Critique on sprituality

 
puppy
 
Avatar
 
 
puppy
Total Posts:  1
Joined  03-03-2018
 
 
 
03 March 2018 12:26
 

https://www.clarity-of-being.org/exit-spirituality.htm

Here is quite a different unorthodox sort of view on sprituality.

Here are some extracts…

“The very notion of ‘spirituality’ or ‘spirit’ implies movement - spatial movement. Implicit in spatial movement is separateness.”

“The very concept of a ‘spiritual path’ or ‘spiritual journey’ incorporates a sense of separation and obfuscates the simple fact that self-actualization is right here, in the ‘now’.”

“You do not find truth by filling in the gaps in our knowledge / understanding with belief!”

Note that garbage in this context is refering to a mind virus/illusion/mara/maya equivalent.

 
NL.
 
Avatar
 
 
NL.
Total Posts:  5898
Joined  09-11-2012
 
 
 
04 March 2018 10:39
 
puppy - 03 March 2018 12:26 PM

https://www.clarity-of-being.org/exit-spirituality.htm

Here is quite a different unorthodox sort of view on sprituality.

Here are some extracts…

“The very notion of ‘spirituality’ or ‘spirit’ implies movement - spatial movement. Implicit in spatial movement is separateness.”

“The very concept of a ‘spiritual path’ or ‘spiritual journey’ incorporates a sense of separation and obfuscates the simple fact that self-actualization is right here, in the ‘now’.”

“You do not find truth by filling in the gaps in our knowledge / understanding with belief!”

Note that garbage in this context is refering to a mind virus/illusion/mara/maya equivalent.

 

There seems to be an undertone of hostility in this approach, but it does highlight for me what has been a fairly prominent dynamic tension between individual and communal paths in spirituality. I.e., this passage:

That is one very good reason why I completely disregard people’s attempts to argue or ‘discuss’ with me my purported ‘views’. All they are seeking to do is beat me into submission with their beliefs and opinions. If they genuinely wanted to get closer to any sort of genuine ‘truth’ they would simply get on with putting my working model and methods into practice and see for themselves to what extent those bring them benefits beyond whatever they may imagine they were gaining from their own particular belief systems.


While I have few evangelical impulses (i.e., I’m fine if other people don’t want to put any method I use into practice,) I was tired of being a square peg in more traditional religion when I started meditating and learning about contemplative practices. Over the course of several years, I’ve found that the more individualized path of meditation is a much better fit for me - and I think I’m a better person because of it, so I think this is a good situation all around. It’s better for me, it’s better for others, it’s a win win.


That said, I don’t think there is zero downside to the “stay the hell off my path” approach you often find in modern spiritual communities. I feel like the thing about community is that: 1) It is really, really valuable to human psyches but 2) People are going to be really awful and annoying in them sometimes. And this is not a deviation or a fixable, incorrect dynamic, this is more or less just the way things are. It really is a feature, not a bug. One second you are going “My family is so precious, these moments are priceless,” and the next you are going “Oh my God, you psycho, did you really just mock (to her face) a woman struggling with infertility for ‘prancing around going on trips’ when she was younger and would have had an easier time?” One minute you’re dreaming about future vacations and memories together, and the next you’re going “Wait, what?! You’re going skiing with your best friend? You literally stiffed me a few hundred dollars when you backed out of our nonrefundable ski trip at the last second, saying you decided you hated skiing and could never, ever do it, and now you’re all caz telling me you and your bestie are going almost to the same place? What is wrong with you people?!”. Ahem. Sorry.


For a long time I thought that this was a sort of correctable error, that if you looked around long enough, one would find spiritual communities that are 1) Not cults and 2) Where this doesn’t happen. I have decided this is decidedly not the case. The most you’ll find is communities where you can kind of be ‘alone together’, but that’s still a somewhat different dynamic.


So, I think you can have community that comes with, as you say, discussion, argument, and even browbeating people into some kind of submission for the sake of minimal group harmony on the one hand; or you can have all the room to grow and explore that you want, in isolation, on the other. Such is life, but I don’t think either dynamic is inherently right or wrong, just a better or worse fit for particular people.

