Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Sanju Lali
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Sanju Lali »

Hi Scott, I hope I will get answer to my problem given below. Currently my boss is not paying for my work consistently and there is uncertainty if the boss will pay me for my future work. What should I do if If unable to find a alternative job?
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by koffi Malay »

Why does the manual verification to enter leel 6 take so long. It is frustrating for readers. Can the process be sped up?
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Sanju Lali,
Sanju Lali wrote: October 14th, 2023, 2:00 pm What should I do if If unable to find a alternative job?

[Color added.]
There is nothing you should do. There is never anything you should do.

There is no 'should', and there is no 'ought'.

That is a key teaching in my book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All".

May I ask if you have already read my book in full?

Regardless, here are some other topics I wrote about the subject of how 'shouldness' is an illusion/superstition that leads to you giving up your inner peace (a.k.a. happiness):


- An elaboration on how judgemental moralizing and the superstition of 'moral law' infringes on free-spirited inner peace

- I lovingly and deeply pity those who think unchangeable reality "ought" to be different than it unchangeably is.

- The Six Dangerous Misery-Inducing Words: "Must", "Have to", "Need to", "Should", "Ought", "Try"

- To believe in an all-powerful God and think 'should-not-have-ness' exists is to therefore believe that God did a bad job

- My Advice: Cut the **** by letting go of the shoulds. #SelfResponsibility #Freedom #SelfDiscipline #FreeSpirit

- There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

- Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

- How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

- Dangerous Moral Busybodies | "A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

- Letting go of expectation | How clinging to the superstitions of expectation and blame disrupts your inner peace

- Six Questions for People Who Believe Should-Not-Have-Ness Exists (i.e. for people who believe in 'shoulds' and 'oughts')



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

koffi Malay wrote: October 16th, 2023, 4:56 am Why does the manual verification to enter leel 6 take so long. It is frustrating for readers. Can the process be sped up?
koffi Malay

It doesn't take "so long".

It generally takes no more than a week.

If you are sure you requested the manual check through the correct procedures, and didn't get a reply via Facebook Messenger within a week, then just re-request it in the comments section on the appropriate post in the Facebook Support Group.

:)


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Rahul Singh 29 wrote: October 14th, 2023, 2:24 am Hi. Just willing to know how a person or any individual without any knowledge of language, life & love, .. etc can understand the meaning of life.
Hi, Rahul Singh 29,

That question is loaded with two claims:

-- That life itself has a meaning.

-- That a person/individual who has absolutely no knowledge of language, life, or love can understand that meaning.


The second assertion seems to contradict itself. To be alive presumably entails some knowledge or understanding of life.

Of course, if you are talking about a dead or otherwise nonliving person, then surely they can't understand anything since they aren't alive.

Feel free to re-ask your question in different words making sure to not ask a loaded question.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Sanju Lali
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Sanju Lali »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: October 17th, 2023, 3:42 pm Hi, Sanju Lali,
Sanju Lali wrote: October 14th, 2023, 2:00 pm What should I do if If unable to find a alternative job?

[Color added.]
There is nothing you should do. There is never anything you should do.

There is no 'should', and there is no 'ought'.

That is a key teaching in my book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All".

May I ask if you have already read my book in full?

Regardless, here are some other topics I wrote about the subject of how 'shouldness' is an illusion/superstition that leads to you giving up your inner peace (a.k.a. happiness):


- An elaboration on how judgemental moralizing and the superstition of 'moral law' infringes on free-spirited inner peace

- I lovingly and deeply pity those who think unchangeable reality "ought" to be different than it unchangeably is.

- The Six Dangerous Misery-Inducing Words: "Must", "Have to", "Need to", "Should", "Ought", "Try"

- To believe in an all-powerful God and think 'should-not-have-ness' exists is to therefore believe that God did a bad job

- My Advice: Cut the **** by letting go of the shoulds. #SelfResponsibility #Freedom #SelfDiscipline #FreeSpirit

- There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

- Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

- How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

- Dangerous Moral Busybodies | "A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

- Letting go of expectation | How clinging to the superstitions of expectation and blame disrupts your inner peace

- Six Questions for People Who Believe Should-Not-Have-Ness Exists (i.e. for people who believe in 'shoulds' and 'oughts')



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott

Yes exactly, the six dangerous words do increase load on mind. Can I put the question the following way?
What can I possibly do if I am unable to find a alternative job?
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Sanju Lali wrote: October 19th, 2023, 4:52 am What can I possibly do if I am unable to find a alternative job?
Hi, Sanju Lali,

Thank you for your question.

