Re: Spirituality in Scouting
Danny Schwendener (macman@BERNINA.ETHZ.CH)
Wed, 13 May 1992 15:57:07 +0200
> Don't atheists believe that there is no "spiritual meaning of life",
> that only the "material" part of life counts?
No. This is materialism, which goes far beyond atheism. Atheism does not
exclude the reflexion over the metaphysical aspects of life. It simply
rejects the idea of a supreme spiritual power.
> Can there be a spiritual side of life without a Supreme Being of some sort??
> If so, what would that be like and how would one define it?
Buddhism for instance is a religion which neither states nor
denies the existence of a god, yet has a very deep spiritual side.
Naturalism (as stated by the writer and philosoph Jean-Jacques Rousseau) is
another example. For christians, God is a little in everything. For
naturalists, everything is a (the) Supreme Being. You're part of it, I'm
part of it, the tree outside of my window is part of it, all the people,
all the animals, plants, stones are God(s). The whole nature is the Supreme
Being. The infinity in its most concrete aspect.
Universalism is an application of the naturalistic ideas to everything,
beyond the nature.
My personal conviction is that there is a spiritual side in life from the
moment you start reasoning about it, from the moment you start asking to
yourself why you are here and what your purpose in this world is.
The essential aspect in spirituality is not the faith, but much more the
work you perform to reach your faith. It isn't important whether you
believe in God, the Nature, the Good in people, the Perfection, or in the
inexistence of Supreme Powers. As long as you keep thinking about life,
about what brought us here and what keeps us together, you have a spiritual
life. And this is what counts: transmitting this behaviour is, in my eyes,
the spiritual goal of Scouting.
To make an allegory: Giving an air mattress to someone who can't swim is
easy. Teaching him how to swim is much harder, but only this will
truly help him out.
> Seems to me that European Scouting is no more "enlightened" than we are.
No one can pretend to be more enlightened than others. The best we can do
is to state our own opinion, listen and try to understand the others, and
not to be ashamed of picking out the good parts and use them in your own
program. That's the best way to bring all of us a step forward.
-- Danny Schwendener firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolfsmeute Nidau/Glockenhof, Zurich, Switzerland
m.h.c. Troop 14, San Francisco
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City