[ Edited: 04 March 2018 10:42 by NL.]
 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14923
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
04 March 2018 15:30
 
NL. - 04 March 2018 10:39 AM
puppy - 03 March 2018 12:26 PM

https://www.clarity-of-being.org/exit-spirituality.htm

Here is quite a different unorthodox sort of view on sprituality.

Here are some extracts…

“The very notion of ‘spirituality’ or ‘spirit’ implies movement - spatial movement. Implicit in spatial movement is separateness.”

“The very concept of a ‘spiritual path’ or ‘spiritual journey’ incorporates a sense of separation and obfuscates the simple fact that self-actualization is right here, in the ‘now’.”

“You do not find truth by filling in the gaps in our knowledge / understanding with belief!”

Note that garbage in this context is refering to a mind virus/illusion/mara/maya equivalent.

 

There seems to be an undertone of hostility in this approach, but it does highlight for me what has been a fairly prominent dynamic tension between individual and communal paths in spirituality. I.e., this passage:

That is one very good reason why I completely disregard people’s attempts to argue or ‘discuss’ with me my purported ‘views’. All they are seeking to do is beat me into submission with their beliefs and opinions. If they genuinely wanted to get closer to any sort of genuine ‘truth’ they would simply get on with putting my working model and methods into practice and see for themselves to what extent those bring them benefits beyond whatever they may imagine they were gaining from their own particular belief systems.


While I have few evangelical impulses (i.e., I’m fine if other people don’t want to put any method I use into practice,) I was tired of being a square peg in more traditional religion when I started meditating and learning about contemplative practices. Over the course of several years, I’ve found that the more individualized path of meditation is a much better fit for me - and I think I’m a better person because of it, so I think this is a good situation all around. It’s better for me, it’s better for others, it’s a win win.


That said, I don’t think there is zero downside to the “stay the hell off my path” approach you often find in modern spiritual communities. I feel like the thing about community is that: 1) It is really, really valuable to human psyches but 2) People are going to be really awful and annoying in them sometimes. And this is not a deviation or a fixable, incorrect dynamic, this is more or less just the way things are. It really is a feature, not a bug. One second you are going “My family is so precious, these moments are priceless,” and the next you are going “Oh my God, you psycho, did you really just mock (to her face) a woman struggling with infertility for ‘prancing around going on trips’ when she was younger and would have had an easier time?” One minute you’re dreaming about future vacations and memories together, and the next you’re going “Wait, what?! You’re going skiing with your best friend? You literally stiffed me a few hundred dollars when you backed out of our nonrefundable ski trip at the last second, saying you decided you hated skiing and could never, ever do it, and now you’re all caz telling me you and your bestie are going almost to the same place? What is wrong with you people?!”. Ahem. Sorry.


For a long time I thought that this was a sort of correctable error, that if you looked around long enough, one would find spiritual communities that are 1) Not cults and 2) Where this doesn’t happen. I have decided this is decidedly not the case. The most you’ll find is communities where you can kind of be ‘alone together’, but that’s still a somewhat different dynamic.


So, I think you can have community that comes with, as you say, discussion, argument, and even browbeating people into some kind of submission for the sake of minimal group harmony on the one hand; or you can have all the room to grow and explore that you want, in isolation, on the other. Such is life, but I don’t think either dynamic is inherently right or wrong, just a better or worse fit for particular people.

Any group of people working toward some sort of self-realization goal is going to develop cultic tendencies, it’s a natural human tendency. Legitimate groups will have structures that help to minimize this. Among the values of working in a group or community are (a) because other people have different perspectives they will be able to make us aware of aspects of our behavior that we are unaware of; (b) the presence of others in a group training environment can create “friction” that brings out a persons tendencies more quickly; (c) there is such a thing as group energy that allows very fast movement, so long as it’s not degenerated into cult-like attachments and behavior.

 
jdrnd
 
Avatar
 
 
jdrnd
Total Posts:  5899
Joined  25-08-2009
 
 
 
04 March 2018 16:12
 
burt - 04 March 2018 03:30 PM
NL. - 04 March 2018 10:39 AM
puppy - 03 March 2018 12:26 PM

https://www.clarity-of-being.org/exit-spirituality.htm

Here is quite a different unorthodox sort of view on sprituality.

