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Materialists and Spiritualists

By Polyphanes

One of the blogs I’ve recently added to my blogroll recently posted about his problems when people define being religious, spiritual, and spiritual-not-religious. To a large degree, I agree with him; it’s simply not true that you can’t be spiritual and religious at the same time, though one can be “religious” without doing much spiritually and vice versa. It’s complicated, but it does have some truth to it. I know that I myself (way back when I was younger and a little more pompous than I am now) described myself as spiritual-not-religious, but now that I think back on that, I can’t say that I’d mean now what I meant then by that phrase.

Being a Hermeticist, I like to classify things into large groups. When it comes to beliefs or the lack thereof, I go by two big classifications, materialists and spiritualists. I define these terms specifically for how they perceive the world:

– Materialists believe that there is nothing except the physical, tangible world around us; in other words, to them there exists only Malkuth as the whole of existence. Among others, atheists, agnostics, and “hard science-only” people fall into this category, either believing that there is nothing else besides the material world or having the lack of belief that anything immaterial exists. Everything that exists only exists in terms of matter and material processes, having material starts, material ends, and material changes.

– Spiritualists believe that there exists the physical and tangible world around us in addition to other non-physical, or spiritual, worlds around, involved with, or separated from us; in other words, there are other sephiroth besides Malkuth that make up the whole of existence. This includes people of faith, magicians, mystics, and other such people.

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