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← Spirituality: It’s only human

Seas of Bright Juice's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Seas of Bright Juice

The dictionary hasn't caught up to all the ways the word is used, then. In convert/western Buddhist circles, for instance -- where large numbers are quite secular in orientation -- "spiritual" often gestures towards something like, "that arena of concerns which have a transcendent or liberating effect on human life, such as insight into non-self, insight into impermanence, realization of compassion, etc." In this case it doesn't refer to a god or soul (which would be true also of traditionally religious Buddhists) or supernaturalism or the dogmas of an established church.

I'm sure we can't resolve CATEGORICALLY for or against using the word, in any case. If I'm in the company of people who know my views enough not to misunderstand, then "spiritual" is still the readiest word for gesturing quickly and broadly toward certain categories of experience and inquiry. If I'm speaking to people who are likely to misunderstand, I might want to carefully qualify my use of the word, or find other ways..

Thu, 18 Aug 2011 04:49:29 UTC | #862028