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Is there room for mysticism within Atheism?

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posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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There's one problem with atheism, and that is this. The universe itself as a physical body would qualify very well as a self aware God-being and thus as a power greater than the self (which trumps the "I am God" position of a created being within the larger sphere). If such a consciousness exists and is self aware, and there's a lot of evidence which suggests that this is in fact the case, and if it flows through everything as spirit and if such a spirit is a spirit of love, as well as infinite intelligence, then the the worldview of the person of faith would be infinitely more congruent with reality than that of the atheist. Furthermore, there is a fundamental relationship between the subjective self of observation, and the absolute objective truth and reality, one which, according to modern quantum theory would also require an observer. "To be is to be percieved." In this sense, again th atheist falls short.

atheism is dead in the water imho - the question posed by reality itself is the degree and the depth of mystery with regards to the fundamental relationship between the individual and God.

For the record I am not God, but am a part of God, like a holographic chip off the old old block.

What I don't understand is the lengths to which seemingly intelligent people will go, to deny the fundamental relationship whereby they are known by God and loved by God - after all they're like HERE and were included in the creation for a reason and a purpose.

The atheist I think must insist that man is nothing more than a biological machine, living in a random and meaningless existence which just happened to order itself into the configuration we call life. That's the box they are stuck in, which to me appears to be a very closed minded and narrow viewpoint, and one which isn't even congruent with the realities of human existence.

One wonders what the atheist thinks about things like NDE's and OBE's.. and about this realm of light and knowledge existing above our own. What we see in nature are hierarchies, so why not a kingdom of heaven, ruled by the love of an infinitely intelligent being of light and love..?

Perhaps the atheist is just someone in rebellion against organized religion, which is understandable, but why take the no-God position and box yourself in to that. More and more the evidence is accumulating FOR the God hypothesis and in particular the MIND of God, than against it. What will an atheist do when science starts talking about the inevitability of a mind of God..?

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]




posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by paperplanes
Have you ever heard of Russell's Teapot or Carl Sagan's "Dragon in the Garage"? 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.


Actually I hadn't, as I recall and I'd like to thank you for bringing it to my attention as it's illustrative of a point I've been trying to get across lately. And having come from Bertrand Russell or Carl Sagan, it sounds much more important


But to get to the point of the OP, I think there is plenty of room in atheism for mysticism. Simply because atheism, to me, in denying deities is primarily denying judgment of the natural world as either good or evil. This isn't to say that everything is appropriate to human comfort levels, but it can't be characterized as good or evil without intent.

God and Satan exist in people's minds for that purpose, in one aspect. To give the natural world intent and intelligence. And also to allow for the spiteful and hateful belief that we are right and everyone who doesn't see things the way we do is going to pay for it. But I digress...

What atheism does not do, to my mind, is restrict anyone from viewing their own personal experiences through their own point of view. In fact, I think it encourages it.

[edit on 2/6/09 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by paperplanes
 


I also think it's possible to believe that no God exists objectively, but that a God exists subjectively.

To me the two realities are completely independent inherently, yet become interdependent when linked through the senses and the confluence of those within the mind.

I really have no idea of what exists, I only have an idea of those shadows which I can sense objectively, even though subjectively my world appears to be complete, whole, and only what I can sense. My interpretation of those senses gives rise to a world which is mixed of my senses and how they relate to my concepts, but it is unique in itself. It is really only a blurry image of what may exist objectively.

This leads me to the conclusion that the only thing which matters is my subjective experience and the components which contribute to it. These components are heavily based on my beliefs regarding self and everything else.

This is why I am God. Because I am responsible for the creation of my subjective experience, which is the whole of my sensory reality.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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But isn't your subjective experience dependent upon and in relationship to, an absolute objective reality, and it is not conceivable that such an objective reality, to exist, may also require observation from an absolute objective viewpoint, or from every angle and perspective, including the quantum realm? And what would give rise to it? I often think of God as the uncreated ground of all being and becoming, which also happens to be a self aware conscious being, who created and creates for the purpose and the cause of love.

In other words, that it's a cocreative, participative process - a relationship, in other words, of the most personal and intimate variety, since it would run through and through, to the very depths.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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In definition, an atheist does not believe in god(s). It doesn't mention anything else.

