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Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

annanicole
Posts: 19,782
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10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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10/31/2015 10:49:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

That's an interesting question, Gritty.

Due to the pervasiveness of religious cultural influence, some 75% of modern atheists were formerly people of faith, so we have a lot of testimony about 'before' and 'after' personal experiences.

From this we know that the full range of human experiences is available to people who reject religious dogma. Setting aside dogmatic interpretation, there's no sense of love, awe, ecstasy, wonder or any kind of magical thinking that someone of faith may experience, which an atheist cannot.

What this means then, is that those subjective experiences which religions often use as 'proof' of their dogmatic authority, do not depend on dogmatic adherence and therefore are not proof of the authority of any faith. Rather, they're human experiences co-opted by faith to impress the credulous.

What may change though is that the ceremonies sometimes used to induce such experiences may occur more frequently among the pious, simply because they may attend more ceremonies. But non-religious ceremonies can produce religious-like experiences too (if those experiences are important; without dogmatic interpretation, they may not be.)

I hope that may be useful.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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10/31/2015 11:01:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 10:49:12 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

That's an interesting question, Gritty.

Due to the pervasiveness of religious cultural influence, some 75% of modern atheists were formerly people of faith, so we have a lot of testimony about 'before' and 'after' personal experiences.

From this we know that the full range of human experiences is available to people who reject religious dogma. Setting aside dogmatic interpretation, there's no sense of love, awe, ecstasy, wonder or any kind of magical thinking that someone of faith may experience, which an atheist cannot.

What this means then, is that those subjective experiences which religions often use as 'proof' of their dogmatic authority, do not depend on dogmatic adherence and therefore are not proof of the authority of any faith. Rather, they're human experiences co-opted by faith to impress the credulous.

What may change though is that the ceremonies sometimes used to induce such experiences may occur more frequently among the pious, simply because they may attend more ceremonies. But non-religious ceremonies can produce religious-like experiences too (if those experiences are important; without dogmatic interpretation, they may not be.)

I hope that may be useful.

An additional avenue of cogitation would be the fact not only atheists are known to have had experiences which could be described as spiritual but also believers from all walks of religious life have had them. This further suggests the source of these experiences is not what each denomination self-servingly claims it to be, for these claims are mutually exclusive, and that, ultimately, opens the very definition of what a spiritual experience to debate.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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10/31/2015 11:08:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 11:01:35 AM, Hitchian wrote:
At 10/31/2015 10:49:12 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

That's an interesting question, Gritty.

Due to the pervasiveness of religious cultural influence, some 75% of modern atheists were formerly people of faith, so we have a lot of testimony about 'before' and 'after' personal experiences.

From this we know that the full range of human experiences is available to people who reject religious dogma. Setting aside dogmatic interpretation, there's no sense of love, awe, ecstasy, wonder or any kind of magical thinking that someone of faith may experience, which an atheist cannot.

What this means then, is that those subjective experiences which religions often use as 'proof' of their dogmatic authority, do not depend on dogmatic adherence and therefore are not proof of the authority of any faith. Rather, they're human experiences co-opted by faith to impress the credulous.

What may change though is that the ceremonies sometimes used to induce such experiences may occur more frequently among the pious, simply because they may attend more ceremonies. But non-religious ceremonies can produce religious-like experiences too (if those experiences are important; without dogmatic interpretation, they may not be.)

I hope that may be useful.

An additional avenue of cogitation would be the fact not only atheists are known to have had experiences which could be described as spiritual but also believers from all walks of religious life have had them. This further suggests the source of these experiences is not what each denomination self-servingly claims it to be, for these claims are mutually exclusive, and that, ultimately, opens the very definition of what a spiritual experience to debate.

I agree, Hitchian. A key consequence of experiences being independent of faith or dogmatic adherence is that a spiritual experience is defined linguistically and not operationally.

A spiritual experience is what a religion 'calls' spiritual; not a class of experience that can be observed as somehow distinct from other experiences -- since anyone can have them, regardless of what they believe. The only difference is that different dogmas interpret them differently.

I didn't want to argue that, because Annanicole gave what I think was a parodic response saying exactly the same -- but it's nevertheless true that atheists don't have spiritual experiences because the faithful don't either. :)
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,944
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10/31/2015 6:17:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 4:02:37 PM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

Define spiritual.

