What Does Spiritual Mean?

Thanks Craner. This is another 'spiritual-mystical' idea that Danny alluded to briefly. That certain physical locations have unique spiritual magical properties. The land itself, prior to any historical factors.

That the land decides where the temple is built, where the cult centre is founded, where etc etc etc.

This is something I’d like to feel but don’t. Don’t know if growing up in Belfast brought out a kind of iconoclasm
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
Naples and New Orleans both seen as paradigmatically magical places. As Canterbury is holy. Glastonbury is a big one.

i remember walking from kenningotn to elephant and caslte listning to harlem spartans once.

i got to the elephant and castle pub which i where uk garage was born and as i did i was hearing all these chopped up vocals they have on harlem spartans. it felt that there was a faint echo of todd edwards in there (i don't remember them having it in american rap) and suddenly seeing the elephant and castle pub as this vibrating, pulsating hub of uk garage, its shockwaves expanding out through time and space. reverberating in kennington.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Naples and New Orleans both seen as paradigmatically magical places. As Canterbury is holy. Glastonbury is a big one.

Another aspect is the ever-present prospect of imminent destruction: both cities operate as cults of death in many ways, which fuels their cultural and social vitality as well as their unique spiritual and religious traditions (the cult of San Gennaro is frowned upon by the Vatican; the Mardi Gras and voodoo traditions of New Orleas).
 

version

Well-known member
Yeah that doc is brilliant with all the details about his canonisation, the nurse who gave him a blood test and put a vial of his blood by the statue of san gennaro, and the graffiti where they depicted him as christ with the virgin. I love that people do that. Really would like to visit naples someday.

One of my favourite details of The Young Pope is that the Cardinal Secretary of State is a huge Napoli fan and obsessed with Maradona, to the point where one of his books has him on the cover in a Napoli kit and he goes mad at someone for saying Maradona's still on drugs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCEBcqY6i-c
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
I think spirituality is about the weak forces connecting things. Not the strong forces, like causation, through which things are related as objects of force, but the weak forces like affinity, association, patterning without an identifiable underlying mechanism. Syntax is a strong force, a law of language; rhyme is a weak force, associating words and phrases on the basis of mostly-accidental resemblance. Mostly but not entirely: the soundings of language aren't completely arbitrary after all, but record traces of etymology ("record" and "accord" both build on "cor", "heart") and the onomatopoeia of a shared sound-world. The spiritual isn't empty vapour, it's an ether through which associations pass. Dense in places, the faintest whisp in others.

In a world with few strong forces, without Newtonian mechanics, the domain of the spiritual is vast, enclosing. In our world, scientific knowledge of physical causation, and techno-scientific organisation of relations of production, mean we are caught in a net of strong forces. The spiritual is fugitive, drifting through the gaps. There is a tremendous desire to escape, somehow, back into its element; to imagine without constraint. But strong forces also bring security, predictability. Immature souls imagine spiritual connections as themselves strong forces, as if mastery of a language of suggestion would grant a measure of defence against contingency. Your horoscope predicts nothing; it is an imaginative probe, not a working model of fate.
 

luka

Well-known member
It's not about interacting with the Instructors and being initiated into the Grand Mysteries then?
 
Not the strong forces, like causation, through which things are related as objects of force, but the weak forces like affinity, association, patterning without an identifiable underlying mechanism. Syntax is a strong force, a law of language; rhyme is a weak force, associating words and phrases on the basis of mostly-accidental resemblance. Mostly but not entirely: the soundings of language aren't completely arbitrary after all, but record traces of etymology ("record" and "accord" both build on "cor", "heart") and the onomatopoeia of a shared sound-world. The spiritual isn't empty vapour, it's an ether through which associations pass. Dense in places, the faintest whisp in others..

