Is running a spiritual experience for some?



  • But being connected switched on and in tune is spirituality. Religious spirituality is different to Non religious spiritualism.

    My running is spiritual because it incorporates my beliefs into what I am doing and I see what I call my God all around. Its much easier to define spirituality as part of something religious.

    Non religious spirituality which is what I think the OP and almost everybody on here means, is individualistic. The three above stated words pulled together can make an experience spiritual to somebody who is receptive to it. Whatever 'it' is. If you are not that way inclined the three words will be only be connected, switched on and in tune image

  • I think it is more to do with fulfilling a design. the human being is designed to be a transitory animal and when you are running at that just short of threshold speed,  a few miles in with everything warmed up and working nicely you get that feeling as though this is what you are meant to be doing, it is natural.

    maybe that is why trail running feels better because you are doing what you are built to do in the place you were built to do it in, if that makes sense

  • Spirituality is real to you because you define it as real.
    Typically spirtuality wanders in when people do not think there is an explanation for the world around them. As we can see, we can talk in term of being connected etc. Those words describe a feeling perfectly well. We do not have to use a word like "spirituality" which has its roots in the supernatural, to describe that feeling.

    There is no need for the supernatural when we have the natural all around us.


  • Exactly, worm food.

    @ the vicar:

    No I don't want to argue, that wasn't and never is my intention on here, i'm just not as pc as some. I've nothing against your religion now it's grown up a little and become sanitised, your people no longer go to other countries and murder in the name of the Lord, unlike another more childish religion I could name.

    Yes I have a daughter too, who obviously I love dearly, but it doesn't change the fact we're all going to die, and existance is a bit pointless, in fact having a daughter makes it worse, because now I feel sorry for her too, thanks for that! lmfao


  • lardarse image

    Dont you say anything about them Muslims image

    As Christians we try to keep our killing to a minimal.

    Without stating the obvious though. That's essentially why we have our faith. We believe something will happen to us after we die other than being eaten by worms and the likes. I cannot begin to tell you how many people find that comforting when they are losing a loved one. But you either believe or you don't. If you don't believe then you will think their is nothing and all is pointles. If you do have a little faith then you see things a bit more differently and have that slight glint of hope that their may be more. I dunno

  • Somebody described spirituality as seeking the truth and conforming with it. (It may have been Giles Fraser and I have probably misquoted whoever it was).

    But for me, that is exactly what I'm doing when I run, thinking about my form and my breathing. If I run as best my body can, that's an approach to truth which is a lot easier than doing it through prayer.  

    As a Christian I do believe that prayer is the finest way. 


  • I just find that the word "spirituality" is thrown around willy nilly by some and is a very loose, vague term that seems to encompass a load of different (vaguely bullshitty) things. Maybe it could be a useful term but the way it is used today pretty much renders it meaningless.

  • Genuinely the only way spiritual can be used and made sense of is in religion. Non religious spirituality is hard to pinpoint

  • Sorry Vicar, but religion is one of the bullshitty things I was referring to.

  • Don't be so quick to dismiss something that helps billions of people throughout the worldimage

  • Yeah it can be for me at times.

    Nice easy session this morning on a dry autumnal day. Sun just risen and nature at its best.


  • Yeah, running sometimes is a spiritual experience for me. (Which can be lovely, or can be suffering.)

    And sometimes it isn't.

  • MattDA wrote (see)

    I just find that the word "spirituality" is thrown around willy nilly by some and is a very loose, vague term that seems to encompass a load of different (vaguely bullshitty) things. Maybe it could be a useful term but the way it is used today pretty much renders it meaningless.

    Yeah, I think that's true ... and yet I know what I mean when I use it, even if I find it almost impossible to explain, and I have a suspicion, which I can't prove, that sometimes other people who use it are talking about the same thing.  There is a definite something that I know if I'm having a spiritual experience or not. And at the same time, (like you I suspect) I am revolted by shops that sell "spiritual" posters or candles or indian dreamcatchers or whatnot.

  • Spirituality is in all of us, organised religion uses this spirituality to control, note the decline of religion coincides with the general education of the masses.
  • "Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man."       Lenin


    ....organised religion is a bit like the mafia, "you worship god, or you won't go to heaven, now you'll need somewhere to worship him and you'll need a man in a dress (whats that all about lol?) to help you worship, NOW GIVE US A DONATION!

  • Religion is the opium f the masses - Karl Marx, correct that the opium of the uneducated masses
  • Yeah, I think the rise in the "spiritual but not religious" demographic reflects a disgust with the ludicrous farce of organised religion. I frown on Nick Clegg for backing down from calling them bigots. I might have voted for him if he'd stuck by that (or anything).

  • I thought that too MikeFrog. Clegg almost said something useful, but in the end, he was too frightened of upsetting his Tory chums. Of course, he got in trouble anyway so he might as well have said it.

