Spiritual death

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The concept of spiritual death has varying meanings in various uses and contexts. A "spiritually dead" person may mean someone who is not spiritual (materialist, atheist) – one who identifies himself with dead matter, though he is a living conscious being. Thus the first meaning for "spiritual death" is "to become atheist".[ citation needed ] Another, narrow, "purified" meaning of "spiritual death" is "death in a spiritual way", "to die being a spiritual person, not being an atheist".[ citation needed ] Thus this means that "spiritual death" relates to two selfs: soul (real self, which is eternal), and ego (false self, which is temporary or material). Differences in meaning come from misidentification of the eternal soul to be "spiritually dead" or "material", which is nonsense for theist[ citation needed ]. For a theist there is no such thing as "spiritual death". Matter can be only dead, and the soul can only be eternal. As put by the LDS Church, "the body is as a glove, and the spirit the hand that moves". [1] One cannot say "dead life", or "alive death". For contrast one can guess what is the meaning of "material life: life is always spiritual, though "material life" would mean just "to live having materialistic values".[ citation needed ][ clarification needed ]

Contents

Christianity

Buddhism

Buddhadasa called Dukkha Spiritual Death. [2] Sangharakshita uses the term Spiritual Death to describe one stage in a system of meditation, where insight is gained into delusions about our existence. [3]

Buddhadasa Thai Buddhist monk

Phra Dharmakosacarya , also known as Buddhadasa Bhikkhu was a famous and influential Thai ascetic-philosopher of the 20th century. Known as an innovative reinterpreter of Buddhist doctrine and Thai folk beliefs, Buddhadasa fostered a reformation in conventional religious perceptions in his home country, Thailand, as well as abroad. Buddhadasa developed a personal view that those who have penetrated the essential nature of religions consider "all religions to be inwardly the same", while those who have the highest understanding of dhamma feel "there is no religion".

Dukkha Suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness - a concept in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism

Dukkha is an important Buddhist concept, commonly translated as "suffering", "pain", "unsatisfactoriness" or "stress". It refers to the fundamental unsatisfactoriness and painfulness of mundane life. It is the first of the Four Noble Truths. The term is also found in scriptures of Hinduism, such as the Upanishads, in discussions of moksha.

Sangharakshita British philosopher

Sangharakshita was a British Buddhist teacher and writer. He was the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, which was known until 2010 as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, or FWBO.

Other views

Followers of Ascended Master movements such as the Theosophical Society, I AM Foundation, and Elizabeth Clare Prophet have a different definition of the second death: The final extinguishing of the identity of a soul deemed by God to be beyond redemption. In this theology, people are believed to continue to reincarnate for many lifetimes on Earth with one of two final outcomes: 1) Reunion with God in the ritual of the Ascension, like Jesus, or 2) Final judgment at the "court of the sacred fire," where the soul would be destroyed forever. The Unification Church teaches that spiritual death is the state of separation from God, but that it is not ever irreversible.[ citation needed ] Spiritual death (death for spiritual person, not for atheist) is the art of learning to die. It is only through this art that the consciousness of death of oneself (the self or ego that is afraid to die) is transformed into consciousness of the eternally new or young self or soul (the self or soul that accepts death for body, but never for soul him/herself, as soul is eternal).[ citation needed ]

Theosophical Society organization that advances theosophy

The Theosophical Society was an organization formed in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky to advance Theosophy. The original organization, after splits and realignments, currently has several successors. Following the death of Blavatsky, competition within the Society between factions emerged, particularly among founding members and the organisation split between the Theosophical Society Adyar (Olcott-Besant) and the Theosophical Society Pasadena (Judge). The former group, headquartered in India, is the most widespread international group holding the name "Theosophical Society" today.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet was an American spiritual leader, author, orator, and writer. In 1963 she married Mark L. Prophet, who had founded The Summit Lighthouse in 1958. Mark and Elizabeth had four children. Elizabeth, just 33 years of age at the time of her husband's death on February 26, 1973, assumed control of The Summit Lighthouse.

Jesus Central figure of Christianity

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity and is widely described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.

Secular usage

Social science

Dr. John B. Calhoun saw the social breakdown of a population of mice given ample resources as a second death. He saw this as a metaphor for the potential fate of man in an overcrowded but resource rich environment and made reference to the second death of the Book of Revelation. [4] Conservative Christian writers, such as Bill Perkins, have echoed this warning. [5]

John B. Calhoun American ethologist and behavioral researcher

John B. Calhoun was an American ethologist and behavioral researcher noted for his studies of population density and its effects on behavior. He claimed that the bleak effects of overpopulation on rodents were a grim model for the future of the human race. During his studies, Calhoun coined the term "behavioral sink" to describe aberrant behaviors in overcrowded population density situations and "beautiful ones" to describe passive individuals who withdrew from all social interaction. His work gained world recognition. He spoke at conferences around the world and his opinion was sought by groups as diverse as NASA and the District of Columbia's Panel on overcrowding in local jails. Calhoun's rat studies were used as a basis in the development of Edward T. Hall's 1966 proxemics theories.

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic solidarity, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as monarchy, religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

Christianity is a Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Most Christians get baptized, celebrate the Lord's Supper, pray the Lord's Prayer and other prayers, have clergy, and attend group worship services.

