Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

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Hagoth
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Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Sat Apr 15, 2023 3:07 pm

If you want to get rid of a Mormon, start talking about any form of spirituality that doesn't revolve around Joseph Smith or Russell Nelson. Look around you in church at how bored people are. They are pleasantly surprised to get an occasional brain chemistry buzz from a talk or hymn, but it doesn't really seem to be what they come there for. I think many people walk away from the church because of the need for a genuine connection with something bigger than the exalted man on Kolob, but for the most part I think people stay in for the reassurance that they are part of a special group that has secret rituals the earn them privileges in the next life, much more than they are seeking for spiritual/mystical experience in this life.

We've been remodeling our house and we made one of our bathrooms into a sort of a religious shrine, with stuff like a framed leaf from the bodhi tree, robe hangers shaped like hands in different mudra positions, a porcelain Buddha, etc. Mrs. Hagoth was showing a TBM friend around and she was very complimentary until she walked into that room. Her face assumed a look of terror and she slowly backed out, as if she had just been led into a satanic blood ritual or something.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Keewon
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Keewon » Sat Apr 15, 2023 6:03 pm

Hagoth wrote:Her face assumed a look of terror and she slowly backed out, as if she had just been led into a satanic blood ritual or something.
You should hang a picture of a temple in the room, perhaps next to another picture with scythes and other sharp instruments of harvest and/or sacrifice. That would surely put the TBM friend's mind at rest! :D

Or maybe a framed quote by Paul about "there are many gods and many lords", and the practical courtesy of making sure to pay homage to the god of whatever place you may be in. I personally find the bathroom to be a place of peaceful meditation, especially if I can find a Reader's Digest...

dogbite
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by dogbite » Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:44 am

I'm pretty disinterested in spiritually.

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:12 am

dogbite wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:44 am
I'm pretty disinterested in spiritually.
Which totally makes sense, given your current relationship with the church.

I am mostly puzzled by the disinterest of devoutly active members. You know, the kind who would give their life for the church and who bear passionate testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, even though they can barely force themselves to read it in their out-of-church time. And even then, they glide their eyes across the pages mining for familiar and faith-promoting sentiments, on their way to achieving the stake president's goal of finishing it by Thanksgiving.

Most NOMS were not like that. We were people who really read and thought about the words, and expected the promises to yield spiritual results if we did it right.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

dogbite
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by dogbite » Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:18 am

I will expand on my reply.

It is my opinion that spirituality is sloppily loaded word.

As an atheist, I too feel the emotions of awe, of the numinous in certain situations. My objection to spirituality is that it is usually an unjustified leap from experience to meaning. I have that feeling, the holy ghost is telling my dead relative is here. I have that feeling, nature is communicating its supremacy to me.

It's the same flaw as moroni's promise, that a feeling means truth. The feeling itself is vague. But we attach our emotional state, our unknowable unconscious desires onto it projecting ourselves into the feeling. Now it is certainteed meaning. When it can't be, isn't and any who disagree are wrong.

Why can't people just accept not knowing?

Dropping spririt onto it loads you with the agency of something other. There's is an unconsciouss assumption the word just carries with it.

English for example is positively loaded as a language. English biases you to think that adding more to something is better than stripping it back, simplifying, subtracting. https://www.livescience.com/18062-engli ... -bias.html

Similarly, spirituality is a word that confuses the experience with personal projection, not clarifying the experience to its essence, hiding that it isn't really known or understood.

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deacon blues
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by deacon blues » Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:33 am

I hope I don't offend any comic book aficionados out there, but I think Mormonism is to spirituality what comic books are to literature.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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moksha
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by moksha » Sun Apr 16, 2023 3:42 pm

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Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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alas
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by alas » Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:08 pm

I read through the reaction of the TBM to your room that is conductive to spirituality, and kept thinking that I don’t think most Mormons know what spirituality even is. But I wasn’t quite sure what I even meant. But, I think I now know what I am trying to say.

