Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pay Dirt: What is Spirituality?

What is Spirituality?

"Spirituality I define as becoming conscious of and intentional about our relationship to God. I say conscious of because I firmly maintain that we are all already in a relationship with God and we have been so since our very beginning, whether we know that or not, believe that or not. Spirituality is about becoming conscious of that relationship. I say intentional because I see spirituality as being about paying attention to that relationship, being intentional about deepening that relationship and letting that relationship grow. Just as human relationships grow and deepen through spending time in them and paying attention to them, so also our relationship with God grows in this same way."

--from the sermon "Jesus and the Christian Life" by Dr. Marcus J. Borg


Anonymous said...

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" - Albert Camus.

Very thought-provoking Borg quotation, Cold Molasses. (Where the heck did you get that name?)

That term spirituality has always intrigued me.

Here's the reason: I can't tell how many folks are supposed to be involved in it. How many "beings/Beings," that is.

Ok, let's count: There's Me...and there's...God, then?
Can you tell me if that is the sense of the word spirituality as Borg uses it here?

And as you would use it?

I ask because, when I think of the term, I think of being at peace with one's SELF (sorry about the rude caps...I can't italicize).

For the life of me, I see this as comprised of one being. One little being, reaching for peace which may or may not pass understanding.

Being in harmony with one’s inner voice.

This thing that I am trying to achieve, in my definition of the term, is between Me, then, and some Inner Me.
To quote Ernest Hemingway (admittedly not the most likely candidate for defining a religious term), "What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

No matter how I slice it, the term - for me - involves just one being...finding within oneself something that may have been dumped in there by an external Source, but never do I feel that sense of an Other to "contact."

This seems quite egotistical; I understand this.

But I get all crazy over this external "Presence" or “Omnipresence” idea. It sort of spooks me.
Maybe it’s supposed to.

But as for forming a "relationship" with someone who cannot answer me any form of communication that I would be able to decipher clearly? I don’t think I can do that. Not really. How would I improve upon this "relationship" when I can't get any kind of real feedback?

It's worse than the husband at the breakfast table with the wife trying to talk to him while he reads his newspaper!
If it is all within, though, at least I have a fighting chance - to grab the danged newspaper and make him listen to me!

As always, I enjoy what I find on this site.

Cold Molasses said...

Thanks for the comment anonymous. For me, spirituality does involve more than one being. For me, it involves me and God.

I know many equate God with the universe (pantheism) and some describe God as the source of all we are (e.g. love, life, being). But for me, God is that source, but God is more than that. I think you can "experience" God and, in a way, communicate with God...not necessarily orally or aurally, but communicate nonetheless.

And does that idea "spook" me? Not really. Do I understand it? Not fully. But for me, if there is only me, than I would have to shut the door on my quest for spirituality.

Alas, if I really understood all this and could express it appropriately, I wouldn't be working my way through this blog.

As always, thanks for reading. Keep coming back.