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I'm speaking spirituality for now - not down to discussing God - yet! :) That (personification of religion by using human archetypes - or the other way around, in pure chicken or egg manner) may be one of those eminently subjective sides of the huge subject that is religion.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:26:50 PM EST
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The question is, how come spirituality can be so subjective, and at the same time capable of being shared by humans. Do humans, as a species, share something spiritual, that puts in contact and in perspective their very personal inner spiritual?

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:28:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Subjective" and "individual" are not - quite - the same thing. Cultures can have - indeed are defined by - subjective narratives that are shared within the culture but not outside it. The fact that they are shared does not make them any less subjective, as any outsider (or dissident) will be quick to point out.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:34:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Subjective" and "individual" are not - quite - the same thing. Cultures can have - indeed are defined by - subjective narratives that are shared within the culture but not outside it.

Fair enough, subjective can be found at individual as well as at any grouping level.
Culture and spirituality is not quite the same thing either, btw.
There are culture-transversal spiritualities also. Religion or esoteric beliefs or modern "self-made " spiritualities can be shared by people with different cultural backgrounds.

People can share a collection of such 'subjectivisms' and differ on others, related, or not to the culture(s)  they belong.
Still these subjective... 'influences' touch the individual on a very intimate level, which one might think should make them very personal and difficult to share. How come that still happens then, are there any favourable factors, or criteria. And also -- is culture
- or spirituality - a man-only thing.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:38:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What defines culture? One can belong to several cultures at the same time. I, for instance, belong to the European culture and the physicist culture at the same time. I have cultural identifiers (slang, mannerisms, sense of propriety, in-jokes, etc.) in common with a Japanese or Congolese physicist that I do not share with my fellow Europeans. Similarly, I have cultural identifiers in common with Europeans that I do not share with a fellow physicist who happens to be American or Bolivian.

What you share is not the actual experience of spirituality - that would require telepathic powers. You share a set of expressions that are, agreed to denote expression of spiritual experiences. I would argue, in other words, that you share a (sub)culture. That subcultures cross the bounds of "major" cultures is not an unbearable surprise - as we saw above, the physics subculture is world-wide and touches upon many different cultural spheres.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But many experienced extatic states at music concerts, or religious ceremonies, or in other occasions where the feeling of a community as existing as one, in the same spirit, is pretty obvious, even if I agree is not measurable by any scientific method known to date. Even here, for instance, in what regards myself, I now have cultural identifiers (slang, mannerism, a certain sense of a PhD-reminding expression style) that I did not have before. Sometimes I almost (Almost!) feel as an ETer, and which I am almost certain at some moments other feel to in what concern me (even if right now this very passage might produce nervous laughter accesses :D ).

I had this on other websites as well, and I'm sure others did too. Would you call this telepathy, or spirituality shared? Even if by means of cultural identifiers.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would call it empathy.

I would really recommend that you get hold of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. It's a cute little book, and it touches upon many aspects of how cultural baggage affects (or doesn't, as the case may be) how one views the world. But do get an unabridged edition - Smith is very thorough; his logic starts on the first page and finishes on the last page, with very little superfluous fluff in between.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:58:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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