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One Woo For Another?


ToonForever
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Hi all:

 

This particular forum fascinates me, I have to say. It does so because my own path out of Christianity was one of reason.

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo. I meditate to concentrate on the here and now, to see things as they are, to live in the moment with love and compassion towards others.

 

Others, however, have come out of Christianity for many other reasons. Yet it seems that most users across this site focus on reason as the primary argument against adherence to Christianity.

 

But in this forum, it seems many have traded one woo for another - with all sorts of alternate spiritualities that have no more reason or proof behind them than Christianity does. I guess I'm curious as to why those spiritual options seem reasonable when Christianity does not. I mean, if one believes in spirit and the afterlife, isn't one taking a rather large risk abandoning Christianity for an alternate god or gods or goddesses, as the case may be?

 

Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there.

 

Cheers :)

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You hold the answer yourself. Why choose a Westernized agnostic Buddhism over the rituals of Shingon, the complexity Yogacara, or the austerity of Theravada? Perhaps because the model resonated with you deeply?

 

If so, then the answer could very well be the same for those who do continue to believe in, as you say, "woo". The framework of their path resonates with their experiences.

 

As for the term "woo" and the altered Pascal's Wager...very poor choices.

 

Enjoy.

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Hi all:

 

This particular forum fascinates me, I have to say. It does so because my own path out of Christianity was one of reason.

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo. I meditate to concentrate on the here and now, to see things as they are, to live in the moment with love and compassion towards others.

 

Others, however, have come out of Christianity for many other reasons. Yet it seems that most users across this site focus on reason as the primary argument against adherence to Christianity.

 

But in this forum, it seems many have traded one woo for another - with all sorts of alternate spiritualities that have no more reason or proof behind them than Christianity does. I guess I'm curious as to why those spiritual options seem reasonable when Christianity does not. I mean, if one believes in spirit and the afterlife, isn't one taking a rather large risk abandoning Christianity for an alternate god or gods or goddesses, as the case may be?

 

Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there.

 

Cheers smile.png

 

I had a big mac at McDonalds. All McDonalds food is bad.

 

I rode in a car with someone and had a bad experience. All drivers of cars are bad.

 

A spirituality forum does not necessarily mean that we have traded one god for another. It could. And there are many gods and goddesses out there that are a lot less problematic than the christian god. There are many gods and goddesses out there that stand for ideas, and are not meant to be taken literally. There are many people here who "spiritual" just means a cultivation of mind or body. There are many who believe in some kind of cosmic order, and the things we see fall from that.

 

So no, people on this board are not necessarily just trading "one woo for another". Some may be. But there can be much more to it than that. If you're interested in what "more", then I think that differs for each person individually.

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+1 for Noggy and Rev.

 

I take exception to the word "woo" in describing people's beliefs in this forum. I consider it extremely juvenile.

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Ah, yes, perhaps not the best choice of word - forgive me. We have no problem describing Christians' beliefs in denigrating fashion, none at all - deservedly so, IMO (obviously.) Not sure why the word "woo" is a stopping point. Regardless, perhaps my point got lost in my terminology?

 

I chose what I chose because I could simply test it, it didn't require me to abandon reason to see if it works for me. It encourages the same introspection and examination that motivated me to abandon Christianity. That is not the case with many options.

 

Hoping to get a little more insight into that thought process. Not trying to game the forum, if that's what the first responder is alluding to :)

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Hi all:

 

This particular forum fascinates me, I have to say. It does so because my own path out of Christianity was one of reason.

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo. I meditate to concentrate on the here and now, to see things as they are, to live in the moment with love and compassion towards others.

 

Others, however, have come out of Christianity for many other reasons. Yet it seems that most users across this site focus on reason as the primary argument against adherence to Christianity.

 

But in this forum, it seems many have traded one woo for another - with all sorts of alternate spiritualities that have no more reason or proof behind them than Christianity does. I guess I'm curious as to why those spiritual options seem reasonable when Christianity does not. I mean, if one believes in spirit and the afterlife, isn't one taking a rather large risk abandoning Christianity for an alternate god or gods or goddesses, as the case may be?

 

Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there.

 

Cheers smile.png

 

I had a big mac at McDonalds. All McDonalds food is bad.

 

I rode in a car with someone and had a bad experience. All drivers of cars are bad.

 

A spirituality forum does not necessarily mean that we have traded one god for another. It could. And there are many gods and goddesses out there that are a lot less problematic than the christian god. There are many gods and goddesses out there that stand for ideas, and are not meant to be taken literally. There are many people here who "spiritual" just means a cultivation of mind or body. There are many who believe in some kind of cosmic order, and the things we see fall from that.

