The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
28-10-2013, 05:32 PM
The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
It seems to me that atheists just don't get it. Spirituality is not religion and it's not wishy washy version of religion, although there's a plenty of that. Spirituality is also not necessarily some kind of personal philosophy. It's not something that you do, it's something that you are, because...

[Image: religion.jpg]
- Bonnie Raitt (singer)

Spirituality is the process of ever expanding your consciousness, that is, becoming more and more aware of things you weren't before - and following up on that. Hence, it can be a very painful process. Deconverting from religion and becoming an atheist and scientific enthusiast is definitely a spiritual thing. You guys are on a right path, if that is the effect science has on you. Becoming atheists was for many of you the most spiritual thing you've ever done. You've expanded your consciousness and followed up on it.
For many of you this will also be the most you can handle in this life. Most of you will probably savor this achievement till the end of your life, though some will go further, you will learn science, become activists or maybe something else. Some of you will wonder, if you can be so rational and scientific about religion, can you be rational and reasonable also about politics, capitalism, relationships, mass sports, mass media, upbringing of children and your family?

[Image: sagan2.jpg]

Spirituality is not something that can be separated for Sundays or into laboratories and science news reading. It must be a part of daily life, the thing showing you world as it is. No rose glasses, but what must be done. If science tells us how, spirituality tells us why.

[Image: martin-luther-king-jr-science-quotes-our...outrun.jpg]

Is spirituality social? Not at all, it's internal and it's rather impersonal, but it does break down barriers between us and other people, be they religious or cultural prejudices.

Is spirituality emotional? Not exactly. Emotions are dividing, spirituality unites. Emotions have a subject, either us, or other people, or strangers... Emotions are attachment, spirituality is detached. I'm sure it makes lots of sense for neurologists.

Is spirituality unemotional, then? Nope! It may bring extremely strong feelings, depths of despair and heights of bliss, or both at once as balanced, that nothing prevails and everything worldly pales in comparison. There is a lot of balance in spirituality.

Can I have it portrayed in an artistic way? Yes! I found two songs that exactly convey the idea. Yes, they are from a New Age musician, who can be extremely cheesy and who is influenced by Christianity. But he has some nice instrumentals and these two songs really sum it up. They are mostly secular, too. Seems to me the man used to be a Christian, then either lost his faith, transcended it, went into agnosticism and probably gets high on personal experience.

Anyway, hold your hats, this threat isn't for the jagged cynical folks who can't handle some sweet sweet New Agey sugar. I'm sorry, but this is necessary. Spirituality can torture and crush you to powder and then make you mellow, or what's left of you.
However, spiritual experience is a part of spirituality and it gets you high. Very high. That is true even for internet atheists who love science. I have met a few of them, they are like HoC, except without Gwynnies. I knew one and he was all happy, universal, tolerant, impersonal - and he was like me in my moments. Yes, I get high on spirituality too and it is a great inspiration for writing on the forum. But it's not a choice, it's not something that belongs to me. It's something I belong to. So I don't belong to any religion or definition of a god, I belong to my greater and higher self, that is clearly and powerfully felt inside and which I learn to become and express outwardly.
I know it sounds very cheesy, but the higher self can be rather badass, so it's totally worth it. But if I continue any more, I'll start to sound like a Christian. Many of Christians are spiritual, anyway. They just see it through the template of religion and the higher self does not care about names and they do not care about a conspicuous lack of dogma in the higher self.

https://soundcloud.com/asher-quinn-asha/...-emergency





For more information on spirituality please read an anthology by J. M. Cohen, The Common Experience.

Also, many writers know this experience very well. If you ever want to read a good sci-fi about genetics, read the book by Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio. It has a sequel, Darwin's Children, in which such a spiritual experience very much like mine is a part of the story.

I mean, in case you guys will be one day bored by the endless humdrum of Christianity vs. Atheism and science and wonder if there is something more to explore, beyond this pair of opposites and beyond your normal daily rational vanilla cartesian consciousness. Then you will wonder why the biblical authors wrote some verses, later thus paraphrased:

...There is a peace that passeth understanding; it abides in the hearts of those who live in the Eternal. There is a power that maketh all things new; it lives and moves in those who know the Self as one. May that peace brood over us, that power uplift us...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 05:40 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
Religion is communal supernaturalism.
Spirituality is individualized supernaturalism.

