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It is common to confuse spirituality and religion. Perhaps this is because spiritual experiences are often associated with religious practices or environments. This in turn may be partly due to the fact that most people throughout history were religious in some sense or another. But as societies become more secular, and we gain greater insights into human nature, it is easier to tease apart religion and spirituality and so ‘non-religious’ definitions of spirituality become increasingly possible.

Here is my first attempt at such a definition:

“The seeking, description, exploration and celebration of ordinary reality, which is revealed to us when we no longer imagine ourselves to be fundamentally separate from other people or the rest of the universe.” 

Non-religious definitions of spirituality: Definition number 1

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
Aside

Steven Pinker’s article says some interesting things about dignity which – at first glance – appear to clarify it, but in doing so may perpetuate the underlying assumptions which make dignity such a ‘tricky’ concept to deal with in the first place. In other words its a ‘false fix’.

It seems to me that dignity – not unlike self-esteem – is based on a certain set of unquestioned beliefs we have about human beings. These are that : a) people are ‘separate’ from the world and each other b) people have different levels of worth c) the worth that people have is ‘dependent’ on certain situations or states the person is in e.g. being in squalor, out of ‘control’, smelly etc., d) that people deserve at least some ‘minimum’ level of worth as determined by their surrounding situation or personal behaviour.

It is only when I project these beliefs on to others that I think that some people have less dignity than others. A smelly drunk ‘seems’ to have less dignity BECAUSE I have learned to value people in certain ways based on their situation (smelly, dishevelled) or behaviour (socially inappropriate/out of control, slurring speech etc.).

Consequently, if I want to ‘give people back’ their dignity, I merely need to stop taking their dignity away from them – by ceasing to project my beliefs on to them.

After I have stopped taking their dignity away from them by no longer seeing their worth as dependent on their situation or behaviour, I can help them change their situation or behaviour, if appropriate.

You have dignity. Until I think you don’t.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
Aside

The show does not need to go on. Whatever goes on is the show.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Aphorism, Food for thought

 

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A cliché is original to someone who has not seen it before

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Linguistics, Meaning, Observation

 

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Aside

After you read this you will be never be the same again.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Aphorism, Psychology

 

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‎”You should not be so judgemental” said the judge.

 
 

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