Sunday, September 4, 2011

What does spiritual mean to you?

Spiritual to me simply means beyond the 5 senses.

I think folks who drank like me were spiritual seekers from the start.

The haters are astounded and offended when A.A. claims that the summoning of help from God is a must.

There are wonderful scientists, doctors, therapists, chemists, etc. out there. But even they are not immune to the need to appeal to the Divine... imo.

David R. Hawkins says this about depression in Power vs Force on page 278;

"Subtle grades of depression kill more people than all of the other diseases of mankind combined. There is no anti-depressant that will cure the depression that's spiritually based, for the malaise doesn't originate from brain dysfunction, but from an accurate response to the desecration of life. The body is the reflection of the spirit in its physical expression, and It's problems are the dramatization of the struggles of the spirit that gives life. A belief that we ascribe to "out there" has its effect in here." Everyone dies by his own hand- that's a hard clinical fact, not a moral view."

Hawkins loves A.A. So it stands to reason that he's got his haters.

I haven't gotten to the "how to understand radical atheism" section yet.

I may need to write that one myself.

Now to be fair to the garden variety atheist, Hawkins says this,

"Religions that fall below 500 may preach love, but they won't be able to practice it. And no religious system that encourages war can claim spiritual authority without the blatant hypocrisy that's made atheists of many honest men."

Ouch. That's a tough one to swallow.



Rob B's therapy vid for MA;

Now, my brain chemistry vid for MA;

Any questions?


  1. Good questions,
    One that a succinct answer won't do justice. Ask 10 people you'll get 10 different answers, everyone of them true.

    Spiritual for me is an attempt to make meaning. To keep awake, alive and nourish my connection with you, earth, every living being, the universe etc.. Feeling the connectedness is how I would describe my current experience with spiritual.

    If I was a t a young people meeting I would say I like to play my drums and dance naked under the full moon....I digress

  2. Started in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere? Not for me.

    Christianity is the absolutely only path to God and the alternative is hellfire and damnation? Not for me either.

    To get back to 1st Century Christianity and strip away all of the BS that was added between then and now might be Christianity's only hope.

    The fighing between religions now seems to be of the realm of simple power and control... manipulation and dominance.

    I've never considered myself a pacifist... but to ask me straight up whether or not I think murder is a good idea... I'd have to say "No." So if I say no... does no not mean no? Across the board?

    So, our country engages in a bit of seeming revenge. What does revenge accomplish? It virtually guarantees endless conflict. Wonderful.

    So, when it comes to spirituality, I'm gonna go ahead and dabble in it and see where it takes me. Folks up to now... 2011 A.D. have piddled and farted around enough with power and have gotten us ... not too far.

    Instead of pissing and moaning about the fallacies of religion, I'm gonna do as that book says and learn how to "point out where religious folks are right and make use of what they offer. But I'm also going to continue on with this quest to learn more about the ego, its pitfalls, and how to get quiet and go back to the well.

  3. What’s spirituality? I know it, but I can’t explain it any more than I can explain what a rose smells like.

    I like the Ignation concept of spirituality as a “way of proceeding”. That’s how I began to first view it. It's a way of life, a journey so to speak.

    But it involves a higher power, a God to guide us on this journey. Part of it is the spiritual awakening we experience, part of it is the growth we undergo through the 12 steps. It's a journey with no destination.

    One of the pit stops involves dancing naked under a full moon, however....

  4. To me spirituality is the pursuit of the divinely real, to transcend the limitations of the material, the constant clamoring of my instinctual animal self for recognition. It is a constant reprioritization of my goals from the finite to the ultimate, an eternal destiny.

  5. I have been a student of the Urantia Book for most of my life. I come from a family of UB readers. I'm posting this clip because I find it such a rich answer to the question posed in this post: I hope you will enjoy it.


    Spiritual development depends, first, on the maintenance of a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces and, second, on the continuous bearing of spiritual fruit: yielding the ministry to one’s fellows of that which has been received from one’s spiritual benefactors. Spiritual progress is predicated on intellectual recognition of spiritual poverty coupled with the self-consciousness of perfection-hunger, the desire to know God and be like him, the wholehearted purpose to do the will of the Father in heaven.

    Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity. And this entire experience constitutes the reality of religion as contrasted with mere theological beliefs.

