Atheist & Agnostics-Hi there!
I’ve been away for a few days and boy did I miss out! I just wish it would’ve stayed on track instead of being bullied onto another tangent. Speaking of bullies, that’s probably the single biggest issue that took me away from organized religion. There’s always one bully who thinks he’s got all the answers for the rest of us ignorants.
I was on a train yesterday with some Christian missionaries and they were lovely! We spoke of so many things and didn’t touch religion! Those women earn far greater respect and admiration and converts than those who are heavy handed who merely succeed in isolating themselves and achieve the opposite of what they seek.
Like a number on the thread, I too have a degree in psychology, probably borne from my early exposure to so many differnt cultures and religions.
I don’t take huge issue with bibles (plural) as much as I do with churches. Most religions seem to be mostly/somewhat right on (although archaic and not evolved), but it’s the churches that seem to screw things up. Again, man is at the center of the misstep.
I find perfection in nature, love in the abundance she gives. All I know is what I see before me. It doesn’t need to be explained or interpreted and it’s been proven through the millenia. A river will not pronounce judgement on me, but it will give me life, no matter what my name, race, sexuality. Nature is blindly loving and giving, and we need to show more gratitude back. Nature is also our bodies, which should be loved simply for how they are, how they were made in nature’s perfection, how they were meant to be before we soiled them with man-made poisons. The miracle of life happens everyday and no one takes note, no one writes it down. We take it for granted. Yet it happens. And there was no need to pray for it.
Some people seem to need religions for grounding, for strength. Others don’t. Maybe a time will come in my life where I’ll need something, but now I’m more repulsed by what I see from religions.
Last summer I was in Thailand and Laos and the evident faith there is astounding. The beauty of it was that they didn’t try to shove it down my throat.
I haven’t been reading all the post since there are too many of them and most of them not devoted to agnosticism/atheism. Honestly, I was looking forward to having a thread like this but it seems to have be mostly religious debate (mostly fueled Shgawda) and I hate to say it but I don’t plan on posting on this thread if he keeps posting on it. Sorry if that sounds bad but that is how I feel.
I honestly can’t stand to read all the God/Jesus stuff. If I wanted to read that, I would go to the Christian thread.
I notice his thread got closed and I am afraid that he won’t be able to stay away from this thread and I don’t think he should be posting here since he is obviously not an agnostic/atheist and I honestly don’t believe he is really interested in changing but he just wants to “fuel the fire” because he doesn’t approve of atheism.. I fear that our thread will get closed too because of a possibly fueled religious debate.
I hope it doesn’t turn out that way but I have a feeling it will. Sad to because I was really looking forward to getting to know all the raw atheists on here :(
I second you queenfluff!
Carmentina, you’re previous post was really beautiful. I think if more people thought like you the world would be a nicer place.
I get exited by debate but there would be no need for it if there was more of that view point.
‘The miracle of life happens everyday and no one takes note, no one writes it down. We take it for granted. Yet it happens. And there was no need to pray for it.‘
I really liked this bit, its so true
Something that greatly disturbs me is still going on within the Catholic Church – the sale of indulgences. Yes, it still happens. Just yesterday my mother-in-law was discussing with her sister how they were going to sponsor a church in exchange for indulgence. I find this deplorable. The only thing that should count is one’s actions for indulgence (if you believe in indulgence). With this system there’s no accountability. Confess and you’re off. Buy indulgence and you’re off. Hail Mary and you’re off. Convert others and you’re off.
It made me laugh to hear this conversation between these two rather pious elderly ladies cuz I couldn’t imagine what they should need to repent! There is endless emphasis on SIN and many of the so-called sins I don’t consider a sin at all, like masturbation.
That said, I sometimes find their faith enviable in that I could never be so blindly trusting simply because it comes from a church. I guess I’m too critical or even cynical. It gives them great comfort and consolation, especially in hard times. That kind of faith is something that must either be inculcated from birth or blossom spontaenously within onself. My husband is a believer, but not a blindly accepting one. I know faith is important for him
and he attends mass once in a while and I support him in it. That doesn’t mean I attend mass with him, it just means I don’t attempt to dissuade him (which would be stupid and arrogant, I think) and I often ask him questions about his religion. We have great discussions about it.
