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Athiests in AA??

Old 11-02-2006, 07:15 AM
  # 101 (permalink)  
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FOr me it simply mean living as best I can by the spiritual principle of the program, honesty, openmindedness, willingness, acceptance, surrender, tolerance, faith, trust, love, ect... B/C I trust that if I try to do the right thing in my life, my life will be better.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:24 AM
  # 102 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by windysan
Blake, I never could understand what "spirituality" actually means. It is something I have trouble grasping.
When it comes to the word 'spirituality,' I find it mostly represents things I don't believe in.
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:51 AM
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Blake,

So spirituality is trying your best to do the right thing? To do good things. It doesn't mean I have to stop attending Burningman or stop going to GWAR concerts? I do enjoy lots of the darker things out there...drugs don't happen to one of them anymore though.

So to make it simple I can say that "spirituality" is doing your best to do the right things?

The word "spirituality" makes it awful confusing. Kinda reminds me of church.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:05 PM
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spirituality


Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. The spiritual, involving as it may perceived eternal verities regarding Man's ultimate nature, often contrasts with the temporal or with the worldly. The central defining characteristic of spirituality is a sense of connection to a much greater whole which includes an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence. Equally so, spirituality influences matters of sanity and psychological health. As with some forms of religion, the emphasis of spirituality is often on personal experience. It may be an expression for life perceived as higher, more complex or more integrated with one's worldview, as contrasted with the merely sensual. In Eastern traditions, spirituality (adhyatma) is also defined as that which pertains to the soul (atma).

The spiritual and the religious

An important distinction exists between spirituality in religion and spirituality as opposed to religion.

In recent years, spirituality in religion often carries connotations of a believer having a faith more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established religions. It also can connote the nature of a believer's personal relationship or "connection" with their god or belief system, as opposed to the general relationship with the Deity understood to be shared by all members of that faith.

Those who speak of spirituality as opposed to religion generally believe in the existence of many "spiritual paths" and hold that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow. Rather, adherents of this definition of the term emphasize the importance of finding one's own path to whatever-god-there-is, rather than following what others say works. The best way to describe this view is: the path which makes the most sense is the correct one (for oneself). Many adherents of orthodox religions who consider spirituality to be an aspect of their religious experience are more likely to contrast spirituality with secular "worldliness" than with the ritual expression of their religion.

People of a more New Age disposition tend to state that spirituality is not religion, per se, but the active and vital connection to a force, spirit, or sense of the deep self. As cultural historian and yogi William Irwin Thompson put it, "Religion is not identical with spirituality; rather religion is the form spirituality takes in civilization." (1981, 103)

Directed spirituality

One aspect of "being spiritual" is goal-directed, with aims such as: simultaneously improve one's wisdom and willpower, achieve a closer connection to Deity/the universe, and remove illusions or false ideas at the sensory, feeling and thinking aspects of a person. The 'Plato's cave' analogy in book VII of The Republic is one of the best-known descriptions of the spiritual development process, and thus, an excellent aid in understanding what "spiritual development" exactly entails.

Others regard spirituality as a two-stroke process: the "upward stroke" is inner growth, changing oneself as one changes his/her relationship with the external universe, and the "downward stroke" is manifesting improvements in the physical reality around oneself as a result of the inward change. Another connotation is that change will come onto itself with the realization that all is oneself; whereupon the divine inward manifests the diverse outward for experience and progress.

Spirituality and personal well-being

Spirituality, according to most adherents, forms an essential part of an individual's holistic health and well-being.

Due to the broad scope and personal nature of spirituality, however, one can perhaps better understand it by focussing on key concepts that arise when people are asked to describe what spirituality means to them. Research by Martsolf and Mickley (1998) highlighted the following areas as worthy of consideration:

* Meaning – significance of life; making sense of situations; deriving purpose.

* Values – beliefs, standards and ethics that are cherished.

* Transcendence – experience, awareness, and appreciation of a "transcendent dimension" to life beyond self.

* Connecting – increased awareness of a connection with self, others, God/Spirit/Divine, and nature/Nature.

* Becoming – an unfolding of life that demands reflection and experience; including a sense of who one is and how one knows.

Spirituality and science

Analysis of spiritual qualities in science faces problems like the imprecision of spiritual concepts, the subjectivity of spiritual experience, and the amount of work required to translate and map observable components of a spiritual system into empirical evidence. Nevertheless, certain connections have been made. Prominent scientists such as Niels Bohr, David Bohm and Anton Zeilinger have articulated spiritual consequences of quantum physics. The yearly conferences between scientists (including Zeilinger) and the Dalai Lama, one of which has been published under the title of The New Physics and Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama, are exemplary explorations of the overlaps between these areas.

Rudolf Steiner and others in the anthroposophic tradition have attempted to apply scientific methodology to the study of spiritual phenomena in order to shape a spiritual science. This is not an attempt to redefine natural science, but to explore inner experience, especially our thinking, with the same rigor as we apply to outer (sensory) experience. The scientific criteria of intersubjectivity and repeatability have, however, rarely been met here.

Ken Wilber represents a recent attempt to unite science and spirituality. He has proposed an integral theory of consciousness.

