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Posted with some trepidation: Bill Gates on the Spiritual opportunity given us by the coronavirus.
NOT religious please note, but humanitarian.

NOTE: misascribed to Gates, author unknown but content valuable.

Allamanda 8 Mar 25

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I can’t understand why so many people responding to this post can’t get passed a word.

Make a new one up for yourself so that the message is not lost for you.

Too many things going on in real life to get bogged down with semantics.

And if you are as smart as you think you are you will be able to define the word for other contexts if need be without denigrating the message.

@Allamanda Nah don’t give up. I am very disappointed that people here I thought had some semblance of humanity and understanding are stuck behind this fence of semantic compliance.

Some call Christians sheep. Well, welcome to your own pen!

@Allamanda Don’t give was a good item to post. I’m just disappointed that so many can’t get past the language and therefore miss the message.

@Marionville Come on @Marionville, someone with a vocabulary like you? Are you seriously arguing the one can hold a private definition of words as being superior to the actual linguistic, lexicographic and philological meaning?

@LenHazell53 It wouldn’t have been my choice of words, however, the overall message is in my opinion correct and worth heeding,

@Marionville Well that is your choice, but personally I find it to be the neo-religious waffling of a man with to much money and time on his hands, trying to find a meaning in his stagnant life, that does not involve throwing obscene amounts of money at pet causes.

@LenHazell53 apparently you have little knowledge of Gates, sure he has lots of money, but he is a decent human being, like the rest of us want to be (at least most of us). Where did you find ‘that perfect person?’ Now there is something I am really interested in!

@Freedompath I know enough about the man to agree that yes he is a decent and generous man, I never said he was not. However based on this piece of writing, he has spiritual leanings, something I find not very admirable in a man of his obvious intellect.
No one is perfect, I agree and if I ever found such a thing as a perfect human I imagine it would at best be boring and at worst a mess of impossible contradictions, perfection is such a wooly concept.

@LenHazell53 So the problem boils down to the word ‘spiritual!’ Would you agree that humans have in their personalities a ‘psyche?’ There is much stored there, some is known and there is lots of unknown stuff. That is where I get my idea of spiritual. It is simply a part of our nature that cannot be proven, but when you witness it, in others and one’s self then you know what it is. I still live in this real physical world and I really don’t live in the ‘other world’ either!

"Would you agree that humans have in their personalities a ‘psyche?’ "
No I would not, psyche is a myth, it is simply a Greek euphemism for soul, the soul like god lacks any evidence of it's existence and so can be safely dismissed until such time as evidence is forthcoming. Humans have functioning brains that form personalities based on experience and knowledge, and in some unfortunate cases physical damage.

@LenHazell53 If it works for you, nevermind my musings! Results are everything!


I agree with everything he has said. I cannot understand why most people reading this are so hung up on the word “spiritual “...that is just his choice of word to express that he believes that this present crisis may be the opportunity to reset our compasses and focus our minds on what is really important to the human race...humanity! There is nothing remotely religious about his use of the word spiritual in my opinion, but I do think what he is saying is important, and I’m glad that he is using his vast fortune and fame to try to effect change.

To bad he didn't say it and thus this entire article is fake news. 😟

@TheMiddleWay The message is good no matter who said it.

I can't believe you are defending fake news, especially when the message is fake. 😟

"“In the heat of events yesterday, The Sun online mistakenly published a spoof story which was doing the rounds on email. The story has now been removed. Every day The Sun chooses not to publish hundreds of stories and we apologise for this error."


@Allamanda @Marionville
Sorry but Spiritual has a clearly defined meaning, and in the context of the article as a whole that is the sense in which it is being used.
Much of the piece is new age bull masquerading as pseudo profound hippy twaddle.
You are really trying to defend the intellectually indefensible here, by using the age old theologian trick trick of claiming we old codgers are "misinterpreting" the message.

@LenHazell53 I understand the point you are point is that regardless of whether it was written by Gates, or the Pope...or some mischievous “spoof” reporter, it still has a message that we should give some thought to. I think when this present crisis is over the economies of the world are going to be so screwed up that we may be forced to look at a completely new model, one that is based on humanity and not profit.

@Marionville Had the piece been written in the same concise way that you just put it I would have agreed with it 100%
Well said.


He is a compassionate wise man


Thank you Bill Gates for reminding us that most of us need to better understand the humanity required for living a fulfilled and successful life.