The difference is only in a micro and macro scope. But they all adhere to supernaturalism. They're both a divorce from reality for one reason or another.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 06:13 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(28-10-2013 05:40 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Religion is communal supernaturalism.
Spirituality is individualized supernaturalism.

The difference is only in a micro and macro scope. But they all adhere to supernaturalism. They're both a divorce from reality for one reason or another.
As I said, I have met a few atheists who were or are (if still alive) definitely spiritual. Which in practice meant they did not give rat's ass about such clear-cut divisive distinctions as yours. They were rather trying to unite people and get them into closer relationship with reality in the broadest sense, broader than yours. Yes, they talked often in a very vague way, but vague mostly for those, who did not have the experience of expanded consciousness.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 06:16 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
Spirituality is purely subjective

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes grizzlysnake's post
28-10-2013, 06:31 PM
Rainbow RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
spirituality hm, but how can we really sure that we have "spirit" to begin with? I think all religion start from spiritual (individual). Its not about "bored by the endless humdrum of Religion vs. Atheism and science", but this spirituality things came with a group of belief system too.

Spirit, Higher-self, Higher-consciousness, total awareness, higher-being, etc i think someday have tendency to become a "new religion" or "pseudo science".
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 06:51 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(28-10-2013 05:32 PM)Luminon Wrote:  It seems to me that atheists just don't get it. Spirituality is not religion and it's not wishy washy version of religion, although there's a plenty of that. Spirituality is also not necessarily some kind of personal philosophy. It's not something that you do, it's something that you are, because...

Don't fucking do that, Lumi. Now you are sounding like every other True Believer™ that shows up here.
I would have thought you would have improved your understanding of atheism, the scientific method, logic after being here for nearly two years, but you are getting worse.

Quote:Spirituality is the process of ever expanding your consciousness, that is, becoming more and more aware of things you weren't before - and following up on that. Hence, it can be a very painful process. Deconverting from religion and becoming an atheist and scientific enthusiast is definitely a spiritual thing. You guys are on a right path, if that is the effect science has on you. Becoming atheists was for many of you the most spiritual thing you've ever done. You've expanded your consciousness and followed up on it.
For many of you this will also be the most you can handle in this life.

There it is again. Just fuck off with generalizations.

Quote:Most of you will probably savor this achievement till the end of your life, though some will go further, you will learn science, become activists or maybe something else. Some of you will wonder, if you can be so rational and scientific about religion, can you be rational and reasonable also about politics, capitalism, relationships, mass sports, mass media, upbringing of children and your family?

Spirituality is not something that can be separated for Sundays or into laboratories and science news reading. It must be a part of daily life, the thing showing you world as it is. No rose glasses, but what must be done. If science tells us how, spirituality tells us why.

And you presume to tell us how we must view things?

Quote:Is spirituality social? Not at all, it's internal and it's rather impersonal, but it does break down barriers between us and other people, be they religious or cultural prejudices.

Is spirituality emotional? Not exactly. Emotions are dividing, spirituality unites. Emotions have a subject, either us, or other people, or strangers... Emotions are attachment, spirituality is detached. I'm sure it makes lots of sense for neurologists.

Is spirituality unemotional, then? Nope! It may bring extremely strong feelings, depths of despair and heights of bliss, or both at once as balanced, that nothing prevails and everything worldly pales in comparison. There is a lot of balance in spirituality.

Can I have it portrayed in an artistic way? Yes! I found two songs that exactly convey the idea. Yes, they are from a New Age musician, who can be extremely cheesy and who is influenced by Christianity. But he has some nice instrumentals and these two songs really sum it up. They are mostly secular, too. Seems to me the man used to be a Christian, then either lost his faith, transcended it, went into agnosticism and probably gets high on personal experience.

Anyway, hold your hats, this threat isn't for the jagged cynical folks who can't handle some sweet sweet New Agey sugar. I'm sorry, but this is necessary. Spirituality can torture and crush you to powder and then make you mellow, or what's left of you.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Now we're jagged, cynical folks. Seriously, Lumi, shove it up your ass.