I respect religions and think there is something to be learned from all of them.
aspire – i’d like to read eckhert toll’s book! i think folks on this earth are connected because we’re all stuck on the same earth together, and the negative actions you do simply create a worse environment for everyone.
meditating – try posting a message in the library, naming a few books you’d like to read in the potential book club. or posting in the bookstore sounds good.
cool idea superfood! parents sometimes choose to have a religion and perhaps bring a child to a certain location where that religion is practiced then you realized you were an atheist. I THINK THIS HAPPENED TO ME! I was wondering why I was massively uncomfortable when being told to follow certain religious rules and attend religious events. I had this awakening where I thought hmm, does this even sound legit? Of course, I had these thoughts beginning at age 13, and for many years I was trying to get away from religion, but didn’t have the books to understand my new beliefs.
excellent information!! I love this comment you made Iâ€™m not going to put a label on myself though, christian, hindu, muslim, athiest, agnostic.. Really? Theyre just words. Too many wars in this world can be attributed to them and what they mean or dont mean to different people. Its actions that count.
I realized that I simply never think about religion or lack thereof. It never occurs to me to speculate on spirituality. This HUGE response to my thread is a surprise – that folks feel this passionately about this topic? It honestly bores me immensely to think about it. I do, however, enjoy reading zen teachings. they’re little snippits of wisdom. very digestible.
It’s not at all a part of my life – I have chosen a life that’s as free of spirituality/religion as possible. To me, it’s simple… religion/spirituality makes me very uncomfortable, so I simply choose to stay away from it. My life is very meaningful, very purposeful, directed. I am passionate about science, hobbies, friendships, volunteer work, my education.
carmentina – WISE WISDOM! I love your comment Nature is blindly loving and giving, and we need to show more gratitude back. Nature is also our bodies, which should be loved simply for how they are, how they were made in natureâ€™s perfection, how they were meant to be before we soiled them with man-made poisons.
I echo your respect for all religions, Carmentina. I am also very thankful to have the choice to not participate in any of them : )
Aaaah, bit more peaceful here. Carmentina reminded me of something, about envying the religious because of their blind faith. I had a friend who was Orthodox Jewish and her family’s life revolved around their faith and the rituals that came along with it. I found it all fascinating, but one day she said to me (at the time she was a Mom and I wasn’t), that she thought the worst thing you could do for your child was to not guide them with a religion, not let them try to figure things out on their own. I don’t think she was addressing this to me at all, just making a statement, but it’s never left me. Would I be hurting my child if I didn’t teach her what to believe in, whether it be religious or atheist? Was I going to have to get my act together and take a stand by the time she realized the difference? Were my friend’s children more secure because they had such a strong faith all around them? So far the best I can offer her is honesty and she seems to be doing ok. She has taken a liking to Saint Francis of Assisi because he loved the animals.
I do not know any of you from Adam, but I was just wondering about something. Do any of you know waterbaby personally, or are in contact with her? It was mentioned over on the christian thread that she has not been online since her accident. I am concerned. I used to be friends with an older woman who had a house way back in the woods and was a poodle breeder. She told me that once she fell outside and could not get up. She finally crawled all the way back to her house and managed to get inside, but it just made me think about how vulnerable a person can be all alone like that and being older and all. I am sorry to post here even though Winona graciously said I am welcome, I do not feel so. (Not anyone’s fault, just don’t want to cause problems!) Any way, I did not know if this post could help waterbaby, but worth a try.
PULSE I am sure no one minds you expressing your concern for a GR member. I noticed there hasn’t been a peep from her since the accident but I was trying not yo be concerned yet. I actually tried to send her an email though the site she references, but it wanted all kinds of info to register and then it occurred to me she may be with her family or a friend and be without internet access so it wouldn’t matter. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that she has notified her family and friends of her situation and they have made it a point to stay in contact with her at least.
You are right, you can never be too sure how someone is getting along when they are alone, even if they are not injured or ill. I am sure she appreciates us thinking about her.
