Friday, May 28, 2010

"Spiritual" but not Religious?

This is the best refute to that silly claim that I've read so far. I especially love this paragraph:

But why bother to be “spiritual” at all? Why not be at least agnostic? Being “spiritual” is a kind of natural default position. “Spiritual but not religious” provides a comfortable compromise between the two sides of our natures, our desire for God and our desire to be God ourselves.
Doesn't common sense dictate that you can't be spiritual without a spirit? The problem, for the "something for nothings" in our society, is that when you look to a spirit for guidance, he/she/it is telling you how to live & what to do...and then you can't live the way you want! Problem: you can't have it both ways.

Then this:
Being “spiritual” does not do us any good. As I recently wrote elsewhere, it works fairly well when you are healthy and have enough money to enjoy life, and just want from your spirituality the feeling that all is well with the universe, particularly your corner of it. But it doesn’t help you much when things go from good to bad.

The man wasting away from pancreatic cancer will get no help nor comfort from the “spiritual,” which will seem a lot less friendly and comforting when he feels pain morphine won’t suppress. He has no one to beg for help, no one to ask for comfort, no one to be with him, no one to meet when he crosses from this world to the next. He wants what religion promises.

And he is right to do so. The dying man is the true man, in the sense of being the one who reveals to us what we essentially are. We are on our death bed from the day we are born. To paraphrase Pascal, dying men want not the God of spirituality, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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