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Author Topic: What's the Point?  (Read 12260 times)
FierFlye
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« Topic Start: November 06, 2007, 11:03:59 pm »

Today I was journaling on the Earth element, coming up with all sorts of meanings and correspondences, and feeling like I was doing really well.
Then a little voice interuppted my bliss to ask, "so...how is this at all relevant to spirituality?"
Which then snowballed into, "How is this spirituality relevant to anything?"

SHOCK!!

No wonder I've had such a hard time actually practicing religion (though I'm good at studying it).  I've not figured out how religion fits into everyday life.  I know some people use religion to set their moral code, but I lived for over 20 years without religion and didnt steal anything or kill anybody.  So I guess I dont need it for that.

Why is religion important to you?  Why do you need it in your life?  How exactly does it relate to every day tasks such as doing your job or shopping for groceries?

These are the questions I guess I need to answer myself, but I would like to hear your responses.  And for those of you athiests hanging around, why DONT you need religion?  All points of views would be greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #1: November 06, 2007, 11:29:49 pm »

Today I was journaling on the Earth element, coming up with all sorts of meanings and correspondences, and feeling like I was doing really well.
Then a little voice interuppted my bliss to ask, "so...how is this at all relevant to spirituality?"
Which then snowballed into, "How is this spirituality relevant to anything?"

SHOCK!!

No wonder I've had such a hard time actually practicing religion (though I'm good at studying it).  I've not figured out how religion fits into everyday life.  I know some people use religion to set their moral code, but I lived for over 20 years without religion and didnt steal anything or kill anybody.  So I guess I dont need it for that.

Why is religion important to you?  Why do you need it in your life?  How exactly does it relate to every day tasks such as doing your job or shopping for groceries?

These are the questions I guess I need to answer myself, but I would like to hear your responses.  And for those of you athiests hanging around, why DONT you need religion?  All points of views would be greatly appreciated.

I don't think I do need religion, and in fact I don't have one per se. I do, however, have a very rich spiritual life. I've noticed that sometimes religion actually restricts people from fully experiencing their spirituality. Sometimes the opposite is true. I think discovering for yourself what is true is the whole point, in either case.
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  And the power of Earth,
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« Reply #2: November 07, 2007, 02:06:49 am »

And for those of you athiests hanging around, why DONT you need religion?  All points of views would be greatly appreciated.

Well, for me a number of factors weighed in.

1) I saw no evidence or influence of deities in the world.
2) even when I *believed* in deities, I never experienced anything that suggested the existence of deities.  Every 'experience' I had came from inside, and was essentially a day dream at best.
3) Very little that I learned religiously or magically transferred into any real world results.  In fact I think the only thing I got out of it was a sense that I could master my depression, and I could easily have found that outside of magic if I'd looked in the right place.  Again, I don't think anything magical actually happened.  I just took charge a bit more.
4) I see nearly all people involved in magic and pagan-esque religions achieve nothing more than constructing a vivid fantasy life which impinges on real life (eg, screwing up relationships because you think X is your soul mate, or making decisions based on random 'omens' and so forth).

When I completely admitted my atheism, and stopped trying to *force* a pattern on the world, I felt like I was at last actually seeing and experiencing the world, without something getting in the way, and making me see something that wasn't there.

So basically I don't need magic or religion because I don't think either accomplishes anything supernaturally, the social/psychological effects can be duplicated elsewhere, and because of all the baggage that goes with it.  Also, I don't think religion or magic represents the world as it actually is, and encourages people to engage with delusions.
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« Reply #3: November 07, 2007, 07:41:28 am »

Why is religion important to you?  Why do you need it in your life?  How exactly does it relate to every day tasks such as doing your job or shopping for groceries?

Well, in my religion, EVERYTHING is Divine.  So when I go shopping for groceries, I am both buying what I need to continue the survival of myself and my family (which is a Good Thing), but I'm interacting with other Divine beings.  (other people).

