The Trouble with Spirituality

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There was a heady aroma of sweet vinegar in the air from the tangles of apples that had collected and begun to rot under every tree of every row of the orchard.

Took the picture above in the corn maze, atop a wooden bridge that afforded us a sweeping view of the landscape, the hills of the Taconic range and the Catskills further off in the distance to the West, the flat expanse of the farm around us.

So why do so many of us continue to hold on to romantic, pre-Industrial notions of the original creator and the invisible helmsman?

“turtles all the way down”

The ancients had to invent a creator, they had no other plausible explanations for the natural world. Creation was their clever and convenient placeholder for all the discoveries yet to be made, for all the more structured theories yet to be formulated.

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But a maturing of the God-view does not legitimize it.

Whether you profess to believe in the literal God that dictated verbatim the holy text of your particular faith, or some other more nebulous, fuzzy, personal God, one that exists in all things living and inert, a life force that pervades the nooks and crannies of your world and your consciousness — you are still professing a belief in that supernatural, spiritual entity traditionally called God.

the trouble with spirituality

Let’s consider what people may mean when they describe themselves as spiritual, starting with the definition of the word.

the implied definition of spirituality is that it is concern with things that aren’t real — or concern with things that are imagined.

Let me put on my linguist, wordsmith hat for a second. Spirituality is a wonderful word. It gives off a warm and fuzzy, enticing vibe. It holds out the promise that those who possess it will be endowed with powers and sensations beyond the earthbound and terrestrial.

spirited, if not spiritual

Let’s bring this home on a positive and reconciliatory note:

theists and atheists are in the end all human beings

That’s right. Whether your believe in God, or many gods, or the soul, or the Holy Spirit, or a supernatural life force that guides our moral compass and connects all living things — or whether you are okay the notion that we are physical lifeforms produced by evolution in a universe born out of quantum uncertainty, a spec of stardust in a vast and rapidly expanding cosmic vacuum — we are in the end all human beings.

Written by

Editor of No Crime in Rhymin' and Language Lab | the Woke Bloke ..."come for the sarcasm, stay for my soft side"

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