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The sensation of the Divine, psychological or something deeper?

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posted on Jan, 1 2014 @ 10:50 PM
Today I have been having a conversation with a colleague of mine, he is part of the Sikh religion. I have been talking to him about Buddhism, and since he is of Indian origin and Buddhism is obviously very prominent there (apparently mainly in the south) he likes to throw his hat into the ring when I talk of these things.

Anyway, after a conversation about some of the similarities between our faiths he invited me to attend a Gurdwara (church or temple for Sikh's), he explained to me that upon entering I will obtain the sensation of peace, humility and the feeling that my worries have slipped away. This is by no means the first time I (and perhaps most of you) have heard of this sensation, in fact, my Muslim friend who offered me a similar proposition spoke of the exact same thing. I am also no personal stranger to this sensation, after a good meditation and some reflection of the teachings from the Buddha or a trip to the Peace Pagoda in my home town, I feel humbled and at peace with myself and the world.

This has got me thinking, since every religion refers to this as "The touch of God" or "The presence of God" they can't all be right, can they? I'm not trying to start a Holy war here, I don't want people saying "Other people are just feeling the Devil's influence" or something equally irrelevant. What I'm trying to ascertain is how all Religions and Faiths, no matter how different, give us all the same gut feeling, the same calm and peace.

Now we can attempt to explain this phenomena though science (as all logical people like myself should), this could be easily answered by "Flow". Flow is mental state where you have spontaneous joy at performing a task with such whole heartedness (prayer, meditation etc.). However, this is not quite the sensation I think I am referring to, this sensation is what comes over you just from simply entering a Holy place.

One conclusion I have come to is that it is highly illogical to try and apply logic to something spiritual, since spirituality usually does not work within the realms of logic, for example, it does not seem logical that I should be able to have life changing events, increased motivation and a better understanding of how the natural world works by observing my mind, but this is what I take away from my trance like states every time (and I consider myself a very logical man). This would leave me to the conclusion that perhaps, all religions are right. Hate me all you want for that sentence, but I have always felt that an omnipotent being would not care HOW or even IF (s)he/it was worshipped, a devotion to good and the protection of her/his/it's creations should be all that is necessary, what a human being wrote in a book should not change that.

In conclusion, I ask you, the enlightened members of ATS to help me solve this. Is this feeling of "God" actually God? Or an easily explained psychological state that can probably be counted as the reason that we, as creatures of this planet, so desperately seek answers from a greater being.

Metta ~

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by iRoyalty

I have visited a number of different religion's 'temples' and found in honesty that each Temple, although representative of a different religion to the one I was initially brought up in, all give a sensation of quiet, dignity, sometimes great beauty and often a feeling of inner peace. Its when one steps outside that the so-called real world hits one in the face again.

However, I would make the point that I love visiting a local Henge which I suspect originates to far older times and the peace at this sacred site is phenomenal. The quiet and its natural earth beauty touches my soul as soon as I enter within. Oddly enough I have been to Stone Henge, which is also not far from where I now live and my local Henge, there the feeling of the place is different to the tranquility of my local Henge and perhaps its due to the many visitors who come to look and move onto the next attraction, I don't know.

I do feel that slyly politics have infringed some religions so much that the spiritual value, although there for many ordinary people not vested with political 'cares' (I choose my words carefully) have manipulated the manner in which religion is used to control people so to keep order. This means that not all within the religious priesthood are working for spiritual contact with divine principals, but more for wordly power and are the minions of those with the ability to exploit the population without any moral or spiritual conscience.

Because I have felt this same sacred space's peace existing within different religion's sacred spaces and know that basically those places chosen and attended by people for spiritual purposes exist across the world's religious spectrum, I think that it does not matter whether one approaches one's personal spirituality from any particular religious 'door' its more important that one finds a sacred spiritual space and benefits from the peace and inner tranquility that these sacred places offer us for one-to-one spiritual contact with the divine as we individually relate to the divine.

Religion brings out the religious zealot who is prepared to spoil, murder and destroy our spiritual choices and other religion's sacred spaces. Even my local Henge has a tiny, although long neglected Christian church built in the middle of it and around the world religions are at war with each other using what most civilised people regard as the most non-religious tactics to force people to join their particular pilgrimage without realising that the blood and spoils of their so-called religious acts must ultimately have an effect upon the sacred spaces they seek to worship at after having committed such wilful carnage.

