Spirituality and Hokey-Ness


In my last post, I was trying to talk about finding a meaningful way to talk about spiritual health; to talk about it in a way that does not seem hokey or preachy. It occurs to me now that, before I pursue the topic further, I should probably provide some explanation for what I mean by spirituality When I refer to spiritual health, I’m simply talking about any type of non-physical interpretation of health. The terms mental health, “emotional health”, in this case, could be put under the category of spiritual help. So, in other words, I’m not using the word “spiritual” in a strictly religious sense, but rather to talk about any type of health that is expressed in a non-physical way.

There is a reason I am avoiding breaking non-physical health down into different categories such as mental health, emotional health, or spiritual (in a religious sense) health. These terms, the way they are ordinarily used, already imply a certain understanding of human health. Although mental or emotional states are considered non-physical things, the way they are talked about (or even the way they are diagnosed) implies that these non-physical states can be reduced to a physical cause. Depression can be diagnosed as a chemical imbalance, and corrected with medication, for example. In this case, even though we are using the terms “mental” or “emotional” health, we’re still really using a physical interpretation of human health.

Similarly, the term “spiritual health”, when used strictly in a religious sense, usually has some specific, pre-packaged doctrine on what religious health is. Live by such and such rules or support such and such practices, and you will thereby increase your religious/spiritual health. Like with “mental” or “emotional” health, I’d like to avoid any preconceived interpretations of what it means to be healthy in a non-physical sense. Not to say that any of these doctrines (whether mainstream or alternative) are incorrect; I would simply prefer to attempt to offer an alternative approach to the idea of non-physical health.

For these reasons, when I use the term “spiritual health” in this or any other post, I’m simply trying to talk about any type of non-physical health, and I am not referring to any specific religious doctrine (again, whether it’s a mainstream or an alternative one).

And speaking of alternative religious doctrines, I should also take this opportunity to explain what I mean by “hokey”. I said that I wanted to talk about spiritual health in a way that did not seem hokey. Let me give you an example of what I mean by hokey: If I were to tell you that your spiritual being was called a “Thetan”, and that it could be separated from your body at will, and that this was the key to unlocking the amazing secrets of human health, and that I would reveal these secrets to you (via incredible motion pictures) for exorbitant sums of money, then you could certainly accuse me of hokey-ness. Still, familiar as many of us are with such hokey-ness, I wouldn’t want to suggest that the only alternative to such hokey-ness is an entirely physical interpretation of human health.