Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
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05-06-2016, 02:25 PM
Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
My own journey to atheism, was sort of like a 'religious' or 'spiritual' process in itself, quite ironically.

I was brought up with Christian beliefs and believed in a Christian God, or at least what I thought that was, when I was very young. As a kid, I actually thought I was a 'holy' person, but there was always a part of me, which scared the living daylights out of me, which rebelled against the whole idea. At the time, I thought this rebellious nature of mine, was the Devil himself, which caused all kind of inner turmoil as a kid. I remember going to church on several occasions, at an early age, listening to the Vicar read his stuff and speak about God, Jesus and so forth, with the rebellious part of me, or the Devil speaking inside of my head, saying the Vicar was talking a load of rubbish, along with abusive words - all inside of my head and my own thoughts of course, but still, I was scared witless.

I also remember seeing my own image of God, inside my head and he wasn't the archetypal long white bearded chap sitting on a throne. Instead, he appeared as a man with a neatly trimmed beard, with a conventional haircut of the time and his hair was brown. He looked like my uncle, who incidentally, looks like my dad. It was many years later, after reading Freud and Jung, I deciphered these images, thoughts, etc, through Freud and Jung's psychology.

Anyway, I went through quite a few changes, starting off from theism, agnosticism and finally atheism. I read a fair bit about all kinds of religions and spiritual practices, as it felt like a quest to find God, enlightenment or some sort of spiritual connection/experience, but instead of finding what I thought I was looking for, I actually 'found' atheism. I would never have thought that would happen at the start, or even while I was going through my agnostic phase. I was hooked into Buddhism for a while, after rejecting Christianity and went through an array of weird and wonderful ideas about spirituality.

I felt I experienced some thoughts and feelings, which 'fitted' in with some religious ideas, spiritual experiences, etc, but luckily, I didn't explain them through religious or spiritual ideas and found psychology the best way to get a 'handle' on the whole thing and if some things I don't understand, then I can wait until I do.

I think my 'Holy Grail' was finding and developing my own capacity for reason and logic, and knowledge based on fact. Also, an awareness, that the mind can be very deceiving with how we interpret the world and experience the world, along with our own ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions, which can cause quite a mix-up, with 'inappropriate' and sometimes 'unhealthy' programming.

I am glad to say, I can see through the tricks that people use, who believe anything supernatural and try to convince others, like cold-reading methods, psychological manipulation, etc, which I am very glad to be aware of, as it has opened my eyes to all kinds of human behaviour - from Vicars to dodgy sales-people! Haha! The seeds were always there, all the way back to that Devil inside my head, in church, who was actually the core of my personality.

I do empathise with people who were influenced, are influenced and are surrounded by people in their childhood, who promote religious ideas, which, and has been in my case, taken quite a few years of unravelling and making reason the central point of who I am and who I always was. I have been atheist for many years now.

Anyway, I'm waffling on here and could go on forever. I hope it makes some kind of sense.
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05-06-2016, 02:30 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
Welcome! I hope you enjoy the forum.
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05-06-2016, 03:16 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 02:30 PM)julep Wrote:  Welcome! I hope you enjoy the forum.

Thank you Julep! Smile
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05-06-2016, 03:49 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
Hiyas, good on you for breaking the woo.
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05-06-2016, 03:51 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
Still wondering how one goes about "elusively looking for ..." Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-06-2016, 03:53 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 03:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  Still wondering how one goes about "elusively looking for ..." Consider

Me too and glad the title captured the confusion! Haha! Big Grin
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05-06-2016, 03:58 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 03:49 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Hiyas, good on you for breaking the woo.

Cheers Thump! It did feel like Jean-Luc Picard after he was abducted by the Borg at one point! Haha! Big Grin
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05-06-2016, 04:16 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 02:25 PM)Dramamask Wrote:  Anyway, I went through quite a few changes, starting off from theism, agnosticism and finally atheism. I read a fair bit about all kinds of religions and spiritual practices, as it felt like a quest to find God, enlightenment or some sort of spiritual connection/experience, but instead of finding what I thought I was looking for, I actually 'found' atheism. I would never have thought that would happen at the start, or even while I was going through my agnostic phase. I was hooked into Buddhism for a while, after rejecting Christianity and went through an array of weird and wonderful ideas about spirituality.

I felt I experienced some thoughts and feelings, which 'fitted' in with some religious ideas, spiritual experiences, etc, but luckily, I didn't explain them through religious or spiritual ideas and found psychology the best way to get a 'handle' on the whole thing and if some things I don't understand, then I can wait until I do.

