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Spirituality, Part One

What does Spirituality mean to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and share them anonymously in Par
Spirituality, Part One
By Hudson Gardner • Issue #49 • View online
What does Spirituality mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and share them anonymously in Part Two

The quality of being concerned
with the human spirit or soul
as opposed to material or physical things
- Dictionary
This has been a difficult newsletter to write, because spirituality is a difficult term to universally define.
I think sometimes a definition is best explained by comparing two similar words.
Religion and spirituality are often mentioned together—
But religion is different, as far as the definitions I read, in that religion is a system which defines what is good and right for all.
Spirituality is defined by an individual. A person’s “spirituality” defines what is good and right for a single person.

At first, it doesn’t seem like there is anything wrong with this definition of spirituality. Overall, I think it is positive.
However if you begin to consider how one person’s beliefs interface with another, you can begin to see how a purely self-referential system for determining one’s beliefs becomes problematic.
For aeons people have defined who they are, what they care about, and what matters in terms of their relationships with others. So to have a basis of definition that results only from a single viewpoint is narrow.
Spirituality As A Wide View
Since one of religions dominant roles in society has been to set a moral compass that all agree on, it makes sense that people without a religion would be searching for new ways to understanding morality.
But that doesn’t mean spirituality is inherently without a moral system.
The idea of being a “spiritual” person rather than a “religious” person may mean that a person subscribes to many doctrines rather than just one.
I myself subscribe to the scientific method, Buddhist dialectics, Buddhist rituals/sutras/tantras/precepts, some Christian thought, and also pagan and animistic beliefs from North America, Scotland, and Japan.
You can see, a person like me draws from many sources, none of which I think are inherently, 100% correct—especially not for anyone but myself.
Because of this, I think I have a firm base of morality to stand on when thinking and going about my daily life. Which may be an illusion.
My Hypothesis
Maybe the collision of so many different religions and cultures have caused this birth of “spirituality”. I would define spirituality as: a system of thought based on individual reasoning that often finds truth from many sources.
Can science be a part of spirituality? Absolutely. Look at Carl Sagan, a person who could see The Universe in an apple pie.

What Does Spirituality Mean To You?
Do you have thoughts on this word? I’d love to hear them, and share them in the next newsletter anonymously.
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