Finding Religion

INT21

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Carl Grove,

But does it address Ringo's search for a feeling of belonging ?

Which was the initial cause of this thread.

INT21.

Jim,

...In fact as time marches on new experimentation only increases since much of it is propelled by the finding of earlier scientist. ..

One might say all of it.

INT21.
 
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Jim

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Apologies but I really can't answer this question. I have a son w a somewhat minor degree of autism. His specialist using equipment that engages a feedback technique in which the apparatus monitors breathing, skin sweat sensed and heart-rate while he plays a video game specifically designed to induce relaxation during the process. Closest thing I could think of off hand, not sure if it really applies.
 

INT21

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Back to Ringo's quest for happiness; for that is what it is.

Maybe some of us (and I include myself) are just giving of some vibe that is repelling people.

Maybe our Savior is the internet !

INT21.
 

INT21

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Jim,

Doing it intentionally is one thing.

Not being aware you are doing it is something else.

INT21.
 

Carl Grove

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Jim,

...In fact as time marches on new experimentation only increases since much of it is propelled by the finding of earlier scientist. ..

One might say all of it.

Carl Grove,

But does it address Ringo's search for a feeling of belonging ?

Which was the initial cause of this thread.

INT21.
Ringo actually said he was searching for two things: spiritual fulfillment, and to believe wholeheartedly in something. The assumption is that these are essentially the same thing, and this is the aspect of religion that needs clarification. There are millions of people who are believers in this or that religion or sect, and are sure that the feelings they get of belonging, emotional stimulus, and sharing a belief system with others, are spiritual in some way. Maybe they are two completely different things. Ringo would have to make that choice. It is also worth studying the behaviour of people who are "believers" -- the history of most major religions shows clearly that (1) they tend to ignore much of the teachings of the founder, (2) Add to these teachings complicated theological speculations, and (3) develop authoritarian tendencies also contrary to the original message, to say nothing of using violence and torture to support their view of things. Can any of this be in any way "spiritual?"
 

INT21

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...Can any of this be in any way "spiritual?" ..

Not in the least. That is simply a power game.

One of the things that worries me about religion is that even when the worshipers prayers have clearly not been answered, often on numerous occasions, they still expect it to work for them next time.

Spiritualism and organised religion are not at all the same thing.

I suppose you can have a feeling of 'spiritual fulfillment' while being a loner.

But Ringo is wanting to feel a sense of 'belonging'.

I suspect that doesn't even need a spiritual component.

INT21.
 

Carl Grove

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...Can any of this be in any way "spiritual?" ..

Not in the least. That is simply a power game.

One of the things that worries me about religion is that even when the worshipers prayers have clearly not been answered, often on numerous occasions, they still expect it to work for them next time.

Spiritualism and organised religion are not at all the same thing.

I suppose you can have a feeling of 'spiritual fulfillment' while being a loner.

But Ringo is wanting to feel a sense of 'belonging'.

I suspect that doesn't even need a spiritual component.

INT21.
It is interesting how any group, any organisation, can start thinking on "religious" lines if the opportunity arises. For example, the Alexander Technique, a series of exercises designed for professional musicians to help them avoid back problems, gradually morphed into a kind of cult. I think a lot of us who haven't got a lot of social connections get sucked into these things just for the sense of togetherness.
 

INT21

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...I think a lot of us who haven't got a lot of social connections get sucked into these things just for the sense of togetherness. ..

One could point to the internet as a prime example.

This site; perhaps ?

INT21.
 

Ringo

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...I think a lot of us who haven't got a lot of social connections get sucked into these things just for the sense of togetherness. ..

One could point to the internet as a prime example.

This site; perhaps ?

INT21.
Interesting point, INT21. I think this site does provide a social network, a coming together of people who share a common interest or hobby. I would say that Yes, it does provide a sense of togetherness and is addictive. I personally check in here 5, 6 or 7 times a day, if only for a few minutes at a time.

I suppose to drift back to my original posts, I suppose I want to be (not become) a believer in something which would then have provided me with a peace of mind. But as being a believer or turning to religion goes against my nature, I need to find a different way of finding inner-peace. Ideally, I would have liked to not have had this need at all. I would have preferred to just be a content person without the self-insight to realise that they are missing something.
 

