Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nebulous religiosity

"The dancing was very spiritual. I definately transcended something."

That was the quote of a university student who had been studying a certain type of traditional dance in India. The dance in question was apparently quite exaughsting, which in turn, combined with the notion of being in India, apparently led the girl to the conclusion that she'd encoutered the unseen realm.

Her quote sat very poorly with me. Not that it's bad or ill-meant, but because it's just so bloody typical. Particularly among the younger generation there is this notion of being nebulously, indefinably, 'spiritual'. It's hogwash. It's just a religion of feelings, sans discipline, stirred with a large dose of experiential intuitions.

The problem I have with this kind of religiosity is that it doesn't mean anything. It isn't standard-bearing and ultimately doesn't ask you to respond in a reformative way to the reality of the beyond.

If we're to believe evolutionary science, then the most basic instincts we have are the sympathetic nervous responses - sexual desire and "fight or flight" response. Secondarily is the dedication to those genetically alike to us, particularly those who are phenotypically alike. Any religion that doesn't address these basic impulses is, to my way of thinking, a vapid spiritual disposition. It's esoteric masturbation that gets us nowhere.


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