Re: Waterbaby- perhaps we could each send her positive thoughts and wishes and picture her as ok and healing well. The positive energy her way surely cannot hurt. :)
Bluedolphin- isn’t he just AMAZING?!! I’d enjoy seeing a thread on Tolle’s works. I recently read both “Power of Now” and “New Earth” and reread them immediately they were so awesome, and got even more the second times through. I don’t know which one I like best, they’re both so good! Now I am watching Oprah’s web series with him and WOW, how incredibly wonderful he is and exciting to see so many of us waking up! How incredibly fortunate we are to be living in these amazing, transformative times! :)
Yes, she said most of her friends work and her family don’t live too close. So at best she must be lonely right now, and maybe not cared for properly. I think she said her son was away or something. Will have to reread that post. It is great to have made so many online friends, but alas, when something like this happens it makes you feel like a paper tiger kind of a friend… you know what I mean. sigh Thanks.
ASPIRE How interesting you should mention that and I think we should. I am constantly telling my friends and sometimes others that need TLC that I will do a special meditation (nothing like regular meditation) and send them positive energy. Does it work? Who knows. Maybe or maybe not. I like to think it does. I believe we share a common mind, for lack of a better way to put it. I believe our consciousness is connected in a way that cannot yet be readily and scientifically explained. I know that sounds hoaky but I don’t believe it in a religious, voodoo, mystical way. I think there is a hard science that links us up and explains so many things and we just can’t understand it yet.
I do believe in the power of prayer; however, I do not believe that it is the power of praying to a god or gods but rather the concentrated focus of positive energy. (Yes, I know there are studies debunking the power of prayer.) This is why I do special meditations where I concentrate on finding someone in my mind and wrapping them in positive, healing, or whatever type of energy they need. If it doesn’t work for them it certainly works for me.
Which brings me to another topic that irks me about being religionless when you live in the Bible Belt. Where I am from, you let others know you are thinking about and care for their difficult situation by saying “I will say a prayer for you.” I have such a distaste for the words I learned that were associated with religion, like “god” and “prayer.” Initially, I told others I would meditate for them and most of them think I am on acid or possessed by demons. Then I thought I should get over the meaning of the word and just say I was praying for them because when you talk to someone else you do so in their language. For the past year I have resented saying that and don’t do it anymore because I don’t want to use terms that mean nothing to me. “Prayer,” in my mind, indicates I am praying to something and I don’t pray to anything.
I also think it is just as important to use your own language as a way of educating others that not everyone shares their religious beliefs. Where I live, at least 99.999% of the population is christian and assumes everyone else is too unless they are on the fast track to hell. I can’t tell you how many luncheons, dinners, or other events I attend where everyone joins hands, bows their heads, and joins in a christian prayer (and they often ask god to save us from the war on terrorism – gag me.). I just look down out of respect but it really rubs me for people to make that assumption. I went to my periodontist the other day and told him I wasn’t feeling well. At the end of my appointment he took my hands and said “let’s pray,” closed his eyes tightly and began asking the lord to heal me. I understand his intentions were good but I actually felt violated.
Meditating- I can relate to everything you just wrote about!
I, too, believe- in fact, have NO doubt in my mind whatsoever – that there is a universal consciousness that we each are connected with, even if we are individually ignorant of the fact. :) By that I mean, even before Newton proved to the world gravity was a reality and fact, gravity still was in existence and had its affect on the entire world, even if most people didn’t yet know it,believe it, or accept it. And as far as scientific backing and reasoninig, I LOVE to read about the scientific evidence and reasons behind things and how they come to be or happen. I also can accept that we do not have scientific “facts” to prove everything in existence yet, and possibly never will for EVERYHTING. (I mean, how boring would that be to know everything about everything anyway? No more bright-eyed wonder and imagination in our world perhaps.) In my mind, it is easy to see that science and “religion” (and I use that term in the loosest form possible, meaning sprituality, belief in whatever one calls what they believe in even if it is a belief in Nothing – it is all semantics. Yet I believe is ultimately all the same on the most basic levels if one digs deep enough – even in this Atheist thread, the things Athiests and Agnostics speak of is many times more “enlightenend” and Love – inspired and radiantly beautiful than those still confused “believers” of an organized western religious institute, and yet they all still are fundamentally saying the same things even if one does tend to be able to act it out [live it] better than another at this point. But I have digressed…) are simply two sides of the same coin. In the end and ultimately as time evolves, we will see that science and “religion” simply compliment each other and are not enemies of one another. Just as I believe that, ultimatley, there will be a swing back to the middle of the pendulum and balance will happen as we humans learn that western organized religions and no belief in any kind of organized religion or supreme entity will turn out to be one and the same thing, just worded or defined in different ways, yet the underlying feelings of how to act and BE in this life towards others and our world are the same really. Love one another, do not intentionally harm another, take responsbility for yourself and your life, and honor Life in everything, etc.
