I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

348. Gullibility and Spirituality

Gullibility and Spirituality

Over the years I have been reading many descriptions and definition of what spirituality is supposed to mean or what it means to those, who are attracted to it.   But as much as I ponder over it, it remains an alien and incomprehensible concept to me, when attempting to imagine, how it feels like.  

While being myself entirely void thereof, I am aware, how it obviously has a very real and strong emotional appeal to and power over many people.   In entry 315 I described the encounter with a religious woman, who appeared to me like drugged by her religious zeal.   Something powerful is going on in the brain of these people.

During my own christian upbringing as a child, my belief was void of any emotion (entry 11).  I never had any emotional need for the deity, whom I was temporarily believing in.  Taking the existence of a deity for granted was a child's gullibility as a part of generally never doubting what I was told.    Gullibility during my childhood was an ephemeral and skin deep state, until the maturation of my brain had enabled me to become aware of the irrationality and absurdity of the belief.   

I will never know, what being spiritual means to those, who experience this.   They cannot explain it, because it is so much a self-evident part of their personality, that they lack the imagination of how it is for me to be without.  

But I do not want to be misunderstood.   I do not miss to be spiritual at all.  I do not feel to lack anything that I would prefer to have, if this were an option.    I am a deep thinker, I can feel strong emotions in connection with real people and real life experiences, and being rational and logic is a reason to feel good about myself.   The mental and intellectual freedom from believes and spirituality is certainly the preferable way of coping with life.

Spirituality is like alcohol.   The double meaning of the word spirit is no coincidence.   Alcohol gives temporary relief from the full awareness of a painful reality, while the effect of the intoxication lasts, but as a side effects it also inhibits the motivation to solve the problems.  Spirituality does the same more permanently.   
Therefore neither spirituality nor alcohol are in anyway appealing to me as a means to cope with life.   But to better understand other people's experiences, it is good to know them myself first hand, as long as exposing myself is no hazard.  
There is nothing desirable in being an alcoholic or regularly drunk, and I rarely drink alcohol.  But I do consider it helpful to have experienced myself, how it feels to be drunk and to have a hangover.   
There is nothing desirable in being spiritual, as this means being detached from the awareness for reality and having a delusion instead.   But I am curious and I would like to know, how that feels.  

Getting oneself temporarily drunk is a simple act of one's own volition.  Unfortunately, there is no method in my power to ever elicit temporarily in my rational brain the emotions caused by the spiritual delusions.   
Maybe brain stimulation with Persinger's helmet would help.   But his laboratory is in Canada, if he would even accept me as a test subject, and similar helmets sold on the Internet are very expensive.  

Spiritual people practice their chosen creed by rituals, and there is a wide variety.  As a few examples, they chant in front of a shrine, they kiss statues, they meditate, they follow routines of elaborated body movements, they fast by schedule or live on a very selective diet, they paint or mutilate their bodies.   
Some claim or belief, that those rituals create spirituality.   But it is the other way around.    The presence or absence of a need for spirituality, for believing, for being delusional makes the difference, how the ritualistic behaviors are experienced, perceived and interpreted.  The belief installs sense into arbitrary behaviors.  The rituals only enhance experiencing, what has first been there as the motivation to perform the rituals.

Unaffiliated and unafflicted observers perceive those ritualistic behaviors as weird, preposterous and absurd hocus-pocus.   Imitating these rituals does not supply a temporary delusion leading to spiritual emotions, when such emotions are alien to the personality.  

Tai chi is an example.   For the spiritual, it creates the delusion of having or learning how to gain control over some alleged life force called chi, of which the existence has so far eluded any scientific evidence. 
Watching people performing tai chi is as hilarious as watching apes in the zoo.   It remotely looks like dancing without the music.      
Once I was obliged by circumstances to participate in a tai chi lesson.   I was bored and in a state of cognitive dissonance.   It just made no sense to make ritualistic movements to honor same non-existent chi.    I asked myself, why I should imitate dancing without music, as music is the trigger to dance.   Just as I cannot see a reason to write without paper, as wanting notes on the paper is the reason to write.    I felt as if I had joined the apes by what is called participant observation in social science.  

While I am ignorant of what people do experience, when they claim to be spiritual, I have a speculative explanation for the causes of their affliction.

Gullibility is reactive.   A gullible person it the passive target responding positively and often strongly to external influences proffered or forced upon him without his initiative.   
Spirituality takes it one step further, it is proactive gullibility.   A spiritual person is an active target feeling a strong need to be influenced and therefore searching for influences.  
In entry 345 I gave a few examples, how people choose the specific believes fitting their particular needs.   But choosing a belief means, that it is already available as an option.  It is presented as the claim of it being the solution to a specific trouble.   Spirituality is the process of first feeling and perceiving some vague, unspecified, undefined, immaterial and strong need, and then searching for some way to fulfill it.   If nothing suitable is found in the scope of known quackeries and deities, then the choice is for the delusion of the existence of some unspecified entity or power.    

All standard religions are specific instances of spirituality, but those, who do not like the rules and restrictions of standard religions, enlarge their search to other forms of spirituality.    In their search to fulfill their spiritual need, some people test several creeds, until they find the one, that suits them best.  Whatever effect is experienced due to the particular ritual is not recognized as a  personal preference, taste or inclination, instead it is attributed to the connected belief system.   
They participate in the creed's specific rituals.  By trial and error they discover, to which they react with the strongest emotions.  There they remain, tied by the delusion causing the emotions.  The absence of rationality makes them susceptible to be delusional, but they can easily replace one delusion by another.    

I have speculated before, that the strength or absence of unconscious instinctive urges determines the conscious basic values and the identity of a person, and that breeders have a different identity than non-breeders.    Non-breeders consider the baseline of correct behavior as the fair exchange between themselves and their social environment focusing on individual people living now.   
Breeders are driven to make huge sacrifices for the survival of their genes and the species.    When they are exhausted and stressed, when they are disappointed by their children, when child rearing is a burden beyond denial, they have to deal with the unavoidable question, why they have deliberately brought this upon themselves.   There is no rational answer from the non-breeder's point of view.  
Spirituality serves to supply a satisfactory answer to soothe the breeders.    The unconscious representation of the eternal chain of genes never dieing in contrast to the individual bearer can be modified into the belief in the vague entity or power beyond the individual particle.   Breeders perceive a connection with their spiritual power, but unconsciously it is the connection with their eternally living genes.   This cause of spirituality is not restricted to actual breeders, it appeals to all, who by their implicit identify perceive themselves as less important than the species and the genes.  

I am void of both, of the instinct to breed and of any spirituality, and I think that both are connected.   
Some people call themselves spiritual but not religious.   To me, this distinction makes no sense.   Someone, who is spiritual can never be a real atheist, because the real difference is between either being being rational or being afflicted with any belief immune to rationality.  

The insurmountable ditch is between brains like mine, guided and determined by rationality, logic, consequencity, skepticism and brains afflicted by gullibility and spirituality in any variation.   

Therefore my mindmate is not only an atheist and skeptic, but also as void of spirituality as I am myself.