If you literally cannot find another job, then basically all that is left for you to do is practice fully and unconditionally accepting that which you cannot change.

In other words, my answer is the same as it would be if you asked me, "What do I do if I cannot change the weather?", or "What do I do if I cannot make 2 + 2 = 5?" Or, "What do I have been diagnoses with a terminal disease and there is absolutely no cure?"

If there's nothing you can do, then there's nothing you can do, meaning you have your answer. In other words, the answer is contained in the question itself.

In this case, I just remind you to fully and unconditionally accept that which you cannot control.

My book heavily focuses on that practice and thus also on the wonderful free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) that it provides. So one thing you can do is read or re-read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

Not only will that help take your mind off of needlessly worrying about things you cannot control while you are distracted by reading the book, but the teachings in the book will help you learn habits to avoid worrying about what you cannot control in the future.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Favour Ozone »

How can one fight addition without going back to it? Have you read any book that helped you during difficult times?
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Favour Ozone wrote: October 24th, 2023, 7:30 pm How can one fight addiction without going back to it?
Hi, Favour Ozone,

Thank you for your question! :)

That subject is basically the primary topic of my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

As the book says, "all humans are on the addiction spectrum". Basically, addiction (and by extension temptation of any kind) simply is the common struggle to which the title of the book refers.

Show me a human who has never experienced temptation, and you'll have proven me wrong.

Until that day comes, I stand by my claim that this beautiful struggle unites us all. :)

It's beautiful and wonderful because the book--and struggle--is also, and moreso, about the opposite of temptation. Indeed, temptation cannot exist without its beautiful wonderful opposite, so when I feel temptation, and do what others might call 'battling addiction', I am so grateful. I know I have this wonderful thing we can call a spirit, and the potential to be free-spirited, because I can see the risk and possibility for spiritual slavery (e.g. feeling like a prisoner in your own body or like a slave to temptation or bodily urges or feelings like fear).

My book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All, will teach you about the opposite of temptation, which is something so wonderful, beautiful, and amazing. In terms of addiction, temptation of any kind, and spiritual slavery (e.g. the feeling of being a prisoner in your own body or a slave to bodily urges or feelings like hunger, anger or fear), my book will teach you to become completely and totally free. It's a liberation of your true self. It's the opposite of feeling like a prisoner in your own body or a slave to temptation. You will become the master and get to enjoy the wonderful spiritual joy of invincible free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). Some even call it nirvana or grace, because it so amazing and empowering. In some ways it is truly out of this world.

In the "fight against addiction" my book will teach you to win the war with infinite ease, and thereby end the war and fighting all-together, so you can rest in invincible happiness as the undisputed winner. Then--and perhaps only then--you will truly know and feel what I really mean by the phrase free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). It's the secure peace that comes with winning. And with my teachings it's an infinitely easy win.

So here are the steps I strongly recommend you follow, and that I recommend anyone struggling with temptation and/or addiction follow:

1. Read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All, making sure to stop reading each time you come across a sentence with which you disagree or that you don't understand and immediately post that sentence in the corresponding one of the following two topics before continuing to read:

- Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

- Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagree?

The reason for immediately stopping to post in the above topics, if you come across any confusing or disagreeable sentences, is because the book was written using liner logic, so if you disagree with or cannot understand one sentence earlier on in the book then it becomes like a train that went off the tracks. You will want to get back on the tracks before you continue, or else it can be a waste of time to read further if not counter-productive.

2. Read my book a second time all the way through, from beginning to end. The reasons for that are explained in this topic.

3. Keep discussing the book with me in the above reference topics until you can confidently and honestly say that you understand every sentence in the book and agree with every sentence in the book.

4. If you haven't already, sign up for my free mentoring program, and complete all the required daily tasks.

5. After you have completed the daily tasks for 100 days without missing a day, contact me so that I can buy you a membership at you.pw, which is the software I use for Phase 2 of the program. (There's no cost to you; I'll buy the membership for you as a gift/reward once you complete the first 100 days in the mentoring program.) If you are in the mentoring program, I'll be sending you weekly check-ins via email, so it will be easy for you to get in touch to get into Phase 2 (i.e. to get in touch with me so I can buy you the you.pw membership).


If you complete all 5 of those steps, I promise you that you will be so absurdly free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) that other people will be coming to you asking you how they can transcend temptation and addiction as incredibly well as you. They will say to you, "How do you have so much willpower? How do you not cave to temptation ever? How did you become so incredibly successful and invincibly happy? I feel like a slave to my bodily urges and addictions, and I would love to be so free as you! Please tell me how you do it."