I think my 'Holy Grail' was finding and developing my own capacity for reason and logic, and knowledge based on fact. Also, an awareness, that the mind can be very deceiving with how we interpret the world and experience the world, along with our own ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions, which can cause quite a mix-up, with 'inappropriate' and sometimes 'unhealthy' programming.

The title is befit , it was atheism all along that you were looking for.
The need to shut open cases with absolute answers , is hardly a quest for seeking something which is obviously unproven, badly tarnished and easily debunked by simply asking for proof.
Although i admire that you didn't resign sooner than most do. However the conclusion was obvious , because Spirituality is not an open and shut case.
Anyway , with all your transitioning through all the "ism's" , Atheism is an easy way to go , just keep asking for proof and pass all the burden of proof unto the " dodgy sales-people" = Freedom / Ego boost.
If someone tries hard to prove , must have some hidden agenda or vested interest , or may even be deluded into thinking that he does it for divine merit.
Of all the "ism's" Atheism is a great place to call home , its safe Smile , you lose no more time in seeking answers to something that doesn't exist for you.

All i know is what was told,
All i think is what i know,
All i am is what i think,
All i know NOT is who I Am.
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05-06-2016, 04:34 PM
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 04:16 PM)Silentroar Wrote:  
(05-06-2016 02:25 PM)Dramamask Wrote:  Anyway, I went through quite a few changes, starting off from theism, agnosticism and finally atheism. I read a fair bit about all kinds of religions and spiritual practices, as it felt like a quest to find God, enlightenment or some sort of spiritual connection/experience, but instead of finding what I thought I was looking for, I actually 'found' atheism. I would never have thought that would happen at the start, or even while I was going through my agnostic phase. I was hooked into Buddhism for a while, after rejecting Christianity and went through an array of weird and wonderful ideas about spirituality.

I felt I experienced some thoughts and feelings, which 'fitted' in with some religious ideas, spiritual experiences, etc, but luckily, I didn't explain them through religious or spiritual ideas and found psychology the best way to get a 'handle' on the whole thing and if some things I don't understand, then I can wait until I do.

I think my 'Holy Grail' was finding and developing my own capacity for reason and logic, and knowledge based on fact. Also, an awareness, that the mind can be very deceiving with how we interpret the world and experience the world, along with our own ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions, which can cause quite a mix-up, with 'inappropriate' and sometimes 'unhealthy' programming.

The title is befit , it was atheism all along that you were looking for.
The need to shut open cases with absolute answers , is hardly a quest for seeking something which is obviously unproven, badly tarnished and easily debunked by simply asking for proof.
Although i admire that you didn't resign sooner than most do. However the conclusion was obvious , because Spirituality is not an open and shut case.
Anyway , with all your transitioning through all the "ism's" , Atheism is an easy way to go , just keep asking for proof and pass all the burden of proof unto the " dodgy sales-people" = Freedom / Ego boost.
If someone tries hard to prove , must have some hidden agenda or vested interest , or may even be deluded into thinking that he does it for divine merit.
Of all the "ism's" Atheism is a great place to call home , its safe Smile , you lose no more time in seeking answers to something that doesn't exist for you.

I tried to write the passage as though I was 'in it' at the time - put some context to it, etc. I didn't really 'find' atheism, but rather debunked all the crap in my mind, whether inherited from others or planted in my brain by myself with 'other-wordly' ideas.

I'm still interested, most likely with all here, what all of us don't know, but pretty sure there will be answers to most of the things we don't know, without strapping imaginary ideas to them.

Yes, it's a good place to be, to base things on reason. I have a 'feeling' that many religions and spiritual ideas were trying to convey anyway, except perhaps the 'function' of reasoning was embodied into outside entities and not claimed by the individual's own self. Still that's another story/idea. I am very interested how people interpret their experiences all the same, especially when they seem to fall outside what is 'normal' and how ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences interact with each other in the mind.
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05-06-2016, 04:53 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2016 04:57 PM by Silentroar.)
RE: Elusively looking for God, spirituality and enlightenment
(05-06-2016 04:34 PM)Dramamask Wrote:  I didn't really 'find' atheism, but rather debunked all the crap in my mind, whether inherited from others or planted in my brain by myself with 'other-wordly' ideas.

How do you intend to look , anything outside/beyond the boundaries Smile . Spirituality, includes the word "spirit" for a reason. Neurosciences have advanced enough to Wire a person who claims godly experience , then map the areas lit in the brain and call them reasons for the effect , and no one from other side has proven that that the effect is due to a reason.

All i know is what was told,
All i think is what i know,
All i am is what i think,
All i know NOT is who I Am.
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