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Thread: Are You A Spiritual Person.

  1. #1
    Spirituality without God. Is this an oxymoron?

    I personally don't think religion and spirituality have to go "hand in hand". I don't think you have to believe in any preset criteria (the bible) to be spiritual.

    Below are different articles that to me make a lot of sense, if not well....convenient.

    This may seem like a lot of reading, but it is informative.

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    Spirituality without God
    <http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/index.cfm/action/tikkun/issue/tik9905/article/990519b.html>

    Sharon Welch
    I am a mystic, a political activist, and an atheist—an odd combination, I grant, but one that I come to naturally. I was raised in a religious tradition in which spirituality was inextricably bound with politics, in which the motive for prayer and service was not guilt or duty, but living fully, deeply, and well. For my parents and grandparents and many members of their churches, life was spirituality and spirituality was life. Service and belief in God did not require sacrifice of individual will, aspirations, or intellect—such religious practice was, rather, the chance to live out the best of one&#39;s talents in response to nature, to people, to the particular opportunities for beauty and justice in one&#39;s immediate world. Spirituality was that which brought us into full engagement with the world around us.
    For my parents, this work took many forms—serving as pastors, church administrators, farmers, activists in the liberal wing of the Democratic party, members of the hospital board, leaders of programs to empower teenagers. It was always fascinating to see what new avenues for activism and service they discovered. Their work was filled with laughter, exuberance, and a delightful absence of fanaticism or self-righteousness. While their political activism and work in the church was grounded in a clear sense of the divine, they were aware that they could be wrong, that it was possible to feel led by the spirit and to misinterpret that leading. They brought two basic criteria, both collective, to their private and communal spirituality: 1) Do these spiritual practices and experiences make us more loving? Do they help us see the worth of everyone? and 2) Do these experiences change how we live?
    I remember my fascination as a teenager with tales of angels. When I left for college in 1971, one of the stories being commonly told was of people picking up a hitchhiker, the hitchhiker telling them that Jesus would soon return to earth, and then the hitchhiker disappearing. I told my father about these stories, sure that he would be thrilled at the announcement of the imminent return of the messiah. His response was measured and clear. "Well, Sharon, I don&#39;t know if the people really saw an angel or not. What I would want to know is this—did that encounter change their life? Did it make them a better person?"
    At this point in my life, I don&#39;t believe in God. I know of no concepts, symbols, or images of God, Goddess, gods, or divinity that I find intellectually credible, emotionally satisfying, or ethically challenging in the face of evil and the complexity of life. I do know, however, of spiritual practices that do change our lives, that help us see where we are wrong, that propel us to work for justice, that provide a sense of meaning and joy. For my parents and their community, such solace and challenge could be found in daily prayer, in preparing and giving sermons, in individual and collective study and worship, and in physical work with other people—building cabins at the church campgrounds, cooking, cleaning, working together on the concrete tasks that sustain us physically.
    For me, the same purposes of awareness and gratitude are served through meditation, dance, hearing live music (especially jazz), teaching ethics, and, like my parents, manual
    labor with and for other people. Spiritual openness may be sustained by intense physical activity and evoked by meditative awareness. These practices do not guarantee, however, that we will act justly. Profound experiences of connection and spiritual ecstasy can easily fuel self-righteous certainty and exclusivity. But these same experiences may also provide the connections with other people and with nature that motivate us to work for justice, honoring that nature, those people we respect. These practices can enable us to learn where we are wrong in our strategies and actions, can teach us to learn from criticism, and help us to gain the courage to act on our ideals.
    There are spiritual practices that are intellectually credible, emotionally comforting, and ethically challenging, habits of individual and collective attention, meditation, reflection, and physical ecstasy that can sustain us as we work for justice, that can promote joy and resilience in the face of life&#39;s challenges. I don&#39;t think that life makes sense, but I do know that there can be joy and wonder in the service of beauty and justice. As I told my father shortly before his death, "You don&#39;t have to believe in God in order to serve God."

    http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/index.cfm/a...le/990519b.html


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    Spirituality Without Religion
    More Christians attracted to Dalai Lama&#39;s teachings.
    by Jody Veenker
    With the Dalai Lama&#39;s name still on the lips of celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Harrison Ford, and Richard Gere, the Tibetan Buddhist leader ended a two-month U.S. tour in September, leaving in his wake a growing flock of Americans, including some Christians, attracted by pop Buddhism&#39;s buffet of low-commitment, high-touch beliefs.
    "The world of American religion is going through enormous change," University of Chicago sociologist Stephen R. Warner recently told Religion News Service. "It will be increasingly difficult to distinguish Christians and Buddhists." But are lines between the two religions really blurring?
    GOD-FREE SPIRITUALITY:
    "Now it&#39;s becoming the in thing to be spiritual," says Buddhist teacher Jagad Guru Paramahamsa. "It&#39;s more cool, modern, and progressive to be spiritual. But without God."
    The Dalai Lama&#39;s recent book on pursuing lasting happiness has topped bestseller charts for more than a year. His latest title, Ethics for a New Millennium (Riverhead, 1999), has been praised by some book critics because it proclaims tolerance and peace without religion.
    In a book review in the Chicago Tribune, critic Richard Bernstein says the Dalai Lama&#39;s message of spirituality without a deity is "the perfect way to satisfy the spiritual hunger of people living in a scientific and secular age." Buddhism, which has 358 million followers worldwide, is nontheistic. It focuses not on an individual&#39;s relationship with God, but rather on a person&#39;s incremental spiritual progress, achieved through ethical conduct and eventual reincarnation ...