I'm an atheist, and from what I understand is that much of the atheist community also aligns itself with the scientific community...and so they will typically dismiss anything that relates to mysticism or the paranormal. However, I'm also a believer in other paranormal phenomenon, I just don't believe in any gods. I won't claim that my beliefs in relation to the paranormal are fact, but it's just how I see things on a personal level.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
But isn't your subjective experience dependent upon and in relationship to, an absolute objective reality, and it is not conceivable that such an objective reality, to exist, may also require observation from an absolute objective viewpoint, or from every angle and perspective, including the quantum realm? And what would give rise to it? I often think of God as the uncreated ground of all being and becoming, which also happens to be a self aware conscious being, who created and creates for the purpose and the cause of love.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]




Unfortunately for us humans there is nothing absolute about the objective world. There are workable absolutes which emerge from our limited existence within the continuum of objective phenomena, but we don't have instruments to determine the limitations of the objective world.


Your concept of God as the uncreated ground of all being is analogous to what I mean when I say I am God. Everything that exists within my subjective existence is dependent on my body and my mind. Without my mind I could not conceptualize any interpretation of either subjective or objective phenomena, and without my body I would not have senses communicating imagery to my mind which forms the wet clay my mind molds into a subjective reality.

Anything which is existent or non-existent to me has it's ground within my being.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by HunkaHunka]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Im thinking of Descartes, and not just "I think therefore I am", but in his analysis of subjective experience occuring as a result OF an objective reality, something we are blind to and cannot percieve directly, but only through our senses, but no less THERE, and if there, he summised that it too had to be something percieved, by a mind. And now, modern quantum physics is saying the same thing, so he was definitely ahead of his time.

We are percieving SOMETHING through our five senses which is like actually there. How is it there, how did it come to be there and what sustains it? Again, modern science has much to say about this, but many scientists stop short of the God hypothesis only because it makes them uncomfotable. Enter David Bohm's Holographic Universe, and what we have then is subjective self and mind emersed, within an infinitely larger, objective self and mind, and thus, a relationship, betwee the subjective observer, and God, or a relationship betwee little "I am" and "Great I am" - one which I would also suggest is a fundamental relationship between a lover and a beloved other as in the Sufi mystic tradition.

So I would suggest not holding firmly to the atheist position, allowing new data to enter in, including the possibility of an objective universal God-mind, of which your subjective self is a part, yet intrinsic to, like a slice of a hologram, where the part of, contains imbedded within it, an image of the whole kit and caboodle - so we're saying essentially the same thing. You may note however, just how close we are in our views, and I am a Christian who believes that the human being was made to contain the spirit of the living God, the spirit of the universe.

In short - where you say "I am God" I would add the other half of the equation and complete the puzzle by saying "I am of God".

And the only distinction drawn then, is between the seen and observed physical material world, in Christian parlance "the flesh", and the unseen realm of spirit, whereby imo, the material world, and the human mind, is but the substrate for spirit, such that the former is dependant upon the latter, and is a reflection of the latter, and in scientific terms a manifestation of the light of life, which is infinite, and yet, formative, or an explicate reality eminating from the implicate order, like a fountain. So in my view, "God" is a self aware fountain of life meeting life everlasting and a first-last cause who's cause, is love. "Everyting was made by the father for the son."

There's certainly a mystery in that. I say dare to extend your paradigm, even if it would mean giving up being an "atheist".

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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Atheism and Theism define and sustain each other, cant be without each other. Two sides of the same dull coin that might as well be flipped into the river and sink on the heaviness of its convictions.

But if Im not atheist or theist what am I? Oh my God, quick, give me a new label to deliver me from the existential angst of the human condition! OK, OK...I got it. "I am spiritual". "I am agnostic". I am this. I am that. And yet, every self-definition breeds its opposite. Once I rest in the comfort of one position I perceive that which is not my position all around me and then invest effort trying to convince others of it.

But back to the original question of the esteemed OP: Does Atheism permit spirituality?

My spontaneous knee-jerk response: Who cares whether it does or not? After some thought: Defined broadly it would certainly permit that. But most are uptight and closed when it comes to the miraculous, wonderful mystery of life. Just like their counterpart on the other side of their coin.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
Im thinking of Descartes, and not just "I think therefore I am", but in his analysis of subjective experience occuring as a result OF an objective reality, something we are blind to and cannot percieve directly, but only through our senses, but no less THERE, and if there, he summised that it too had to be something percieved, by a mind. And now, modern quantum physics is saying the same thing, so he was definitely ahead of his time.



I don't disagree at all on the "something out there" part. But what I contend is that the objective world we become aware of is a subset of what may exist absolutely in the obstructive world as we only have so many senses. If you were blind you would have no idea that light exists objectively. (I'm simplifying here).

What I am doing here is simply stating that the objective world we become aware of is a flawed representation of what is actually there.

I would refer to you Hegel and The Phenomenology of Spirit (Mind)





We are percieving SOMETHING through our five senses which is like actually there.



