What is spirituality?

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#1
I realized that VC has this called this section “Religion and Spirituality”, however, I find spirituality is rarely discussed if not at all. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to have a discussion regarding the topic.

While I’m not endorsing this individual, I find he describes one aspect of spirituality rather well:

The distinction between spirituality and religion, as I understand it, is as follows. A tradition of what many call “spirituality” is not founded by any one individual. That is to say, tradition doesn't" begin or end with an individual. And in the vast context of a living tradition, teachers are not as important as the tradition itself. Teachers contribute to the growth and development of the tradition, but they are not equivalent to the tradition. If a particular teacher turns out to be not so good, it really doesn't matter—his or her incomplete or erroneous teachings will slowly fade away, and all that will be left will be the solid knowledge that, by its own intrinsic virtue, has remained consistent for generations. That is what we mean when we talk about spirituality or tradition." (source)

In this video, beginning at 4:00, I think this man makes a poignant point:


In retrospect, I now understand how my parents and some of grade school teachers were so influential in my ongoing journey. At times, they served as my guides and at others, helped me form buttresses for my spiritual growth.

So I ask the question, what does spirituality mean to you?
 





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#3
Temporary, working definition:

Spirituality is religion in its infancy, before it has matured and developed the necessary tools, both physical and metaphysical, to go forth and argue.

:cool:
Interesting “working” definition. :) I’m on the fence about using the word “matured” as religion appears to be at times a judgmental and militant perspective, while I see spirituality in tow with the earth and the Creator... as if to say “at ease”.
 





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#4
I understand. Part of my working definition is based upon observation: I notice that there aren't many "Spiritual," but plenty of "Religious" discussions, arguments on this sub-forum, and that the Religious, at times, seem to contain Spirituality in a sort of germinal state, so I have at least temporarily concluded that, developmentally speaking, the Spiritual hemisphere of the brain might be pre-verbal, thus infantile. Of course my working definitions are always subject to change, and, if the facts change, so do my conclusions.
Hmmmm, pre-verbal... so religion is, in essence and generally speaking, a war of words? If that’s the case, Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s quote comes to mind:

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. “
 





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#5
The distinction between spirituality and religion, as I understand it, is as follows. A tradition of what many call “spirituality” is not founded by any one individual. That is to say, tradition doesn't" begin or end with an individual.
Hi Orwell, Spirituality is not a tradition, but an actual manifestation of the Holy Spirit that dwells in a born again believer. The CofC do not believe the Holy Spirit dwells anyone today, but it was only given to the Apostles. But I can testify to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When the Lord called me I received Christ offering by the preaching of the word of God (that is how the Father draws us) and I was immediately baptized. Upon being raised from the water I felt as if though I would float to the ceiling (It was the weight of sin that had been weighing me down) and as it was removed (Christ lifted me) and I was a new man (The indwelling of the Holy Spirit).
It was not the baptism of water that saved me. You can be dunked so many times that the tadpoles know your name, there is no salvation in water baptism, but it was my repentance (agreeing with God about men), and my obedience to follow after Christ in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:1-13) that regenerated me (gave me the Holy Ghost). Now you can grieve and hinder the Holy Spirit in you, but it is a permanent possession, and God will chastise His sons.(Rev. 3:19) The Holy Spirit has worked in me in many ways that was His will, but my desire and obedience.


One Sunday morning, we had a guest pastor, as ours was out of town, During the morning sermon. The Spirit kept prompting me to prepare a sermon for the evening service. I thought I might be imagining things, but nevertheless, I prepared. That evening the guest pastor came to me...no one else, but me? and said, I have lost my voice, what are we going to do.....needless to say, I preached the evening service. This is just one of a multitude of the Spiritual works of the Holy Spirit in my life.
No error can be greater than that the Lord's service requires no more than consecrated zeal and intellectual preparation. All these necessary elements of service are worthless without the divine enabling. Acceptable Christian service consist in doing that, which by Gift and enabling of the Holy Spirit Nothing being left to self will or self choosing.

He lives, and He lives in me,
Douglas Summers
 





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#6
Well, i think spirituality is expressed through religion just as thoughts are expressed through words. So while the "religious nones" may say that they are spiritual but not religious, their spirituality translates into religion even if they don't go to a house of worship or read religious texts.
Man is also a spiritual being, its an intergral part of himself, so everyone is spiritual(?) even atheists.
 





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#7
I see spirituality as an innate or latent belief in a Creator:),called fitrah in Islam.
It manifests itself in all humans regardless of whether the messengers have come to them.

We are given an understanding that we all have this according to my religion ....:) however it seems to be a self evident understanding.
This meaning is affirmed by sûrah 30 âyah 30:
‘Set your face to the dîn in sincerity (hanîfan) which is Allah's fitrah (the nature made by Allah) upon which He created mankind (fatâra’n-nâs). There is no changing the creation of Allah. That is the right dîn but most people know not.’
 





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#8
I wonder this discussion is not akin to comparing religion and spirituality to the idea in literary criticism of authoritarianism and solipsism?

By that "authoritarian" I mean do you always appeal to an authoritative source for your knowledge or go with your own reading of the text (solipsism). The ideas you come up with in a response to a poem as a solipsist may be entirely divorced from the poet's intended meaning, though they may be very original and interesting. Likewise, those who take an authoritarian view may have have an original idea.