My goal isn't just to liberate you. It's to make you so incredibly and amazingly free that other people flock to you to beg you to teach them how to do it too.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott




My book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All", will teach you about the opposite of temptation, which is something so wonderful, beautiful, and amazing.
My book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All", will teach you about the opposite of temptation, which is something so wonderful, beautiful, and amazing.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Oscar Zereta »

What motivated you to write your first book? And was the book in any way related to events that happened to you or it was just fictional from the beginning to end?
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Sanju Lali »

I am Interested in knowing answers to the above question by Oscar.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Oscar Zereta wrote: October 28th, 2023, 3:07 am What motivated you to write your first book? And was the book in any way related to events that happened to you or it was just fictional from the beginning to end?
Sanju Lali wrote: October 28th, 2023, 3:28 am I am Interested in knowing answers to the above question by Oscar.
Hi, Oscar Zereta and Sanju Lali,

My first book was 100% non-fiction: 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget

The second book I wrote was also completely non-fiction: Achieve Your Dreams: Why You Don't and How You Can

Aside from my generic motivation of just loving to help my fellow human being in whatever ways I am most equipped to help them, for my first book I was explicitly encouraged by friends, family, and fans to write a book, especially after they read the short introduction I wrote for the book, Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction, which acted as a sample of my writing, in addition to any blogs or social media posts they may have happened to have seen.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Runan »

Can you draw a line between spirituality and religion? Personally, I feel both are interconnected in some ways. Can one remain spiritual without being religious? If there is a partition, please explain.
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Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Runan wrote: November 1st, 2023, 3:53 am Can you draw a line between spirituality and religion? Personally, I feel both are interconnected in some ways. Can one remain spiritual without being religious? If there is a partition, please explain.
Hi, Runan,

Thank you for your question! :)

Human languages including English are informal languages, not formal languages like math or some computer programming languages. Words are equivocal and inherently symbolic. Asking what a word means is like asking what a piece of art means, such as a painting or sculpture. Only the artist/speaker knows for sure because what it means is what they mean by it. To ask what it means is to ask what the intentions are of the one who spoke/wrote/drew/painted it, and since we aren't mind-readers we can never be close to 100% certain about that. Two people can say the same exact sentence, word-for-word, and mean two totally different things; and neither person is wrong or using a word incorrectly or such.

That is one reason that when I write, you will often notice I repeat what I mean in multiple different wordings. I often use phrases like "in other words", "a.k.a.", and "i.e.". This is analogous to painting three very different painting all to 'mean' the same exact one thing and then showing you all three painting and telling you that they all mean the same one thing. It will help avoid misunderstsandings, since to misunderstand you would not only need to misunderstand all three paintings but you would need to understand all three in the same exact way.

It avoids misunderstanding in the same way counting the same stack of money 2 or 3 times avoids miscounting. You'd have to miscount the stack the same exact way every time in order to not realizing a miscount had occurred.

So it's very common you will see a piece of writing by me that looks like this: "X. In other words, Y. In other words, Z."

I say all that just to say this: I can tell you what I mean by the word 'spirituality' when I use it, and what I mean by the word 'religion' when I use it, and thus what the difference/partition between the two words is as I use them. But, keep in mind, this will only to apply to me and my writing, to help you interpret what I say. Meaning is non-verbal and precedes words. Meaning existed long before words ever did.

I use the word 'spirit' as a synonym for 'consciousness'. As I use the two words, they mean the exact same thing. In other words, if we imagine two humans, one being a philosophical zombie and one being a non-zombie, then defining difference between the two--and the only defining difference between the two--is that the philosophical zombie doesn't have a spirit. In my book, I also use the phrase, "the real you", to refer to that same exact one thing. If I was talking to a real life philosophical zombie, I wouldn't use the term "the real you" at that zombie. Unlike you, they don't have what my books calls the "Two Yous". They only have the one, and that's the unreal one, so to speak.

Thus, roughly speaking, I would define 'spirituality' as the study, exploration, and/or science of the spirit. In other words, it's the study, exploration, and/or science of the real self. In that way, it's heavily related to what philosophers call, "The Hard Problem of Consciousness". Likewise, it's heavily related to concepts such as "finding yourself", "finding your true self", "self-actualization [of the true self]", "self-transcendence [of the false self, a.k.a. the ego]", "ego death", and "transcendental experiences". It entails studying, exploring, understanding, being in touch with, and having knowledge of things like self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom, or free-spiritedness), self-responsibility, and inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness, or even what some might call nirvana, enlightenment, or grace).

