Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis is a Counselor in Wheaton, IL specializing in anonymous substance abuse and LGBT populations. He can be reached at dreamsampm@aol.com.

  • Which Is The ‘Spiritual’ Note On The Piano?

    Nov 29, 2010
    In my last blog, I discussed the confusion I feel when I read the words that counselors use when they write about and research ‘spirituality’—words like god or prayer or beliefs—without really defining these. This blog develops that line of thinking further by considering the very word, ‘spiritual’: what counts as being spiritual? What does calling something 'spiritual' add to the discussion? Which is the spiritual note on the piano or what is a spiritual melody? Which is the spiritual feeling or what makes an action spiritual? Another way of looking this same issue is to ask “How does calling a melody or feeling or action ‘spiritual’ add anything?” Chanting "We beg to differ" at a basketball game when the students disagree with the refs' call or reciting 'Nam myo rengo key' in a Buddhist service or chanting 'Kill him! Kill him' at an execution--what makes one spiritual and another not? What are we talking about?
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  • Words, Words, Words—Spiritual and Religious

    Nov 22, 2010
    I appreciate Michael Reeder’s response to my first blog raising the issue of what groups should be recognized legally as a religion. Should a Wiccan coven or a community practicing Voudun or that small group outside of Cedaredge, Colorado gathered together by a prophet who was called by God? What difference is there between them and the running club or the Lions Club? Should their leaders who are duly ‘set apart’ with special authority and responsibilities be allowed to perform marriages and conduct funerals? What makes the difference?
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  • Spirituality and Religion for Counselors, Part 2

    Nov 17, 2010
    I appreciate the comments responding to my first blog on this topic and am encouraged to develop these ideas further. The first blog was about distinguishing religion from spirituality. This second blog focuses on the term ‘for Counselors.’ A (possibly apocryphal) story makes a couple of critical points: An American Indian tribe used to worship the Corn God as that Power Beyond all Powers who gave them bountiful corn crops every year on land where other tribes could not survive. Every year, while planting their corn, they would sacrifice a fish to the Corn God in every hill of corn. Every year their crops were plentiful.
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  • Spirituality and Religion for Counselors

    Nov 12, 2010
    I appreciate the ACA giving me this opportunity to have a dialogue with other counselors on a topic that is important to me and to other counselors and is attracting more and more interest: spirituality and religion. On the one hand, spirituality and religion (SR) are among the most powerful forces in human history and in contemporary human life throughout the world. Gone are the days when they can be ignored or explained away by psychological reductionism.
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