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.