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Sub Forum for Religion - Spirituality


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Perhaps we need a sub-forum for religion and spirituality? Some of the threads seem to veer way off the original post which will make it very difficult for people trying to search a particular subject.
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Hi Sil
I think I tend to agree with you. And that idea has been asked for already .
As I recall in the thread "A journey of spiritual significance" that was Delecto's whole point. At least at the beginning, that is what he asked about,then it turned into something else.

There are those that enjoy discussing spiritual things and others who don't. And of all the threads in this forum the most heated and opinionated are those about religion and spirituality.
I enjoy reading them myself. Sometimes it brings out some good thoughts and opinions to ponder, other times it can get pretty ugly.
They do sometimes tend to turn into name calling,categorizing, arguments rather than discussions. Some are downright catfights between a few.

But I love them all!! I think a separate thread will encourage more discussion on these topics.
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Hmmm, I think I disagree.
In my opinion, a Religion/Spirituality sub/forum would only lead to arguments, as is evident by the already posted threads. :roll: People tend to get hot under the collar when it comes to someone bashing their beliefs. Religion/spirituality is a personal thing. Everyone has their own flavor or brand, and there is even disagreement among those who claim to be of the same ilk.

Discussion of religion is banned in many forums I belong to.. a wise decision, in my opinion.

I'd like to see the forum remain about the Camino and helping people prepare, and for sharing our experiences along the road.

But that's just my two cents.
It might be worth a try - mainly so that we keep the other forums on track with their intended subjects!
The CaminoSantiago.me forum has a sub-section for Religion/Spirituality and it seems to be working although there have only been 5 threads compared with hundreds on the other sections.
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a great opportunity to get our facts right !

It could also create a great opportunity for old and new pilgrims getting their facts right! The way these are handled now must be very confusing. At least they are to me! Did Jacobus visit Spain? Did he convert in his lifetime or did he die before he could? @cetera, @cetera...

PS: More in http://king-early-days.blogspot.com
I'm not so sure putting the topic of religion/spirituality in its own little box (sub-forum) is the answer. If you ask me (I know you didn't, but here I go...), the root of problems/disagreements/arguments on this board is when one person/group feels (and expresses) that other people are not "doing the Camino the right way" (i.e. their way).

(Kinda like George Carlin's old joke: everyone who drives faster than you is a "reckless idiot" and everyone who drives slower is an "obstructing moron.")

As has been mentioned elsewhere on the board many times, the Camino is more than an inexpensive vacation walk across picturesque Northern Spain (although for many that's exactly what it is). To try to disassociate the religious aspect of the Camino from the physical endeavor is to miss the forest for the trees.
Anniesantiago said:
Discussion of religion is banned in many forums I belong to.. a wise decision, in my opinion.

I'd like to see the forum remain about the Camino

Wouldn't it be impossible to ban religion on a forum which is about a religious Pilgrimage???
And "The Way of Saint James" IS and always has been a religious pilgrimage...(where all are welcome, as Sil mentioned in her quote from the 12th century.)

So, if we separate the "Way of Saint James" from the forum then we would have no forum.
In order for the forum to "remain about the camino", we must include dear old Jimmie.

Just my opinion.
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Here is my 'two penn'orth'.
Surely any thread should try to keep to the idea/content behind the original post and not stray off onto other matters. Our replies should be honest but polite, even where we disagree.
As the Camino is about Pilgrimage then I agree that it is impossible to separate it from Spirituality and Religion, otherwise it seems to me that could end in making it just about a walking holiday. I don't think that is what was meant to come across in the first post.
So please let us keep the forum as it is, keep to the point of the threads as started and respect one another even when we agree to disagree.
Hope this doesn't sound too 'preachy', but for me the Camino is about the Spiritual and the forum is a sharing of that as well as the practical help shared
God bless,
Tia Valeria
I cannot see a current thread that has gone off track ... Kerrysean set up two, writing about a certain type of pilgrim met, who he considers 'new age bores' all posts on that thread are either about that or looking at what a new ager is .. all on thread.

Now it may be a very neat and tidy thing to do, to put religion 'over there' but that isn't how the world works .. for those who are atheists and find that religion creeping into threads on a forum about a religious pilgrimage is something that they dislike as it somehow blurs the thread - well, would they perhaps be happier on a walkers/ramblers forum ?

All clear topics such as - which boots, which rucksack, tell me about hostels, routes, weather, crime, how do I get to, is there a train, etc all stay on the subject - of course they would.

I think the 'problem' here doesn't actually exist. If someone opens a topic that is about religious experiences or about New Age bores (or theological bores like me) and so on - well, why not?

And if one doesn't like that topic - well one doesn't have to read it, one can read about boots or rucksacks instead.

