Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Interesting, especially Amber, Brian, and Ayn Soph. Your feedback means a lot.
First let’s say we are getting closer to scientifically investigating spirits. Ghost hunters regularly use magnetometers in their detection, and those same magnetometers detect our healing emanations; e.g. ch’i or prana. Apparently both are a similar form of energy.
If every living thing has a spirit, then is our spirit an agglomeration of the spirits of all our selves?
If causal determinism is correct, then we have only limited free will. When you have one of those what we call “oneness” epiphanies, where for a few moments everything makes absolute sense, does that make you become more spiritual, or must there be a more traumatic event? Such little epiphanies and events in your life change you; but in your nurturing and in your genes you are trained to a repertory of responses beyond which it is difficult for you to act. Acculturation may be stronger than we realize, so that what we assume is natural (“Doesn’t everybody?”) could be simply a matter of training. Perhaps these are the “root causes”of your being.
Fundamentalists tell us forcibly that we cannot be spiritual unless we accept Jesus, or Allah, or Manu the Law-Giver; or go on pilgrimage or do something else to demonstrate that we have bought into their paradigm. Yet if I am resentfully following the list of rules posted on someone else’s clipboard, how can I be spiritual? Remember Hegel from the other day. If I run my life by somebody else’s rules that are not spiritual, can I be spiritual? Was le bon sauvage (mis- translated as the noble savage) more spiritual than we “civilized” individuals are?
The question then is:
What do you have to give up in the way of rules to be spiritual?
We can’t get away from it : Spirituality is obviously denied by the monster of fundamentalist middle-class “morality”. We start from the premise that fundamentalism is inherently a threat system. For instance, they don’t teach sexual love as a beautiful sacrament; they teach : Just say ‘no’ or go to hell. (Of course the weary mother of eight or ten cannot use protection against a husband infected with AIDS; there is no abortion and little divorce allowed).
Is there any connection between (a) sexual freedom between consenting adults and (b) fundamentalist-style morality? Yvonne and I think we are very moral people, yet we have an open marriage. When consenting adults enjoy a sexual experience with a non-spousal partner, that’s what is called a victimless crime–a pure invention of the self-appointed moral police, who wouldn’t know good sex if it hit ’em between the eyes (so to speak).
Here’s a little mind game to entertain you. What if Tiger and Elin Woods were to announce that they were pagan and had an open marriage? Would there have been all the wasted gasping and salacious headlines that have gone on ad nauseam for lo, these past months? How would matters have played out differently? If they had announced such a thing some months or years ago, way early in his career, would he ever have been allowed to show his face on camera? to set foot on a golf course? let alone to endorse commercial products or events? He’d have been a non-person from Day One.
Fundamentalism always uses the big three : guilt, shame, fear, to keep the sheep in line. As Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) wrote,
The essence of the concept of righteousness and morality is to afford an outlet
for sadism by cloaking cruelty as justice.
An American reporter asked Pope John Paul whether he wouldn’t like to make people happier by allowing divorce and contraception. The Pope replied, “The object of morality is not happiness. It is to prevent people going to hell.”
Our Wiccan morality relies on “If it harm none.” That specific Rede comes to us from the French:
S’il ne nuis pas, faitez ce que vous voulez.
Indeed, that was the motto, taken from Rabelais, used by the Hell Fire Club (of which Ben Franklin was a member).
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) said, “People should be endowed … with all those rights acting as an individual for his own comfort and happiness which are not injurious to the natural rights of others.”
This seems to be a basic human value that has been with us throughout recorded history.
Today’s question is easy and obvious : What do you base your morality on?