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Century of the Self

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gimel_samech:
I had a great convo with my brother today, about the Century of the Self and everything we've lost, as well as a few things we've gained as we've become increasingly self-obsessed. Besides depression sky-rocketing and self-aggrandizing becoming expected in our society, one of the big things I observed was how spirituality has become such an inward quest. We seem to ask ourselves more inward questions like "Who am I?" or "What is my path?" As opposed to the more community centered quests of centuries before like, "What religion is best for my family?" or "Do I see this religion making the world a better place?"

Do you all thing this is a good shift? If so, do you think the consciousness of humanity will shift back to a more community-based perspective eventually?

Mind_Bender:
It is very important to know where the self stands in terms of spiritual ideals and practices while also having a mutual understanding and acceptance of other spiritual/religious ideals and practices. Asking 'what is the best spiritual course of action for my family and community' is no good unless the community itself sits together and asks the question as a united whole, otherwise it is just conjecture. My family and friends all have different and quite unique spiritual beliefs and practices (of course there are similarities) yet we each share a strong bond with one another. Spirituality in itself is not a bonding tool and can even cause harm (the whole debate over Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path, or This Buddhism versus That Buddhism, et cetera)

There is also the weapon of religion as a tool for mass conformity and control - if an entire nation believes in the same holy book, the same idea of god, and follows the exact same practices it is much easier for a governing body to utilize such knowledge for the mental slavery of the believers of the said faith.

I believe spirituality is about connection on the deepest perceivable level with others and is about much more than yourself and human social needs and desires and should also be rooted in nature and cosmic mysteries, but the way I go about living by my spiritual philosophy and practicing my devotions and magic are very personal and it should be, otherwise I am not able to attain Gnosis/divine revelation/Satori but am just another cog in the wheel instead of discovering mystical wisdom and being able to help others through direct experience over dogma.

When it comes down to it, when we are guided by intuition and self-awareness and achieve personal desires we are much happier then being guided by an outside power that determines what is best for us, because we eventually discover that being with and helping others is very beneficial for all involved anyway. Basically, spirituality has nothing to do with strong bonds between family, friends, and community, unless it is our personal spirituality that guides us towards said connection.

Magari:
Personally I think we maxed out the self, individuality, ego, whatever, a while ago.

We are currently shifting back towards community, feminine perspective, ect.

OrangeJuice:
Personally I think it's just part of the natural evolution of things. I.e. people may need to live a certain way to make various realizations. Someone may need to live a very selfish life to realize that it never made him or her happy.

Enchia:

--- Quote ---[...]one of the big things I observed was how spirituality has become such an inward quest. We seem to ask ourselves more inward questions like "Who am I?" or "What is my path?" As opposed to the more community centered quests of centuries before like, "What religion is best for my family?" or "Do I see this religion making the world a better place?"

Do you all thing this is a good shift?
--- End quote ---

Spiritual practices cannot be seen without there cultural and historical context. In the modern western world there is an increasingly focus on individualism. Meaning that the individuals own self becomes the focus of attention and less the community where the individual is from. It makes sense that within this context spiritual practices also becomes focused on the individual himself. Organised forms of spirituality (e.g. religion) that used to function in an other historical context now slowly loses ground due to a change in awareness of the self in the modern times.

I don't know if it is a good or a bad thing. To my mind it is as it is and personally I like this individualistic way as it gives me a lot of room for personal exploration and experimention.


--- Quote ---If so, do you think the consciousness of humanity will shift back to a more community-based perspective eventually?
--- End quote ---

The future is a mysterious lady.

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