Scott Schrade schrade at akrobiz.com
Sun Jul 25 11:12:45 CDT 2004

Catching up on some old posts.....

> I've been meaning to change my address on the list for a while, but couldn't
> think of anything suitable.  It's time to drop the "ped" reference and move
> on.  I believe I asked ML for suggestions and he referred me to Scott, who
> had come up with his handle.  No luck there.

Sorry, Jim.  I must've missed your request.  But I like your choice of 'Naked I.'  
'Naked the First.'  Gives you a Royal feel.  Like Charles I.  Very good. 

> I'm not trying to sterilize it.  I'm just trying to include that first man 
> who ever looked up at the stars and said "How wonderful they are!  What do 
> you suppose makes them turn like that?"  It takes us back to a time when 
> science, religion, mathematics and philosophy were all the same and there 
> was no division between.


That made me think of the rather cliche' phrase, "a sense of wonder."  But
that implies a questioning.  Many times spiritual feelings are peaceful & tranquil,
& don't include pondering & heavy thought.  When I was lying on a warm
rock ledge in the midst of the Grand Canyon with my eyes closed, I wasn't
"wondering" about anything.  I was just grooving (!) on the feeling of being a
tiny little creature on a big-ass, beautiful planet.

Point:  There are many shades to the word "spiritual."  And I think Pete's
writing shows not only a *religious* sense of spirituality but also a humanistic
one, as well.

"Happy Jack" has a humanistic spirituality to it.  So does "You Better, You

I know what you're saying:  "But what kind of deep, world-view thoughts do
*those* songs contain?"  They *don't* contain any such thoughts.  But they 
*do* contain "spiritual snapshots," if you will, of the human interaction & human 
variety which has come to evolve on this planet.  And truly, that *is* meaningful.
That's Pete's humanistic spirituality.  One can find spirituality - beauty - in many

> Any definition that does not relate to the supernatural and divine or tries
> to include purely observational experiences. 


But it's those "observations" that get us thinking & questioning in the first place.
In retrospect, I may have been incorrect when I implied that looking up at the 
stars & just thinking they're pretty doesn't constitute a "spiritual" moment.
It's those kind of initial observations that begin the process leading to the
deeper spiritual feelings.  (Speaking of "deeper," it's really starting to get
"deep" in *here,* isn't it?)

> Right, but originally man's only explanations were that *beings* had put
> those things there.

I think it's safe to say different early culture's had different explanations, not
all of them being that the stars were placed in the sky by beings.

> If anything, we've been getting less spiritual.

Here you're using "spiritual" as synonymous with "belief in the supernatural."
Am I reading you right?  And if you're saying, as a society, we're believing
less & less in the supernatural, that's debatable.  Of course it fluctuates over
the decades, & each area & culture is different, but current research shows 
that, on the whole, more Americans believe in the supernatural than did in 
the recent past.  

A 2001 survey found that 54% of Americans believe in "psychic or spirit-
ual (there's that word again!) healing."  50% believe in "ESP."  41% believe
in "possession by the devil."  And 38% believe in "ghosts."

And well over 90% believe in "God" - which *is* a supernatural belief.

> I agree.  The way we live tends to remove us from nature, and we begin to 
> see the world as man-made and to lose touch with our origins, and with 
> matters of the spirit.


Here you're using "spirit" as almost synonymous with nature.  Can we think
of any Pete songs dealing with nature in a spiritual sense?  I'm surprised
he doesn't write more about sailing.  I mean, he uses a lot of water references,
we know, but he must encounter spiritual moments while sailing, don't ya'

> > Then how are secular humanists to discuss their spiritual feelings?  
> I don't think they have spiritual feelings.  I think they have deep,
> profound, wonderful feelings that are purely non-spiritual.


Not true!  Most secular humanists trust science for their world view.  And
Carl Sagan once said:

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source 
of spirituality."

Unless you qualify "spirituality" as only having to do with the supernatural,
you can't claim that secular humanists & the like don't have spiritual

> I don't think spiritual seeking has to be after God in a religious or super-
> natural context.


Hey!  We agree!

For now.  


- SCHRADE in Akron

"My last vestige of 'hands off religion' respect disappeared in the smoke
& choking dust of September 11, 2001, followed by the 'National Day of 
Prayer,' when prelates & pastors urged people of mutually incompatible
faiths to hold hands, united in homage to the very force that caused the
problem in the first place."
   - Richard Dawkins

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