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What Is Your New Spirituality?


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After the amazing outpour of posts due to my last post, I wanted to ask you guys a question. What is your new religion or spiritual path after you left Christianity? After the oil spill I remember that a lot of Pagans here got together to summon their deities to summon global healing. I know there are a lot of agnostics and atheists here too. I want to hear from people about any organized or unorganized faiths they practice.

 

So...what do you believe or practice?

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After the amazing outpour of posts due to my last post, I wanted to ask you guys a question. What is your new religion or spiritual path after you left Christianity? After the oil spill I remember that a lot of Pagans here got together to summon their deities to summon global healing. I know there are a lot of agnostics and atheists here too. I want to hear from people about any organized or unorganized faiths they practice.

 

So...what do you believe or practice?

 

As the one who got that thread started, I felt I had to comment. At the time, I believed in God, and the possibility of chaos magick. Right now, while I wear the agnostic label, I sort of believe in some sort of ill defined force or power in the universe. Not a god in the traditional sense, but some sort of power. With some of the things ideas science comes up with like a holographic universe, and virtual particles, I have to wonder if not a god, there's some sort of force or power behind these things.

 

Pure spirituality wise, I just try to be kind to people because we're all in this together on this often times rotten boat ride called life.

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Well as one can see in my profile and such... I'm a (pretty laid-back) follower of Asatru, the recontruction of the ancient pre-christian religions of the Germanic and Scandinavian people. You've heard the names - Odin, Thor, Loki... :fdevil:

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I'm fully atheist. No gods, no masters.

 

I'm also a naturalist by which I mean that I believe everything is attributable to natural causes and effects (even for the questions we can't yet answer). I also believe that science is the best tool we have for understanding nature and discovering her secrets. Human beings are one tiny part of nature.

 

I meditate (tho' not as often as in the past), and subscribe to a 'not this, not that' philosophy for the numinous feelings of oneness such practices can generate. I don't believe those feelings of 'oneness' are actually connecting me to anything 'out there.' Regardless, it's a pleasant, stress-lowering, insight-facilitating thing to do.

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After Christianity, I explored various forms of low and high magick. I also explored tantra, yoga, healing arts, and ritual work. Now I am at peace with myself as a spiritual being and feel no need to catalog my spirituality. I simply explore externally and internally. And I observe.

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I meditate (tho' not as often as in the past), and subscribe to a 'not this, not that' philosophy for the numinous feelings of oneness such practices can generate. I don't believe those feelings of 'oneness' are actually connecting me to anything 'out there.' Regardless, it's a pleasant, stress-lowering, insight-facilitating thing to do.

This is a curious statement. If you subscribe to nonduality how is there any 'out there'? Technically speaking you aren't 'connected to' anything and there is no 'you' and no 'it'. Subject/Object relationships don't exist in nonduality. I suppose we could say, though we recognize the illusion of duality, it's where we live and function and talk about our reality through that mental framework, but at the end of the day we recognize it's an illusion. If we say nonduality is the illusion, then we are a dualist, and we don't subscribe to nonduality and instead subscribe to dualism. Or I'm just confused what you mean? :shrug:

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I'm pretty much an atheist. In terms of day to day living, there is nothing that I really do in a "spiritual" sense. I don't pray or meditate or anything like that. The most spiritual thing that I do is learning more about "life" I find it freeing. There are so many ideas and beliefs we hold onto as a given that really just mind blowing. The more I learn about other religious beliefs, cultures and lifestyles the more I realize that what I believed to be a simple issue is in fact a rather complex one.

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I don't believe that the God of the Bible exists. (The one who knows all, absolutely). But I do believe in Higher Power of some sort.

