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The 4 Stages of Spiritual Growth (atheism > fundamentalism)

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posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:38 AM
reply to post by NewAgeMan

I talk of freedom, you threaten me

The freedom you talk about is nonsense. Look outside your window! Besides, you haven't taken the time to respond to the real life situation I put in front of you, on the matter of speaking in tongues, instead you keep reaching for straws and new age bullcrap. You are a deluded in your understanding if you cannot see this.

Love this, love that. Sure I can go around proclaiming I love everything. The Vatican does the same thing...

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:20 AM

Originally posted by Zamini
reply to post by NewAgeMan

The thing is, I'm not assuming. I'm speaking from experience that I've gotten in REALITY. Not something that is inside my head or something that I read in a book someone recommended me. I have given an example of what happens to people who blindly follow these things, now YOU make a choice whether you want to be blind or not. I'm out.

Two people can witness a single event and take away two memories.

Now take two people who have witnessed and experienced two different events and ask them to describe their memories. It would be ridiculous to expect to hear two identical stories.

No two men are the same. No two journeys in life are the same. I think the point i am making must be clear.

I share quite a bit with the OP spiritual views. I have never been a sheltered, "namaste", "hippy" type. I grew up pretty rough, i've made a TON of mistakes, had gathered tons of baggage and somehow, along the way, i learned that for myself, listening to that still small, but ever growing, voice deep inside me is the only way i have ever felt personal peace and simple joy. I have found that, in my own experience, love has significant power and that i prefer to "flow with" the stream instead of "fighting currents". Having lived through trying times and witnessing the trying times give way to contentment has helped me to personally understand "turning over".

I haven't had to blind myself or even shut away anything. My eyes have been, at times painfully, open along the way and i still find myself here and so incredibly grateful that here is where i am.

It is my sincere hope that one day we will move beyond using such precious time and energy in attempts to validate or prove that "my way is the right way". Then, perhaps, we can begin to redirect that time and energy into actually figuring out ways we can better all of our lives.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:25 AM
reply to post by NewAgeMan

Mystical is what happens when you realize there is something spiritual and experience it. Fundamentalism is when you realize not all spiritual things are good and true. There are many spirits which slander God and try to make you rebel too, but when you realize they lie to suit their own purposes, then you realize why people are warned about spiritual deception. We can't discount the possibility of hell just because we do not like it.

At the highest level I felt a love for God and a realization that He is trying to teach the ways of loving each other, but somewhere along the path the Jews fell to error. Other religions try to teach hidden truths of spirituality, but what use is all the knowledge or power in the world if you do not understand how to love? I think it's a ruse to distract people, seeking the hidden knowledge of spirituality. At first it was hard to live by what Jesus said, but it's becoming easier and easier over time. When He said the law can be summarized as loving God and loving your neighbor He was right. But many people do not try walking the narrow path, because it's far easier to be unrighteous.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:43 AM
547000, and veryinteresting, both of you, very well said.

And I am way too easily provoked, but sometimes that very insecurity can be helpful, to a degree. I apologize if i got out of hand, and if somehow along the way i offended anyone, unncessarily. I'm glad that seems to have passed, I was getting worried for a sec there that I was heading straight into some sort of ATS simulated word version, of the passion of the Christ! LOL!

And just for the record, I was willing to talk about nothing.

But it's nice to raise some good ideas, you know, about how we can all get along, and respectfully, even lovingly, agree to disagree.

I will accept responsibility for anywhere that i myself may have gotten out of line.

It's not always easy these types of struggles, but they're struggles that we simply must have at the end of the day, because in truth I am absolutely convinced that in the end, we all want the same thing, and it would have to be free, if there would be any possibility of life, or love, in it.

That much I do know. And I am not a fool for holding the viewpoint I do, so why should I abandone it even under threat. It's functional. It works. And it is Civilized, however difficult or challenging, call it whatever you want it makes no difference.

All the best, to every one. I care too about what's happened and is still happening in our crazy world, and I know we've just GOT to get it right at some point, when all the learning is done.