Intellectuallyprimitive, if I had to summarize you it would be a quote of this.
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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10/31/2015 7:01:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Was she a monkey?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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10/31/2015 7:05:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Atheist (like everyone else) can have sublime experiences. These might be described as spiritual by some.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
ZacGraphics
Posts: 23
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10/31/2015 7:08:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

If you become a Christian, and you want nothing more than spiritual experiences, you're doing it wrong. Not meaning to offend you, or anyone else. That's not how the Christian religion works. We don't do good things because it makes God happy or get "spiritual experiences" either, it's because He tells us to, and we follow that.
Have you ever heard the story about the hero dying for the villain?
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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10/31/2015 7:08:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 7:05:48 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Atheist (like everyone else) can have sublime experiences. These might be described as spiritual by some.

She kept having these spiritual experiences. Sometimes 3 or 4 times in one sesdion.
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
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10/31/2015 8:09:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Well, she might claim that farting is "spiritual", too - but that doesn't make it so.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,944
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10/31/2015 8:16:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 7:08:53 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 7:05:48 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Atheist (like everyone else) can have sublime experiences. These might be described as spiritual by some.

She kept having these spiritual experiences. Sometimes 3 or 4 times in one sesdion.

That's all?
DanMGTOW
Posts: 1,144
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10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,944
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10/31/2015 8:36:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM, DanMGTOW wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be

Euphoria doesn't really capture what it means to have a spiritual experience, IMO. Spiritual experiences make you feel like you have a glimpse of the true nature of reality.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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10/31/2015 8:53:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 8:36:16 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM, DanMGTOW wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be

Euphoria doesn't really capture what it means to have a spiritual experience, IMO. Spiritual experiences make you feel like you have a glimpse of the true nature of reality.

Well, feeling "at one with the Universe" epitomizes the Buddhist spiritual experience, or at the very least, the popular accessible version of it.

And now I just have to ask you. In your reply , at least the way I read it, there's a suggestion you've had such experiences where you were awarded "glimpses of the
true nature of reality".

Without getting personal, could you share them and the insights you think you have retained?
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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10/31/2015 9:08:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 8:53:27 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:36:16 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM, DanMGTOW wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be

Euphoria doesn't really capture what it means to have a spiritual experience, IMO. Spiritual experiences make you feel like you have a glimpse of the true nature of reality.

Well, feeling "at one with the Universe" epitomizes the Buddhist spiritual experience, or at the very least, the popular accessible version of it.

And now I just have to ask you. In your reply , at least the way I read it, there's a suggestion you've had such experiences where you were awarded "glimpses of the
true nature of reality".

Without getting personal, could you share them and the insights you think you have retained?

1)Sexual release
2)Seeing children born
3)Completing a marathon
4)Eating shrimp stirfry
5)getting the motorcycle over 120 mph
6)Graduating from college
7)Kissing my beautiful wife the first time.
8)Giving away my daughter in marriage
9)Laughing with my wife uncontrollably until we were both crying.
10)Swimming with dolphins
11)Seeing sunset on a cruise in the Arruba area.
12)Bungee jump
13)Skydiving
14)Looking out from Pike's Peak.
15)Flying a helicopter
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
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10/31/2015 9:21:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 7:08:37 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

If you become a Christian, and you want nothing more than spiritual experiences, you're doing it wrong.

Well, that's because there is no such thing as these "religious experiences", or "spiritual experiences".
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
intellectuallyprimitive
Posts: 1,000
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10/31/2015 9:55:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 6:17:41 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 4:02:37 PM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

Define spiritual.

Intellectuallyprimitive, if I had to summarize you it would be a quote of this.

I am not only pedantic, but cautious upon answering solicited questions that could be misinterpreted/misunderstood. Spiritual ,especially from what I have observed here on the Religion forum, has been employed ambiguously on frequent occasion. How people would clarify the usage of spiritual varies.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,944
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10/31/2015 10:48:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 8:53:27 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:36:16 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM, DanMGTOW wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be

Euphoria doesn't really capture what it means to have a spiritual experience, IMO. Spiritual experiences make you feel like you have a glimpse of the true nature of reality.

Well, feeling "at one with the Universe" epitomizes the Buddhist spiritual experience, or at the very least, the popular accessible version of it.

