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Secular spirituality

Secular spirituality

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Spirituality comes from within, so evict your ego to make room for spirituality through generous relationships, compassion and stories.

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The question of whether one can be spiritual without being religious is explored. The author suggests that non-believers can be more spiritual than religious individuals. Transcendence, compassion, and ritual are identified as important elements of religion that can be mirrored in a secular world. Connections and relationships grounded in love and compassion are essential to spirituality. Compassion is seen as the antidote to selfishness and an important aspect of spirituality. Ritualized retelling of personal stories helps answer the question of one's existence. Spirituality requires practice, perseverance, and discipline. To cultivate spirituality in a secular world, one should focus on deepening friendships, practicing compassion, and sharing personal stories in a ritualized manner. Hello, Jeremy Deeds here, and welcome to the Insight Post of 50 July 2023. I've lived spiritually in a secular world. I just want my life to be more spiritual. It is a common sentiment, often followed by, but I am not religious and don't believe in a God. Here's a fairly profound question which many have asked themselves. Can I be a spiritual person without being a religious person? You can, and as if to prove the point, I know some non-believers who are more spiritual than those who profess to be deeply religious. There is a close connection between spirituality and religion, so religious practices could provide clues to living spiritually in a secular world. If we can work out what it means to be religious, we can think about how to mirror aspects of religion to achieve spirituality. Lessons from religion. Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God, suggests transcendence is a critical component of religion, the belief in something higher or more ethereal and day-to-day, something natural, not man-made. And in a secular environment, you experience a form of transcendence in your friendships and connections, especially those grounded in love and compassion. One plus one becomes, say, more than two, so connections and relationships are essential to spirituality. And Armstrong believes compassion is an essential element of religion in its own right. But as you all know, you don't have to practice a religion to practice compassion. Indeed, compassion is the most direct route to spirituality for those without faith, because compassion is the antidote to selfishness, and letting go of self is at the heart of spirituality. Finally, Armstrong points to the importance of ritual in religious practice. Religions emerge from a story and believers bring in that story ritualistically. Ritual gives form and voice to the founding myths and stories, and makes real the transcendent. Without a set piece of founding myth, our own stories, successes and challenges, stand in through ritualized retelling to answer the question, why have I come into existence, become exposed to life's contradictions and vulnerabilities? Spirituality is not a gift or an intrinsic state of mind. Religious and secular, or grounded spirituality, grows with practice, perseverance and discipline. So if you are looking for great spirituality in this secular world, practice cultivating deeper friendships and relationships, practice compassion whenever possible, and learn from the stories of others and tell your own stories, in a ritualized way, so others can learn from you. Spirituality comes from within, so evict your ego to make room for spirituality through generous relationships, compassion and stories.

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