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The Varieties of ATS Religious Experience; or, Variations on a Theme

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posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by JiggyPotamus
 


Originally posted by JiggyPotamus
Most people do not believe this happens, but it seems it really does. Check out some of the videos online of street healing. Pretty convincing.

Welcome back Jiggy!

If you want to see some mind blowing videos type Todd White in YouTube...





posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Let me tell my story, not many surprises there but sure an interesting journey as i see it.

I was born in a conservative muslim family and a big joint family comprising of grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts. A first child in a group of adults, got a lot of attention and pampering initially till competition came in the form of cousins. My family is quiet strict when it comes to rules & values and unfortunately about traditions too (even when some are wrong).
I am thankful for the values that i learnt from a very young age and they tried to make me follow rules as best as they could, dint always succeed.
I was a curious kid with how and why as my favourite words, would dismantle toys just to see how they work and obviously failed to put them back. I was always interested in how things work and still the same.
No surprises that science became my favourite subject. I would read encylopedias in school library after school and i dint believe in supernatual/ghosts but found the stories fascinating.
I was pretty convinced that science could explain everything.
My school was a missionary school and so i had contact with priests and nuns and they fascinated and impressed me by their humility and that 'smile' at me. I celebrated christmas at school and enjoyed santa giving candies.
I was taught Islam from childhood and learnt to read arabic and recite Qur'an but it was all more tradition than religion.
At the start of my teen i would feel the rituals as empty and would avoid them, till i started listening to friday sermons and they made sense and i got interested in Islam.
From then i kept reading more and got more interested.
At 19 I moved away from home for college and started reading about other religions and discussing it with friends.
Till 2 years back i had good general understanding of major religions yet i was arrogant and had a superiority complex about islam.
Then i met a beautiful girl who changed it all, she is a christian and she made me realise how i am and that really 'opened' my mind. We discussed religion and spirituality for hours and still do and my understanding has changed a lot. I have always kept reading and Qur'an is a book i constantly read and it makes more sense, the more knowledge i get about history, science and philosophy. It continues to amaze me as i get answers to all the philosophical questions about creation, existence and purpose. Understanding the Qur'an has made me see islam transition from a ritualistic tradition that i just tolerated to an amazing way of life that i love. I enjoy discussing it and that landed me on ATS some months ago and it has been an interesting and educating experience all along.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 06:59 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Thanks so much for sharing this, jmd. Especially the part about your recent meeting ...



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by Murgatroid
 


I'm really happy that you chimed in here, Murgatroid. I think many of us have probably wondered about your personal journey. I agree with you that going to the source is preferable to accepting the ideas of others. Particularly when we don't know how that person arrived at that belief....

this is part of why I started the thread (and thanks very humbly for your positive reception of it -- I was playing Mahjong, just musing, and it simply "popped into my head." Hmmmm.....an interesting concept to begin with...:cool


We do, all of us on this forum, go back and forth, hither and thither, saying, "This! But, this...but wait, don't you know this? ... but no, that's not what I know!" and so on and so forth. It's too easy to be put off by the way others think and speak when we don't really know where they're coming from. I know that this thread will help me IMMENSELY in navigating this extra-tricky forum.

I think a major "difference" between people's spirituality is often based in whether or not they had early exposure; and if so, whether that exposure was positive or negative from a personal point of view. If not, there seems to be that universal sense of emptiness that needs filling, and the search for it that leads us to wherever is even more personal than the handed-down variety.

Thanks again, Murgatroid.
edit on 25-2-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:15 AM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 



I was a "why" kid...the really annoying variety that asked the "bigger than her britches" sort of questions, the ones that would make adults squirm a bit. Not "why is the sky blue" but "why does the sky exist?" sort of questions.

This seems certainly to be common among a lot of us here. The curious and insatiable type of personality that is born to ask "Why?" That's "why" I started to thread. I want to know "why," not just from the Ultimate Answer, but from everyone. Sometimes it feels like a curse


I know just what you mean about your daughter having awakened the truth in you. Mine, and two years later, my son as well, really really touched something in me that nothing else could. I loved my parents, certainly, but until one IS A PARENT, it's quite impossible to know how it feels to BE ONE.

