The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
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29-10-2013, 01:18 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2013 01:27 AM by Luminon.)
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  Don't fucking do that, Lumi. Now you are sounding like every other True Believer™ that shows up here.
I would have thought you would have improved your understanding of atheism, the scientific method, logic after being here for nearly two years, but you are getting worse.
I'm not here to kiss your ass, or to convert it. I am here to represent a way of thinking and being some may think not possible and thus feel themselves alone.
How am I contradicting logic or atheism? I say that the loss of religion and becoming an atheist has been an expansion of consciousness, or awareness, if you want. Expanding awareness further does not make you any less atheist, but it may make the point moot by heavy doses of agnosticism and some freaky experiences.

(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  There it is again. Just fuck off with generalizations.
I'm a student of sociology, dammit! Generalizations are my subject. If you're not one of these atheists wondering what the hell does that spirituality mean and you want some definition that is not wildly contradictory, read on.

But first please tell me what do you think I am doing, what do you see as my motivations for writing this topic. I am notoriously lacking feedback of this kind.

(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  And you presume to tell us how we must view things?
I wouldn't say it's me telling. People with expanded consciousness think pretty much in a similar way, or they think so. Yes, I recognize there is a special kind of "scientific spirituality", but it shares the common element of expanded consciousness/awareness of the way things are.

(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  Oh, for fuck's sake. Now we're jagged, cynical folks. Seriously, Lumi, shove it up your ass.
Hey, I just posted two New Age songs that are almost too much for my own, jagged, cynical heart. I didn't want it to show.

(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, you started sounding like a cheesy Christian from the get-go.
I'm sorry for that. Spirituality is not something anyone can get-go and it would be wrong to portray it as such.

(28-10-2013 06:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  Try talking in the first person instead of preaching. You have no idea what my feelings are regarding existence, or the wonders of reality, or the beauty of nature, or the joy of love, so don't fucking presume to preach your brand of spirituality at me.
Eh, I was preaching? I thought I was descriptive. So you suggest I try some personal narrative, OK.
Yes, I have no idea about your feelings regarding existence and so on. That's because you probably keep them private - that has its advantages and disadvantages, just like sharing them as I do now (and be assured, right now it's the disadvantage stage)
I don't believe there is a brand of spirituality, all difference is in personalities. I'd say spirituality is universal and so there's not much point in keeping it secret or oppositely, preaching it. But there is a sense in studying it and comparing it, my sociological gut says.

Mostly I think this phenomenon is not well understood or studied and I don't want all the humanity marginalized along atheist vs. theist lines. I had a problem with it for years the same way I have a problem with fitting into any kind of ist, except perhaps humanist. And I have heard Seth mention this subject in less or more bewilderment and curiosity at least twice in his podcast. So consider this thread a preliminary research of audience, if you will.

(28-10-2013 06:56 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  First of all, there ain't no "like HoC, without Gwynnies." Tongue

Second, spirituality is a buncha fucking woo. Big Grin

Why not just say, "I have a philosophy?" Why not just name that philosophy? When you take something like that off the rack, man, you're just dressing in a fool's wardrobe. Cool
Firstly, you've got a point. Secondly, yes, and the only help against that is to be very, very vague Wink Thirdly, no single philosophy is big enough to contain the ever-expanding awareness - only becoming a philosopher as such Thumbsup

(29-10-2013 12:14 AM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  There's a problem when you co-opt already established terms. 1. you confuse people. 2. you give weight to people who use the terms more appropriately (like when religious people use spiritual). 3. you have perfectly fine secular words to describe what you're describing.

You talk about a "relationship with reality". Everything, and one, is based within reality - the relationship is a given. There's no way you can separate anything or one from reality.

Finding emotional attachment (for good or worse) with inanimate objects, or living beings, or various types of relationships, or concepts isn't anything new or unique.

