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Thoughts on Spirituality

Discussion in 'Social' started by Marilyn_S, Mar 11, 2007.

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  1. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    When I was a child growing up I was taught the basic Christian dogma regarding the death and reserection of Christ, salvation from sin, and the Holy Spirit. I grew up in a Penticostol cult like environment. My mother would pick and choose scriptures to match what ever it was she was trying to convey whether those scriptures where contextually accurate or not. After attending the University of Missouri and recieving a degree I shyed away from religion all together because I come to relaize that religion in and of itself is (in my oppinion) simply what it is defined as in websters dictionary. Which states the following, and quote,

    "3.) (archaic) definition no longer commonly used : scrupulous conformity"

    Now, mind you, although this definition is considered archaic, is it really? It seems to me that Christianity has become a club that one joins to worship, (I say in sarcasm) the almighty Santa Clause! If you are a good little girl or boy and do exactly what the preacher says, you will get eternal life instead of a lump of coal in your stocking.


    I have alot more to share about this but am needing to spend some quality time with my seven year old son. Please feel free to comment! I love intellectual debate! But please be nice as I am a bit fragile.
     
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  3. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    OOPS! Before I go I have to add this just one thing. I am a believer. I do not like to call myself a Christian because that term has unfortunately grown to have anegative connotation to many hurting and angry people. Therefore, rather than simply saying I am a Christian, I say, "I am a person who has faith in God and believe that Jesus came and died, not to make us sinless robots but rather to show us the extent of His love for us. I believe that God is a rather masculine part of the trinity and that the Holy Spirit is the Feminine aspect of God. Rather than being religious, I have a personal relationship with a spiritual creator named, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Mother aka Holy Spirit."
     
  4. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    God the Mother

    I like the idea of God the Mother!

    But I cant say that I have much faith in religion, it seems to go out of door when horrors come in! I do have faith in people and have come across courage and self sacrifice that humbles me. I like that idea that the kingdom of heavan is not found with the walls of a church but rather it is found within us and is something that is experienced between people.

    Take care,

    Richard
     
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    Hello Marilyn :)

    Brilliant subject. This is going to take my mind of things for a while, I too enjoy a good intellectual debate!

    I'm not sure that it is entirely of conformity. Religion is such a massive subject, involving so many different components of why religions are followed personally, socially etc.! I think there are several levels to consider here. Conformity in the literal social aspect (inbuilt into culture), and conformity on the personal side (those who don't conform, those who do, and why - is it simply culture? Is it simply being raised into it?). Unconscious conformity (family, schooling, media etc), conscious conformity ('you will go to hell', choosing to have faith of own personal choice, fear, holy war etc) .... too much for me to possibly comment on or get my head around. But definitely interesting to think about the complexity of it.

    In the UK religion played a major influencial part in the past socially, politically, economically etc. It played it's part in causing pain, but also creating social cohesion, which this country has now lost. In other countries the major influence of religion is still the case, and I would be interested to hear people's views from different countries and religions on this subject.

    I guess there is definitely a major component of conformity in those places, but I haven't studied them in great detail. I did theology when I was 16, and Sociology when I was 18 but I feel the education system in the UK is biased and too focussed on the little bubble of England. Religion taps heavily into culture, and I believe has its good and bad points depending on the religion and culture. It's a difficult subject to raise, and no doubt many will have different views!

    For me, personally, I feel that in the UK conformity isn't an issue unless there is family pressure. If anything, the media is showing it's negative side recently (pervy priests) and perhaps the conformity issue now is NOT to be religious? The Scientific boom led to a major decrease in faith, because the thinking pattern became one of 'prove it'. And as education is mostly based around scientific thought, that element is now in my generation. I don't have any friends who are massively religious in the context that they are regular churchgoers. But most of them believe in God, and believe that they don't need to go to Church to have a faith. I do, however, feel that religion doesn't guide them in life. They just believe in God, they don't necessarily run their lives by it. They seem confused.

    I am one of those confused people over it. I was raised a Catholic. I had Catholic schooling. I think because of my upbringing, there will always be an element of my religion in me -if nothing but in the words that I use. However, I am a jaded person in regards to faith. I see holy wars, and the awfulness in the world that I know of, or have experienced. And that makes me question faith. In that respect, I am not conforming, because as an adult I am lucky enough to be in a society that doesn't force religion, educates people, and allows free opinions and lifestyles. One advantage of a multicultural society. Although, I do have to say that conformity was an issue in school - they put the fear of God into us. I was made to watch an abortion of a blue baby being thrown into a bin and told that abortion is wrong and a sin etc. I found that so distressing.

