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Let's discuss Russian "spirituality"...

P20-Cover_ANDY-copy-2-800x500

There are some words which have purely subjective meanings in my view, and "spirituality" is one of them. For me, this word has nothing to do with God or religion. As an agnostic, I'm not attached to any church or religious rituals, yet I still consider myself a spiritual person. This seems to be a key word in Russian media and culture, as discussions about "spirituality" are constantly thrown around on LJ and in comments, usually to insult the non-spiritual and decadent West. I saw it just this week when the pro-Kremlin blogger "politichanka" grew outraged at Varlamov's recent posts about bad Sevastopol, particularly his focus on all the trash in the city. The reason for all this shit on the ground? She claims that "Ukraine in 23 years failed to instill spiritual values in the youth. Therefore, young people behave like pigs and there is garbage everywhere." Of course, this is an absurd statement but I grew curious and decided to ask her what her definition of "spirituality" is. Her answer? "Actually I don't know."

I never use words I don't know or understand, especially when I'm insulting people. For me, spirituality is an aura, the energy and emotion that you evoke when encountering complete strangers, your charitable contributions to the overall good of humanity, a connection to something bigger than yourself, and an overall sense of openness and positivity toward the world and its inhabitants....and how about you? How does Russian culture define "spirituality," and why is the term so commonly used there? Help me understand. :)

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(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
Haha! It's great, thanks. :) Especially amusing is the "21 Rules of the Spiritual Man." #5 and #13!! :)) "Nurture wife in severity, let him remember that women - homemakers and behaves with dignity. Of course, this requirement does not apply to prostitutes, even if you go regularly to the same to change the bunny and give yourself whip lash." :)))
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don_oles
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
Spirituality: noun
a) a process by which a perfect amazing cute shiny joyful child is transformed in an adult uninteresting insecure being
b) a process by which an adult uninteresting insecure being is transformed into its original form: perfect amazing cute shiny joyful child.

On the photo you see the a) process.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
The photo displays a normal Russian facial expression, regardless of where the Russian is standing (in a church, sitting on the metro, or walking on the street). :)
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Кристиан Арчер
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:24 pm (UTC)
It actually doesn't in any meaningful way. The answers I got made me think that "it is sth good, it should/must be". My own family wasn't "spriitual" in that sense so even while living in Russia I totally miss the point
direkt_mashin
Dec. 20th, 2015 04:37 am (UTC)
Из послания президента РФ Федеральному Собранию
12 декабря 2013 г.:

"Сегодня во многих странах пересматриваются нормы морали и нравственности, стираются национальные традиции и различия наций и культур. От общества теперь требуют не только здравого признания права каждого на свободу совести, политических взглядов и частной жизни, но и обязательного признания равноценности, как это не покажется странным, добра и зла, противоположных по смыслу понятий. Подобное разрушение традиционных ценностей "сверху" не только ведёт за собой негативные последствия для обществ, но и в корне антидемократично, поскольку проводится в жизнь исходя из абстрактных, отвлечённых идей, вопреки воле народного большинства, которое не принимает происходящей перемены и предлагаемой ревизии.

И мы знаем, что в мире всё больше людей, поддерживающих нашу позицию по защите традиционных ценностей, которые тысячелетиями составляли духовную, нравственную основу цивилизации, каждого народа: ценностей традиционной семьи, подлинной человеческой жизни, в том числе и жизни религиозной, жизни не только материальной, но и духовной, ценностей гуманизма и разнообразия мира.

Конечно, это консервативная позиция. Но, говоря словами Николая Бердяева, смысл консерватизма не в том, что он препятствует движению вперёд и вверх, а в том, что он препятствует движению назад и вниз, к хаотической тьме, возврату к первобытному состоянию.

В последние годы мы видели, как попытки навязать другим странам якобы более прогрессивную модель развития на деле оборачивались регрессом, варварством, большой кровью".


