Do humans need spirituality?

Amanda (@antu) 9 years, 8 months ago

As long as we’ve been homosapiens, it seems we’ve had spirituality. Whatever it’s origin, it appears in artifacts and cave paintings. In a 30,000 year old cave in Southern France, archeologists found a flute made of hollowed bone that was in the pentatonic scale. That’s the basis of most modern music. I recommend this documentary to anyone interested in cave paintings and the early human spirit. http://youtu.be/qfJfRx2IAYo

I may not be correct here, that’s why I’m putting this up for discussion, but to me, art and music seem to be the result of some sort of spirituality. I don’t necessarily mean spirituality as in theology, or even as believing in a deity, but a sense of our own mortality and a search for meaning.

I consider myself an atheist. At times, even a nihilist. However, I feel that without some belief, any belief, the will to live disappears. It’s almost as if the spirit, whatever that might be, isn’t fed, the body dies. The mind is just a machine, the body on autopilot until the meaninglessness of it all kills.

Do you think human beings need spirituality, like they need food?

May 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm
Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I’ll definitely watch this. Thank you for sharing! The thing I’m most curious about is the ancient peoples intonations and voices when they spoke their language. The rhythm of the music was inspired by the human heartbeat and the melody by the intonation. Pretty simple invention of human nature. It’s magical. Aren’t those same flutes used for Snake-charming? |

“As long as we’ve been homosapiens, it seems we’ve had spirituality.”
“It’s almost as if the spirit, whatever that might be, isn’t fed, the body dies.”
“Do you think human beings need spirituality, like they need food?”

YES. We definitely need passion, love, some reason to live. Don’t the deep spiritualities and full passions go always together? Some might say that people have “passionate spirituality” or are passionate about spirituality, but that’s just wordplay.

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Anonymous (130) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

spirituality is a pattern of thought and movement that we do, among other things, for fun. But the basic things that we need are water, air, food and a suitable climate, warmth.
So what i`m trying to say is that we do not need it, but it`s fun.

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Anonymous (130) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@pipthecynical, nope…i actually find it to cheesy, somewhat silly. “Namaste”

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weewo (2) (@weewo) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I definitely think one needs spiritualism. Why? Because having a healthy soul, takes your attention away from the ego. Consequently, one is less selfish and less vulnerable to the pleasures of this world. Spiritualism increases one’s awareness of who he/she is which results to a profound understanding of the suffering of others. So on the individual level, one needs spirituality so that his attention is to “know” who he/she is. On the collective level, humans need spirituality to come together and evolve through altruism.

I personally believe that the lack of spirituality is one the reasons why people take advantage of other people. The blindness induced by rationalization keeps us apart. Spirituality is the gateway or a bridge that drives us together.

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Sean D Stevens (155) (@thelaughingfool) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

To me, the opposite of spirituality is nihilism, which I feel is a terrible philosophy to have. Though it has come to my attention that nihilism doesn’t necessarily mean what I consider it to mean. I guess I’ll start a discussion on this later. But as to spirituality, I do feel you need some kind of belief. Not necessarily a belief in a god or supernatural beings, but at the very least, the belief that justice will prevail in the end.

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weewo (2) (@weewo) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

“Like what a Shepherd does to his sheep, drives them together, makes sure non of them stray from the flock.”

Like the idea of this thread is to argue whether one needs spirituality or not. That is the guiding question to make sure no one strays from the topic. The point of the post is to answer the question and not subtly mock teachings. A lot of people get lost this way.

Maybe a shepherd’s guidance is necessary so one is following the right idea.

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Sean D Stevens (155) (@thelaughingfool) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@pipthecynical, I’m not suggesting that the belief that “Justice will prevail” means you can do nothing and the guilty will be punished and the righteous rewarded (assuming that’s what justice even means) by some mechanism above human intervention. Nor am I suggesting that justice is some concept that comes to us from another realm. Most spiritual beliefs require you to make some effort to achieve the desired goal. Just as Buddhist need to meditate and contemplate the world as a whole, those who seek justice need to be vigilant, dedicated, and fair. But to say that nothing in life matters (which is the bad aspect of nihilism) means that society will start to crumble as we will fall prey to violence and depravity.
I wish I was more awake so I could devote more thought to this.

