From: Amara Graps <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>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.
Though more of a "Zennist" than a Buddhist I don't see the two as
separate at all.
>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
I agree that it's individual, but I often see people's practices as
completely different from what they claim to believe.
>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.
I don't see any inherent wisdom, but I do see inherent order, and
I see wisdom and order as a result of various processes. I tend to
hold in awe all things, not merely the living.
>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 that direction.
Sounds like "right understanding" and other elements of the
eightfold path. The Buddha did insist it would end suffering.
>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.
Well, I have yet to experience THE answer, but I do know experience
is the key. And I have experienced many lesser answers.
Extropy Institute, www.extropy.org
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Current Reading: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
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