Most Mormons have spirituality all tangled up with ghosts. Ghosts being some kind of being that has no physical body, but still is some sort of person. Ghosts. Like the Holy Ghost.

So, let’s not fall into the Mormon trap and confuse spirituality with “spirits”.

Real spirituality is nothing at all to do with the Holy Ghost, but is all from within oneself, as in the definition that Moksha put up.
moksha wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 3:42 pm
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The difference between religion and spirituality is whether we focus on the inside of us, our feelings and values, our connectedness to others both living and dead. Or whether we focus outside of ourselves on “follow the prophet.”

Mormons only seem to know religion and are very disconnected from real spirituality. We are taught to obey another human and do what he tells us God wants. Few Mormons even really believe that you can be connected to some universal whatever, that you can be in awe of the universe, and yet see God in a mosquito, or find God within yourself.

But most of us here ended up here because we needed more than religion. So we searched and found problems in Mormonism, we found it lacked something so we searched for facts and proof in religion, looking for the problem of what is wrong that Mormonism doesn’t work. We searched for that spirituality that is missing in Mormonism.

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wtfluff
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by wtfluff » Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:43 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2023 3:07 pm
...
They are pleasantly surprised to get an occasional brain chemistry buzz from a talk or hymn
...
I clung to that occasional brain chemistry buzz for five to ten years. Every four or six weeks I'd get a hit and tell myself: "Ah there it is! That's why I keep putting up with the rest of the bullsh1t that entails being a MORmON. Plus it's really all that I know how to do... I mean 'Where else will I go? ' . "

Now I know how to re-create the brain chemistry hit any time with a bit of preparation. SURPRISE! It doesn't require 10% of my income, endless boredom in meetings, weird rituals, mindless mental gymnastics or even funny underwear.



dogbite wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:44 am
I'm pretty disinterested in spiritually.
Me too!

Look out, here it comes. I literally can't stop my fluffy fingers from typing: There's no such thing as ghosts. (BOO!) :mrgreen:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

Keewon
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Keewon » Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:11 pm

Hagoth wrote:Most NOMS were not like that. We were people who really read and thought about the words, and expected the promises to yield spiritual results if we did it right.
Ah, I begin to see your problem. You took the Moroni promise as an actual scientific test, something that could yield either a positive or negative result. No, no, no- the test was not for you, it was of you. You're supposed to keep trying forever if necessary to get a positive result, or until you have a false memory - except we don't call it "false" then- of having a positive result. Amiright?

I'm planning to go to lunch with a couple friends from the old ward in the next few weeks, and I'm sure the idea of a test will be brought up (but not by me). I'm pretty sure I'll offer some response such as "Take the Book of Abraham, for instance. If JS's translation had actually been correct, would that be evidence of the book's divine provenance? Why? But what if, perchance, the BofA were not a correct translation- would that change its evidential status? Why or why not?"

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:27 pm

Keewon wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:11 pm
Ah, I begin to see your problem. You took the Moroni promise as an actual scientific test, something that could yield either a positive or negative result. No, no, no- the test was not for you, it was of you. You're supposed to keep trying forever if necessary to get a positive result, or until you have a false memory - except we don't call it "false" then- of having a positive result. Amiright?
You are right. The hilarious thing was that I only got a burninginthebosom when I finally asked for confirmation that the BoM is NOT true! That made me realize that the yes-or-no epistemology of Mormonism is BS and that your brain is giving you the answers that some part of it thinks you need.

Also, if find it interesting that very few people report that they got their overwhelming BoM confirmation just yesterday. All of those stories seem to have happened a long time ago. Amialsoright?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:28 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:43 pm
Look out, here it comes. I literally can't stop my fluffy fingers from typing: There's no such thing as ghosts. (BOO!) :mrgreen:
Image
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Ghost
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Ghost » Sun Apr 16, 2023 10:47 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2023 3:07 pm
I think many people walk away from the church because of the need for a genuine connection with something bigger than the exalted man on Kolob . . . .
Do you think this is common? I know that Mormonism is sometimes marketed as the opposite. You have some good things and know a little about God, but let us help you take the next step and get a real connection to the divine. When someone leaves, they often conclude that if Mormonism doesn't hold up then nothing else does either, and for the same reasons.

