Analysis Of Lionel Corbett's Psychology And The Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Religion '

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As I have studied Lionel Corbett’s Psychology and the Sacred: Spirituality beyond Religion (2007) throughout the quarter, I have been intrigued by his messages, as well as the language he uses to convey them. It has been quite clear that Corbett’s intentions are good ones, and his words are very inspiring, whether or not I agree with him on all matters. However, as I have examined linguistics throughout the last few months, specifically the ways in which we talk about spirituality and emotion, my focus in reading Corbett has shifted from just his message, to the way he talks about that message as well. As grand as his ideas may be, they are still confined to language we all understand; he is subjected to borrow the tools and context from ideas…show more content…
Ideas like his are harmfully divisive, pitting the secular and the spiritual against one another, while divisiveness is the exact opposite of Corbett’s goal. In expanding the numinous past the confines of religion, Corbett simultaneously locks out the Western world from his idea of the numinous. But the numinous transcends religion as he proposes, it seems to me that the numinous should also transcend belief in the supernatural. This is because, to me, the “spiritual” lives within emotion, not the physical or supernatural world. While it may be true that there is a positive correlation between spirituality and numinous moments, as my high school psychology teacher used to tell us daily, correlation does not equal causation. The explanation could simply be that self-named spiritual people actively look for numinous moments in spiritual settings, while a-spiritual people do not. More importantly, the a-spiritual may be searching for and finding numinous experiences, but calling those moments by different names such as “aha moments,” or moments of bliss, euphoria, and joy. Just as I have found it within the secular world, holding steadfastly to the belief that there is no greater, illusive power, so anyone else can find the numinous in any facet of their life they deem

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