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Humanities Section => Philosophy & Rhetoric General Discussion => Topic started by: AcrobaticDetective on February 07, 2020, 09:45:13 PM

Title: Is it natural?
Post by: AcrobaticDetective on February 07, 2020, 09:45:13 PM
Since losing my faith and religious beliefs, I feel more connected to the earth and the universe. It's not a spiritual or mystical feeling. It's more real than that. Primal? I don't know how to explain it. Am I the only one to have this experience?
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Hydra009 on February 08, 2020, 12:02:10 AM
Since losing my faith and religious beliefs, I feel more connected to the earth and the universe. It's not a spiritual or mystical feeling. It's more real than that. Primal? I don't know how to explain it. Am I the only one to have this experience?
Nope.  Same.  I dunno how to describe it.  I felt a lot more in the moment and in tune with my surroundings.  Though, it kinda wore off after a while as that became my new baseline.

Since then, I've gotten a lot more out of solitary hiking.  I used to be more preoccupied other stuff, now I take more time to really take it all in.

One time I was walking the dog in a small field in spring and I took a couple minutes to take a nice, close look at this unassuming patch of dirt and grass.  It startled me with the sheer amount of activity - flies, bumblebees, ants, a couple spiders, the occasional cricket - all practically unnoticed.  And that's just a speck in a speck of what's out there.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 08, 2020, 01:23:48 AM
Since losing my faith and religious beliefs, I feel more connected to the earth and the universe. It's not a spiritual or mystical feeling. It's more real than that. Primal? I don't know how to explain it. Am I the only one to have this experience?

You are based.  Enjoy it when it happens.  Primal is a good adjective.  Know people like that, not part of my own experience except on very rare occasions.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: SGOS on February 08, 2020, 09:09:47 AM
I always felt more connected to the Earth and the Universe than I did to spirits.  For me it has always been a natural default state.  I'm pretty sure others don't feel it, some because they are simply not interested.  I suppose it's possible that when one sheds the belief in things that aren't there, attention is redirected to things that are there, all of which are part of the Earth and the universe.  In my case that's nature.  For others it might be fast cars.  Nature, wind, rain, sky, and wild critters are probably nature in it's most primal form, and many are enchanted by it, but it's not universal, and for most people it's of mild interest.  But shifting focus to the Earth and the universe is certainly one natural response to shedding the yoke of the supernatural.  We spend more time with our feet on the ground than we do floating around in the √¶ther, so we are primal in a very real way.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on February 08, 2020, 09:16:05 AM
Since losing my faith and religious beliefs, I feel more connected to the earth and the universe. It's not a spiritual or mystical feeling. It's more real than that. Primal? I don't know how to explain it. Am I the only one to have this experience?
I don't personally know your experience.  I never felt connected to or fully believed in any god.  Oh I tried!  I spent over half my life searching for god or anything like it.  But even as a kid I just could not really 'feel' it.  I wanted to and said that I did believe in a 'higher power'.  It never worked, not even for a little bit. 

I don't think I'd label your experience as 'primal'.  I'd label it as being aware.  Theists simply believe in a fiction/fantasy that takes belief (facts and critical thinking is not needed nor cultivated) and so that set of beliefs, by necessity, applies a certain set of filters to one's awareness which makes one view the world in a particular way.  Without those filters working, then awareness is based on what one sees and the facts of the nature of our world and the universe.  Nature is full of real, vibrant, exciting beauty.    And real horror, pain and suffering.  Nature reveals to all who can see without the scales of religion, that there is no built in caring, purpose (other than to live); all of the caring and purpose comes from one source--you.  If you want to live a life of caring and purpose you then must simply live it; that is the message I take away from nature; if I want purpose, I have to supply it.  If I want my world to be one of caring, I have to care and show it.  This is not something supplied by a higher power, but from within and only you can demonstrate it.  I think that is what you are feeling.  The scales have dropped from you eyes as you realize there is no higher power and therefore, those 'spiritual' feelings god was supposed to supply have to be supplied by you.  That must be quite invigorating. And maybe a bit scary. 

Welcome to the world!!
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2020, 01:32:37 PM
When I lost my faith I needed to find a new context in which to place my life, so I began studying the universe and its contents. Now I have a very good idea of my place in existence and how I fit into it. It's a journey that will never be completed, though.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: AcrobaticDetective on February 08, 2020, 04:40:54 PM
I am glad to hear it's normal. :) And good.