Here are some extracts…

“The very notion of ‘spirituality’ or ‘spirit’ implies movement - spatial movement. Implicit in spatial movement is separateness.”

“The very concept of a ‘spiritual path’ or ‘spiritual journey’ incorporates a sense of separation and obfuscates the simple fact that self-actualization is right here, in the ‘now’.”

“You do not find truth by filling in the gaps in our knowledge / understanding with belief!”

Note that garbage in this context is refering to a mind virus/illusion/mara/maya equivalent.

 

There seems to be an undertone of hostility in this approach, but it does highlight for me what has been a fairly prominent dynamic tension between individual and communal paths in spirituality. I.e., this passage:

That is one very good reason why I completely disregard people’s attempts to argue or ‘discuss’ with me my purported ‘views’. All they are seeking to do is beat me into submission with their beliefs and opinions. If they genuinely wanted to get closer to any sort of genuine ‘truth’ they would simply get on with putting my working model and methods into practice and see for themselves to what extent those bring them benefits beyond whatever they may imagine they were gaining from their own particular belief systems.


While I have few evangelical impulses (i.e., I’m fine if other people don’t want to put any method I use into practice,) I was tired of being a square peg in more traditional religion when I started meditating and learning about contemplative practices. Over the course of several years, I’ve found that the more individualized path of meditation is a much better fit for me - and I think I’m a better person because of it, so I think this is a good situation all around. It’s better for me, it’s better for others, it’s a win win.


That said, I don’t think there is zero downside to the “stay the hell off my path” approach you often find in modern spiritual communities. I feel like the thing about community is that: 1) It is really, really valuable to human psyches but 2) People are going to be really awful and annoying in them sometimes. And this is not a deviation or a fixable, incorrect dynamic, this is more or less just the way things are. It really is a feature, not a bug. One second you are going “My family is so precious, these moments are priceless,” and the next you are going “Oh my God, you psycho, did you really just mock (to her face) a woman struggling with infertility for ‘prancing around going on trips’ when she was younger and would have had an easier time?” One minute you’re dreaming about future vacations and memories together, and the next you’re going “Wait, what?! You’re going skiing with your best friend? You literally stiffed me a few hundred dollars when you backed out of our nonrefundable ski trip at the last second, saying you decided you hated skiing and could never, ever do it, and now you’re all caz telling me you and your bestie are going almost to the same place? What is wrong with you people?!”. Ahem. Sorry.


For a long time I thought that this was a sort of correctable error, that if you looked around long enough, one would find spiritual communities that are 1) Not cults and 2) Where this doesn’t happen. I have decided this is decidedly not the case. The most you’ll find is communities where you can kind of be ‘alone together’, but that’s still a somewhat different dynamic.


So, I think you can have community that comes with, as you say, discussion, argument, and even browbeating people into some kind of submission for the sake of minimal group harmony on the one hand; or you can have all the room to grow and explore that you want, in isolation, on the other. Such is life, but I don’t think either dynamic is inherently right or wrong, just a better or worse fit for particular people.

Any group of people working toward some sort of self-realization goal is going to develop cultic tendencies, it’s a natural human tendency. Legitimate groups will have structures that help to minimize this. Among the values of working in a group or community are (a) because other people have different perspectives they will be able to make us aware of aspects of our behavior that we are unaware of; (b) the presence of others in a group training environment can create “friction” that brings out a persons tendencies more quickly; (c) there is such a thing as group energy that allows very fast movement, so long as it’s not degenerated into cult-like attachments and behavior.

I like your pearls of wisdom.

 
NL.
 
Avatar
 
 
NL.
Total Posts:  5898
Joined  09-11-2012
 
 
 
04 March 2018 16:45
 
burt - 04 March 2018 03:30 PM

Any group of people working toward some sort of self-realization goal is going to develop cultic tendencies, it’s a natural human tendency. Legitimate groups will have structures that help to minimize this. Among the values of working in a group or community are (a) because other people have different perspectives they will be able to make us aware of aspects of our behavior that we are unaware of; (b) the presence of others in a group training environment can create “friction” that brings out a persons tendencies more quickly; (c) there is such a thing as group energy that allows very fast movement, so long as it’s not degenerated into cult-like attachments and behavior.


