From: Samantha Atkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mon Jul 09 2001
>I will eventually share some of the actuality of what I do with
>spirituality in my life if you wish. But it is not easy as there has
>long been a tension inside of me between various parts of my
>spirituality and science and scientific or perhaps scientistic
It is rare to find people who have integrated (and I mean
*integrated*) the scientific and 'spiritual' (ok, using quotes)
aspects of oneself because it's *hard*. Usually I've seen in
scientists, who are also religious, some peculiar blinders set
around their spriritual world. I'm not sure how integrated my own
process is, but it's been going on more than 10 years now,
re-working and refining and re-living. The only person who I know,
for sure, that has accomplished an integration of their spiritual
and scientific world is a very good friend, who is an atmospheric
chemist, and a Zen Budhhist teacher, and she is currently advising
congress-critters about environmental policy.
>To be honest I am afraid of being shunned from conversations I care
>about by people I respect and care about where my views and
>practices are too much at odds with what some may believe is
>reasonable and respectable. It doesn't feel very safe.
I'm not afraid, because it's already happened to me :-(
Try explaining 'synchronicity', for example, to someone who has not
spent much time with their inner world, and so then, see how
far you can go.
[My definition of synchronicity: Consciously or unconsciously you
*know* the things that you like/want/need/good-for-you, therefore your
senses are highly tuned and sensitive to that item in your
environment. So then, some event that might be considered a
coincidence to someone else, takes on a special meaning to you: a
"meaningful coincidence", i.e. synchronicity. Often it turns out
that that particular occurrence was exacly what you needed, whether
or not you were aware of its importance at the time. Hopefully you
_were_ aware and hopefully you _did_ notice and _act_ on it.
Awareness. The more aware that you are of the workings of your inner
world, the more synchronous events in your outer world will occur.]
>> Neat. But I still have very little sense at all of what
>> you're trying to convey when "spirituality" or "religiousity"
>> pops up in your sentences.
>I am not very sure I wish to try to convey much of what it is to me
>here. Partially because my own attempting to find a balance that
>fits is a delicate process. Partially because I don't feel this is a
>very safe environment for simply sharing much of what I deal with
>outside of more common mutual grounds of interaction. I will have to
>consider how much I want to say at this time and get back to you.
>Also, there is the matter of the generality of spirituality vs
>the specifics of my spirituality. I don't want the generality
>of the question and the issues to be lost in the specifics
>directly relevant to me.
I think that a definition about 'spirituality' is highly individual
because it _must_ emerge out of one's own inner explorations, and
therefore it is almost impossible to separate the individual's
belief/philosophical system and the individual's practices.
Shall I try to describe some aspects of what _I_ mean by
'spirituality'? (I don't know how close Samantha and I are on this,
but I suspect that we have a little overlap) Maybe this will help
facilitate some understanding in this conversation.
_Some_ aspects of _my_ spirituality:
I believe that there is a deep wisdom in my environment, it only
requires me to be aware of it, to look, to probe, to see, to
understand. It's like recognizing a god in ourselves and in every
human and every thing, but without the concept of a supernatural
creator. In addition, the environment present around me is also a
result of processes in the past, and there is a deep wisdom there,
as well. My own peculiar bent on this 'recognition' results in being
in awe of all things *living*; for me it's the most divine thing
that I can think of, that is, that I am alive and that other things
are alive and this world and Universe exists. I don't know what
better word than 'awe', at the fact that we exist. A psychological
effect of my awe, is that often the smallest, most inconsequential
things in my environment seem to me to be the most profound:
footsteps in sand, the smell of garlic and onion, hearing children
laughing (or crying), and so on.
A corollary to the above arises from my physics knowledge plus some
very basic level of trust (and naivte): I am deeply connected to my
environment. One can trace the physics, biology, etc. to show these
relationships hold, but I'm convinced. The result of that
connectedness for me has a profound psychological effect too: I can
make it through rough times when I 'feel' my connectedness. My
connectedness knowledge seeps in my morals and value system, as
well. Usually that's good, but the result is that I'm highly
sensitive, with almost no boundaries, so my personal struggles lie in
>From my spiritual view, I believe that the answers (to any questions
that we have) are *in us* and *around us*. This is one place where
cultural history and mythology can play an important role. Humans
have experienced and worked out amazing things, and their intellectual
and emotional paths are in front of us, if we *only pay attention*.
I.e., The symbols are in front of us in the stories of the lives of
our human ancestors, if we know how to read and understand the
systems and symbols and then know how to apply those systems and
symbols to our own (present) lives.
Amara Graps email: email@example.com
Computational Physics vita: finger firstname.lastname@example.org
Multiplex Answers URL: http://www.amara.com/
"Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the
future of the human race." -- H. G. Wells
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