    I remember being in primary school, and being told that everyone had to go to confession. I remember thinking 'but I haven't done anything wrong!' and being really confused. So I had to make up what I had done wrong to confess. I used to question my teachers asking 'well who is God's mummy? EvERYONE'S got a mummy?!" and I could never get my head around that. But nontheless I had faith at that age, and I guess I was conforming to what was expected of me. I continued to do so until my teens. I abandoned it because I decided that if there was a God, I was going to hell. So what was the point in believing in it? Kind of sad when I look back at that now, and I wish that I did have a strong faith. I don't know where I lie personally with it.

    Conformity or not, I think it has an important place. Catholicism gives society moral guidelines, faith (in the literal word, which I think is an important thing to have), comfort, a sense of community and identity, and it makes death easier to handle. But also has so much to answer for all the badness in the world. Socially, how people abuse it to incite, and also how inividuals use it with children sometimes.
     
  6. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this is a very interesting thread. Shame we didn't get on to this last night in the chat room Lisa! Its something I've been thinking about a lot recently myself. I've actually been thinking about going to see a priest about it. I was brought up a Catholic too. I dont regret any of my experiences at school or church. I agree that a strong moral code can be helpful in society and particularly in teaching children. However, I think a lot of things in the catholic church are extremely hypocritical. The main things that I find hard to stomach are the apparent condoning of child abuse amongst priests and the riches of the Vatican. I'd really like to ask a priest what his opinion on these matters. I'd like a frank explanation. There are other things too but these are my main problems. I also dont agree with having to go to church every week. Thats supposed to be the rule for a Roman Catholic. I dont agree, surely it should be more about the way you live your life, rather than where you are at 10am every sunday.
     
  7. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Richard! I appreciate your comments.

    Lisa, You have a big noodle in that head of yours! lol Meaning, you are very insightful, intelligent, and thoughtful!

    Thank You both for your input!

    Richard, I can understand and empathize with your anger and frustration. I wonder myself many times, why God! why so much suffering! Then I realize that if God did away with all the suffering, or even if he discriminately chose to eliminate cartain suffering, human kind as we know it would have to be destroyed (well in my oppinion that is) simply because within each individual person is the potential for good and the potential for evil on a spiritual plane. I do not believe that we are simply formatted classically and operantly conditioned genetic robots. Central to our psychie is a spiritual element that derives from the fact that in all actuality, all things, including ourselves, when broken down to an atomic level of sub atomic particles such as electrons-protons-and neutrons- (smallest visible nutrinos) are made of absolutely nothing! That's right! Nothing! When the subatomic particles are evaluated as charged particles the smallest of the charges particle's dissipate into the mathmatical and quantum (probable misspelled!)lol! physical notation of imaginary numerality, Meaning literally, the particles themselfs are so mathmatically small they are black matter, called such by physicists because they appear to be nothing but black empty space! Given this scientific quandery, I believe anything is possible. It is only the constraints of the rituals of mortality that confine the human mind from being just like GOD. I believe that just as in politics, human behavior, and many other vastly complex existences, science when taken to the fullest expansion of the human psychie goes full circle to become philosophy and spirituality. Isn't it ironic that in geometric terms it is only the circle that exists as an infinity in reference to the calculation of specified points. Yet it is a completely closed entity! The points on a line of infinity are unab;e to be pinpointed or defined simply because we have not the capacity to truly define mathmatically, infinity in any other frame of reference other than the circle which as I said is a closed mathmatical enitity!

    SO SORRY! My brain is going of on one of its rambles again. It is just that I find math, physics, humanity, and spirituality so interestingly connected.

    In regard to suffering in the world; why is it? Perhaps old Fritz has a simple answer to that puzzling question.
    Fritz Pearls, a Gestalt therapist made a quote in the preface of one of his books, he said, "It is a boundary that defines a thing."
    Think about this for a moment, if there were no boundaries, how would we know what something was? Anything? Perhaps pain, violence, suffering... exists simply as a boundry to enable the existence of a definition for joy, peace, love...
    Perhaps "the eye" of human kind, our GOD, our Spiritual creator knows that in order for us to enjoy good it must be defined by evil and for us to enjoy eternity we must be able to define mortality.

    My personal feelings are that I have a spiritual father, mother, and brother that exist in eternity and that these three in one are GOD. I expect nothing of God except what God promised. That promise does not exist in a mere book, it exists only in the living word that is my brother Jesus Christ and its sole foundation and predestined existence is LOVE.
     
  8. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    A quote from my silly brain that I'd like to add.

    "Existence as in the existential "eye" precedes essence but existence itself is a paradox of complex simplicity, and existence is an infinite number of points within a finite framework affixed to the boundary of existence by necessity to feed the momentum of continuaty."