 

So no, people on this board are not necessarily just trading "one woo for another". Some may be. But there can be much more to it than that. If you're interested in what "more", then I think that differs for each person individually.

 

Nicely stated. Thanks :)

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You hold the answer yourself. Why choose a Westernized agnostic Buddhism over the rituals of Shingon, the complexity Yogacara, or the austerity of Theravada? Perhaps because the model resonated with you deeply?

 

If so, then the answer could very well be the same for those who do continue to believe in, as you say, "woo". The framework of their path resonates with their experiences.

 

As for the term "woo" and the altered Pascal's Wager...very poor choices.

 

Enjoy.

 

Surely the Pascal's Wager comment was tongue-in-cheek?

 

Regardless, fair enough - thanks :)

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I would like to share with you my "faith" if you will.

 

I follow what I call the philosophy of choice. Originally presented through a medium by a being called Micheal, not the Micheal your thinking of. Additionally, it is referred to as the Micheal Teachings.

 

In a chat with my channel of choice, they stated. "of course this information is being presented to you by a reunited being of a thousand souls of human sentience from a higher plane of existence".

 

The site of the channel I prefer even has a name for the stuff that is really out there. It's generally referred to as a Whackadoodle channeling. There have been several.

 

Yes I get alot of weird looks. And some ribbing from Rev and Odoborus. ;)

 

All joking aside is it as Rev said. I "follow" it because something in it resonates with me. Questions that I have asked have provided insights which I found helpful. I continue to follow it because I find it comforting and because there is no compulsion to do anything. The teaching is offered, do with it what you will.

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And some ribbing from Rev and Odoborus. wink.png

With much more to follow given the proper opportunity. :P

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I chose what I chose because I could simply test it, it didn't require me to abandon reason to see if it works for me. It encourages the same introspection and examination that motivated me to abandon Christianity. That is not the case with many options.

 

 

Then many options are against reason. Believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be a rather unreasonable thing to do. Many people require tangible physical evidence of practices and rituals in order to do them. Many people don't.

 

From what I've seen of this forum, there are very few fundamentalist faiths that people adhere to that are similar to Christianity. Even the paganish type religions here tend to have a trouble personifying their Gods. Some people don't, but the people who are able to personify their new Gods usually left Christianity for a different reason than you or I did. They probably left because of the way it treats people, or they didn't like church. People who leave because they believe the God of Christianity to be unreasonable usually take an approach similar to you.

 

There are many different paths from Christianity to not.

 

Most people here, and I imagine most places, tend to pick their spiritual path based on what makes sense to them. Or what "resonates" within them. For a lot of people that left Christianity they go down the atheistic path. Others get tied up in the idea of Judaism. Lots of people adopt Zen practices like you have. Lots of people look at the universe as a guide in and of itself. They are ALL "spiritual" practice, even the atheistic views. Though many will try to argue that point. Spirituality, after all, is just defined as a way of finding your inner path to discover more about the essence of your own being. You can do that through reason, meditation, contemplation, inaction, action, prayer, etc. All the rules of this forum state is that instead of insulting someone elses path, that you should make an attempt to understand it, and keep in mind that just because their path is not your path, that there is nothing inherently wrong with that fact.

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Some people don't, but the people who are able to personify their new Gods usually left Christianity for a different reason than you or I did. They probably left because of the way it treats people, or they didn't like church. People who leave because they believe the God of Christianity to be unreasonable usually take an approach similar to you.

 

That's a lot of what I hope to hear about, having asked the question. Like Stryper, f'rinstance - I personally couldn't give that any more credence than what I've left, but I want to hear about that different path.

 

 

Most people here, and I imagine most places, tend to pick their spiritual path based on what makes sense to them. Or what "resonates" within them. For a lot of people that left Christianity they go down the atheistic path. Others get tied up in the idea of Judaism. Lots of people adopt Zen practices like you have. Lots of people look at the universe as a guide in and of itself. They are ALL "spiritual" practice, even the atheistic views. Though many will try to argue that point. Spirituality, after all, is just defined as a way of finding your inner path to discover more about the essence of your own being.

 

Also very well put.

 

You can do that through reason, meditation, contemplation, inaction, action, prayer, etc. All the rules of this forum state is that instead of insulting someone elses path, that you should make an attempt to understand it, and keep in mind that just because their path is not your path, that there is nothing inherently wrong with that fact.

