Thought: Recognising the spiritual is more important than defining it.
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The lives of many people are underpinned by religion. Each such individual accepts, to a greater or lesser extent, a set of traditions about the Divine and our relationship to the transcendental.
Both ordained and unorthodox teachers have explored and shared methods for reaching out from human limitations and penetrating the barely discernible. Often their insights and advice overlap and, in so doing, can make deadly disputes seem irrelevant.
It would be easy to assume that the “spiritual” side of human experience is dependent on accepting the existence of one or more “spirits”. But that doesn’t follow.
Spirituality is an internal adventure which may be inspired and guided by all sorts of external stimuli. The awe which flows from the experience of a wonder of nature may or may not include a sense of it having a supernatural cause.
Not only is “Secular Spirituality” plausible but there may be as many different versions of it as there are religions (even setting aside the idea that there are as many religions as their are people, each individual’s vision and growth being unique).
There is a difference, too, between ideology and metaphysics. The latter is the contemplation of what transcends the physical and natural or observable. A meditative exercise may or may not lead to a fundamental change in someone’s perception of how things are and so cause them to revise their set of appropriate responses in word and deed.
Well, all this may be a bit cerebral but there are two simple conclusions to be drawn from it all:
people may have a profound spirituality which is not dependent on Divinity.
you can respect someone’s spirituality even if you can’t define, understand or share in it.
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