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I suppose my current spirituality could be humanism. I'm an atheist materialist, but that doesn't negate the reality of the spiritual feelings I feel and used to attribute to christianty. I really liked The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville when I read it soon after deconverting. Lately, I've been trying to meditate more to get more control over myself, break bad habits, have less anxiety, and just generally have a better life. I've been surprised to read eastern religious texts and find them to be humanistic and uplifting and not all about evil and guilt. Currently I'm reading through the yoga sutras at http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras.htm

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I don't believe that the God of the Bible exists. (The one who knows all, absolutely). But I do believe in Higher Power of some sort.

 

I sure hope he doesn't. He's one mean dude.

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I don't believe that the God of the Bible exists. (The one who knows all, absolutely). But I do believe in Higher Power of some sort.

 

I sure hope he doesn't. He's one mean dude.

 

Yes, he is pretty mean.

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Let me preface this by saying this is an innocent question. I really don't know. How do we know if the concept of spirituality isn't just cultural? I've been hanging out and living with Russians for almost 15 years now and I can only remember one who was religious in any way. I don't know any Russians who are Buddhist, etc... I also don't know any who seem to be concerned with the concept of spirituality. Maybe they have it and express it/voice it in different ways, but I suspect if you raised the subject with most of them you'd get a "WTF are you talking about" look. Or, maybe more accurately they would say something like "I'm orthodox" which most seem to identify with as being part of their heritage, but it would be an empty statement in the context of spirituality like we are discussing here as they probably never thought about it or practiced it in any way.

 

There is actually an exception to my statement above, I know some Russians in the US in WA state who are fundies, but this is something they adopted after largely becoming part of the local culture there. The ones I know there were sponsored by church groups when they immigrated a couple of decades ago.

 

Just food for thought.

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part of it would be cultural as to specifics.

 

Most French are either at least nominially catholic or secular same goes for Italians, to my limited knowledge.

 

trying to find someone in Latin or South America who is not nominally catholic is a needle search.

 

So yes culture does play a part in it.

 

 

At the same time, the culture that produced this site, and the people in it. Lends itself to being open about religion. Religion is always around in the US. So when we leave one faith it seems natural to search for something to replace it, at least at first.

 

 

Ultimately, most of it doesn't really matter. Find that which helps you and live your life. We don't know what comes after we die, and there is little evidence of "the other side". So live.

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I don't believe that the God of the Bible exists. (The one who knows all, absolutely). But I do believe in Higher Power of some sort.

 

I sure hope he doesn't. He's one mean dude.

 

Yes, he is pretty mean.

 

No more mean than the people who made him up.

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At the same time, the culture that produced this site, and the people in it. Lends itself to being open about religion. Religion is always around in the US. So when we leave one faith it seems natural to search for something to replace it, at least at first.

 

I don't really mean religion. I realize that is cultural. And, I'm not trying to criticize spirituality. I see that it meets the needs some people seem to have and as far as I'm concerned, if something makes you happy and it doesn't hurt others, then it's a good thing. What I'm asking, is, is the need for spirituality a cultural phenomenon?

 

Russia is interesting because I think it is unique in the world. Most countries do have some form of spirituality that is woven into their culture. Russians spent a century having that pounded out of their culture, and while they do have a national religion now, it's not really a predominate part of their lives the way religion in other cultures is and neither do they seem to think about it much.

 

The same can be said of much of America oddly enough. If you are religious, then this isn't true, but vast numbers of Americans live their lives without any religion or spirituality and neither do their families or friends.

 

I'm just thinking out loud here and haven't built a case, so don't hammer me to hard here. :D

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I meditate (tho' not as often as in the past), and subscribe to a 'not this, not that' philosophy for the numinous feelings of oneness such practices can generate. I don't believe those feelings of 'oneness' are actually connecting me to anything 'out there.' Regardless, it's a pleasant, stress-lowering, insight-facilitating thing to do.