As for people occasionally getting heated - yes, we are all human and because of this all forums have moderators for this very reason.

So we have a forum with a membership of different genders, different ages, different nationalities, different politics, different religions .... and we get to write about all sorts of things - we have moderators to keep things in line ... and no one is compelled to read a topic thread ...

so the only problem then is .. well, what? That the forum isn't packaged the way some people want it?

That it isn't neat? ... that atheists don't like this religion thing creeping into their forum?

Let us not reduce it to the lowest common denominator and make it yet another example of dull

please :|
Well.. ummm.. I'm not an athiest.
I keep editing this post, because in the end, I really don't care one way or the other and probably should just stay out of it. :oops:
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I believe the intent is not religion "vs" spirituality, but "and".

And I don't think "neat and tidy" is a helpful phrase for this discussion - I find that a little condescending. Everyone knows that precious little / nothing, in life is neat and tidy. "Organized" is more to the point. And this forum is very well organized.

I've reflected on this discussion so far, and so I have to say that my preference would be not to separate religion and spirituality out of camino discussions in general, as it indeed seems to be very integral to many experiences and discussions, but to allocate a separate thread for the theological/academic information and discussions. This information has been very educational, informative and enriching for my camino experience, and because some of it (and its references) are at times involved (and all over the forum), I would love to see all of it in a separate place where I can go back and review its material from time to time.

My $.02 (CDN)

I am a bit worried about adding a section about religion/spirituality in the forum. Right now, with the excellent help of our moderators, we are able to moderate (that, by the way also include stopping spammers sign up and spam our messages. Over 100 spammers try to sign up each day) but with more "controversy" from such a section I am not sure that we will be able to keep the forum "on track".

Let me think about it...

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I would like to get all scientific here. There is no specific spirituality.

Here is an attempt to explain it:

Matter, like light, is both wave and particle. Visualize a stone tossed into a pond. A wave spreads. Now visualize that wave in three dimensions, a growing ball. The light particle comes into existence when the wave hits the observer; the entire 3-D ball suddenly focuses on a single spot, as if the wave in the pond suddenly exists only at the spot on the shoreline where the wave first hits shore. There is no particle without the “observer,” the point where the expanding ball became a single particle, and there is no longer any potential particle elsewhere else in the ball as there was before the observer created the single particle.

Think about a golf stroke (I don’t play the game, but it is a convenient example). There is interaction between the golfer’s mind, body parts, golf club, ball, atmosphere, ground, etc. Through practice the golfer develops a subconscious and repeatable golf swing, an engram that exists in the mind, nerves, and muscles. At the atomic level the virtually infinite interactions of mind and matter all are variations on that expanding ball of wave and particle. When the golfer feels satisfaction when he makes a swing in exact accord with the perfect image he has created by habit, the satisfaction has a physical dimension. The satisfaction has existence on a neurological level. It is not physical in the sense of the ball, club, golfer, and fairway; it is an atomic, electrical relationship between the mental image of history of previous swings, and the emotions coursing through nerves and brain cells in response to a comparison of the current stroke and the mental image.

Certainly the satisfaction is spiritual in the sense being used in this forum about “religious and spiritual.” It has no dimension like the physical objects involved in golf, yet it is as certainly physical as anything else in the golf game. Dividing spiritual from physical and religious is artificial and arbitrary, and not really a necessary exercise. If creating a cubby hole where none exists is a useful activity, perhaps because it reduces cognitive dissonance, no harm occurs, so create away. I am just suggesting that the universe will play out regardless.
I have been thinking about this since Sil first entered it and have not yet come to a final conclusion. If we are trying to find a place where the spiritual can be openly discussed, then no. It is impossible to separate a pilgrimage form the spiritual. If it is a forum where spiritual things can be discussed in particular without blocking spiritual comments elsewhere, then yes.

I have been a student of religion for well over 40 years. If we create this forum, then we need some iron-clad parameters that prevent any attempt to proselyte or to convince others that there is only one way to express spirituality or one church to belong, etc. It must be for the expression of spiritual thoughts that the Camino engenders and how it continues to affect the lives of those who have walked.

It is impossible for me to separate my spirituality from my daily life or my daily thoughts and actions. If one was to review my edits on this forum one will easily find that I often turn to spirituality in my comments. I am respectful, necessarily so, of the beliefs of others, but I cannot stop being who I am.

Ivar, I have refrained voting because I have yet to understand what the purpose is of this proposed forum. If we created the forum would we continue as we now do to comment about spiritual things when appropriate on threads? Or would we be prevented from doing so? Is this a move toward censorship or simply a move toward a focus of discussion?

