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What Does It Mean to Be Spiritual? A Rational Answer

https://designluck.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-spiritual-a-rational-answer/

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What Does It Mean to Be Spiritual? A Rational Answer
The year 1745 wasn't the best to be David Hume. This man, who many now consider to be the greatest philosopher to write in the English language, had over the years made enemies in the wrong places. In an epoch dominated

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Spirituality

Spirituality

The term spirituality has one of two connotations: One is a classic religious one; the other is inspired by New Age Culture. Both categories embody spirituality better than cold, hard reason.

In a broad sense, both categories seem to move away from a world of science and reason.

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Reason is more of a guide

In a world where we can have complete information about everything, reason can give us certain answers. However, the world we are living in is not even close to having all the answers. In this world, words are fallible. So is perception and imagination.

Reason is then more of a guide than a symbol of truth.

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The limits of understanding

There are limitations to what the human mind can understand. The mysteries of the Universe and our conscious experience are too complex to be restricted to words and formulas. 

We mostly operate on faith and habit in ways that aren’t obvious. 

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True spirituality

  • True spirituality is defined by the skepticism of both today's religions and today's science.  Spirituality is individualistic, and the opposite of dogmatism. 
  • True rationality is open-ended and skeptical about itself even if it does its best, understanding that it is not possible to know everything.

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Dogma defined

Religious or scientific dogma is trying to use today's information to understand tomorrow's unknown, knowing that today's information may prove to be wrong.

At this point, the knowledge we use to assert the laws of physics is based on only 5% of the universe. The remaining 95% is unknown dark matter and dark energy. There might be knowledge out there that science can't uncover in its current state.

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Spirituality beyond skepticism

Spirituality represents a healthy respect for an uncertain reality; looking at an unknown future without making any assumptions; an open mind willing to entertain the absurd.

It lets you be yourself, knowing that there is something bigger than yourself to be discovered.

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David Hume: Both Sides of the Coin

The philosophy of the Scottish philosopher David Hume wasn't just about being disagreeable. He was skeptical and doubtful on authority, and on himself too.

He could highlight flaws on both si...

The Limits of Reason and Logic

David Hume understood that the various beliefs and ideologies that sound reasonable and logical on the surface, are in fact irrational and emotionally driven deep down. 

This way he could argue about or doubt practically any belief or thought process.

At Ease with Contradictions

David Hume was completely at ease with contradictions. This way he could avoid getting into extremities. 

He used to contradict himself by providing a counter-argument against his own statements. This way, no matter how contradictory it sounded, it provided an insight into life, which itself does not follow a linear, logical path.

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"Being spiritual" nowadays signals:

"Being spiritual" nowadays signals:
  1. People that believe there is more to the world than meets the eye, more than the mere material. 
  2. People that attend to their inner life (their mental and emotio...

Understanding the world

Spirituality is a framework for understanding the world. It enables people to make sense of that which, for them, science and religion fail to address: religion because it's outdated and out of touch with scientific progress, science because it's incapable to answer some of life's most crucial questions (of purpose, meaning and value).

Outer Space vs. Inner Space

The Dalai Lama once joked: "While the West was busy exploring outer space, the East was busy exploring inner space". 

Regardless of the veracity of this, it does seem that for contemporary western societies, silence and stillness are an exception, not the rule.

Reason Is Subject To Passion

Reason Is Subject To Passion

Humans, by nature, are rationally weak but passionately motivated. Emotions are always stronger and drive action, and reasoning is often used as an excuse for inaction.

Ne...

Automatic Actions To Responses

Our emotions often trigger automatic actions which we tend to regret later. The suffering that we and others then undergo can be termed as compassion. The challenge is to distance ourselves from our automatic emotions that trigger reflex actions, or reactions.

True, responsive action has to be cultivated by being aware of our actions, habits and emotions. By checking our habits, and ensuring that whatever we do has value in it, we can get rid of our reactions, based on emotions.