I had the good fortune to catch up with some old Canadian friends on the weekend. We had a really refreshing and interesting talk about things that I don't talk about much. Being an expat living in Japan there's not a lot of native speakers that I can talk to. On top of that there's not a lot of native speakers who have similar interests with me. We spent about 4 or 5 hours together.
We spoke of all sorts of ideas that were interesting to me. They touched on deep ideas that I have had, learned or developed over the years. We talked about how freedom comes in a box. And we talked about the power of one. These are some of the ideas I have. Then at one point the word spirituality came up. That gave me some insight into myself.
I realised that these ideas I was talking about were not religious. For me, religious ideas are like a creed. The Nicean creed was developed almost 2000 years ago. My ideas are not like a creed. So then I thought about how I identified myself as spiritual when I was in my 20s. I definitely felt some connection to the, for lack of a better word, non-physical world. But I felt repulsed by religion. It was altogether too human. I felt religion served humans more than any deities.
Over the years, however, I have seen many people who identified themselves as ‘spiritual’. The problem is I really don’t feel any kinship with these people. We are not in the same ‘tribe’. And if they are a reasonably unified body of people who can be described as ‘spiritual’ then I don’t belong in that description. So I guess I am not spiritual.
So then where does that leave me? My friends suggested the category of philosopher but that doesn’t work well either. Philosophers have gone down a different road from where I am going. They are good at what they do and I am not. I am not really one of them, either.
So I am just left with the plain old simple, ‘I think about life’.