Famous quotes

In his famous anti-war address "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence," delivered 4 April 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed that "[a] nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Riverside Church church in New York City

Riverside Church is a Christian church in Morningside Heights, Upper Manhattan, New York City. It opened its doors on October 5, 1930. It is situated at 120th Street and 490 Riverside Drive, near the Columbia University Morningside Heights Campus, across the street from, and one block south of, President Grant's Tomb. Although interdenominational, it is also associated with the American Baptist Churches USA and the United Church of Christ. It is famous for its large size and elaborate Neo-Gothic architecture as well as its history of social justice. It was described by The New York Times in 2008 as "a stronghold of activism and political debate throughout its 75-year history ... influential on the nation's religious and political landscapes." It has been a focal point of global and national activism since its inception.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in both the United States and the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Related Research Articles

The afterlife is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

Meaning of life Philosophical and spiritual question concerning the significance of living or existence in general

The meaning of life, or the answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?", pertains to the significance of living or existence in general. Many other related questions include: "Why are we here?", "What is life all about?", or "What is the purpose of existence?" There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds. The search for life's meaning has produced much philosophical, scientific, theological, and metaphysical speculation throughout history. Different people and cultures believe different things for the answer to this question.

Soul essence of an individual

The soul, in many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima) to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal.

Theurgy

Theurgy describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more deities, especially with the goal of achieving henosis and perfecting oneself.

The problem of Hell is an ethical problem in religion in which the existence of Hell for the punishment of souls is regarded as inconsistent with the notion of a just, moral, and omnibenevolent God. It derives from four key propositions: that Hell exists; that it is for the punishment of people whose lives on Earth are judged to have sinned against God; that some people go there; and there is no escape.

The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture.

Religious Science

Science of Mind was established in 1927 by Ernest Holmes (1887–1960) and is a spiritual, philosophical and metaphysical religious movement within the New Thought movement. In general, the term "Science of Mind" applies to the teachings, while the term "Religious Science" applies to the organizations. However, adherents often use the terms interchangeably.

A spirit is a supernatural being, often, but not exclusively, a non-physical entity; such as a ghost, fairy, or angel. The concepts of a person's spirit and soul, often also overlap, as both are either contrasted with or given ontological priority over the body and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions, and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person. In English Bibles, "the Spirit", specifically denotes the Holy Spirit.

Septenary (Theosophy)

The Septenary in Helena Blavatsky's teachings refers to the seven principles of man. In The Key to Theosophy she presents a synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas, according to which human nature consists of seven principles. These are:

Sufi philosophy includes the schools of thought unique to Sufism, a mystical branch within Islam, also termed as Tasawwuf or Faqr according to its adherents. Sufism and its philosophical traditions may be associated with both Sunni Islam and Shia Islam. It has been suggested that Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the eighth century, but adherents are now found around the world. According to Sufism, it is a part of the Islamic teaching that deals with the purification of inner self and is the way which removes all the veils between divine and man. It was around 1000 CE that early Sufi literature, in the form of manuals, treatises, discourses and poetry, became the source of Sufi thinking and meditations. Sufi philosophy, like all other major philosophical traditions, has several sub-branches including metaphysics and cosmology as well as several unique concepts.

Ahaṃkāra (अहंकार) is a Sanskrit term that is related to the ego and egoism - that is, the identification or attachment of one's ego. The term "ahamkara" comes from an approximately 3,000-year-old Vedic philosophy, where Ahaṃ is the Self or "I" and kāra is "any created thing" or "to do". The term originated in Vedic philosophy over 3,000 years ago, and was later incorporated into Hindu philosophy, particularly Saṃkhyā philosophy.

Ego death is a "complete loss of subjective self-identity". The term is used in various intertwined contexts, with related meanings. In Jungian psychology, the synonymous term psychic death is used, which refers to a fundamental transformation of the psyche. In death and rebirth mythology, ego death is a phase of self-surrender and transition, as described by Joseph Campbell in his research on the mythology of the Hero's Journey. It is a recurrent theme in world mythology and is also used as a metaphor in some strands of contemporary western thinking.

Conceptions of God in monotheist, pantheist, and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction:

In Christian theology, Hell is the place or state into which by God's definitive judgment unrepentant sinners pass either immediately after death or in the general judgment. Its character is inferred from teaching in the biblical texts, some of which, interpreted literally, have given rise to the popular idea of Hell.

In some forms of Christian eschatology, the intermediate state or interim state is a person's "intermediate" existence between one's death and the universal resurrection. In addition, there are beliefs in a particular judgment right after death and a general judgement or last judgment after the resurrection.

There are three central ideas in Sufi Islamic psychology, which are the Nafs, the Qalb (heart) and the Ruh (spirit). The origin and basis of these terms is Qur'anic and they have been expounded upon by centuries of Sufic commentaries.

God-realization, according to Meher Baba, is the highest state of consciousness and the goal and ultimate destiny of all souls in Creation. A soul that realizes God experiences God's infinite power, knowledge, and bliss continuously.

Brahmi sthiti

Brahmi sthiti, a compound word according to Madhavacharya, means steadiness of the mind or intellectual stability. It is the spiritual status that consists of the stable or firm mind in Samadhi in the waking state and grounded in the Absolute.

In philosophy, eternal oblivion is the permanent cessation of one's consciousness upon death. This concept is often associated with religious skepticism and atheism.

Lataif-e-sitta

Lataif-e-sitta or al-Laṭtaʾif as-Sitta, meaning "The Six Subtleties", are psychospiritual "organs" or, sometimes, faculties of sensory and suprasensory perception in Sufi psychology, and are explained here according to the usage amongst certain Sufi groups. These six subtleties are thought to be parts of the self in a similar manner to the way glands and organs are part of the body.

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