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Is there room for mysticism within Atheism?

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posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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I am God.


Let me start there. An Atheist might say "Oh there is no God". But what they may actually mean is that "Oh there is no supernatural being as described in the Bible".

Yet, I feel that most Atheists also throw out any concept of mystical experience with along with the concepts of God.

Atheism to me seems to be overly focused on the objective world. And in this situation is more of a creation which was naturally selected due to the the amount of Theists who attempted to focus the theologies of the subjective realm onto the Objective.

Yet the entire realm of the subjective experience and the phenomena of it is still left to be discussed and understood in such a way that humans can work with it. Specifically what I speak about is the function of the subconscious mind and it's interplay with the conscious mind.

I feel that Atheism has a tendency to forget about the symbolic, and thus esoteric, nature of the communication of the subconscious with the conscious mind, and forgets that many religious ideas were created as a result of experiencing these communications. And although I agree with Atheism in so much that objectively, attributing these phenomena to a supernatural being is not a completely accurate statement. I would disagree with Atheism that this attribution is irrational or illogical, as it is itself part of the interplay between conscious and subconscious mind within an individual as well as a collective.

I have said before, that I change my beliefs based on my motives, as opposed to the other way around. My motives however are often formed by either basic physical needs, or psychological needs. In some instances, the psychological need might be to work a problem out by discussing it with the "spirit of an inanimate object". For example, I might have a discussion with a statue of a God.... or even philosopher, in which I project onto the statue a sense of intellectual or philosophical authority which allows me to work out issues in a dialogue kind of way. Debating with an aspect of myself that I am consciously unaware of, if you will.

I have found these techniques to be very helpful in determining what actions I should take next. They have led to very successful outcomes and revelations which I was not consciously aware of myself.

Yet I feel that the aggressive nature of Atheism against anything of a subjective context precludes it's ability to appreciate this aspect of humanity. And as Atheism has been, in the past, somehow linked with Humanism, I believe it would be remiss to act as if the subjective realm and the forces within it do not exist.

Now let me go back to my original statement... I am God.

This is to say that all things which I might be inclined to attribut to a God of any kind are actually found within me. Of course not just me, but in your subjective experience they are to be found within you as well...

I realize I am using a term "God" which is loaded and comes from a cultural background of my own, however I believe it is appropriate to use it when communicating with others who feel that God is either non-existent or somehow outside of themselves.


Thoughts?




posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:31 PM
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In all honesty, I'm not sure if you're self-labeling as an athiest is quite true to the definition of athiesm, but like religion, subject to interpretation.

From what you said, I'm not sure if any current classification is out there for your belief structure, but don't quote me on that. There is nothing wrong with not having a label.

You sounds somewhat spiritual but not religeous, more centralized on yourself, and your own situational beliefs, than a structured system already in place.

Be yourself, and have your own beliefs. And since motives are somewhat hard to find sometimes due to this strictly being text I will jump on a limb a bit and may be off base: Whatever your beliefs are, be convicted, and don't let anyone to tell you that you are wrong, just be prepared to accept thier beliefs even though you may not agree with them. That the lovely thing about freedom of religion. I am a true believer in "To Each Thier Own" when it comes to religion, as long as they do not seek to harm anyone else in anyway with thier beliefs.

So be your own God, don't believe in any god, worship any of the other dieties you want to, or hell if you want to believe that a pot of spaghetti is your personal messiah go for it! Just don't push it on me.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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By your classification I am not Atheist. I also believe there is consciousness in inanimate objects. Rocks. The table.
But what it can do for me I am not sure, besides my giving or getting of energy from it.
I don't go around saying I am God much. But more We are God. All is God. That includes me, but I feel it is unnecessary to say. I am past that so to speak.
I don't look to others to see if they agree, as I have spent most of my life not thinking anyone did. So I was ok with it by now, finding like minds. It was nice to find, but I didn't NEED it. My father was/is an Atheist doctor, my mom a recovering Baptist. I had to decide for myself.

edited for excessive letters.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by seagrass
 


Keep in mind I didn't say there was consciousness in inanimate objects, just that if I act "as if" there is, I can have a subjective experience which benefits me. I don't have to believe something is objectively real for it to have subjective reality.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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The answer is yes, but you are not an atheist.

The reason are as follows:


Atheism is the position that deities do not exist,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.[3]


Source

Atheism by itself is a very closed minded view in my opinion. I myself am a spiritual agnostic.

See you believe is some sort of higher power, it's just not monotheistic in your view. Atheists , the ones who associate themselves with that term, simply believe that NOTHING happens after death. That there is no higher power, that there is basically no soul.