I'm thinking about a lot of things lately. The way I was before, I was perpetually looking towards something to come (the afterlife). Everything was about preparing for that. But in retrospect, I see lots of issues with how that thinking affected my behavior.

As I was clumsily uncovering in my OP, it prevented me from being grounded in the present. I also think it made me somewhat selfish. It seems backwards to me, but everything I did (well maybe some hyperbole there) was done in preparation for the thing to come. I'm not suggesting I would be mean or evil without my faith, but it lead me to doing things to get points with the guy upstairs instead of just being a good person for the sake of being a good person. I was acting out of fear instead of love.

I'm also finding my depression declining--very noticeably.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2020, 04:51:14 PM
When I lost my belief in God, I also lost any fear of hell I had. I felt free from that fear, and it was the most joyous feeling I'd ever experienced. It was way better even than the day I "accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior."
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: SGOS on February 08, 2020, 06:30:14 PM
I'm also finding my depression declining--very noticeably.
Discovering my own atheism was a very uplifting experience, the kind that comes with discoveries about self.  It was the feeling of enlightenment.  My fear of Hell held on a bit longer, even while I knew there was NO such a place.  Being taught about a vengeful god starting somewhere around age two or three makes an impression that is more easily intellectually shaken off as one matures, but takes longer to emotionally expunge.  I have a vivid memory standing next to my Baptist grandmother sitting in her chair as she explained to me the first time about the existence of her Hellfire and brimstone god, and immediately knowing that I could never make the cut and was eventually doomed to an eternity of torture and fire.  This is heavy shit, more than I even realized at the time.  I remember my initial reaction, being not fear, but just hopeless resignation.

Also, AcrobaticDetective, I had a lot of Catholic friends growing up, and one told me one time that I should become a Catholic because they had more days off from school than I, which was a great selling point to a kid in 4th grade.  I told my grandmother that I thought I wanted to become a Catholic, and she screamed and told me that if I became a Catholic, I would go to Hell.

I know many Christians believe God is love, but that was not the one I knew.  The fact is no one actually knows, because all we "know" is what comes out of the Bible, and that god is most definitely not kind or loving.  But some people aren't so brainwashed, and simply make up a god of their choosing, quite often the one they would imagine as a picture of themselves.  But the only documentation is a book that claims to be God's word, and speaks the truth about everything, even when it's obviously wrong, or just mythical nonsense.  They tell me is the ultimate source of enlightenment, so that is the god I imagine, when someone asks, "Which god?"  I'm just not interested in gods we make up.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2020, 06:45:38 PM
Too bad you're grandmother never heard about this quote by Thomas Paine:
Quote
The Bible has been received by the Protestants on the authority of the Church of Rome, and on no other authority. It is She that has said it is the word of God.

If the RCC is "The Anti-Christ" as some protestants believe, then the Bible came directly from the Anti-Christ.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on February 08, 2020, 07:04:03 PM
I was acting out of fear instead of love.

I'm also finding my depression declining--very noticeably.
What a realization!!  I have been studying christianity most of my life and I was struck as a child how important fear is for that religion.  It is what drives it!  One of the Laws was always---Respect God--Fear God!  I just don't understand how the two can co-exist.  And then God was supposed to be love???

I think I would find living with fear to be depressing.  You have hit upon some basic  realizations and revelations.  What an exciting time for you!  And I imagine there is a bit of bravery going on as well.  Good for you!
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2020, 07:11:19 PM
Should we fear God? Should we love God? It's pretty hard to do both, as is pointed out in 1John 4:18

Quote
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: SGOS on February 08, 2020, 07:25:08 PM
One of the Laws was always---Respect God--Fear God!
My Lutheran Pastor told our catechism class that when the Bible says fear god, "fear" is properly translated as "love."  I'm just reporting what he said.  I'm not sure where he got this information, and I know word meanings change with the times, but to me, "fear" means "fear."  My grandmother was Baptist, but my mother told my father we weren't going to be Baptists.  That's why my immediate family were Lutherans, but most of my early training was from my grandmother who lived upstairs in the two flat.  Granted this caused much confusion on my part, and may have been part of the reason I started questioning contradicting information in my teens.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2020, 07:27:17 PM
Yeah, just like I've been told that "hate" means "love less."
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 10:28:55 AM
What a realization!!  I have been studying christianity most of my life and I was struck as a child how important fear is for that religion.  It is what drives it!  One of the Laws was always---Respect God--Fear God!  I just don't understand how the two can co-exist.  And then God was supposed to be love???

