Beyond Thing and Nothing (#200) –Robert M. Shelby, 8-3-13. [384 txt wds]

Once again I take issue with the mustiness of mental bags and boxes many folks live in uneasily but might like to escape. For transtheists like myself, the existence or non-existence of something called “God” is moot; merely an emotionally polarized issue culturally associated with immense verbiage and inflated attitudes, but which has no denotation in spite of myriad connotations. It is a nonsense matter. Divinity is neither proven nor demonstrated. The idea, though, can be analyzed into several meanings, some of which are empty while others are valid but not traditional. Scriptures East and West are at best figurative and splay. Notions of God or gods wrongly mix   matters of ontology, cosmology, epistemology, psychology and ethical casuistry. To adopt Transtheism says, “Don’t bother me with knee-high, primitive notions merely because they are so ancient and pervasive as to seem unavoidable or compelling. They are delusions.

The real divisions fall between religiosity and spirituality, and between superstition and understanding. Much religiosity is superstitious, though some religious people attain spiritual understanding, without which religious beliefs often become divisive and deeply dangerous. For me, divinity is the spiritual expression of humanity and stems not from religion but from psycho-physical integrity, authenticity and wholeness.

What is spirituality? Quite simply, spirituality bears no relation to something called “spirit” nor need for it to exist or non-exist as traditionally or commonly conceived. It is usually misconceived as non-material substance capable of feeling, thought and will, in short, a term containing self-contradiction, an oxymoron or antinomy, factually impossible. For instance, a candle flame flying around off its candle wick. Spirit without body is imaginary as mermaids, dragons and unicorns. Spirit is body, but not the body you “know.” It is what of your body, beyond your sensing, senses and “knows” YOU.

Spirituality, then, is an ATTITUDE, not of worshipful reverence toward things believed, but one of caring reverence toward other people and the natural world which supports them. No divinity apart from humanity, no humanity apart from nature. Nothing supernatural. No “metaphysical entities” other than concepts. Concepts correlate with electro-chemical, bio-physical processes in brains. Spirituality is the condition of being directed in a holistic way toward totality and maximal goodness. It is that continual and self-consistent urge to serve, protect and benefit all things other than, but inclusive of, self.


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