 

And I really didn't mean any insult. There are a lot of shades of Buddhism that go deep into the "woo" area - I read and learn from that material too, but I take what resonates with my sense of reason and leave the rest. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite teachers/authors. He burns incense as an offering to his ancestors. That's a bit too much woo-woo for me - but that's his version. I don't think of any of that as insulting, just not grounded so much in reason as in traditional spirituality. That also doesn't take him down a notch in my mind and heart or somehow reduce the value of his teaching to me. So that's how I meant it - not as an offense.

 

Cheers -

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And I really didn't mean any insult. There are a lot of shades of Buddhism that go deep into the "woo" area - I read and learn from that material too, but I take what resonates with my sense of reason and leave the rest. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite teachers/authors. He burns incense as an offering to his ancestors. That's a bit too much woo-woo for me - but that's his version. I don't think of any of that as insulting, just not grounded so much in reason as in traditional spirituality. That also doesn't take him down a notch in my mind and heart or somehow reduce the value of his teaching to me. So that's how I meant it - not as an offense.

 

Then you are welcome here and completely within the limitations of this area. Lots of people tend to discard spirituality as "feel-good bumkum" when it is so much more than that. Glad you're able to see the usefulness in everything.

 

It's the limit of popular religion as well, oftentimes the mass people get caught up in the rituals and forget the meaning behind them. You get things like the Catholic Church, for instance. They lost the point of all their rituals, and now it is their rituals that define them. Performing rituals can be calming, it can help your concentration, it can make you more mindful, and it can put teachings into substance. All of these are good things, and is something that pure reasonable philosophy leaves behind. The two extremes of over ritualisation and under ritualisation can be rather harmful. Middle way, eh ;)

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I had a very bad and severely damaging experience with the fundamentalist Christian cult that cost me 15 years of my life and a significant amount of my mental health. Mix fundamentalist religion and a severe case of bipolar disorder (undiagnosed at the time) and you get DISASTER. That's what happened to me.

 

My natural and understandable response after discovering that my once cherished Christian beliefs had no actual basis in reality was to run to the opposite extreme of Atheism out of anger (not to mention large amounts of BLISTERING RAGE), which is where I stayed for a very long time. But ultimately, that didn't sit well with me either.

 

To make a very long story short, I'm now hanging out somewhere in the middle of the religious spectrum with beliefs that make sense to me, taken mostly from Eastern spirituality. Though I am not Hindu or Buddhist, I like and agree with many of the teachings from those religions. I also take whatever resonates with me from the writings of non-fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. My favorite spiritual teacher/author is Eknath Easwaran.

 

Beliefs aside, I have had too many experiences over the years that strongly indicate the reality of a spiritual world to me to discount the possibility.

 

What one person may see as "woo" may really make sense to another person and resonate with them deeply. Nobody honestly knows The Answers(s) to the Big Questions(s) of life. We are all just doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at any given time. That includes Christians, as deeply mistaken as we happen to know them to be. In my opinion...

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Hi all:

 

This particular forum fascinates me, I have to say. It does so because my own path out of Christianity was one of reason.

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo. I meditate to concentrate on the here and now, to see things as they are, to live in the moment with love and compassion towards others.

 

Others, however, have come out of Christianity for many other reasons. Yet it seems that most users across this site focus on reason as the primary argument against adherence to Christianity.

 

But in this forum, it seems many have traded one woo for another - with all sorts of alternate spiritualities that have no more reason or proof behind them than Christianity does. I guess I'm curious as to why those spiritual options seem reasonable when Christianity does not. I mean, if one believes in spirit and the afterlife, isn't one taking a rather large risk abandoning Christianity for an alternate god or gods or goddesses, as the case may be?

 

Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there.

 

Cheers smile.png

 

Welcome Toon,

 

As I was reading your post I felt a "gnawing" in the "pit of my stomach." I read through this tread several times asking myself; "What excitedly is being said here that I find so familiarly nagging?

 

It isn't insult or offense that I am feeling.

 

As I was reading your post for the forth or fifth time it hit me when I read:

 

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo.

 

The "gnawing" feeling I am experiencing is that all too familiar body sensation I felt as a child when conflicted by a parental double-bind, that is, being placed in a situation in which I would be disapproved for performing a given act (being spiritual, believing) and equally disapproved if I did not preform it.

 

Your statement to Noogy in reference to Thich Nhat Hanh's incense offerings, served to highlight the conflicting communication for me:

 

 

....There are a lot of shades of Buddhism that go deep into the "woo" area - I read and learn from that material too, but I take what resonates with my sense of reason and leave the rest. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite teachers/authors. He burns incense as an offering to his ancestors. That's a bit too much woo-woo for me - but that's his version. I don't think of any of that as insulting, just not grounded so much in reason as in traditional spirituality. That also doesn't take him down a notch in my mind and heart or somehow reduce the value of his teaching to me. So that's how I meant it - not as an offense.