~Keeper



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka
reply to post by seagrass
 


Keep in mind I didn't say there was consciousness in inanimate objects, just that if I act "as if" there is, I can have a subjective experience which benefits me. I don't have to believe something is objectively real for it to have subjective reality.
Oh sorry, didn't mean to imply you believe as I do, just that I too believe as others do that inanimate objects have consciousness. I suppose you can have an subjective experience with anything really.
I don't believe the two minds are separate either. Subconscious and regular. Just as I don't believe the dream state is a "dream". I don't know what you call me either. But I define it as I go, I guess.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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Now for your question... Is there room? No. If there is nothing... (what is that?) then there cannot be mysticism. That is a science only based philosophy. Maybe they don't even believe in that? If here is all that is, then nothing is behind the veil working energy.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
The answer is yes, but you are not an atheist.

The reason are as follows:


Atheism is the position that deities do not exist,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.[3]


Source

Atheism by itself is a very closed minded view in my opinion. I myself am a spiritual agnostic.

See you believe is some sort of higher power, it's just not monotheistic in your view. Atheists , the ones who associate themselves with that term, simply believe that NOTHING happens after death. That there is no higher power, that there is basically no soul.

~Keeper







However, could you qualify exist? When I read that in a definition I immediately prepend "objectively" Because even though I may not believe a God exists Objectively, I could still believe that a God exists Subjectively....

You catch my meaning?



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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Sure, I think it's possible to define oneself as an atheist while maintaining a sense of mystery and spiritualism with relation to the self and all that exists outside of it. In its broadest definition, atheism only means to lack belief in any gods. You might argue that "a higher energy (or power, etc.) might exist", leaving it open, and still be an atheist by your lack of belief in gods or any defined higher power. Now, if you begin defining a specific spiritual power that you believe to exist, you're stepping outside of atheism. (Someone will invariably point to agnosticism as the more appropriate term. I'm one of those who believe that agnosticism is most properly placed as a subset of or accompaniment to atheism rather than its own definition--atheism deals with belief, not the lack or presence of knowledge or certainty.)

Sam Harris, the famous atheist who authored "Letter to a Christian Nation" and is now in the ranks of Dawkins as a sort of atheist posterboy, is representative of "spiritual atheism". It's more of a belief in the self, I'd say. Some might seek energies outside of themselves, while others seek energies that are merely latent within the self--the subconscious, etc.--untapped potentials. That isn't religion. It isn't theology. It is not a belief in any grand creator or domineering father in the sky. It's simply a play on curiosity and pursuit of the presently esoteric facets of life.

I've begun to tend toward a sort of spirituality of self, a desire to understand human capabilities and the energies at play in the universe. I do not believe that a god figure is responsible for any of this; I believe we just haven't figured it all out with regards to our world, and therefore want to find out as much as I can about the mechanations at play in the universe. There's no reason to jump to "god did it" or worse, "so you're saying that god did it"--it can all be perfectly natural, that is, part of our natural world but simply not understood at the present time. That's my feeling, any way. And that's probably fitting of "spiritual atheism".



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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Then by your classification, I fit somewhere in there with you. I do not believe in a father god created universe. I don't believe in Gods, Deities or any such powerful controlling being. I do believe, though, that others can actually believe they are experiencing a reality that includes them. Such as the mentally ill for example. I think that is their reality (whatever form it takes), and who am I to judge.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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I think in terms of energies. Not specific "gods" making decisions, punishments and judgments. There could be masses of energies that might be mistaken for gods. But I guess I wont know all that until it's time for me to know all that.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


That depends on the definition of god. Now, I am an atheist in that I'm not religious, don't 'believe' in god, don't have 'faith' that there is a god, but I know there is a being that's referred to as 'god', anthropomorphized in religion, is alien to our frame of reference, and has meddled in our affairs.

Mysticism and atheism? No, not on those definitions. I'm sure that there are phenomena that we don't understand, and don't have the tools to measure or quantify, yet.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
I think in terms of energies. Not specific "gods" making decisions, punishments and judgments.


I do think you're looking in the right direction.

[edit on 2/6/09 by paperplanes]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by paperplanes

Originally posted by seagrass
I think in terms of energies. Not specific "gods" making decisions, punishments and judgments.


I do think you're looking in the right direction.

[edit on 2/6/09 by paperplanes]
feels right. I think 'things' have influenced, but I am not sure I accept the term meddled. In my way of thinking, now, I would describe it more as an agreement made for THIS experience. This universe, or whatever you want to call it. Like the rules of the game. Many games, lots of different rules, lots of choices of which game to play. Maybe playing them all at once.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:47 PM
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Your forgetting how many people are willing to lie.. or are really just very very poorly educated. Its nice to think that the universe is filled with magic genies and jonny cage is out there some where practicing shooting green fireballs from his hands.

These kinds of mystical things are the desires of children. Power that comes without responsiblity or effort. Knowledge that comes without suffering or determination. Just fall into some green sludge and youll be "wild thing" in no time.

Its just a trap. Those children hoping for magical super powers or a chance to talk to thier loved ones as ghosts will spend their lives chasing that illusion ...which is exactly its purpose.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
Your forgetting how many people are willing to lie.. or are really just very very poorly educated. Its nice to think that the universe is filled with magic genies and jonny cage is out there some where practicing shooting green fireballs from his hands.

These kinds of mystical things are the desires of children. Power that comes without responsiblity or effort. Knowledge that comes without suffering or determination. Just fall into some green sludge and youll be "wild thing" in no time.

Its just a trap. Those children hoping for magical super powers or a chance to talk to thier loved ones as ghosts will spend their lives chasing that illusion ...which is exactly its purpose.
desires of children? mysticism? spirituality?
You confuse me with the references. sludge jonny cage green fireballs?
What I get from your post is responsibility, suffering, and determination. All of which sound like negative experiences. Chasing illusions has a purpose? What is that? Besides being childish?



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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Personally I'm pretty averse to the term atheist as it doesn't seem to allow much room to maneuver ones personal opinions around in. As I understand the definition of the term, it is strictly the disbelief in a god-like deity, or any deity whatsoever. Many people call themselves atheists, but by that pronouncement you are stating in very absolute terms that you believe there is no deity whatsoever. There is no room for maybes or possibilities, atheism is the final conclusion that there is definitely nothing out there in the way of a mythical god-entity.

Agnosticism is a far friendlier term in my opinion. Agnosticism accepts that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate a god-entity, but does not preclude the notion, it is just that there is no evidence to conclude a god, but the possibility remains...

To be a true atheist is to say that you do not even believe in the possibility of a God.

Mysticism keeps life interesting



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by The_Modulus
As I understand the definition of the term, it is strictly the disbelief in a god-like deity, or any deity whatsoever. Many people call themselves atheists, but by that pronouncement you are stating in very absolute terms that you believe there is no deity whatsoever. There is no room for maybes or possibilities, atheism is the final conclusion that there is definitely nothing out there in the way of a mythical god-entity.

Agnosticism is a far friendlier term in my opinion. Agnosticism accepts that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate a god-entity, but does not preclude the notion, it is just that there is no evidence to conclude a god, but the possibility remains...

To be a true atheist is to say that you do not even believe in the possibility of a God.


I think you're applying an unnecessarily restrictive definition to the term "atheism". Saying that you absolutely believe there is no deity is not the same thing as saying that you believe there is definitely nothing out there.

Have you ever heard of Russell's Teapot or Carl Sagan's "Dragon in the Garage"? Both are analogies to religious faith that present a claim that cannot be either proven or disproven. For instance, in the first example, Bertrand Russell describes a tiny teapot revolving around the sun. We can't see it with any of our telescopes; there is no way to disprove its existence. The point is that just because it might exist does not mean we ought to go on and believe it exists. It is perfectly reasonable to call yourself a teapot atheist, without being able to confirm the nonexistence of that little teapot. Right? But with your definition, one would have to call themselves a teapot agnostic, because they can't--in good science--positively say that it doesn't exist. This would also apply to faeries, our invisible termite overlords, and any other strange claim for which a variety of excuses can be made. See what I mean? It's unreasonably restrictive to say that an atheist must claim certainty of the nonexistence of any higher powers. All they need to say is that they don't BELIEVE a god exists. That's all--nothing especially restrictive about it, as the door is quite open to marvel at the mysteries of the universe.

[edit on 2/6/09 by paperplanes]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by paperplanes
 


Fair enough. I see what you're saying about the impossibility of both proof of and proof to the contrary of the existence of a god-entity, and that therefore atheism cannot strictly mean a belief that the existence of God has been disproven.

Still, what is the distinction between agnostic and atheist then? Surely the difference is that the atheist does not believe in the possibility, and the agnostic leaves the possibility open, all in lieu of the lack of evidence either way. For the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic' to remain relevant as separate terms there must be a distinction between the two. If agnosticism chooses not to answer the question of a God, atheism has done so.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 04:38 PM
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I'm neither of those. Slightly leaning toward agnostic. I don't believe there is a tiny teapot. For one thing, I don't want to. For another, I am sure maybe someone out there does, and so there may be a tiny teapot for them, just not for me. Not my reality.



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