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Oct 28 2011

The Army’s ‘Spiritual Fitness’ Babble

Justin Griffith links to the Spiritual Fitness Program for the Abardeen Proving Grounds, an Army base in Maryland. He quotes this passage, which struck me with exactly the same response that he had to it:

Spirituality is a complex and multidimensional part of the human experience. It has cognitive, experiential and behavior aspects. The cognitive or philosophic aspects include the search for meaning, purpose and truth in life and the beliefs and values by which an individual lives. The experiential and emotional aspects involve feelings of hope, love, connection, inner peace, comfort and support. These are reflected in the quality of an individual’s inner resources, the ability to give and receive spiritual love, and the types of relationships and connections that exist with the self, the community, the environment, and the transcendent (e.g., power greater than self, a value system, God, cosmic consciousness).The behavior aspects of spirituality involve the way a person externally manifests individual spiritual beliefs and inner spiritual state.

I immediately thought of Deepak Chopra, as Justin did. That is exactly the kind of new agey religio-babble that he likes to spew incessantly. It’s absolutely meaningless. It’s a wilted word salad at best.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    chilidog99

    “Join the Army and search for the meaning, purpose and truth in life as you kill others.”

    Yep, works for me.

  2. 2
    chilidog99

    “Join the Army, give and receive spiritual love, and form relationships and connections with others, then kill them.”

  3. 3
    chilidog99

    Join the Army and externally manifest individual spiritual beliefs and inner spiritual states by killing others.

  4. 4
    dingojack

    Well at least that word salad doesn’t have no elistist ‘arugula’*.
    :) Dingo
    —-
    * Eruca sativa. aka Rocket, Roquette or Rucola

  5. 5
    chilidog99

    From: “An Army of One,” to “An Army of complex and multidimensional humans.”

  6. 6
    LightningRose

    “…I’m sittin here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”

    -Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant”

  7. 7
    Artor

    If the Army wants “complex and multidimensional,” soldiers, then why is basic training designed specifically to eliminate those qualities and make nice, obedient soldiers who follow orders to kill people?

  8. 8
    MikeMa

    I live near this base and have friends who work there. The base provides ordinance testing and other services to the army. They blow shit up. No doubt a very spiritual experience.

  9. 9
    Who Knows?

    Just FYI, I think it’s Aberdeen Proving Ground.

  10. 10
    timpayne

    Actually, rather than new age word salad, it’s a clumsy attempt at legal camouflage for sneaking in God, just like the 10 Commandments amidst a montage of historical in a high school corridor. Our current government simply cannot reconcile itself with the concept that religion is a private matter.

  11. 11
    had3

    Join the Army & through your complex inner spiritual self learn to rationalize why your country is having you kill people who are no threat to the US.

  12. 12
    fifthdentist

    Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle see His banners go!
    Refrain:
    Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus going on before.
    At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
    On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
    Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
    Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
    Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
    Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
    We are not divided, all one body we,
    One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
    Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
    But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
    Gates of hell can never ’gainst that church prevail;
    We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
    Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
    Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
    Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
    This through countless ages men and angels sing.

    – Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865

  13. 13
    ManOutOfTime

    Marianne Williamsom for Joint Chiefs Chair! Totally offended by the way that they neglected to emphasize the importance of not stepping on cracks, spilling salt, or walking under ladders.

  14. 14
    twincats

    Drat you, Fifth Dentist! Now I’m going to have that tune stuck in my head all day :P

  15. 15
    Marcus Ranum

    Soldiers who are “spiritual” ought to be thinking about bigger picture problems than following orders that involve them in wars of aggression. It’s odd that they’re not teaching slave-morality instead.

  16. 16
    dogface

    Aren’t they teaching slave-morality, though? Christianity (the faith the military seems to prefer its soldiers profess) glorifies subservience and obedience, while deriding and punishing those who question the marching orders delivered from the pulpit.

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