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    Mystical Metaphysical Spirituality - a Loving belief system
    "We are not weak, sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn the right to become Spiritual.We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience."
    ***
    "I had to start trying to find a concept of a Higher Power who could Love me even though I was an imperfect human. If my Creator is judging me then who am I not to judge myself? On the other hand if the Goddess Loves me unconditionally then who am I not to Love myself? And if the God/Goddess/Great Spirit/Universal Force Truly Loves me then everything has to be happening for reasons that are ultimately Loving.
    The more I came to believe and trust - what some place deep inside of me I could feel, could remember, was the Truth - that all of the pieces of this puzzle of life fit together perfectly, and that there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mistakes, the more I was able to accept and Love myself and others. And the more I was able to trust the process, myself, and my Higher Power."
    ***
    "Life is not some kind of test, that if we fail, we will be punished. We are not human creatures who are being punished by an avenging god. We are not trapped in some kind of tragic place out of which we have to earn our way by doing the "right" things. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are here to learn. We are here to go through this process that is life. We are here to feel these feelings."


    http://www.joy2meu.com/Spirituality.html


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    In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds...A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men."


    Felix Adler, who founded the Ethical Culture Movement, said that:
    "Spirituality is consciousness of infinite interrelatedness."


    Albert Einstein said:
    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, his eyes are closed."


    William James talked about mystical states in his book "The Varieties of Religious Experience". He wrote:
    "To the medical mind these ecstasies signify nothing but suggested and imitated hypnoid states, on an intellectual basis of superstition, and a corporeal one of degeneration and hysteria. Undoubtedly these pathological conditions have existed in many and perhaps all the cases, but that fact tells us nothing about the value for knowledge of the consciousness which they induce. To pass a spiritual judgment on these states, we must not content ourselves with superficial medical talk, but inquire into their fruits for life."


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    Those who have reached a higher Spiritual level do not have to proclaim their spirituality. You know them by their actions. They do not have to walk in your shoes to feel your pain or to know what to do or say to bring joy into your life. They praise your accomplishments no matter how small and lift your spirits when they fall. They are nice people who enter your life without any preconceived attitudes or judgments.

    A spiritual person does not abide by the saying "if you can&#39;t say something nice, don&#39;t say anything at all" because, if you come from a place of love, you can always find the words to honor another&#39;s choices.

    Those who have reached a higher level of wisdom and spirituality have overcome the fear that holds others hack from the truth that comes only from within. They do not have to look to external sources for spiritual guidance, for they are the guides. They are there to help others overcome the fear and negativity that keeps them searching, but never finding, the meaning of their existence.

    Spiritual people find more joy in a life of giving than in receiving. They find hope and optimism where others find doubt. They honor your life as well as that of all living things. They feel good about themselves so they can honor and accept your choices without having to criticize or find fault in order to make themselves feel better.

    True spirituality is easy to achieve once you dig deep enough to find that place of love that you had as a child. A place that over the years has been covered over by doubt, pessimism, negativity, prejudice and fear.

    Spirituality is a mother kissing a child and saying that it&#39;s OK. It&#39;s a teacher taking the time to encourage a student who is having a hard time in class. It&#39;s praising an artist for his effort rather than criticizing because it is not your style. It&#39;s making another person feel special. It&#39;s being honest with yourself and ethical in your dealings with others.

    People who come from a place of spirituality and love find beauty in all of nature&#39;s creation and would never intentionally hit, hurt or destroy another living creature unless they were protecting themselves or another loved one.
    They know that we are all connected and they honor and cherish the planet that has given life to all of us.

    Spirituality is standing up for the rights of others to speak their views, even those you do not agree with. It&#39;s knowing that you are no better or worse than anyone else because of your color, religious belief, position in life or life style.

    Spirituality is unconditional love and acceptance in its truest form.


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    Spirituality without God
    http://rbest.ethicalmanifold.net/archives/000100.html


    After two centuries engrossed in a materialistic vision of the world, the West is enjoying a resurgence of spirituality. The popularity of angels, psychic phenomena, faith healing, meditation, and near-death experiences testifies to a paradigm shift in our concept of reality. We have at long last begun to recognize that reality includes a spiritual dimension, which is not susceptible to scientific measurement.
    But somehow God has gotten lost in the shuffle. It is rather like a lavish Bar Mitzvah party, replete with a 10-piece orchestra, 14 tables of smorgasbord, six Viennese dessert tables, a troupe of jugglers and acrobats, and no glimpse of the Bar Mitzvah boy.
    The materialistic worldview which prevailed in the 19th and 20th centuries denied the existence of God. The spiritual worldview gaining popularity at the threshold of the 21st century is too busy with psychic phenomena and personal growth to care about the existence of God.
    It is no coincidence that the most popular Eastern paths in the West are derivatives of Buddhism, a non-theistic religion. Gautama Buddha, the fifth century BCE founder of Buddhism, never mentioned God in his teachings. His Four Noble Truths and his Eightfold Way speak about escaping the inherent suffering of this world by transcending desire and practicing right action and thought. The entire thrust is on human consciousness, control of mind, and self effort. This forms the prototype of most of the personal growth movements prevalent in America.
    While Hinduism is a totally theistic religion, its American transplants emphasize their lineage of gurus rather than the deities of the Hindu pantheon (with the exception of the Krishna Consciousness movement).