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Anonymous (130) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@thelaughingfool, nothing matters as in “you are not obliged to do anything, you can choose to be virtuous” and i think that the buddhist teachings promote virtue…so what i`m saying is that there are people that can deal with freedom in a positive manner, and i tend to think that all people are able to do this.

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Patrick Phillips (19) (@crossingtheeventhorizon) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I think of spirituality more as a path than a belief. Its not a fixed thing, its a relationship with some kind of higher self, whether that’s actually a real soul or mere psychic image in a Jungian sense. Therefore, it has nothing to do with keeping people from straying outside a herd, its the exact opposite of that. But only if you have the right relationship to it, which is hard, and it may very well be a waste of time, depending on the individual.
But whether its a good thing or not, it does seem to be essential for art/music.

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R.V. Star (151) (@rickvonstar) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Actually, the meaninglessness and purposelessness of life is what gives me a lot of motivation. It’s like this is just one gigantic playground and life is an endless recesses. When you were a kid you never thought “man, I must go to recesses for this reason and that reason…” you just went to recess and had fun and didn’t care about anything. So really I guess this is God’s cosmic playground and we’re just supposed to go out of our minds and have a ball! :D

so connection between purposelessness and no spirituality is false

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Whenever I hear the word spirituality I go pffft in my mind.

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Patrick Phillips (19) (@crossingtheeventhorizon) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@ R.V. Star (Keenan)
What you’re describing IS spirituality.

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Miracle (0) (@oaktree) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@antu, yes we need some form of spirituality, if you can call that music, dance, or something else that makes the soul inside feel alive.

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Amanda (13) (@antu) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@trek79, I have that stigma, too. I’m an atheist and sometimes I feel I’m a nihilist. But I’m using the word here just because there’s no other word suited for what I’m trying to explain. I’m not talking about god, chanting aum, lighting different colored candles and praying to a goat… I’m just trying to talk about the human search for purpose that seems to have always been with us. What would you call that if not spirituality? And I mean that as a sincere question

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R.V. Star (151) (@rickvonstar) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@antu, purpose/meaning = made up by humans, it doesnt actually exist in reality. Stop living in you head so much

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@antu, I see love as constructive relationships that exist in nature way down to quantum levels so love is a scientific and fundamental principle of the universe. If something is not scientific or at least concrete, then it is a product of the imagination. Now I do not consider an idea, dream or the imagined as not existing but I see them as a different level of reality. You could say I see the non-scientific as a scientific fact.
I look at spirituality as you just said, we had it all along: We have been looking at thing after thing for ever with a microscope, a point has come when the only thing we have not looked at under the microscope is the microscope itself. In my case, I believe the imagination is the microscope, but what ever your passion is you will find your spirituality, and with everyone that passion is different.

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Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

To me, spirituality is getting in touch with the “observer” that we all have. I don’t really like the word spirit though. It reminds of mainstream religion and I absolutely hate every single one for it is tearing this world apart and has been for thousands upon thousands of years. People need to start thinking for themselves, enough following these paths that may or may not lead you in the right direction.

Just a thought I had yesterday:
The observer is observing consciousness picking and choosing the subatomic particles (matter) from the infinite possibility of the future. The observer is possibly the “spirit”, watching this holographic universe occur for a temporary amount of time.

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Jason (111) (@thinknowlivenow) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I think a lot of people confuse spirituality with religion, which is notorious for keeping people as arm-chair observers. Very little action is taken because the belief is that this existence is a test, and that true happiness begins with heaven at death. This is a dangerous belief; I completely agree with whomever mentioned taking direct action.

There is, however, a HUGE difference in trusting in your own will to take action; for me, the human will IS the spirit. That acausal part of you that isn’t bound or influenced by physiology/psychology/culture/external reality, etc. To me, the quiet voice/observer is the spirit, and any and all action taken through this is literally giving spirit a voice in the material/causal universe.

