OK, this is the last post responding to that ‘spiritual but not religious‘ article, I promise! Let’s start with this rather lovely video, which sums things up better than I can:
Can an atheist be spirituual? Well, it depends on what you mean. As this article points out, spirituality can mean anything from healing crystals, angels, fairies, mediums and assorted woo to a deep sense of awe and wonder at the natural world. In the latter sense, I am deeply spiritual.
Perhaps, as some atheists suggest, we should do away with the term because it is so nebulous, but I still think it’s worth using. People sort-of-understand that spirituality is about a connection with something greater than oneself, and a meaningful existence that goes deeper than money, work and sleep. Sam Harris, who combines his atheism with Buddhist meditation practices, has spoken eloquently about atheist spirituality several times, such as here:
The word ‘spirit’ comes from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning life or breath, and is at the root of words such as respire and inspiration. In this sense, a spiritual life is one fully engaged with living and one which seeks inspiration, or Awen in a Druid context, from the natural world. And whilst I do not believe in anthropomorphic gods in the sky, I do believe in the intricate connections of the forces of nature, the life-force of the universe, the energies that permeate all things.
This connection is for me the heart of Druidry. Damh the Bard decribes his Druidry as:
A connection to the land, to each other, to the plants, animals, stones, rivers, seas, mountains, stars, sun and moon…To be a part of all that is, was and ever will be.
I can certainly get behind that. This spirituality has nothing to do with following religious dogma or believing certain creeds, and everything to do with how you live your life in the here and now.