Today many consider spirituality with deep suspicion. A common notion is it is more or less whitewashed religion. This view is typically held by those that largely think all religion is wrong, bad, evil, superstitious nonsense and the like. Granted that there are such elements and even quite deep threads in most/all religions and especially in the way many people practice and use them. But is that all there is to the entire business? I rather suspect not.
The part of religion and spirituality I am most interested in contains the following aspects.
- crystallization of notions of ideal or ultimate development of being.
- transcending of pain and painful circumstances such as disease, death, psychological suffering, ignorance.
- inspiration to reach ever higher and for better for all states
- overcoming of limitation
- community – uniting a people by a shared vision of what can be and how to ideally interrelate, be and become.
- focusing and deepening of both aspiration[s] and practical living work to realize them even if they are seen as asymptotic.
I submit that this is rather a lot to chuck out because it is in an older and often pre-scientific format. There are generations of human beings seeking, dreaming, hoping, not giving up on finding a way or achieving some salvation within the religions. The best of it and the part we so deeply applaud must be mined, understood and affirmed. We make common cause with those of any religion that share our dreams and aspirations. We show them new ways that parts of those aspirations can be fulfilled. They show us new layers of meaning and implication and how to inquire into and work with ourselves. They teach us how to build and maintain community and how to deepen vision.