I personally have a sort of disdain for even for the word spirituality these days, no matter how you define it (though of course I don't typically express that to anyone outside a forum like this). But I used to find spirituality pretty important as a devout Mormon. That said, I can understand a Mormon recoiling at anything "spiritual" that's not part of the authorized system, even if it seems benign. I remember once when I was a kid and a friend mentioned being interested in wicca or something similar, I cautioned them to be careful with such things because there are real spiritual forces in the world that can mislead us. Kind of funny to think about that now.

I have a friend who sometimes teases me about my disbelief in ghosts. For various reasons, I don't want to push too hard on that so I just say that I'd love to encounter a reason to believe in ghosts or in anything supernatural. And that's true. It would open up a whole new avenue of things to think about.
deacon blues wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:33 am
I hope I don't offend any comic book aficionados out there, but I think Mormonism is to spirituality what comic books are to literature.
If you're talking about superhero comics, then sure. I personally have never cared at all for those, even when I was younger. Not to mention those endless superhero movies we have now that fortunately people don't seem to be talking about quite as much lately.

But there are comics worth reading out there, if you know where to look.

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wtfluff
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by wtfluff » Mon Apr 17, 2023 10:35 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:33 am
I hope I don't offend any comic book aficionados out there, but I think Mormonism is to spirituality what comic books are to literature.
I know of folks who will literally tell you that they "learned how to read" because of comic books.

That makes comic books infinitely more important that MORmONism, or any religion, or any religious text...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Tue Apr 18, 2023 12:20 pm

Ghost wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 10:47 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2023 3:07 pm
I think many people walk away from the church because of the need for a genuine connection with something bigger than the exalted man on Kolob . . . .
Do you think this is common? I know that Mormonism is sometimes marketed as the opposite. You have some good things and know a little about God, but let us help you take the next step and get a real connection to the divine. When someone leaves, they often conclude that if Mormonism doesn't hold up then nothing else does either, and for the same reasons.
That's a great point, and it makes me rethink my entire train of thought. Many Mormons are more concerned about value than spirituality. Even though many Mormons don't appear to seek genuine spirituality they feel strongly about the value the church offers in the eternal sense. Stick it out, even if unfulfilling, and it will be worth it. When they cease to believe the church's claims, they are just as likely to walk away and abandon the search for spirituality. Meanwhile, others realize that the spirituality they do want is only fed to them in small bite size snacks in Mormonism, and there are many other places to look for it.

Despite the fact that I talk so much about spirituality, I have a problem with the word too. I'm a nondualist and a materialist to the degree that I can even understand what those words really mean. No ghosts, no demons, no gods. Nevertheless I have had astoundingly powerful "spiritual/metaphysical" experiences, sometimes entirely spontaneously, that make me feel like there's a lot more going on inside my head than I am aware of day-to-day. I am fascinated with this thing that has driven humans to invent religions, gods, ghosts, demons, and monsters again and again and again throughout history, and the need so many people seem to have to believe that gods and ghosts are real.

There's an idea floating around that we are all born with a "God-shaped hole" in us. Christians use that idea as evidence for God. Considering how many people believe in powerful invisible beings, there must be a reason via evolution, shared culture, and maybe even something built into the nature of the universe beyond our five senses.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Keewon
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Keewon » Tue Apr 18, 2023 6:42 pm

Hagoth wrote:There's an idea floating around that we are all born with a "God-shaped hole" in us. Christians use that idea as evidence for God.


