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  1. #51
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Are you looking for a community / spiritual community?

  2. #52
    Senior Member Sanctus Iacobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    The thing is, despite being an agnostic, I really do wish to have some sort of spiritual element in my life. At this moment, I feel a great state of cognitive dissonance... as a scientist I should believe in what is observable facts... but it gives my heart great pain to think that once my life ends, there won't be a spiritual home for me to return to, nor will the same thing be the case for any relatives that have passed on.
    Friend, the spiritual element you wish for is the Holy Spirit. You don't need more religion, you need true spiritual rebirth, or what Jesus calls being born again. Jesus is the son of God and if anyone believes in Him you can become an adopted son of God. This is the belonging you and so many others look for.

  3. #53
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    A Motherless Child

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Remember, please keep this peaceful.
    Of all of the more than 6,000 millions souls here today, almost all inherited their religion - their religion is their cultural inheritance.

    So we learn our religion at our mother's knee and we accept whatever our mother tells us.

    In other words, we imbibe our religion uncritically in the same way we imbibe our mother's milk - and that is why it is called, Holy Mother Church.

    Or we might say we are like ducklings - in that we imprint on the first duck we see.

    But if we are a motherless child, we may try to find a religion using rational means.

    And this is comic and tragic at the same time.

    Perhaps admitting we are a motherless child, that we are homeless in the modern world, has more dignity.

  4. #54
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like a simpleton, you could go from church to church (or temple etc.) until you find one that you feel good at.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    The thing is, I want to belong with a group of believers that are tolerant towards others with differing spiritual views, accepting of science and the theory of evolution, allow women to make their own decisions about reproduction, allow women to be spiritual leaders, more accepting of the LGBT community, value compassion towards others and that human suffering is more of a test of faith and is caused by humanity on its own. I also feel a deep spiritual connection between other people and me... as well as a deep connection between myself and the universe and nature. I suppose I have a liberal view towards religions, because they all explain the same type of thing, just in a different perspective. This can get a bit brain boggling, especially when you see things from different angles.
    I am part of an evangelical Church of England congregation in London and I think that people there would agree with a lot of this and if they don't at least consider another person's point of view instead of hitting you over the head with THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH. Most of the people there are cosmopolitan, university-educated and in their 20s and 30s so that makes a big difference, I think when looking for a congregation to belong to you should consider the whole generational gap. At least in England Christians in their 20s and 30s have very different values than the older generation.

    I guess any group that is open-minded enough to consider other people's point of view is a good starting point, I have met liberals that are just as zealous in their beliefs as hardcore fundamentalist Christians. (One of my friends is part of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and I went to one of their lectures about the history of Humanism and instead of keeping it factual and to the point the whole thing was just one big excuse to make snide remarks about people follwoing a faith (Christians in particular.) while celebrating the "fearless and enlightened" humanists. Most of the people there were also over 50 so I was thinking "These people are so behind the times, I used to hear that kind of stuff when growing up in (ex-)Communist East Germany in the 80s and 90s.")

    For me it's all a bit difficult to say because I became a Christian more or less overnight (after having been brought up as an atheist), I didn't look for spirituality, it just kind of burst into my life. However one thing I have learnt is that you shouldn't make your faith dependent on other people, they (or churches in general) will at some point piss you off so you need to have something stronger than a nice group of more or less like-minded people to keep going. But being part of such a group is definitely a good starting point to develop or at least talk about faith. Do you have the Alpha Course in the States?

  6. #56
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Longing and Belonging

    There is no need to find a religion to belong to because we already belong to MBTI.

    MBTI is about belonging. It gives us four magic letters after our names and we are told none of us are good or bad only that we are different. But not so different that we can't belong.

    As we look around us we find we are surrounded by those just like ourselves, an affinity group, where each of us wants to belong more than we want to be free.

    MBTI is the cry of the oppressed creature, the heart in a heartless world, where we long to belong.
    Last edited by Mole; 06-16-2011 at 08:23 PM.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post

    The thing is, despite being an agnostic, I really do wish to have some sort of spiritual element in my life.
    Why? What is a "spiritual element", anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    At this moment, I feel a great state of cognitive dissonance... as a scientist I should believe in what is observable facts... but it gives my heart great pain to think that once my life ends, there won't be a spiritual home for me to return to, nor will the same thing be the case for any relatives that have passed on.
    It gives me great comfort knowing that I don't have to persist for an eternity. As a child, when I had a rather nascent conception of Christianity, I was not terrified at the possibility of being sent to Hell: I was fearful of having to exist forever in Heaven.

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    The thing is, I want to believe in a higher being, something greater than me. I suppose in a sense I am monotheistic. I want to believe in Heaven.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Which religion(s) would you suggest?
    None. You'd do better to consider why you're desperate to "belong" to a religion in the first place. Being dependent on others for your happiness is not a virtue.

  8. #58
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    The one thing I really enjoy about Buddha is he never spoke about an afterlife; he spoke about a state of being, but of no god, because he didn't believe he could as he didn't know if it existed or not. He did say that if it did exist no human could describe it without being wrong. I enjoy that.

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post

    None. You'd do better to consider why you're desperate to "belong" to a religion in the first place. Being dependent on others for your happiness is not a virtue.
    The OP has described a sincere, personal yearning. To ignore the intent of the thread and instead question the validity of such a personal desire serves no purpose other than indulging the vanity of the commenter. In addition, the desire to belong to a group or to share experiences is not the same thing at all as being dependent on others for your happiness. Have you ever had a birthday party? Had a romantic relationship? Joined a club or sport at school? Would you classify these as being "dependent on other people for happiness"?
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  10. #60
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    The OP has described a sincere, personal yearning. To ignore the intent of the thread and instead question the validity of such a personal desire serves no purpose other than indulging the vanity of the commenter.
    Hardly. If someone approached me asking for advice on how to best to commit suicide, I'd ask them whether their desire was even sensible in the first place. My purpose here is identical: unabashed altruism.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    In addition, the desire to belong to a group or to share experiences is not the same thing at all as being dependent on others for your happiness. Have you ever had a birthday party? Had a romantic relationship? Joined a club or sport at school? Would you classify these as being "dependent on other people for happiness"?
    Adherence to religion is scarcely so benign. I can do without birthday parties, romantic relationships and clubs. Most religious believers, however, tend to predicate their entire existence on their religion; a fortiori, they are dependent on their religion for their happiness-and particularly dependent upon fellow believers and whatever grand being they've elected to worship.

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