So why use spirituality? Why not "conciousness raising", or what you already used "expanded conciousness"? Or, "heightened emotional attachment". All very secular terms.
Yes, very secular, but after a time we find the point moot. The only reason why we make a big deal out of secularism is because religion pushes us to it. If we were free from religion, we'd be free to consider what the universe is. Our ability is to NOT base things in reality, it is to create partial unreality by our limited thinking, feeling and perception. There is a battle for the universe, for our understanding of it, is it like we see it, or are we just more of a special application of some greater rule?

Therefore, is our understanding of reality an obstacle to even greater understanding of reality? It's not very well known, but consciousness ever develops in cycles. We develop some kind of instrument, be it physical device, emotional attachment or mental philosophy, we use it, it loses usefulness and we battle for it against contrary forces, there is a revolution, a period of chaos, re-orientation and invention of a new instrument again, merging both old and new in a new level of meaning.

The cycles typically follow Hegel's pattern of thesis - antithesis - synthesis... And so we may find ourselves considering again old spiritual or religious philosophies that we thought science made obsolete long ago. We may discover that science is merely a side-stepping-stone, an antithesis and both will be seen in an old-new light of synthesis. That's what I think, anyway - that what most people on this forum think is the antithesis and that there is still synthesis ahead of us. And that makes it interesting.
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29-10-2013, 02:05 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2013 02:09 AM by PoolBoyG.)
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(29-10-2013 01:18 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Yes, very secular, but after a time we find the point moot. The only reason why we make a big deal out of secularism is because religion pushes us to it. If we were free from religion, we'd be free to consider what the universe is. Our ability is to NOT base things in reality, it is to create partial unreality by our limited thinking, feeling and perception. There is a battle for the universe, for our understanding of it, is it like we see it, or are we just more of a special application of some greater rule?

Therefore, is our understanding of reality an obstacle to even greater understanding of reality? It's not very well known, but consciousness ever develops in cycles. We develop some kind of instrument, be it physical device, emotional attachment or mental philosophy, we use it, it loses usefulness and we battle for it against contrary forces, there is a revolution, a period of chaos, re-orientation and invention of a new instrument again, merging both old and new in a new level of meaning.

The cycles typically follow Hegel's pattern of thesis - antithesis - synthesis... And so we may find ourselves considering again old spiritual or religious philosophies that we thought science made obsolete long ago. We may discover that science is merely a side-stepping-stone, an antithesis and both will be seen in an old-new light of synthesis. That's what I think, anyway - that what most people on this forum think is the antithesis and that there is still synthesis ahead of us. And that makes it interesting.

I'd just like to note that I find the explanation confusing. From what I gather you're proposing another method of observing reality, and modelling it so it can be applied and be made use of.

It's not something I see as accurate, or useful.

But again, having a positive emotional response to things or concepts isn't new, and isn't bad. It's something understood and explained. I'm sure it can be mapped and triggered at will in people through study, science, etc.

"Do you want to feel a "paternal love" for the concept of "reciting the A, B, Cs?" That this was the reason the universe exists? Here you go."
"Do you want to feel the very idea of 2 + 2 = 4 as ludicrous, offensive, and completely irrational? And that it was the instrument of some malevolent being? Here you go."

Whether it's drugs, or zapping parts of the brain, or just some sort of placebo, it can be understood and recreated with established ways of looking at and interacting with reality.
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30-10-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(29-10-2013 02:05 AM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I'd just like to note that I find the explanation confusing. From what I gather you're proposing another method of observing reality, and modelling it so it can be applied and be made use of.

It's not something I see as accurate, or useful.

But again, having a positive emotional response to things or concepts isn't new, and isn't bad. It's something understood and explained. I'm sure it can be mapped and triggered at will in people through study, science, etc.

Whether it's drugs, or zapping parts of the brain, or just some sort of placebo, it can be understood and recreated with established ways of looking at and interacting with reality.
Here's where the mystery comes. People can have mystical experiences WITHOUT drugs, zapping brain, or even placebo. If they calm down completely and meditate, the brain will find itself stimulated by something that apparently isn't there. It's as if these drug brain centers were just keys on keyboard for something else to play on.
It can be totally unexpected, unwanted, unbelieved, uncaused, and yet real. Yes, it is a method of passive detection at first, of tuning in on something we didn't know of before.

