Friday, July 30, 2010

Spirituality is NOT Emotionalism

The following is the largest reason why I am uncomfortable with a focus on spirituality rather than righteousness:

When the ideal we identify is tied up in how we feel, it is easy to alter "spiritual" into "emotional" - and from there to assume that those who appear to be more emotional (can cry more easily, can empathize more readily, are more prone to share their emotions, are more prone to bear their testimonies, etc.) are more spiritual. I know I am speaking in very general terms with myriad exceptions, but I think almost everyone who reads what I just wrote would have a hard time not picturing women instead of men.

Personally, I think we tend to believe that women are more spiritual than men specifically because we have altered the original meaning of "spiritual". To me, spirituality is not the end; it really is just half of the necessary balance with proper physicality that constitutes righteousness of an entire soul. I'm not sure how to say that properly, since I don't mean to denigrate spiritual things at all, but I just don't see spirituality as an end result of its own - and I am wary of the results that occur when it becomes such.


Ardis E. Parshall said...

Although the gender issue won't really play a part, this matter of emotional-doesn't-equal-spiritual will be a big part of the lesson I'm teaching in GD this Sunday. We're on the "After the Whirlwind, the Still, Small Voice" lesson, and I want to focus on the "whirlwinds" where we sometimes mistakenly look for the spirit. Emotionalism is obviously one of the noisiest and most dramatic of those whirlwinds.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting thought.DH and I will be thinking about this.It highlights the respect I feel for his good work done every day.What is spirituality if not good work?