And many things exist which we cannot percieve, so the that which is "actually there" is "actually there" in a different state than which we perceive it. Even then, when we do perceive it we color it with all sorts of opinions and concepts which perverts it into something completely different within our subjective mind.

In some cases, this actually causes us not to "notice" things or to "notice" things more than the next guy.




How is it there, how did it come to be there and what sustains it?



Objectively the answers to that are varied and in many instances probably incomprehensible.

Subjectively there is one answer... my consciousness.






Again, modern science has much to say about this, but many scientists stop short of the God hypothesis only because it makes them uncomfotable. Enter David Bohm's Holographic Universe, and what we have then is subjective self and mind emersed, within an infinitely larger, objective self and mind, and thus, a relationship, betwee the subjective observer, and God, or a relationship betwee little "I am" and "Great I am" - one which I would also suggest is a fundamental relationship between a lover and a beloved other as in the Sufi mystic tradition.



Ahh yes, but as with the great mystical traditions, eventually the microcosm attains identification with the macrocosm.




So I would suggest not holding firmly to the atheist position, allowing new data to enter in, including the possibility of an objective universal God-mind, of which your subjective self is a part, yet intrinsic to, like a slice of a hologram, where the part of, contains imbedded within it, an image of the whole kit and caboodle - so we're saying essentially the same thing. You may note however, just how close we are in our views, and I am a Christian who believes that the human being was made to contain the spirit of the living God, the spirit of the universe.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]


Oh I'm not claiming to be atheist, and yes, our views are very similar.

We differ in degree only I believe. And what I am actually asserting here is that your beliefs are absolutely true within the sphere of your subjective experience and don't necessarily have to be objectively true at all to have the exact same value...

... unless we place a greater priority on the objective world than we do our own subjective experience of it.

I can maintain that what you say is true for me that the human was made to contain the spirit of the living God, the spirit of the Universe, because I feel it is true... I am God. I contain the spirit of the living God, the spirit of the Universe...

I can also maintain, that these are all concepts which exist only in my conscious mind and have no bearing on the objective world except as it is expressed through me in my interactions with the the world "out there".

If I were to claim atheism, and be intellectually honest with myself I would have to proclaim not only the non-existence of a God, but also of a Self, as the concepts of both emanate from the same source... egoic forces which apprehend all phenomena in a personal manner...

Really good discussion here.... thanks!



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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Skyfloating - Good post, and appropriate, since God cannot be understood, only lived and given a channel to flow through. No one can conceive with any precision just who or what God is, we only have an approximation. Even the liberal Christian interpretation only goes so far as to say that Jesus represents the best possible expression of the will of God in human terms but cannot be the fullness of the Godhead who is by his very nature, ineffible.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


As Always Skyfloating, Thank you for your insights!

I have discovered that many claim to be atheists because to them it truly allows them more ability to question things than a theistic approach would. However I have found others who would lead you to believe that the reverse is also true...

Once again, Thanks for the insights!



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Buddhism claims the non existence of the self ie: there is no separate self.

Personally, I think that's false.


Then again, it could be said that there is no SEPARATE self, wherein the microcosm has come to identify with the macrocosm as you so aptly point out.

I still see a relationship between two or more, and a family type framework. After all, there's more than one of us here talking, right?



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
Buddhism claims the non existence of the self ie: there is no separate self.

Personally, I think that's false.


Then again, it could be said that there is no SEPARATE self, wherein the microcosm has come to identify with the macrocosm as you so aptly point out.

I still see a relationship between two or more, and a family type framework. After all, there's more than one of us here talking, right?


I like the buddhist approach but, just like you, Im not sure its viable for everyday modern life which involves a self (me, me, me) and others (Omega Point and Hunka Hunka). If I were to go around and admit that I believe nobody exists that might be bad for my social life.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


I think it all comes down to workable truth.

The illusion of self is a mechanism for ensuring the body survives. ( I don't like to assign purpose to anything, but it appears it is this faculty which functions in accordance with genetic desires...)

Even as Jung pointed out, it may be fashionable for a peoples who live in a mild climate to dissolve their sense of self, but it's not an option for someone who lives in a harsh environment.

It really comes down to whats workable for you.

I find that a completely dynamic belief system is the most workable for me. The less rigid I allow my beliefs to be, the more I can bend them to my own Will. Which is not say what I want, but what is in accordance with my Will... yet another illusory subjective component, but one which is a workable truth within me.

Especially when everyday I learn something new which shows my previous beliefs to be somewhat skewed...