Still a bit confused,

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Last week, martijnverheul asked about taking breaks during walking the camino. There were a few very constructive replies.
The next day the thread was 'hijacked' by a post that went into a long discourse about mystics, druids, burning witches etc - nothing whatsover to do with taking breaks!

My suggestion that a new forum be created where all of these fascinating things can be discussed, was to try and keep to the subject of particular threads so that when new members join and are told do a search for the subjects that interest them, they don't have to scroll through pages of irrelevant posts that shouldn't have been there in the first place!

Of course, members would have to leave their flame throwers at the door before entering a forum on Religion and Spirituality. (The Church no longer burns heretics or witches and the last witch was burned in Mexico in the 19th Century)
Some more feedback

..please give me some feedback on this. :)
May I explain why I voted for a sub forum (or any other cosy little corner for afficionados):

Apart from being a professional walker and a pilgrim's paths maker I'm also a very curious journalist and the two mix wonderfully. I like to go 'deep' into investigating and understanding how things work.

More than a quarter of a century ago I asked myself what the pilgrimage to Santiago is about.
The Way of Saint James by Georgiana Goddard King explains a lot. São Paulo (in Dutch: paulus, de dichter Gods - God's poet) by Teixeira de Pascoaes explains in a novel the personal relations between James and Paul. To me it seems a must-read for anyone who wants the understand this rather complicated situation and wants to go to the bottom of it.

In several forum threads I tried to get closer to the heart of the matter. My subject the last post was refused on two Yahoo forums. The webmaster told me earlier that Catholics don't want outsiders to rush in where angels fear to tread, or -in other words- Don't touch the subject and leave our apostle alone! That's fine! In my country only Catholics are allowed to make little innocent jokes on their men of the cloth and of course that is as it should be.

On this forum I asked -when the view count on The Santiago Enigma shot sky-high: Could we create a special 'corner' where we could discuss this item without disturbing those who don't want to see it. The answer then was that my subject was too far away off the centre of the general interests on this forum. That was a clear and sincere and true answer at the time.

But that was more than a year ago. In the meantime that situation has changed a lot. After a year of silence and 6.000 views on The Santiago Enigma suddenly my last post got 20 very, very warm and friendly comments in a week. Even the last tabu post brought very impressive, warm and friendly reactions that I will cherish for the rest of my life! This forum works wonders!

But… none (zero) of these reactions answered my main question still open about how a Jewish apostle could have been converted (in his lifetime as some say) into a Catholic saint. I understand and respect deeply the feelings of those who don't want to talk about this. I really do! But… still, I would like to know.

Today I've started reading Acts 5 and 6 which a good friend mentioned. That's the first time I'm reading the Bible with a special goal. Some feel that it might save me from purgatory and I sure like hell hope it does! (I've passed the Holy Gate in SdC a few Holy Years ago and I do hope that will help too when the time comes!)

Some good friends gave me a very warm advice concerning books and texts, but none of them (apart from the one I just mentioned) told me where exactly I could find what I'm looking for. That is a strange sensation....

So, I would appreciate a nice little corner (perhaps something like a chat room?) where we could develop our knowledge and interests and talk our heads of without disturbing others.


PS: I've started my own phpBB forum on http://www.phpbb.nl/demo/phpBB3/search. ... =egosearch, but Ivar's warning of today for spam attacks really makes me think again.
by sillydoll on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:32 pm
Last week, martijnverheul asked about taking breaks during walking the camino. There were a few very constructive replies.
The next day the thread was 'hijacked' by a post that went into a long discourse about mystics, druids, burning witches etc - nothing whatsover to do with taking breaks!

Hijacked? Oh Dear .. just looked - Ahhh! I see what this is all about! - I looked back through that thread (and her reason for proposing the sub forum) to find that it was me - apologies, I tend to work on a few things at the same time - to write on a text pad and paste (the same as working through a number of books at the same time, I am, reading four at the moment) .. and the post sil mentions is mine and was pasted into the wrong thread .. it was supposed to be in the topic that Kerrysean posted re New Age bores .. in fact my first post on there says

"Yes, KerrySean - I agree with you completely ... and the actual point you make - and there is nothing else - because I posted it on the other thread! :shock: :oops: :lol:

Ho! - all becomes clear .. why on earth didn't someone mention that my post didn't seem to be on the right topic? Well. I shall go back and delete that ... 'spiritual and religious' comment on a 'taking breaks' thread? whatever next!
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I don't really agree that a separate 'religion' sub-forum is needed. Any thread can morph on into something else- it is not just discussions on religion that do that.

People these days walk the Camino for a multitude of reasons, some religious and some not, but the fact remains that the Camino has its roots inextricably in the realm of medieval Catholicism. I think that if people want to bring up topics that have a religious theme, they shouldn't have to feel 'obliged' to head off into the religion sub-forum. For a proportion of walkers, their Camino has religious belief at its heart, and I see no reason why they should feel any need to 'separate' that off into a separate sub-forum.

