Are atheism and spirituality two contradicting concepts?

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GoldenLotus's picture
Are atheism and spirituality two contradicting concepts?

Can an atheist be spiritual at the same time? Can people who do not believe in any god still consider themselves spiritual? What does spirit really mean, and does it have anything to do with spirituality? Is consciousness related with spirituality? What is your idea about enlightenment and the individuals who claim to be enlightened? Do you personally believe in meditation and enlightenment as its direct effect?
Has anybody else here read some of Osho's and Eckhart Tolle's works, how much do you agree or disagree with their ideas? I'd love to hear what you think about them.

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cmallen's picture
Absolutely. Don't confuse

Absolutely. Don't confuse atheism with materialism. If you want to be spiritual then fine. The less you believe in an allpowerful personal god who absolves you of all wrongdoing, the better it is for the rest of humanity; but you can still hold on to the transcendent without harming others.

Nutmeg's picture
It seems that spirituality

It seems that spirituality has a very wide definition and is not the same as believing in some god or another, so there is no conflict. What CMA said, really.

Anser's picture
That's a lot of questions.

That's a lot of questions.
I'll attempt to give my opinion on one of them.

"Do you personally believe in meditation and enlightenment as its direct effect?"

Yes, I do. In order to be clear I consider almost any form of relaxation, which is not to be confused with entertainment but is not necessarily excluded from, to be meditation.

The mind is bombarded with information and consciously trying to sort it, correlate it and find its relevance to oneself is almost impossible as we go about our daily lives. It often takes moments of relaxation to see the correlation between individual pieces of information. Even then, not everything is going to fit but when somethings do relate an epiphany of thought is sometimes the result. This is the point where the individual pieces of the puzzle, which are relevant to a subject, fit together to form a hitherto unrealized view of the picture. Some call it enlightenment.

Anser's picture
This is actually two separate

This is actually two separate questions.

What does spirit really mean?
does it have anything to do with spirituality?

What does spirit mean?
From its root in Latin "Spiritus":
breath| breathing| air| soul| life
In researching "soul" I found "Animus":
mind; intellect; soul; feelings; heart; spirit| courage| character| pride; air

I find the definitions to be somewhat vague but Animus in particular is the root of many other words that are in daily use.

It appears to me that both words are used to describe the essence of life and thought.
I think we can agree that life and thought exist and if spirit describes life and thought then spirit exists.

Does it have anything to do with spirituality?

I suspect that depends on your definition of spirituality.

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