Spirituality for the Skeptic: The Thoughtful Love of Life

Oxford University Press USA (2002)
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Abstract

Is it possible to be spiritual and yet not believe in the supernatural? Can a person be spiritual without belonging to a religious group or organization? In Spirituality for the Skeptic, philosopher Robert Solomon explores what it means to be spiritual in today's pluralistic world. Based on Solomon's own struggles to reconcile philosophy with religion, this book offers a model of a vibrant, fulfilling spirituality that embraces the complexities of human existence and acknowledges the joys and tragedies of life. Solomon has forged an enlightened new path that synthesizes spirituality with emotions, intellect, science, and common sense. His new paradigm, "naturalized" spirituality, establishes as its cornerstone the "thoughtful love of life"--a passionate concern for the here-and-now, and not the by-and-by. Being spiritual doesn't mean being holed up as a recluse, spending hours in meditation and contemplation, Solomon argues. It demands involvement and emotional engagement with others in the struggle to find meaning in our lives. As such, this modern-day spirituality encompasses a passionate enthusiasm for the world, the transformation of self, cosmic trust and rationality, coming to terms with fate, and viewing life as a gift, all of which are explored in depth throughout this book. Spirituality for the Skeptic answers the need for a non-institutional, non-dogmatic spirituality that leads to personal fulfillment and satisfaction. By examining the ideas of great thinkers from Socrates and Nietzsche to Buddha to Kafka, Solomon arrives at a practical vision of spirituality that should appeal to many seekers looking to make sense of the human condition.

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Chapters

From Philosophy to Spirit and Spirituality

Spirituality is coextensive with religion and it is not incompatible with or opposed to science or the scientific outlook. Naturalized spirituality is spirituality without any need for the “other‐worldly.” Spirituality is one of the goals, perhaps the ultimate goal, of philosophy.

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