Or, in it’s shadow form: a) People feel free to project their own interpretations on to others b) People create ‘friction’ that is about as useful as road rage and c) The group energy is pretty much just peer pressure.


Like I said, I think there are pros and cons to both. My spiritual life is an eclectic blend of volunteering, working with, and being a part of groups that are meaningful to me; retreating to Frozen-esque isolation in the privacy of my own mind when people are driving me bonkers; meditating, studying, and contemplating on my own and listening to the voices of accomplished teachers in various areas, and, of course, the most important one - Looking Spiritual (I have decided to Awaken With JP whenever I take myself too seriously, btw. Talk about your intuition a lot? Doh! Yeah, I guess I do that, ha ha!)

 

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14923
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
04 March 2018 19:58
 
NL. - 04 March 2018 04:45 PM
burt - 04 March 2018 03:30 PM

Any group of people working toward some sort of self-realization goal is going to develop cultic tendencies, it’s a natural human tendency. Legitimate groups will have structures that help to minimize this. Among the values of working in a group or community are (a) because other people have different perspectives they will be able to make us aware of aspects of our behavior that we are unaware of; (b) the presence of others in a group training environment can create “friction” that brings out a persons tendencies more quickly; (c) there is such a thing as group energy that allows very fast movement, so long as it’s not degenerated into cult-like attachments and behavior.


Or, in it’s shadow form: a) People feel free to project their own interpretations on to others b) People create ‘friction’ that is about as useful as road rage and c) The group energy is pretty much just peer pressure.

That’s what I meant about legitimate groups having structures and forms for minimizing these tendencies.

 
NL.
 
Avatar
 
 
NL.
Total Posts:  5898
Joined  09-11-2012
 
 
 
04 March 2018 20:49
 
burt - 04 March 2018 07:58 PM

That’s what I meant about legitimate groups having structures and forms for minimizing these tendencies.


See, but that’s the problem - every group thinks they’re a legitimate group. So then groups have to form groups of groups to get third party feedback on their group, but who is to say the group of groups is a legitimate group? Time for a gathering of groups of groups of groups to provide another outsider perspective, but then, who’s to say that’s a legitimate group of group of groups, and so then you need a group of group of group of groups… There’s no end to the ‘observer of observers’ effect!

 

....(b) When an individual partakes of an idea, the individual and the idea are similar; therefore there will have to be another idea, embracing both the particulars and the original idea. And there will have to be yet another, embracing the particulars and the two ideas, and so on ad infinitum. Thus every idea, instead of being one, becomes an infinited series of ideas. (This is the same as Aristotle’s argument of the ‘ third man’.)

Russell, Bertrand. History of Western Philosophy: Collectors Edition (Routledge Classics) (p. 112)

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14923
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
05 March 2018 10:06
 
NL. - 04 March 2018 08:49 PM
burt - 04 March 2018 07:58 PM

That’s what I meant about legitimate groups having structures and forms for minimizing these tendencies.


See, but that’s the problem - every group thinks they’re a legitimate group. So then groups have to form groups of groups to get third party feedback on their group, but who is to say the group of groups is a legitimate group? Time for a gathering of groups of groups of groups to provide another outsider perspective, but then, who’s to say that’s a legitimate group of group of groups, and so then you need a group of group of group of groups… There’s no end to the ‘observer of observers’ effect!

 

....(b) When an individual partakes of an idea, the individual and the idea are similar; therefore there will have to be another idea, embracing both the particulars and the original idea. And there will have to be yet another, embracing the particulars and the two ideas, and so on ad infinitum. Thus every idea, instead of being one, becomes an infinited series of ideas. (This is the same as Aristotle’s argument of the ‘ third man’.)

Russell, Bertrand. History of Western Philosophy: Collectors Edition (Routledge Classics) (p. 112)

No feedback necessary. Every group is going to consider itself legitimate, but there are some heuristic criteria that can be used to evaluate. I had a list of some of these once but can’t find it. I think some were posted on a thread here several years ago. It was things like “does the group discourage members from having relationships outside of the group?” “Does the group claim to be the only source of real teaching?” and so on.