The Internet and Spirituality

Discussion in 'Extended Consciousness & Spirituality' started by Jim_Smith, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. I would say this is my strict definition:

    I would add that a looser definition of spiritual (and I think this is effectively what Sheldrake is saying) is anything that gets you out of your analytical mind and into the empathic/intuitive mind such as reading poetry or painting flowers, because using the empathic/intuitive mind could be difficult for someone who is not used to it and reading poetry might be an easier way to get started than diving in to classes in mediumship as their first step.

    If I had to describe spiritual in two words I would say "connectedness" and "love". If I had to use one word I would say "empathy" because that connotates (at least to me) both connectedness and love. I describe the spiritual mindset as empathic/intuitive because intuitive implies connectedness (at least to me it does).

    I think somewhere else I wrote that studying evidence for psi and the afterlife can be spiritual if it puts you in a spiritual mindset. That is true of a lot of things. You can approach them with the analytical mind or the spiritual mind.

    Sheldrake described it as feeling uplifed and inspired. I would describe it as feeling connectedness and goodwill. Spirituality is a feeling. When you use the analytical mind, you eventaully become fatigued. When you use the spiritual mind it is restful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  2. David, Charlie, Wormwood, (others?) if you are saying that the information you are getting from the internet is uplifting, inspiriing, or gives you a feeling of empathy or connectedness etc. then I would say that is cultivating spirituality. Sorry if I misunderstood.

    Learning about personal experiences of other people like NDEs, precognition, syncronicities, afterdeath communication, watching a medium give a public demonstration, etc can produce a spiritual mindset. But studying the numerical data produced by a parapsychological experiment, or debating with skeptics, is more likely to use the analytical mind and exclude a spiritual experience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  3. For me spiritual implies a connection with non-physical consciousness, with the human soul, with the afterlife, the non-physical realm.

    I think materialists looking for spirituality define it more along the lines of "morale", inspiring or uplifting. But inspiring what?

    For me it is inspiring feelings of connectedness and goodwill which are attributes of the nonphysical realms (oneness and love).
     
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  4. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Surely getting information from the internet includes listening to various podcasts, having discussions here, being introduced to new ideas - isn't any of that spiritual? If it isn't, why even bother with your website, or with posting here?

    I don't understand what you are getting at.

    David
     
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  5. Summary:
    In my post you quoted, when I wrote: "Learning about personal experiences of other people like NDEs, precognition, syncronicities, afterdeath communication, watching a medium give a public demonstration, etc can produce a spiritual mindset.", the "etc" includes what you wrote in your reply, "getting information from the internet includes listening to various podcasts, having discussions here, being introduced to new ideas"

    Full Post:
    I don't own the definition of spiritual. If you don't like my definition use a different one. I don't mind if other people define it differently. When I use the dictionary I find many words have multiple meanings. It doesn't upset me. I use many of them myself. Sometimes scientists or other specialists have specialized definitions for use in specialized contexts. If you want to include a purely intellectual approach in the definition of spiritual that is fine. I use that definition sometimes too. Definitions of words do not create or invalidate reality. What is, is. Definitions just help us communicate. Saying x is not y doesn't change anything about x or y. It doesn't necessarily put a value judgment on x or y. They are what they are regardless of what we call them or how we categorize them.

    My first point is that I am saying in the present specialized context, relating to Sheldrake's podcast where he lists spiritual activities and says they make him feel inspired and uplifted, that I would define "spiritual" more strictly. Sheldrake seems to define sprit as "morale". I define spirit as "eternal soul". Sheldrake seems to be defining "spiritual" as: "using the empathic intuitive mind in ways that are uplifting or inspiring". Sheldrake's list of spiritual practices are all empathic/intuitive activities none are intellectual pursuits (I listed them above: Meditation, Gratitude, Connecting with nature, Relating to plants, Rituals, Singing and chanting, Pilgrimage and holy places). I would define "spiritual" as "when you are using your empathic/intuitive mind to approach direct perception of some aspect of our spiritual nature, and or the non-physical reality". The experience is a feeling like connectedness or goodwill etc. I am willing to acknowledge what I think is Sheldrake's definition because that can be a first step for those who are unused to using the empathic intuitive mind.

