Monday, February 4, 2013

Notes on 'Spirituality'

"Implicit in the idea that spirituality concerns both understanding and being are the parallel notions of a doctrine (an account of Reality in both its absolute and relative 'dimensions') and a path (a spiritual method, provided by religious forms, whereby one might live in accordance with the Will of Heaven).  One of the myriad problems surrounding many contemporary attitudes to 'spirituality' is that the doctrine of an Ultimate Realtiy (by whatever name - the Absolute, God, Allah, Atman-Brahman, Nirvana/Sunyata, the Tao, Wakan-Tanka) and the elaboration of a spiritual method attuned to our relationship therewith, are left out of the picture altogether!  What we are offered instead is a notion of 'spirituality' as some kind of inner subjective state, a kind of 'warm fuzzy glow', sometimes harnassed to formulations such as 'the kingdom of Heaven is within you' - as if by these words Christ meant that the kingdom of Heaven is of a psychological order!  This is all of a piece with the notion that 'spirituality' is a private affair, and taht the spiritual life can be fashioned out of the subjective resources of the individual in question."

- Harry Oldmeadow, Notes on 'Spirituality'

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