And unfettered freedom, is very much a part of that, provided we don't forget who we really are and were meant to be all along, of that we must not only re-discover, but never ever forget, and if anything, that is what the various masks of religion are for, they were to point the way, to a past golden age, at some point in our distant future, the wisdom of the ages, come of age again.

It's can't NOT happen, eventually, since all suffering leads in the end to conscious suffering, and therefore to suffering's undoing, ultimately.

and that is ENOUGH out of me. Have mercy!

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:21 AM

Originally posted by Zamini
Besides, you haven't taken the time to respond to the real life situation I put in front of you, on the matter of speaking in tongues, instead you keep reaching for straws and new age bullcrap. You are a deluded in your understanding if you cannot see this.

Love this, love that. Sure I can go around proclaiming I love everything. The Vatican does the same thing...

The speaking in tongues question, was a joke, but i didn't include a smiley, because I figured people were smart enough to see that, to recognize it instantly, but I was wrong.

But you don't have the capacity to do a reframe in relation to me now, now it's in your mind, all those assumptions, driving your anger and hatred.

Here's one for you that I've figured out - all incivility, or almost all of it, arises from simple misunderstanding. The "gap" here isn't on my end..

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:38 AM

Originally posted by Zamini
reply to post by Titen-Sxull

Really? Speaking in TONGUES?

I know a person who is...close to me...who claims to have done this.

Two of her children are on a criminal path, one is at loss for an identity. Herself is glued to Christian evangelist call in channels(you know the ones where people are asked to donate so the host can drive around in a luxury car), the bible and DEMON identification books. She disregards any attempt of socilization outside of her narrow minded church groups, thinks she is right regardless of how much evidence is put in front of her concerning psychological conditions and illnesses and simply trusts her almighty money hungry god to take care of her childrens future without taking ANY kind of responsiblity for them

THIS is what your nonsense leads people to, you hippy good for nothing knowitalls.

And see, here is where you're wrong about me not caring. This person, maybe a sibling, is someone you love, and here's this weird, cult-like, Exclusive fanatical Christanity nonsense, operating as a WEDGE in your relationship, and my God, that's terrible and my heart really DOES go out to you, and I'm sorry for overreacting, seriously, I'm not just saying that to look good, and do I really care about that by now anyway? No.

But what you've done here is plugged into every BIT of [gap] in this communication (even in-person communication has gaps in it!), that experience, that disappointment, suffering, even OUTRAGE - I get that. I hear you.

But if you'll notice where I was trying to go with this, that my heart wants to undo all that nonsense, that that's what I've come to realize, that the love, at all levels, especially in family, you know, needs to be healed, and I can see your predicament. Thanks for sharing and again, sorry for getting all testy, but you were projecting on me, and me I'll even take it on if I have to, no worries there, and as stupid as this may sound to you, you and her are in my prayers, that that barrier can be broken and dissolved somehow.

Merry Chrismas..? (ducks down)

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:41 AM
reply to post by 547000

We can't discount the possibility of hell just because we do not like it.

And it would be ludicrous to believe in the existence of Hell without any evidence that it exists. While I agree that discounting the possibility shouldn't be done because we don't like the idea I also understand that the existence of the idea of Hell does not prove that Hell exists.Whether something is true/real or not has absolutely no basis in whether we like the idea or not. For instance I cannot, or at least should not, cease believing in crocodiles merely because I do not like the idea of them. The existence of something should be verified by evidence, if no evidence can be found and in fact we have evidence to the contrary than an idea can be discounted.

On the subject of Hell it is supposedly at the center of the Earth, many mythical Underworlds are present underground yet we've explored caves, we've dug down deep and we've even figured out what the Earth's core is made of. We didn't find any demons dwelling there. This does not, of course, discount other interpretations of Hell but without evidence I see no reason to believe in any supernatural claim.