This is a curious statement. If you subscribe to nonduality how is there any 'out there'? Technically speaking you aren't 'connected to' anything and there is no 'you' and no 'it'. Subject/Object relationships don't exist in nonduality. I suppose we could say, though we recognize the illusion of duality, it's where we live and function and talk about our reality through that mental framework, but at the end of the day we recognize it's an illusion. If we say nonduality is the illusion, then we are a dualist, and we don't subscribe to nonduality and instead subscribe to dualism. Or I'm just confused what you mean? :shrug:

 

I'm not sure how what I said could be construed as a form of dualism when I specifically say that although there are feelings of oneness there's no connection to anything 'out there.' There is no 'out there' in the sense of anything supernatural to feel a oneness with. The only thing 'out there' is empty space, stars, planets, etc and whatever dark matter is. The feelings of oneness are entirely a mental experience that remains inside my skull.

 

So, I don't believe in duality in the sense that the mental is a wholly separate thing than the physical. But I certainly believe that there is me-ness in this clump of molecules and this clump of molecules is me, which is a separate clump of different molecules than what comprises my laptop, which is a different clump than the moon I can see in the sky, or the tree which is in my yard.

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I don't really mean religion. I realize that is cultural. And, I'm not trying to criticize spirituality. I see that it meets the needs some people seem to have and as far as I'm concerned, if something makes you happy and it doesn't hurt others, then it's a good thing. What I'm asking, is, is the need for spirituality a cultural phenomenon?

 

I think the word "spirituality" is rather unsuitable - I would say "inspiration" or "aesthetics" or something like that. However, I suppose it will have to do.

 

It certainly takes the forms that are suitable for the particular culture, but ultimately I don't think it is derived from culture or the need is cultural. I have a different definition, I suppose.

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I have come to realise that even as a christian I kind of had my own religion. I like the whole do justly and love mercy idea. But further than that I believe everyone is equal, that money turns people to shit and that I am no better or worse than anyone else. I believe that being ego driven only ever causes trouble and that the path to enlightnement is through humility and complete honesty with oneself and others. I don't need any external source or system of belief to tell me what is right and wrong. I don't know what that makes me.

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I have a devil of a time with it. I am a very spiritually inclined person - I hang out with the Tibetan Buddhists and the Theosophists and for awhile (I am still a member) and I did some ceremonial magic stuff. But I can't go with a system because of what I came out of - a big friggin system, and a false and damaging one at that. So I don't accept any systems in their entirety. I haven't come across one yet that is satisfactory and I accept I probably never will. Only the parts of the system that seem attractive or helpful to me. If they cease to be that - then I am gone. Right now its Tibetan Buddhism.

 

I can't do the materialistic atheist route because somehow it doesn't make sense to me on some deep level. I don't think human life or the human experience is helped by the scientific method - except in the medical and technological realms- not that this is unimportant or insignificant but I feel there must be something else. The meaning of all of it, the aesthetic appreciation of something beyond is rather lacking. Furthermore, people do not operate in everyday life by logic and the scientific method. Life is chaotic. Anything can happen. I don't believe in a creator God, or anything like the Christian god. I honestly think things just happen. I also think there are forces out there, which can be personified and have been through the ages. May not help much to personify them or it might.

 

I pay attention to what I consider omens. Things that happen that seem to be pointers. Doors that open and close for me. Recent example - I had an object on my shrine that has been broken twice by the housecleaners. The first time I glued it togther but now I am throwing it out. To me, its a sign that I shouldn't have this thing. Many, many people would just say, well the clumsy housecleaners just screwed up but I can't.

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I don't want to hang out with anyone who has some "spiritual" package to sell me anymore because no matter its ilk, it turns into ego at some point. I can no longer tolerate standing there being told how to live by some idiot who clearly hasn't worked it out for themselves yet. Group dynamics always come into play and the only way I can see it working is if every person in the group is humble and completely committed to not allowing ego to rule them. I'm sure there are groups like this but I imagine they would be few and far between. There always seems to be some twit who wants to tell us all how it should be done, and always some naughty little bugger like me who wants to tell him to shut up :)

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