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  1. #41
    Senior Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    BTW: Sorry if the above post was a bit rushed and non-comprehensive as I didnt have time to do detailed research to present what I tried to say.

  2. #42
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    No need to apologize =) It's only a conversation, we're not competing here.

    Yes, the clarification removed the connotations that "feel good" implied (shallow, "consumption culture", self indulgent).

    But I have to argue that the focus on the development of the self is how one determines their conduct in society. The crux of Buddhism is that it's founded on empiricism (at least in the original form of Buddhism). By definition, Buddhism was meant to address the human condition and its applicability to real life, and Buddhism encourages the individual to do exactly that. A large part of Buddhism is having empathy for other beings, though it may not be nearly as intricate as the laws in western religions, that also seems to be the one thing everyone can agree on. There is also the idea of karma, which is what goes around comes around.

    Despite the semantics and application of law, laws arise as a reflection of moral sentiment within the population. As I understand it, Buddhism seeks to address the moral sentiment itself, rather than forming morals through pre-existent law.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  3. #43
    Senior Member Alchemist's Avatar
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    When I was about ten my faith was completely destroyed. I've been slowly rebuilding it now, but every so often, I get atheistic gag reflexes (mostly when people get preachy). No, I don't like "Jesus-Freaks", and no, I don't want to join your particular sect, church, or whatever.

    I've been considering Judaism, but really, I've been swamped with a ton of "practical mystic material" and crunching down how all the systems of symbols, metaphors, and practices work is fun, albeit daunting.

    So basically, yes I am religious and spiritual, but it's more like the other, other kind (if that makes any sense). It's been said though, that being idealistic and having ideals doesn't always mean someone is religious or spiritual. I'd just find it difficult to be religious and spiritual without them.

    I don't like when going to a church becomes a social gathering instead of a place for worship. I've said it before- I compartmentalise my life. My social circle is separate from my religion and spirituality, and if I want to party, I don't get my kicks going to a church and chatting brightly during the potluck. I get my kicks going to a club and dancing during the dead of night.

    -A

    EDIT: I fail at Eastern thought, philosophy, and religion. This thread is a reminder that I could probably benefit from learning more about it
    "Je ne craignais pas de mourir
    Mais de mourir sans etre illumine."


    "I was not afraid to die,
    But to die without being enlightened."

    -Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte-Trinisophie

  4. #44
    Senior Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    Bellentine,
    Thats a great response thanks.
    But I have issues with one point- ie even though people should be good at an individual level etc, but in reality its hard! Not everyone will be moralistic and nice. So such laws are needed to keep society in control, and give some direction. Otherwise there will be chaos. Dont you think?

    Alchemist: What is that daunting 'practical mystic material' in Judaism?

    Thanks.

  5. #45
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Yes! I think it's hard. I find that this is also one of the underlying issues when I have conversations about religion with my friends. The heart of the issue lies in decentralizing moral responsibility versus having one moral authority. It's scary to let everyone arrive at their own conclusion and expect them to work as a cohesive whole. Having one central authority sits more easily.

    But laws legislated today are still created by through a process of collective individuals. The question of whether laws are needed at all is opening another can of worms that I'm not prepared to answer - I think it requires us to ask a very specific question that relates to our overall purpose. But something I think is worth wondering is how does our world function even with the presence of laws that exist today?

    I think the great thing about democracy is that it guarantees everybody basic rights and gives them freedom for the "pursuit" of their own happiness, whatever it may be, as long as they don't infringe on the rights of others. Democracy is agnostic on what we're here for.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  6. #46
    Senior Member Alchemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Alchemist: What is that daunting 'practical mystic material' in Judaism?
    Kabbalah, although there are many who will argue that it's not Jewish Mysticism. There's also gematria, alchemy, tarot, and numerology, all of which conveniently coincide with each other to a level that sends heads reeling. Once you get the basics down, you practise through ritual, meditation, and a myriad of other activities. It's an interesting path.

    I agree that the development of the self will help with external conduct. I also think that practising good conduct will, in turn, develop a stronger sense of self. Actions aligned with morals, and morals aligned with actions seem to go hand in hand.

    -A
    "Je ne craignais pas de mourir
    Mais de mourir sans etre illumine."


    "I was not afraid to die,
    But to die without being enlightened."

    -Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte-Trinisophie

  7. #47
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    I have read that NFs have a deep sense of understanding for the meaning of things and are highly spiritual and moralistic.
    And since there are so many various types of spirituality and religions, I can see and NF choosing one or the other.
    NTs I have come across on this forum and others seem to be mostly Atheists.

    So my inquiry is:
    How many of NFs that you know find peace in spirituality and religion, or are there any Atheists NFs there? If so, wouldn't it go against their core being of being an Idealist??

    For many years I was an agnostic with a lot of doubts and concerns. I only read a few of the responses before replying, but this was one of those topic thats been on my mind recently and I thought it better to reply to this thread than start a new one even if it has not had recent activity.

    Basically idealism conflicted with the presentation of deity and religion that I was raised with. I was and am uncertain about the concept of deity as a sentient figure, but more than that I believed, if a god of the bible did exist and the bible was his word, then that was a god unworthy of worship in my opinion, but I also reasoned that the bible was written by humans with agendas and if god did exist, then she or he would probably actually want their creations to have freewill and care more about the intent with which they lived their lives than following some set of confining rules. I further reasoned that if god and an afterlife were real, that it was still better to be judged for doing what one feels is right than it is to follow rules that one sees as pointless and sometimes outright bad just to get some reward (a reward that would entail eternally following an uncaring and unjust being). The end conclusion was that organized monotheistic religions were incompatible with my values and personal beliefs of what deity is/should be, and for many years after reaching that conclusion I was agnostic/faithless or whatever word you would use to describe it, but I still felt that creation of something from nothing required something that science/atheism could not explain (what caused any matter at all to exist in the universe instead of the void of nothingness?).

    Eventually I stopped giving it much thought and was content to be spiritually indifferent, and in my youth when I was actually going to church and all that, I did not feel spiritual about it and seldom felt much of anything other value conflicts and quite a bit of boredom with other aspects of organized religion. Occasionally I would see an interview with someone like Deepak Chopra, or someone from other religions and it seemed to me that they really did have some kind of spirituality that was intriguing, but I never delved much into that, but those kind of things caused me to keep in the back of my mind that maybe I was missing something with this whole concept of spirituality and that I just needed to find something that was right for me eventually, but I did not put a priority on it. Well, eventually finally seems to have arrived and conversations with someone I met on-line a while ago have led me to contemplating the idea that maybe I've finally found a religious belief system and way of life that is compatible with my views and I've been exploring that possibility and feel like I've found a part of me thats been missing when I didn't even really know it was never there.

    Maybe the answers are in the messages in this thread I've not yet read, but I've been wondering how many NFs eventually found a religion/spirituality/belief system that they truly felt was right for them that was not one of the major widely accepted belief systems in their geographical area (being Buddhist or Hindu in the states would be quite a bit different than being that in China or India for example). If that describes you, were you actively searching for a spirituality that was right for you, or did you sort of stumble on it then realize maybe this is what I've been looking for but never thought to look for?

  8. #48

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    This sums it up pretty well for me. I feel that non-duality is the golden thread that connects all of the spiritual traditions at their core.

    The Mind of Absolute Trust
    by Seng-Ts'an

    The great way isn't difficult
    for those who are unattached to their preferences.
    Let go of longing and aversion,
    and everything will be perfectly clear.
    When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction,
    heaven and earth are set apart.
    If you want to realize the truth,
    don't be for or against.
    The struggle between good and evil
    is the primal disease of the mind.
    Not grasping the deeper meaning,
    you just trouble your mind's serenity.
    As vast as infinite space,
    it is perfect and lacks nothing.
    But because you select and reject,
    you can't perceive its true nature.
    Don't get entangled in the world;
    don't lose yourself in emptiness.
    Be at peace in the oneness of things,
    and all errors will disappear by themselves.

    If you don't live the Tao,
    you fall into assertion or denial.
    Asserting that the world is real,
    you are blind to its deeper reality;
    denying that the world is real,
    you are blind to the selflessness of all things.
    The more you think about these matters,
    the farther you are from the truth.
    Step aside from all thinking,
    and there is nowhere you can't go.
    Returning to the root, you find the meaning;
    chasing appearances, you lose their source.
    At the moment of profound insight,
    you transcend both appearance and emptiness.
    Don't keep searching for the truth;
    just let go of your opinions.

    For the mind in harmony with the Tao,
    all selfishness disappears.
    With not even a trace of self-doubt,
    you can trust the universe completely.
    All at once you are free,
    with nothing left to hold on to.
    All is empty, brilliant,
    perfect in its own being.
    In the world of things as they are,
    there is no self, no non self.
    If you want to describe its essence,
    the best you can say is "Not-two."
    In this "Not-two" nothing is separate,
    and nothing in the world is excluded.
    The enlightened of all times and places
    have entered into this truth.
    In it there is no gain or loss;
    one instant is ten thousand years.
    There is no here, no there;
    infinity is right before your eyes.

    The tiny is as large as the vast
    when objective boundaries have vanished;
    the vast is as small as the tiny
    when you don't have external limits.
    Being is an aspect of non-being;
    non-being is no different from being.
    Until you understand this truth,
    you won't see anything clearly.
    One is all; all
    are one. When you realize this,
    what reason for holiness or wisdom?
    The mind of absolute trust
    is beyond all thought, all striving,
    is perfectly at peace, for in it
    there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow.
    Happy colored marbles that are rolling in my head..." - Ween

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