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  1. DaveLu

    DaveLu Member

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    What is spirituality and how do I get involved in it?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by DaveLu, Jul 20, 2017.

    From what I've read so far, one of the concepts spirituality seems to be concerned with is the individual's relationship to everything around him/herself. It's not really like religion with rituals and constructs, but something that varies from person to person.

    I can't find anything about how to actually go about practicing spirituality. A few of the videos on Youtube I've watched say a bunch of fluffy things and don't actually give practical advice.

    Does anyone have a good website or book that I could check out so I could incorporate Spirituality into my life? If you practice spirituality, what is your experience with it? How would you recommend someone could get involved?

    :)

    EDIT: By spirituality I do NOT mean the pseudo-religion of communicating with the dead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  2. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    You are going to be soooo disappointed when you realize that it's all fluffy nothingness because it's all fluffy nothingness.
     
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  3. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Lets put beliefs on a scale.


    Far Left _ Middle _ Far right

    Atheist/No God exists ---------------------------Agnostic/We don't know if God exists or not----------------------------Religious/God exists and this is what he's about.

    Spiritual would be middle right.
    It is a formless belief (doesn't have the structure of religion)
    Spirituality believes that yes, there is some sort of higher power/God but that it is either undefinable by humans, or has yet to be defined.

    TL/DR

    Spirituality is believing there is something, but not defining what that something is.

    It's hard to practice spirituality because 'practicing' is associated with traditions and structure, namely religion, but my guess would be try meditation.
     
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  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Well, that's the response from the Far Left...

    I've never heard it called spirituality before, but I think that ALL of life to the left of "I believe in God and worship him" can be lived in this area.

    As you say, @DaveLu , it's not a belief system so it's different for everybody. But I think that a good start is with Christ.

    Matthew 22:37-40New International Version (NIV)

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


    If you're avoiding worshipping God, the first of these commandments is obviously out. But the second is as good a mantra as any.

    Would you like it if somebody did that to you? No? Then don't do it to them.

    And you can extend this to:

    Would you like it if somebody did that for you? Yes? Then do it for them (*terms and conditions apply).

    *Use your judgement as to whether you can "afford" that, in terms of time or money or whatever.
     
  5. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Senior Member

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    Ideas about spirituality vary greatly, though perhaps fundamentally they are all more or less a search for wider meaning and purpose.
     
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  6. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    If you feel the need to be spiritual, it's sure enough a sign that there are things missing in your life.
     
  7. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    You've hit on the concept in your above statement. For me, it's being at one with Mother Nature and at peace within myself which hopefully makes me a better human being. It's about a heightened sense of awareness of the little things in life.

    It's also about self-belief and being comfortable in your own skin.

    A friend of mine believes in healing through music. I can go along with that idea as music can enhance our mood or detract from it. I can and do meditate.

    Spirituality is not a religion per se, although it does put religion into perspective (for me) and the whole question of God. But that is another topic and I don't want to turn this thread into a religious debate.

    Here is an article I found regarding spirituality
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-baksa/has-anyone-ever-told-you-_b_5587762.html

    I refer to excerpt
    Have you tried any of the following?
    Check out Tai Chi
    http://www.energyarts.com/what-is-tai-chi

    I
    Check out Yoga
    http://www.chopra.com/articles/the-7-spiritual-laws-of-yoga#sm.00001occt59arze6gti4ug4b30yv9
     
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  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    What about all that Gurdiev and Ouspensky from the old days? Some people get into that scene. Or, that book from the 80s - A Soul's Journey which states in the intro - The best part of this book is chapter five, but don't skip to chapter five.

    Chapter Five

    It is my sincere belief, and I know this to be true that every time you shudder, or tingle inside, it is the soul of the departed passing through you.
     
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  9. DaveLu

    DaveLu Member

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    Thanks I'll check out that article. So do you think you kind of create your own rules or I guess I should say your own way? I'm just not sure how I should go about getting on that path. I've meditated before (for Lucid Dreaming) but it never really helped. I think I just wasn't doing it right.

