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Thread: Do you need spirituality in your life?

  1. #1

    Default Do you need spirituality in your life?

    This is kind of a spin-off of my previous thread about community. I've been thinking a lot about these subjects after reading a thought-provoking article a friend sent me:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-...b_2325700.html

    The article is about things people do to cultivate happiness/contentment. One of the main points was about building a strong social fabric, which is where my other thread came from. But there was also this, which I found interesting:

    They cultivate spiritual emotions. According to Lyubomirsky, there is a growing body of science suggesting that religious people are happier, healthier, and recover more quickly from trauma than nonreligious people.[5] In addition, authors Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener explain in their book Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth that spiritual emotions are essential to psychological wealth and happiness because they help us connect to something larger than ourselves.

    It made me wonder: If you are a nonreligious person, do you consider yourself spiritual? Do you need spirituality? A sense of connectedness? If you don't, do you feel content without it? If you do, where do you find it? Do you meditate, do yoga, practice gratitude and kindness (I am thinking of one particular friend of mine who, I think, practices kindness as her religion)? Do you practice any rituals that feel spiritual to you but may not to others? (Thinking here of a cousin, a marathoner who seems to find her daily run a spiritual experience.) Do you think ritual practice and spirituality can exist without a god or gods, and if it's not connected to worship of a god, can it still be an enriching part of life?
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  2. #2
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    I do not consider myself a spiritual person. There is a sense of connectedness, and mine is with nature. It has nothing to do with gods or goddesses, and is a hugely enriching part of my life (or was, anyway; quiet and solitude is also part of the equation, and it's hard to come by with a toddler in tow). I do practice yoga as well, but it has more to do with turning my gaze inwards, stopping my brain from going a mile a minute, than it does any sort of spiritual practice. There are rituals we follow from time to time, and there are cultural reasons for doing them, not religious. It is one way to ensure that we, especially Mira, does not forget where she came from.

  3. #3

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    My initial thoughts: Spirituality is one of those words that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. A lot of people don't think you can be spiritual if you don't believe in the concept of a soul (spirit) or an immaterial reality. I'm skeptical about those things. I do, however, regularly have feelings often associated - or if being skeptical, I'd say often confused - with spirituality: wonder, amazement, serenity, deep love, harmony and maybe just a feeling that I'm really small, yet necessary thread twisted into a larger thread that's woven into an infinitely complex pattern on a flag that's flapping in the breeze. I do yoga, I cuddle my family, I hike, I bike, I surf, I sing at the top of my lungs and dance like a goofball. Maybe being spiritual is just feeling like it's not just all about me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    My initial thoughts: Spirituality is one of those words that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. A lot of people don't think you can be spiritual if you don't believe in the concept of a soul (spirit) or an immaterial reality. I'm skeptical about those things. I do, however, regularly have feelings often associated - or if being skeptical, I'd say often confused - with spirituality: wonder, amazement, serenity, deep love, harmony and maybe just a feeling that I'm really small, yet necessary thread twisted into a larger thread that's woven into an infinitely complex pattern on a flag that's flapping in the breeze. I do yoga, I cuddle my family, I hike, I bike, I surf, I sing at the top of my lungs and dance like a goofball. Maybe being spiritual is just feeling like it's not just all about me.
    Well said, Myles. The bolded is how I feel when I get out in nature and have the peace of mind to really enjoy it.

  5. #5

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    I also do not consider myself "spiritual", but do feel a need for some sort of connectedness - with the natural world, as well as with other humans. I have trouble in this area because my religious experiences have colored any type of ritualism for me. Also because I am a pretty strict naturalist and I just don't believe in anything beyond the physical, including "spirit" except as a concept to describe the collective natural processes that make up consciousness. I do sometimes miss....something...about religious belief, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what that something is.
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  6. #6

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    Myles said some lovely things while I was composing my blathering response. Wonder, amazement, serenity, harmony. That's what it's all about!
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  7. #7

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    I connect to all that through my art and through exercise. I think if you can just do anything that will get you outside of that little part of your head that you normally live in then you are connecting to your spirituality. I don't call it spirituality, but that's what you mean I think.

    When I am really going on my art, I feel like a funnel rather than a creator. I feel like I am just a conduit through which spirit flows. I would never in a million years say that in real life, but that's what I feel like on a really good day, and that's how I know I connected to "it" whatever "it" may be.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  8. #8

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    Awesome responses and a whole lot to think about! Thank you all for being so open.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  9. #9
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    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    I have actually grown to dislike the term spirituality over the years, mostly because of hanging around people who try to one-up the 'more in touch with nature/the spirit world/the rhythm of the earth/the sound of the moonlight' stuff. I loved what Mylah wrote, too. I don't feel like I'm spiritual at all. I do feel all of those emotions--wonder, amazement, serenity, deep love, harmony, but I don't feel like I'm a part of something larger or that I'm a necessary part of a pattern or the universe, and I'm totally okay with that.

    I don't think there is a grand purpose, but it doesn't make my life meaningless- it just means that I need to make my own meaning, and make life more meaningful for the people around me. I remember talking to DH about love once, soon after we started falling in love, and how it was so hard to believe that just a series of chemical reactions and hormones could make us feel like there was so much more to life and so much purpose, and did it diminish the sensation of being in love for him to put such a coldly scientific spin on it? He said not at all, and over the past 15 years I have grown to realize that I completely agree--I can be absolutely and totally loving him, or being amazed by something in nature or a fact I learn, or feel serenity for just a few moments, and not have be part of some bigger picture except in the sense that I am frequently awed by learning something new about an organism or animal or a new scientific breakthrough, or I can feel a part of the pattern of humanity as I drive my car, or I can be a part of the world or the universe if I'm outside somewhere and just get a chance to look around. I take comfort, actually, in that some things are totally random and not part of a master plan, and other things can be studied and figured out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    I do not consider myself a spiritual person. There is a sense of connectedness, and mine is with nature. It has nothing to do with gods or goddesses, and is a hugely enriching part of my life...
    This is how I feel.

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