    Religion can progress to that level of experience whereon it becomes an enlightened and wise technique of spiritual reaction to the universe. Such a glorified religion can function on three levels of human personality: the intellectual, the morontial, and the spiritual; upon the mind, in the evolving soul, and with the indwelling spirit.

    Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one’s nearness to God and the measure of one’s usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.

    Actual spiritual status is the measure of Deity attainment, Adjuster attunement. The achievement of finality of spirituality is equivalent to the attainment of the maximum of reality, the maximum of Godlikeness. Eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values.

    The goal of human self-realization should be spiritual, not material. The only realities worth striving for are divine, spiritual, and eternal. Mortal man is entitled to the enjoyment of physical pleasures and to the satisfaction of human affection; he is benefited by loyalty to human associations and temporal institutions; but these are not the eternal foundations upon which to build the immortal personality which must transcend space, vanquish time, and achieve the eternal destiny of divine perfection and finaliter service.

    Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.

    After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment. UB1955

  6. With the aid of our 11th Step, there are three "I" words I'd like to drop in here and discuss;




    Carl Jung talks about the latter...

    "Intuition is an unconscious process in that its result is the interruption into consciousness of an unconscious content, a sudden idea or "hunch."

  7. I don't believe in intuition, but I have a strange feeling that one day I will.

    What are your feelings about depression? I know a lot of people don't even understand what it is, as it is often confused with "sadness." I've had both, and trust me, the differences between them are like night and day.

    Sadness comes with emotion, and depression is a void of feeling. It's hollow, empty; and feeling something, anything, even if it's anger or sadness, comes as a welcome respite.

    Drinking provided me with an immediate solution, because it flooded my dopamine receptors. The problem was, the relief was temporary, and the alcohol exacerbated the problem with my already compromised brain chemical receptors. Tolerance set in, and with that the seeds of addiction. So the solution was to drink more for the same effect. This creates the Homer Simpson paradox: "Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

    With time off the sauce, I reverted back to my normal state, by which I mean I still go through depressive stages, interspersed with normal periods. When I'm happy, I'm really happy.

    I can see how someone can interpret a depressive state as a spiritual void, and I can see how not drinking can correct brain chemistry to the degree that one feels more connected with their emotions, which is how I think a lot of people identify spirituality.

    McGowdog writes: "I think folks who drank like me were spiritual seekers from the start."

    I think you're right, as least as it applies to me. The only difference between you and me is, what you see as spirituality, I see as brain chemistry. The feelings are the same.

  8. I usually watch South Park when my brain chemistry gets outta whack.

  9. I'm a fan of therapy, this one for example.


    Check it out.

  10. I too used alcohol to treat depression, MA. I also used it to treat anger, frustration, self pity, and a host of other emotions that I didn't know how to deal with. I was the classic "How do you feel? Fine." type of person. An emotional eunuch, so to speak.

    And yes, it's definitely brain chemistry (with some genetics thrown in). Alcohol affects the dopamine receptors and a lot of other things that are still being looked at. No argument there.

    I never looked at my emotional void/depression as a spiritual void, however. It was, but I didn't realize it at the time. As Fr. Martin said, there's a "soul sickness" associated with the disease, which only spirituality can overcome. (I speak here for those in AA). It was this spiritual awakening that got me sober and keeps me there.

    The brain chemistry issue, having been resolved, has certainly resulted in my feeling a lot happier. But it is a result, not a cause, of my sobriety today.

  11. Nice vid Rob. Therapy looks very helpful. Good logic and stuff. I added your vid to the post and I threw in a brain chemistry vid as well.

    Good to see ya Joe.

    Karl... bad news about my Chrylser... needs a valve job to wake up #5 cylinder. That's gonna cost me another 350. The valve seat was toast, so we're gonna put the hardened seats in all the way around.

  12. MA, seriously though... I don't think I know what true depression is.

    If you listen to what one of the speakers I posted previously said, one Don Pritts... RIP, he said "God put us on this playground planet and said, 'You're all equal. Now go play and have fun.'" He (Don) said, "If you cannot enjoy yourself on this here planet, there's something seriously wrong with you."

    Maybe medicine is the answer for some. There's got to be a better drug out there for depression than booze, right?

  13. An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger."

    The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"

    "Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God?" as he smiled smugly. ...

    "Ok," she said. "That could be an interesting topic...but let me ask you a question first: A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff -grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?" ...

    The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

    To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God when you don't know shit?" And then she went back to reading her book.