Some thoughtful responses

unitarian

I just wanted to highlight a couple of interesting comments friends have made about the blog:

tricky word that ‘belief’. also, consider magic a psychological technology and spirituality a practice not an ideological position… i’ve taken to saying “i entertain the notion that…”. i dropped ‘i believe’ years ago as nonsense.

I think of this stuff more as a practice than as anything having to do with belief. Like, if you practice mindfulness meditation a lot, certain things will happen (according to scientists you’re likely to get less stressed out, reduce inflammation, etc). Or if you practice other kinds of meditation you might have an ecstatic experience. And some people mash belief into that, but it doesn’t have to be so (see: “buddhism without beliefs,” bokononism, the agnostic experience of the numinous). I see the obsession with belief as the primary agent of spirituality as something we inherit from dime-store Christianity.

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My Year of Belief

National-Park-Seminary-May-Day-1907

Welcome to The Year of Belief, where I will document my year-long exploration of what we believe, why and how.

Every New Year, instead of making a resolution, I choose a subject I want to explore over the following 12 months. Last year was my Year of Fantasy. I re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, finished The Silmarillion (for the first time) and then moved on to other fantasy classics and critical studies of the genre.*

This year (2013) I have something more ambitious in mind. I want to explore the question of belief: specifically, spiritual beliefs.

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