But as you, I too have a hard time saying to people that I will “pray” for them and have negative connotations with the term for the same reasons as you mentioned. Negative taste in my mouth for anything to do with organized (western) religions after growing up seeing/experiencing the hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness and limitedness I saw it bring out in people who proclaimed and followed these religious leaders’ and institutes’ “rules.” I have come to the point that I say “I will send you good thoughts” or “wishes,” or “I will be sending you positive thoughts.” i have reached the point that I do not care too much what others think when I say that. It is their choice to accept my good intentions and energy or to not. Either way, it does not affect me or change who I know I am and if they choose to take offense ay my wording I cannot help that.
I must say that after reading Tolle though, too, I have noticed a much better tolerance for people whom I used to judge as “wrong” (like very relgious, close-minded people whom I really depsised before, or sexist or prejudiced people). I still do not appreciate some people’s actions and will not tolerate, or stand idly by with certain harmful actions towards others, but I am more compassionate about where it is coming from in them and learning not to judge them as individuals, just to react to the action when necessary, not the person and to not take it perosnally or make it into a story for me. If that makes any sense. I am feeling much much more peaceful in life in other words, which I love AND, crazily, i am feeling MORE empowered this way, too.
I agree about the energy of sending thoughts (prayers, vibes, or whatever one calls it) out. And althogh I love to read about scientific findings, I also believe that just about anything can be “proven” or “disproven” depnding on so many little and/or not so little things in the study’s or subject’s environment, including intentions (thought, energy waves), and of course, individual and collective intepretations.
I can relate to everything you spoke of. :)
aspire~ He is. Sometimes I just want to shoosh Oprah to let him talk. lol What I really find amazing is how real he is. Not everything is rosey. He struggles at times. I haven’t gone through the whole thing yet. Can we say “resisting”? Ugh! That’s why I was “hoping” to start a group to explore more… I have many “but what about me… about my situation… blah, blah, blah” I think books/lectures/programs/etc. like these because they don’t say “this is how it is, the one and only way” bring about new openings/dilemmas each time they are visited, one is just a different person each go-around. It is amazing the power Oprah has and how she uses it. With so many around the world participating and continuing to participate in this program and others, one wonders what the critical mass is that will really shift the consciousness of the world in a significant way to create a world that works for everyone.
Which leads me to a huge dilemma that I struggle with a lot. If I am truly of the consciousness of live and let live, where is the balance? ... is balance even what’s to search for? ... how to be with someone who I diametrically oppose?... how do I truly express live and let live when someone tells me I’m going to burn in h*ll because I don’t believe as they do?... how do I not become that person and judge or condemn because that person doesn’t believe like me? ...how do I deal with my needs? ... does one person’s needs necessarily lead to subjugating another’s needs? ... do I need (that’s how it “feels”) to always suppress my needs to make it work?... (it’s not working for me!....) ...how can the consciousness of the world come together? Ugh! Ok… I know I’m spinning… I feel like I can’t even communicate the struggle in an understandable way… :(
I’m afraid to type anything that I will miss another great post like aspires. lol
aspire~ I soooo relate! BTW, I question “proofs.” I think of it as a model that is working so far. Technology changes, which is a fascinating part, because technology is spawned from the original model that it “disproves.” Humans like to think if something is named then it is real! NOT! Crazy making!!!
PS. I think a clearer way to state the last part of what I posted is… how can everyone be fully self-expressed without subjugating another’s self-expression?
