1. SubscriberFMF
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    24 Aug '14 03:39
    Spirituality is concerned with things of the spirit, which I take to mean our each and every human spirit ~ which, in harness with cognitive abilities, is the basis for our capacity for [or contribution to] abstract interaction and imagination.

    This in turn, to my way of thinking, forms the basis for our uniqueness and individuality ~ for which others might use the word "soul" and, further to that, ascribe to it supernatural attributes.

    But whether we subscribe to supernatural explanations or not, I think we can agree that our spirits/souls and our individualism are two closely related aspects of the human condition.

    "The exercise through public participation of our obligations to the body of the citizenry." That's how Canadian philosopher and historian John Ralston Saul defines "individualism".

    How does your personal conception of a spiritual dimension in your life affect your philosophy of individualism and how you see yourself relating to the society in which you live?
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    24 Aug '14 11:51
    Originally posted by FMF
    How does your personal conception of a spiritual dimension in your life affect your philosophy of individualism and how you see yourself relating to the society in which you live?
    Good topic.

    Not to diminish your post in any way, so don't get me wrong. I'm just trying to be honest.

    In answer I would have to say that my personal conception of the spiritual dimension in my life that affects my philosophy of individualism, and how I relate to the society I live in, is not my own.

    Which is to say that I believe my spiritual life is a gift given to me by my creator, and all that it is and means is defined by my God. While I retain my individuality and identity I am also indwelt by the spirit of Him who made me, which guides and leads me along the path of this life.

    Just as any living thing on this rock is dependant on the light of the sun for life, my spiritual life is dependant on the spirit of Him who made me for nourishment and sustenance in every aspect of my existence.

    I am then compelled to share that gift with any who desire the same blessing. Hence, all that I am and think and do is for the benefit of my immediate family first, and then also to my neighbor. That gift is expressed in both spiritual and material ways.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    24 Aug '14 12:081 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    I am then compelled to share that gift with any who desire the same blessing. Hence, all that I am and think and do is for the benefit of my immediate family first, and then also to my neighbor. That gift is expressed in both spiritual and material ways.
    I understand what you say about being "compelled to share that [faith] gift" with others. How does this "compelled to share" thing translate into ~ or influence your approach to ~ secular matters, if at all? What about your interactions or obligations with those who don't "desire the same blessing" or who already have different notions of "blessings" or believe they have obtained them from a different source? What part does your Christian individualism play in your life as a citizen among citizens when spiritual ideas are not directly the issue in hand? Sorry for the string of questions; I am just trying to mark out an area in which I think an interesting sharing of ideas could be had,
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    24 Aug '14 12:42
    Originally posted by FMF
    I understand what you say about being "compelled to share that [faith] gift" with others. How does this "compelled to share" thing translate into ~ or influence your approach to ~ secular matters, if at all? What about your interactions or obligations with those who don't "desire the same blessing" or who already have different notions of "blessings" or believe ...[text shortened]... m just trying to mark out an area in which I think an interesting sharing of ideas could be had,
    Live and let live.

    Do unto others.

    Love your neighbor as yourself. Etc.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    24 Aug '14 13:07
    Originally posted by josephw
    Live and let live.
    This is a Christian principle, to your way of thinking?
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    24 Aug '14 14:25
    Originally posted by FMF
    Spirituality is concerned with things of the spirit, which I take to mean our each and every human spirit ~ which, in harness with cognitive abilities, is the basis for our capacity for [or contribution to] abstract interaction and imagination.

    This in turn, to my way of thinking, forms the basis for our uniqueness and individuality ~ for which others might ...[text shortened]... philosophy of individualism and how you see yourself relating to the society in which you live?
    When I was about 12 I became aware of developing a "personality." The words "person" and "persona" come via the Greek for a mask through which the character is voiced. (Per = through, sona - sound.)

    I say I became aware of it developing, not necessarily that I was exercising personal freedom in choosing my personality. It was more a process of discovery. Oh, this is what I'm going to be like.