Thanks so much for joining us..... and, sorry about your brother...ouch. I think it's great, though, for a parent or teacher (and it's something my dad did, as well, when I would ask him questions: "Look it up!" he would say) to give us the freedom as well as the responsibility to find out for ourselves.




posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by Lazarus Short
 

(living) soul - Spirit = dead body
In practical terms, yes, because we don't see souls that don't have living bodies attached to them.
"Pagan" as a term is useless.
That just means something foreign to your own belief.
The Hebrews, Israelites, Jews, the early Christians and Jesus all believed in the immortality of some part of the person and even after death.
SDA seem a little ignorant and backwards in that regard.
Probably a reaction to the "new" popularity when the denomination was founded, of spiritualism with things like seances and supposedly "talking"with the dead. Obviously that was the work of professional fakers.
We don't talk with people in heaven or hell, that doesn't mean those places do not exist.
edit on 25-2-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by Lazarus Short
 


I have had the advantage of being an ex-Atheist, so my theology and belief system had not pre-conceptions.

Heya, neighbor...
Another of us who had no prior background and started out with a self-paced approach.

Funny thing you reminded me of.... I spent some time with son earlier this month for his 22nd birthday. Over the holiday we had all learned that my niece is getting married to her high school bf (a good match)....and that they will not be living together before that event. Very traditional, and reflects her dad's (my brother's) cautious and traditional approach to parenting and "social stigma."

My son brought up her pending nuptials, and said, off-hand, "I never even knew that you weren't 'supposed' to live with someone before getting marred! Why would anyone do that?" It was very eye-opening for me to reflect back and realize that it was because I never told him so.

My mom certainly told us, and she was not at all cool with it, but accepted that I did it anyway...several times, even knowing she "disapproved" (now she's lightened up)...but still it illustrates how very profound is the effect our parents' beliefs have on us. Even siblings, in the same household, can glean very different "understandings."

Thanks again for sharing your journey



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by JiggyPotamus
 


Jiggy! Wow, thanks for chiming in. Excellent, compelling story, just like the others have been.

It's important for us to know at least SOME of what led our 'forum correspondents' to where they are now. Adds a whole other depth to the subject matter of any discussion, but especially on such a "subjective" subject!!

I hope others are appreciating how beneficial it is to try to get some background; and see how it can reduce the prickliness amongst us when we disagree.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by logical7
 


Hi, log7! Thanks so much. You are one of the most conversational members here, and I'm very glad - for my part - that you've come to engage us in dialogue. I don't know very much about daily life or family culture in your part of the world; only what I have observed, and I appreciate you sharing with us openly.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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reply to post by Murgatroid
 

Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrum's which might be why the religious people hated Jesus.
It depends on how you define "religious".
If you mean people who did good for others, then they loved Jesus.
If you mean people who were wealthy as a result of their connection with a religious institution, such as a temple, then yes, they hated him because he threatened that nice, cozy for them, situation.
Official, state connected so-called religious institutions are the greatest threat there is to mankind.
edit on 25-2-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:39 AM
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Hi, folks. Good morning.
I was delighted to see that we're still afloat here, and that the thread has grown and flourished.

I hope everyone has gained something - respect for one another's points of view and unique journeys, at least - and that it will help to bind us in more a sense of real "community" - even when we disagree, if we can know something of the whys and wherefores, the hows and whats that each of us carries between our ears.

Thanks again to everyone; I am deeply grateful that you all have felt safe enough to open up.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Thank you for the suggestion, I will have to look that up, as I am not familiar with that name. But it does sound like something that would be of interest to me. I guess in a way, I view consciousness as god, although I am not really sure about it. The nice thing about my current point in my journey is although I don't have it all figured out, I have faith, whereas when I was younger faith was this alien concept that I could not fathom.

As another member mentioned, you can sit in church every day for years, pray every night, read every scripture and holy book, but sometimes it just doesn't click...the words ring hollow. For some, it does finally sink in, but for me it took a life of experiences for me to develop a faith. I have always wondered if my whole family had been religious and brought me up from a young age in a church if that would have helped, who knows?



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


My experience with having my daughter was from a spiritual sense "life or death" and I chose life, and it's something I am grateful for everyday. I know what you mean about being a parent, it brings a whole unique set of experiences into one's life and it shapes a person in some many ways.

As far as my brother goes, like I said, I have forgiven him, and hold nothing against the catholic faith...now the catholic church as a structure organized religion, that is another matter for a different conversation. But I know that deep down, even though he is a priest, my brother still struggles with his own faith and I just hope in time he comes to terms with it. Priests are still humans, they make mistakes, I can't judge him for his silence. Over time, I think I know why he remains distant, and it has a lot to do with my parents divorce, but that too is a whole other topic.