I guess we can choose to understand spirituality as bound at the hip to religion or understand it as the human spirit, a power that can be harnesses for good and bad. Just as Jesus is supposed to have said:

You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God - John 3:8.

These days, we understand these things in paradigm shifts and I was just reading George Monbiot write about a possible complete change of perspective when you posted this one by Bill Gates. It will take a new shared spirit to reach the tipping point necessary to bring in a new world. It certainly sounds religious but that’s because all humans, religious or not, have a spirit that can aspire to a better way.

Ignorance prevailed back then, we now have "an idea" where the wind comes from and where it's headed next.

Now if believers can just prove that a spirit exists, that would be fantastic.

"'Born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God", ...that is just funny.


Works for me, and you’ll see who understands it by those who get bent out of shape or horrified or affronted by the word spiritual.

For the lack of a universal word to explain it get over it and embrace it. At this time religious or non-religious connotations are irrelevant.

And if one doesn’t get it they are being incredibly obtuse, pedantic or have had no worldly experience.

I will now pass the soap box over to the next speaker!

There is no lack of words to use instead of spiritual. Humanism. Kindness. Community. Care. Concern. We're all in this together. And on and on and on. I'm not bent out of shape. This is far better than full blown religious stuff or the way out new agey stuff. But, I would personally much rather the word spiritual be ditched.


Required reading! 🙂

@Allamanda Whether he said it or not, it is worth saying.

@Allamanda The person who said it is secondary. The primary thing is the message itself. 🙂

@Allamanda Doesnt matter who said it, it was said!



I disagree. Making it sound like Bill Gates said it automatically gives it a patina of respectability and gravitas. Had this been said by joe shmoo (as it appears it was), then it's just another opinion among million. Sure, it may be an opinion you already agree upon... but the only reason we read it is because it supposed to come from Gates. 😉


I've said before and will say again that "spiritual" can mean almost anything that you want it to mean.

Then why doesn't one just say what they want it to mean in the first place? We have thoughts, philosophy, love, meditation, hope, etc. "Spiritual" really essentially means "magic" or "unseen forces" to most people, no matter how rationalizing it is being performed in its defense. There is so much incredible complexity and beauty in everything from entire galaxies down to little plants, motes of dust and atoms. There is no need to add magical words to it.

@Observer-Effect Exactly.


And so it begins, in time of crisis people who at other times would not even have entertained such ideas start clutching at straws, seeking meaning and reason in perfectly natural events over which we as species have no control.
The pathetic cowardice that leads to such arrogance never ceases to amaze me.

@Allamanda Words have meaning, if you decide you can personally define any word to mean whatever you want it to mean, there is no common frame of reference and so language may as well not exist.

@Allamanda Language has been my life since the age of 8 when I was diagnosed as dyslexic, words have history, roots and meanings. I am afraid you you are the one who cannot grasp that, and why you are thus the one being called upon it by all us "old codgers" who actually do know what we are talking about.
There is only one other colloquial definition of the word spiritual and that is relating to alcohol.
Spiritual connotes supernatural and or religious influence, that cannot be disregarded, especially within the connotations of this article.

@Allamanda ouch! 👍

@Allamanda, @LenHazell53 I am a religious agnostic...meaning that is where my attention is focused! You seem to be just a ‘bit’ superior than some of us here? Maybe it serves you well, but for seems you miss the point of the general public here. It is a good thing that you are not your words, they just describe what you think! Likewise, and I have other thoughts, that do not match with yours, but surely you want judge me on the words that I use correctly or incorrectly. Nor, my opinions! So in the end, words aren’t everything! And I love words!

Do dictionaries count for anything in this discussion?


I try to listen to what people say and to agree with their productive ideas and I disagree with what is not productive. I see a lot of things that Gates does and says that are beneficial. Because he uses language that I don’t agree with doesn’t mean that I have to throw out his intent because of how he words it. I can even find a few things in the Bible that I think can be thought of as beneficial and worth remembering. Perhaps even the orange one has said something beneficial sometime in his life but I can’t think of anything offhand.

gearl Level 7 Mar 25, 2020

Great words from a wise man!


From the people that I have been exposed to in my lifetime and having to claw my way toward sanity...I have not known any person that was a religious fanatic, that did not have (revealed to me) major mental disorders! Some kept the people unproductive others managed to succeed in spite of their mental disorders and religious leanings. A lot succeeded because they were connected with similar religious people.