    I just thought I'd add this thought: Individualism implies separate personality, but personality, it seems to me, is not a matter of completely free choice. Out fingerprints differ, but we don't choose them. How do we come to have the personality that we have?
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    24 Aug '14 14:531 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    How do we come to have the personality that we have?
    I'd say it's a mixture of nature and nurture and a bit of something else. I have a feeling that it's that "bit of something else" that your question is getting at. 😉
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    24 Aug '14 16:44
    Originally posted by FMF
    I'd say it's a mixture of nature and nurture and a bit of something else. I have a feeling that it's that "bit of something else" that your question is getting at. 😉
    Nature + nurture sums it up as satisfactorily as it can be, for me.

    "The persona, for Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, was the social face the individual presented to the world—"a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual" (wikipedia)

    I wonder if we also do this to make a definite impression on, and conceal our true nature from, ourselves.

    I suppose theists would say that the one person we can't fool is God.
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    24 Aug '14 19:23
    Originally posted by FMF
    This is a Christian principle, to your way of thinking?
    Seems good to me. I don't find an exact phraseology in the Bible that I can point to, but I think it could be drawn from the other two thoughts.

    I don't believe that Christianity is an out working of the principles of governance attributed to the Old Testament nation of Israel as some do. Christianity is a new creature distinct from Israel, and is governed by Christ which is the head of the body. We exist to set an example to the world and affect the culture we live in toward Godly living, to bring into the fold those that are shipwrecked in their lives.

    As an individual member of the Body of Christ I see no need to affect the political system, which is doomed to failure, but instead to affect the culture in any given nation.

    We're only here for a little while. I want the way I lived here to leave a legacy of spiritual dimensions, not political change.

    Maybe I just talk too much! 😵
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    24 Aug '14 19:29
    Originally posted by JS357
    I suppose theists would say that the one person we can't fool is God.
    God knows our every thought and heart motive.

    2 Corinthians 5:11
    Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
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    25 Aug '14 00:32
    Originally posted by josephw
    God knows our every thought and heart motive.

    2 Corinthians 5:11
    Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
    I remember believing I had a guardian angel. (There is a wikipedia article that pretty well sums it up.) It wasn't a formal teaching. But my GA would know me that well. There was something very comforting about it.
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    25 Aug '14 00:36
    Originally posted by JS357
    I remember believing I had a guardian angel. (There is a wikipedia article that pretty well sums it up.) It wasn't a formal teaching. But my GA would know me that well. There was something very comforting about it.
    At what age did the credibility of this comfort mechanism wear off for you?
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    25 Aug '14 01:33
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b
    "The exercise through public participation of our obligations to the body of the citizenry." That's how Canadian philosopher and historian John Ralston Saul defines "individualism".

    b]
    Do you believe that there is a spiritual aspect to the political collective?

    It is interesting that John saw individualism tied directly to the collective, as if one needed the other to exist.
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    25 Aug '14 01:58
    Originally posted by whodey
    It is interesting that John saw individualism tied directly to the collective, as if one needed the other to exist.
    John Ralston Saul's take on "individualism" is that he is interested in discussing its expression or exercise within the context of the community or society at large. He is an implacable opponent of "corporatism" and he sees "individualism" as the alternative.

    His notion of "individualism" of course encompasses people who are inclined to have as little a role to play [or perhaps no role] in "collective" actions and transactions ~ as a function of their self-perceived "individualism" ~ but that is not particularly relevant to his analysis of what and how individuals can bring to - and affect - those around them.

    Therefore he uses the concept of "individualism" to analyse the contribution that we each make as individuals because he believes that is a basis for a society that is healthier than one rooted in "corporatism" in which "individualism" tends towards "...passivity and conformity in those areas that matter and non-conformism in those that don't," as he puts it.

    Here is a further relevant quote: "The acceptance of corporatism causes us to deny and undermine the legitimacy of the individual as a citizen in a democracy. The result of such denial is a growing imbalance which leads to our adoration of self-interest and our denial of the public good."
  15. SubscriberFMF
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    25 Aug '14 02:04
    Originally posted by whodey
    Do you believe that there is a spiritual aspect to the political collective?
    Well we humans are social creatures who exist in collectives ~ starting with the family. "Politics" in its broadest sense is how we label our efforts to affect our human environment. And, yes, certainly if we agree on the definition I laid out in the OP, I see our interaction with our human environment and our nature as social creatures as being inseparable from the spiritual and moral aspects of our human condition.
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