Carl Grove

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Interesting point, INT21. I think this site does provide a social network, a coming together of people who share a common interest or hobby. I would say that Yes, it does provide a sense of togetherness and is addictive. I personally check in here 5, 6 or 7 times a day, if only for a few minutes at a time.

I suppose to drift back to my original posts, I suppose I want to be (not become) a believer in something which would then have provided me with a peace of mind. But as being a believer or turning to religion goes against my nature, I need to find a different way of finding inner-peace. Ideally, I would have liked to not have had this need at all. I would have preferred to just be a content person without the self-insight to realise that they are missing something.
Well, they say ignorance is bliss! But if your insight has got you this far, why not go with it? I don't think "peace of mind" is an option in our world, though.
 

INT21

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Interesting how current technology and contemporaneous living gets into philosophy.

In Gregg Bears story 'Eon', there were existentially two sets of protagonists in the far future of Earth.

They were the Neo-Geshels and the Naderites.

It doesn't take too much imagination to work out the philosophy of each party.

Further into the story they run up against a powerful adversary called the 'Jarts' , these beings believed there was an almighty entity called 'The Final Mind' from which everything comes.

The point being that the idea of some all-knowing, unknowable entity carries on.

The Naderites referred to their 'spiritual leader' as 'The Good Man'. Which makes it obvious who in their ancient history they were referring to.

INT21

Remembered the name.
 
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Carl Grove

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Is there a substantial difference between New Age 'spirituality' and err... old age 'spirituality'? They seem overall to be pretty similar to me -- vague references to unanswered questions and something elseness, often involving avoidance of the critical faculties.

What exactly is the difference in your opinion?



I accept this but it still means that science is the best mechanism available to achieve maximum understanding. As I mentioned before, if being at one with the universe is the goal of spirituality then one can surely not ignore science, as it provides the best model of the true nature of the universe available at any particular time.

If one rejects or ignores science on favour of 'spirituality' then one risks being at one with an arbitrary delusion or guess. If one wants true spirituality then use science to understand better what one is being a part of.



Well, no. Of course, it is true that there are people (yes, including some scientists) who treat certain theories that way (i.e. with a kind of religious zeal) but it is nevertheless a perversion of the scientific method. The proper scientific method is to treat all theories as suspect, accepted as true only until proven false.

This includes even theories that are well proven and observed in reality, such as evolution. Evolution is taken as fact in practical terms by most scientists and most people because it has much supporting evidence and virtually no contrary evidence. If many scientists react with anger when evolution is questioned, it is (usually!) not for pseudo-religious reasons but because those who question evolution very commonly come up with, at best, pseudo-scientific arguments that hold no rational plausibility.



To the extent that this is true at all, one might observe that (a) humans are humans and it is perhaps understandable if they get attached to pet theories[1], and (b) science is still, despite this, the best way there is of objectively discovering the true nature of reality. The foibles of human nature do not invalidate science; instead science is the tool that humans use to neutralise the foibles of human nature.

I said "to the extent that this is true" because I don't think it is all that true overall.



I cannot agree with this. It does not match my experience of science or scientists in general. However, even if true, as I observed above, science still works. As I said, science is the tool we use to overcome the subjective nature of humans. Demonstrably, it works.



But what exactly do you think this proves? Does it show that these particular scientists all had closed minds or does it show that they were not easily scammed? I know which I think is more likely, overall.

Were there UFOs flying around outside? How believable, on the balance of probabilities, was the claim that there were such things happening outside?