History of spirituality

Until recent centuries, the history of spirituality remained bound up within the history of religion. Spriritual innovators operated within the context of a religious tradition, and became either marginalised/suppressed as heretics or separated out as schismatics. In these circumstances, so-called "spiritual" practices such as shamanism remained in the sphere of the religious, and even non-traditional activities such as those of Robespierre's Cult of the Supreme Being belonged in the province of religion.

Schmidt (2005) sees Ralph Waldo Emerson as a pioneer of the idea of spirituality as a distinct field.

The distinction between the spiritual and the religious became more common in the popular mind with the rise of secularism and the advent of the New Age movement.

Spiritual traditions and communities

* A Course in Miracles
* Anthroposophy
* Bahá'í Faith
* Buddhism
* Catholic spirituality
* Christian Science
* Christianity (Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism)
* Discordianism
* Esoteric Christianity
* Ethical Culture
* Feminist spirituality
* Gnosticism
* Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Vedanta
* Islam, Sufism
* Jainism
* Judaism, Kaballah
* Neo-confucianism, Taoism
* New Age, New Thought, Spiritualism, The Dances of Universal Peace
* Paganism, Neopaganism, Modern Gallae
* Religious Science
* Restorationism
* Rosicrucianism
* Shamanism
* Sikhism
* Spiritism
* Subud
* Surat Shabda Yoga
* Thelema
* Theosophy
* Unitarian Universalism
* Wicca
http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?...tuality&gwp=13
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:21 PM
  # 105 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by windysan
Blake,

So spirituality is trying your best to do the right thing? To do good things. It doesn't mean I have to stop attending Burningman or stop going to GWAR concerts? I do enjoy lots of the darker things out there...drugs don't happen to one of them anymore though.

So to make it simple I can say that "spirituality" is doing your best to do the right things?

The word "spirituality" makes it awful confusing. Kinda reminds me of church.
Pretty much sums it up for me dude. For me, the whole "spirit" thing comes into it when I stand up for my values and beliefs and do the right thing even when it is the less attractive thing to do...I get this really good feeling in my gut....that's as close as I get to "spiritual experiences".

As far as burning man and gwar and the like, **** go for it dude. For me, being spiritual can include some of the darker things too....I went to the house of shock a few weeks ago across the lake, with a bunch of recovering addicts and we had a blast, I enjoy really ****** up books and movies...has nothing to do with being spiritual or not.

My conscience is my "spiritual guide"...has absolutely nothing to do with religion, church or the supernatural... It's all in how you define "spiritual"
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:26 PM
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Hey !! I've got spirituality !!

(i still don't understand it, dang)
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:52 PM
  # 107 (permalink)  
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http://www.newhumanist.org.uk/volume...d=957_0_32_0_C

Here is a link to a book review about secular spirituality...
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:10 AM
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Don't you find, Windy, that the best things in life are simply lived, regardless of whether they're understood?
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Alera
The secular forum I belong to is SMART Recovery. It is a secular program that is based on CBT. There are tools, meetings and a forum. However, the forum isn't as busy as this one, and is more program based, so I like to post here as well.
Thre is a SMART meeting about 1 mile from my home that I intend to attend.

Also, I am thinking about going to a Quad A meeting - "Atheists and Agnostics Alcoholics Anonymous". I attended one when I first got sober but at the time I was happy with regular AA and did that instead.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Blake
http://www.newhumanist.org.uk/volume...d=957_0_32_0_C

Here is a link to a book review about secular spirituality...
I'll look at this. I am having a difficult time with the concept of a "secular higher power" or "secular spirituality". One definition of secular is "of or pertaining to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritial or sacred".
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:16 AM
  # 111 (permalink)  
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Yeah I preffer the term "power greater than myself" to the term "higher power"...I can deffinately see plenty of powers greater than myself in life, so it helps me...
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
Don't you find, Windy, that the best things in life are simply lived, regardless of whether they're understood?

I try not to think too much. Makes my head hurt.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Leo_the_Cat
I'll look at this. I am having a difficult time with the concept of a "secular higher power" or "secular spirituality". One definition of secular is "of or pertaining to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritial or sacred".
LOL, indeed Leo. "Secular spirituality" is a veritable non sequitur. Here is just one criticism of the concept:

Culture can push things to extremes—and end up in some pretty peculiar places. Consider fireplace videos, for example. The video shows the fire and records the crackling of the flames for the full length of the tape or DVD. (There’s also a fishtank version.) Advertisers claim that the fireplace video will recreate the fire experience wherever it’s needed, without the mess or smell of a real fire. But if you’ve ever experienced a fire, the video is a far cry from reality. There’s an essence to a fire that can’t be captured on a screen.

Likewise is a bias toward the experience of faith practiced in community. Secular spirituality can emulate some aspects of the faith experience, and meet some spiritual needs, but it cannot entirely replace the experience. The danger in relying too heavily on the particulars of secular spirituality lies in the propensity to miss critical elements of shared faith.

