#1
"Spiritual" is a polarising term. In carries with it much in the way of associations with rain-dancing shamans, people in quasi-psychotic states, and the likes of Deepak Chopra, offering bizarre, non-sequitur arguments that invoke a mangled conception of quantum mechanics. It is a term that blends personal transcendence with a cornucopia of self-help platitudes and new age ramblings.

Yet despite this, there are those that with practice can achieve states of sublime contentment, and fewer still reach enviable states of psychological ideality. So far, almost all such experience and practice is taught in a religious-philosophical framework.

So, are these states worth seeking? It would seem so. Are the fruits of materialist thinking too bounteous to dispense with? Undoubtedly.

It is my opinion that there needs to be a secular interpretation of these peak experiences. An understanding which draws upon the various fields of human knowledge, perhaps most prominently neuroscience, transpersonal psychology, philosophy of mind, etc.

It is in this way that such states transcend cultural superstitions, nationalism, and numerous divisive barriers that need not exist, to progress to a point in which these states will be continuous with sensible living and regular experience. How would this be achieved? Would religions pose a threat to such a goal?

Finally, I would like to ask about your spiritual experiences and how you interpret them. Do they seem suggestive of some "greater" reality? Do you see any reason why spiritualism and materialism are somehow incompatible? Will they always be that way? Or is it our tendency to view "spiritual" experience within religions frameworks?
#3
Do your own homework
I'm gonna suffer for the rest of my life

But I will always find a way to survive
#4
I think spiritualism would clash with materialism since spiritualism often comes from abandoning materialism, to an extent at least.

There are secular forms of spiritualism but they're filled with a lot of worthless ramblings. The more valid forms could probably be drawn out with time.
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#5
Quote by BladeSlinger
I think spiritualism would clash with materialism since spiritualism often comes from abandoning materialism, to an extent at least.

There are secular forms of spiritualism but they're filled with a lot of worthless ramblings. The more valid forms could probably be drawn out with time.

Would you mind elaborating on your first statement?

Most of the claims spiritual people make are very much compatible with what we currently understand to be. The claim that we are all connected, for example, is a claim that can be investigated. If we are constituted of continuous energy, then we are in some sense connected. Whether that is meaningful to our conscious existence is another matter.

I think there's a point at which it does not matter if you are materialist or idealist. Materialist methodology has shown itself to be the most practical, and it makes sense to proceed under the assumptions of materialism for the purposes of scientific investigation. Whether one thinks minds underlies and gives rise to all matter is an irrelevance.

How do you propose we formulate a secular spiritualism? Is it a goal worth pursuing, in your opinion?
#6
Quote by TooktheAtrain
Would you mind elaborating on your first statement?

Most of the claims spiritual people make are very much compatible with what we currently understand to be. The claim that we are all connected, for example, is a claim that can be investigated. If we are constituted of continuous energy, then we are in some sense connected. Whether that is meaningful to our conscious existence is another matter.

I think there's a point at which it does not matter if you are materialist or idealist. Materialist methodology has shown itself to be the most practical, and it makes sense to proceed under the assumptions of materialism for the purposes of scientific investigation. Whether one thinks minds underlies and gives rise to all matter is an irrelevance.

How do you propose we formulate a secular spiritualism? Is it a goal worth pursuing, in your opinion?

I misunderstood what you meant by materialism. I'd say I agree that they're compatible.

Some form of secular spiritualism is needed, in my opinion. Humans tend to derive that self-actualization need from spirituality in many cases. A lot of the forms of spiritualism that I've seen don't really appeal to the common person, at least not people right now. They're filled with jumbled philosophy that hints at vague cosmic ideas that don't necessarily mean anything. Secular spiritualism would have to rise from the lower end of society, made to fit the working poor. Ideologies that come from that base can easily solidify into common practice over time. I can't see it being intentionally formed. Nurtured maybe.

Secular spiritualism would have to focus on the basest human elements. Very open ended instead of the path to enlightenment approach some of the groups seem to take. I haven't given the idea much though though.
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Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

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brot pls
#7
^^
Yes, "materialism" is yet another problematic term. It conjures to mind those that are hopelessly attached to possessions, who seek transient happiness through monetary means.
It seems almost evidence of how muddled our understanding is that these terms are so imprecisely defined.

I have a Buddhist father who rejects philosophical materialism, yet the majority of his claims fit quite snugly within that framework. It is a testament to the divisiveness of religion that the mere suggestion of a non-sectarian understanding of spiritual practice provoked him significantly, that we could have such a heated argument about human well-being and acceptance is a laughable irony made possible only by confining it to the realms of religion.

How can we hope to explore peak states and these experiences when everyone is coming from a different direction, in opposition to the methods chosen by others?

There is the concern that divorcing these practices from their historical-philosophical context would undermine said practices. Is such a concern justified?
#9
Your problem is you overthink things way too much TS.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#11
If you do something right, no one will know you've done anything at all

Proud to be called Best Friends with Pastafarian96
#12
As long as you can explain to me why it works, in terms of "real"ness you can practice it. If you cant then youre in denial and need to give up and find something new.
#13
"Materialism" in this context is nothing to do with possessions and money-worship. Materialism is the doctrine that says the human mind or "soul" are energy-matter constructs, and that the human spirit is merely an experiential abstraction of physical phenomena.

As a materialist, agnostic atheist, although I covet the mental states of satisfaction and contentment you describe, I can't get to them through religion or any kind of spiritualistic woo.

If there could be a bullshit-free secular, materialist method attaining these peak experiences I'd be first to subscribe.
#14
Quote by Jehannum
"Materialism" in this context is nothing to do with possessions and money-worship. Materialism is the doctrine that says the human mind or "soul" are energy-matter constructs, and that the human spirit is merely an experiential abstraction of physical phenomena.

As a materialist, agnostic atheist, although I covet the mental states of satisfaction and contentment you describe, I can't get to them through religion or any kind of spiritualistic woo.

If there could be a bullshit-free secular, materialist method attaining these peak experiences I'd be first to subscribe.


Exactly. This describes my position fairly well.

Some methods that have significant evidentiary backing are some forms of meditation such as vipassana and zazen. TM is somewhat suspect.

Even these methods are shrouded in spooky-sounding explanations. Meditation does indeed work, but not necessarily for the reasons their staunchest advocates might think.

There's also flow; "being in the zone". I don't think that sort of state is at all alien to anyone here, everyone has experienced it.

I think if there's any hard-and-fast rule about these types of experience, it is that making truth claims about the world that are purely based experientially is a bad idea. The experience is evidence of nothing but itself, but that doesn't preclude it from being beneficial and even healthy.
#15
sorry dude
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do