I wanted to write down some thoughts on “spirituality”… What do I think about with that? What attracts me? I don’t think I’m really interested in the subject in general. Or the big subject of religion, for that matter. I’m not a religious scholar, a religious historian. I have no interest in reading books about such things, to “learn more”.
What interests me, however, is the special attitude that is often associated with religion and spirituality. That is, a reverence, wonder, a healthy “subordination” to existence. As I think (know) can be found both within modern spirituality and, for example, in Christianity.
The thought systems themselves are no guarantee that this feeling will arise, however. That the individual’s life experience should have this special “existential” quality. A degree of wonder, reverence for creation, or whatever you are to call it, seems to run along its own “axis”? Contrary to theology or philosophy. I would like to go so far as to say that if one allows wonder, a humbling sense of smallness, to be what defines “spirituality”, then it may as well be in an atheist. The atheist, the Christian, as well ar the contemporary holistic spiritual individual, can be united by something that separates them all from (in turn): the cocky atheist sceptic who ravages and provokes in online comments sections; the bespoke Christian for whom the solution and the answer to everything is “Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior?” and the “spiritual” person who is sure to have answers to – really, in detail – everything between heaven and earth. Spirituality or religion is not synonymous with wonder. (The theologian and developmental psychologist James W Fowler, with his research on the different stages of “faith”, has been important to me! It is summarized and published in Swedish in a wonderful little book, by Göran Bergstrand, called “From naivety to naivety”.)
I saw this interview a long time ago. I’ve hardly read anything by Dawkins, either before or after, but know that he often appeare as a rather affected atheist. I didn’t know about Daniel Dennett. But this is a very nice existential, “spiritual-like”? conversations that make an impression on me. (To get to the stuff I refer to, please play forward to 20:45.)