Метки : КОНСЕРВАТИВНЫЙ ГЛОБАЛИЗМ
dmitri_lytov
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
politichanka is not pro-Kremlin. She is talented spoofer.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:50 pm (UTC)
What do you mean "spoofer?" In what way?
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logofilka
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
Любовь - это то, что русские придумали, чтобы денег не платить. (C)
The painful truth is that there is no "Russian spirituality" - there is an overused explanation for laziness, lack of work ethic, financial insufficiency, etc
We have a family anecdote about my brother. When he was about six years old, he was exposed to a bragging one of his friend who came from a very privileged family. That boy was listing all his expensive toys and his recent trips with the parent, and my brother was visibly upset trying not to cry. And then suddenly, my brother's face lit up as he thought of a response to all of his friend's statements. After taking a dramatic pause, he declared: "Зато я душой богат!" I have no idea where he got it from, but apparently it worked and made the bully to shut up. I am pretty sure most of the Russian population still share the attitude of a six y o.
zirazira
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
отлично! you made my day ))))
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dkfl
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
Russian "spirituality" is infantilism.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
You are not alone in your thinking. Many people feel the same.
little_bes
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
Now this word - empty. )) absolutely
There are lot of historical moment in this modern condition. ))
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
Why do you think this word is now empty?
don_oles
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
This is russian spirituality: dead people crawl.
chuk_and_gek
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
This is ukrainian spirituality: dead people crawl.






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chuk_and_gek
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Let's discuss Google "spirituality :-) ...
don_oles
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:42 pm (UTC)
Do it.
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(no subject) - zolotaev - Dec. 19th, 2015 08:34 am (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
The American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul. (The words of a famous specialist.)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC)
Religion is declining in the USA...but spirituality is not. :) This is a good thing in my view. I don't like or support organized religion - it is usually a way to control people.
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chuk_and_gek
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC)
the quintessence:

peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:54 pm (UTC)
I cannot read the Russian on these signs, but the pictures speak for themselves. :)
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alexanderr
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
real easy.
spirituality comes from the word "spirit" or "спирт", alcohol.
to become a spiritual person you just need to drink heavily
like all russians
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC)
I just read an article about how vodka consumption dramatically increases in Russia over the long New Year holiday. It was just an insane amount of alcohol consumed in a two week period.
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moskitow
Dec. 17th, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC)
Official religion in Russia was always - "bad guys". There is a story written by Pushkin "The tale of the Priest and his workman Balda" where he was making fun of the priest. There are paintings of famous artists showing the hypocrisy of the church. For example "Easter Procession in a village" by Vasily Perov. The priest is completely drunk there.
39.48 КБ
People in Russia are very superstitious and full of pagan believes and rituals (it's a custom to do fortune telling during the christmas night and find out who will be your husband)
So for a long time religion was there to keep simple people in fear and make them obedient. After the Revolution when the Church lost it's influence on the government level, the religion became more like an underground cool and dangerous thing to practice. So in a way, you could be a rebel if you were a believer. The communist party's ideology was a new religion. After Perestroyka and a big collapse of the communist party, the religion is back on track(supported by the government so they have at least something to control people). It was back and forth and all the way around with religion. Very confusing with what to believe for people.
I think that for Russians the meaning in "spiritual values" is something that doesn't correlate with religion, it's more like the real values of piece and kindness. Something like a homemade Moonshine - clear, strong and easy to use :) With all the constant changes it's hard to teach your children what is the right thing....
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC)
Fortune telling on Christmas night? :)) I have never heard of this tradition! I wonder how often the fortune teller is right? This does not seem like a reliable way to find your prince charming. :)
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mnepox2
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
Two-faced ruler ...
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
And today we have learned that Putin endorses Donald Trump for U.S. Presidency! Nightmare. :( I don't know if it's true, but it certainly makes for good and sensationalist headlines. :) http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/17/politics/russia-putin-trump/index.html
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Думаете?:) - mnepox2 - Dec. 17th, 2015 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 17th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - mnepox2 - Dec. 17th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - theodorexxx - Dec. 17th, 2015 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 17th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - theodorexxx - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - theodorexxx - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - theodorexxx - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Думаете?:) - theodorexxx - Dec. 17th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
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exorcist2007
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)
I never use this word outside religious contents. However, as it is widely used now outside such contents ,my "translation" of spitituality is high morale values.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 17th, 2015 04:47 pm (UTC)
"Morality" is also a subjective term. :) What is immoral to some is completely moral to me. Abortion is one example of this.
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