Friday, 4 January 2008

A Reframing

It seems I've become the typical smug, affluent, left leaning liberal blogger. Or so it would seem having re-read my last few posts. Pleasant and self-affirming as they were to write, as I've re-read them, I've discovered that I get on my own tits quite frankly.

So I shall stop this nonsense right now. You see, I've made it quite clear to you that my life is warm and fuzzy. Christ, I've even provided photographic evidence.

Yet this 'happiness' that I've been writing about is borne of tantrums, dust, dishes left from the night before and disagreements, needless swearing in front of children and huffy left shoulders at night time. Far from perfect I assure you.

An ordinary life, I suppose. And no different from any other.

So I'm going to re frame this blog back to its original focus. That is to debate the ephemeral term 'spirituality' and its relation to good 'mental health', whatever both statements may mean.

Back in November 2006 I set upon the plan to blog about this 'spirituality' so that I might learn what the fuck it meant. I had some faith in the word back then, as I'd been taught that it was an important 'component' of good mental health.

I've since learnt that the term is as useful as a chocolate fireguard, for it means everything and nothing. It cancels itself out. Yet many 'service users' say that this notion of 'spitiruality' has set them on the path of recovery. Tonight though, is not the night to debate this ambivalence.

So, I shall re-explore for a while, why people require this nothingness' to get by in life without resorting to basic existential vehicles, I hope.

Unlikely, I know.


Anonymous said...

I feel a certain je ne sais quoi when I am walking in nature among trees or swooshing down a snow covered mountain side on my snowboard. It feels like a connection, of being a small part of a larger whole and def falls under my description of spirituality. It feels God-like, if I actually believed in such a concept.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

"So I'm going to re frame this blog back to its original focus. That is to debate the ephemeral term 'spirituality' and its relation to good 'mental health', whatever both statements may mean."


I wish that word had never been invented; it seems to be a repository for all kinds of fuzzy thinking and wimpy refusal to face life as it is.

I don't think it promotes health; rather the contrary.

The United Church next door has a signboard that it changes from week to week. 99% of the material is this wishy-washy "spiritual" pap; none of it seems apropos to real life in any way.

Anonymous said...

Good subject for discussion on an interesting topic.

The word "spirit" literally means "breath". Spirituality is simply "that which we breathe".

For me, that's a pretty simple concept. It's bound up in the ways I've found to relate to the world I live in.

metalkpretty used the word "connection". I understand, and resonate with, the comment: "...walking in nature among trees or swooshing down a snow covered mountain side on my snowboard."

A personal endeavor of my own is long distance trail running. It involves intense physical activity thru challenging and beautiful terrain. I am often dwarfed by my surroundings but simultaneously feel a sense of connection as well. Like, you can look out your car window and say "That mountain is steep" but if you get out and run to the top, it's a whole 'nother way of perceiving yourself in relation to something that is very real.

I offer my personal approach as example only. I’m neither guru nor evangelist. Trail running is, in the scheme of things, a totally inconsequential activity. The spirituality part is all about my perceptions and the emotional responses involved in the activity. So go find your own spirituality; kinky sex (consenting adults only) or over-consumption involving large quantities of chocolate… whatever floats your boat.

If the concept of spirituality has any relevance, a major chunk of it is the opportunity for self-reflection. Spirituality is something that finds you; just reflect on what activity/obsession/passion provides you with a sense of your place in life. If you can take a step back and reflect on that activity, (1) you can examine it to see if any self-deception is involved -- strong recommendation to the religious! Wanderin’ weeta’s observations are astute; spirituality has been co-opted and served sugar-coated to the lazy and fearful -- and (2) see what it says about you in relation to others, cuz, regardless, we’re all in this together and we’d better start getting along. Any sense that your spirituality sets you apart (and above) others who don’t share your specific perspective, the basis for religious conflict and “values politics”, is no longer acceptable.

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