I see that it's quite difficult to separate the word spirit from its religious meaning. But for me, the spirit is our consciousness and our emotional feelings when we relate to the rest of the universe. For me, being spiritual means experiencing reality by looking at the bond that links everything in nature. It's something like realizing you're part of a family a long way bigger than you thought. :) I don't see any relation to a religion in this. For sure, I'm not alone in thinking something like that. Maybe, by the fact I'm Italian it's easier for me to get the root meaning of the word, and guess what? It's not religion related. "spirit" comes from the latin word "spiritus" that derives from the verb "spirare" to breathe. In Italian "respirare".
@ igor - yes, that sounds good to me. The word "spiritual" remains very vague, and I think that we can redefine it to mean something like you describe.
Interesting side note."Spiritus" which you describe as etymologically meaning "soul"l or "breath" relates to the Hindi word "atman" which means "soul" or "breath." The relationship between Hindi and English is clear to scholars but not recognized by most people on the street, and in fact our word "atmosphere" (the sphere of breathable air) is etymologically related the Hindi word "atman."
The sort of "spiritual" you describe seems divorced enough from what "spirit" ordinarily means that a word with less baggage would seem preferable. Do you have one?
Looking at igor's description, I would extend it to say something like "we are all one because we are all saved by the source of all goodness." That's the kind of spirituality I'm talking about, and I'm fine with using that word and ignoring all the baggage. It's not like "swastika" or "immigrant", it doesn't have nasty associations, just daffy ones, according to many people.
I'm not a dumbass, I'm a dipshit.
I'm not a dugong, I'm a dipstick.
I hate it too.
Yeah. spirits, souls, spirituality, etc. Are all based on, revolve around and are derived from the same place that religion comes from. The idea that you are going some place else when you die. All of these ideas have negative repercussions. Some not as clear as others. Religion is very clear, the corruption, the wars, the scientific disregard, the priests raping boys. But to me the SOURCE of it all is the soul. You can't have any of the big 5 religions without this idea of the soul. So why are we even bothering arguing against religion? If you can disprove or convince someone that there is no such thing as a soul. RELIGION HAS NO PURPOSE! And guess what. It will be far easier to scientifically prove that we have no souls then that there is an invisible man that created us all.
Spirituality has just as much basis in reality as religion does. None.
And yet, there are people who proclaim to be atheists and yet believe such horseshit as astral projection, precognition, mind reading, ghosts/hauntings, without realizing it's much the same as believing that Jesus returned from the dead, turned water into wine, exorcized demons, and so on. And if you question their daffy views, they'll accuse you of not having an open mind to their nonsense.,
That's obliquely related to the shade of meaning of "spirit" that goes with "school spirit." "Gumption," "stick-to-it-iveness," "tenacity," "irrational optimism."
I prefer to stay away from the term "human spirit" the word "spirit", like "soul" has far too much baggage to be in everyday use. Unless you support religious beliefs such as spirits and souls. These terms and beliefs are SO engrained in our culture that it seems daunting to rid our selves of... but so did religion at one point. And we are making progress there.
Belief in irrational things such as spirits, souls, karma(as a mystical force) and astral projections, everything Unseen listed above... supports the ideas of religion. These irrational, fear-based beliefs are the BASIS for religion. Uttering these words indirectly supports the use of the words which supports the notion of the words. Which makes some people think it's OK to believe in such horseshit. :) Ultimately the belief in and the use of these words in society stifles scientific advancement and hinders human progress.
However, most people would tell you i'm overthinking and taking it too far. Especially on this site. Most people on this site would prefer to just be ALLOWED to be atheist. That's not enough for me. That is bottom of the barrel, short-sighted, self centered thinking. I want progress in our civilizations. Not simply acceptance. Acceptance is mundane.