Hi again, 

I do not want to debate, just get answers or opinions. But when I went to therapy group the other day, we talked about spirituality, and I did not raise my hand because ever since I was a kid I was told spirituality was for the religious. Well I am a non-theist, and do have spirituality.


I found a wiki article that included this phrase


Secular spirituality emphasizes humanistic qualities such as love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, responsibility, harmony, and a concern for others[8]:22, aspects of life and human experience which go beyond a purely materialist view of the world, without necessarily accepting belief in a supernatural reality or divine being. Spiritual practices such as mindfulness and meditation can be experienced as beneficial or even necessary for human fulfillment without any supernatural interpretation or explanation. Spirituality in this context may be a matter of nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions that are in harmony with a belief that everything in the universe is mutually dependent; this stance has much in common with some versions of Buddhist spirituality. A modern secular definition: "Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issues of how our lives fit into the greater scheme of things. This is true when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. we encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is "spiritual" when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life." - Robert C. Fuller


and i feel it fits me most, because i have most of Pink qualities. But in the religion forum I go to, and the group therapy I went to alot of the people say you can not have spirituality without god. and I disagreed. and then was told "I guess your definition and mine differ.


could that be?

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Comment by Katrina Kristiansen on September 23, 2011 at 3:11pm
I think the word should just be called being Human
Comment by Angela Olson on September 23, 2011 at 10:50am

Kat- I am so proud of you that you stood your ground and held fast to what you know is true in your heart even though you were unable to fully explain it. It's all apart of growth. Things that happen in life change your viewpoints, and then from there you can research it and better understand why it is you feel that way. From there, you grow and your ideas shift around until you find something that clicks, then everything seems to make more sense. I know historically it's been difficult for you to stand your ground, and I think it is wonderful that you even had the courage to admit you didn't believe in a diety, even though you were clearly surrounded by those who do not subscribe to free-thinking.

The idea of being both spiritual and athiest is a very interesting concept. I guess it comes down to your personal definition. You could always give it a new name if you feel the word "spiritual" is too closely associated with religion. Although, I have no suggestions on what it should be called then. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to it.

Comment by Andrew Stewart on September 23, 2011 at 1:44am

From a linguistic point of view, it needs to be understood that English as a Germanic-derived language is one which did not evolve and develop in a vacuum wherein religion had absolutely zero impact on the formation of individual words.


In terms of the word used for God in the traditional Latin Mass, which precedes the Western Vernacular mass by several centuries, the word for God, Deus, was derived from the Greek theos, an antecedent to the word Zeus also.  So we need to keep this in mind when dealing with words, they carry a theistic imprint we cannot shed.


Working through the theistic antecedents of words is a difficult one we all need to grapple with in our own lives because we do live in a theistic culture.

Comment by Matthew Lowe on September 22, 2011 at 2:11pm
Hey I really like the Fuller quote, thanks for sharing! I am exploring this question of 'secular spirituality' over at my blog theemptythrone.blogspot.com. Check out my posts from January 2011 especially. peace
Comment by mistercliff on September 20, 2011 at 5:46pm
Sam Harris is writing a book on this right now and he has many YouTube videos on the subject where his answer is a clear Yes, you can have spirituality without God.
Comment by Katrina Kristiansen on September 20, 2011 at 9:06am
thank you
Comment by Katrina Kristiansen on September 20, 2011 at 7:57am

Hmmm I just think that me walking through the woods after it rains, walking in the first snow fall, listening to my music, just uplifting my spirit admiring beauty is spiritual,and never questioning why i feel this way not relying on a diety or god as to the thing that made it. Just saying wow this takes my breath away is spirituality for me.


so we can take and make spirituality in different senses

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on September 20, 2011 at 12:12am
Perhaps you are all getting at parts of the truth. I think you are absolutely right in that you can have spirituality without a deity, and I think the interpretation given in the article gives good examples of what it means to be spiritual, even if I found much lacking. And I think the intuitions religious people have about spirit closely resembles what it actually is, and therefore is very much the same as our own naturalistic understanding, but of course they see an irreconcilable contradiction where there is room for mutual understanding.



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