RE: Lind echoes Burch's Extro 5 address

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 17:48:58 MST

Samantha wrote:
> Spirituality includes a very high value on compassion. It
> includes valuing all human beings deeply and seeking solutions
> that are beneficial to all whenever possible. It defines
> "winning" as being a lot broader than "me winning" and others
> losing.

This is interesting as a list of some things that spirituality is, or might

However, I would list all of these as attributes of my personal value
system, and yet I would never consider myself a "spiritual" person; far from

Similarly, I believe a lot of people who call themselves "spiritual" might
not share all these attributes. "valuing all human beings deeply" might be
quite untrue for many self-professed spiritual people, some of whom might
use, as an example, a relatively implicit and unconscious "us vs them" meme.
The "winning = me winning" seems to adequately describe a lot of new age
sh*te. If you look at (dumber) parts of the conservation movement, you often
see an implicit (or explicit!) anti-human agenda, and I bet plenty of those
people profess to be "spiritual". Gaeia, anyone?

I'm highly suspicious of the label "spiritual". What is it, which is not
defined in opposition to rationality? Don't you devalue rational/scientific
enquiry merely by using the term?

Sure, I agree that we are more than rationality machines... there is
something of the unfathomable to being human, to experiencing life, which
goes beyond the mundane; something essential. Those prize qualities of
humanity... motivation, inspiration, imagination... come directly out of
this unknown side of us.

However, it is merely unknown, and not even completely that. I am confident
that, in the fullness of time, after much dedicated enquiry, we will
understand these parts of our nature/intelligence as surely as we can
understand anything else. As lighted on in the thread about Midochlorians
and Star Wars, we may well lose some of the mystique (and the mystic) in the
discovery of truth. Be that as it may.

The most charitable interpretation I can make of the attribute of
"spirituality" is that of being comfortable with that most unknown, and
powerful, side of oneself. However, I really believe that the label is so
loaded down with connotations of the supernatural and mystical nonsense,
that it really should be discarded in favour of something more utilitarian.
"Inspirationality"? "Non-linearity"? I'm open to suggestions.

But "spirituality"? I don't think so.


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