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  2. Having been married to the same woman for 53 years, as well as being the father of a daughter, I have gained some insight into the workings of the female mind.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Joshpantera

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    He makes a 1940's MAGA comment in the first few minutes. 😂 I'm listing through. I went back further than this researching years ago, because the "Secret" and stuff you're talking about goes back to Robert Collier in the 20's, by name specifically, "The Secret of the Ages." I have a very old worn copy of the book on my shelf: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Collier_(author) It looks like Bristol came out around 20 years later. They probably both have informed the New Age I'm sure. But I'm wondering how much Collier influenced Bristol. Sounds like a heavy influence the first 10 minutes going into it.
  5. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    When has anybody "promoted" their beliefs here in the sense of trying to convert anybody? I don't give a shit what anybody believes personally.
  6. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    I don't feel a burden of proof because I don't care what you believe or don't believe and I don't think you are lesser for believing or not believing it. I believe all souls are free (not in the join my club or burn, stupid, way) and can choose who and what they become over time. But I can tell you why it's important to me to have "gods". I always felt very disconnected in the modern world we live in. I appreciate many modern conveniences obviously... but I've often felt "out of time" like I don't really fully "belong here". I don't understand the shallow, vapid, consumerist way so many around me live their lives. It is comforting to me to know that people before me... people whose existence made my existence possible, thought about a lot of things very much the way I think about them. That we share many of the same values and that we tell stories in similar ways. After exploring many different spiritual paths, knowing that I am connected intimately to those who came before me even to far back to who we might call "gods", makes it possible to exist in this disconnected world because I am always connected to my own roots. It's not about what I "believe" necessarily, but about where I come from and who came before me and the similarities we have despite time and distance. I don't believe the gods are "metaphysically different" from me. I believe they are simply the next level of soul development and were once human and that humans will someday be "gods" because I believe souls are a thing. Obviously that may be the giant bridge you can't walk over, and I respect that, but I can't see things any other way.
  7. Stargazer95

    Recurring fears

    And they would agree. They look down their noses at anyone else who calls themselves Christians but aren't so big on the inherent wickedness thing. I don't doubt it. Fundamentalist Christianity is one big ball of guilt, shame, and self-loathing, mixed in with a bunch of Jesus loves yous. It's contradictory in a way, but hey, that's Christianity for ya.
  8. Joshpantera

    The universe may be conscious.

    “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth Could that be because of mind leading the way, and paving out a path out in front of you? I've questioned that a lot over the years. Because I've taken this advice, and life has unfolded according to the prescription. And continues to unfold that way. Even when things are bad, there's been a door right around the corner which has led to better circumstances. How much of that could be my own mind paving the way out ahead of me?
  9. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    This is what I meant when I said you didn't get what I was saying. I was using poetic language when using the term "magic" and you were taking me literally. My understanding of what magic is, is not this whiz bang harry potter magic stuff. I don't see it that way. When i say the universe is magic, I'm saying when you look at all that exists and HOW the fuck it could possibly exist and the hard question of consciousness and the bizarreness of our own existence and self-awareness of it... how is that not magic? I mean is it just that you're sort of used to it? If you lived in "Harry Potter World" I imagine all that wand waving would become just common place and mundane. The only reason it is 'magic" is because there is a muggle world for contrast. We have no contrasting "muggle world" to the absolute wonder and mystery that surrounds us. So yes, I interpret this as 'magic', but not in the way you're thinking, which was why I said you weren't getting me. I'm not really a big magic/ritual type person. I see a lot of value in the runes, and I also see the value in directing your mental energy in accordance with your behavior so everything is lined up and I guess has a sort of "resonant energy" to sound all woo-y again. I like a bit of ritual for holidays and equinoxes and solstices but it isn't about 'magic'. It's about tradition and honoring things I find sacred. My ancestors, nature, etc. Being in the Heathen camp I'm really more about "the ancestors" and my myths (because to me these stories are meaningful and resonate on a very deep level for me and are "mine" in a way other stories are not), and nature, and really I just see the world itself and the experience of living in this world as a very sacred experience. In fact, the way you talk about the awe of nature is WAY closer to my way of seeing the world than you think. Don't let the poetic language and way of expressing it trip you up with me. Obviously this is not saying I don't have beliefs you would find supernatural or "woo-y". I believe my ancestors are on the "other side" and that they are not "gone" or "far away". I believe they are intimately connected to me in a real way and that we are connected on a deeper soul level as part of a larger soul group. And I believe in reincarnation. And that the old gods are ACTUAL beings (ancestors inside the soul group). So I have woo, but it's more philosophical woo than "let me change physical reality with my mind and these cool props" woo, not that I have any particular issue with the latter it's just not why I follow a more pagan path. I follow it because it's what my ancestors created. I take some old and add some new and have something that is "me".
  10. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    Well Hindus have ancient gods. And many buddhists believe in gods or other supernatural entities. And on the pagan spectrum, on the Heathen end of things you generally have less interest in magic. I'm not saying no Heathen ever does it. Definitely they do. And you have runes which are often used in that way as well or for divination, but I've noticed the Heathen side of the pagan pool seems to be much more focused in the here and now of the "world we all agree is real more or less". There may be some focus/understanding of the gods (usually as ancestors because of the heavy leaning toward ancestor veneration), as well as mythology/legends as well as a value structure and a metaphysical cosmology (i.e. what happens when you die), but it tends to be more focused on that, which makes it for most Westerners seem a lot less grounded in woo and more like other spiritual systems. (With the striking exception that we don't "grovel/bow/beg/scrape" with the gods and don't see them as beings who are "in charge of us" or who we have to "obey". I'm almost positive the old gods are somewhat repulsed by anybody who would run around trying to "obey" them. I'd also be curious where such a list of commands could be found. There is the Havamal (words of Odin... though I don't know of anybody who believes this LITERALLY) but it's really more like shit your grandfather would tell you like "here's some wisdom I've collected that you might find useful so you don't have to reinvent the wheel."
  11. florduh

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    Claude Bristol wrote "The Magic of Believing" back in the 1940s, I think. "The Secret" and anything from CHopra and all the other New Age authors is merely a rehash of this seminal work. Even modern Witchcraft and Pagan beliefs can follow a direct path back to this book. Spoiler: He wasn't wrong.
  12. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    re: your last comment here... and that has an effect, too. When you believe something like that, you basically believe you have a larger degree of power and control over your own life. People who believe that way, actually DO have more control over their own lives. People who think they are subject to the whims of fate or luck or whatever don't have as good outcomes. And this is the double edged sword not just of "magic", but of any spiritual belief. There is always a negative/superstitious/harmful way you can take it and go down a path that is mentally very unhealthy. I see in atheists a hyper awareness of this that precludes for them any of the positive sides due to the potential risk of the negative.
  13. TruthSeeker0

    Recurring fears

    This is why I think the fundamentalists are actually more true to the Christian faith in some ways. At least they don't cover up the dark core of the issue, they hound it into your consciousness every moment. You're dirty and contaminated and all you can do is praise this loving God who saved you. It's so utterly twisted. I really liked the way Winell discusses reclaiming what she calls your inner child in this context from the abused one. Those who grow up with this sense of worthlessness can have problems with self esteem in general etc. I don't think it's any great surprise that many people on these forums have talked of how their mental health drastically improved when they deconverted.
  14. VerbosityCat

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    You ignoring the belief that you should forget about it is another type of directed energy. You control what you believe and don't believe. It doesn't really matter if some high mucky muck has said xyz is THE way this works. It may only work that way because for a long time a LOT of people put all their energy into that concept. It isn't that it necessarily really "is" any one true way. On another level... who even cares if something is coincidence or not. We already know from the placebo effect, the nocebo effect, and the lives of optimists and pessimists that directed energy/belief DOES work in certain circumstances. It's a crap shoot a lot of the time, though. Also, it's almost impossible to separate out your causes and effects. This is true in marketing. Someone does like 10 different marketing things, but for whatever reason 90% of those things can't be fully tracked for the results. They get a good result but they don't know which things or which combination of things is doing it. Often it's a combination snowball effect like each thing feeds the other things. Nobody should be sitting around just 'directing their will' through ritual. Because it won't be as effective as going out into the world and adding other forms of energy to that pot. Like active behaviors. Some skeptics would say... okay then the active behaviors are what does it... but let me draw you back to the optimist and the pessimist. Same behaviors very different results. If you believe you can or believe you can't, you're right, is a saying for a reason.
  15. VerbosityCat

    The universe may be conscious.

    And synchronicity also occurs more when you are open to it. I also have a theory about atheists. They don't believe in ANY woo. (I realize SOME people who don't believe in gods still have "woo" but I'm talking the scientific materialist atheist type) I think without realizing it, their strong disbelief or desire not to have any shit like that filter into their reality causes them to erect a sort of barrier that keeps any "woo" shit out. But then on the flip side if you look at highly superstitious fearful people of any religious persuasion they seem to have all these horrifying "creepy stories". They're manifesting that shit. They could learn something from the atheists.
  16. VerbosityCat

    The universe may be conscious.

    Good point. I guess we all have our pet superstitions.
  17. Joshpantera

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    That's what prompted this Den thread. Even though we have the spirituality section people still go challenged for expressing their various "beliefs" and some complaints have been made in the open about it. We happen to be talking about the magick stuff first off, but it could be anything, even Islam as you mention. The question I don't think is so much whether or not we challenge theistic beliefs, but more wheather we leave theistic challenging alone in that one particular forum, set aside as where we're supposed to leave it alone. Here and everywhere else is completely open to challenge as far as I know. The theists have to exist along atheists. They're free to make arguments or question why some of us are atheist, too. It goes both ways. Kat32 has been questioning atheism with us, in fact. We're free to question theism in return outside of the spirituality section. It would be hard not to question Islam for a lot of us, even in the spirituality section. But if someone converting from christianity to judaism gets blanked under christianity because of being Abrahamic, then I'd say a Muslim convert would be blanketed the same way. And Mormons, etc. So that tends to take away any special "safe space" some Muslim convert might try and reach for. 🤣 For neo pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, New Agers, etc., they've had a safe space set aside in one sub forum to discuss their "beliefs" and or "faith." This conversation is gloves off, so any one should feel free to speak their mind and opinion without possibly breaking a rule in the process. I'm of the opinion that the spiritual folks would be better off if they learn to see human spirituality through naturalist views. But that will actually blanket some of this woo woo which is atheistic and geared not towards supernatural entities, but simply human consciousness and things of a natural orientation. It's speculative about nature and human consciousness, but it's not belief in supernatural gods and beings at the same time. So this sort of thing I look at as welcome under the banner of "atheism." Even though a lot of atheists don't like the woo woo angles. Nevertheless, if it's not theism its atheism to me. And a brethren faction for atheists as far as that goes. But I can't go forcing those naturalistic spiritual views on people in the spirituality section, so I can state my views and stand by and let theistic ex christians state theirs. I don't think that it's open for me to flat out debate the issue god, belief or faith with them in there. It's a place to just state things and pretty much leave it at that. Florduh says questioning people about their beliefs is ok. So we have that going both ways.
  18. Stargazer95

    Recurring fears

    Oh, that's good. I love that. Some Muslims, too, while not going quite that far, are also horrified at the idea of original sin. They believe every person is born as a blank slate, and are therefore responsible for their own actions, rather than being handed a death sentence at birth because their great-great-great-great whatever grandparents ate some bloody fruit. It's extremely unfair, not to mention twisted. I used to follow the Facebook page of a guy called the Dirty Christian. He has t-shirts for sale with the slogan "I'm a terrible person" printed on the front. I mean, gee, Christians accuse everyone else of putting humans on a pedestal. But sometimes they do the opposite. It gets kinda old hearing you're a dirty, rotten sinner with no worth all the freaking time (not that I did, of course. Thankfully my parents were loving people and never drilled that into me). But that's basically at the heart of Christianity.
  19. Kat34

    Recurring fears

    I came across this earlier today in one of Valerie Tarico’s articles and it really resonated. According to the Christian message, my beautiful baby girl and her older brother were born, as the default position, destined for hell. I feel the same way about that as the Hindu ladies described here.
  20. Burnedout

    Hurricane Michael, heads up Panhandle.

    Some personal video from some guys who were riding out the storm at or near ground zero.
  21. florduh

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    Do you (anyone) think Christianity and other god/magical beliefs should all be treated equally and open to scrutiny? Why or why not?
  22. ThereAndBackAgain

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    So this prompts me to ask about something I've thought about occasionally since I've been here: what if somebody deconverts from Christianity and converts to Islam? Would it be OK for them to join ex-C and promote Islam in the Ex-Christian Spirituality forum? Would we be allowed to confront such ideas? Would we be able to confront other theistic ideas? Which ones? Where would we draw the line? We don't want to be impatient with people who are still going though the deconversion process and still hold on to some god-beliefs. I personally would find some vague benevolent theism much preferable to the traditional theologies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that this should be an atheist-only community. That would be counter-productive: it would alienate some long-standing members and it surely would repel many newcomers - it would have put me off when I first came here. But I don't think theism should go entirely unchallenged either. So I'm just putting this out here to see what you all think, speaking as one of the least 'spiritual' among us.
  23. Kat34

    Recurring fears

    @Joshpantera @TruthSeeker0 Fab thank you, will check that out 😀
  24. Wow! Thank you so much for posting that. I had not seen that before. I loved it. I love her honesty and authenticity and courage.
  25. I saw that video earlier. She and her husband finally "got it" and had the courage to be honest with themselves and they gave up a lot in the name of integrity. Heroes who walk the walk.
  26. florduh

    Ex Christian Spirituality: The rough treatment

    I think that's rather obvious. But since it's not Christianity we at Ex-C must not question it and give it a pass. Does that sound about right?
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