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What does 'spiritual' mean?


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 19th January 2017, 3:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Simple Logic View Post
As an athiest, you believe your strength comes internally.

Someone spritual believes their strength comes externally.
Actually -

Some who is atheist: You believe your strength comes internally.
Some who is religious: You believe your strength comes externally.
Someone who is spiritual: You believe the inner and outer are the same thing.

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Old 19th January 2017, 3:21 AM   #17
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This is what "spiritual" means to me. I take religion as a guide to live a better life, but religion is not something I take literally. Religion is more of a moral compass I use to live my life by. I see myself as spiritual, but I see religion more as some great philosophical teachings to help you grow as a person. I also don't confine myself to studying one religion. I have studied Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Gnosticism, and Taoism. I take what I find are the best teachings in all the religions I have studied along with the teachings on morality by philosophers like Kant, Aristotle, Plato, Lock, Hobbs, Nietzsche, Descartes, Sartre, and Rousseau to mold this into the kind of morality I choose to live my life by.
Yes exactly. When it comes down to it "religion" is about "specific details" - "spirituality" is about "universal laws". Thus we can say different religions that follow the same "universal laws" are compatible with each other.

I look at it in an "east" vs "west" way. The west values finite and definitive knowledge - logic and reason - direct study and measurement of facts, figures, temperatures to differentiate things etc. We can use this study of facts figures to understand the physical world, our bodies etc so we can plan or make changes accordingly. It also values "physical proof" over "intuitive understanding" of the way things happen. In spiritual terms this view is also reflected with western religion. "Gods" in the west being defined very precisely - with specific details which are proclaimed as the only truth and defended (eg: a white man on a cloud with a grey beard, world created in x,y,z many days). For a specific view of god to be "correct" all others must be wrong because "god" or shall we say the "devil" is quite literally in the details To the west - specifics and details are everything - you cannot have two gods with different details thus I can't be a christian and also follow another faith.

The eastern approach to spirituality focuses on infinite wisdom - it builds on the western approach but tries to see past finite details to universal laws that can be applied across different disciplines of life. It sees common patterns between all things. "Brahman" the energy force of the universe is seen as the core pattern from which all other things flow and manifests itself into a beautiful explosion of different forms. They think details and the physical forms Brahman manifests as are temporary. Whilst important - focusing too much on these - or believing if you just dig deep enough and break things down into small enough parts you will find the answer - is kind of infantile. They believe understanding the infinite "pattern" of life is the answer rather then the different ways it manifests into finite details.

So in spiritual terms this is again reflected. The eastern tradition see "GOD" or "Brahman" as a pattern of energy which cannot be understood through "specific details" because they are always changing. It is instead understood through the pattern of its behavior. To "see god" is simply to see something which is perfectly in tune with the highest form of this pattern which they see as beautiful, joyful and blissful. The goal of spirituality is thus to live in tune with the gods\universe\brahmans "way of being". To behave how god does in all aspects of your life. This is the eastern interpretation of what is meant by "a second coming", what New age foke refer to as "christ consciousness". To personally become a living embodiment of that energy or as Yoda would say - to become one with the force.

Thus in spiritual terms schools and teachings that followed this "pattern" were not seen as incompatible. Vedic, Hindu, Buddhist - yoga, tai chi, qi gong - were not mutually exclusive - but rather different ways of exploring and expressing the same glorious pattern of "god".
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Old 19th January 2017, 3:34 AM   #18
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Buddhists description is pretty accurate in describing how its most frequently used. I guess for me the core of spirituality is not about the mystical persay. More just the belief in a higher purpose \ higher power. Describing the unseen elements and actions that connect us with that and with each other. So I think all religions and religious people are automatically spiritual - but all spiritual people aren't necessarily religious.