An issue with postings that concern religion though is that they do tend to become contentious, and can become unpleasant as a result. I think it is up to each of us to self-moderate, and make sure that we don't end up 'flaming' online, speaking of others with the kind of disdain we would refrain from in 'real life'.

Them's my two cents worth ;-)
There are many good arguments booth for and against this new section. I guess the bottom line is, we don't really know how well this will work until we try it.

May I introduce to you:

Let's try it! As Sil says: Flame throwers at the door! :)

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Well so much for the vote being 2 to 1 against having a separate forum!

Ivar - how will it work? What defines a topic as Spiritual or Religious? For example the first posting is the History of St James - isn't that errrr...History?

Another example might be someone who asks users what books they might recommend to prepare for or to take on pilgrimage - if some one suggest a more spsitutal book does their reply get bumped off into a sub forum and who decides that?

Will the sub forum be actively monitored and if so what rules will apply?

How interesting.
Here is what I think:

It will be moderated just as any of the other forums, with a light hand.

If it turns out that it gets out of hand, and it created more negative energy than positive, it will be closed. We can then instead add links to other forums/sites that focuses more on spirituality/religion, so people can go there and continue their discussions.

Let's try it.

Another example might be someone who asks users what books they might recommend to prepare for or to take on pilgrimage - if some one suggest a more spsitutal book does their reply get bumped off into a sub forum and who decides that?
This has been a problem since day 1 with many topics. "What boots are best for the Camino Fraces?" Does that go in the equipment section or the Camino Frances section? So far we have left the topic in the one that it was posted in. If is clearly the wrong section it will be moved. We have some great moderators that help me with this.

I don't post that much on this forum but like to read what people have to say.

Just when I am getting fed up with equipment and logistic questions, and yes they are all very valid and important as people are learning about and wanting to know the answer to so many practical questions, an interesting thread turns up. Anything featuring Br David is great!

I do enjoy reading the 'light' hearted banter that goes on with people respectfully sharing viewpoints.

One of my favourite was the thread 'THE VARIETY OF CAMINO EXPERIENCES' which is below.

Ok, it was became off topic but I was actually so looking forwards to logging on and reading the next thread. It was fascinating and great reading. If a forum has the ability to give so much pleasure then it is pretty good in my book.


The beauty is I can bypass for me what is mundane and read something stimulating and that holds my interest. As it says for past pilgrims to share.

It is a pretty amazing thing, doing the Camino. It will always stay with me. It has changed me and it is a nice way to keep within it's dynamics by reading the thoughts and beliefs of others.

Everything works so far, so if it ain't broke don't fix it.[/color]
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Ahhhhhhh. Not for the first time in my life I've got to admit to considerable technological stupidity. All this Sub Forum thing is, is a category in which things can be posted, like Camino Frances or Miscellaneous?

I thought it was another Forum that users would have to sign into separately - like a kind of Holy Colony!

Glad to see free speech remains midst the body of the Forum.

Is it too late to say something?

Religion is a vital part of the marketplace of ideas. Sending it into its own ghetto will do nothing to decrease its influence or flavor or motivational power. Zealots will still post wherever they find a listening ear, and those who are bent on being offended will find offence under every blade of grass.

This is an academic argument. I say just leave things the way they are, let people say (pretty much) what they like. The adults in the room can police themselves. And those who, for whatever reason, don´t like the conversational topic can move on.

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Semantic difference between religion and spirituality ?

the first posting is the History of St James - isn't that errrr...History
Bull's eye, John! It was a matter of choice calling my first post on the new sub forum the History or the Spirituality of Saint James but I feel more secure on historical grounds than in the elysian fields of spirituality.

You made a very good point because you hit where I think lies the essence of my quest.

From one perspective this discussion could be called semantic but on the other hand it touches the emerging from history into spirituality of the very down to earth Apostle Jacobus into the highly spiritual Saint James as we know him to day. I see it as the horizon at sea.

King shows us that Saint James also is a chtonian aspect, power or reflexion of our heavenly Father and that all three Jameses together make the whole picture and tell us that he was an important and powerful force (aspect or man if you like). That he was in the Holy Land and that he is in the Middle Ages and in our lifetime as millions of pilgrims demonstrate. We might even look back further to his ancestors the patriarchs regarding the meaning of name-giving.

Teixeira tells us between his lines that it is no coincidence that -according to legend- James ended the journey of his life at Fisterra at the end of the then known Christian world. That's where and why history, religion and spirituality merge. Or could you really tell them apart?

Your turn! :wink:

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