Sunday, March 28, 2010

Personal Development for Smart People: Spirituality

This article is part of my series on Personal Development for Smart People. If you are new here I recommend you to first read my introduction to the book.

What follows are my notes from the last chapter which takes about spirituality.


  • intro
    • spirituality : collection of beliefs about reality and your personal role in the universe
    • highest ideal for your spiritual philosophy is intelligence
    • if a spiritual philosophy succumbs to falsehood, disconnects you from life, weakens you it will only leas you astray
  • & truth
    • each believe system you consider provides another way of viewing the same underlying data
    • view reality through multiple belief systems in order to seek the big picture
    • spiritual sensory equipment
      • 1st, 2nd and 3rd-person viewpoints
      • subjective and objective viewpoints
      • intuition and instincts
      • logic and reason
      • dreams and visions
      • religious and philosophical beliefs
      • cultural, social, political and economic beliefs
      • functional beliefs
      • personal beliefs
    • learn to consider reality from multiple perspectives to overcome many of the limitations of individual belief systels
  • & love
    • gain spiritual lessons from your inner world and your outer world
    • answers will come from stillness and from direct communication
  • & power
    • decouple your spiritual beliefs from your identity
    • your beliefs can never define you
    • a fixed belief system can only limit your ability to grow
    • center your life around service to others in order to balance yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually
    • find others with different belief systems that seem to empower them in some specific way, and learn from them
    • whenever you close your mind to new ideas, you fall out of alignment with power
  • & oneness
    • our personal spirituality has a collective impact
    • abandon beliefs that label other human beings as unworthy, damaged or evil
    • your individual spiritual duty is to ensure that you harbor beliefs that are aligned with the principle of oneness
  • & authority
    • you must be the ultimate authority in your life, not God or some guru, master or teacher
    • beliefs must satisfy the following criteria
      • 1. accurate, consistent with your observations of reality
      • 2. all-inclusive, collectively address your entire field of experience
      • 3. flexible, adapts well to new circumstances
      • 4. ethical, don't encourage violence or dishonesty
      • 5. congruent, internally consistent with each other
      • 6. consciously chosen
      • 7. pleasure-increasing and/or pain-reducing, make you feel good, reduce fear by bringing truth to the unknown
      • 8. empowering, should allow you to experience what is technically possible
    • hidden falsehoods may be revealed by considering the alternatives
  • & courage
    • think for yourself
  • & intelligence
    • don't compartmentalize your spiritual practice

List of all posts in this series:

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