Puts me in mind of the “still small voice”
 

luka

Well-known member
That's a good point. Probably part of people valuing the spiritual comes from consistently finding the loud voices to be stupid and the still small voice to talk a lot of sense.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Yeah I come from a dogmatically atheist family background but Catholicism seems like it bleeds into magic? The belief in miracles, relics, the power of the object and image.

In that Maradona documentary I think they make the case that in Naples he was held as some kind of pagan god. Like a footballing Pan.


You'll find people working with saints on the fringes of chaos magic. Seems like a weird plot twist but makes sense.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
It's not about interacting with the Instructors and being initiated into the Grand Mysteries then?

Wordsworth would have said yes, but immediately identified the Instructors as avatars of his own creative imagination. Had he encountered the DMT elves I am certain he would have done the same.
 

luka

Well-known member
It's not a question you'll ever satisfactorily answer. You could write an interminable exegesis like PKD and not come any closer. I borrowed Instructors (and Frustrators) from Yeats. ("We will mislead when we can")
 

luka

Well-known member
The nature of the thing is that it generates endless explanations and theories and speculations without ever being resolvable.
 

luka

Well-known member
I don't have that PKD compulsion to search from an answer. I don't really care. It's pretty much just the communication channel between the I and the Not-I. If you want the Not-I to be the unconscious or some other aspect of the wider self or if you want it to be aliens, or gods. Don't matter does it? Maybe just pick something that a)is not too boring and b) doesn't make you paranoid or afraid.
 
Yes.

I was in a pub in Southend last night speaking to a Christian guy who told me about his religious experiences and I was thinking about this thread. He described a vision where he was instructed by God to set up a charity to solve housing issues in the local area, something he’s apparently making good progress with, and another about demons on his back while he slept that seemed to match the sleep paralysis ‘hag’ phenomena closely.

He was doing the “you think I’m mad don’t you” thing, and taking a kind of pleasure in it. I said that I might not name these demons the same ways he does, I might not explain them in the same way, or react to their presence in the same way, but I’m not claiming they aren’t real, or that he’s lying or necessarily ill.

For whatever reason he experienced a ‘more real than real’ thing. A temporary break in the perceive boundary between outside and inside, and it seems the instenity of the breakdown leads to a manic effort to conceptualise it and restabilise. there’s a lot of creativity that goes on after the event, people will draw on whatever cultural material is available to make sense again, and they might also use it to their advantage. There can be a narcissistic willingness to ascribe spirituality to traumas or inexplicable experiences, a pride in being the one who was visited, was chosen. And more generally people learn to take pride in the bad or weird things that happen to them. Part of the path to healing from trauma seems to be rewriting the story with you as a hero. And then there’s that idea of god being created as we became aware of our mortality.

And maybe there’s something about the ego imposing itself again, after a temporary obliteration the pendulum swings back, the ego takes its revenge. At its most intense that’s messiah complex, where the visionary energy erupts through narcissistic will to power. and in these states the idea of what the spiritual ‘means’ is most forcibly codified and imposed on others, coming down from the mountain with your commandments.
 

luka

Well-known member
Do you think the psychedelic experience is basically trauma shiels? It's an idea I've played with. It's definitely possible.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Just to butt in:

The spiritual/psychedelic experience must always include an element of what you might call trauma, as it always requires the crossing of some kind of line/boundary, outside of everyday/routine experience. Some kind of conversion must occur, which by its nature means some kind of distress, at least for a small part of the journey across. It's a leap of faith.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
I think it's true that spirituality often, and perhaps always eventually, involves encounters with Figures - persons or personified forces - whether they're ancestors or the spirits of trees and rivers or the presiding genii of places, or (in my case) the Electric Ghost who hovered in the darkness at the top of the stairs when I was four years old. So it's not all numinous and wafty. You meet with personae, which might be fragments of your own personality, or take that form because that is the only form in which you can apprehend them. You enter into colloquy with them (in the best case), or are terrorized by them (in the worst). Perhaps eventually you integrate them back into yourself, or in any case learn what they have to teach you.
 
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