[edit on 2-6-2009 by HunkaHunka]

[edit on 2-6-2009 by HunkaHunka]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:59 PM
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Anything which is existent or non-existent to me has it's ground within my being.
yes, but the problem is, your being/body is temporary. That is a rule. And so what after that? Subjective/objective physical experience and then what. I believe everything Omega Point believes in, except I choose not to call it GOD. It is too loaded by history.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]
can't seem to figure out a few things about quotes.
[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]

[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]

[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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I don't think I would mind a label in this case, simply due to the fact that it would save me a lot of time trying to explain myself.. Problem there is.. why feel that need? To find a "group" or "family" to relate to? Like minds? I find the relating not in the philosophy, but in the living of it.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by The_Modulus
Still, what is the distinction between agnostic and atheist then?

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.


Etymologically, there is a clear distinction between agnosticism and atheism in that they deal with entirely different realms--belief (atheism) and knowledge (agnosticism). By calling myself an atheist, I do not claim to know, with certainty, anything about a higher power; I only claim to not believe.

The agnostic position is compatible with both theism and atheism, both terms relating to belief. One can be an "agnostic atheist": they do not know but they also do not believe; or an "agnostic theist", who does not know yet believes. Or someone might be, as is sometimes termed a "positive", "strong", or "explicit" atheist, one who claims to both know and not believe. That is, know that gods do not exist and likewise not believe in them. I have yet to meet one of these individuals, as most people are rational enough to find this statement preposterous (Dawkins explains the folly well in "The God Delusion").

But adding qualifying terms like positive/negative, weak/strong, explicit/implicit to "atheist" seems superfluous to me. All we need to understand is that the atheist does not believe. Any particulars of his/her viewpoint can be gleened from further conversation.

I should disclose a certain distaste for the term "agnosticism" because it is such a generally confounding term in colloquial or street jargon. It doesn't seem useful to use it as a self-descriptive term on its own--after all, what are you telling me? That you don't know? But I don't really care if you know or not! In spiritual discussions, I'm most interested in what you believe. By saying, "I'm agnostic.", I still have no clue of what you believe exists. Problems arise whenever people begin using "agnosticism" to describe belief, a misuse that ostensibly accounts for the confusion surrounding these terms.

I've found that atheists are widely varied in their ideas beyond the simple lack of belief in gods. They range from militantly scientific to airy-fairy, "harness the undiscovered energies of the universe" types. The only common thread is "I don't believe in any god." The ideas described here by Hunka Hunka and some others are not incompatible with atheism, from my preliminary reading of them (forgive me if I missed some disqualifying detail). Atheism is a simple, broad term--really!



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
I don't think I would mind a label in this case, simply due to the fact that it would save me a lot of time trying to explain myself.. Problem there is.. why feel that need? To find a "group" or "family" to relate to? Like minds? I find the relating not in the philosophy, but in the living of it.


I find labels quite useful, actually, provided they fit properly. If an individual tells me he's an atheist, certain topics of conversation will be more easily introduced. For instance, I'll be more leary of harping on about the inconsistencies of certain religious texts if I'm conversing with a devout Catholic or Muslim. I can know automatically what subjects are likely to be sensitive topics based on what political or religious affiliation a person has. I try to be a considerate person, so this is rather important in social interactions, wouldn't you say? There's nothing wrong with liking a label or two; nor is it awful to not have an easily accessible label that fits you. And we would do well to remember that a label only describes a tiny facet of a person. It doesn't answer every question for you, or hand over minute details; it only eases introductions
.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass


Anything which is existent or non-existent to me has it's ground within my being.
yes, but the problem is, your being/body is temporary. That is a rule. And so what after that? Subjective/objective physical experience and then what. I believe everything Omega Point believes in, except I choose not to call it GOD. It is too loaded by history.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by seagrass]
can't seem to figure out a few things about quotes.



To answer your question, "What then" well then the universe which I inhabit will cease to exist. You are right, it is temporary, and as long as this body is alive, the subjective experience contained within it will continue. After that... who knows...



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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Hello people, I'm new, and I just came across this, and decided to post on it, yes I named my account after this topic.
When we say deity, or God, we denote it to some personal anthromorphic or somewhat living being. But I have an odd outlook on this, We have the laws of science and the FACT that there must be a creative force behind the start of everything (not a deity or, in a sense, a god).
These laws allow us to predict the outcome of atoms, without us needing to intervene. If when the whole universe began, mostly eveything acted in a predictable way (except for the random frequencies of quantum particles, QUANTUM SPOOKINESS!!), and there was a creative force behind this, couldn't we say that this force is the creator, and these laws are the architect, and it's very existence has orchestrated the beginning of life, it's not intelligent design, or creationism. But the mechanic and "programmed" properties of our universe up until sentience and the emergence of life and free will, could be considered an orchestrated event?
I know i sort of dont make sense here but you get my drill.



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