    The "inner voice" rarely tells one what one doesn&#39;t want to hear. 


    The advantages of spirituality without God are obvious: One can choose one&#39;s own direction, methods, and goals without the intrusions of the Divine. The "inner voice," which functions as the CEO of most New Age enterprises, rarely tells one what one doesn&#39;t want to hear.
    Judaism, on the other hand, has bequeathed to the world a God Who not only created and sustains the universe, but Who also issues orders, like, "Do not steal," and, "Do not commit adultery." Little wonder that most people resist such encroachments on their personal lives.
    SMARTY SMARTY HAD A PARTY NOBODY CAME BUT SMARTY

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    no i am not a spritual person and i believe we are all going to hell after we die

    just kidding


  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
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    Although the spiritual and some kind of deity or multiple deities usually go hand in hand they are not synonomous. Many animist religions have a concept of a spiritual world without an overarching deity and Bhuddism in its purist form rejects a controlling deity but accepts that there are physical and spiritual planes.

    We tend to view these things from our own cultural perspective. Breaking beyond that perspective is, however, not easy and, arguably, not necessary other than to accept that no one has a claim on the "truth".
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
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    Originally posted by Biggles@3 December 2003 - 16:52
    Although the spiritual and some kind of deity or multiple deities usually go hand in hand they are not synonomous. Many animist religions have a concept of a spiritual world without an overarching deity and Bhuddism in its purist form rejects a controlling deity but accepts that there are physical and spiritual planes.

    We tend to view these things from our own cultural perspective. Breaking beyond that perspective is, however, not easy and, arguably, not necessary other than to accept that no one has a claim on the "truth".
    Sooth.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by james_bond_rulez@1 December 2003 - 23:13
    no i am not a spritual person and i believe we are all going to hell after we die

    After we die, are you saying we are not yet in hell....surely it can&#39;t get any worse than it already is?

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
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    There parts I agree with the church, other parts I do not agree. So far, I think - as each thought you have consists of energy - you mainly existing of energy and after death maybe you are still existing as a kind of energy.

    Sometimes I think someone is watching me... But to make you not worrying to much: If will still be a kind of energy, I would not listen to peoples privacy.

    And what make me thinking so: I heard of a guy who had motorbike accident and during the operation, he could hear the doctors thoughts and was in the room.

    That might be interesting - probably someone would develop in future something to share your thoughts directly with living and dead people... or transfering you - your energy - to another body, man what will happen to all the transsexuals... their wuold get what they are wishing - coool...

    I also think I am more a moralistic person - I explaind suffering and violence
    in the world like this: whatever someone do he is just human and will act like this -
    and keep in MIND: human life unfortunately also has negative sides - I tell you that cause you normally think if you are saying someone acts as a human, it is just
    positive - it has not too be...

    but interesting...

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    Originally posted by nigel123+4 December 2003 - 08:51--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (nigel123 @ 4 December 2003 - 08:51)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-james_bond_rulez@1 December 2003 - 23:13
    no i am not a spritual person and i believe we are all going to hell after we die

    After we die, are you saying we are not yet in hell....surely it can&#39;t get any worse than it already is? [/b][/quote]
    After I die I am probably still some kind of energy - and I will connect to Kazaa
    as network consists of energy - hehe...

    cooll....

    but do not think automatically of ghosts - this energy is small like energy of your
    thoughts is also not huge&#33; But if oyu could make this energy visible wow--
    and you can go to your own funeral - wow , but I do not if I want to do that.

    Or did you ever wonder, dead people (energy) sitting on graves?
    A naked on a grave, huh...

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    i thought spiritualism was a los angeles thing. like yoga, yogurt, and scientology.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
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    sprituality without god
    even if you believe that you are being spiritual without god, that doesn&#39;t mean god isn&#39;t still acting on you. how would you tell if he is or if he isn&#39;t?

    if you want marierial success in this life youre up against most of the worlds population, if you want to succeed in enlightenment your only up against yourself
    Wiz.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by Wizard_Mon1@9 December 2003 - 14:14
    sprituality without god
    even if you believe that you are being spiritual without god, that doesn&#39;t mean god isn&#39;t still acting on you. how would you tell if he is or if he isn&#39;t?

    if you want marierial success in this life youre up against most of the worlds population, if you want to succeed in enlightenment your only up against yourself
    Well I think you would have to prove that there is a God first....

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