    I've never heard of him before but I'll definitely look into it!
     
  10. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    I can only speak for myself with regards to rules but yes, I do adhere to certain self-imposed rules. :) I am now my own free spirit and that is the reason I don't belong/get sucked into any groups, religious cults or high street religions. Neither do I take nootropics, pot or anything else to alter my state of mind. Buddhism is the closest to some of the basic rules I live by. This is maybe what you are looking for if you need a support group. Perhaps you need to ask yourself why? and the what will follow?

    upload_2017-7-23_8-42-12.jpeg


    Here is a better article
    The Qualities of a Spiritual Life
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sri-sri-ravi-shankar/spiritual-life_b_861265.html
    by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


    And take a look at this article by the University of Minnesota
    What Is Spirituality?
    then follow the various links referenced on page.
     
  11. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    spirituality -- the word itself says it for the most part, it is a belief in a spirit world and in some cases a pre and after life.

    It can be ritual based, such as shamanistic traditions, all the way to the ingestion of hallucinogenics, or ritualistic healing arts. For me it's more of a sense of being connected with a realm we can feel, but cannot see.

    Religion to me is more along the lines of where spirituality crosses the line into psychological, and physical enforcement of ideologies. This includes ideologies in which no god or afterlife exists.

    Spirituality is an individual's journey, which can be shared with others, and does not emphasize or exclude methods, with a caveat of "harm none"

    It is accepting and inclusive of various experiences and allows for interpretation by the individual who experienced it.

    there is no checklist to follow, beyond you have an innate knowledge of good and bad, and a personal set of morals and ethics, as does everyone else around you.

    Atheist or even agnostic, still has this sense of good v. bad. This is framed in the morals and ethics based on cultural experiences an individual came into contact with, and either accepted or rejected as personal boundaries.

    An atheist does not believe a spiritual world exists while an agnostic will acknowledge a possibility of its existence and scale it along the lines of probability of highly unlikely to highly likely.
    Landing wherever they feel most comfortable with the notion, the difference being they also counterbalance this with an acknowledgement of a spiritual world being non-existent.

    Spirituality, does not acknowledge the possibility of a spiritual world being non-existent, and recognizes any interaction with such a world is a personal experience. Even a mother nature, trans-dimensional, or noospheric belief system can be considered spiritual in that it recognizes an unseen (intelligent) external influence being applied to our own consensus reality.

    -- edit: I put intelligent in parenthesis because this can be subjective, in how it is interpreted, from a perceptually reactive intuition/instinct, to a higher intelligence orders of magnitude beyond our own comprehension.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  12. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    exactly! :supersmile:
     
  13. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Really? Spirituality as like a thing with guidelines. I always thought of it as. "I want to be religious without being actually religious" thus having ore loose and flexed to whatever the user believed.

    @Simpson17866 Sometimes it is unlikely to be one of the 10,000.

    At the OP. I don't know where to find this specifically, I just feel the need to toss out a joke I said to my sister when she said she was spiritual but hated religion. Which, I am personally definining spirituality as she did, which is something mystical or magical about the universe that is not fully understood beyond a gut instinct towards us being in some metaphysical way connected.

    To which I replied. "Saying you hate religion but love spirituality is like saying. You hate all current forms of ice cream but would love ice cream if only they would create a flavor just for you."

    I bring this up because, I as I currently know it(I admit my own ignorance) cannot possible understand how spiritual would not be easily classified as a pseudo-religion. Though granted pseudo religion is a bit redundant. Which seemed to be something you brought up in edit.
     
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  14. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    There is some confusion here about the definitions of atheism and agnosticism. These are not different points on a spectrum of belief, and one is not a more extreme version of the other.

    Atheism/theism refers to your belief in god. If you are a theist, you believe in god. If you are an atheist, you have no belief in god.

    Agnosticism/gnosticism refer to what you claim to know. An agnostic would say that they don’t know whether there is or is not a god. A gnostic would claim that they do know whether or not there is a god.

