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Possession – Another spiritual idea largely ignored by consumer culture

The idea of spiritual possession is found in many different cultures. Some see it as entirely involuntary, unwanted and evil. Others take a less extreme view. Depending on the cultural context in which it is found, possession may be considered … Continue reading


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Freud’s Pleasure Principle – Missing the point of spiritual healing?

Sigmund Freud believed that human beings begin life by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. This “pleasure principle” initially takes the form of relieving instinctual tensions generated by the id through activity or hallucination. When one grows older and the ego matures, … Continue reading


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Sri Ramakrishna – Hindu spiritual figure claiming to have practiced different religions

Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86) began life as an obscure, unschooled village boy, Gadhadhar Chatterji. His first major religoius experience came at age six. Ramakrishna describes his first spiritual ecstasy…while walking along the paddy fields, a flock of white cranes flying against a … Continue reading


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Suttee – A violent and cruel remnant of Hinduism that continues today (without any attempt to legitimize it spiritually)

Embed from Getty Images Sati handprint on the entrance to Junagarh Fort. Sati was the practice where a woman burned herself on the her husband’s funeral pyre or when her husband died in battle defending the fort. Suttee or Sati (Skt. … Continue reading


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The three Hindu gunas – a meeting of psychology, spirituality and cosmology

The Samkhya philosophy of Hinduism outlines three gunas (Skt. = string or tendency) of sattva, rajas and tamas. The gunas are qualities apparently found in material nature (prakṛti) with a corresponding consciousness found in living beings. A refined guna in material … Continue reading


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Star Trek’s Prime Directive – A lofty idea with a few wrinkles

In the fictional world of Star Trek, the Prime Directive is a core regulation of Starfleet. To understand what the Prime Directive means, we have to know how Star Trek depicts its moral universe. Star Fleet officers usually see themselves … Continue reading