This works fine if the reader and the text sit on the same human level. Where it gets difficult is when we apply literary thinking to the supernatural world. Whilst one can be derived from our own natural experience and that has relevance to literature, perhaps human "spiritual" speculation on the extra dimensional world may be less successful, and more prone to risk and error?
 





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#9
I think spirituality could be described as a sixth sense. Everyone has one. However, you can also be able to see and still walk off a cliff. That's kind of how I see it. You can be able to hear, but you could go deaf if you don't cover your ears around loud noises. Basically, I think this means that you shouldn't take your spiritual sense for granted. It has to be taken of in a similar way that you take care of your body. I think this is why and how religions are developed--as a way of taking care of your spiritual sense.
 





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#10
Hi Orwell, Spirituality is not a tradition, but an actual manifestation of the Holy Spirit that dwells in a born again believer. The CofC do not believe the Holy Spirit dwells anyone today, but it was only given to the Apostles. But I can testify to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When the Lord called me I received Christ offering by the preaching of the word of God (that is how the Father draws us) and I was immediately baptized. Upon being raised from the water I felt as if though I would float to the ceiling (It was the weight of sin that had been weighing me down) and as it was removed (Christ lifted me) and I was a new man (The indwelling of the Holy Spirit).
It was not the baptism of water that saved me. You can be dunked so many times that the tadpoles know your name, there is no salvation in water baptism, but it was my repentance (agreeing with God about men), and my obedience to follow after Christ in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:1-13) that regenerated me (gave me the Holy Ghost). Now you can grieve and hinder the Holy Spirit in you, but it is a permanent possession, and God will chastise His sons.(Rev. 3:19) The Holy Spirit has worked in me in many ways that was His will, but my desire and obedience.


One Sunday morning, we had a guest pastor, as ours was out of town, During the morning sermon. The Spirit kept prompting me to prepare a sermon for the evening service. I thought I might be imagining things, but nevertheless, I prepared. That evening the guest pastor came to me...no one else, but me? and said, I have lost my voice, what are we going to do.....needless to say, I preached the evening service. This is just one of a multitude of the Spiritual works of the Holy Spirit in my life.
No error can be greater than that the Lord's service requires no more than consecrated zeal and intellectual preparation. All these necessary elements of service are worthless without the divine enabling. Acceptable Christian service consist in doing that, which by Gift and enabling of the Holy Spirit Nothing being left to self will or self choosing.

He lives, and He lives in me,
Douglas Summers
Hi Doug,

Yours is an interesting perspective and thanks for sharing. However, I think it’s missing the mark or maybe it’s a question of the meaning tradition.

From the information I posted, tradition is recognized in a broader sense such as routine and regularity of all things innate and habitual. Well, at least that’s how I read it. While I agree with you regarding baptism, religion can come and go, but being in tuned to the earth as it’s responsible for giving us life and it’s where and what we know as life, ends, is what I think is at the crux of spirituality. For example, as I understand it, Aboriginals were nomads for that very reason as they knew residing in one place for extended periods of time was not advantageous to the land and treated it with reverence because they were aware of the interconnectedness of it all.

While I appreciate your biblical quotes, I think spirituality is all encompassing and ignores no one and nothing. It walks in tandem with the Creator, it is individuals who choose to separate from and/or reject that notion.

I also hope the pastor got his voice back. :)
 





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#11
I think spirituality could be described as a sixth sense. Everyone has one. However, you can also be able to see and still walk off a cliff. That's kind of how I see it. You can be able to hear, but you could go deaf if you don't cover your ears around loud noises. Basically, I think this means that you shouldn't take your spiritual sense for granted. It has to be taken of in a similar way that you take care of your body. I think this is why and how religions are developed--as a way of taking care of your spiritual sense.
You make a good point, almost like divining in a sense. That said, one might call spirituality the DNA of living, while religion is a part of our dietary intake.
 





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#12
I wonder this discussion is not akin to comparing religion and spirituality to the idea in literary criticism of authoritarianism and solipsism?

By that "authoritarian" I mean do you always appeal to an authoritative source for your knowledge or go with your own reading of the text (solipsism). The ideas you come up with in a response to a poem as a solipsist may be entirely divorced from the poet's intended meaning, though they may be very original and interesting. Likewise, those who take an authoritarian view may have have an original idea.

This works fine if the reader and the text sit on the same human level. Where it gets difficult is when we apply literary thinking to the supernatural world. Whilst one can be derived from our own natural experience and that has relevance to literature, perhaps human "spiritual" speculation on the extra dimensional world may be less successful, and more prone to risk and error?
No, I don't think so. If you watch the video I posted, the man isn't stating anything solipsistic about being spiritual. In fact, he states the opposite.
 





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#13
No, I don't think so. If you watch the video I posted, the man isn't stating anything solipsistic about being spiritual. In fact, he states the opposite.
Sorry I didn't watch your clip before I wrote - this is just what I have thought about the topic for some time. The thing with words are that they are containers for meaning, but different people put different things in those containers!

Try "extremist", "devout", "terrorist", "freedom fighter", "diplomat" and "appeaser" and even "God" and what me mean varies depending on who we ask...
 





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#17
While I appreciate your biblical quotes, I think spirituality is all encompassing and ignores no one and nothing. It walks in tandem with the Creator, it is individuals who choose to separate from and/or reject that notion.
I understand what you are saying, I believe that the spirituality of man is in concert with this creation, after all, we are made from the earth. I was speaking more of the Holy Spirit.