Updated: Oct 12
My initial plan was to write about using good anxiety to your advantage today, rather than methods of coping to avoid bad anxiety. However, I had a great conversation today with a professional therapist (not my therapist) where we discussed spirituality. My topic for today will be that since I'm thinking about it.
I spend a lot of time engaging rational atheists, partly because they make up a large percentage of philosophy enthusiasts, but also because I've made friends with different views and I recognize the value of challenging my beliefs. It's not always easy. From that group, I encounter the surprising and difficult opinion, that spirituality isn't real.
I am a lifelong Catholic, but I do not proceed as if there is a transcendent realm. I like to think that an afterlife is possible, but I obviously don’t have evidence of that beyond the facts we know about the quantum realm. As a result, I focus my philosophical program on what appears to be true about a tangible, rational universe.
I said last week that good scientists have fluid reasoning processes because science is always improving. We do not know everything due to the fact that scientific paradigms change historically over time. As a percentage of total knowledge, the proportion we think we know that is actually correct might be infinitesimal, but we can't tell for sure. My unsubstantiated opinion is that we are rather arrogant about our knowledge and think we know more than we do.
I argue for spirituality based on the limitations of language and cognitive function. Clearly, language is only a rough facsimile of what actually exists. If you choose any object of any kind and call it by its name, then examine all of its details to compare your immediate association with the word that you use to refer to it, you can demonstrate that. Taking the time to explore the details reveals a great deal more information. When you go through your day, how often do you describe to yourself what this is and what that is, explaining to yourself what is occurring and why? So much information is glossed over during that process. This is what spirituality means to me. Paying attention to the details is what uncovers a great deal of the additional information we often ignore.
Our sense of spaciousness comes from the feeling that we are not constrained by our rational intuitions. It is important for you to understand that this is not a religious philosophy. Although it has more in common with Eastern philosophies, it has a lot in common with Western religious teachings because the church understands what spirituality is and how it works in our lives.
This is how I maintain my spiritual values while doing philosophy. There isn't necessarily a conflict between the two. The importance of spirituality to living a healthy life and avoiding the health pitfalls I previously described cannot be overstated.
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