Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

In the previous chapter “Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life“,  we have seen that the relation of religion and spirituality is in the eye of the beholder and that religiosity and spirituality are not always connected with each other.

File:Church Attendance and Welfare Spending Graph.png

Religiosity, Church Attendance and Welfare Spending

Historically, the major world religious traditions have relied upon symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world and into an alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames. Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences referring to: Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

We also said that we should see that there is a distinction between spiritual and religious or religiousness. This  is becoming more commonplace in advanced modern societies like the United States, for example, where the number of people claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” is estimated variously (but with differing empirical measures) as 14 percent (Roof 1999) and 31 percent (Wuthnow 2005) of the adult population.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

Religious symbols (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being religious implies a relationship with a faith, which should not be necessary Christian faith, but the believes in something divine and clinging to participation in institutionally based practices, and having respect for the teachings of a certain tradition or community. In contrast to be spiritual concerns the inner relationship with the inner and puts emphasis upon the experience of connectedness, relationship, or oneness with the Inner-Self and/or a higher power/the sacred/nature. The aim of the spirituality is also to come to satisfaction with the Self and to find appreciation for personal growth and inner awareness in one’s life journey. Aiming for more spirituality the person hopes he can come in a better stadium with himself and for himself, sometimes looking for transcendental forms.

Several people aim to come in a higher stadium coming to have mystical experiences. For some this can be New Age beliefs where they draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions, infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics. Others may not like to be placed under New Age or post-New Age, for the reason it got negative connotations and because it does not always co-notate to the coming astrological Age of Aquarius,  but more to the “transformational” of the being, though they still may aim to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. {Drury 2004, p. 10}

Some may look for a form of a form of monism and unity throughout the universe, where the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. But there they also think that all those things being in existence may find their origin on one source which is distinct from a human being. Some call it the Universal Supreme Being or The God of gods. For Christians that Divine Super Power should be their Only One God, the centre piece of everything which was before everything, the Adonai and Most High Elohim. All other beings are lower than That One Who is One and is not restricted like we are but is One unity of substance and essence which is complete in its unity, its spirit and in time being eternal.

Various different religious traditions have be...

Various different religious traditions have been labelled “pagan” over the centuries; including the Classical religion of ancient Greece (left; The Parthenon) and the new religious movement of contemporary Paganism (right; Romuvan priestess). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The body-mind dichotomy in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, and by pre-Aristotelian philosophers. {Robert M. Young (1996). “The mind-body problem”. In RC Olby, GN Cantor, JR Christie, MJS Hodges, eds. Companion to the History of Modern Science (Paperback reprint of Routledge 1990 ed.). Taylor and Francis. pp. 702–11. ISBN 0415145783.} + {Robinson, Howard (Nov 3, 2011). “Dualism”. In Edward N. Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition).} The Persian Pūr Sinɑʼ, who is regarded as the most famous and influential polymath of the Islamic Golden Age, made a big study the Quran and the Hadith, encountered greater obstacles in the philosophical writings and got greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Due to Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā or Avicenna’s successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism along with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy by the 12th century, with Avicenna becoming a central authority on philosophy.

He preferred a “short life with width to a narrow one with length” {Aisha Khan. Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician And Philosopher of the Eleventh Century. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 85.} Trying to find logic, ethics this teacher founded also a system for people to come to the essence of life and inner sanctity. It is by placing the ego separate of the world, which is considered in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) as being “set-apart” often translated in English with the word “holy” or “holiness“.

Several Islamic teachers and Christian theologians got very interested in the ancient philosophers. In medieval Europe the clergy went looking for the mysterious soul in the human being. They wanted to solve the many philosophical problems posed by the years. they wanted to go further than the philosophers who studied the fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy. For many clergyman the Catholic teachings had not brought “Logic“. Mainly by all the false teachings in Roman Catholicism they where distracted from the Biblical texts which was confusing them, because they were bombarded with many dogma‘s created over the years. for the bishops and higher placed ones in the ‘holy orders’ Avicennism brought more interesting doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existenceessence distinction. , along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. By 1210 so many people became interested in the Islamic teaching the church took measures to forbid it. A “decree of condemnation to death or banishment” was prescribed. This proscription or “decree of condemnation, outlawry” did not frighten William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris and Albertus Magnus.  The psychology and theory of knowledge found in Avicennism and its metaphysics had an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

closer to our times several theologians also went looking in Confucius his philosophical writings.

The philosophers did not determine the value of an idea by the diversity of its applications. Philosophy in itself does not bring spirituality though it may help to form ideas and to give pulses to do thorough research. It may be interesting in its own right, and a substantial minority of philosophers investigate the many and varied interpretations of ideas studied in philosophy itself, testing others their thought experiments and their conclusions of philosophical arguments.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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Find also:

  1. The Supreme Being God of gods
  2. Only One God
  3. God is One
  4. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  5. Faith
  6. Living in faith
  7. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  8. Religion and spirituality
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. Childish or reasonable ways
  11. Words to push and pull
  12. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  13. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  14. Religious Practices around the world
  15. The Soul not a ghost
  16. Focus on outward appearances
  17. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?

