Spirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms


Spirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms





by Rohana Ulluwishewa    

Product Details

     Publisher: Sairon Books Ltd.
     Published on: 24th Nov 2015
     Original language: English
     Number of items: 1
     Dimensions: .25" h x 5.12" w x 7.90" l
     Binding: Paperback
     Pages: 124

Spirit literally means that which gives vitality to a system. If so, that which gives vitality to all biological systems – all living beings including ourselves, is spirit. It is our essence, what we really are. Spirituality is the state of being one with the spirit, or becoming who we really are. This is the purpose of our life as humans. This book, with the help of scientific evidence, shows our brain is hardwired to guide us to achieve this goal. However, the brain’s neuroplasticity allows the self-centeredness which dominates our society to be soft-wired in the brain. This makes our thoughts and actions selfish and prevents us from following the hardwired brain. Nevertheless, the good news is that the same neuroplasticity allows us to dissolve the soft-wired neural circuits and to liberate ourselves from self-centeredness if we want to do so. The founders of all great religions have shown various pathways to achieve this goal, and there are many science-based non-religious pathways too. Though there are many methods and pathways, following them are our choice. This book concludes with some policy measures that could help individuals to achieve the goal.

What is this book about?

The Purpose of the Book

Spirituality literally means being one with the spirit. Spirit, in general, refers to an ultimate reality which exists beyond the material realm. It cannot be observed or experienced directly through our physical senses. All religions claim to be expressions of spirituality. The religions dominating our society today originated well before the emergence of modern science. The founders of the religions who claimed to have experienced the spiritual reality either directly or through messengers, preached what that spiritual reality was like and what individuals should do and not to do if they wished to be one with the spirit and benefit from it. However, there was no way for them to objectively verify what it was. Therefore, for many, spirituality remained mystic, and it is still taught in organized religions as a mystical phenomenon. Most of what is being taught in spirituality, e.g. God, soul, spirit, heaven, hell, karma, life after death etc are presented as mystical phenomena. Most of them are inconsistent with modern science and rational thinking. Hence, to accept and practice what is taught as spirituality demands a blind faith, a faith in God who is said to be seated in a mystical space called heaven and therefore is incomprehensible to the scientific mind, a faith in scriptures of which authenticity is questionable, a faith in theories that have not been tested and proved by scientific means, a faith in various metaphysical elements that are unobservable, unscientific, irrational and illogical, and a faith in the preachers who do not practice what they preach.

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1. Understanding Our Reality

2. What Are We Designed To Be?

3. Why Are We Not What We are Designed to Be?

4. Becoming What We are Designed to Be: Pathways to Spirituality

5. Does Spirituality Matter?

6. Ways Forward

7. Epilogue


Chapter Abstracts

Chapter 1 Understanding Our Reality

Reality means the state of things as they actually exist; it may be different from the idealistic or notional idea of them. We perceive ourselves as individuals separated from each other and from the material world, and the material world as an assemblage of material objects. This chapter, drawing evidence from quantum physics and scientific studies on consciousness and near-death experience, shows that contrary to the separateness we experience in the material level, in the quantum level we, others and the environment are not separate entities but an interconnected unified field of energy.

Chapter 2 What Are We Designed To Be?

Both our inner and the outer realities are nothing but energy that is conscious. This conscious energy fills the whole universe. In spite of its vastness, it functions as an undivided single entity or a universal being which manifests through each one of us. So, we are designed to think and act as one.

Chapter 3 Why are we Not what we are Designed to Be?

Though oneness, love and selflessness are hardwired in our brain and we are designed to be selfless loving beings, we do not behave so in our ordinary lives. Most of us behave as selfish beings. This chapter explains why. The hardwired qualities are overridden by false perceptions; separateness, sense of ‘I’/self, and self-centredness that have been soft-wired in the brain.

Chapter 4 Becoming What We are Designed to Be: Pathways to Spirituality

To liberate ourselves from the undesirable influence of false perceptions soft-wired in our brain, we should re-wire our brain by either dissolving those false perceptions or replacing them with true perceptions. All spiritual practices, both religious and non-religious aim at achieving this goal. This chapter present an account of the methods available to us.

Chapter 5 Does Spirituality Matter?

What grows within as us we grow spiritually is love, the force which keeps us together in harmony. That is why spirituality matters to us. There is a general perception that spirituality is ‘other-worldly’ and does not benefit us in this life. This chapter points out, with the help of empirical evidence, that spirituality could in numerous ways promote happiness and prosperity in individuals and societies.

Chapter 6 Ways Forward

Spirituality involves an inner transformation in individuals. It is a personal matter. No one can transform another. However, by adopting appropriate policy measures it is possible for governments and organizations to help individuals to achieve their spiritual goals. This chapter provide such policy recommendations.

Epilogue: Transforming Ourselves to Transform the World

The best way we can contribute to transforming the world is to transform ourselves. If we decide to transform ourselves there is no force in the world that can prevent us from doing so. We can transform ourselves. If we want to do so, there are pathways, both religious and non-religious. If we want, we can choose to practice our own religion, the core teaching taught by the founders, not the rituals, beliefs and doctrines added later. If we don’t like religions, there are many non-religious pathways. No matter what path we follow if we transform ourselves, the small world around us will begin to follow us.