    These terms are not mutually exclusive, and their four permutations describe the various states of human spirituality.
    • Gnostic theists claim to know that the god they believe in exists. This describes most people in organised religion.
    • Agnostic theists believe there is a god, but acknowledge that they don’t actually know. Note, however, that their belief is not necessarily any less strong than a gnostic theist.
    • Gnostic atheists claim to know that there is no god.
    • Agnostic atheists have no belief in god, but do no make any claim to know whether it does or does not exist

    With regard to the original question, spirituality is a matter of what you believe. It’s not a club you can join or an activity you can get in to. You either have spiritual beliefs or you don’t. You could read some information about others’ spiritual beliefs and decide whether you believe them, but that kind of feels like going along with other people’s beliefs because you want something to believe in. Isn’t it more important to think about what you believe?

    I think you should also ask yourself why you want this. Why do you want to bring spirituality into your life? What are you looking for and why do you think spirituality will give it to you? Are there other ways you could achieve the same result, but focused on things that can be demonstrated to be real?
     
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  15. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    @mashers, while I do believe in a higher intelligence and for the sake of semantic ease identify this as god, I do not do organized religion. Along those lines I do not believe in books telling me what god is or is not, nor do i feel the need for a building or group to pray or communicate with said higher intelligence. I have had enough experiences with the other side of reality, which some may claim does not exist, to firmly believe it is there, to this end I also recognize this is no longer based on faith but grounded in personal experiences. Rational or irrational as those experiences may be to an outside observe is truly irrelevant to me. My own personal truth is there are intelligent entities out there and at some level they do influence our consensus reality, and in some instances some can interact with these entities.

    This is not something we can just drop into some category and close the box on as; you fit in with such and such a group of individuals. It is highly nuanced and subjective to individual belief systems. Basically why schisms occur in religions and cults form, eventually personal beliefs do not align with expectations, and realign to the next closest set of acceptable parameters based on a set of experiences an individual has gone thru.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  16. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Religion is not the same as belief or spirituality. Religion is just the application of those beliefs in the context of worship, which usually involves scripture, doctrine and both prescribed and proscribed behaviour (and thought).

    Yes it is. Those are the only options. What it is you believe in (or not) or claim to know to exist (or not) varies, of course. But the statements of belief or non-belief, and knowing and not knowing, are binary. You either believe, or you don't believe. You either claim to know, or you do not claim to know.

    Furthermore, being in the position of having spiritual beliefs but not 'doing organised religion' doesn't place you outside these categories. You still either believe in god or you do not. You said that you identify the spirit you believe in as god, therefore you are a theist. If you claim to know with certainty that this entity exists, and is god, then you are a gnostic theist. If you are open to the possibility that your experiences were something else and not god, then you are an agnostic theist.

    Well, first you would need to define what you mean by "schisms" in this context. Assuming you mean some kind of conflict between spiritual or religious groups, then it is usually not the belief in the deity which causes this. It's doctrine which demands repercussions for non-believers or apostates.
     
  17. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    bingo...

    i.e. why I do not classify spirituality as religion,

    the use of beliefs being binary to an end of classifying a spiritual person as being religious is wrong.

    in many cases there are no scriptures, doctrines, alters, sacred sites, or even worship, it is a matter of acceptance and a recognition of a relationship with something, which for all intents and purposes is undefinable.

    I am open to alternate explanations on some experiences, while other experiences are clear cut and in at minimum in my own mind are not open to alternate explanations.
    so if you like in some cases I am gnostic, while in other I am agnostic.

    Qualia ... You may not have the capacity to semantically explain what the color green looks like, and if I never experience it the information being provided would be nonsensical. I can have faith in what is being explained exists and can be experienced or choose to discount it as the ramblings of some poor delusional person. -- frequencies, wave lenghts, squiggly line on some screen -- what the hell is green ?