Shortly said: Something can make you high even if you didn't do anything. Actually, the less you do, the better it works. That's weird.
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30-10-2013, 02:17 PM
Re: RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(30-10-2013 03:34 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(29-10-2013 02:05 AM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I'd just like to note that I find the explanation confusing. From what I gather you're proposing another method of observing reality, and modelling it so it can be applied and be made use of.

It's not something I see as accurate, or useful.

But again, having a positive emotional response to things or concepts isn't new, and isn't bad. It's something understood and explained. I'm sure it can be mapped and triggered at will in people through study, science, etc.

Whether it's drugs, or zapping parts of the brain, or just some sort of placebo, it can be understood and recreated with established ways of looking at and interacting with reality.
Here's where the mystery comes. People can have mystical experiences WITHOUT drugs, zapping brain, or even placebo. If they calm down completely and meditate, the brain will find itself stimulated by something that apparently isn't there. It's as if these drug brain centers were just keys on keyboard for something else to play on.
It can be totally unexpected, unwanted, unbelieved, uncaused, and yet real. Yes, it is a method of passive detection at first, of tuning in on something we didn't know of before.

Shortly said: Something can make you high even if you didn't do anything. Actually, the less you do, the better it works. That's weird.

They can without meditating also.. As you day without doing anything. By numerous forms of uninfluenced living or thought.

Terms and concepts that are trying to be used beyond even some common agreed meaning just lead to more mislabeling of ideas. That's my problem with "spirituality"

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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30-10-2013, 04:08 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(30-10-2013 03:34 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Here's where the mystery comes. People can have mystical experiences WITHOUT drugs, zapping brain, or even placebo. If they calm down completely and meditate, the brain will find itself stimulated by something that apparently isn't there. It's as if these drug brain centers were just keys on keyboard for something else to play on.
It can be totally unexpected, unwanted, unbelieved, uncaused, and yet real. Yes, it is a method of passive detection at first, of tuning in on something we didn't know of before.

Shortly said: Something can make you high even if you didn't do anything. Actually, the less you do, the better it works. That's weird.

So you're claiming that some people feel euphoric in situations where they don’t expend physical and especially mental energy?

Memories and emotions or thoughts aren’t mysterious or spontaneous. You can track the process, and induce them. So in your case when you're calm, breathing regularly (more oxygen, or less) and certain chemicals are withheld or released, you feel euphoric, or induce thoughts, emotions, etc.

All the power to you. Just don’t make it supernatural.
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31-10-2013, 03:49 PM
RE: The difference between religion and spirituality for Atheists
(30-10-2013 04:08 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  So you're claiming that some people feel euphoric in situations where they don’t expend physical and especially mental energy?

Memories and emotions or thoughts aren’t mysterious or spontaneous. You can track the process, and induce them. So in your case when you're calm, breathing regularly (more oxygen, or less) and certain chemicals are withheld or released, you feel euphoric, or induce thoughts, emotions, etc.

All the power to you. Just don’t make it supernatural.
Yes, I can usually track the process and inducing the feelings, that is why I know that there are profound mystical experiences, which can not be tracked. Yes, they probably use all the appropriate brain centers and chemicals, but so far we only know these are used when we actually do something. We know they're not triggered by nothing, we know we need thoughts, emotions, drugs... So what is happening when we're not thinking, remembering or taking anything at the moment, ye the result is similar?

All the power to me? Why not, but to discover something new, I'd say... all the power to something mysterious beyond and within us, that has little or nothing to do with our wishes or desires. If we give these up and calm down, if we stop meddling with our insides and stop chasing thoughts all the time, we give chance to the unknown factor to assert itself and amaze us.
I can't say it's supernatural, it's not understood well, but very well known in traditions dealing with the supposedly supernatural.
There were weeks in which I woke up in the morning feeling bliss and love, all the day, yet I didn't do anything for it.

Anyway, this is not directly involved with spirituality, I'd call it rather advanced stages of spirituality. The sense of ego gets rather... broader and fuzzier. There is a sense of decentralization, of being more at one with the word. Spirituality changes people.
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