Poll: Do you identify with the concept of a God-shaped vacuum?
Yes (even if you don't believe that a god is the answer to that vacuum)
No (WTF are you prattling on about now, EA?)
Never gave it much thought
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God-shaped vacuum?
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23-10-2013, 07:14 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
(22-10-2013 03:55 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  God is only an idea. What do you think that idea was? Why did you hold to it? These things you have to ask for yourself.
Examples are of longing for something bigger than yourself or a feeling of closeness or security.

It was the idea of perfection that I held to. That this world and those in it might not be perfect but that there was something/someone out there who was. The idea of heaven, where no one would hurt or ever be sad again, was something I clung to tightly. I remember getting teary-eyed in services when I'd think about it, longing for a time when neither I nor anyone else would hurt anymore.

Now that I no longer believe in all those things, I think about death quite a bit, and find peace in the thought of it. Though I won't actually experience it, won't feel anything after I'm gone, I'm looking forward to just not being anymore. It soothes me to think of a time when I won't feel anything.

Life does have its highs, but they're so few and far between and the lows are many.

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23-10-2013, 09:13 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Don't know if there's been a previous thread on this, but this was a concept I heard discussed a lot back when I was a Christian and honestly it's still something I can identify with. I still feel a longing for something more, something to fill up all those empty places inside my soul, something to finally make me stop wanting so much.

But... I wonder if this is not the case for everyone else? Is this just part of the idealist temperament? To wish for something better and to feel an almost-constant longing for it? Are more practical types less inclined to feel this "vacuum"?

I'm interested to hear everyone's thoughts.

Also, if you do identify with this, why do you think it is that we have these longings? Where does that "aching" or "longing" feeling come from, physiologically speaking? Do you think that this feeling is necessary to our survival? As in, if we didn't long or want for more, we'd be inclined to just stagnate and not progress?

Thanks!

I wonder if you're referring to a feeling that I get sometimes. It usually happens in an instance where I would have turned to god back in my believer days. In those situations, I feel what seems almost like an instinct to ask god for help, but then quickly realize it's all nonsense and shake my head in disgust. I believe it's just remnants of indoctrination that, because I was indoctrinated from birth, became a deep down part of me that's very difficult to completely shed.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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23-10-2013, 09:21 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
(22-10-2013 07:05 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I still feel a longing for something more, something to fill up all those empty places inside my soul, something to finally make me stop wanting so much.

1. Do you believe in a "Soul". Why or why not?

2. What is it exactly that you "want" so much?

(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  But... I wonder if this is not the case for everyone else? Is this just part of the idealist temperament? To wish for something better and to feel an almost-constant longing for it? Are more practical types less inclined to feel this "vacuum"?

I feel a sense of constant longing for more favorable circumstances than I possess in the present. Even when I achieve a previously defined state of success, I then long for an even more successful state. My desire remains constant regardless of the circumstances.

(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Also, if you do identify with this, why do you think it is that we have these longings?

My guess is that this sense is beneficial to my species and I physically. I am more likely to survive and reproduce if I seek out more favorable circumstances. If I survive and then reproduce my species will inherit my desire and benefit from it. The cycle will repeat, and strengthen the human race.

In short, Darwin's Natural Selection is a solid explanation.

(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Do you think that this feeling is necessary to our survival? As in, if we didn't long or want for more, we'd be inclined to just stagnate and not progress?

Assuming Natural Selection explains this desire, it follows that it is necessary for our continued survival as a species. We know that all living things evolve and compete for survival, so it follows that any species unable or unwilling to adapt to its changing competition will more easily fail and become extinct.

Time for you to read The Selfish Gene. Natural selection does not favor species.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-10-2013, 10:07 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
(23-10-2013 07:14 AM)Escape Artist Wrote:  
(22-10-2013 03:55 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  God is only an idea. What do you think that idea was? Why did you hold to it? These things you have to ask for yourself.
Examples are of longing for something bigger than yourself or a feeling of closeness or security.

It was the idea of perfection that I held to. That this world and those in it might not be perfect but that there was something/someone out there who was. The idea of heaven, where no one would hurt or ever be sad again, was something I clung to tightly. I remember getting teary-eyed in services when I'd think about it, longing for a time when neither I nor anyone else would hurt anymore.

Now that I no longer believe in all those things, I think about death quite a bit, and find peace in the thought of it. Though I won't actually experience it, won't feel anything after I'm gone, I'm looking forward to just not being anymore. It soothes me to think of a time when I won't feel anything.

