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Institute for Real God Comparative Spirituality COMP101: Beyond Spiritual Correctness

COMP101: Beyond Spiritual Correctness


OVERVIEW:
There is an analog of "political correctness" that we might call "spiritual correctness". It goes something like: "all paths to the Divine or ultimate liberation are equal"; and anyone who suggests otherwise risks seriously offending or insulting whomever they are speaking with. But just as with "political correctness", "spiritual correctness" can be carried too far. We begin to presume that, in order not be discriminatory, we must cease to be discriminating.

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all.

A spiritually and politically correct holiday greeting

 

Everybody knows that all telescopes are not created equal! Not all telescopes are equally effective for determining the nature of stars and other distant phenomena. Just so, not all Spiritual means for actually, tangibly linking up with the Divine that accompany a given path, way, group, or sect are equally powerful, reliable, or revelatory. To find the Spiritual means that will actually most benefit us, amidst the myriad of possibilities available requires great discrimination. The focus of this course is the understanding that, not only is it "okay" to compare spiritual practices we are considering taking up in fact, it is absolutely essential.

But the situation is more complex than simply looking at the available options in an open manner, as though we were free to do that. We came into our present view of reality not generally as the result of a free and comprehensive inquiry (both intellectual and experiential), but by cultural inheritance: through both the active advocacy by our culture (in the form of our family, friends, school, work, etc.) of certain views, and its active suppression and ridicule of views that differ significantly from the cultural norm. For this reason, two additional purposes of this course are:

  • to identify, understand, and transcend those (generally unconscious) cultural biases that prevent us from fully and openly exploring (not only intellectually but experientially) alternatives other than those we inherit culturally.

  • to begin the process (having removed the cultural blinders) of painting a larger picture that includes a more comprehensive set of religious and spiritual alternatives and making a detailed comparison of those alternatives. (The follow-on courses in this department will carry on this process in detail.)

Beyond Spiritual CorrectnessREQUIRED READINGS:

OPTIONAL READINGS: