A forum to discuss how ex-Christians have dealt with family members, replaced the church as a place of community, reactions of your family, friends, church, acquaintances upon learning of the de-conversion, or anything else relevant to the Ex-Christian Life.
The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
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Asking for charity donations (no particular) instead of Xmas gifts: nice or tacky? I have stuff already and don't need more, which would just be more to carry when I move out. But I don't want to appear to show off, either.
That is one that I have not experienced, though I have had a very clear voice on a very few occasions. The only thing I've seen were the "stars" before my eyes after a particularly moving song. I was sitting and recalling a song about the 9/11 attack on the towers (from the perspective of someone in the towers) called "Falling". I sat there weeping and when I opened my eyes I was surrounded by little white lights moving all around me for about 10 seconds. I could say that these were spirits of those in the crash, or simply low blood pressure since I've seen the lights at other times when I suddenly exert myself. I've also seen the "blue sky sprites" which are white blood cells that we see in the retina when looking at a bright blank area, like the sky or even an overcast sky, or computer monitor. They have a very similar movement to the little white lights, so may be related since pressure on the eye tends to be interpreted by the brain as light.
I don't know why that song is so compelling for me, but even now just thinking about it makes me start to cry. It has never been published, but I heard the composer sing it back in voice school.
As to what visions are, the mind is capable of dreaming while awake and so seeing something like a movie playing out in front of us isn't that difficult to imagine. And if the subconscious thinks something is particularly important, it can bring those thoughts to the foreground. I had a sleeping dream once where my subconscious created a fascinating and creative story for me, because it was working out part of my deconversion and needed me to react and tell it what was important and what I really thought and felt, and may have been telling me what it felt was important. So when some people have a sudden conclusion that a god-story is compelling for survival/life, I can see how the mind would create a compelling situation for them and generate a vision.
This is a topic I hear about a lot in Christian miracle stories. I am sure you are familiar with the idea of visions (or hallucinations). There is talk of a supposed mass exodus of Muslims towards Christianity because they have hallucinated the cross. Are these hallucinations caused by a subconscious disillusionment with Islam? Also, are most "visions" actually just mental images people picture in their heads rather than true visions? We have mental images in our heads all the time. A true vision should be something right in front of you like its actually there. A true vision is probably a sign of something seriously wrong. Has anyone here had a hallucination interpreted as a vision? Any firsthand explanations of the phenomena? How was it like? How do you look back upon the experience?