Spirituality is a concept that I struggle with to some degree. In all of my conflict with organized religion, the idea of spirituality is something I’m not sure that I can either believe in or not believe in. In essence, it comes down to a lack of understanding of those who call themselves spiritual. Typically the people I think of as describing themselves as spiritual have little in the way of organized religious belief but do find something metaphysical that is real to them. In my simple materialist mind, I have a bit of trouble ascribing things to spirits or souls when it seems sensible to call it biochemistry. In contrast to a recent mini-debate on the subject, I don’t find this to be a “cold” concept at all. Rather I think it something of immense beauty. The idea that we as a species are able to translate images of the outside world, formulate ideas and hypotheses, remember people and emotions with immense clarity, and even conceive of things beyond ourselves is something so marvelous I actually find it more cold to chalk it all up to the simplicity of a “soul.” That atoms and molecules can be manipulated and organized in such a way as to do these things is absolutely stunning. This is stunning for me in a “take your breath away” kind of way. If ever I have had a spiritual experience it was the first time I realized that there is immense beauty in the act of being alive. The orchestra of molecules that act in concert to produce a bacteria or a person is so astonishing a thing that for me it is impossible not to be in awe of what nature hath produced. I truly believe that if people took the time to think about the implications of biology and chemistry in their bodies that produce these amazing things there would be no shortage of “spiritual” experiences even without a personal god. Even the simple things, like me writing this here involve such complex underlying machinations of molecular machinery that even a preacher, pastor, or rabbi should be compelled to say that nature has produced things far more wondrous than what any divine being could or would conceive. The spirituality that people experience is actually something more amazing than I think they might at first realize. Patrick OUT!!!
Thanks to Marie for giving partial inspiration to this post with her recent entry.