Re: Why we believe (was: fishing with the seventh seal)

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 14:21:08 MDT

I could buy that. But, I've also had lengthy conversations with people
who comprehend the inner workings of the Universe much better than I,
hence my ignorance far surpasses theirs. And still I hear them utter
spiritual descriptors to report their understanding.

Ultimately, this is probably a semantic issue. One uses the word
"spiritual" in this current time to refer to feelings of awe, child-like
wonder, and a vast reverence (if you will) for how the Universe is
constructed. It is not necessarily used to denote some connection with a
higher power, but rather a euphemism for conveying the proper "poetry"
associated with belief in the Divine and its constructs.

Personally, I prefer terms such as 'appreciation', 'wonder', 'awe', or
'bewilderment'. To me, the words 'spiritual' or 'spirituality' are
over-burdened with religious connotations, and should be used with the
utmost caution.

Finally, I feel that, at least for my friends and colleagues, there is a
strong undertone of continuing on the path of learning. They may be
expressing that it is the state of mystery that causes them 'spiritual'
feelings, but I also believe that present within their exclamations is
the drive for complete understanding. So, again, this may be a poor
choice of words on their part, or it may simply be that I lack the
poet's mouth to render my empirical eyes comprehensible to the lay.


Brian Atkins wrote:
> Do you think such people actually mean that they appreciate not only the
> beauty or whatever, but the mystery (for them) of how it got that way?
> In other words, most of these "spiritual" people are simply looking for
> a nice way of saying that they enjoy being ignorant?
> Dana Hedberg wrote:
> >
> > What is the difference between being "spiritually" inclined and just
> > having a grand appreciation for your life and the reality you currently
> > inhabit? Many people I've talked to often claim a sense of spirituality
> > without belief in some higher Creator/Supreme Being. Upon probing, what
> > I've found is simply that they appreciate the complexity and the beauty
> > of their environment (internal and external) without reference to some
> > all-powerful deity. So, my question would then be, why use the loaded
> > term spiritual, when really, you mean simple appreciation for your
> > circumstances (whatever you perceive/believe them to be)?
> >
> > -Dana
> >

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