Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
I feel a sort of resurgence in the search for spirituality. Some people I know express it with tattoos or the clothes they wear. Others go a step further and join movements or read books by gurus and the like. Still more seek out modern expressions of old ideas—like online ashrams or urban Buddhist sanctuaries. Many people find it in nature or feel it as a unity with the entire human race. Spirituality surely casts a wide net.
It’s all great, but where is it coming from? And why now? Aren’t we supposed to be ever-barreling toward a more secular society. Well, I think that’s a tired, over-played record. I recently read about an advertising executive from the 1920s who was convinced that society was becoming more secularized. He added that people will make up for the loss of spirituality by purchasing status symbols—which he would no doubt cleverly market to them. Michael Crichton said western society is replacing religion with environmentalism.
Maybe it was never going anywhere.
My view is that many people feel that they are connected to something greater than themselves. These folks might see the physical world as real, but only one side of the reality coin.
Of course, most people have a healthy respect for science, all it’s done for us, all the mysteries it has cleared up, and atheists/humanists/agnostics like to point to science as proof that spirituality (or religion) is irrational—or worse, just plain silly.
I’m not trying to start a theist/atheist debate here. But I don’t think spirituality is silly or irrational—just the opposite.
The world around us is real—the rocks, the trees, the land and water. But what about everything we created? Human creativity is responsible for relationships, societies, ideas, languages and a host of modifications to the physical world (for good or ill) from the houses we live in to the factories and office buildings we work in that combine to create that difficult concept we call “the economy,” which is also a human creation.
(I’ve not quite worked out the economy—I suspect I never will, but I think there’s some spiritual aspect to it. Think about it: the ebb and flow of all human activity, the sum total of all human creativity, the result of billions of synthesized purposes, desires, needs—all amounting to a sort of spontaneous cooperation. Heavy stuff. But I digress.)
We can do things, we can affect change! We can create a new or different reality for ourselves. These aren’t New Age platitudes, there’s hard evidence in everything you’ve ever done.
There’s something “spiritual” about that, isn’t there? The power that resides in you and all that jazz. Some self-help gurus make quite a living selling nothing more than that idea in a “spiritual” package and I know that, as a result, it’s not a new idea to you. That doesn’t make it any less true and if it’s helpful to consider it spirituality, fantastic!
THEE has been simmering in my mind for almost a year now. And in that time, I’ve struggled with technicalities, operational vocabulary, my previous philosophical and scientific background, and quite frankly, its seemingly infinite scope and the subsequent implications. But it’s starting to become simpler somehow—simple like spirituality should be, not easier to grasp by any means, but more a part of the world I move through.
That’s not to say I consider it spirituality, I just acknowledge its potential to be seen as such. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of things in there for the budding scientists.
See you there.
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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