While we shouldn't discount something based on how much we don't like it we also shouldn't believe something because we're afraid of supernatural consequences. For instance I once made fun of a religious person's beliefs here on ATS and was told that "I shouldn't do that sort of thing because what if God turns out to be real and smites me!" This sort of irrationality is dangerous. Imagine that someone tells me there are goblins who watch everything I do and say who will smite me if I don't follow a list of commands they've passed on to people in a book. Should I begin believing in these Goblins and following the book they supposedly wrote just to avoid some supernatural punishment? What good reason do I have to believe that the goblins, or their punishment, are real? I would hope that you would agree the belief is unfounded.

You mention that you are trying to follow Christ's teachings - are you following them because Christ commands them or because you genuinely believe they are morally right?

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:00 AM
reply to post by Titen-Sxull

I believe in the bible because I was given that the crucifixion is real. I prayed for personal proof and got it too. The bible speaks of an eternal fire. It's probably the hell the modern churches think of as hell.

I follow the teaching of Jesus for both reasons, because He wants us oo, and because they're right. At first I thought it might be near impossible to follow. But it's not. It's just that when we grow up we make excuses to justify not doing those things. I admit, not looking at women lustfully is hard. Just see how sexualized things nowadays are. But I try.
edit on 22-12-2010 by 547000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:00 AM
reply to post by Titen-Sxull

Personally I think that Jesus Christ represents a resolution to the issue of karma, or the possibility of a cleansing, which might even bracket somehow, the um, upper chambers.. where life reviews are done, and that's very Jewish at the same time, although it's my understanding that in their case, they are shown their human life as if they had lived in perfect accordance with the law, compared to the life they lived, by the standard of love as the highest expression of the law. That said, perhaps the realization of the "Jesus project" would also liberate us from that kind of wheel of samsara, even in the future present moment at some point, as in "what was, is, and shall be" or ever present in eternity now.

But that's just one possbility, and a whole OTHER thread topic, God willing ie: not here!!! (ducks again)

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:12 AM
reply to post by 547000

I understand that personal experiences can be powerful however what would you say to someone who prayed to God and got "proof" that Jesus WASN'T the messiah. Such things do happen, just as some people claim to be abducted by aliens. I'm not saying your experience is invalid but merely that such experiences only act as subjective evidence, a far weaker form of evidence and one that, at least for me, isn't the extraordinary evidence that extraordinary claims require. When I was a Christian I often had what I would refer to as spiritual experiences in which I would feel oneness with God or as if I was wrapped within his arms however I soon found that such experiences took place when I was listening to the right music or merely imagining things very vividly in my head. As an atheist I still have these "spiritual experiences" I have just realized that there is no correlation between them and any particular deity or supernatural notion.

I admit, not looking at women lustfully is hard.

Not only is it hard but I would argue that Jesus's commandment here is immoral. There is nothing wrong with lust, without lust none of us would exist. Given that sexual lust is perfectly natural for human beings placing such a restriction on the mere THOUGHT is immoral in the highest regard. Of course human beings are going to think about sex and sexual pleasure, duh, to put a restriction on it is absurd and to claim that its a sin to merely think of having sex with a woman is to doom us to extinction.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:44 AM
reply to post by NewAgeMan

Well, thanks.

And a merry Christmass to you too!

And if you must know, it is a healthy amount self-doubt that leads to spiritual development. The steps in between are irrelevant.

And I wasn't trying to project on you, it just seemed you were one of the people going down the ''hippy spiritual'' path as so many have gone before you.
edit on 22-12-2010 by Zamini because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 05:43 AM
I was brough up with Church of Scotland - probably one of the most laid back and sensible branches of christianity I know of. It teaches us not to take the Bible literally, but that it was a 'good' guide on morality. I use the following quote to demonstrate that it isn't even that;

Matt 15:21-28 (web)
Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying,
"Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David!
My daughter is severely demonized!"
But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying,
"Send her away; for she cries after us."

But he answered,
"I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."

But he answered,
"It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs."

But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs
which fall from their masters’ table."

Then Jesus answered her,
"Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire."

And her daughter was healed from that hour.

'The children' - of Israel
'The dogs' - the gentiles.

He wouldn't even lower himself to speak to her for goodness sake!! Whe he does, her refers to her as 'a dog'...and she agrees.