    The guy's a spineless chancer.

  • I absolutely do not blame people for having negative views of religion. You got all the scandals happening in the RC Church you have Islamic fundamentalist killing thousands of people worldwide etc etc. But I think people in this country have a very old fashioned view on religion and what it means to be a Christian today. I think if people were to explore it they would be quite surprised. If you spoke to a middle of the road CofE lay person or clergy you will find the complete opposite to what you perhaps perceived the Church to be. Christianity is steadily growing in this country and especially in the Church of England. We do not force anybody to believe anything, they decide they want to believe and all we do as clergy is guide them and encourage them through their journey. If I tried feeding BS to somebody they would tell me to Feck off.

    I dont stand on street corners like the Jehovah's witness' telling people they are all going to hell. I believe in something after this life. I believe in Jesus and mostly of what he done. Thats it i'm no different to the next person. I would do anything for anybody in my community be they Jew, Muslim, Gay, Straight, black white Green or purple. But the Church provides community for people in a world where community is failing in some areas. We as Christians try to live by a certain set of  rules. Nothing too strenuous. Love your neighbour and love God. Now the first commandment aint such a bad thing? As Christians we fail this every single day of our lives but we try, try, try. Your middle of the road Christian is an intelligent person (I know Police men, Navy, Army, RAF, Pilots, Solicitors, Opticians, Doctors- I wouldn't call these people uneducated?? So saying religion is for the uneducated is a bizarre comment) and has a thirst to learn about their religion and again clergy give them the tools to do this, they can make up their own minds what they believe and what they don't.

    On a Saturday morning we have roughly 50 children come along to our church hall. We sing a few songs tell a few stories and make a few things. We do not sit there telling them they must believe in God or they will burn in hell. Every single one of them regardless of what they choose to do in life will be found in 'heaven' whatever that may be.

    Religion is a massive subject. It has millions of different ways of believing and seeing things. It's an amazing subject and to dismiss it as BS perhaps without really seeing what it is all about is a sign of the times we live in. Its nobodies fault and the Church of England are addressing this and I really do think the rise in Church numbers will continue to grow.


  • I admire your resolve and professionalism and although I would never call anyone's sincere belief BS I would say that the way to combat religious extremism would be to educate the masses away from the view that whoever your god may be he will warm to you if you carry out deeds (good or bad) in his name.
  • I agree EG OK.

    In reality God doesn't want anything from us. I do my work in God's name if I didn't it would be pointless so I have to hold on to that.  However whatever you chose to do should between you and God. When it starts to encroach onto others thats when  problems arise. I do not believe in these people who go to other countries trying to convert people-its completely wrong. I believe just being a good, honest, hardworking person with integrity and doing the best you can with the cards your dealt with is the only deeds to be done in Gods name. Blowing shit up and killing people is sick, disgusting and isn't religion. These nutjobs are fed BS from people who are manipulating them to do a job that they are too P"""""y to do themselves and religion is used as a tool. If religion didn't exist it would be something else they would use. 99.9% of Muslims are lovely people. Yes their religion does oppress them- I do not mean this comment as a slur of any sort- 200 years ago we were not much different women didn't have rights etc and things were so so different. Give it 200 years and Islam, I personally feel, well be on par with what westerners believe to be ethical and PC.

    But people have to remember. Your bog standard Christian is your next door neighbour, is your boss at work, is your nan. Thats a Christian. Its not a sword weilding Crusader lopping heads of Muslims. A bog standard Islamic Muslim is a chap that goes to Mosque on Friday and lives to a set of rules that will not affect you. Some of their beliefs will be seen as extreme to us westerners but it has given them an identity thats so strong that no matter what country they live in they can continue to live and worship in a way that will not bother any of us. Some of the most humble and polite people I have met are Islamic Muslims. If you said to them would you train up a suicide bomber etc they would call you mad and say anybody who believes that is not a true believer in Islam.

    So as a scociety we always talk about religion as extreme. It makes better TV it looks good in the newspapers. You never see that the CofE gave millions to many charities last year because thats boring. You never hear about old Ethel next door giving 10£ she hasn't got to the local homeless shelter-Its a crap story.

    All we need is to live and be the best human being we can be. Thats all God wants

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    I'm not religious, but I know what the OP and others are getting at I think. When out for an early morning run on my favourite route (which for me is an out and back route along the sea front), with no one else about it can make me get a buzz which is some how more than the usual 'running buzz'. It's hard to explain, but it's almost a way for me to appreciate things like my health, the power of the wind/sea and breathing in the sea air in a way that I don't always on the day-to-day grind.
  • Vicar - I see where you're coming from, I see spiritual as not far off that, I aim to be as good a person as I can be, I do no harm to anyone and trust they will do me no harm, I help people when I can and hope that someone will help me if I ever need it. Probably more Karma than religion, but I get what you're saying.

  • Interesting debate going on .

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