I think I would find living with fear to be depressing.  You have hit upon some basic  realizations and revelations.  What an exciting time for you!  And I imagine there is a bit of bravery going on as well.  Good for you!

Not just fear of Abrahamic gods, but nature gods too.  Mahabharata.  Are people so woke, so Middle Class, that they have nothing to fear?  Bwahaha.  But fear of something unlikely or impossible is really wasting perfectly good fear ;-)

My upbringing wasn't particularly religious, and came to it as an adult.  So it was love of a human being that brought me in.  Not the monster under my bed.  My daughter was raised religious, but as an adult she isn't particularly religious, and that might be a good sign.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 10:30:42 AM
Should we fear God? Should we love God? It's pretty hard to do both, as is pointed out in 1John 4:18

Neither/both.  Western people think that there are only two alternatives.

I find I can't love G-d, I have to struggle for gratitude, though it is most important to express gratitude to other people, not G-d.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 10:31:34 AM
Yeah, just like I've been told that "hate" means "love less."

The opposite of love is neglect.  Hate is negative love.  Both love and hate are obsession.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Draconic Aiur on February 09, 2020, 12:37:38 PM
No. Neglect is the middle.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 02:54:35 PM
No. Neglect is the middle.

Love to hate?  Hate to love?
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 03:02:35 PM
Many here, including Acrobatic Detective should enjoy this ...

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only it its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. - Walt Whitman

Not bad for a special service today at the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship, based around the Tu B'sh'vat arbor day holiday.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on February 09, 2020, 03:45:31 PM
Many here, including Acrobatic Detective should enjoy this ...

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only it its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. - Walt Whitman

Not bad for a special service today at the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship, based around the Tu B'sh'vat arbor day holiday.
That is clearly NOT a christian message!!
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 04:52:23 PM
That is clearly NOT a christian message!!

Of course not.  Walt Whitman wasn't a Christian.  Neither was Constantine.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on February 09, 2020, 06:10:51 PM
Of course not.  Walt Whitman wasn't a Christian.  Neither was Constantine.
Yeah, but that is what christians tell you their religion teaches.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 09, 2020, 06:20:20 PM
Of course not.  Walt Whitman wasn't a Christian.  Neither was Constantine.

Neither was Jesus...
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 08:43:22 PM
Yeah, but that is what christians tell you their religion teaches.

That explains why your driveway has gotten fake resurfacing every year ... age challenged?  Never believe a used religion salesmen ... sheesh!
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 08:44:12 PM
Neither was Jesus...

Correct ... though only a religious fiction, what is portrayed in the Gospels is a BuJew.  Not Gentile at all, and not exactly kosher either.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: AcrobaticDetective on February 09, 2020, 09:21:31 PM
Discovering my own atheism was a very uplifting experience, the kind that comes with discoveries about self.  It was the feeling of enlightenment.  My fear of Hell held on a bit longer, even while I knew there was NO such a place.  Being taught about a vengeful god starting somewhere around age two or three makes an impression that is more easily intellectually shaken off as one matures, but takes longer to emotionally expunge. 

I am going through that right now. Intellectually, I gave up hell long before becoming an atheist, but I still tried to live to avoid it. I was hedging my bets by being an active member of my church. But, now that I'm without one, I have to really make that emotional jail break.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2020, 09:27:07 PM
I am going through that right now. Intellectually, I gave up hell long before becoming an atheist, but I still tried to live to avoid it. I was hedging my bets by being an active member of my church. But, now that I'm without one, I have to really make that emotional jail break.

Family can drag you in, if you never were in before (my case).  If you are single, then your situation is under your own control.  Aristotle said, humans are a thinking animal ... he was wrong ;-)  We are "emos".
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: AcrobaticDetective on February 09, 2020, 09:50:09 PM
Yeah, but that is what christians tell you their religion teaches.