In contrast, I see religion as being organized shared mythology, especially in which some of the members of that organized group actually believe some or all of the mythology to be literally true.

Keep in mind, I don't use the word 'mythology' with any derogatory sense. In fact, I love things like the Greek Myths and the story of Adam and Eve from the Abrahamic Religion (i.e. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, which I see as more like one religion than three, or more like 1,000 religions than 3, but certainly not three). I think there is a lot to be learned from such things, and many truths are told through those symbols, metaphors, stories, and proverbs. Indeed, my book, In It Together, makes many explicit references to things like Sisyphus, Icarus, and the Sirens, three of my favorite myths.

I use the word 'mythology' in the celebratory sense that Joseph Campbell used it.

"Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth--penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told."
- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


"Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.

The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, 'The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet."

- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


One easy way to understand much of the difference between spirituality and religion is this: If you were the only human being on Earth, you could engage in spirituality, but you couldn't engage in religion. Religion is a group activity, and it generally involves much more than mere spirituality. It generally involves empirical beliefs that are not backed by sufficient empirical evidence, but often with many, most, or even all 'believers' (i.e. members of the religion) seeing those would-be absurd empirical claims as simply symbolic metaphors.

For example, there are a lot of devoutly practicing Jews and Christians who don't literally believe that there once was literally a talking snake 6,000 years ago or such. So it's not literal belief in such counter-evidence claims (i.e. claims that don't match the evidence available) that separates spirituality from religion, or non-religion from religion in general. It's enough that the myths exist as metaphorical symbols.

In any case, here is another thing to remember about the two things: One could be the most religious person in the world while also being the least spiritual person in the entire world. And, likewise, one can be extremely spiritual without being religious at all.

In fact, anyone with a spirit (i.e. anyone who isn't a philosophical zombie) would have to be somewhat spiritual. In other words, presumably every single living human being has to be somewhat spiritual. Even the most non-religious person in the entire world must still be somewhat spiritual. That's because it's impossible to go through life having a true self without having any sense or knowledge or familiarity with that self at all. Even if someone is much less introspective and such than most other humans, they cannot avoid it entirely. To even just quickly glance in a mirror by mistake is, in some small but meaningful sense, to thereby instantly be engaging in some spirituality.

Another word for 'spirituality' is just 'self-familiarity' or 'self-exploration', in terms of the true self, meaning what my book calls "the real you" or "your spirit". Anyone with a true self can do it, and really anyone with a true self cannot avoid doing it at least a little bit.


What an awesome and thought-provoking question! Thank you so much, Runan! :D


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



ego-death-you-die-to-the-ego-and-are-born-into-your-true-self.jpg



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Runan
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Joined: September 6th, 2023, 12:50 pm

Re: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Post by Runan »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: November 1st, 2023, 3:24 pm
Runan wrote: November 1st, 2023, 3:53 am Can you draw a line between spirituality and religion? Personally, I feel both are interconnected in some ways. Can one remain spiritual without being religious? If there is a partition, please explain.
Hi, Runan,

Thank you for your question! :)

Human languages including English are informal languages, not formal languages like math or some computer programming languages. Words are equivocal and inherently symbolic. Asking what a word means is like asking what a piece of art means, such as a painting or sculpture. Only the artist/speaker knows for sure because what it means is what they mean by it. To ask what it means is to ask what the intentions are of the one who spoke/wrote/drew/painted it, and since we aren't mind-readers we can never be close to 100% certain about that. Two people can say the same exact sentence, word-for-word, and mean two totally different things; and neither person is wrong or using a word incorrectly or such.

That is one reason that when I write, you will often notice I repeat what I mean in multiple different wordings. I often use phrases like "in other words", "a.k.a.", and "i.e.". This is analogous to painting three very different painting all to 'mean' the same exact one thing and then showing you all three painting and telling you that they all mean the same one thing. It will help avoid misunderstsandings, since to misunderstand you would not only need to misunderstand all three paintings but you would need to understand all three in the same exact way.

It avoids misunderstanding in the same way counting the same stack of money 2 or 3 times avoids miscounting. You'd have to miscount the stack the same exact way every time in order to not realizing a miscount had occurred.

So it's very common you will see a piece of writing by me that looks like this: "X. In other words, Y. In other words, Z."

