Sep. 17th, 2009

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Most people know how to differentiate between religiousness and spirituality, for instance, being religious doesn't necessarily mean that a person is spiritual, they can live after certain rules and dogmas, having long ago decided that there is a certain god, and the rules they fancy this god has created should be followed and beyond that they don't contemplate the matter very much, they just continue to live their life in their material reality.

Counter to this there are spiritual people who contemplate esoteric matters and communicate with the spiritual side of the world regularly, but don't subscribe to places of worship, dogmas, rules or other religious practice. And then of course there are people who are both religious and spiritual and people who are neither.

When it comes to goodness, being good or less selfish, whatever traits that classically have defined goodness, it is by most people agreed that there are religious people who lack goodness, they are often considered fanatics or dogma-drones. It is also fairly commonly understood that certain religious people can be good, they are then often described as having "true faith" or being god touched. Atheists and agnostics (i.e. the two groups that don't spend much time with either religious matter or spiritual matters) are in general, except by the most dogmatic of religious bigots, considered to have equal capacity for good and evil, depending on personality, choices, disposition, etc. But I have found that when it comes to spirituality, this trait is more often than any of the other 3 groups (religious, atheist and agnostic) associated with goodness. It seems to me that many people have some form of precognition that a person who's interested in spiritual matters without embellishing him/herself with an established faith should have a special capacity for compassion and seeing the soul in people, places and things, as well as being less inclined toward various expressions of human hierarchy, and this is where the myth begins.

I guess this is a lengthy way for me to say that to be spiritual doesn't in any way mean that a person is good, just that the person believes in a spiritual reality, no more, no less. If we assume that there is such a spiritual reality upon which a spiritual person relies to draw wisdom, power, faith and other things from, then there is no guarantee that this person actually is particularly "chosen" to do so. I don't necessarily mean to say that the ability to gain insights or signals from a spiritual reality would be a completely random matter, but the personality traits upon which such a "selection" would be based, certainly wouldn't be goodness, or for that matter wisdom. I have found a few criteria that seem to be common qualities essential for a person to feel that they are getting any insight in a spiritual reality, but these qualities would seem pretty mundane in comparison to such already mentioned traits as goodness, bravery or wisdom. This is of course not to say that a spiritual person can't be a truly good person as well, rather that goodness is not dependent on their spirituality, but by how they make use of their spirituality, and those choices are completely dependent on their goodness/bravery/wisdom etc.

The first two things I silently ask when I see someone who seems to be on a spiritual quest are: "what do they do with their spirituality?" and "how do they relate what they do to their fellow spiritual seekers?". I think a lot can be answered by just observing the outcome of these two questions.


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