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Since this seems to be an actual problem that riles people up here:

Spirituality is.... (please reply with your definition, not just some snide remark or bullshit)

We can then take the top vote getters and see what ya'll think. I guarantee it is a fucking mess. But I probably shouldn't have said that. Seems a few think I should take anger management classes for using the "f word". Sorry to harm their precious eyes and sensibilities. We'll transport them to Victorian England after we get to the bottom of this mess.

Seeker3CO 8 Nov 8

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It's not a fucking mess unless one is under the assumption that the term should only have a single definition.

Here's an example. Happiness is.....

I wrote this because so many seem to get bent out of shape about how OTHERS use the term but I have yet to find any definition folks agree to. Since there doesn't seem to be any real definition, does that make it a meaningless word?

@Seeker3CO Is happiness a meaningless word?

@VictoriaNotes Words that mean different things to each person, when the full purpose of language is to communicate, to convey meaning and knowledge and share experience, seem rather meaningless to me. Is happiness meaningless? No. The feeling is the same for each, but what elicits the emotion may be very different. Spirituality should have a meaning if we are to use it. If not, toss it in the trash heap. I have a meaning for the word that I have explained several times as a very firm atheist and yet many on this site scoff and say that the word simply is "religion lite".

"Spirituality is the relationship between ourselves and something larger and the awareness we have of that relationship." For me, that is connection to the world outside my inner self

@Seeker3CO As with the terms happiness and love, spirituality is a broad concept with personal perspectives. All three terms include a sense of connection, awe and wellbeing. Should we toss out the terms love and happiness simply because they have expanded meanings and have also been associated with religion?

Sam Harris: "The word “spirit” comes from the Latin spiritus, which in turn is a translation of the Greek pneuma, meaning “breath.” Around the 13th century, the term became bound up with notions of immaterial souls, supernatural beings, ghosts, etc.

It acquired other connotations as well—we speak of the spirit of a thing as its most essential principle, or of certain volatile substances and liquors as spirits. Nevertheless, many atheists now consider “spiritual” thoroughly poisoned by its association with medieval superstition.

I strive for precision in my use of language, but I do not share these semantic concerns. And I would point out that my late friend Christopher Hitchens—no enemy of the lexicographer—didn’t share them either. Hitch believed that “spiritual” was a term we could not do without, and he repeatedly plucked it from the mire of supernaturalism in which it has languished for nearly a thousand years."

"In Defense of "Spiritual" []

IMO, the problem isn't about the diverse definition. The problem is that some people can't seem to get past the mire.

@VictoriaNotes You are 100% correct. The problem is with the people who seem to be set off emotionally about the term spiritual.


I don't believe there is a real definition of the word. It seems to mean different things to different folks.


I am sorry, but you will never get a final definition of 'spiritual', the whole point of the word and what makes it attractive to people is that it has no real meaning, and can therefore be redefined to mean whatever the speaker/writer wishes. Some on this site have proposed, something like. " Emotional awe at the wonder of nature." As a secular meaning, but you will never stop people using it in a million other ways anyway, even if you do get that, and nothing else, put in all the dictionaries.


Spirituality. It's definition would by it's nature be as slippery as the subjective experiences it attempts to describe or classify.

For myself it generally connotes that someone is about to hold forth on something they know little about and have not done much thought on their own.


OMG, hahaha. Fucking awesome. 😄

But all joking aside, I DGAF about having a common definition for spirituality. I’m still gonna use the term in the way that makes most sense to me. I don’t want to be pigeonholed, ya know?

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