The purpose of most spiritual practice is to transcend the self in order to experience or interact with a deeper divinity. This seems the antithesis of much secular spirituality—which tends to focus on the self and on self-improvement. Most of these books may attempt to oversimplify God and the complexities of religion. Many cater to consumerist desires rather than offer the spiritual joys and challenges of living in convenantal relationship with others.

-- Anne Van Dusen, Senior Research Associate, The Alban Institute


And there is another name for what Boulton is delving into - philosophy. LOL

Secular humanism is nothing new. David Boulton is playing a bit fast and lose with labels IMO.

Good to meet y'all, btw. My first post in Sec-Con.

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Old 11-05-2006, 05:10 AM
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"Isn't it enough to see that the garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams.

For me, 'spiritual growth' is about learning to be better at being. I think that the word ''spiritual', with its connotations of 'Holy Spirit' and the like, causes confusion. I have never been able to understand what is so "sprirtual" about these so-called 'spiritual values', like honesty, integrity, generosity and so on. These values are human, natural, and most definitely of this world, not some imagined other world. So I too think that the term 'secular spirituality' is awkward, but for rather different reasons to you, TenChips. Welcome, by the way.

Yeah I preffer the term "power greater than myself" to the term "higher power"...I can deffinately see plenty of powers greater than myself in life, so it helps me...
Yeah, me too. The very fact that I acknowledge these powers, and the fact that the way I respond to them often helps me, tells me I'm on the right track.

But praying to any of them? What for? I might as well pray to a doorknob!
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:01 AM
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When I was attending AA meetings and everyone began with the serenity prayer I never ever even once began with saying "God" I always began the prayer with "Grant me..

As far as the Lord's prayer I always subsitituted "Our Mother who art in heaven" then the rest of the prayer felt more comfortable to me. Mostly I just skipped those prayers, especially the 3rd and 7th Step prayers. I don't even know them.

As I was beginning to accept that not everything went MY way I did mutter out a few "thy will be dones" But organized religion does not have a corner on the word "Thy" I just did my own translation and to me "thy" meant destiny.

As far as the difference between spirituality, religion and nature are concerned. This is how I see it:

Religion if for people who are afraid of going to Hell
Spirituality is for people who have already been there
For myself Naturalism deals with chit happens over and over again so forget the drama and get with the flow of change.

Burning Man is in my opinion an epitomization of naturalism because whether or not people party, when the party is over the land we love returns to it's previous barren untouched own natural state. That action is done by those of us who attend and pick up every cigarette butt, burned piece of wood and plastic bottle cap.
Burning Man does not change nature. Burning Man reveres nature. We do not think ourselves as being separate or larger than nature.
So ((( windysan ))) You be in deep natural and spiritual doo doo!

just my 2 cents
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:05 AM
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There's a metaphysical part to "secular Spirituality" and a cultural part, isn't there?

The metaphysical part is about how wo/man has tried to relate to (and engage with) the unknown. That encompasses all of the religious traditions as well as the humanities. Then there's the cultural part - the "how shall we relate to each other" part. In recovery I encountered lots of instruction on this second aspect.
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
There's a metaphysical part to "secular Spirituality" and a cultural part, isn't there?

The metaphysical part is about how wo/man has tried to relate to (and engage with) the unknown. That encompasses all of the religious traditions as well as the humanities.
Why not include science, which engages directly with the unknown?
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Old 11-08-2006, 02:15 AM
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It does. And mostly without prejudice too. I kinda thought though that if I had said "religion and the humanities and science", that there was nothing which didn't engage with the unknown. lol
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:22 PM
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I go to AA meetings, and mostly I let the specifically religious stuff wash over me. I don't have a God, nor do I buy into a lot of the "there are no coincidences" stuff, nor the "cosmic force that orders the universe" either. But there are smart people, in meetings and elsewhere, who have experienced something worthwhile from their religious belief, and it's intriguing for me to try to make that meaningful for me, someone who doesn't have any particular belief in transcendance.

What really matters is just that process - sitting and carefully listening to others, trying to really pay heed to what they say, and shutting the f*** up for once in my life. It takes me out of my own self-centreness, which I soooooo badly need. It's not just learning, it's practising...

Otherwise, James Joyce: "God is a shout in the street" always worked for me.
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
The metaphysical part is about how wo/man has tried to relate to (and engage with) the unknown. That encompasses all of the religious traditions as well as the humanities.
Hey there Paul,

Secular spirituality, I thought, purports to encompass spiritual principles as opposed to the trappings of all religious traditions - which truly sounds impossible for a single field of study to do! (lol)

There's a metaphysical part to "secular Spirituality" and a cultural part, isn't there?
Metaphysics today has as much to do with quantum theory as spirituality. "Meta" in Latin means beyond, so one could propound that its simplest definition is beyond physics. However, a more comprehensive current definition acknowledges it quite literally as a branch of philosophy exploring the nature of reality and some really weird new science (black holes, particle physics, etc.)

Metaphysics is sorta like... the new physics. *shrug*

I just still see "secular spirituality" as a contrived term synonymous with secular humanism.

Being so new to that term, however, I could be wrong.

To invert Billy Joel: I may be right for all I know - but I may be wrong.



-TCD-
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