Life does have its highs, but they're so few and far between and the lows are many.
Perfection is an illusion. Everyone longs for perfection but adequate is "good enough" The thing is everything can be improved on but you'll never get to perfect, we ain't machinesTongue Heaven is yet another illusion and really? Its where you worship god for eternity, that's basically it and sounds kinda lame. At least in hell you could be burned in flames or your flesh peeled off experiencing a multitude level of pain. Definitely not mundane like heavenTongue Your idea of heaven has been colored in huge variety of different views that are MEANT to be something you and everyone wants. It's wish fulfillment to the extreme!
Life is tough, so what. Bad things happen and also a lot of good. Its a teetering balance act not knowing where the scales will tip. You can take precautions and you can take risks. Find something that inspires you that gives you happiness, you're a writer explore these things. Death will come when it does, fuck it its a part of living. Maybe its best to have solace in that you have lived a life that is worthy too you. If it's not, get startedTongue

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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23-10-2013, 11:11 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
(22-10-2013 03:05 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Don't know if there's been a previous thread on this, but this was a concept I heard discussed a lot back when I was a Christian and honestly it's still something I can identify with. I still feel a longing for something more, something to fill up all those empty places inside my soul, something to finally make me stop wanting so much.

But... I wonder if this is not the case for everyone else? Is this just part of the idealist temperament? To wish for something better and to feel an almost-constant longing for it? Are more practical types less inclined to feel this "vacuum"?

I'm interested to hear everyone's thoughts.

Also, if you do identify with this, why do you think it is that we have these longings? Where does that "aching" or "longing" feeling come from, physiologically speaking? Do you think that this feeling is necessary to our survival? As in, if we didn't long or want for more, we'd be inclined to just stagnate and not progress?

Thanks!

Oh, EA. Asking a bunch of silly men about an emotional experience of reality. You might as well be asking us about the sound of one hand clapping. It's not to say we don't feel it, but every explanation has to go through the rationality filter, and thereby becomes a rational reality and then explanation to us. We might as well be talking about basketball strategy. Don't misunderstand - if I'm different, its not by much.

I have also experienced a significant disconnect between what I rationally believe to be true and the emotionalism (sentimentality) I was raised with as a result of religion. Much of that sentimentality was attached to the specific things you are experiencing as well - "Someday, we will all be together, and happy, in the lord's village...." Heaven - the great idealization of all good things.

One of the most profound experiences I have had in life, and really am still learning to overcome, is the fact that I created my emotional reality in most all ways, and that it was in my control. Listen to these podcasts: "Happiness Through Self-Awareness" by Gary Van Warmerdam. I will plug this program mercilessly for one and only one reason, it has freed me from the emotional prison of my mind.

Cheers.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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23-10-2013, 11:46 AM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
What HoC said... and what everybody else said, too.
Oh, and you're an addict. Ok, former addict.

You aren't an addict now, so you are realizing a lot more things about your self.
The thing is... when you were addicted, you didn't even realize there was such a thing as a self. You were all busy giving what there was of a self over to something that wasn't even there.
Then, there was only god; now, there is YOU. Much bigger, far more important, and much more lovable, in my opinion. Hug

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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23-10-2013, 03:03 PM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
I identify with the concept (because I used to be Christian), but it doesn't particularly bother me. It is weird at first, to go from believing in immortal souls and being part of a grand plan, but after a while, looking back on it is even weirder.
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23-10-2013, 05:11 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2013 05:16 PM by MrAttacus.)
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
I have no idea what this 'god-shaped vacuum' idea is supposed to be; I've never felt the need to be 'filled' by the idea of a magical invisible person, even when I was a batshit crazy, wingnut JW.

When I did think god was out somewhere in the general 'above' vicinity, I felt fear more than anything else, and never love or happiness towards this 'god' that was supposed to exist; I had just thought that god existed whether I liked it or not and was always watching and judging me, and that, more delusional than that, would help change reality to accommodate for trivial things that I wanted when I prayed. Of course, I know now, and so should everyone else, that such an idea is just laughable and shouldn't be true if it was even an option.

The feeling of knowing that this 'god-shaped vacuum' can never possibly be filled because god doesn't exist, never has, and never will; is called relief. And on top of that, mild annoyance, that I had even believed such an idea, since it was never my idea to begin with and I never chose to believe it.

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"Humans always measure what they see in front of them to what they already know. They will deny anything outside of that. They are shallow lifeforms, so enthralled with superficial appearances that they fail to see the truth."
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23-10-2013, 06:26 PM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
I have a "win the lottery" shaped hole.
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23-10-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: God-shaped vacuum?
We, as human beings, can desire a great deal or very little. It all depends on the person.

Why do we desire ?
Basic needs are food, shelter, water
Beyond that we expand to the things we want to make our lives more and more comfortable.
Better food, better shelter, more accessibility to clean water.

With shelter comes a measure of protection. Protection from the elements. Protection from animals and other people.
Once we leave that shelter, we lose that measure of safety. A god can enter into one's thoughts at this point to help calm the fear or apprehension we might feel when we are alone out in the world, outside of our shelter or separated from family protection.

The vacuums we have internally are biological & psychological needs that we try to meet in order for us to function in a way that allows us to keep going with our lives. Sometimes we have to trick our own minds into letting go of the fear.

Once you bring a god into your mind, they are very hard to scrub clean. They fill our minds with nasty, mean spirited actions that we might not have ever done on our own, but when that delusion takes hold, it can cause a good man to commit atrocities.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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