Quote:However, spiritual experience is a part of spirituality and it gets you high. Very high. That is true even for internet atheists who love science. I have met a few of them, they are like HoC, except without Gwynnies. I knew one and he was all happy, universal, tolerant, impersonal - and he was like me in my moments. Yes, I get high on spirituality too and it is a great inspiration for writing on the forum. But it's not a choice, it's not something that belongs to me. It's something I belong to. So I don't belong to any religion or definition of a god, I belong to my greater and higher self, that is clearly and powerfully felt inside and which I learn to become and express outwardly.
I know it sounds very cheesy, but the higher self can be rather badass, so it's totally worth it. But if I continue any more, I'll start to sound like a Christian. Many of Christians are spiritual, anyway. They just see it through the template of religion and the higher self does not care about names and they do not care about a conspicuous lack of dogma in the higher self.

No, you started sounding like a cheesy Christian from the get-go.

Quote:For more information on spirituality please read an anthology by J. M. Cohen, The Common Experience.

Also, many writers know this experience very well. If you ever want to read a good sci-fi about genetics, read the book by Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio. It has a sequel, Darwin's Children, in which such a spiritual experience very much like mine is a part of the story.

I mean, in case you guys will be one day bored by the endless humdrum of Christianity vs. Atheism and science and wonder if there is something more to explore, beyond this pair of opposites and beyond your normal daily rational vanilla cartesian consciousness. Then you will wonder why the biblical authors wrote some verses, later thus paraphrased:

...There is a peace that passeth understanding; it abides in the hearts of those who live in the Eternal. There is a power that maketh all things new; it lives and moves in those who know the Self as one. May that peace brood over us, that power uplift us...

Try talking in the first person instead of preaching. You have no idea what my feelings are regarding existence, or the wonders of reality, or the beauty of nature, or the joy of love, so don't fucking presume to preach your brand of spirituality at me.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
28-10-2013, 06:56 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
First of all, there ain't no "like HoC, without Gwynnies." Tongue

Second, spirituality is a buncha fucking woo. Big Grin

Why not just say, "I have a philosophy?" Why not just name that philosophy? When you take something like that off the rack, man, you're just dressing in a fool's wardrobe. Cool

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like houseofcantor's post
28-10-2013, 07:47 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
spirituality is the chemical rush you get after understanding something or solving a problem, but without understanding anything or solving any problem.
It's just the brain fooling itself into thinking it's bigger than itself.

[Image: sigvacachica.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 07:53 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
Spirituality is a system of beliefs that makes the believer come closer to God.

Religion is a codified means of spiritualism.

Spiritualism without religion is therefore freedom.

Atheistic spiritualism seems to mean, to me, something along the lines of the practices of the esoteric polymaths in Greece, especially Pythagoreanism (the worship of numbers, AKA numerology).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-10-2013, 12:14 AM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(28-10-2013 06:13 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(28-10-2013 05:40 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Religion is communal supernaturalism.
Spirituality is individualized supernaturalism.

The difference is only in a micro and macro scope. But they all adhere to supernaturalism. They're both a divorce from reality for one reason or another.
As I said, I have met a few atheists who were or are (if still alive) definitely spiritual. Which in practice meant they did not give rat's ass about such clear-cut divisive distinctions as yours. They were rather trying to unite people and get them into closer relationship with reality in the broadest sense, broader than yours. Yes, they talked often in a very vague way, but vague mostly for those, who did not have the experience of expanded consciousness.

There's a problem when you co-opt already established terms. 1. you confuse people. 2. you give weight to people who use the terms more appropriately (like when religious people use spiritual). 3. you have perfectly fine secular words to describe what you're describing.

You talk about a "relationship with reality". Everything, and one, is based within reality - the relationship is a given. There's no way you can separate anything or one from reality.

Finding emotional attachment (for good or worse) with inanimate objects, or living beings, or various types of relationships, or concepts isn't anything new or unique.

So why use spirituality? Why not "conciousness raising", or what you already used "expanded conciousness"? Or, "heightened emotional attachment". All very secular terms.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes PoolBoyG's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: