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  1. #41
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Most people are not able to access the spirituality vision at all, they are just following their instincts.

    There is no connection between religion (binding people together) and looking for a quest in life that transcends this world (spirituality). Conventional man cant be spirituality because he has no vision. How could he be a seeker of a higher purpose if he can not imagine the idea of a higher purpose to begin with? You tell him a story from the Bible about the sheep and the goats and what aspects of human nature it may symbolize and he will be thinking about the literal sheep and goats.
    The way I see spirituality, everyone is on board whether they are aware of it or not. There is no way to escape being human, no way to be less animal, or even not to be a part of the intricate cycle of life on this planet. Whether you are blind or ignorant to it has no merit. Is any other species on this planet aware that they are part of evolution? Of course not, but that doesn't mean they don't change over time. Having no vision or a different vision doesn't change who and what we are.

  2. #42
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The way I see spirituality, everyone is on board whether they are aware of it or not. There is no way to escape being human, no way to be less animal, or even not to be a part of the intricate cycle of life on this planet. Whether you are blind or ignorant to it has no merit. Is any other species on this planet aware that they are part of evolution? Of course not, but that doesn't mean they don't change over time. Having no vision or a different vision doesn't change who and what we are.
    Yes, everyone is on board, though not everyone is directly driven by the higher vision like the highly intuitive people tend to be. Perhaps the unimaginative people are indirectly influenced by the higher realm in a form of their impulses, but that is not the same thing as being driven by the higher purpose directly.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #43
    Member Vicki's Avatar
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    yes, I talk to God..
    I talk about anything.
    I usually feel better afterwards anyway.

  4. #44
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Yes, everyone is on board, though not everyone is directly driven by the higher vision like the highly intuitive people tend to be. Perhaps the unimaginative people are indirectly influenced by the higher realm in a form of their impulses, but that is not the same thing as being driven by the higher purpose directly.
    Human beings are the only creatures on this planet capable of making or even understanding purpose. I believe that there is no higher purpose for man than to create it. But it seems we have come full circle.

    It would make a nice new thread. "What is the purpose of man?" Is it to seek a higher purpose as you suggest or to create purpose as I suggest? I guess they could even be considered the same.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicki View Post
    yes, I talk to God..
    I talk about anything.
    I usually feel better afterwards anyway.
    I knew there would be someone like me out there.

  6. #46
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I knew there would be someone like me out there.
    Yeah I talk to God too. Of course the God I talk to is the Christian God, so I don't know how similar/dissimilar you'll find my way to yours.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Tayshaun's Avatar
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    Yes, in the act of soliloquy.

    After all, is not talking to God trying to find a 'miraculous' answer from the deepest recesses of your mind and disguising the random, illogical element as a divinely inspired solution?

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Yeah I talk to God too. Of course the God I talk to is the Christian God, so I don't know how similar/dissimilar you'll find my way to yours.
    Too many Christian gods and many of them are angry boogers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tayshaun
    Yes, in the act of soliloquy.

    After all, is not talking to God trying to find a 'miraculous' answer from the deepest recesses of your mind and disguising the random, illogical element as a divinely inspired solution?
    You shouldn't talk to yourself...people will wonder.

    As Socrates would say, inspiration comes from the knowing, not from us who know nothing.

  9. #49
    Member Arandur's Avatar
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    Although I consider myself atheist, I do sometimes (though rarely) catch myself saying a prayer, or thanking God, simply out of a habit that's been branded into my brain for my entire life.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

  10. #50
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    When Sahara's good, she's very very good. And when she's bad, I bet she's ALSO very good!

    * * * *

    I have mixed feelings about all of this.

    I was brought up in more conservative flavors of Christianity, so of course that experience does tailor my outlook somewhat.

    I can tell when I am aiming conversation at [my idea of] God; I think what most people have trouble with is recognizing when God (assuming he exists) is truly talking back to them. Most of the conflicts between or even internal to religious faiths regard whether or not GOD is actually speaking to THEM or if they are just speaking to themselves and/or mistaking some other voice for God's.

    I prayed for many years of my life. Now in the position I am at, where my concept of God is disintegrated and reforming, I find that I still cannot help but "speak to Him." It is more like a daily monologue in my head, where I just find myself chatting conversationally with him -- then wake up and realize that I'm not even sure there's anyone listening. Sometimes that left me sad; sometimes it left me lonely; but I am increasingly able to deal with it and even make the effort to externalize my thoughts to other people instead of keeping them trapped in my head.