Connecting spirituality with the mentally balanced people is altogether different than what is considered in the religious community as spirituality. Mostly, the religious do not express their religion as spiritual, they express it as ‘their faith!’


I agree...spiritual does not equal religion in my mind. Spiritual means a higher way of thinking and perceiving reality. Everything can’t be seen with the naked eye. There are lessons here as in every milestone in a life! We get clearer on what is necessary and what is wasteful. We give more attention to what matters in the big picture and our little spot in it. I approve of Gates’ attitude .

"Everything can’t be seen with the naked eye."
Like god? 😉
This is why spiritual is such a dangerous word: People desperately WANT it to not mean woo but it inevitably does. 😟

@TheMiddleWay ...Don’t we know better on this site! That is why I am here! Magic can be good or bad, I think we see! It is the knowing that magic is not all of the ‘reality’ but feeds the senses. Let’s do a study to see if serial killers feel ‘good magic!’ Not something connected to religious fanaticism! My guess is they don’t! In my 80 years I have found an undercurrent of mystical support and it has never led me to desire ‘the bad,’ on the contrary. I sought to elevate the best in me and everyone (yes, according to what I saw that supported the best in us).


Gosh, it feels awful to be duped! I can still support the ideas attributed to Gates! But, why put ideas out that other people did not agree with in person. There must be a deceiver’ born everyday!


But why can't we just skip the spiritual purpose/reason bullshit and just talk about what we're learning. No need to cloak it in other worldly woo woo mumbo jumbo. Just say that this is showing us these things to learn. Covid 19 did not happen for spiritual reasons. It happened because of the laws of science. And the number one thing to learn, in the words of Bill Nye, is science rules.

@Allamanda sure, I agree. But let's not call that spirituality, and instead call it humanistic or something like that. And, PLEASE let's refrain from saying that the REASON the pandemic is happening is so that our species can improve collectively in this way. This IS something we ought to do, but it is NOT the reason why the pandemic is happening.

@Allamanda Maybe we could talk about "learning" whether a spirit does or does not exist.

@Allamanda I can deal with it, and I'd much rather read stuff like this from Bill Gates than hardcore evangelical stuff. And, words DO matter. I personally never use the word spiritual even though I'm very much a humanist. It's all in the vein of good without god, or kind without woo.


I did not love it. Especially hooey statements like:

"a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens,"


"9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands."

...But I did love:
"10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic....

...and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good."

For the win!

SCal Level 7 Mar 25, 2020

Worth sharing on my FB page.

Me too


Spiritual implies spirit.
Spirit implies woo.
Hence spiritual implies woo.

This is why so many of us don't use that word and come down hard on atheists and agnotics who believe in woo because they believe in spritual.

Spirit doesn’t always imply woo, and I say that in a spirit of admiration for your perspective, because if we are all to keep our spirits up in the midst of our spirited debates, we have to maintain a spirit of mutual respect, so no one becomes dispirited.

The spirit of XXX is good non-woo usage.
But spiritual, feeling spiritual, being spiritual, invites woo since by default, spiritual has to do with the spirit or soul.

We don't have to accept every invitation we're offered. 🙂

3. closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.: the professor's spiritual heir in linguistics.

Interesting, I've never come across that definition or usage for spiritual.

@skado That's acceptable, but there's a reason that it's the third definition...hardly in common usage, unfortunately. I've rarely heard it used that way, everyone I remember using it implied woo. A bit like saying...God is love. To which I say, Yes, and?

Third out of nine.


"“I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens"
Finding meaning and purpose in everything is the theist mindset, not the agnostic or atheistic mindset.
Hence while this is not about a singular religion, talk of sprituality risks injecting have religious overtones into a topic that doesn't need it.

It's not phraseology.
Consider: meaning and purpose are purely human concepts; we don't even know if animals have a concept that would translate to meaning or purpose. But we do know that a planet revolving around a distant sun without humans to think about has no purpose and no meaning: it just is.

However, if we then assume that that planet and sun do have meaning and purpose in the absence of humans, then there must be something else giving it meaning or purpose, namely gods. Hence when this non-Gates quote says that there is meaning and purpose in everything, including those things humans don't have access to, then it must be gods giving it meaning and purpose.

Replying to you is a waste of time?
I'll let people know...

We need less fake news being spread;
then maybe the humanity will show itself.


“I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad." - misattributed to Bill Gates

Ahh ...the struggle to believe in spirits and to separate them from religion continues.

