Beyond Spiritual Correctness
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.
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.
spiritually and politically correct holiday greeting
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
- Louis P.
Pojman, Ph.D., "Equality: A Plethora of Theories."
In The Journal Of Philosophical Research (forthcoming). See
- John Kekes,
Illusions of Egalitarianism, Cornell Univ Press, December
N. Rothbard, Egalitarianism
as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays, Ludwig
Von Mises Institute, 2000.
Egalitarianism: A Study of Discrimination Against Gifted Children,
Gifted Education Press, 1993.
Adi Da Samraj, The
Seven Stages of Life, The Dawn Horse Press, 2000.