    Now if you show me examples of green it no longer requires faith on my part to believe the color exists. I can claim to be agnostic about the color green before it was shown to me. I can choose to disagree with your interpretation of the color or words used to describe it, what I should not do is say the color you showed me does not exist. I suppose if I really wanted to I could remain agnostic and feign ignorance, and then claim ... well what he showed me was a leaf and all I saw was a leaf, I still have no idea what he means. The color green what the hell is that anyway, poor guy he is out there making things up again.

    or should I be seeing this as --- oh you mean verde, why didn't you say so?
     
  18. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Deism. The belief in an higher intelligence but also believing that such a thing has no connection to organized religion. They have a box for everything!

    I like your way with words. And I feel no anger towards you. But I feel the need to reply to a subject such as this. So if I come across bad. I mean it in all sincerity, that it wasn't my attention. I can be a bit passionate when it comes to this subject.

    While it would be mean to deny personal experiences. It is kind of needed. Science, or the pursuit of the truth is an important subject to me. And it can't recognize our own subjective experiences because often times, they just don't add up. I am not trying to sway your personal feelings. I just hope you don't allow things you recognize as possibly irrational from an outside perspective to try and influence other people. If that makes sense?
    Now, just because it wouldn't be me if I didn't attack both sides. lol.

    Never thought about the word Gnostic before. I like learning. But what a useless word. Not faulting you. I have never liked the term agnostic in a religious context. As you say here it is an add on. An adjective to the belief, which I may yield too but that really isn't that useful either. You could replace them with, strong/weak and it would probably explain the idea better to an average person.

    The average person, and yes that is very important here, hears agnostic and they think "maybe or I don't know" vs a yes and no with the other two. I mean in all honesty, no sane person can truly claim to know. Using sane here in the sense of having some sort of evidence to back it up. The Atheist cannot prove a negative, and the Theist has not yet found anything that is good proof and probably never will. But we cannot know this is the truth. By this account, you would call me an Agnostic Atheist, but geeze. We already have more terms that we need. The term atheist doesn't need to exist either. No one calls me Afarist for not believing in fairies. Or any of the like things.

    But then again. They make a box for everything. Doesn't mean I like it. To be clear my attack isn't on you but the terminology. So unless you were the guy with Webster that issued the orders! Please don't that the above personally. ;)
     
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  19. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    @TheNineMagi
    I don't disagree with anything you have said. But still, the presence or absence of belief is binary. And the presence or absence of a claim to knowledge is binary. You are discussing what somebody could believe, what they could (claim to) know, and why. This does not really relate to the definitions of the words theism, atheism, gnosticism and agnosticism, either because the things you describe aren't spiritual (so the terms theism and atheism don't apply), or are already encompassed by the terms gnosticism and agnosticism (such as in your example of the colour green, which one either claims to know to exist, or does not claim to know to exist).
     
  20. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Senior Member

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    I think you just do it. Try an annotated copy of the Tao Te Ching.
     
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  21. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    I feel we are arguing two sides of the same coin ... wherein you are framing your argument in a highly limited absolute i.e -- Does God Exists -- Yes or No --- and then break the first binary by adding the weight of an additional parameter do you recognize you could be wrong Yes or No.

    From this proceeded to categorized a person's belief system into 4 neat little categories.

    An equivalency of of taking CYMK and saying all colors fit in one these categories while true for the most part there are infinite permutations of colors. Where some may like to differentiate between Aquamarine and Periwinkle the CYMK only approach limits the end solution to Cyan.

    The percentages of pigmentation for each base color varies, and is far from being a binary solution, wherein one can simply say ah yes this is blue. Doing this ignores everything else about what is being expressed.

    -------------------------------------------

    @GuardianWynn ... touche ... but I will argue they cannot label everything, and in many instances the label provided is not an absolute, but a sliding scale between upper and lower limits making the label subjective to personal interpretations.
    Would my interpretation of "it is hot or cold outside" be different if I lived my whole life in Siberia, vs. the Sahara? Now we can label things as hot or cold, this does not mean we are in agreement with what these means. A nice warm day in Siberia might include anything a few degrees above freezing. Now I doubt most of the world is going to initially agree. However, if they took the time to weigh in the context it was being measured from, they would most likely give the interpretation some leeway.

    scientifically you can provide me the temperature measurement. While the measurement itself remains true as a piece of information, the knowledge imparted by this information is variable to the contextual comparisons and associations being made about it.

    now if we are to label things for precision, then Gnosis is the Greek noun for knowledge. Knowledge at its core is a subjective agreement on the labels/terminology to describe what we perceive in the world around us. At best we agree on a defined set of parameters and set those as the upper and lower boundaries for the label provided. When we break through those boundaries we search for new labels to define our world even further into nice neat little boxes.

    I'm not out to convert anyone into believing in the existence, or non-existence of a deity, a higher intelligence, or completely separate parallel world(s) to our own. First off this would be a futile attempt at best, and secondly I prefer a person expresses their genuine beliefs. I have no anger either, and fully recognize I can also come off as highly passionate in a debate, hopefully it is a mutual understanding, this is not some angry rant.
     
  22. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Labels have a use to a point. When labels are so loose that only one member fits them, they become almost entirely moot. I am sure you could measure everyone's sense of spiritualness to a defined point that matched no one else. But what would be the point of such a system? The point here isn't if you can do that but how if everyone was truly unique and shown as being that way. The concept of labels become worthless. That is why for example that cyan is considered a blue! I mean, if it was just considered a cyan, that would not be very helpful. lol.

    But then again, we are splitting hairs here.

    Like for the temp thing. Sure, that is a perfectly valid idea to where our subjective experience is completely valid. But that in a sense proves my point. In the sense that science will tell you if it is actually hot or cold. Science in the sense of tested and established methods at building a thermotor While our subjective experience is quite invalid. At least at deciding if it was hot or cold. Even if the base line for when one becomes the other to a given person varies. The point remains that what temp it is, is not a subjective number. If you feel cold doesn't change the number.

    Now, our personal preference and our ability to detect that is another matter completely. Obviously you don't need science for that, though it doesn't hurt.

    But, the point is, in this situation, we are arguing two things. Personal comfort and actual temp.

    This would be my issue when it comes to spirituality. In the sense that, claiming that their is a great intelligence or claiming that I will survive the death of my body through some sort of other world. These are big claims. And they are objective ones. Not subjective like if we prefer a given tempature or what temp we consider hot and cold.

    So, when someone wants to believe in such a thing because it makes them feel better or because of a personal experience. This is fine, but it isn't science. And I trust science to tell me how hot the room is. Because my gut is wrong way too often.

    Almost feel like a dick again. Feeling a bit combative but it sounded like you wanted my honest reply. And that is it. :)
     
  23. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    They are two different things: what you claim to believe, and what you claim to know. I do not believe in god, therefore I have no god belief and am an atheist. But I do not claim to know that there is no god. Others claim to believe in god, but might acknowledge that they cannot know this (I.e. they acknowledge that it is a faith-based belief, not one based on evidence).

    Believing and knowing are not the same thing. That is why your belief and knowledge about the same thing can be compartmentalised. If they couldn’t, then belief and knowledge would be indistinguishable.

    No, this is the mistake you are making. Those four categories do not only describe somebody’s beliefs. If you only wanted to describe belief then you only need two categories - belief and non-belief. The other two categories add the dimension of claim to knowledge, which is not the same thing.

    You seem to be trying to liken belief to a colour spectrum by stating that if a colour can be not only cyan, magenta, yellow or black but some combination or shade between, then so should belief. The problem here is that the concepts of belief and of colour are completely incomparable. Of course colour has shades and hues in between those categories. We invented those categories (CMYK, RGB) because they are convenient ways for us to represent colour, and we can perceive the combinations and subtleties between them. But belief literally is a binary state. I’ve said this several times: you either believe something or you don’t. You either believe there is a god, or you don’t. You either believe there are fairies, or you don’t. You either believe there is a Loch Ness monster, or you don’t. If you don’t believe me, try to describe what a mid point between belief and non-belief would be. I guarantee that as soon as you move from the position of “I believe in x” to “I think I believe in x but...”, you’re in the position of non-belief.