"...the researchers recruited 317 participants from the U.S. and asked half to complete a spiritual exercise consisting of a guided meditation video.", "...participants who meditated felt significantly higher levels of spirituality and expressed more liberal political attitudes" []

I remember, years ago, watching "Smokey and the Bandit," after the film, several cars raced their engines, squealed their tires, and sped away. I'm sure in their mind they were all the Bandit, identifying with the hero rather than the clumsy, antagonist, Sheriff. My young cousin broke her arm after watching an episode of Superman. She tied a towel around her neck, climbed a tree and jumped, however, because she was not from the planet Krypton, she did not fly. After the film "101 Dalmatians" was released, dalmatian sales increased.  []  It was the same for chihuahua sales after Taco Bell used the cute little dog in their commercials.  []

Have you ever wept, been frightened, or felt elated, after watching a film, reading a book, listening to music, or watching a beautiful sunset? Many films are "guided" videos. Guided - definition: "a thing that helps someone to form an opinion or make a decision or calculation." Films, books, music, etc., try to effect your emotions, that's what makes them powerful, and they have all been used in propaganda.

"Emotion - definition: a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. An emotion is a very intense feeling, which often involves a physical as well as a mental response and implies outward expression or agitation."

Seeing something that is beautiful can "move" us, just as seeing something abhorrent can repel us. Since we are deeply connected to our emotions, they can change us or influence us to extremes. Look at the atrocities committed by "spiritual" religious extremists. 

"In 1872, Darwin published The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, in which he argued that all humans, and even other animals, show emotion through remarkably similar behaviors. For Darwin, emotion had an evolutionary history that could be traced across cultures and species—an unpopular view at the time. Today, many psychologists agree that certain emotions are universal to all humans, regardless of culture: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, happiness and sadness." - []

@Allamanda The statements misattributed to Bill Gates has a religious bent to them, which is most likely why they were pushed in the first place.

“The Corona Virus… is sent to remind us of the important lessons..." Really, sent by who?
What lessons? That we should care about one another? Believers haven't learned that lesson in thousands of years of meditation and "spirituality" no matter how much they are "reminded."

@nogod4me I teachers needed? The problem arises out of distortions, that must be corrected...we do not have prison space for all the people going down the wrong road...due to their indoctrination! It is always a balancing act...Hell at 80, I work overtime keeping myself halfway balanced!!!!

@Allamanda I say come up with better, truthful, and more compassionate ideas and let the dingleberry of religious nonsense dry up and fall away.

@Freedompath If only people would ALLOW the "distortions" to be corrected. It's one thing to be indoctrinated, it's another thing to wallow in that indoctrination because they simply "can't let it go."

@nogod4me The problem may be that too many people are expecting ‘corrections’ to become apparent in some timeframe that we set up in our own minds. Transformation takes time...and that transformation in others is never accomplished, as quickly as I believe is possible! And, it appears to me that not a lot of people have the skills to assist others trying to make a transformation! Then we have people that may never change, I have seen this in my very own family (I have observed them over their lifetime). I accept them as they are and work for their ‘better good’...regardless! Their life does not operate on my time table and I am not responsible for them. One thing that I have observed, is that when cultures are kept tightly woven together, very little change takes place. There is no need to step outside in the unknown, where certain different expectations/adaptations will be needed. The familiar seems safer regardless of what happens to certain people in a specific social order. The change we want, sometimes comes with ourselves, then others see and want to be more ‘that’ way. I think that made more difference in my own life than mere study...but study was a big part! Many people came into my life that taught me by their own actions, what was good and even what i wanted no part of! Individuals are complicated...cookie cutters didn’t create them!


Yes lots of debate about the word "spiritual" - and because of that, it just really generally doesn't make sense to use the word in rational conversation. If spiritual can mean a bunch of different things -- then why doesn't one just say what they want it to mean in the first place? We have thoughts, philosophy, love, meditation, hope, etc. "Spiritual" really essentially means "magic" or "unseen forces" to most people, no matter how rationalizing it is being performed in its defense. There is so much incredible complexity and beauty in everything from entire galaxies down to little plants, motes of dust and atoms. There is no need to add magical words to it.