    I am not trying to say anything negative about gaining knowledge of the evidence for psi or the afterlife. I think that is a very good thing to do. Accurate knowledge of anything is usually good. It helps us make better decisions. Knowledge about the reality of the human spirit and the afterlife is good because it will influence our ethics and morality in a positive way, it will change the way a person lives their life and their understanding of their place in the universe.

    My second point is that depending on how you approach the study of the evidence if you are using the logical/rational mind all the time* you might not be getting a full understanding. In my post you quoted, when I wrote: "Learning about personal experiences of other people like NDEs, precognition, syncronicities, afterdeath communication, watching a medium give a public demonstration, etc can produce a spiritual mindset.", the "etc" includes what you wrote in your reply, "getting information from the internet includes listening to various podcasts, having discussions here, being introduced to new ideas". But I am trying to explain that there is more to the subject than just knowledge, there is the experience, the feeling, that is a different facet of understanding. Like you don't fully understand love until you feel it. That is the purpose of my specialized definition of "spiritual": to have a convenient way to refer to this aspect of understanding, that you don't necessarily get the emotional understanding from a purely intellectual approach. Sometimes an intellectual approach to learning about the evidence is a first step toward developing an emotional understanding, so it is always to be encouraged.

    And I am not trying to say spiritual people are better. I am not implying there is anything bad to a purely intellectual approach. I don't think it is possible to accurately judge anyone on matters of spirituality so I try to avoid it.

    *The logical/rational mind, and the empathic/intuitive mind cannot be in use at the same time. You have to switch between them. Both should be cultivated.
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252241.php
    Brain Can't Empathize And Analyze At Same Time, New Study
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  6. To help people defend their beliefs.

     
  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Jim, I think pinning down precise definitions of words like 'spiritual' is rather like trying to pin down the definition of consciousness or free will, (something that materialists often try to do) - it just isn't a good way to look at these problems.

    I had battles with Paul A about this very issue. I used the following little analogy to make my point:

    Back in the stone age, a group of philosophers are sitting round a fire and decide to contemplate what fire really is.

    Ug1: I think before we can discuss fire, we absolutely must define it!

    Ug2: Right, I think we should define it as a process in which something gives up its spirit as light and heat and becomes truly dead.

    All the philosophers agree on this definition.

    Ug3: I'd hoped to discuss my experiments a bit - the fact that fires seem to go out if I stop them taking in fresh air.

    Ug1: That rather implies that everything that can burn is alive in some way, and needs to breathe!

    This illustrates that rigid definitions of badly understood things are often misleading!

    David
     
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  8. Number 22

    Number 22 Member

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    The internet is sometimes a fake fact of the atheist, once I looked at a guy's post he concluded that Nde was 99% false, and when I asked him where was it wrong? He avoids and says that these are not verified so it's wrong -_-)
     
  9. The quote about Johnathan Haidt and the quote by Scott Adams point out that the use of reason to discern the truth is often an illusion. We are most often persuaded by intutitve / empathic factors even though we think we are using logic to make decisions. In reality, reason is used to defend our beliefs and decisions, but it is not used to form them. (If you don't understand this, look here: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/brian-dunning-is-the-“skeptical-thing”-over-363.4019/page-3#post-120500)

    In previous posts in this thread, I have been trying to point out that there is much to gain in understanding spirituality by experiencing it with the intuitive / empathic mind. This is particularly true because, as Adams and Haidt say, you cannot trust the logical / rational mind to help you find the truth.

    And many of the mystical things you read about: oneness, unconditional love, God is love, egolessness, no-self, not-self, these are things you have to feel to understand. The rational / logical mind is not going to help with that.
     
  10. Why are tech insiders keeping their children off the internet?

    Getting off the internet increases empathy:


    "After just five days at the [internet free] retreat, researchers saw huge gains in empathy levels among the participating kids.

    "Those in the experimental group started scoring higher in their nonverbal emotional cues, more often smiling at another child's success or looking distressed if they witnessed a nasty fall."


