So for the past month or so I had been enrolled in a free “Introduction to psychological theory and practice” course at Antioch University here in Los Angeles. The 5-week cycle of classes ended last week Wednesday and life has already moved on (and sorry mom, I’m still not sure I wanna go back to school), but I wanted to share something here from a website that the professor was particularly fond of. The site is called Wait But Why and the author of the articles we had to read for homework, Tim Urban, writes about the issue of spirituality in a way that I found to be not only refreshing, but deeply relevant and empowering. I’m posting below some quotes from those articles to entice others to check it out. Definitely worth a read for anyone cynical, atheist, or spiritual. Tim’s a guy who seems to like hitting nails on their motherfucking heads.
This is from How Religion Got in the Way:
Ever since the human species began opening its eyes into consciousness, it has been an aggressively curious child, hungry to figure it all out. What was this world it was living in, and what did it all mean?
The first part of that question—What was this world?—became the job of science. The second part—What does it all mean?—is the job of spirituality.
Science is what we know, and spirituality is how we coexist philosophically, psychologically and emotionally with that knowledge. Science gives us the information; spirituality helps us wrap our heads around it. The two lead us as a tag team, each taking care of their critical halves of the “figuring it all out” puzzle—when science tells us something shocking, like “The Earth is revolving around the sun and not vice versa!” we turn, wide-eyed, to spirituality and ask, “How does that change things? How does that transform the way we should think about ourselves, about the world, and about life?”
Under this definition, spirituality is a secular concept, and the idea that spirituality and science are diametrically opposed to each other is incorrect—they’re two halves of the same quest.
When I read that bit I was like, “Damn. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”
This here’s from the second article we had to read for homework, Religion for the Nonreligious. It’s going to come out of context so I’d recommend you read the whole article to understand how it fits. For me, the way he illustrates his point here (literally) is funny, profound and Whoa:
Step 3 is when things start to get weird. Even on the more enlightened Step 2, we kind of think we’re here:
As delightful as that is, it’s a complete delusion. We live our days as if we’re just here on this green and brown land with our blue sky and our chipmunks and our caterpillars. But this is actually what’s happening:
But even more actually, this is happening:
We also tend to kind of think this is the situation:
When really, it’s this:
You might even think you’re a thing. Do you?
No you’re a ton of these:
Anyway, yeah. Go and check out their website. It’ll help put shit into perspective.