Not that I tend to THINK about that specifically when I'm grocery shopping.  But it matters then, like it matters wherever I go and whatever I do.  I am Divine, and I am interacting with the Divine.  I have to take that into account in all that I do.
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« Reply #4: November 07, 2007, 08:03:57 am »

1) I saw no evidence or influence of deities in the world.
2) even when I *believed* in deities, I never experienced anything that suggested the existence of deities.  Every 'experience' I had came from inside, and was essentially a day dream at best.

I too feel this way sometimes.  But I wouldnt put any less importance on an experience that came from within.  Actually, I think that which comes from within may be the MOST important.  If one is out to change or improve a certain aspect of themselves (ex.depression), within is exactly where the change needs to come from.

I've mainly looked at communicating with diety from this point of view.  I might read up on a particular goddesss, and then try to figure out what lesson she may have to teach me.  If I get a message from her, it is probably actually coming from my subconcious, but that makes it no less valid to my purpose.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 08:46:31 am by Star, Reason: Fixing quote code typo » Logged

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« Reply #5: November 07, 2007, 08:57:29 am »

Not that I tend to THINK about that specifically when I'm grocery shopping.  But it matters then, like it matters wherever I go and whatever I do. 

I think that really sums it up for me too.  My religion is not something that I think about consciously every time I make a decision.  I don't stand there in the grocery store and think, "Now what does my religion say I should buy today?  What do the Gods want me to cook this week?"  But religiously-related values involving things like moderation and taking good care of guests and things like that do influence what I buy.  I don't think about my religion or the Gods every second of every day, but those factors do influence my behaviour in ways that I don't necessarily consciously think about and I suspect perhaps even in some ways I'm not entirely aware of.
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« Reply #6: November 07, 2007, 09:37:32 am »

Why is religion important to you?  Why do you need it in your life?  How exactly does it relate to every day tasks such as doing your job or shopping for groceries?


For me, I think it's a mindset. I don't have to force myself to go through the motions like I did going to church on Sunday growing up Catholic. My religion is also a philosophy, an extension of who I am and how I view the world (the divine) around me. Do I need it? I'm not sure it's a question of being something I can decide to have or not like a possession. As a mindset, it's just part of who I am whether I'm actively thinking about it or not.
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« Reply #7: November 07, 2007, 10:03:07 am »

I've mainly looked at communicating with diety from this point of view.  I might read up on a particular goddesss, and then try to figure out what lesson she may have to teach me.  If I get a message from her, it is probably actually coming from my subconcious, but that makes it no less valid to my purpose.

I guess I don't think there is any difference at all. If I get a message from deity through my subconscious, it is b/c that is how the goddess/god deemed it best to communicate with me at that point. My internal cosmology is just as valid as any external one. But I think that is where faith comes in. If you really consider what the message is about, and use whatever crosscheck system you use to be sure it is not just your ego making noise....that is where faith happens.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #8: November 07, 2007, 10:25:07 am »

Then a little voice interuppted my bliss to ask, "so...how is this at all relevant to spirituality?"
Which then snowballed into, "How is this spirituality relevant to anything?"

Why is religion important to you?  Why do you need it in your life?  How exactly does it relate to every day tasks such as doing your job or shopping for groceries?

I would say spirituality is more important to me than religion. I am having a hard time defining religion here, I guess I think of it as a set of beliefs, a certain set of rituals, observances, worship of deities, and the like. BUT I have known quite a few people who I would say, were religious but not the least bit spiritual.

My spirituality is such a big part of who I am I wouldn't be whole without it. It is my connection to all that exists, seen and unseen. It doesn't need rituals, observances, magic, or anything else to exist, it simply is.

As for how it effects my grocery shopping, I would say indirectly. I buy organic and try to shop crulety-free as much as possible. But I never thought of it as a spiritual experience, just putting my values into action, hoping to make a small difference in the world, same as I see recycling.

