Tomo, thank you for your response. I understand your point of view. I used to have one very similar. My perspective changed when my understanding of brain mechanics became more biologically accurate.
It all started when I had my 4th child. She has Down syndrome. I had to break information down into its simplest components to help my daughter learn concepts my other children picked up easily with no help from me.
Often, when I would think something through in order to explain it to my daughter, I would make brand new intellectual connections myself. As children we are such sponges that we generalize like crazy in order to be able to categorize and memorize all the information coming at us. Once we form a generalization, we don’t often question its validity, we just assume it is true unless we are exposed to facts dramatic enough to disrupt our beliefs.
Well the concept I have a spirit, soul, or higher power involved in my consciousness were vague concepts I accepted early on and never questioned. When I broke these concepts down to teach my daughter, I realized they were undefinable. I eventually came to see these concepts as ideas made up to manipulate me into thinking, feeling, and behaving in specific ways to make other people more comfortable with me as a person.
At this point I believe I am my brain and what my brain can do. I no longer believe I need to be more than this. Being a human powered by a human brain is enough. The narrative telling me I must strive to accommodate my spirit now seems, as I said, manipulative and diminishing to me. It says to me, being a human is not enough. You must develop your spirit to heighten your mere human existence. And it says to me, you must rely on a God or higher power to feel OK living in the world as a human.
Having dropped the need to become spiritual or in touch with a God force has opened my eyes up to understanding and appreciating people and the world just as they are. People and the world are not perfect. But I don’t believe adding some spiritual narrative to the mix will fix what is imperfect. Focusing on spiritual ideas, for me, caused my life to stagnate for a long time because I was relying on something not real to help me.
I have decided my daughter and all my children are enough just as they are, and they don’t need me to tell them to become spiritual in any way.
Nonetheless, I appreciate your response and your gracious and kind approach to dialogue.