Searching for spirituality (part 1 of 4)

Spirituality isn’t a word that appears often on this blog. I’m an atheist, so I have trouble when people start talking about spirituality. Is that the same as supernatural? My instinct is to scoff and pull back. And yet, I’m a sensitive kind of guy who likes to think deep thoughts, so this spirituality thing shouldn’t really be off limits to me. So today, I’m hesitatingly dipping my toe in the water, and asking, “What is spirituality?”

 Let’s ask Google. Type “what is spirituality?” into Google, and it takes you straight to Wikipedia. (I knew that would happen. Why did I even bother to use Google?) So what does Wikipedia have to say on the subject?

Spirituality is the search for “the sacred,” where “the sacred” is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.

Well, I can do that. “That which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration” could almost be the strapline for my blog. (It’s not a very cool strapline. I prefer the current “Strange thoughts, random mutterings” but they mean essentially the same.) So am I a spiritual person after all?

Wikipedia isn’t done yet though. It also has links to the words “mystical” and “esoteric”. Uh, oh, danger signs. Let’s click on through and see how these are defined.

Mystical is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight.

That’s a problem for me. My ultimate reality is right in front of me. My tool is the scientific method.

And as for esoteric, that’s even worse:

Ideas preserved or understood by a small group of those specially initiated

Here I’m thinking conspiracy theory.

So, while the spiritual isn’t off-limits to me in principle, in practice it’s like a red rag to a bull. It throws all kinds of ideas at me that I have learned to distrust and reject. This blog, in a sense, is my reaction against the spiritual.

But I’m not done yet. Tune in tomorrow for my quest for spirituality, part 2, where I embrace the spiritual and “find” myself. Or find something, anyway.

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