    Put this into a non-spiritual context. I have a box which you cannot see inside. I tell you that inside the box there is either a book, or a brick. Do you believe that there is a brick in the box?

    Edit - actually, since we are discussing belief in existence of something, the situation should be that I have a box, and I tell you there is a book inside. Do you believe that there is a book inside?
     
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  24. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    oh, I absolutely want your honest reply. I love learning from the perspective brought in by other people, especially when it challenges my own perceptions and beliefs. Science is based on this curiosity and doubt

    while you can quantify a measurement, wherein the weights and measures have been standardized and agreed to, you cannot quantify the qualitative perceptual knowledge being imparted by this measurement.

    Spirituality is qualitative, and I fully agree it is not something quantifiable sciences should be trying to measure, classify, and catalog. Nor am I ever going to sit there and claim spirituality can be scientifically proven.

    The fallacy of its such a huge claim, and if you are going to be making such a claim, then you should also back it up with quantifiable proof ... really???

    Science has a symbol for infinity but can it honestly quantify it, we use the symbol zero every day of our lives but can we honestly measure the nothingness it truly represents?
    Have either of these perceptual pieces of knowledge been successfully measured and peer reviewed? Yet it remains as standard knowledge because we have a consensus agreement on the parameters these symbols conceptually represent.

    Should I exclude these symbols from science, because they are not quantifiable thru some measurement somewhere?
     
  25. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    faith would be me believing you and agreeing there is a book inside the box, knowing would be me having seen or somehow perceived the book inside of the box.
    The perception may or may not have been interpreted correctly, but if my x-ray machine said there was something in the box resembling the description of the book you provided then I may very well agree with you, However I would not call it faith at this point, because there was additional information provided to weigh in on this decision. We can reduce this ad infinitum, and say but what if it is a rock and it just resembled a book. It becomes a personal decision to interpret the information received within the parameters and boundaries I choose to apply.

    If I decided tomorrow to replace the word green with verlio, it would only take you a few iterations to understand what I mean by verlio

    the leafs on the tree are such a beautiful color of verlio.

    You would then have knowledge of what I meant by the color verlio.

    consensus agreement on a label, thru comparison, and association = knowledge -- how did you learn your colors? there is nothing binary about knowledge beyond the handshake of acceptance or rejection of the labels being provided to describe an aspect of the perceptual reality we are subjected to.

    just for the hell of it I could use hyper-sound and directly focus sound waves so only you can hear them. does this make you a crazy person just because those around you cannot hear what you are obviously perceiving? now I take you for an inquisitive guy, so my expectation would be you are going to search thru every possible avenue of information available to you to determine where those voices only you can hear are coming from. Exhausting any rational explanation, would you accept the irrational, chock it up to there is some kind of explanation but we just have not found it yet?

    What if it was just a brief episode, of say a dear one passing away, and all you heard were sounds your mind interpreted as

    "It's me Paul, don't be alarmed, I'm ok, it's actually wonderful and beautiful here."

    but it wasn't really words being spoken, but your mind solidly grepped the meaning of those sounds... let's follow this up with a visual of a bright multi-colored white light wrapping around you in an undeniable emotion of unconditional love. followed by your interpretation of what you would label as heaven.

    you just got a x-ray view inside the box and perceived the book....

    now hard science ... coming out of shock your brain released endorphins, and your inability to accept the loss of a loved one created a hallucinogenic experience convincing you your loved one was still there, and showed you a heavenly afterlife no less.

    are you buying it, or did you have a unique experience that could lean either way? human nature, what is the preference? If you chose to believe in an after life after this experience, should I take your interpretation away from you? There is a rational explanation, although it is also filled with lots of assumptions. Was I there? Did I have your brain hooked up to be be scanned while you were having this experience or is it just my swag at a possible explanation. did I experience what you did to make this judgement call, of just how real or unreal this experience was to you?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017

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