fooloso4 wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:23 pm
I have not read Robert Solomon’s take on this but I offer the following:
Plato’s Socrates famously said that philosophy begins in wonder (greek: thaumazein
). Aristotle said:
All begin, as we have said, by wondering that things should be as they are …
Wonder is an spiritual experience. The history of the term ‘spiritual’, however, has led many to understand this is a narrow and confused sense. Spiritual in its etymological meaning had to do with breath, that is, life (cf. respire, expire, aspire). That we live and die and how best to live and die is a matter of wonder. It arises, as Aristotle said, from aporias, that is, from an impasse of our understanding.
A further difficulty we must face is that Aristotle referred to the Metaphysics as a theology. This may lead some to conclude that what Aristotle was up to was something akin to Aquinas without Christ. But Aristotle’s concern was with “being qua being”, the study of the first causes and principles of things. One who has knowledge of such things would properly be wise (sophia) but Aristotle never claims to be wise. He aspires (note the extension of the term) to be wise,but has not overcome the perplexity that gives rise to and guides philosophy.
In religion we find both an emphasis on the unknown and a plurality of answers to the unknown. When Solomon says that “spirituality is coextensive with religion” I take him to mean that it raises some of the same questions and concerns about life, but when he goes on to rejects the “otherworldly” I take him to mean he rejects the appeal to transcendent answers that are found in religion.
Thanks for a substantive offering. I have not yet read Solomon's book 'Spirituality for the Skeptic'. However, I have found a secondary source which provides some more of his quotes and further explanations on the topic of secular spiritualism.
There is an article by Leon F. Selzer in Psychology Today, ' Contemporary Humanism and Spirituality, Part 3, - How can the term 'spirituality' be humanistically secualarised ? Breaking Religious Ties - Secularizing the Concept of Spirituality (Posted Jul 01, 2013 )
I think this ties in with what you understand Solomon to mean.
'Solomon describes his book as a search 'for nonreligious, noninstitutional, nontheological, nonscriptural,nonexclusive sense of spirituality, which is not based on Belief [with a capital 'B' ], which is not dogmatic, which is not antiscience, which is not otherworldly,[and] which is not uncritical or cultist or kinky.'
Solomon prefers the term 'naturalized spiritulality', and provides his 'summary Hallmark-card phrase, 'spirituality as the thoughtful love of life'.