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  1. Standard member Omnislash
    Digital Blasphemy
    13 Mar '05 22:20 / 2 edits pulled from websters dictionary:

    Main Entry: spir·i·tu·al·i·ty
    Pronunciation: "spir-i-ch&-'wa-l&-tE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
    1 : something that in ecclesiastical law belongs to the church or to a cleric as such
    2 : CLERGY
    3 : sensitivity or attachment to religious values
    4 : the quality or state of being spiritual

    Atleast, that is the official definition. Personally though, I think the term has a far more broad usage and is understood to be more ambiguous in application.

    Since the formation of the spirituality forum, I have been reflecting a bit upon what I might hold in my personal life that would fit under this term other than main stream theology.
    I, personally, have a firm belief in the tangible and malleable energy inherent in all things, especially those things which are alive and natural. This is not too far off from the same beliefs/feelings/whatever of druidic/wiccan/whatever practitioners. HOWEVER, I do not consider this theurgical enamor to be anything akin to religion or worship of any kind. I do however FEEL a certain nirvana though, which I would personally consider to be spiritual in nature.

    So, here's my query. How do we define the spiritual? I know people who might say that they have spiritual experiences walking a city street, much akin to when I walk in the forest. Is spirituality restricted to that which we would teem as "worship"? I think not, but am curious as to how others might perceive "spirituality". What are the qualifying factors?
  2. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    14 Mar '05 00:02
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I, personally, have a firm belief in the tangible and malleable energy inherent in all things
    Is this the thing scientists call 'mass'?

    Seriously, on the question of what spirituality means, here's one interpretation:

    Spirituality comes from the Latin 'spiritus', meaning 'breath', which is intimately connected to life in that people die very quickly if they stop breathing, and is used as a metaphor for life in Latin and sometimes in English. So I suppose you could say that spirituality concerns itself with the essence of life. Eg: What does it mean to be alive? Does life have a purpose? Is it possible to divide life into separate entities, or are all life-forms aspects of a united whole?

    Now you could say that religion attempts to answer many questions which people consider fundamental to the nature of life (such as what is meant by death) and as such it is spiritual. The same goes for much of secular science and philosophy as well. Unfortunately, 'spiritual' is nowadays taken to mean something intuitive, unscientific and/or concerned with divinity, but there's no need to load such connontations on it.

    Then there's the idea of a spiritual experience. This could mean an experience which relates to spirituality in any way at all, such as a discussion of it, but normally what is meant is an experience which has a profound effect on a person's spirituality, ie their perception of the nature of life. This could induce euphoria, contentment or terror depending on how the person's beliefs change, but none of these emotions are unique to spiritual experiences.