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@thinknowlivenow, very nice way to put it. I like to describe it as something similar. For example, there is spiritual music, spiritual insight, spirit of a fighter, spirit of an animal.

Another example, people who love to read more literature or love playing instruments are on a different spiritual level than those who don’t. I personally believe that spirituality is what differs us from animals. Strong ecstatic feelings and being absorbed by emotion – humans.
That’s also what poets call a soul. :) That the spirits are unbreakable and our souls are immortal, because they are just ethereal. But, that’s getting a little bit fictional for me, not less interesting, though, I consider it as a metaphor for the power of WILL. :)

I’ve read that Native Americans, and probably just almost every tribe with a saved culture, don’t consider their Spiritual beliefs as “religions”, and I quote, Their beliefs and practices form a integral and seamless part of their very being.

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Jason (111) (@thinknowlivenow) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@beyond, your distinction between man and animal resonates deeply with my own experience/intuition : )

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Peter (152) (@searchingforthetruth) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Absolutely. From my experience, I feel the people who are spiritual tend to live much happier lives. I feel spiritual people are much more empowered to create their lives as they envision.

I feel the people who lack some sort of spirituality are the ones who are still prisoners of their own mind. They hate their jobs, don’t form new relationships as easy and have some sort of health problems.

Note: Spirituality does not mean religion or religious.

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Anonymous (194) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

“We have to take in nourishment, expel waste and breathe in enough oxygen to keep our cells from dying. Everything else is purely optional.” Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)

@beyond, @thinknowlivenow, Humans are still just animals. We like to separate them, or think ourselves above them because, well, we can think. But it’s just a product of evolution. All of these problems that we have are simply created by this ability. Society, spirituality, religion, God, politics, morality, none of it is real. Survival is the only thing that is inherent. Live your life however you choose, but understand that any meaning is simply there because you placed it there (or in most people’s cases, someone else put it there)

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Every man could have a different definition for spirituality. This is called – Science & Spirituality – It’s about Gandhi’s views. http://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/sci.%20and%20sprituality.htm

Conclusion

To meet the world crisis the co-ordination of science and spirituality is inevitable. Gandhi knew the disastrous consequences of European civilization which was the outcome of science. If science and spirituality go hand in hand I am sure that one can create heaven on this earth. There is enough in this world for everyone’s need but there is not enough in this world for anybody’s greed. All is right with the world if there is proper combination of the two. Had Gandhi’s advice in Hind Swaraj been taken into consideration the world would not have been what it is today with its exploitations, corruption, injustice and what not. Even today it is possible to live a simple life with minimum wants if we all follow Gandhi’s preaching about science and spirituality. Sustainable development is the need of the hour and that is possible with the co-ordination of science and spirituality. Many know science but few live with the scientific point of view. It should be used to maintain cleanliness and for the purpose of sanity. Science cleans the outer self and spirituality cleans the inner self both of which are essential to keep the world at peace.

(testing the font)

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Peter (152) (@searchingforthetruth) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

@pipthecynical,

Experience can neither be flawed nor select. Experience is neutral. It just is.

Most of the non-spiritual people I know…the so called “atheists” are the ones always trying to achieve validation from others that their idea of life is the correct perspective…that they never actually experience the joys of life. Always trying to prove peoples beliefs wrong..yet when they look at their own lives..they just float, acomplishing nothing and helping no one.

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weewo (2) (@weewo) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

The problem that I have dealing with atheists is that they have blocked themselves from the deeper and profound experience of spirituality. They have no idea of how to feel revitalized by the spirit day in and day out and for them the experience is subjective, that the spiritual people are kidding themselves. For them, rationality is the only reality. If you follow the same vein, it is rational to try other ways to experience reality or to view life in other “lenses.” Some say spirituality is living too much inside the head? On the contrary, having a spiritual practice takes one out of his/her head. This person is more attuned to the present, the needs of others, and the environment.

At the very least, having a healthy spirit is equivalent to a healthy mind. Spirituality acts like an armor to negative energy such as anxiety, anger, depression, etc. At the very least, spirituality is needed to wash away all the mental toxins. So if you think taking a shower regularly is not necessary, then you might still be a homo-erectus.

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