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polydad
Two elements; I managed to hang on to one of them. 'Spirituality'. How do I tell if I'm using the lack of definition of the word in English as an excuse for refusing to examine my own ideas?

The other one had come up in a conversation about acknowledging feeling good, and that it is a positive value. I lost the label I'd been using to think about it; what I'm coming up with right now is "anti-puritanism", which is not exactly inaccurate, but isn't quite on the mark, either.


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well gee what *is* your personal spirituallity? Is it important to you?

1.) I don't know, and 2.) very, in a water-to-a-fish sense.

oh number one is a tricky as hell bit *lol*

Accept that language is a dull axe, pick a working definition that seems like a useful enough approximation of the concept for now, and examine your own ideas in the light of that working definition.

If you find yourself resisting doing so, perhaps you're avoiding examining your ideas.

Alternatively, perhaps you've just picked an insufficiently useful approximation, in which case you can refine your working definition in light of that new information, and repeat the process.

The first thing that comes to mind in reading your response is "A dull axe still makes a fine hammer." I suspect this is just me playing with language, though, so I'll leave that alone before I try to build something with it.

I had phrased my question in terms of self-examination, but because I do not think in *terms* of spirituality it is not a problem that has occurred for me. I have run across it in other people, who use "spirituality" as an apparent synonym for "I don't know what I'm talking about, but if I call it something personal I don't have to deal with you asking pesky questions about it."

Asking pesky questions is usually perceived as rude. Often, it is. I'm trying to figure out 1.) when, rude or not, it's either necessary or useful anyway, and 2.) how to do so in a manner that actually addresses the issue at hand, rather than being responded to solely as a personal attack.

I'm getting better at this, but I still need a lot of work. I'll give a concrete example in a subsequent entry, dealing with the guy who runs the Peace Action Council here. I want to help him do his job better, and I know that if I come at him in stereotypical Problem-Solving Engineer Style all I'll do is offend him and accomplish nothing. If I can find out what *he* means by 'spirituality' (and yes, I've tried asking directly, and did not get a useful response), maybe I can find a way to point out better ways of doing things without "offending his spirituality."

Am I making sense?

best,

Joel

Ah, I see.
And, yeah, self-examination is a different beast from examining others.

Oh, and "hedonism" can potentially mean that, although it has a lot of semantic baggage.

I don't *think* he swings that way, but I guess you could ask and find out.

best,

Joel. Tongue in *somebody's* cheek.

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