Amara has coherantly described not only what "syncronicity",
but also what "spirituality", mean to her; no small achievement.
> (Lee, does this help you to understand how some of us might
> define spirituality?)
But it's probably also clear from what you and Samantha
have written, that the meanings of these terms will
remain highly personal and non-objective. Even more
evidence for this comes from the way that I could relate
to quite a bit of what you'd written, but (for better or
for worse) never even coming close to utilizing the
notion of "spirituality", and certainly not "religiosity".
There are a huge number of things that engender similar
feelings in me. I could talk here and at this point about
music, math, history, civilization, some sciences, chess,
Go, and perhaps a few other things. ("Old movies" have
perhaps only in the last weeks begun to generate feelings
in me that might cause me to add them to the list.) In
my case the "awe" that you describe comes, I suspect,
from initimate acquaintance. (This would also fit your
having studied science for so many years.)
Honestly compels me to state, for what it's worth, however,
that I do not experience nearly to the same degree (that
you do) any reverance for nature, living beings as such,
or for the universe.
So are we homing in, by any chance at all, on a mutually
useful meaning? That is, it sounds to me that "spirituality"
might be for many of us---certainly not all---the following:
Spirituality: a deep appreciation of something so emotionally
compelling that it becomes a form of reverance.
Now, I must also candidly say that there is one huge
problem with any such explanation or definition, and
it's this: many people will ADAMANTLY resist any such
reduction to concrete words or concepts for these reasons:
1. such an active reduction is itself rational/scientific,
and therefore *itself* not emotionally compelling
2. any such description is "third person" instead of
"first person"---hence "detached", "analytic",
"unfeeling", and so on. (Those same people will,
for example, frequently insist that first person
consciousness or pain can never be explained.)
Some deeper psychology may also be involved, and relates
to a statistical difference between men and women. (It's
no coincidence, according to this observation, that the
main defenders of "spirituality" here have been women.)
Some of us just do not *feel* it appropriate to discuss
our *feelings* about nature, or chess, or old movies, or
the universe. It seems wrong or inappropriate. It can
even seem boring, as in, "why the hell would anyone want
to hear me rhapsodize about Tschaikovsky?" We have, for
peculiar psychological reasons, some disdain for (vain?)
attempts to use what we see as a third-person vehicle---
namely the spoken and written word---to attempt to "convey"
feelings. Was it perhaps non-selective on the hunt? :-)
> Just as I have to respect every event in my life that
> shaped my current existence, I respect every process
> that shaped the existence of everything else, and I
> really feel honored that I was asked (?) to participate
> in the unfolding of the Universe's events, and that
> I'm a part of it all.
I occasionally am overwhelmed too about how wonderful it is
to have gotten to live. (One could, by the way, point out
that you don't really mean "every process that shaped the
existence of everything else" by alluding to horrible
processes and events, but your meaning is clear.)
So it comes down to this: the people who claim to be
spiritual in most cases (a) have a deep appreciation of
of things, probably foremost among them the universe
itself, to the point of reverance, and (b) feel inclined
to talk about it, or to communicate it.
People who have no use for "spirituality" or "religiosity"
usually---although perhaps having equally deep appreciation
(or perhaps not, who can really say?)---hardly ever feel
worshipful, reverent, or deeply respectful (of non-sentience).
Moreover, they feel awkward or even self-indulgent when
trying to communicate such appreciations or profound feelings.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:43 MDT