Religion tends to have a specific doctrine that must be followed. Codified set of beliefs from a holy text of some sort and\or explicit interpretations of concepts or laws that must be adhered to. Sometimes (not always) religions will say their interpretation is the only correct way or only true God. This is where religion and spirituality really diverge. People who say they are "Spiritual" generally think all the religions are essentially tapping into the same thing and just have different ways and methods of describing it and practicing it. So like Buddhist says they take parts from different teachings that work for them. Instead of seeing one set path all must follow - spirituality sees many paths that you can travel to the same destination. You have the ability to choose the one that works for you.

As for how you "experience" the spirit. Sometimes this might be equated with a "peak experience" like a spiritual awakening or mystical type thing. But my interpretation of the word is simply that the collective creates something larger. We are all connected and part of it. Having a spiritual experience to me simply means tapping into or doing work that contributes to that something larger. Going beyond our own limited selfish view of the world. So you could also experience it simply by helping someone else who needs assistance. That good feeling you get after doing it and contributing towards the larger collective is spiritual to me.
What about Buddhists who become aggressive?
Seen a fair bit of that.
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Old 19th January 2017, 8:22 AM   #19
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What about Buddhists who become aggressive?
Seen a fair bit of that.
That was a reply to a commentor above me with the scren name Buddhist

Is he aggressive ?

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Old 19th January 2017, 9:48 AM   #20
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The goal of spirituality is thus to live in tune with the gods\universe\brahmans "way of being". To behave how god does in all aspects of your life. This is the eastern interpretation of what is meant by "a second coming", what New age foke refer to as "christ consciousness". To personally become a living embodiment of that energy or as Yoda would say - to become one with the force.
This is exactly to what Jesus referred, when he said, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me", and, "I and my Father are one." Which, of course, Jesus is our most prominent role-model for demonstrating full Christ Consciousness on Earth or for being 'the living embodiment of the Christ'.
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Old 19th January 2017, 10:20 AM   #21
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This is exactly to what Jesus referred, when he said, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me", and, "I and my Father are one." Which, of course, Jesus is our most prominent role-model for demonstrating full Christ Consciousness on Earth or for being 'the living embodiment of the Christ'.
And so we would say the christian way - and teachings of the east are also compatible. The "spirit" of the different religious teachings are the same.
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Old 19th January 2017, 11:12 AM   #22
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And so we would say the christian way - and teachings of the east are also compatible. The "spirit" of the different religious teachings are the same.
Yes, exactly! All true religious or spiritual teachings speak to the same thing - inner wholeness and inner oneness with 'the Force', as you said. .
"The kingdom of God is within."
At this point of understanding, then, it doesn't matter if we use the word 'religious' or the word 'spiritual' to help us describe our faith or personal philosophy or belief system or whatever we want to call it.

In Light and Love.
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Old 19th January 2017, 4:37 PM   #23
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That was a reply to a commentor above me with the scren name Buddhist

Is he aggressive ?
No, but a fair few are.

I also know a mentally ill woman who paid for a Buddhist retreat weekend ($300) and came home thinking she could become a member of the royal family.

Too, I met a guy who chanted for a block of gold, and went mad imagining that it had materialised in front of him.

Last edited by darkmoon; 19th January 2017 at 4:41 PM..
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Old 20th January 2017, 4:13 AM   #24
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No, but a fair few are.

I also know a mentally ill woman who paid for a Buddhist retreat weekend ($300) and came home thinking she could become a member of the royal family.

Too, I met a guy who chanted for a block of gold, and went mad imagining that it had materialised in front of him.
Yes of course - I've met angry Buddhists and I've met angry Christians.
Just like I've met gentle compassionate Buddhists and gentle compassionate Christians.

I think if you look at the spiritual "quality" of both Buddhist and Christian teachings they are both high - and promote compassion, love, understanding, moral behavior etc etc. But that doesn't mean people follow what the teachings say. It's about the pattern of behavior they follow - not about which religion they belong to.

Last edited by Justanaverageguy; 20th January 2017 at 4:16 AM..
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Old 20th January 2017, 4:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by darkmoon View Post
No, but a fair few are.

