Organic Spirituality 1: Introduction
by: Gordon Wayne
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Unfortunately, nobody, including quantum physicists and neurologists, can definitively quantify, qualify, define, or identify the human spirit. While scientists are not contesting its existence, they have no instruments that can detect the mortal soul so they have no empirical evidence proving it truly exists. They can quantify and qualify every human organ from the appendix to the thalamus but the human spirit remains elusive, an imperceptible, intangible, incorporeal, ethereal enigma. Although many theologians, clergy, and religious zealots passionately assert they know everything of consequence, they really do not have a better understanding of the mortal soul. After all, they too cannot precisely quantify it, qualify it, identify it, define it, sketch it, or measure it with instrumentation.
Despite the obvious lack of indisputable evidence, most sensible people, including scientists, believers and skeptics alike, honestly believe the human spirit truly exists. We cannot and will not try to dispute its existence because the absence of indisputable evidence does not definitively disprove something’s alleged existence. Moreover, rational thought existed before Plato, gravity existed long before Newton, human psychology existed before Freud, and species were evolving long before Darwin. Perhaps religious scholars, theologians, clergy, and believers truly understand the mortal spirit, and maybe they do not. Nevertheless, despite the dearth of indisputable empirical evidence, we can formulate an imperfect understanding of the mortal soul by using the scant information presently available.
First, most religions have an incredibly pessimistic attitude toward the human soul, which they use to manufacture spiritual dependency rather than cultivating spiritual liberty. After all, if we accept the premise that our souls are essentially iniquitous, then we must also accept their doctrines, morals, and rituals to counteract the alleged sinfulness. Similarly, if we accept the premise that bad karma is plaguing our souls, then we must practice their faith to innoculate against the negative karma. However, if nobody can truly prove the mortal spirit exists, then nobody can truly prove it is either good or evil, virtuous or iniquitous, healthy or unhealthy, constructive or destructive.
Second, the mortal soul is like human intelligence in that knowledge of either is not a prerequisite for using our own intellect or spirit. Every human uses their intellect whether they know anything about the human brain and intelligence, and they employ their spirit whether they understand anything about the human spirit and spirituality. However, knowledge is necessary if anybody wishes to maximize their own intelligence or spirituality, or if they wish to help another maximize their intelligence or spirituality. While knowledge is not necessary to use our own intelligence or soul, knowledge is necessary to cultivate their inherent strengths and managing their intrinsic weaknesses.
Third, although nobody truly understands the mortal soul, most sensible people believe it exists within every cell, within every organ, muscle and bone inside our bodies. Similarly, most rational people believe the human spirit exists within our psychological constitution, within our personality, character, temperament, disposition, and emotions. Also, most intelligent people believe the mortal soul exists within our intellects, within our mind, our thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. Therefore, we can conclude that the human spirit permeates our physical, psychological, and intellectual beings much like tea or food coloring diffuses throughout a glass of water.
Fourth, the human spirit is like the human mind because both are compendiums, concise but comprehensive summations of supporting or underlying aspects. Our mind is a compendium of supporting cognitive faculties such as our emotional, creative, imaginative, analytical, rational, and conscious faculties. Similarly, our soul is a compendium of underlying aspects, namely our genetics, physiology, psychology, character, personality, and intellectual aspects. Because they are compendiums, any weakness within our cognitive faculties will manifest itself our mind and any weakness within our physical, emotional, and intellectual self will affect our spirituality. Conversely, our intellectual strengths will reveal themselves in our mind while our physical, emotional, and intellectual strengths will naturally reveal themselves in our spirituality.
In summary, traditional religious ideology is very pessimistic about the human spirit and human spirituality, though they have no indisputable knowledge of either. However, knowledge of the human spirit and spirituality is not absolutely necessary unless one wishes to maximize the spirit, and we wish to maximize our spirituality. The little we really understand concerning the human spirit suggests that it is a compendium of and permeates our physical, emotional, and intellectual self. Therefore, the best strategy for understanding our spirit and developing our spirituality is through our physical, psychological, and intellectual selves, which introduces organic spirituality.