spirituality

Our use of language, words, and communication is a very spiritual affair. After all there is little material component to reality. As the physicists are noted for pointing out there really is no stuff at the bottom except fields, forces, and information. Material is so 19th century.

Michel Foucault tried to get us to consider that the practices that are most important for us, including the conversations and letters we share with each other are spiritual practices even as our poetry and prayer is. We have gotten rationality down pat in our computers. But consciousness and self consciousness, not yet. That doesn’t mean we won’t, but we don’t understand it well enough yet to program it. It may be in trying to program it that we begin to understand it better. Morality of whatever kind is for us a very spiritual exercise because its practice is the admission that there is meaning beyond the redness of tooth and claw.

How can poetry not be a spiritual affair. The modern materialists have done so much to make the precious banal. In an effort to keep God out, they have reduced themselves to plankton, all the while acting as if like gods they could banish their spiritual natures with a wave of their hand. (I don’t say “spiritual natures” like there’s a God-sized hole in us that can be filled only by following this or that rubric.) Our spiritual nature is consciousness and self consciousness, a mystery of magnificent scope.

I know Christianity and all the major religions have some take on the afterlife. But I side with Plato who says we shouldn’t be scared of it since we can know nothing about it. Even though in the mouth of Socrates he elaborated a marvelous tale of the afterlife, reincarnation, et al in the Phaedo he denied anything like knowledge about it.

Kant thought that without God, freedom, and immortality, morality couldn’t exist. I don’t know that, but as mysteries they are magnificent in scope. There is no easy answer to them, or categories we can put them in. The modern materialist would banish such language, but it persists, even if there is no resolution to debates about it. Looking for proofs for or against Kant’s foundational principles is a problem that can only be solved by taking a transcendental position (too high for mere humans.) That system in which freedom can be proven is larger than the system we live in. We can assert it. We can’t prove it. We also can’t prove that it doesn’t exist. It remains conditional in a philosophic sense, suspended without resolution, even though we act as though it does exist and hold each other accountable as if it exists.

I let the materialists have their say. It comforts them to eradicate the opposition. Hot air really.

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