I also know a mentally ill woman who paid for a Buddhist retreat weekend ($300) and came home thinking she could become a member of the royal family.

Too, I met a guy who chanted for a block of gold, and went mad imagining that it had materialised in front of him.
There are people who identify as many different religions but who do not act in line with the teachings of the faith.

I'm Australian. A nations which was invaded by English Christians. And today, I see a whole lot of what I believe is very unChristian behaviour.

Last edited by basil67; 20th January 2017 at 4:28 AM..
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Old 20th January 2017, 2:15 PM   #26
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... angry Buddhists ... angry Christians.
Also. ...angry atheists ...angry Jews ...angry Muslims ...angry agnostics. Angry people of all races, creeds and religions, and of no religion.
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I think if you look at the spiritual "quality" of both Buddhist and Christian teachings they are both high - and promote compassion, love, understanding, moral behavior etc etc.
Yes, exactly! This is true for all true, pure religious and spiritual Teachings. None of them promote hatred and violence. It is only from the 'human Being' side of Life - NOT the true spiritual side - that conflict and war can seem desirable, and like a valid and viable option.
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But that doesn't mean people follow what the teachings say. It's about the pattern of behavior they follow - not about which religion they belong to.
Yes, exactly! Just like we cannot say that ALL Christians necessarily agree with or have the fallen-lower consciousness and the desires and the hatred of the Crusaders, we also cannot say that ALL practitioners - or people who merely claim to be practitioners - of any given faith or religion necessarily agree with or have the fallen-lower consciousness and the desires and the hatred of a minority sub-set that have set themselves up as and are trying to present themselves as the spokespersons for and true-and-proper interpreters of the true, pure Teachings that they claim to follow.

If we look at all the major religions of today, it is evident that such a sub-set exists in all of them. Whether it's excluding women from serving at the highest levels in the Church, or whatever else, there is a very visible sub-set that is filled with animosity and hatred - and, thus, they do not represent and they are not practicing the pure, true Teachings upon which their religion was meant to be founded. They are delusional to think that.

As you said, Justanaverageguy, it's about the pattern of behaviour that we [actually do] follow - not the dogma and doctrines that we merely claim to follow.
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Old 20th January 2017, 3:41 PM   #27
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The goal of spirituality is thus to live in tune with ... "christ consciousness". ... exploring and expressing the same glorious pattern of "god".
Oddly or weirdly or 'synchronistically' enough... I was searching something completely different (about the 'Book of Revelation'), when I came upon this enlightening (to me) explanation of The Origin of the Christ.

So, I should really love to thank basil67 for starting this thread, and Justanaverageguy for your valuable contribution in providing points for contemplation and further learning and spiritual growth. .
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Old 20th January 2017, 5:58 PM   #28
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you ignored half my comment

$300 dollars to think you can be a royal

the blind belief that a gold bar could materialise
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Old 21st January 2017, 5:21 AM   #29
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I would use the word spiritual, when what really I mean is non-duality, it also encompasses mindfulness and gratitude.

Its a catch all phrase, that simply explains that I do consider existential concepts but not in a traditional way.
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Old 21st January 2017, 7:41 AM   #30
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you ignored half my comment

$300 dollars to think you can be a royal

the blind belief that a gold bar could materialise
darkmoon,
Of course your observation is correct: many, many, many people are suffering under the delusions and illusions of duality consciousness.
This suffering is not restricted to people who believe themselves to be religious or spiritual, though; nor is it restricted to any particular branch of religion or spirituality. Unfortunately, atheists and agnostics are suffering, too.

People of all faiths and backgrounds tend to believe what they want to believe; whether it's that they are mentally, spiritually or emotionally unworthy or inferior,
or whether it's that they can buy a royal title, or buy their way into Heaven or Nirvana.

Materialization is a different matter; there is evidence that this is possible. But, you are correct that we will not get there through mere blind belief or faith without true knowledge and Wisdom. (In physics labs, quantum particles are materializing all the time; so, we know that the scientific principles already exist.)
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