 

In a double-bind the parent admonishes the child not to indulge in "woo-woo;" but it is apparent to the child that the parent has or does indulge in a good deal of "woo-woo" (reasonable or not so reasonable) him or herself.

 

"Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there."

 

I can't help but feel a subtle Christian superiority still lingering in an agnostic Buddhist form.

 

You know, sort of like "One Woo For Another?"

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oh burn.

 

Seriously, though, I started researching different religions before I left Christianity. It was through learning about different religions that I realised that most people have somewhat similar belief structures. Eventually, through Wicca, I found a belief structure that made sense to me. It was like comming home, I guess.

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Hi all:

 

This particular forum fascinates me, I have to say. It does so because my own path out of Christianity was one of reason.

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo. I meditate to concentrate on the here and now, to see things as they are, to live in the moment with love and compassion towards others.

 

Others, however, have come out of Christianity for many other reasons. Yet it seems that most users across this site focus on reason as the primary argument against adherence to Christianity.

 

But in this forum, it seems many have traded one woo for another - with all sorts of alternate spiritualities that have no more reason or proof behind them than Christianity does. I guess I'm curious as to why those spiritual options seem reasonable when Christianity does not. I mean, if one believes in spirit and the afterlife, isn't one taking a rather large risk abandoning Christianity for an alternate god or gods or goddesses, as the case may be?

 

Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there.

 

Cheers smile.png

 

Welcome Toon,

 

As I was reading your post I felt a "gnawing" in the "pit of my stomach." I read through this tread several times asking myself; "What excitedly is being said here that I find so familiarly nagging?

 

It isn't insult or offense that I am feeling.

 

As I was reading your post for the forth or fifth time it hit me when I read:

 

 

I follow an agnostic Buddhist philosophy these days because it doesn't require me to believe in any woo.

 

The "gnawing" feeling I am experiencing is that all too familiar body sensation I felt as a child when conflicted by a parental double-bind, that is, being placed in a situation in which I would be disapproved for performing a given act (being spiritual, believing) and equally disapproved if I did not preform it.

 

Your statement to Noogy in reference to Thich Nhat Hanh's incense offerings, served to highlight the conflicting communication for me:

 

 

....There are a lot of shades of Buddhism that go deep into the "woo" area - I read and learn from that material too, but I take what resonates with my sense of reason and leave the rest. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite teachers/authors. He burns incense as an offering to his ancestors. That's a bit too much woo-woo for me - but that's his version. I don't think of any of that as insulting, just not grounded so much in reason as in traditional spirituality. That also doesn't take him down a notch in my mind and heart or somehow reduce the value of his teaching to me. So that's how I meant it - not as an offense.

 

In a double-bind the parent admonishes the child not to indulge in "woo-woo;" but it is apparent to the child that the parent has or does indulge in a good deal of "woo-woo" (reasonable or not so reasonable) him or herself.

 

"Not trying to criticize, please don't misunderstand. I just wonder what the thought process is there."

 

I can't help but feel a subtle Christian superiority still lingering in an agnostic Buddhist form.

 

You know, sort of like "One Woo For Another?"

 

Meh, you're overthinking it, honestly.

 

Having come from a place of skepticism in anything I can't test or observe for myself, I wondered at some of the alternate spiritualities discussed in this forum that were as empirically unsound as Christianity or some of the more esoteric Buddhist practices I steer away from. It's a perception problem on my part that I'm exploring.

 

If you sense a superiority creeping in, perhaps it's you - maybe a misplaced inferiority or defensiveness.

 

Just sayin'

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Same woo....just grew out of Christianity

 

The spiritual experience for me has not changed.

 

I realized that in order to have a relationship with God, that there was no chasm to be bridged. No need for a savior.

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Same woo....just grew out of Christianity

 

The spiritual experience for me has not changed.

 

I realized that in order to have a relationship with God, that there was no chasm to be bridged. No need for a savior.

 

Makes sense to me. I don't know if anyone's there, but I don't think they're a vindictive tyrant if they are...

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Seems to me that there is quite a difference between being told how one must think vs. selecting a system of thinking that resonates with a person.

 

Sage...

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Take your pick. One woo is as good as another. What I believe makes a difference is how much a person is willing to change themselves for the betterment of humanity, not necessarily what woo one serves or believes in. When a person uses his woo like a weapon against someone who doesn't believe in his woo, then it's time to take that person apart. I didn't trade my woo for another woo. Currently, I am between woos with no intention of wooing a woo to be my woo.

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