And now I just have to ask you. In your reply , at least the way I read it, there's a suggestion you've had such experiences where you were awarded "glimpses of the
true nature of reality".

Without getting personal, could you share them and the insights you think you have retained?

I haven't done anything crazy, but by default we're only aware of reality as a low-resolution version of itself. So the true nature of reality is actually much more dimensional. Along with that comes revelations of interconnectivity on levels we didn't see before.
tdansen
Posts: 5
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10/31/2015 11:14:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences? : :

I was an atheist when I had my first spiritual experience. I have met several people who were atheists before having a spiritual experience.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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10/31/2015 11:16:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 10:48:00 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:53:27 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:36:16 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/31/2015 8:30:24 PM, DanMGTOW wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

if you would say that euphoria is almost the same as spiritual
then yes.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.

there are many drugs that may cause euphoria as a side effect as well
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...

a friend of mine swears that thorazine made him "feel at 1 with the universe"
if that isn't a "spiritual experience" i don't know what would be

Euphoria doesn't really capture what it means to have a spiritual experience, IMO. Spiritual experiences make you feel like you have a glimpse of the true nature of reality.

Well, feeling "at one with the Universe" epitomizes the Buddhist spiritual experience, or at the very least, the popular accessible version of it.

And now I just have to ask you. In your reply , at least the way I read it, there's a suggestion you've had such experiences where you were awarded "glimpses of the
true nature of reality".

Without getting personal, could you share them and the insights you think you have retained?

I haven't done anything crazy, but by default we're only aware of reality as a low-resolution version of itself. So the true nature of reality is actually much more dimensional. Along with that comes revelations of interconnectivity on levels we didn't see before.

Very well put lol.
lotsoffun
Posts: 1,605
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11/1/2015 2:53:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

Sure they do. they just don't know or acknowledge it.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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11/1/2015 3:02:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 7:01:13 PM, desmac wrote:
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Was she a monkey?
touche'.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,093
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11/1/2015 3:46:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 7:08:53 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 7:05:48 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/31/2015 6:44:27 PM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 10/31/2015 5:06:58 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

No, and Christians don't either.

I had an ex girlfriend who was an Atheist and she claimed the sex was spiritual. This is why I ask.

Atheist (like everyone else) can have sublime experiences. These might be described as spiritual by some.

She kept having these spiritual experiences. Sometimes 3 or 4 times in one sesdion.

Well, that's interesting, but voyeurism is typically illegal, Gritty. It's probably time for you to move on. ;-)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
janesix
Posts: 3,441
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11/2/2015 11:40:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

Yes, I've had spiritual experiences while I was an atheist. That's why I'm no longer an atheist.
PureX
Posts: 1,522
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11/3/2015 4:00:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

I believe some do, but they wouldn't recognize them as such.

Keep in mind that only a few theists have such spiritual experiences, too. And they do not characterize them in the same ways.

So I think these experiences are highly personal and subjective, and will be understood and interpreted in very different ways.
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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11/4/2015 11:20:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/31/2015 3:59:40 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
Do Atheists ever have spiritual experiences?

I'm not sure what you mean by spiritual; if you mean the traditional definition, then no. It's impossible for an atheist to have one. The traditional definition being: "A religious experience (sometimes known as a spiritual experience, sacred experience, or mystical experience) is a subjective experience which is interpreted within a religious framework."

Since Atheists don't have a religious framework it would be impossible to define any experience as being spiritual.

However, if you have a broader definition in mind such as being awestruck to the point of loosing oneself in the moment, a feeling of overwhelming joy and wonder stemming from something grander than human creation, etc... then yes.

Being an avid skier, climber, and mountain biker, I've been lost in plenty of moments that I would consider spiritual. Be it on top of a peak overlooking beautiful vistas, in deep slot canyons surrounded by hundreds of feet of cliffs, looking up at the stars in the Utah desert; that feeling you get when you realize your own insignificance. The sense of awe you get from looking at thousands of feet of granite walls, realizing the geological process it took to get here, realizing the length of time this rock has been here and how much longer it will prevail until it finally erodes into nothingness. Feeling connected to the mountaineers who have struggled up those same peaks, have endured the same storms, the same hardships, and have tasted that same feeling of elation when you finally reach that peak.

While these are all somewhat pointless and totally selfish activities, the connection to something greater is what, I believe, classifies them as spiritual.