What is spirituality
The entry “Spirituality” on Wikipedia gives first information about what spirituality is; however, either this item or the definitions that can be found in vocabularies and encyclopedias do nothing but refer to the meaning of “spirit”, avoiding the controversy about the existence of the supernatural. In this starting page of the website we give to the term an initial meaning for a first field clearance from misunderstandings and confusions; subsequent research, carried out in the blog, will make possible to gradually appreciate clarities, complexities and fascination of what spirituality is able to be and mean. The general meaning we give to the term to make possible a start of the research is as follows: spirituality is any inner experience. “Inner” means that reaches our brain, possibly also without awareness. This is clearly a very broad meaning, but we intend to limit it to the world of what is open to criticism; we can do then a further narrowing of the field of attention by inquiring about what inner experiences further research will be profitable.
This, as far as I know, is the only website in the world, entirely dedicated to spirituality, aimed to be impartial and independent from any religion or belief. It provides, as a thinking aloud, a path of human spirituality, lived as experience and a critical research. Critical research is conducted with humanistic, scientific, and philosophical criterion.
Applying a humanistic criterion means studying spirituality with the same responsibility with which, for example, literature, psychology, history, sociology, that is the so-called “humanities”, are studied in schools and research institutes; they differ from science as such because they are not limited to what is strictly measurable and provable; for example, to study the style of a poet, humanities not only use structural analysis, which would be often eccesively complex and extensive in order to allow us to finish them, but also rely on sensitivity of experts about criticism in that field. This does not mean that literary critics are allowed to say any statement without having to prove it, but that they use the data from experience in more global, comprehensive, synthetic ways, rather than in a purely analytical and detailed way, as it is done, for example, in physics, mathematics, chemistry. Besides this, the specification “human”, is meant also in opposition to “universal”: it results to be an advantage for resarch to distinguish a spirituality widespread all over universe from another one that instead we find specifically within us.
Using a scientific criterion means to strive to narrow the search field to what is documented, demonstrable, explainable, repeatable. It follows that fields usually referred to spirituality, such as paranormal, esoteric, supernatural stuff, here are simply appreciated as manifestations of human behavior. In our research we are interested in a spirituality that even a scientist, a materialist or an atheist must be able to follow.
Keeping a confrontation with philosophy, in favor of research seriousness, essentially means giving importance to criticism and self-criticism, especially regarding the relativistic criticism of metaphysics. An example of this type of criticism is the “weak thought” of Gianni Vattimo, but we can also think to Heidegger or what is called “postmodern”. Who wants to believe in the existence of “spirits”, as such non-material, but belonging to other dimensions, is free to do so, this is not relevant for the purposes of research that here is meant to pursue; what matters is that everything will be discussed here, whether material or immaterial, will anyway be interpreted in a manner incompatible with any notion of truth as objective, real, something to which, according to some, we all should adapt “because it is so”, “because it is true”. From this point of view it is not uncommon that even atheists are actually very dogmatic. Spirituality meant here is rather relativist, critic and self-critic on everything, always becoming, ready to doubt everything, including itself. For a better understanding of the philosophy that underlies this view, I recommend reading my book Camminare (available in printed, epub and kindle format).
Spirituality today is subject to distortions due to the lack of critical sense in those who deal with it. In the search engine results you can see that religions and gullible have appropriated the concept, emptying it of value and bending its meaning towards the idea of supernatural worlds, ghosts, spirits, mysterious and esoteric forces; these conceptions carry contradiction, hypocrisy, slavery: by escaping the control of critical reason and then to the power of its demolitions, they give to naive people the feeling of a minimum of comprehension, which is ultimately a feeling of control and power, exercised on the meaning of the term, of themselves and of others.
The critical path that philosophy has covered in the world now enables a work of rescuing the human heritage of experience, indicated by the word “spirituality”, to seriousness; there is no one to blame for what has been said above, it is a matter of proceeding with a historical mindset, that actually allows us to appreciate the progress made, but freeing its interpretation from metaphysical presuppositions.
This website is online since 1st May 2016. The logo ɣ is the greek letter “gamma”, here considered as stylization of two hands that, in the human walking, held one another. Spirituality is for me the result of walking, especially when different paths meet.
Last updated: 15 October 2017