It makes me sad that the state religion of Rome has been such a long lived success. That the value of our worth is measured against our proximity to a far off peoples' origin myths and moral teachings. I am a Celt. We have our own origin myths, our own belief system, as old or older than Judaism - one that has been devalued (although more in tune with my psyche) and one whose practices were almost eradicated by one Mr. Nero of aforementioned Rome.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by Titen-Sxull

I asked God to give me such an experience that I would a) know which path to follow; b) be a liar if I could deny the experience, or I would never even consider the idea of God ever again. Both conditions were fulfilled with what I was given. I would be a liar if I now deny the crucifixion is true. As for why other people don't get such evidence, I do not know. All I know is I sought God with all my heart and found Him, and also later discovered that there are such things as unfriendly spirits. Because the western world does not believe in spirits they miss a big fraction of reality, or because they think the bible is fiction they do not heed the warning of spiritual deception and chase after them and their advice.

Well, He said that if you lust after women in your heart, you commit adultery, which is why I no longer watch porn and avoid looking at sexually charged content. It takes discipline, but when it becomes a habit it gets easier. If our righteousness must exceed the Pharisees, we must at least try to follow His commandments in truth; if we just ignore them because they are difficult, we aren't following God in truth and are just hypocrites, having religion, but denying its truth. The way the world goes, is not the way we should go. I think the only women you should lust after is your own wife, or that's the way I interpret it. I don't think continuation of the species or evolution is one of man's sole purpose.
edit on 22-12-2010 by 547000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by christina-66

I don't know what to make of that, but I do believe Paul was commissioned to first preach to the Jews, and since they didn't want it, go to the Gentiles. There are also a few parables that suggest that is the case of the whole gospel. I think it was because the Jews were the only ones actually listening to God. If you believe there is more than one spirit, then you might be able to understand much of bible.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:22 AM
reply to post by Zamini

If you truly learned anything, Zamini, it would have been that we need to respect each others beliefs. You would have learned that out of the 7 billion people on this earth no one is the same, not what so ever, except physically lol.
Step 1 if you really did learn anything, as you say you do, you can't be bashing people like you do because of what they believe is different from you. They had different experiences, grew up in different environments, had different influences therefore everything they entirely think will not comply with your beliefs.
Step 2 You accept that everyone is different therefore everyone, dare I say, EVERYONE will have something they don't agree with you on.
Step 3 You accept this life lesson and realize that he is his own person, he is still learning, as you are, and he is only sharing what he newly came across.
Step 4 This is a hard one, stop being judgmental...period. In every essence of that word.

Shame on you, Zamini, for distracting these conversations with your ignoarance, emotions, and lack of consideration for others in their time of enlightenment!!!
Get over yourself

And to the author of the thread, I don't think this is far from the truth.

New age hippies unite, the older generations just don't get it!!!!
It is all about love man!

edit on 22-12-2010 by SlyFox_79 because: spelling

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:01 AM
reply to post by SlyFox_79

Shame on you, Zamini, for distracting these conversations with your ignoarance, emotions, and lack of consideration for others in their time of enlightenment!!!

Distracting? I'm trying to help the OP from becoming a mindless zombie. To question what he is saying. Love is the answer yes but not in the hippy way. The older generation used to be hippies remember? What happened to them? They caved in to the system because they were all ''about love, man. You want to repeat the same mistakes as they did or do you want to be aware of how things such as new age spiritualism are being manipulated by those who manipulated earlier generations?

Besides, shame? You proclaim to be about love and you use the word shame?

I understand exactly what the OP says, that is the thing when you gain life experience, you can understand where other people are coming from. There are a lot of pitfalls to this, such as this one, not recognizing when someone is talking sense.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:09 AM
At 21 we tend to think we 'know it all'.
At 25 we admit that in the scheme of things we know very little.
At 30 we comprehend that the world is not as has been depicted to us.
At 35 we try to tell everyone ALL we've learned.
At 40 we realise that everyone knows all that anyway.
At 50 we understand there is no point in attempting to redirect another's path.
At 60 we refocus on finding our own path.
At 70 + we just count our blessings.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 10:06 AM
Why does god always have to be personified? That was my biggest problem with religion even since I was a child. I couldn't understand why, if there was a god, why "god" would possibly be personified? It just is not logical to me.

