The Spiritual Is Never The Other

I have argued elsewhere that the word “spiritual” is very difficult to parse. When it means pertaining to a ghost, that is, to some alleged residue of a former human, it is almost comprehensible as a name for something that does not actually exist, but otherwise it seems to be mostly a pointless synonym of either “emotional” or “ethical”. That is, having a “spiritual experience” usually means having an emotional high, whereas acting “unspiritually” means doing something wrong, and we already have words for both ideas.

This applies, of course, only to non-tactical usages. For the main purpose of the word “spiritual” lies in one-upmanship, in a claim to see, know or understand something that you cannot, because you are not as “spiritual” as wot I am. This is sometimes parlayed into a pecuniary receivable, while sometimes the point-scoring is considered sufficient in itself.

It is high time that the human race collectively resolved that whenever someone makes this claim, they should not be pleaded with to concede us some human worth, or even argued with, but treated like any other kind of malignant parasite.

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 19:04 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

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