The Proud Duck
Friday, September 30, 2005
Watched "Flight of the Phoenix" on cable last night. A pretty good flick, except for the annoyingly Hollywood-pompous-and-banal declaration of the "wise" stranded passenger who declares he believes in "spirituality", not "religion", because the latter "divides people."
The irony of that statement -- by which the speaker neatly divided the world of believers into the righteous, open-minded believers in "spirituality" and the wicked, intolerant religionists, was obviously lost on the screenwriter.
Religion is an attempt to discover and live by universal truths. The problem is that it's practiced by people, who are different, which results in different conclusions being drawn, resulting in the religious world being divided among those who accept each diverse conclusion. In "spirituality," the search for truth is more individualized -- with the result that the world of "spirituality" is divided, at least in theory, between each different-thinking individual.
(I do notice that a large number of self-proclaimed believers in "spirituality" have the same bumper stickers, are informed by the same media, have the same opinions on a broad range of issues, etc., suggesting that a large part of what is called "spirituality" is actually a discrete ideological tradition -- and one which, also in my experience, generates at least as much animosity in its adherents towards heretics and heathens, only those words aren't used.)
So the question is whether the divisions that occur as a result of both religion and spirituality will be drawn between groups of like-minded people, or between individuals. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. At least religionists don't pretend they're not being "divisive." (They get to be self-righteous for different reasons.)