There are Christians who really do teach this and interpret the bible this way. But they also practice a more loving and open expression of Christianity (e.g. Richard Rohr) than is historical. It's something I was thinking about today. The more progressive the expression the further it is from traditional Christianity. It is then deemed heretical by traditional / conservative Christians. It's a strange irony. To be what Christianity claims to be, you have to be less Christian.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2020, 09:55:10 PM
I am going through that right now. Intellectually, I gave up hell long before becoming an atheist, but I still tried to live to avoid it. I was hedging my bets by being an active member of my church. But, now that I'm without one, I have to really make that emotional jail break.
When I gave up trying to believe in a god, it was like overturning a garbage can.  Most of the intellectually absurd ideas came out in a big heap and were easily swept away, but much of the irrational emotional stuff imprinted in my early childhood were like maggots sticking to the insides of the can and still had to dry up and fall off.  It wasn't a big project, and I don't remember working hard to clean up the mess.  Left alone, it seemed to decompose and go away on its own.  But the years of struggle prior to my conversion trying to make sense out of the confusion and contradictions of theism, including those other than Christianity was a considerable effort, but a wasted effort as no sense could be made out of any of it.

A reality without a god seems to resemble what a world with god looks like.  Some things happen, and other things don't.  There is a combination of good and evil, some of which I can control, and much of it that I cannot.  Take the supernatural out of it, and it's still the same.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2020, 10:10:10 PM
There are Christians who really do teach this and interpret the bible this way. But they also practice a more loving and open expression of Christianity (e.g. Richard Rohr) than is historical. It's something I was thinking about today. The more progressive the expression the further it is from traditional Christianity. It is then deemed heretical by traditional / conservative Christians. It's a strange irony. To be what Christianity claims to be, you have to be less Christian.
I've met 4 Quakers in my life, which is hardly a representative sample, but I would describe those four as very decent people.  I moved to a different state in the Bible Belt 10 years ago, and as it turns out, my two best friends here are Christian fundamentalists, and they are both giving and forgiving and I'm thrilled to have them in my life.  Religion is not a part of our friendship and we respect each other a great deal.  Discussions about our personal beliefs are seldom and amazingly brief.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: AcrobaticDetective on February 09, 2020, 11:05:43 PM
When I gave up trying to believe in a god, it was like overturning a garbage can.  Most of the intellectually absurd ideas came out in a big heap and were easily swept away, but much of the irrational emotional stuff imprinted in my early childhood were like maggots sticking to the insides of the can and still had to dry up and fall off.  It wasn't a big project, and I don't remember working hard to clean up the mess.  Left alone, it seemed to decompose and go away on its own. [

Excellent analogy.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on February 10, 2020, 09:08:52 AM
There are Christians who really do teach this and interpret the bible this way. But they also practice a more loving and open expression of Christianity (e.g. Richard Rohr) than is historical. It's something I was thinking about today. The more progressive the expression the further it is from traditional Christianity. It is then deemed heretical by traditional / conservative Christians. It's a strange irony. To be what Christianity claims to be, you have to be less Christian.
From what I've seen and from what I've learned from study, the real dishonest/evil part of any religion is its hierarchy.  The priesthood has a real vested interest in maintaining the status quo--that's how they get money and power, and once they have both money and power their main interest turns into growing both the money and the power.  The people who make up those religions are, for the most part, just people.  They, as a rule, are kind and caring people.  I've been in several Southern churches, and a Methodist and Baptist church in the West, as well as a very active member of Unity from about a decade.  I met a bunch of good people (in spite of their religious beliefs) and enjoyed that part of being a member. 
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on February 10, 2020, 12:01:17 PM
I see Catholicism as being a strongly cultural/ethnic thing, something not part of my experience, but not as alien as say ... Japanese Buddhism.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Gregory on February 28, 2020, 08:40:11 PM
The way to the truth
is through a bewildering
forest of lies.

Humanism is honest if nothing else. 
The quest for truth is an ego trip.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Gregory on March 10, 2020, 03:52:57 AM
wandering birds
wandering thoughts -
the whole world is a wonder
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Mike Cl on March 10, 2020, 09:01:38 AM
The way to the truth
is through a bewildering
forest of lies.

Humanism is honest if nothing else. 
The quest for truth is an ego trip.
I can go along with that.
But I will amend it a tiny bit.--the search for Truth is an ego trip. 
I do want to search for the truth (facts), however.
Title: Re: Is it natural?
Post by: Baruch on March 10, 2020, 11:41:25 AM
I can go along with that.
But I will amend it a tiny bit.--the search for Truth is an ego trip. 
I do want to search for the truth (facts), however.

Two plus two equals four.  Found a fact for you.  And yes, you have an ego ;-)