Thank you for giving me the chance to verbalize something that is a foundation of my life, and I too hope this thread provides people a way of sharing their experiences in a safe atmosphere where they feel the freedom to express their spiritual journey without the criticism that sometimes comes in such discussions.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 

I have always wondered if my whole family had been religious and brought me up from a young age in a church if that would have helped, who knows?
I was raised in a religious family and have no memory of ever not having faith in God.

At a little after 45 min. into the podcast, he mentions his book, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe. That part of the Paracast show is what I was referring to earlier.
edit on 25-2-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by MamaJ
A Baptist church was one of the ones I tried. My husband and I got a visit soon after from two of the preachers. They explained it was my husbands "sins" that caused Josh to get sick.

That's horrid. I'm so very sorry that you had to go through that.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by Murgatroid
reply to post by adjensen
 


OK adjensen, I owe you one...

The Le Cercle Rouge comment gave me a good laugh.

I have NOT seen the film myself so I may have to watch it also.

It's a great movie (it's on Hulu, don't know if you have to be a HuluPlus member or not,) and let me tell you, Alain Delon sure knows how to wear a mustache, lol.


I am a bit confused about the part: "seem to have pitched it all"

I had nothing to pitch really as I had no beliefs to speak of so help me out with that part.

Oh, I just inferred that you'd started out with a Catholic perspective and then dismissed it intentionally.

My issue with dismissing religion is that, for most people, it's one of the things that sort of keeps them on the right track. Not everyone, of course, but I would count myself among them. I view spirituality as a three tiered system, in descending order of importance:
  1. Personal faith - my relationship with God
  2. Religion - the community of believers, the scripture and the tradition that bolsters that faith
  3. Theology - the underlying philosophy of why it makes sense
So, the most important thing is me, and my relationship, the next is the part of spirituality that is rooted in this world, and which keeps me grounded, and the last is the logical system that explains why I should respect the religious aspects.

A person doesn't need all three, but, in my mind, they help to keep most people "out of trouble", because a person who says "I'm spiritual but not religious" (having just that first piece) can pretty well convince themselves of anything. Want to believe in Zeus? Well, there's no theology to support that, and essentially no rational religion, but if one dismisses those as irrelevant, then Zeus worship is on the table.

But, with those pieces in place, and functioning, I can know that if, for example, someone was to come to me saying that he'd had a message from God, saying that we needed to go blow up the abortion clinic, I can reflect on both religion and theology to go back to him saying "okay, that wasn't God, and here's why."

Like I said, not everyone needs that framework to operate within, but I think most people do.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by Lazarus Short
reply to post by jmdewey60
 


I don't subscribe to reincarnation [re-incarceration], the immortality of the soul, or pre-existence. Both the first two come in from pagan sources. Pre-existence I associate with the Mormons.

Actually, I think Christianity is one of the few religions that doesn't teach pre-existence of the soul. Judaism and Islam both do (in some fashion) and the Eastern religions obviously do as well. It was a belief of some of the early church fathers (rooted in Judaism,) but was abandoned as heresy in the Sixth Century.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

Originally posted by MamaJ
A Baptist church was one of the ones I tried. My husband and I got a visit soon after from two of the preachers. They explained it was my husbands "sins" that caused Josh to get sick.

That's horrid. I'm so very sorry that you had to go through that.



Thank you for the compassion.

At the time I was angered, however I am one to quickly look inward as to WHY it would anger me. Also, WHY they felt that way.

Their pov is not one I agree with but understanding came as to why.

"The sins of the father" being passed down was their train of thought that day. That school of thought is simply abundant in our society, but not one I agree with. Josh's purpose was a great one. It had nothing to do with his father. Josh taught those around him what true love is. His story was a story of love and struggle and although he lost the battle in the flesh he conquered and ascended in the spirit. This I know.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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It was a belief of some of the early church fathers (rooted in Judaism,) but was abandoned as heresy in the Sixth Century.
reply to post by adjensen
 


I think the philosophy was abandoned because it lacked control over the soul.... now.... in this life. Why have people thinking they will get more than one chance? They will live in fear now... and be better controlled.

My thinking anyway.
edit on 25-2-2013 by MamaJ because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by MamaJ


It was a belief of some of the early church fathers (rooted in Judaism,) but was abandoned as heresy in the Sixth Century.
reply to post by adjensen
 


I think the philosophy was abandoned because it lacked control over the soul.... now.... in this life. Why have people thinking they will get more than one chance? They will live in fear now... and be better controlled.

The edict in the Sixth Century was only as regards pre-existence of the soul. Apart from minor sects, neither Christianity nor Judaism has ever taught reincarnation -- the core of Christianity, physical resurrection of the body is, in fact, diametrically opposed to that notion.






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