Wow, deep stuff BlueDolphin. :)
I wonder about the critical mass thing too and hope it is as low as 11% of the population (or even of just one country’s population to start the ball rolling with other countries catching on next):
11% one minute video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03N2irkKOho
I am on chapter 5 (watching the last half of it right now as soon as I finish here, in fact) on Oprah’s web series. I know what you mean about her interrupting him sometimes. Sometimes I wish she wouldn’t because I want him to be able to finish in hiswn words, and other times I have noticed that I think to myslef how beautiful and amzing Life is that the two of them could have the synchronicity to come together and help each other reach so many more people than they possibly ever would have on their own, even as tremendously talented and listened to as they each are individually. And at times when she has added things to what he says, she does seem to help add another dimension to what he says and help get his point across to some people who maybe didn’t quite grasp it when he explained it. I’ve noticed I am getting more tolerant (compassionate is how they describe it being) of allowing others to be where they are in Life and accepting of our differences, at work and home both. I think it will happen in small steps but we will get better ad better at it. No doubt I will slip up and lose my temper (ego) at times still, but I know I can use it as another learning and growing experince when that does happen and become “better” (more present) each time. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ll find your way and answers. We each will. :)
I don’t want to hijack the this thread so maybe we could start another about Tolle?
aspire~ I stalled in reading the book a few pages into chapter 8 – Discovery of Inner Space. Not a surprise that I should stall out at the chapter that is designed to dissolve the painbody. I am on chapter 3 in the workbook and audios.
I went to the link you posted. It is going to take a bit to view… I’m on dialup. I see the video is Marianne Williamson. How cool! I have never seen her speak… I just know of her and the famous speech she wrote for Mandela. Did you notice that she also has some stuff going on on Oprah’s site. It’s a lesson a day for a year. I’m bummed that I can’t download and store them like a podcast. I can only find a way listen to them off the site. While I was touring around iTunes podcasts (I’ve been a bit podcasty lately), I spotted “A Crash Course In Miracles” that I will download when I venture to a high speed connection… that also looks interesting and some people I know have going through a different version of the course in 3D…
I have also noticed that I have become more compassionate and appreciative of others being themselves. At least, I think, I have an inkling of a clue now. Not as prone to rip someone a “new one” as easily and not making my own day a wreck. :) Thankx for the tip on the practice.
PS. Inspiring video. That was way cool so see Marianne Williamson speak.
I can totally relate, Meditating. A few months ago I joined a meditation group just to give it a try (it’s impossible for me! I can’t shut this head up!) and both before and after meditation there was guided prayer, which really bugged me. I just assumed that if you’re meditating, you’re seeking an alternative. Not so. In all honesty it was a little refreshing though, because this little group of people had decided to pray and meditate on their own – something you rarely if ever see here. 10 years in Italy and I’ve never seen prayer said before a meal. Apparently some people pray before going to bed, but I’ve only seen people pray at cemetaries or within the context of a church, meaning they don’t take religion into their own hands – they leave it up to the church. I guess I would find the cathedral of the woods a more fitting place. All the money poured into churches puts me off. The clergy actually owns 25% of Italy and 40% of the town where I live – and they don’t pay taxes on any of it, even though the gross majority are apartments that are rented out and even commercial space that’s rented out for a profit.
I’m going to check out some of the links posted above.
Earlier today I went to the Oprah site mentioned herein and watched and read some of the Tolle discussions. I just got back from the book store and purchased both his books.
I don’t know which book to read first. Suggestions? I am not also not sure I understood how the Oprah classroom works either. Instructions?
Wow! Now that there is no preaching here – this thread has gotten VERY interesting again. Thank you Bluedolphin, Aspire, Meditating and Carmentina (and any recent contributors I might have missed).
Meditating- I had the same dilemna and decided to start with the earlier book, “Power of Now.” Then I read “New Earth” his latest, and I was glad I did it that way. “Power” (an awesome and stand-alone on its own book) lays a good foundation, so I was able to really catch on easily what he was saying in “New Earth.” Not sure how easily I would have grasped the ideas in “New Earth” otherwise, but who knows? I am now almost finished watching all of Oprah’s 10 free web series with him, and I am so glad I took the time to watch them. I thought I had a good grasp on what he wrote, but it’s been really great watching him and I’m still getting more from it and more after I reread the books, again, too. They are the kind of books you will get more and more deeper and relevant things from each time you read them, I think!
