Feb 16, 2019

Hey! You copied my comment! But HA! You forgot the dot! So I win!

@Dietl Great minds think alike.

@Marine I can't argue with that! We are very smart indeed!

@Dietl Yep a few words is always better than a rant!

1

Whatever you think "spiritual" is, its not. It's not going hungry - that's simply physical deprivation, and can be understood by simply physical processes.
On the other side joy, happiness, well being, can also be undertood with nervous and hormonal action.
It certainly ain't "obiedence".
Take a leaf out Aristotle's philosophy. No god not bullshit.

chazwin Level 6 Feb 16, 2019
1

Can I? I suppose I could.

1

Sure.

Dietl Level 7 Feb 16, 2019
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