    I know! Its weird! But that's me! I'm just weird!
     
  9. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    hey, marilyn. i too, am a believer, and a Christian. identifying myself with Christ, not a "group" other than "the" church, the bride of Christ, made up of all believers. i don't belong to a cult, though there are some out there. and you'll never hear my pastor tell you what to do. he will only tell you what God's word says. there is nothing you can do that is good enough to get you into heaven. it is whether you have accepted Christ's gift of salvation, and asked him to be you LORD and Savior. His blood covers our sin, no way for us to do that ourselves. our job is to share His love with everyone we can, so they are exposed to it. not to beat someone on the head and tell them they're going to hell. i wish everyone could know what real Christians are, not a denomination, not just religion, not a cult, not a club. i would love for everyone to have a personal relationship with the LORD, that is what He wants. our love and worship, because we want to, not have to. and communication with Him, to know Him.
    cathy
     
  10. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Guess I should translate my weirdness.

    I am a Christain Existentialist, meaning I am a believer in Christ who happens to adhere to the philosophical paradigm of existentialist schemata aka thought processes.

    There never has nor ever will be in my oppinion anybody but one person who was ever predestined for anything, that was Christ Himself. He was born to be crusified and beaten as spoken of in: Isaiah 53:5

    "...He was peirced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, ..."

    I wish people could understand this on a spiritual level and quit using God as a Santa Clause. I understand that we all have needs. But I also believe that God has placed within each of us the potential to understand:

    "Life is not fair! Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Not everything that happens has a purpose. But God created within each human soul the ability to create reason out of maham. By definition, we create the essence of our very existence. Some of us choose to be weenies! Some of us choose to be roses! Everybody has a little bit of weenie in them and everybody has a little bit of rose in them."

    We are unable to define eternity in the human psychie because all we know is mortality. Yet if we were to have never experienced mortality, then we could never truly define or understand eternity.

    I believe that there is no eternity of punishment. Perhaps the punishment or (consequences of our own or other's behavior) may seem like an eternity. Hell is here on earth in a spiritual plane only percieved unwhittingly by those who suffer (consequences).

    More later...
     
  11. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Not that it really matters anymore than a grain of sand in a whirlwind, but I am also a very cognitive/emotive behavioral thinker.

    Boy! Do I sound smart or what! lol! Ya thunk! I gots kidneys in between then thar' ears of mine. I know cause my momma told me so! But you can read about that in my trauma diary folks!

    I'm at this point just happlessly rambling on about stuff in my brain because I wonder if anybody else thinks about this stuff or am I just a real way out there weirdo who's read and remembered way too much Kieregaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Pearls, Freud, Addler, Rhodes...
     
  12. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    "Knowledge is a drug that if not regulated by wisdon creates a fool!"

    That is a quote by, you guessed it! Me!!!!

    I'm just a happless wondering fool who gets a real high off of knowledge because of the fake power it makes me feel. The power that just short of bashing my head in and causing brain damage, no one can steal knowledge from my head. My innocence can be stollen. My dignity can be stollen. My heart can be crushed. My spirit damaged. But NO ONE CAN STEAL MY CHRYSTALIZED OR INNATE INTELLIGENCE AND CREATIVITY!

    I love reading the writing of great minds. The power of their words charge me like a bolt of lightening and my brain does not want to let go. But it makes me a fool because who really cares!!!! Its just an ego driven persuit of something that only makes me more desparate to connect with other human beings and the more desparate I become the more unwise and foolish I become. At times it is like I have no boundaries until I make a fool of myself then I become a turtle in its shell hiding from a world much stronger and faster than I am able to exist. I want to soak up knowledge just for the sake of knowing it, or at least I wish it were that way. But it is not. For some reason it becomes meaningless unless I am able to connect in some way with another human being...
     
  13. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    Marilyn... I most definitely think about stuff, and this post is wicked. It's been good to read people's views and opinions. I thought I was philosphical, but these posts, particularly in reference to geometrics, science, and God really got me thinking in a way I have never thought before. I love thinking, sometimes for hours on end, about big things. Sometimes i think that's kinda pathetic as a 21 year old, but what the hell!

    You may be a grain in the sand in the context of the big wide world, but so was Einstein! You write in a way that you could probably not only publish a book, but also in a way that gets people thinking. I have noticed that everyone here has a 'realness' about them. You know, real, thinking people. That probably sounds a bit odd!

    I have been meaning to reply on this subject, and probably will come back to this in a few days. Currently my head is somewhere I can't find it!

    Lisa.
     
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