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Additional readings:

  1. Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
  2. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  3. Reginay’s Religious vs. Spiritual
  4. Who is religious?

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  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Are you a Materialistic Individual or do you pursue the path of an Academic or of a Spiritual and religious nature? These questions can only be answered by you and which you choose is solely up to you.
  • African Spirituality: What it is and what it ‘ain’t’ (moniquecharles.wordpress.com)
    In this discussion, Asar Imhotep will reassess the common understandings of African spirituality and provide an updated analysis rooted in over a decade’s worth of research as a practitioner of African spiritual systems, and a student of history.
  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    One way to map or model the spectrum of consciousness and culture today is to talk about the continuum that connects the religious, spiritual (but not necessarily religious), humanistic (but not necessarily religious or spiritual) and secular ( but not necessarily religious, spiritual or humanistic) sensibilities. Further, there are those who religion is not necessarily hostile or indifferent to the spiritual, humanistic and secular dimensions of life.
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    Are you aware that each of these words has a whole range of possible meanings and associations, and that the presumably objective denotative meanings are all but silenced by a cacophony of various subjective connotative meanings. Therefore, any meaningful and constructive dialogue between persons who have front-loaded their own experiential associations and interpretative evaluations of these words make real communication all but impossible.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Although, religion and spiritually have its differences. Religion should be accompanied with spiritually although sometimes it does not go that way. Most people think you either one or the other. It is possible to be religious and spiritual most people are but then again you could be spiritual without religion. The reason being is because religion is very much forced in many situations. A lot of people can’t live freely in the world because they feel if they do it would conflict with their religion. Just because of the demands religion has on a person’s life. Unlike spiritually, it is a chosen practice so it designed the way you want to.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “What constitutes personal authority? Stated most simply it means, to find what is true for oneself and to live it in the world. If it is not lived, it is not yet real for us, and we abide in what Sartre called ”bad faith”, the theologian calls ”sin”, the  therapist calls “neurosis”, and the existential philosopher calls ”inauthentic being”. Respectful of the rights and perspectives of others, personal authority is neither narcissistic nor imperialistic. It is a humble acknowledgement of what wishes to come to being through us.“
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    In accordance with Notarianni’s claim, I would like to emphasize the essential nature families play in the spiritual development of children. It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In the television program Myths of Mankind – The Gnostic Origins of Christianity (Timestamp 43:12-43:54), Elaine Pagels PhD of Princeton University is quoted as saying,“Every great world religious tradition whether its Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism has both the teaching for everyone, exoteric teaching, which every adherent of that faith is supposed to follow and esoteric or mystical teaching. The only one that lacks that is western Christianity. I think it is unfortunate that that which many people find necessary for their own integrity and development has been regarded as either heretical or a path leading nowhere.”
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    It involves focusing on a single thought, object or feeling and turning your attention inwards. Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com)
    In the West we tend to think of religion in really narrow terms that most of the ‘religions’ of the east don’t fit into very well.To me, the word ‘religion’ conjures connotations of dogma and authority. I don’t think either of those things are helpful on the spiritual path. I don’t believe in God. Belief or lack thereof in a deity is not considered an important thing in the path of Buddhism.
  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Humility is an absolute prerequisite for progress on the spiritual path, and thankfulness is its evidence.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
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    We can observe the beings who are born and who pass away – one moment they are present but the next moment they are gone. One moment they are happy but the next moment sad. One moment they are in the company of friends and family but the next moment they are all alone. We see that beings come and go, planets come and go, and even the universes come and go. We observe the passing of time and the passing of space.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    Our spiritual center will continue to be Gyo, Shin and Ki. Shinto at the heart, Buddhist at the heart and Taoist at the heart. I continue to receive teaching and guidance and evolve methodology and techniques that allow energetic and spiritual purification and accomplishment. GSK is essentially a spiritual path – truth testing is done via the taijutsu. The taijutsu is a physical analog of the meditaion and purifications.

Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health

How many are really giving the word ‘Grateful’ its right meaning: causing pleasure and having a due sense of benefits, expressing gratitude?

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In the article

  1. The season for being thankful
  2. A moment to reflect on the positive things in life and not the bad
  3. Gratitude good for your health
  4. Effects of  “positive psychology
  5. Needs of our society to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world
  6. Powerful motivator in people of all ages
  7. Positive outlook on life
  8. Influece of Positive thinking
  9. Dopamine, the body’s “feel-good” reward chemical
  10. The brain’s reward system
  11. Satisfaction in life
  12. Pro-social behaviours
  13. Feelings of depression and anxiety

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  • 16 Thanksgiving Quotes About Gratitude and Grace (thestir.cafemom.com)
    Happy Thanksgiving! It’s that one day of the year when everyone — even the crankiest of the bunch — should be sitting down to take stock of the good in life and say thank you. If it were a perfect world, we’d all express our gratitude daily. But it’s not always easy to know what to say.
  • Gratitude (toddlohenry.com) > Gratitude (kristinbartoncuthriell.com)
    “With a grateful heart you don’t have to search for happiness. You will find it all around you. For it is gratitude that clears the fog that covers the magic in life. With the fog lifted, you will see things, wonderful things, that have been there all along- a snowflake, a rainbow, a kind smile, a gentle hug. A grateful heart will open your eyes to the magic that surrounds you.” -Kristin Barton Cuthriell
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    7 Habits Of Grateful People
    Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

    Turns out Emerson — who explored the meaning of a good life in much of his work — wasn’t far off when it comes to what we now know about counting one’s blessings. Research is continually finding that expressing thanks can lead to a healthier, happier and less-stressed lifestyle.