Footnote:-
1: Which is why the scientific method is (or should be) open and collaborative. It is why papers are published. It is why multiple individuals and groups can and do test competing theories, meaning that any individual's or group's subjective preference to certain theories is balanced out by those who do not share those particular prejudices or preconceptions. This "many eyes" approach has been replicated in the software world with open source software.
I forgot to answer your first question about New Age spirituality versus, dare I say, the authentic type. I would say:
1. Traditional teachings were always aimed at and tailored to specific times, places, and cultures. New Agers ignore this and use a "pick'n mix" approach, mixing ideas and exercises from Ancient Egypt, Australian aboriginals, Native Americans, shamans, yoga, zen, anything that takes their fancy.
2. The aim of genuine teaching is to enable the pupil to pass beyond the superficial "belief system" thinking, even if some basic conceptual framework (religious, intellectual, alchemical etc.) had to be used as a temporary prop. However, New Agers believe in everything...
3. Traditional teachings also aim to reduce the pupil's emotional tendencies, whereas New Agers revel in them.
4. New Agers have no critical faculties, it seems to me. The traditional sages always emphasized the need for clear thinking. Many of the teaching stories they employed, however, tend to get turned into "holy scripture" or "misunderstood." The fact that most of them are deliberately intended to have several possible interpretations is ignored.
 

PeteS

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I would have preferred to just be a content person without the self-insight to realise that they are missing something.
But would you really? Self insight, perception and similar makes you a much more rounded person in my view. I have come across people who display none of these qualities and whilst they appear to be , on the surface, "happy", they seem to have crisis after avoidable crisis in their lives.

Incidentally it is interesting to read how membership of various hobby and similar clubs where people could find some sense of belonging has declined considerably over recent years. I wonder whether this has been replaced by "social" media (which in my view is anything but)
 

markrkingston1

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Incidentally it is interesting to read how membership of various hobby and similar clubs where people could find some sense of belonging has declined considerably over recent years. I wonder whether this has been replaced by "social" media (which in my view is anything but)
I think so, yes. But one might observe that some types of social media (e.g. forums like this one, in my opinion) very much are a "hobby and similar clubs where people could find some sense of belonging". In fact, many online special interest groups like this one often have face to face meetups.
 

dr wu

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Hmm....not sure what the last few posts about ufos and science have to do with 'finding religion'...?
 

EnolaGaia

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Hmm....not sure what the last few posts about ufos and science have to do with 'finding religion'...?
Agreed ... If there's additional discussion of (e.g.) the prospects of science absent reference to the 'spiritual' / 'religious' whatever-it-is that this thread was addressing I'm going to spin it off into a separate thread.

Anyway ... Where's Ringo, and is he content yet? :dunno:
 

Carl Grove

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Hmm....not sure what the last few posts about ufos and science have to do with 'finding religion'...?
I have a feeling it drifted a bit off topic. It began with a kind of science vs religion exchange and then I made critical comments about the pursuit of science as it is today and so on. It is relevant, in the sense that a lot of people who stress the importance of science tend to devalue "the spiritual" because it can't be studied using scientific methods.
 

INT21

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Partick30,

...a semi intelligent charlatan ..

So you're not a fan.

INT21.
 

dr wu

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^ I don't know anything about the man other than what I read online ,but I have always had a problem with 'pop psychologists' who go on these tours and write books to make money...and lets be honest he's making a very good living recycling previous ideas from other thinkers.
God bless Capitalism. :)
There are some pieces that are not favorable to him but then each to his own.
 

Ringo

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I took the kids to church last Sunday for a Christmas concert. I was quite excited actually. I always like the feeling of going to church at Christmas but I think it's because it reminds me of childhood carol concerts.

It started at 4pm which meant it was dark here when we drove through the snow storm to get to the church. It's not far from here, a little out in the country, next to an old castle. The snow was falling heavily but gently as we walked up the steps of the huge church. There were oil lanterns burning and fire baskets dotted around outside. Inside, the pews were quite full - families like ourselves, older folks and the odd few people by themselves.

As the concert began, I was kind of waiting with bated breath. If there is a God, then he must know that I am "open for business". I mean, he probably reads this forum, right?

I was waiting to see if I would have a Halleluljah moment. If maybe all would be revealed or at the least, would God touch my heart? The choir carried on through song after song (after bloody song) and my arse started to go numb from the wooden bench. But still, I looked around the beautiful building and tried to let God in. I held my daughter's hand in mine, she rested her head on my shoulder and I glanced out the window. The snow was still falling. I looked back at the choir and we listened. I felt calmer. I felt I had time to breathe. I even allowed the knots in my stomach to ease a little. I realised that for the first time in weeks, I didn't have anywhere else to be. I couldn't multi-task. I couldn't just fix something quickly. I was forced into sitting down and being quiet. It was quite medititive. But I felt no connection to God.

