Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Philosophy Time!

It's time now, I think, to share my theories regarding the origins of religion and spirituality.

To take a leaf from Voltaire, let us define our terms first.

"God" is our all-encompassing term for an anthropomorphized ideal, a distillation of all that we aspire to in terms of morality and benevolence. Beyond that, "god" is a type of gestalt, a feeling of being interconnected to everyone else.

"Spirituality" is the feeling (impression, sensation) that there is an authority above us that we have an obligation toward. (I'll get to this in greater detail a bit later).

"Religion" is the outward show that provides a ritualized focus for meditation, enabling us to block out distractions and concentrate on our souls.

"Soul" is a result of interior mental processes, so "soul" is a function of our nervous system.

Now, here's how I get all these terms to hang together:

1. Your nervous system runs on electrochemical impulses, so to a certain extent you are a weak RF transmitter.
2. On a certain level, this energy (which I have termed a "soul" for lack of a better term) connects to others, leading to the subliminal feeling that you are connected to other people or to the universe. The personification of this collective sensation can go by many names, and my favorite is the Hindu Atman, or 'World-Soul.'
3. You refine your "soul" through silent meditation, usually in association with a focus. You have to exercise it in order to make it develop, just as you exercise your mind or body.
4. The "spiritual" sensation that I listed above, and the personification of deity as a parental figure, is - to my way of thinking - a product of our biology. Think about it - we are dependent on our parents for basic sustenance, early education and comfort. They punish us when we are bad, and reward us when we are good, and their wrath can be averted by proper attitude and contrition.

I await comment.


Blogger BlondeSense Liz said...

The creator created all these biology, right? It doesn't seem meaningless or random, does it?

10:19 AM EST  
Blogger Walt said...


Then how does one explain a lack of empathy, such as what we see in psycho killers and George Bush?

Underdeveloped souls.

As to the 'great' creation / evolution debate, I am convinced that, based on the scientific evidence available, that all life on this planet evolved from simpler forms. So yes, we are a product of randomicity. That doesn't make it any more or less elegant. I think that even with all the inefficiencies and poor design shortcuts in the human body, we aren't all that badly off.

12:54 PM EST  

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