1. Melbourne, Australia
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    09 Mar '06 22:28
    Can there be such a thing - sprituality without religion?
    I'm an atheist, so that's it for me for religion, but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors - bushwalking, skiing, surfing and so on - and there's a sense of connection with nature that I get, particularly when I'm alone and when I've been going hard at it for a while, that is pretty hard to define but feels to me like it might be spirituality.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    09 Mar '06 22:38
    Originally posted by amannion
    Can there be such a thing - sprituality without religion?
    I'm an atheist, so that's it for me for religion, but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors - bushwalking, skiing, surfing and so on - and there's a sense of connection with nature that I get, particularly when I'm alone and when I've been going hard at it for a while, that is pretty hard to define but feels to me like it might be spirituality.
    Any thoughts?
    Go see your cardiologist.
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    09 Mar '06 22:43
    Originally posted by amannion
    Can there be such a thing - sprituality without religion?
    I'm an atheist, so that's it for me for religion, but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors - bushwalking, skiing, surfing and so on - and there's a sense of connection with nature that I get, particularly when I'm alone and when I've been going hard at it for a while, that is pretty hard to define but feels to me like it might be spirituality.
    Any thoughts?
    According to my health book, yes. in fact sprituality can be enhanced through many activitys such as: meditation, yoga, organized religion, prayer, spending time in nature, or working on environmental issues, helping others through volunteer work etc.

    Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose in ones existence, and provides an ethical path to fulfillment that includes a connectedness with self, others, and a higher power or larger reality.
  4. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    09 Mar '06 23:25
    Originally posted by flyUnity
    According to my health book, yes. in fact sprituality can be enhanced through many activitys such as: meditation, yoga, organized religion, prayer, spending time in nature, or working on environmental issues, helping others through volunteer work etc.

    Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose in ones existence, and provides an ethical path to fulfillment that includes a connectedness with self, others, and a higher power or larger reality.
    "Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose in ones existence, and provides an ethical path to fulfillment that includes a connectedness with self, others, and a higher power or larger reality."

    So does almost any group activity. I get that connectedness with others when I train in Karate, and when I teach a class (particularly higher level students who want to participate and are willing to talk to the big, bad lecturer!). I think finding that commonality with others is great, but I don't think that spiritual beliefs are necessary for that.
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    09 Mar '06 23:33
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    "Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose in ones existence, and provides an ethical path to fulfillment that includes a connectedness with self, others, and a higher power or larger reality."

    So does almost any group activity. I get that connectedness with others when I train in Karate, and when I teach a class (particularly higher level s ...[text shortened]... nality with others is great, but I don't think that spiritual beliefs are necessary for that.
    Spirituality dont have to be a belief system, it can be respect to a well-defined worldveiw
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    09 Mar '06 23:41
    Originally posted by amannion
    Can there be such a thing - sprituality without religion?
    I'm an atheist, so that's it for me for religion, but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors - bushwalking, skiing, surfing and so on - and there's a sense of connection with nature that I get, particularly when I'm alone and when I've been going hard at it for a while, that is pretty hard to define but feels to me like it might be spirituality.
    Any thoughts?
    God built this place so that even those who never hear of Jesus can get a sense of Him. Yes, what you're sensing could be spirituality.
    The point of the Christian religion is get one into a relationship with God. Whatever else surrounds that effort, the important thing is that relationship. Can you establish a relationship with God without participating in a religion? Most certainly, yes. It's just more difficult that way.

    DF
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    09 Mar '06 23:48
    Originally posted by DragonFriend
    God built this place so that even those who never hear of Jesus can get a sense of Him. Yes, what you're sensing could be spirituality.
    The point of the Christian religion is get one into a relationship with God. Whatever else surrounds that effort, the important thing is that relationship. Can you establish a relationship with God without participating in a religion? Most certainly, yes. It's just more difficult that way.

    DF
    Hold on there, what I'm talking about is NOT establishing a relationship with god, science I reject that such a thing can exist.
  8. Melbourne, Australia
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    09 Mar '06 23:52
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    "Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose in ones existence, and provides an ethical path to fulfillment that includes a connectedness with self, others, and a higher power or larger reality."

    So does almost any group activity. I get that connectedness with others when I train in Karate, and when I teach a class (particularly higher level s ...[text shortened]... nality with others is great, but I don't think that spiritual beliefs are necessary for that.
    Did I mention I'm an atheist?
    I'm not talking here about spiritual belief. What you get from your social interactions in Karate training may well be spirituality. I guess it's a name to give to that feeling of connectedness you mention.
    I suppose the question within a question that I was trying to get to in this thread was what the hell is spirituality? Does it by definition have to be linked with religious faith? What definition is that?