    “Life is a series of problems that have to be solved — and a lot of times those problems cause stress,” says Dr. Robert Emmons, gratitude researcher and psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. “Gratitude can be that stress buster.”

  • Have You Built a Thankful Company? (inc.com)
    A recent study found that only 10 percent of Americans thanked a colleague on any given day, and just 60 percent reported they never or extremely rarely express gratitude at work.
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    The trouble is building a culture of gratitude at work isn’t easy. Bosses often worry that expressions of thanks are less than genuine (i.e. butt kissing in disguise), while workers a little lower down the food chain have told researchers they worry giving thanks could make them seem weak or invite colleagues to take advantage of them.
  • Why this Brit Loves Thanksgiving (leonaurarhodes.wordpress.com)
    Gratitude is a powerful tool to reduce stress and increase wellbeing because it focuses your attention on the good things in your life, past and present. Often we get caught up in our busy lives and fail to stop for a moment and notice the good things and to celebrate them, no matter how small. That is why I have created this gratitude meditation to share with the world, so if you have just 5 minutes to spare, I’d love you to listen, you never know it might just be good for your brain!
  • The Power of Gratitude (aclearplace.com)
    Being thankful for what you have is the surest way to love where you are. If you are not happy with your place or your space, you have the power to change it. It’s called gratitude. You can shift your world by blessing it. Start right now by looking around your room and saying thank you. When you walk into your home say thank you. Practice mindful placement of your belongings. And always give and receive with gratitude.Giving thanks begins in the heart. It’s where all healing starts. Connect with your heart-self by bringing nature close to you. Its energy will lift you and your space. Simple. A single flower is a good way to start.
  • Five Myths about Gratitude (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Even armed with years of scientific data, making the case for gratitude can still be an uphill battle. At times I’ve been confronted with objections, reservations, or flat out hostility to the idea that gratitude is a virtue, or that we should devote more energy to cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
    While I appreciate the questions and concerns people have about gratitude, I think many of the objections are based on fundamental myths or misconceptions about what gratitude really is. And unfortunately, these misconceptions deter people from practicing gratitude—and reaping its many rewards.
  • 5 Quotes about Gratitude (adreamerswife.com)
    I thought that I’d share five bits of wisdom about thankfulness!
  • The Beauty of the Gratitude List (chavonneawright.wordpress.com)
    My daily gratitude list reminds me to stay grateful for even the little things–there have been days when the only things I felt thankful for were breathing and sunshine. Of course, when you remember the smaller things, the big things come to mind, too. In light of the holiday, I thought I’d share my list for Thanksgiving Eve 2013
  • Giving Thanks Could Be Good for You (news.health.com)
    Many people may think of gratitude as a “passive” gesture — you wait for something good, then feel grateful, said David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, in Boston. DeSteno studies the effects that thankfulness can have on people’s behavior.

    But a growing body of research is suggesting the opposite is true, according to DeSteno: By choosing to feel gratitude, people can make positive changes in their lives.

    “Gratitude isn’t passive reflection. It’s active,” DeSteno said. “And it’s not about the past. It’s there to help direct our behavior in the future.”

    In experiments where he and his colleagues set people up to feel grateful, they found that thankfulness appeared to spur participants to act in more cooperative, less selfish ways.

  • Gratitude: Not just for Thanksgiving – Give thanks and improve your health! (suzannemansell.com)
    Dr. David Hamilton, PhD, author of “How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body,” spoke about the connection between the brain, behavior and emotions. He noted that our brains don’t distinguish whether something is really happening versus whether we’re imagining something is happening. He explained a phenomenon called “emotional contagion”
  • Giving Thanks (thehobbyhoarder.com)
    Sharing our gratitude doesn’t have to be–and shouldn’t be–an event that is confined to forced conversation over turkey once a year. Showing gratitude is something that we should continuously practice day in and day out. Gratitude is a hobby that travels far beyond the remnants of the turkey coma after your Thanksgiving feast.
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    embrace the moment—be grateful for the moment. Be grateful for yourself.
  • 22 Reminders of How to Be a More Grateful Person. (elephantjournal.com)
    There are ways to cultivate gratitude. Write down what you’re grateful for. Say it out loud. Remind yourself of the good things in life. This is not to say, “be a happy, positive person all the time.” Plastering a fake smile on your face isn’t really going to help.
  • Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy For Me: My Top 5 List « Swim In The Adult Pool
  • Does Thanksgiving have a place at work? | dp@large
  • 4 Little Ways to Infuse Life with Gratitude
  • The Magic of Thanksgiving: A Harvest from the Seeds of Gratitude
  • 3 Good Things: How Gratitude Heals
  • Giving Thanks | SWYM