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  1. #631
    Junior Member elementalgrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This highlights the distinction between religion and spirituality (perhaps already made in this thread -- I have not read all the pages). Many people who do not follow an established church or religion still consider themselves spiritual and follow spiritual practices on their own or with an informal group of like-minded individuals. Each of us believes what we believe. Religions are then a bit like shoes in the store: none are tailor-made to our specific feet and style, but many people still manage to find a pair with a satisfactory fit. The rest of us have to be a bit more creative and self-motivated.
    Dude, I like your style.

    Personally, I have my own personal spirituality based on my own experiences and intuitions but it's a fluid sort of a thing, rather than a more rigid structure of an established religion.

  2. #632
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    None.

    I believe that's really all that needs saying.

  3. #633
    Junior Member VictorClimacus's Avatar
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    I am in the process of shedding, or at least of acknowledging, the layers of cultural conditioning and self-made delusions that cover me, and trying to move past them and onward through the anxiety and dread that now characterize my life. Beyond lies the possibility of rediscovering faith. But right now it's all confusion and dread. Everything is dubious. Everything is problematic. Nothing is certain.

    That is all I can say about religion.

  4. #634
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VictorClimacus View Post
    I am in the process of shedding, or at least of acknowledging, the layers of cultural conditioning and self-made delusions that cover me, and trying to move past them and onward through the anxiety and dread that now characterize my life. Beyond lies the possibility of rediscovering faith. But right now it's all confusion and dread. Everything is dubious. Everything is problematic. Nothing is certain.

    That is all I can say about religion.
    Going through a loss of faith is always a tough and painful process---as one who has experienced it firsthand, I'd like to let you know that although things seem bleak now, they will get better eventually and I wish you the best.

  5. #635
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    panentheism: all we know is composed of and is part of an underlying cosmic divine, but we do not necessarily see the whole of it. and technically agnosticism, because while i choose to believe this, i also assent that it is "unknowable" in the sense of being un-provable. i choose to believe in panentheism because it simply makes sense and feels right to me that everything should be part of one grand whole, and that existence in and of itself has some reason. it's occam's razor and optimism, respectively. at the same time, i could never begin to assume that what i can currently conceptualize even begins to account for all the mysteries of the universe(s).

    in terms of practice... sometimes i go to a unitarian universalist church, or other religious service. i pray/meditate sometimes, most often in the form of yoga. i get the feeling of the divine mostly in endless things... the ocean, dunes of sand, the sky. i love to read from taoism, shintoism, sufism - pretty much any tradition, especially the mystics. as far as i see it, there's general wisdom, ethical guidance, appreciation of life, and respect for whatever great thing we are a part of to be found everywhere...

    dreamworks, for example. i love this song:
    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG0a9WFkgzU"]through heaven's eyes[/YOUTUBE]
    a single thread in a tapestry, though its color brightly shines, can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design...
    if a man loses everything he owns, has he truly lost his worth? or is it the beginning of a new and brighter birth?
    and that's why we share what we have with you, though there's little to be found. when all you have is nothing, there's a lot to go around.
    no life can escape being blown about by the winds of change and chance, and though you'll never know all the steps... you must learn to join the dance!


    did i mention it's just kind of fun too? li-li-li
    Wuhh..that's pretty real, skylights. I'm digging what you're saying. Keep shining on.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  6. #636
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    I didn't find loss of faith tough or painful. It was a big relief. Like a huge weight had been lifted off and I felt a lot of energy and motivation, maybe because I was finally able to see and end to life rather than believing(with no evidence) that I would end up in hell or heaven for eternity. I'm an atheist/agnostic still. I'm very happy with that aspect of my life. I don't mind people trying to convert me though, unless they are total strangers. I tell those mormon boys on bikes to fuck off, get off of my property, etc. I don't need another book of mormon, have two copies already.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  7. #637
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Pipes of Pan and Little Portly

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    panentheism
    Sometimes we find large hoof marks in soft soil - marks of the cloven hoof. And sometimes at dawn and dusk we hear the most delightful pipes that leaves us wistful of we know not what.

    But when a little animal is lost and afraid we put our faith in Him and lo and behold, that which was lost is found.

    But if you want to find our what happened to Little Portly at the Gates of Dawn, and if you have always wondered what the Wind in the Willows is whispering, click on -

    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: Chapter 7

  8. #638
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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    Nonreligious.

  9. #639
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
    I didn't find loss of faith tough or painful. It was a big relief. Like a huge weight had been lifted off and I felt a lot of energy and motivation, maybe because I was finally able to see and end to life rather than believing(with no evidence) that I would end up in hell or heaven for eternity. I'm an atheist/agnostic still. I'm very happy with that aspect of my life. I don't mind people trying to convert me though, unless they are total strangers. I tell those mormon boys on bikes to fuck off, get off of my property, etc. I don't need another book of mormon, have two copies already.
    I'm not rude to them, my dad used to invite them in and long, long talks to them about faith and politics, they where mainly Americans but there was one scot one time. He has a book of mormon from them too. They never turned up after one year there was a crisis in the home and we had to tell them to forget about it. Prior to that they used to visit in twos each year.

    I've got a very different experience of faith than you, I'm always interested to hear that and would ask you what way you experienced faith? Was it like an abstract idea? A set of binding strictures difficult to comply with? Something which provoked dread?

    The only spiritual doubt or crisis I've experienced as bad because it felt like a seperation, loss and bereavement.

  10. #640
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VictorClimacus View Post
    I am in the process of shedding, or at least of acknowledging, the layers of cultural conditioning and self-made delusions that cover me, and trying to move past them and onward through the anxiety and dread that now characterize my life. Beyond lies the possibility of rediscovering faith. But right now it's all confusion and dread. Everything is dubious. Everything is problematic. Nothing is certain.

    That is all I can say about religion.
    Going through a loss of faith is always a tough and painful process---as one who has experienced it firsthand, I'd like to let you know that although things seem bleak now, they will get better eventually and I wish you the best.
    I have been there myself, and Stevo is right. For me, it was less confusion and dread than emptiness. Yes, there was the relief of jettisoning all the useless baggage. I felt very free - but free to do what? Everyone around me seemed to be into their churches and Bible studies. I couldn't even see any reason to celebrate the seasonal holidays I had so enjoyed growing up.

    I just kept going in the other areas of my life, and tried to remain open and alert to the inspiration that eventually came. One thing that tided me through this frustrating time was the writings of early scientists, people like Newton and Galileo. Yes, they wrote at a time when church approbation was important, but I still get the impression that they saw the divine in the universe they studied, and that sense never left me. I thus never entirely lost belief in a deity, I just had no idea what that deity was really like, or what I should do about it.

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