    Following on from that, is it something that is important for humans to experience and nurture - kind of like a nutrient that our bodies need? If that is the case, why? Is it connected to our experience of consciousness perhaps? That is, the sense that we are individuals with minds and so forth.
  9. Standard memberEAPOE
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    10 Mar '06 00:401 edit
    Originally posted by amannion
    Did I mention I'm an atheist?
    I'm not talking here about spiritual belief. What you get from your social interactions in Karate training may well be spirituality. I guess it's a name to give to that feeling of connectedness you mention.
    I suppose the question within a question that I was trying to get to in this thread was what the hell is spirituality? D ...[text shortened]... of consciousness perhaps? That is, the sense that we are individuals with minds and so forth.
    In evolutionary terms "spirituality" or the feeling that there is something more or beyond the realm of normal experience, developed in conjunction with human group size.

    Humans began forming larger social groups than any other animal species, the larger the functioning group size the greater the evolutionary advantage over smaller competing groups.

    The feeling of belonging and that the group is uniquely protected and created by something more or beyond each individuals power ( the feeling that there is a property beyond normal experience and understanding) is shared by individuals and serves to bind the group. Individual power within a group structured as a hierarchy is in constant flux, in itself causing ultimately fragmentation and weakness limiting group size. Moral and social systems developed from religious beliefs that are the mental interpretation of the underlying innate and powerful spiritual feelings allowed human social groups to continue forming larger and stronger social structures.

    If there was no evolutionary advantage in large complex groups there would be no requirement for spirituality, or more specifically the feeling that there is something more beyond experience and understanding.

    The spiritual feeling is simply a natural mechanism to allow the formation of large social groups. The nature of that feeling often misleads our ability to look at it in an objective way.
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    10 Mar '06 01:29
    Originally posted by EAPOE
    In evolutionary terms "spirituality" or the feeling that there is something more or beyond the realm of normal experience, developed in conjunction with human group size.

    Humans began forming larger social groups than any other animal species, the larger the functioning group size the greater the evolutionary advantage over smaller competing groups.

    The ...[text shortened]... oups. The nature of that feeling often misleads our ability to look at it in an objective way.
    That's interesting.
    Do you think that spirituality feelings or some analogous response might have evolved in other social animals - say for example Bonobos or Chimpanzees?
  11. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    10 Mar '06 02:36
    Originally posted by amannion
    That's interesting.
    Do you think that spirituality feelings or some analogous response might have evolved in other social animals - say for example Bonobos or Chimpanzees?
    I know that numerous groups of apes definately have a 'code of conduct', cheating and stealing are not allowed, and don't go unpunished. Social structure is, of course, also common in primates, so i'd probably say 'yes' to some extent, certainly a feeling of contentment at being part of a group is probably normal in these groups too. If you'd like to call those happy feelings about being part of the group 'spirituality' then that sounds as good a name as any to me!
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    10 Mar '06 02:50
    Originally posted by EAPOE
    In evolutionary terms "spirituality" or the feeling that there is something more or beyond the realm of normal experience, developed in conjunction with human group size.

    Humans began forming larger social groups than any other animal species, the larger the functioning group size the greater the evolutionary advantage over smaller competing groups.

    The ...[text shortened]... oups. The nature of that feeling often misleads our ability to look at it in an objective way.
    Do you think this evolutionary advantage to 'spirituality' might translate somehow to an evolution of religiosity? That is, while clearly for some of us the decision has been to eschew religion and faith and supernatural powers, it's just as clear that many - perhaps a large majority of humans do believe in this stuff.
    Is that a natural progression from a sense of spirituality?
    And if it is, could it occur in other animals?
    And where do atheists and other non-believers fit?
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    10 Mar '06 03:00
    Originally posted by amannion
    Hold on there, what I'm talking about is NOT establishing a relationship with god, science I reject that such a thing can exist.
    Your rejection of God in no way affects His existance. And since He does exist, you might very well be sensing His presence when alone in the wilderness. God reaches out to each of us. You might be reporting about the times you've noticed Him reaching out to you.

    DF
  14. Melbourne, Australia
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    10 Mar '06 03:13
    Originally posted by DragonFriend
    Your rejection of God in no way affects His existance. And since He does exist, you might very well be sensing His presence when alone in the wilderness. God reaches out to each of us. You might be reporting about the times you've noticed Him reaching out to you.

    DF
    That's true, but given that I reject that position from the start, I'm looking tiwards other explanations for the phenomenon.
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    10 Mar '06 03:55
    Originally posted by amannion
    That's true, but given that I reject that position from the start, I'm looking tiwards other explanations for the phenomenon.
    That's not a scientific approach, but you may certainly do whatever you wish. God will still be there when you run out of other explanations.

    DF
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