Finally, the choir gave us Handel's "Halleluljah chorus" and I thought "Well come one, big man. It's now or never. I'm a lost sheep, in your church, a week before Christmas, the choir is banging out Hallelujah and all you need to do is make me "feel" it." But then it was over. And the collection basket came around. We shuffled outside into the car and all agreed that it had been cosy but about 30 minutes too long.

I suppose I confirmed to myself what I knew or felt all along - I love the idea of finding peace and stillness in a church. I just never seem to find God there.
 
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markrkingston1

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I suppose I confirmed to myslef what I knew or felt ll along - I love the idea of finding peace and stillness in a church. I just never seem to find God there.
Churches are nice. They often have beautiful architecture and the songs can be nice.

BUT, as I think you have proven (at least on the balance of probabilities for your own purposes), there is no god.

No god, that is, except for the metaphorical one you create for yourself.

Which rather neatly brings me back to LaVeyan Satanism as I mentioned before[1]. It provides an external structure (which you can in fact pick and choose from as you prefer) for you to create your own model of godly (or non-godly if you wish) perfection as you desire and require to satisfy your own needs and preferences.

And so if you really do have that vague, unclear, unmet need in your life that could well be indicative of a god-shaped or religion-shaped hole in your mind, there is a way forward that allows you to fill that hole in the way(s) that are meaningful to you, to create your own idea of god[2] and, better still, to do it in this world (not maybe, possibly, in the next world).




Footnote:-
1: It rather sounds like I'm a LaVeyan Satanist evangelist! But no, I am not a LaVeyan Satanist, I just think that the mindset of LaVeyan Satanism is one that makes a lot of sense for people who crave that 'something more' but can't quite bring themselves to believe in supernaturalism and superstition that most conventional religions require. Blind faith in the objectively non-existent and unprovable is not required by LaVeyan Satanism.

2: I point out again for the avoidance of doubt that LaVeyan Satanism rejects all supernatural entities, i.e. all gods, angels, demons, devils, etc. You worship no one, other than perhaps, if you wish, your own goals and targets.
 
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Coal

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I suppose I confirmed to myself what I knew or felt all along - I love the idea of finding peace and stillness in a church. I just never seem to find God there.
^this^. But that's fine.
 

gattino

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the choir gave us Handel's "Halleluljah chorus" and I thought "Well come one, big man. It's now or never. I'm a lost sheep, in your church, a week before Christmas, the choir is banging out Hallelujah and all you need to do is make me "feel" it." But then it was over.
I always remember a passage of the bible being quoted in Chariots Of Fire, which stuck in my head for its imagery.. i don't know its meaning but the sense i took from it is that people expect to find God in the wrong places. They're looking up instead of in front them, out instead of in, for awesome spectacle instead of in the small kindnesses of human interaction. The words as i (wrongly) remembered were "God was not in the storm, but in the gentle breeze that followed". Looking it up the passage is given online as

"11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:


12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
 

gattino

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Speaking for myself... I was born and raised a catholic by denomination, went to a catholic school and attended Sunday mass way beyond the point my peers stopped going. Not out of devotion or piety but accepted routine. Similarly i stopped going by breaking the habit rather than rebelling against former beliefs or decrying my upbringing. I used to pray, perhaps superstitiously, at night...and at times of familial ill health etc still would. But for the most part now "praying" (by which i mean silently asking for favours or saying thanks inside my own head) is directed at dead relatives rather than the Almighty. I seldom give God a thought, accept as perhaps represented by the mysterious "being of light" or "overwhelming sense of love" that people who have Near Death Experiences always report.

In spite of all this I have never once thought of myself as religious.. im not. But I never turned anti-religious and never recognised the cartoon depiction of the Evil church or hypocritcial holy joes that is prevalent on TV and online. I tend, with my own biases, to see the modern form of atheism as a fashionable team to support, but a team like any other, another tribe of adopted beliefs and articles of faith.