My first encounter with that idea was through CS Lewis, who I think might have gotten it from GJ Chesterton or someone like that. The argument was that having such a "hunger" must be evidence that there is "bread" somewhere capable of satisfying that hunger, and thus evidence for the existence of God. On the other hand, Lewis claimed that having and being aware of the hunger is better than any earthly satisfaction- that while the best thing of all is to have eternal life, the next best thing is to hunger for it, to realize that what one desires most deeply is not to be found in this world; and the worst is to be satisfied without it.

While I originally found this idea compelling, I eventually learned that many people don't seem to have such a "hole", at least that they are aware of. True believers tend to respond in a way reminiscent of "depth psychology" such as Freudian psychodynamics- "the fact that you aren't aware of the hole just shows how deeply it is hidden, how starved you are for the Bread of Life". The absence of evidence thus becomes evidence. Of course there is no answering an argument like that!

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Hermey
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hermey » Tue Apr 18, 2023 9:14 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2023 3:07 pm
We've been remodeling our house and we made one of our bathrooms into a sort of a religious shrine, with stuff like a framed leaf from the bodhi tree, robe hangers shaped like hands in different mudra positions, a porcelain Buddha, etc. Mrs. Hagoth was showing a TBM friend around and she was very complimentary until she walked into that room. Her face assumed a look of terror and she slowly backed out, as if she had just been led into a satanic blood ritual or something.
I love this so much. :lol:

Keewon
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Keewon » Wed Apr 19, 2023 5:43 pm

dogbite wrote:It is my opinion that spirituality is sloppily loaded word.
Spirituality is just like pornography- hard to define, but I know it when I see it.

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alas
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by alas » Sun Apr 23, 2023 12:20 am

Keewon wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2023 6:42 pm
Hagoth wrote:There's an idea floating around that we are all born with a "God-shaped hole" in us. Christians use that idea as evidence for God.


My first encounter with that idea was through CS Lewis, who I think might have gotten it from GJ Chesterton or someone like that. The argument was that having such a "hunger" must be evidence that there is "bread" somewhere capable of satisfying that hunger, and thus evidence for the existence of God. On the other hand, Lewis claimed that having and being aware of the hunger is better than any earthly satisfaction- that while the best thing of all is to have eternal life, the next best thing is to hunger for it, to realize that what one desires most deeply is not to be found in this world; and the worst is to be satisfied without it.

While I originally found this idea compelling, I eventually learned that many people don't seem to have such a "hole", at least that they are aware of. True believers tend to respond in a way reminiscent of "depth psychology" such as Freudian psychodynamics- "the fact that you aren't aware of the hole just shows how deeply it is hidden, how starved you are for the Bread of Life". The absence of evidence thus becomes evidence. Of course there is no answering an argument like that!
Me, I think the desire for a God is about wanting our parents back as we thought they were when we were two. I mean, who wouldn’t want some all powerful, all knowing being loving them and giving them what they ask for.

For myself, am glad to be an adult who doesn’t have to trust parents because mine were jerks. I kind of didn’t like my parents much, I suspect even at two and most certainly by 12. So, I had a heck of a time trusting God, nope couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t do it. God was a jerk just like my parents. My mother told me once why I learned to never trust her by 6 months, and by 12 years I knew my father couldn’t be trusted. So, I am pretty glad to be rid of mom, dad, and God to tell you the truth. But then, I am not normal. I was a neglected and abused child, so I am happy not to have a parental substitute.

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormons are disinterested in spirituality

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 23, 2023 1:05 pm

Keewon wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2023 5:43 pm
dogbite wrote:It is my opinion that spirituality is sloppily loaded word.
Spirituality is just like pornography- hard to define, but I know it when I see it.
I agree with both of those statements. I use "spirituality" because it is the word that means something to most people, and very much so for Mormons. Transcendence is a good word and, as far as I'm concerned, wonder is a good name for the same thing, but religious-minded people have a difficult time considering that "the spirit" might be the same emotion as wonder, just with the religious context stripped off.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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