I say all that just to say this: I can tell you what I mean by the word 'spirituality' when I use it, and what I mean by the word 'religion' when I use it, and thus what the difference/partition between the two words is as I use them. But, keep in mind, this will only to apply to me and my writing, to help you interpret what I say. Meaning is non-verbal and precedes words. Meaning existed long before words ever did.

I use the word 'spirit' as a synonym for 'consciousness'. As I use the two words, they mean the exact same thing. In other words, if we imagine two humans, one being a philosophical zombie and one being a non-zombie, then defining difference between the two--and the only defining difference between the two--is that the philosophical zombie doesn't have a spirit. In my book, I also use the phrase, "the real you", to refer to that same exact one thing. If I was talking to a real life philosophical zombie, I wouldn't use the term "the real you" at that zombie. Unlike you, they don't have what my books calls the "Two Yous". They only have the one, and that's the unreal one, so to speak.

Thus, roughly speaking, I would define 'spirituality' as the study, exploration, and/or science of the spirit. In other words, it's the study, exploration, and/or science of the real self. In that way, it's heavily related to what philosophers call, "The Hard Problem of Consciousness". Likewise, it's heavily related to concepts such as "finding yourself", "finding your true self", "self-actualization [of the true self]", "self-transcendence [of the false self, a.k.a. the ego]", "ego death", and "transcendental experiences". It entails studying, exploring, understanding, being in touch with, and having knowledge of things like self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom, or free-spiritedness), self-responsibility, and inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness, or even what some might call nirvana, enlightenment, or grace).

In contrast, I see religion as being organized shared mythology, especially in which some of the members of that organized group actually believe some or all of the mythology to be literally true.

Keep in mind, I don't use the word 'mythology' with any derogatory sense. In fact, I love things like the Greek Myths and the story of Adam and Eve from the Abrahamic Religion (i.e. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, which I see as more like one religion than three, or more like 1,000 religions than 3, but certainly not three). I think there is a lot to be learned from such things, and many truths are told through those symbols, metaphors, stories, and proverbs. Indeed, my book, In It Together, makes many explicit references to things like Sisyphus, Icarus, and the Sirens, three of my favorite myths.

I use the word 'mythology' in the celebratory sense that Joseph Campbell used it.

"Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth--penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told."
- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


"Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.

The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, 'The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet."

- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


One easy way to understand much of the difference between spirituality and religion is this: If you were the only human being on Earth, you could engage in spirituality, but you couldn't engage in religion. Religion is a group activity, and it generally involves much more than mere spirituality. It generally involves empirical beliefs that are not backed by sufficient empirical evidence, but often with many, most, or even all 'believers' (i.e. members of the religion) seeing those would-be absurd empirical claims as simply symbolic metaphors.

For example, there are a lot of devoutly practicing Jews and Christians who don't literally believe that there once literally a talking snake 6,000 years ago or such. So it's not literal belief in such counter-evidence claims (i.e. claims that don't match the evidence available) that separates spirituality from religion, or non-religion from religion in general. It's enough that the myths exist as metaphorical symbols.

In any case, here is another thing to remember about the two things: One could be the most religious person in the world while also being the least spiritual person in the entire world. And, likewise, one can be extremely spiritual without being religious at all.

In fact, anyone with a spirit (i.e. anyone who isn't a philosophical zombie) would have to be somewhat spiritual. In other words, presumably every single living human being has to be somewhat spiritual. Even the most non-religious person in the entire world must still be somewhat spiritual. That's because it's impossible to go through life having a true self without having any sense or knowledge or familiarity with that self at all. Even if someone is much less introspective and such than most other humans, they cannot avoid it entirely. To even just quickly glance in a mirror by mistake is, in some small but meaningful sense, to thereby instantly be engaging in some spirituality.

Another word for 'spirituality' is just 'self-familiarity' or 'self-exploration', in terms of the true self, meaning what my book calls "the real you" or "your spirit". Anyone with a true self can do it, and really anyone with a true self cannot avoid doing it at least a little bit.


What an awesome and thought-provoking question! Thank you so much, Runan! :D


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott




ego-death-you-die-to-the-ego-and-are-born-into-your-true-self.jpg




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
Thank you for answering my question and clearing my doubt. Religion is a group activity, and spirituality is an inward process of understanding one's true self. There is involvement of mythology in religion. And as you rightly said, one can be spiritual and not religious. One can be religious and not spiritual too.

Thank you.
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