Oprah had a free ten week, Monday night, live web class series with Eckhart discussing his “New Earth” book back in April or May (I forget) and had (hundreds of?) thousands of people from ALL over the world watching and participating, a first of its kind thing they did. They would discuss a chapter each week and people would call or Skype in with questions to help them understand what he was talking about, helping people begin to raise our consciousness level to create a better world for us all. You can go to her main page and click on the “Spirit” tab near the top left side, then click on Eckhart Tolle and “New Earth” to the right. Then under the video screen in the middle, you can click on either “Message from Eckhart,” Get started,” or jump on in with “Watch the Classes” and pick your chapter(s) to watch. There was a workbook you could get originally for the web series, but it is unavailable right now at least. There is also a forum where people can discuss things about the book.
Greenghost- haha! Yes, it is so nice!
EVERYONE~ No matter what spiritual/religious/non-spiritual/non-religious belief one is, one can benefit from the information and it won’t conflict with your current path or lead you to another path. I believe this (as well as other similar teachings) reach beyond our differences to our shared humanity. This might be the structure to how all of us (those interested) can create a common place from where we can unite and work together to make a world that works for everyone. Each person different, working towards benefiting humanity. As aspire mentioned, the synergistic results of Oprah and Tolle combining efforts far out reaches what they could have done individually. The possibilities for all of us are mind blowing when we work together.
If you are wondering if this is for you, here are a few links to explore:
- An Invitation from Eckhart Tolle
- Religion and A New Earth
- Read an Excerpt from A New Earth
- Are You Ready to be Awakened?
Meditating~ Way cool! I only have A New Earth. I got it when I heard about Oprah’s course. Here are a few links that you might find useful:
- Tips for Reading A New Earth
- Here’s their suggestion on how to proceed. I started out doing the workbook first then listening to the class. I think there is more understanding that can be brought to the workbook exercises after hearing the class. A New Earth Summer Syllabus
If I remember correctly, before the class was available, Oprah suggested reading the book through first, then expanding one’s understanding through the classes. However, there is not “right” way.
No I’m not an expert on this, just a struggling “classmate.” Yes, I’m a bit anal… Yes, there are other links I didn’t include. I hope you find this useful.
I think if we get into extensive discussions about the book, we should start a new thread and not hijack this thread. What do you think?
I’m reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I recommend reading a couple pages at a time. It’s really dense, and tough for me to digest all the information – but I want to absorb it all!
He has some incredible stories. There is an interesting discussion on the mind, in chapter 2. He says that our mind keeps time traveling (thinking about the future, worrying about the past) because that’s how our mind asserts control over us. If we can let go of everything and live in the present moment, that’s when enlightenment begins.
The pain we experience is a form of nonacceptance of what IS. “The mind seeks to deny the NOW and escape from it.”
“Nothing ever happened in the past, it happened in the NOW”
“Nothing will even happen in the future, it will happen in the NOW”
Imagine the world devoid of human life, only containing plants and animals. Could we speak of time in a meaningful way? What time is it? The trees would answer that it’s now. The animals would say well, the time is now, what else would it be?
Surrender to what IS. Say yes to life, and watch how life works for you rather than against you.
If you set yourself a goal and work toward it, you’re using clock time – giving your fullest attention to the present moment. That’s good. If you become excessively focused on the goal, the Now is no longer honored!
Stop resisting your life situation. You CAN be happy, you can be free, and live in the present moment… WITHOUT changing your life situation! All problems are illusions of the mind.
First, I would have an interest in a new thread on reading either book and don’t care which it is. If there is an interest in doing that, I suggest we start at the beginning of the book so we can move through it as a group.
After thumbing through them and reading portions here and there, it sounds very much like an English distillation of buddhist teachings so none of what I read is foreign to me. It is fabulously written but from a Westernern standpoint so nothing is lost in translating the concepts which is often difficult when your teacher is from an Eastern culture.
CARMENTINA – I want to comment on some of the things you mentioned earlier. The missionaries on the train remind me of the quakers that silently protest the war wearing black and sitting in the front of our state capital. I have talked to a few of them and they are incredible. I just want to take them all to my house and have tea. They do not try to forcefeed you their beliefs and they are very compassionate.
I too understand the problems with meditating and not being able to clear your mind. I had trouble initially learning to meditate because I was so anxious reaching the clear state and I could not get that out of my mind. I was initially instructed to focus on an object in my mind. They became entertainment for my mind and I became fixated with redrawing it over and over again and could not clear. I switched over to a method where I concentrated on my breath. The first time I realized I had reached that space it was only for a few seconds. I heard dogs barking outside and then I realized I hadn’t been thinking about them. Of course when you realize you haven’t been thinking about them you are occupied with your thoughts and the moment is gone.