That for me is the biggest division between my beliefs and that of religious people. I consider myself to have beliefs, which in a way makes me not an atheist, but I definitely don't believe in the god of the bible and wouldn't call myself religious, which makes me an atheist in that sense.

I was raised as nothing, by a Catholic-raised atheist dad and a Catholic-raised but non-practicing mom. My mom I consider a strongly agnostic theist, and my dad is just a straight up atheist who denies and disbelieves. They never really pushed their beliefs on me, and somehow I came to this point I am at on my own.

Even if I am atheistic towards preconceived notions of god and organized religions, it doesn't mean I don't or can't have my own idea of god in a philosophical/metaphysical sense. In that way I'm not all that different from a religious person, but I just can't bring myself to believe that god would be anything like a human. So when I say "god" I do not mean the personal god of most religions and of the bible. I believe that any concept of god would totally transcend human behaviors.

My idea of god, is that god just is. God isn't a person or a being, and doesn't have a personality or emotions. God doesn't directly intervene in our lives, etc. You could talk to this god if you wish but it would be a bit silly because you already know there's no possibility of an answer because god isn't a personal being. There was a Carl Sagan quote someone posted in another thread that I think sums up well what I'm trying to say, he said something like "you wouldn't pray to gravity". God is a something, not a someone.

God if anything, is nature, and everything we are and everything that is. In my eyes, the god of the bible is a supernatural being. But I don't think anything is supernatural. In my view god is nature, and so couldn't possibly be supernatural. God is natural.

Now this is a good example of the irrationality I perceive from religion in thinking that god intervenes directly in the course of human life:

For example, if a stone falls from a roof on the head of a passer-by and kills him, they will show by their method of argument that the stone was sent to fall and kill the man; for if it had not fallen on him by God’s will, how could so many circumstances (for often very many circumstances concur at the same time) concur by chance?

You will reply perhaps: “That the wind was blowing, and that the man had to pass that way, and hence it happened.” But they will retort: “Why was the wind blowing at that time? and why was the man going that way ata that time?” If again you reply: “That the wind had then arisen on account of the agitation of the sea the day before, and the previous weather had been calm, and that the man was going that way at the invitation of a friend,” they will again retort, for there is no end to their questioning: “Why was the sea agitated, and why was the man invited at the time?”

And thus they will pursue you from cause to cause until you are glad to take refuge in the will of God, that is, the asylum of ignorance. (Spinoza, Ethics, p33)

I wouldn't think that the stone falling, in any way, was sent from god, and I can't really take seriously anyone who thinks such things.

I don't really know where my thoughts fit into your 4 stages. I guess maybe your stages could be true, but I wouldn't agree if you were including things like Christian mysticism or Judeo-Christian type mysticism, or anything involving a personified god.
edit on 12/22/2010 by SpaceJ because: fix

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 10:24 AM

Originally posted by SpaceJ
I consider myself to have beliefs, which in a way makes me not an atheist, but I definitely don't believe in the god of the bible and wouldn't call myself religious, which makes me an atheist in that sense.

Atheist can have beliefs. Atheist simply means you do not believe in a god.

I have beliefs - but consider myself an Atheist. I do not believe in any god. Any singular being in control.

I do believe in an energy consciousness - - which to me is based in science.

Try Secular Humanism:

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:44 AM
reply to post by NewAgeMan

Yeah, ol' Schultzie; he actually said: "I know naaa-sink".(points deducted for inefficient German accent lol)
I think he was right, you know, I think we really are mushrooms, purposely kept in the dark & fed 'naa-sink' but BS.
When we are uninformed as we are, the natural tendency is to be miserable & insecure because we feel we are separated from the divine(I want to avoid using the word God, I'm not sure why) & when insecure & miserable, we tend to do strange & nasty things.
Thank God I'm an atheist.

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