So its perhaps interesting to note the contrast with Ringo's longing...the last thing in the world i would want is a religious experience! I note in myself (and others on here) that we can accept claims of every kind of wild and impossible thing in the Fortean world, but rebel against taking as real the religious flavored ones. Because i don't want them to be true. When i read the books of experiencers of precognitive dreams or astral travel i believe them up until the point they bring God and the like into their experiences at which point i say they've gone loopy. Because I'd rather leave Him as a vague and fuzzy concept, not an actual biblical style someone with all its connotations of sickly medieval paintings. Similarly i find the evidence of NDEs compelling...but the fly in the ointment that makes me question the veracity of the experience are those few who "come back" preaching about their encounter with Jesus. Nothing else in their accounts seems different bar this religious aspect, and I don't want to believe it. It unsettles me.

Interestingly the long sequence of uncanny coincidences/seeming ADCs ive reported on here many times, are riddled with christian religious iconography..the cross, the Prophet, holy medals, the Exorcist etc...and given neither I nor any of the dead people involved were religious its intriguing, but i studiously avoid reading anythng more than an additional curiosity into it. If I saw it as some kind of kind of communication or sign from a religious/heavenly being it would scare the living shit out of me.
 
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INT21

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Gattino,

..
to see the modern form of atheism as a fashionable team to support, but a team like any other, another tribe of adopted beliefs and articles of faith...

I think you are making a fundamental mistake here. Or perhaps misunderstanding.

Atheism is not an adopted belief. In fact it is not a belief at all.

It is the conclusion you are forced to come to when you can find no proof, regardless of what the believers in God say, that there is in fact any basis for theology.

To use a rather bad analogy.

If people tell me there are fish in a certain pond. But no can remember anyone having ever caught a fish there, than I am bound to doubt the claim. I may wonder why they believe this about the fish and may even ask them. And they may say ' Old Bill, says he remembers his dad saying he used to catch fish here, so there must be fish; why would Old Bill lie ?'

Well, Old Bill wouldn't be lying . he would just be telling what he was told.

If I was to drain the pond and find no fish then I would be proved correct.

But I would have smashed a local legend, And that would make people unhappy.

With religion, you can't drain the pond.

You have to ask 'Why do people believe in a God ?'

Well, it's usually because they were told this when they were children. In some cases it is beat into them in the form of indoctrination. They dare not think anything else.

Others find the idea comforting. Possibly not wanting to face the idea of oblivion when they die.
If oblivion is the fate of all of us, well, that is what it is. And being oblivion, you won't know anything about it anyway.

There is no team to support. One either accepts there is no God, or one doesn't.

It is never a good reason to start wars and kill people. Maybe that is why atheists don't tend to do this.

INT21.
 

gattino

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I think you are making a fundamental mistake here. Or perhaps misunderstanding.

Atheism is not an adopted belief. In fact it is not a belief at all.
I'm not making a mistake..at least not the one you refer to. I'm well aware that the number one way to trigger a self declared atheist is to suggest there's is a belief like a religion.

I was careful to say "in its modern form" by which i mean the media present, proseltyzing badge wearing variation of atheism, which appears to have little to do with the absence of belief and more to do with the adoption of one. A "true" atheist is a different matter entirely.
 

INT21

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So you are saying that there is a brand of atheist who equates too the hard line Jewish community who need to proclaim their belief by wearing the appropriate garb and growing their hair in a certain way ?

Although I can see where you are coming from, I have never met anyone who proclaims themselves to be atheist unless some one asks them, or it comes up in things like 'we are going to church today, would you like to come along ?'

INT21
 

gattino

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So you are saying that there is a brand of atheist who equates too the hard line Jewish community who need to proclaim their belief by wearing the appropriate garb and growing their hair in a certain way ?

Although I can see where you are coming from, I have never met anyone who proclaims themselves to be atheist unless some one asks them, or it comes up in things like 'we are going to church today, would you like to come along ?'

I'm saying there are people who treat Richard Dawkins as a prophet, the God Delusion as a gospel, seek comfort in the communion of their fellows, stand ready to damn heretics and feel a righteous obligation to spread the word to non non-believers, so to speak. There are even atheist dating sites, presumably for those who wouldn't feel free to marry outside the non-faith.

I'll trust you've never encountered these things, but i can only assume we mix in different social media circles!
 
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