What you might want to do is what you have made me do here - define for yourself what religion and spirituality are to you.

Blessings along your path.
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« Reply #9: November 07, 2007, 10:37:15 am »

4) I see nearly all people involved in magic and pagan-esque religions achieve nothing more than constructing a vivid fantasy life which impinges on real life (eg, screwing up relationships because you think X is your soul mate, or making decisions based on random 'omens' and so forth).

When I completely admitted my atheism, and stopped trying to *force* a pattern on the world, I felt like I was at last actually seeing and experiencing the world, without something getting in the way, and making me see something that wasn't there.

Nice use of the word nearly  Wink  and the same could be said for many people involved in the mainstream faiths as well.

Your last statement is exactly true for me but in exactly the opposite way....once I stopped trying to force "reasonable" explanations onto what was in my heart I truly began to experience the world.
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« Reply #10: November 07, 2007, 11:06:56 am »


My spirituality is such a big part of who I am I wouldn't be whole without it. It is my connection to all that exists, seen and unseen. It doesn't need rituals, observances, magic, or anything else to exist, it simply is.
As for how it effects my grocery shopping, I would say indirectly. I buy organic and try to shop crulety-free as much as possible. But I never thought of it as a spiritual experience, just putting my values into action, hoping to make a small difference in the world, same as I see recycling.

What you might want to do is what you have made me do here - define for yourself what religion and spirituality are to you.

(emphasis added by me)

I love what you said.  I feel like my life is my spirituality and evidence thereof.  I rarely put ritual or extras into it unless I feel a particular need for something.  I send out help when it is needed, but rarely is it accompanied by anything complex and time consuming.

One of the first people I came across on my way to here told me to take the time to write down on paper what religion was to me and spirituality and what I wanted out of my path.  It really helped me to ground myself and really give me a map, not that it won't change as I go along, but it helped me see where I am vs. where I was and where I want to be.

Quote
... and the same could be said for many people involved in the mainstream faiths as well.
  That's what started the whole thing for me.  I realized I was following what was expected of me and doing rituals that were essentially empty and when I would ask others why they did it, no one could answer.  It was the pot roast thing all over again.  Grin
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« Reply #11: November 07, 2007, 11:25:02 am »

(emphasis added by me)

I love what you said.  I feel like my life is my spirituality and evidence thereof.  I rarely put ritual or extras into it unless I feel a particular need for something.  I send out help when it is needed, but rarely is it accompanied by anything complex and time consuming.

One of the first people I came across on my way to here told me to take the time to write down on paper what religion was to me and spirituality and what I wanted out of my path.  It really helped me to ground myself and really give me a map, not that it won't change as I go along, but it helped me see where I am vs. where I was and where I want to be.
 

Thanks.  Smiley   And yes, you are right, maps and paths do change, but they help you get where you need to go.
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« Reply #12: November 07, 2007, 01:18:49 pm »

Actually, I think that which comes from within may be the MOST important.  If one is out to change or improve a certain aspect of themselves (ex.depression), within is exactly where the change needs to come from.

True.  But what is within me is *me,* which has been shaped by my life experiences, and therefore by my friends, family, etc.  No deities within me.  Just me.
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« Reply #13: November 07, 2007, 09:18:31 pm »

What you might want to do is what you have made me do here - define for yourself what religion and spirituality are to you.

This was exactly what I needed to do. 

I think: Religion is the structure people put to their spirituality.  Spirituality is how people bring purpose and meaning to their life.

I think many people, myself included, accept a religion without first exploring exactly what purpose or meaning they want to give to their life.  It's like we're on the road, but we don't know where the roads lead or even where we want to go.  Soulfire is right, I need a map!
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« Reply #14: November 07, 2007, 09:21:31 pm »

I think: Religion is the structure people put to their spirituality.  Spirituality is how people bring purpose and meaning to their life.


I think you hit the nail on the head there. Glad to have been of some help.  Smiley
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