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Spirituality & Happiness

 
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08 June 2009 02:33
 
Salt Creek - 26 April 2009 08:20 PM

Does (real) spirituality ever make anyone unhappy? Would anyone admit to spirituality that made them “unhappy”?

Why do we need both terms, “spirituality” and “happiness”? Who judges that some kinds of happiness make someone “unspiritual”?

You can be happy when you don’t realise you’re in fact wasting your life. Once you become spiritual, there’s hardly turning back from the position. Being spiritual (for me ) is being thoughtful about how you live. Once you stop and think “why am I doing what I’m doing ?” it’s hard to forget it. So spirituality can make you sad, simultaneously that can be an impulse to change your life in order to become really happy

[ Edited: 08 June 2009 02:36 by Non-believer]
 
 
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09 June 2009 13:20
 
Non-believer - 08 June 2009 06:33 AM
Salt Creek - 26 April 2009 08:20 PM

Does (real) spirituality ever make anyone unhappy? Would anyone admit to spirituality that made them “unhappy”?

Why do we need both terms, “spirituality” and “happiness”? Who judges that some kinds of happiness make someone “unspiritual”?

You can be happy when you don’t realise you’re in fact wasting your life. Once you become spiritual, there’s hardly turning back from the position. Being spiritual (for me ) is being thoughtful about how you live. Once you stop and think “why am I doing what I’m doing ?” it’s hard to forget it. So spirituality can make you sad, simultaneously that can be an impulse to change your life in order to become really happy

People confuse ‘pleasure’ with ‘happiness’.  Over-eating, or eating junk food might be pleasurable, like other forms of self-destructive behavior.  Pleasure often leads to misery. Sometimes the two are simultaneous as a person can be aware of the grievous after-effects even as he indulges.  (I know a lady who groans as she eats things that are bad for her).

Pleasure is habit-forming, and religions step in with formulas for breaking habits.  “Pray.  Go to church.  Ask Jesus to help you.  Read the Bible.  Do you want to go to hell?  Confess.  Ask for forgiveness.  You must be born again.”

A Zen master commented, “There is no cure for bad habits.  They are only not done.”

[ Edited: 26 June 2009 19:25 by unsmoked]
 
 
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27 June 2009 12:29
 
Elise - 06 June 2008 11:22 PM

What is Spirituality & How do we become Happy?

I was interested to read Harris’ ideas about spirituality and happiness in the End of Faith. However, I think there is more to be said. While having experiences which divest one of the ‘self’ and take one to different levels of consciousness/unconsciousness is well and good, I think there are more important things (for me, at least).

For example, I concieve of spirituality as a group of emotional and intellectual needs that people have. They include the need to find meaning in life, to develop one’s ethical self, to discover sources of wonder and awe, and to discover activities that one loves…

These are some important sources of my own happiness:

My discovery of philosophy has awoken the love of learning that I previously thought dead, and provided me with a quest of intellectual and ethical self-improvement.

The quest to become a more compassionate, more reasonable and thus more ethical person through study, reflection and practice is a source of pride and happiness to me. The possibility of making the world a better place for others to live in is daunting task (sometimes I feel despair and powerlessness), but it also fills me with inspiration, excitement and a sense of great potential.

Meanwhile, activities such as reading, socialising and painting seem to provide much of my happiness and contentment.

I don’t understand why losing the self through drugs or meditation is so significant. I hope that others on this forum can either explain to me why they think losing the self is especially important for happiness, or alternatively confirm that they, like me, are more interested in sources of happines such as I have described.

In his LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION Sam Harris writes:

“Everything about human experience suggests that love is more conducive to happiness than hate is.  This is an objective claim about the human mind, about the dynamics of social relations, and about the moral order of our world.  It is clearly possible to say that someone like Hitler was wrong in moral terms without reference to scripture.

“While feeling love for others is surely one of the greatest sources of our own happiness, it entails a very deep concern for the happiness and suffering of those we love.  Our own search for happiness, therefore, provides a rationale for self-sacrifice and self-denial.  There is no question that there are times when making enormous sacrifices for the good of others is essential for one’s own deeper well-being.  Nothing has to be believed on insufficient evidence for people to form bonds of this sort.  At various points in the Gospels, Jesus clearly tells us that love can transform human life.  We need not believe that he was born of a virgin or will be returning to earth as a superhero to take these teachings to heart.”

Sam Harris writing in ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’ page 24

 
 
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27 June 2009 19:57
 
unsmoked - 27 June 2009 04:29 PM

At various points in the Gospels, Jesus clearly tells us that love can transform human life.

‘Transform’ has a neutral meaning (neither good nor bad), therefore used as it is in the above quote the sentence has no meaning.  However, instead of playing word games, in context of Jesus’s message of love, the suggestion is love causes good transformations.  This is debatable in the context of the common murder/suicides that happen when one party stops loving the other.

Have you ever met someone who finds happiness in hate?  Or finds happiness in dissatisfaction?  I’m partial to schadenfreude.

Happiness and love are good achievements, but problems come from the strength of desire to achieve and retain love and happiness.

 
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27 June 2009 23:06
 

“We cannot really give love in the real sense of love if we are not complete human beings, if we are human beings in process.  What we are giving is not real love.  For example, take children.  They are obviously human beings, very complete, but they are in the process of growing up.  Then their love is not really for giving something; on the contrary, it is for taking something.  And that’s normal.  So, you know, when I see people speaking about love, love, love, love, love, love, I see children wanting and I say, ‘This egg needs a little bit of salt.’”  Interviews With Oscar Ichazo, p.122

 
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28 June 2009 09:14
 
The Universal Tautology Generator - 28 June 2009 03:06 AM

“We cannot really give love in the real sense of love if we are not complete human beings, if we are human beings in process.”

The point that the UTG is trying to make is that if maximizing happiness is your objective, don’t let yourself be overly-influenced by the blather of so-called sages who are only too happy to tell you (for a fee, of course) what you must do to be spiritually-developed.

Anyway, how would you ever know if you’d really succeeded in your optimization? You’ll always be asking yourself if you could have done better, something that will, if you let it, influence your general level of happiness.

In fact, the blathering of so-called sages largely functions to make people think they could be happier, paradoxically. The financial success attached to being a well-known so-called sage is one way toward happiness. Use your success wisely, and be happy.

 
 
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