The great thing about meditation is that as long as you do it, it doesn’t matter what the actual practice feels like because you will benefit from it. I used to sit for an hour a day. Now I try to sit 5 minutes at least once and preferably twice daily. Occasionally I sit for longer periods outisde in the spring or fall when it isn’t too hot. I like to meditate outside. It is like brushing your teeth, you just do it. You don’t see the results immediately but you will see them. Another thing that just seems unfair is that when you achieve a clear state, you aren’t there but that is the point. You have stopped being a self and just melted into the universe.
I am not much for formalities either. The Tibetan center I used to attend was very much into preserving Tibetan culture. While I have great concern for what Tibetans are going through and their desire to preserve themselves, it seems that became the primary goal and not the teachings so I decided to split. It also caused me to have flasbacks to catholic school/church.
I know what you mean about indulgences. Isn’t that just insane? I remember when I was a child thinking that the ability to say a prayer, light a candle, and pay a fee to get to heaven meant the whole shebang was bogus. I figure this out when I was 6 years old. Amazing that it still continues and proves now desperate and stupid people can be.
BLUE DOLPHIN I know what you mean by having to constantly bow to someone’s ignorance and intolerance at the risk of your own identity/autonomy/human rights. All just to keep the peace. That is exactly how I felt when this doctor touched me and launched right into his prayer, relying on his perceived superiority and never considering my feelings.
After I thought about it, I almost wished I had then reverently touched him and asked if I could add to his prayer and then asked satan to free the world from christians. Not that I think any of that is true, but when faced with religious intolerance in others I always ask them to consider a scenario where they would be over-the-top offended by a ceratin belief and satanism always fits the bill.
I too am tired of being on the alter of sacrifice for the feelings of intolerant others. No topic sets me off like religious intolerance. I suspect it is because it caused me so much grief as a christian to see my fellow believers acting contrary to christian principles and then as an atheist because I have repeatedly been persecuted as such.
A new thread has been started to continue the conversation on Tolle, his books, and other related topics. Please join that conversation at Power of Now, A New Earth, Living in the Present. Hope this is a smooth transition and frees up this thread to focus on other topics. See ya there (and here…)!
“So, for those of you that are posting on this thread hoping to convert the atheists to Christians, you have a looonnng fight ahead of you. In my case, at least, you are honestly wasting your time because I have â€œbeen there, done thatâ€ and I am now at the truth and have left the fabrication, guilt and lies behind. (when I say I have â€œbeen there, done thatâ€ â€“ I am really serious â€“ I was a harcore born-again Christian â€“ I only listened to Christian rock and went to all the Christian festivals etc. â€“ I did because others had instilled the fear in me of what would supposedly happen to me if I didnâ€™t believe)”
Wow, I think we must be twins or something – I had a very similar experience. I just wanted to say that it is so great to know that I’m not alone. :)
Melissa- you have valid points about being tolerant of others. Having said that, I believe this thread is more along the lines of Atheists and Agnostics being able to come and support each other, which includes some venting of frustrations in dealing with many pushy and close-minded Christians. I’m sure there are not – so – appealing encounters with Atheists and/or Agnostic folk too in the big picture of Life, but not the majority as there so often seems to be with Christians who too often try to force their beliefs on others and condem those who refuse to agree with them.
So although your point to be tolerant of others is a valid one for, generally, all people, I do not think it is necessarily valid in this specific instance here. The majority of Atheist and Agnostic people I know and have met are much much much more tolerant of others and respectful of others than are the majority of so-called Christians I know.
An interesting inquiry… if someone is “truly” Atheists or Agnostic (I don’t know the distinctions of the two), meaning they don’t believe in any God(s), then someone condemning them (which is a power attributed to a God) means nothing, like speaking in a foreign language… or does it? Is the frustration/anger/? a remnant of a prevalent or ingrained, but rejected belief system? This is simply an inquiry, a point for discussion. A similar inquiry could be made on the Christian thread around some getting frustration/anger/? about the rejection of a God so I am not targeting any specific belief system. The same inquiry could be made around raw foodies
vs non-raw foodies… What is it that pushes one’s buttons?