    Internet use cause anxiety, depression and suicide:

    "they both make an effort to stay current with screen-time research, which, despite suffering a lack of long-term data, has nevertheless found a host of short-term consequences among teens and adolescents who are heavy users of tech.

    These include heightened risks for depression, anxiety, and, in extreme cases, suicide."


    https://www.sciencealert.com/tech-insiders-are-shielding-their-children-from-the-tech-they-work-with

    These Tech Insiders Are Shielding Their Children From The Technology They Work With
    This is important.
    BUSINESS INSIDER
    31 MAR 2018

    Instead of tricking out their homes with all the latest technology, many of today's parents working or living in the tech world are limiting – and sometimes outright banning – how much screen time their kids get.

    The approach stems from parents seeing firsthand, either through their job, or simply by living in the Bay Area – a region home to the most valuable tech companieson Earth – how much time and effort goes into making digital technology irresistible.

    A 2017 survey conducted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation found among 907 Silicon Valley parents that despite high confidence in technology's benefits, many parents now have serious concerns about tech's impact on kids' psychological and social development.

    "You can't put your face in a device and expect to develop a long-term attention span," Taewoo Kim, chief AI engineer at the machine-learning startup One Smart Lab, told Business Insider.
    ...
    "The tech companies do know that the sooner you get kids, adolescents, or teenagers used to your platform, the easier it is to become a lifelong habit," Koduri told Business Insider.

    It's no coincidence, he said, that Google has made a push into schools with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and the learning management suite Google Classroom.
    ...
    Erika Boissiere has little doubt that tech is poison to young brains.

    The 37-year-old mum of two in San Francisco works as a family therapist alongside her husband.

    She said they both make an effort to stay current with screen-time research, which, despite suffering a lack of long-term data, has nevertheless found a host of short-term consequences among teens and adolescents who are heavy users of tech.

    These include heightened risks for depression, anxiety, and, in extreme cases, suicide.

    ...
    Boissiere will go to great lengths to prevent her kids, 2-year-old Jack and 5-year-old Elise, from having even the most basic interactions with technology. She and her husband haven't installed any TVs in the house, and they avoid all cell-phone use in the kids' presence – a strict policy the couple also requires of their 28-year-old nanny, who Boissiere said has been caught scrolling on the job.
    ...
    Silicon Valley's low- and anti-tech parents may seem overly cautious, but they actually follow longstanding practices of former and current tech giants like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook.

    In 2007, Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, implemented a cap on screen time when his daughter started developing an unhealthy attachment to a video game. Later it became family policy not to allow kids to have their own phones until they turned 14.


    Today, the average American child gets their first phone around age 10.

    Jobs, the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012, revealed in a 2011 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad.

    "We limit how much technology our kids use at home," Jobs told reporter Nick Bilton.

    Even Cook, the current Apple CEO, said in January that he doesn't allow his nephew to join online social networks. The comment followed those of other tech luminaries, who have condemned social media as detrimental to society.
    ...
    One of the more hopeful studies, and one often cited by psychologists, was published in 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Computers in Human Behaviour.

    It involved roughly 100 pre-teens, half of whom spent five days on a tech-free retreat engaged in activities like archery, hiking, and orienteering. The other half stayed home and served as the control.

    After just five days at the retreat, researchers saw huge gains in empathy levels among the participating kids. Those in the experimental group started scoring higher in their nonverbal emotional cues, more often smiling at another child's success or looking distressed if they witnessed a nasty fall.

    The researchers concluded: "The results of this study should introduce a much-needed societal conversation about the costs and benefits of the enormous amount of time children spend with screens, both inside and outside the classroom."
    ...
    But around Silicon Valley, a number of low-tech schools have popped up in an effort to reintroduce the basics.
    ...
    In their 2017 book Screen Schooled, the co-authors make the case that technology does far more harm than good, even when it's used to boost scores in reading and maths.

    "It's interesting to think that in a modern public school, where kids are being required to use electronic devices like iPads, Steve Jobs's kids would be some of the only kids opted out," they wrote.
    ...
    As the authors wrote, "What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don't?".
    ...​
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018

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