    As far as the "God of judgment" versus a "God of love," I just think we need to be careful on how we define "love" among other things.

    I have definitely sensed a shift in my beliefs. Earlier in life, I felt very critical of myself and others, even if I would not say it out loud. Every action, thought, and comment would have to be categorized as Sin and Not Sin, and Sin had to constantly repented of and felt bad over. It was very tiring and exhausting, and just left me negative overall towards myself and others, and impatient as well.

    Now I still see some actions as negative and some actions as positive. The whole thing is a little bit more impersonal. Some people hurt others because of their choices; this saddens me, and I do what I can to help them and those who are hurt (whether it's advice or encouragement); but I don't really sit around and think, "Oh, this person is going to hell unless they change and I must save them." I think what I see is that they are creating their own hell NOW and living in it, and so my task is not to convert them to a belief system but to be part of their experience in a way that changes them for the better... but it is always their choice as to whether they change or not, and I will respect that choice as best as I can. (It's just hard when others are involved.)

    [That might seem like a slight tangent from the topic of "Do I talk to God?" But I am responding more to the image of the judgmental God you said people claimed to talk to, versus the more loving one you hope to find.]

    I still think we need to be careful when we portray God as either loving or judgmental, and then set things up so we are obviously "good" because we pick the "loving" God. Even a loving person will sometimes have to hold others accountable for their actions, and perhaps intrude into the affairs of others in a very firm and disruptive way.

    A "loving God" is sometimes just another name for a "sloppy, indifferent, impotent God" so we can just do what we feel like doing and not be in submission to anything larger than ourselves. There still has to be some sort of internalized rigorous review of ourselves, even under the rule of some "loving" God.
    This may be a little off-topic, so I'm warning you all.



    On the note of a loving God vs. an unloving God: I wonder if the unloving God is an embodiment of our ego, which constantly tells us what to do based on what we believe is right and wrong. And the loving God is the embodiment of everything we really want: love, understanding, acceptance, kindness, wisdom, and truth.

    I know exactly what you're talking about. I used to be Catholic, and I used to think of everyone's behavior, including mine, in terms of right and wrong, sin and goodness. I was restricted to being the good, kind, loving, selfless angel: otherwise I felt awful about myself. And at some point in my life I really became involved in the LBGT community. After a while I said to myself, "What am I doing? This is wrong." But I could never bring myself to leave the community, for it would mean leaving all my friends and the good times I had there. So eventually religion was the thing I gave up, because it was hurting me, making me feel terrible, and the real glowing aspect of my life was my friends and the people I enjoyed, many of whom were gay, lived a gay lifestyle, and were just too damn cool to let go of. I was pretty young when I became involved in this community, and maybe because of my age and inexperience I just wasn't able to logically and emotionally reconcile my lifestyle (which Catholicism had taught me was wrong) with my religious beliefs.

    It is very exhausting, devaluing and scary to constantly question where you're going in the next life. Will I be doomed to hell? Will I be blessed with heaven, by some stroke of mercy, luck, or what have you? Will I? What if? Why would I not be allowed into heaven? What are the prerequisites? What standards do I have to meet? I just don't know!

    Around sixteen or seventeen I completely dropped my religious lifestyle because these questions were too hard for me to answer and they frightened me to think about. I guess it was a psychological defense: eliminate the thing that is causing you harm.

    When I aligned myself with Catholicism, sometimes I prayed so hard that I cried. I was so passionate and affectionate toward God that I prayed to him for hours in my room, naming and asking him to bless every single family member. I remember it as being a very happy and fulfilling time in my life. When religion darkened my life was when I could not reconcile my beliefs with homosexuality (which in time I decided was completely ok) and other harmless things which Catholicism condemned.

    When I was Catholic, I also had to see myself as completely "good" in order to feel valuable and worthwhile. To the degree that I needed to be good in order to feel valuable, I couldn't acknowledge all my own feelings, needs, and the darker side of myself. I was sort of plastic, and lying to myself.

    I don't subscribe to a rigorous critical analysis of myself and my actions anymore. That's what knocks my self-esteem. You can be atheist and still be a great influence on the world. Live and let live and all that. Generally, I'm just all-around great, even if I don't beat myself up over things. The degree to which I can love myself unconditionally (like a loving God would, I guess), is the degree to which I don't have to get love by being good all the time. My "dark side" can be acknowledged, as well as all my feelings.

    In toast to all the angels out there:

    Here's to you, as good as you are.
    Here's to me, as bad as I am.
    As good as you are and as bad as I am, you'll never be as good as I am.


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