@Allamanda I would, except those aren't just simple semantics for a great deal of folks who use the word "spiritual" - they essentially mean it as magical mystery forces. Hell, we can look at single atoms under a microscope . . . there are not lots of magical mystery forces. (Religion/superstition/magic/spirituality)

What do you say when you see the sky that goes on for hundred of miles in every the day light and in the night with all the stars and galaxies drawing you in? What do you feel when you look into the eyes of the smiling, trusting face of an infant? Is there no ‘awe’ feeling there, that you cannot name? This is what ‘spiritual’ means in my world...right now, my world is covered in yellow poppies! It is ‘awe’ inspiring...the words are there in biology or geology, but right now, it is all spiritual!

@Observer-Effect what an awe inspiring thing to be able to view an an atom under the microscope...the same with a single cell from our very own body! I take it that you have never experienced an orgasm? Sad indeed!

Where does the spirit part of spiritual reside according to you?
That's why it's not semantics to most of us because spiritual implies spirit and spirit implies woo.

What's the difference between spiritual and awe?
If none, then why use spiritual, and all the religious baggage it carries with it, at all!?

@TheMiddleWay It resides in the ‘psyche’ ...maybe it was developed there over time! There’s no tangible proof of is an inexact Science! Psychology, is an inexact Science. But, people (like myself), have been put on a better mental health path and I know that because I am different than I was 50 yrs ago. But I cannot lay out the proof for you...however, the people who have known me my whole life would tell you that I am different now! The same with ‘spiritual’ is not nailed down nicely. Sure I know the meaning of the word, but the meaning lands differently in my psyche, because there is no other word that describes the ‘awe’ any better! Not for the general public. I guess, I must confess, that I am my own teacher...if I can’t make sense with something in the working world for me, then I will need to pass for now!

@TheMiddleWay ...there is a fine line, dividing all religious people up with the word ‘spiritual’...I have known real balanced people who were religious (they are not abundant for sure), I came out of that religious was all the socializing that I had as a child, except for school! I was embedded there until I was in my late 30s. I learned things that did support me as well as the things that were destructive to my very nature. So the word ‘spiritual’ does not scare me...mainly because I learned the difference in what is real and was is considered ‘supernatural’ ...I have had no experience with the ‘supernatural’ that I can expound on. But, the ‘spiritual’ is another part in my nature, that I cannot prove to anyone else.


Glad to see he mentioned the environment. Too bad it only rated 12th place. Everything else depends on our life support system which is crumbling.


Is this a hoax though? Did he really say all of this? Some of what he says, just not his style🤔

@Allamanda see above, the link I posted now.
... says it's fake.

Since I live in the same area and have gotten to know his philosophy it is very much him. His father, William Gates Sr. was a philanthropist and often pushed for very unpopular issues like a state income tax for the wealthy. I also worked for a giant accounting firm and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was one of our clients. I got to see some, behind-the-scenes issues they supported.



@TimeOutForMe My comment was not so much about the letter, fake or real, but about the person. I did not go over every item in detail but the general tone sounded like him.

@JackPedigo sure


So basically he's saying that rich people can die from the coronavirus also, they just had a better life before they died because they screwed everyone else.


Bill Gates — Most Dangerous Philanthropist in Modern History?


    Bill Gates’ answers to the problems of the world are consistently focused on building corporate profits through toxic means, be it chemical agriculture and GMOs, or pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines

    Gates has used “charity” as a way to gain tremendous political power

    The true beneficiaries of Gates' philanthropic endeavors tend to be those who are already rich beyond comprehension, including Gates’ own charitable foundation

    Over the past 20 years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given close to $250 million in charitable grants to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds, yet it gets tax breaks for the charitable donations it makes money from

    Vaccines are one of Gates’ mainstay “solutions” to most diseases. Gates has gone on record saying the U.S. needs disease surveillance and a national tracking system that could involve vaccine records embedded in our bodies

While philanthropy is considered noble, some philanthropists appear to be doing far more harm than good with their donated millions. Bill Gates, who cofounded Microsoft in 1975, is perhaps one of the most dangerous philanthropists in modern history, having poured billions of dollars into global health initiatives that stand on shaky scientific and moral ground.

Gates' answers to the problems of the world are consistently focused on building corporate profits through highly toxic methods, be it chemical agriculture and GMOs, or pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.1 Rarely, if ever, do we find Gates promoting clean living or inexpensive holistic health strategies.
Gates Donates Billions to Private Companies

A March 17, 2020, article2 in The Nation titled, "Bill Gates' Charity Paradox," details "the moral hazards surrounding the Gates Foundation's $50 billion charitable enterprise, whose sprawling activities over the last two decades have been subject to remarkably little government oversight or public scrutiny."

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