In belief systems, spirituality is a flexible-thinking modernist mixture of traditional religion, albeit with less reliance on the word "judgment",philosophy, newer findings in science, and other new age concepts, all with the aim to foster individual freedom, and connection between one’s inner self, nature, and the universe.

The term "spirituality", as contrasted with "religion", which derives from the Latin ligare or "belief systems that bind groups", derives from the the term wind or breath, generally meaning individual animation. This seems to translate to the fact that religion is a group belief system, whereas spirituality is more of an individualist belief system.

In an ancient etymological sense, as over 72 percent of modern religions are derived from Ra theology, the term spirituality seems to be a syncretism of "ka" and "breath of Ptah", in contrast to "ba" the immortal part that gets judged on the afterlife scale of Maat.

A common modern definition of how modern “elite” American scientists, i.e. those at top universities, see religion as qualitatively different from spirituality include the response “religion is institutionalized dogma” or “religion is organized against individual inquiry”, which is said, according to American science culture sociologist Elaine Ecklund, to translate to the effect that religion is the rule of powerful people that propagate false information that is not true and that individual spiritual inquiry protects people from groupthink. [1]

The two biggest thinkers in attempting to bridge the gap between "spirituality concepts" and modern chemistry, physics, and thermodynamics are French philosopher, chemist, physicist, paleontologist, and priest Pierre Teilhard (1916-1938) and South African chemical physicist Adriaan de Lange (1982-2010), as discussed below.

In 1896, English psychical researcher Frederic Myers used Maxwell's demon and conservation of energy to explain spirits and afterlife.

In 1916, French philosopher, chemist, physicist, paleontologist, and priest Pierre Teilhard began to developed a "spiritual energy" theory of thermodynamic evolution; used a "human molecule" view; his 1938 Phenomenon of Man is his masterpiece, his writing style is very dense and he has near-to a cult following; the gist of his theory is captured in his omega point postulate.

In circa 1960, Anglo-American philosopher Alan Watts wrote on a mixture of thermodynamics and Eastern philosophy, which may a have a sort of “spirituality” theme to it.

In 1982, South African chemical physicist Adriaan de Lange, a very well-read physical-sciences based thinker, claimed to be above the 500+ book level in studying how thermodynamics applies to the humanities, began to view the idea that entropy production must apply to the spiritual world; then, in 1986, while teaching physical chemistry class, grasped the idea that “the intricate calculations concerning free energy in chemical reactions” must apply to the process of knowing and learning, on the extrapolation that student's learning behaviors must follow or map to the behaviors of molecules moving through the chromatograph column; in 1987, completed a yet unpublished manuscript Entropy, Creativity, and Learning; in the late 1990s, began posting and discussing his theories at the Learning-org.com forums; and in 2009 published an online book Irreversible Self-Organization (in Afrikaans).

Chinese-born English biochemist Mae-Wan Ho’s 1993 The Rainbow and the Worm: the Physics of Organisms, in which she attempts to pick up where Erwin Schrodinger left off in his famous 1943 What is Life?, spending the first chapters on the second law, seems to have a certain spirituality-science crossover blend to it.

Puerto Rican cultural anthropologist turned new-age author Migene Gonzalez-Wippler might have a certain “spirituality” theme to her work (fact-check) with her 1997 What Happens After Death, attempts to build a theory of death based on the first law of thermodynamics, albeit in the end digresses to conclude that there is a creative intelligence at work in the universe; likewise, her 1987 book Kabbalah for the Modern World, she uses thermodynamics and entropy to make a case for the existence of a creative force at work in the universe.

American philosopher-psychologist Sean O'Reilly’s 2001 How to Manage Your Dick: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Spiritually Enlightened, Evolved Self, outlines a Freudian-style energy psychology of how to use one's sexual energy productively, explained in terms of energy and entropy, mixed with bits of new age models and Greek philosophy.

American philosopher Christian de Quincey’s 2002 Radical Nature, attempts to update and synthesize the views of Henri Bergson (1907), Pierre Teilhard (1938), and Arthur Young (1976), to argue that conceptions such as consciousness, free will, and spirit (or soul) extend all the way down the evolutionary ladder to molecules, atoms, electrons, photons and beyond (presumably to the sub-atomic realm).

The various fiction (Klystar, 2007) and non-fiction ideas of Chinese-born American nuclear physicist Leong Ying is steeped in a mixture of thermodynamics, religion, and spirituality.

In 2003, American thermodynamicist Gilbert Wedekind published his Spiritual Entropy, on the topic of "spiritual entropy" which is an outright search to find and define the concept of being “spiritual” in terms of entropy.

Other possible spirituality-minded thinkers include: Steven Rosen, Mark Janes, DMR Sekhar, David Alkek, Dorothy Sherrill, Richard Rudd, Morgan Peck, and Dickey Eason to name a few.

1. Ecklund, Elaine H. (2010). Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think. Oxford University Press.

See also
Spiritual energy

External links
Spirituality – Wikipedia.

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