The current intellectual and psychological missile being used against man's personal quest for the unique benefit of the spiritual peace from our sacred places and the inner strength one receives from this contact and 'form of mental nourishment', is scientific thought. Its in direct opposition to religion's outmoded idea of blind acceptance but its object is still the control of people's minds. This second approach has been happening since religion has started to be questioned from within the hearts of the people under its 'management' and is really yet another ploy to keep those minds busy from questioning how our world is being run and especially by whom.

From at least 300 AD the priesthood has be manipulated to stand between the public and the divine so generations have been taught whatever devisive desire these silken tongue manipulators wanted to spread among their communities. They have poisoned and polluted mankind's sense and enjoyment of sacredness. However I would be fine with learning scientifically about spirituality, the how, what and who of everything etc but I am not naive enough to think that real information from scientific endeavour will be released, unless 'leaked' and then obviously ridiculed. So as to benefit to the ordinary people of sciences finds etc , I don't believe that the elite who live off the population of the world will allow either scientific knowledge or the prayers prayed over the last 1800 odd years (especially in the Western world where currently the elite seem to reside) to lift the slavery bonds of mankind and free us up so we can live and share the world resources in a manner that dignifies our species and links us with our spirituality and inner tranquility and peace.

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by Shiloh7

Very well said, I believe that in all religions a faith, or a place where human mind is concentrated on something greater than the pettiness of the material world can almost make a spiritual sanctuary, and I don't believe there is discrimination in the realm of spirituality.

I like to believe that there is more to this world than we see, I am prepared to be proven wrong (thus the point of this thread) but to deny the possibility of existence beyond the material world is pure ignorance.
edit on 2-1-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 05:13 AM
S/F, iRoyalty!

I've been to many types of 'houses of worship', and have exercised my 'meditative abilities' for decades. The most powerful feelings of connection I have felt were when I was alone - and always outdoors.

In my 20s, it was sitting atop Swan Mountain overlooking Lake Dillon; in my 30s, it was riding my mare on the trails in the bluffs and forest near the river, and while gardening; our property had a 'power place' at the bottom of the hill near the unimproved area at the back of the small acreage - a place that had an 'electricity', a compelling 'wake up! Do you feel it?' kind of place.

I, too have experienced that fleeting "aha!" enlightened sort of sensation - the longest lived one lasted for about 3 days. But yeah, for me, it's being outside, among nature - that I feel closest to the Unity.

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 09:32 AM
This is one way of partially understanding the matter:

Consider for a moment "Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture - Finale" as our Object.

There are several ways to perceive and process this Object--here are a few:

1. A high-quality digital recording of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra performing the piece.

2. The sheets of the original score in Tchaikovsky's own hand.

3. A live performance of the piece in Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow.

4. A modern, commercially-printed book of the entire score.

5. A live performance of the piece by your local high-school marching band complete with fireworks.

6. A video of a sound level meter located at a performance of the piece, with no audio.

Consider that technically speaking each of these very different experiences is of the same Object, the 1812 Overture - Finale. They differ widely in their approach, essence, and scope, yet, in a way of speaking they all point to the same reality -- the Object -- while not providing the definitive experience of it.

I think that's what our different ways of knowing are like. Science, all the different religions/spiritual systems/etc, art, literature, etc. We can argue whether 2 is more authentic than 4, or 3 is more satisfying than 5, but to PROVE it is a different matter altogether.

1. Prove which one is "best" factually, with no statements of value, belief, or aesthetics.

2. Explain what this Object is via an essay written in Braille to a person born congenitally blind that has never heard it.

3. Explain it via any method to a person born congenitally deaf.

That small exercise outlines a bit of my own complication in addressing the sense of the numinous force or rather the Object that is the subject of this conversation.

edit on 9Thu, 02 Jan 2014 09:49:48 -060014p092014166 by Gryphon66 because: Entropy and time, dude ... entropy and time.

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 11:54 AM

This has got me thinking, since every religion refers to this as "The touch of God" or "The presence of God" they can't all be right, can they?

If you replaced the word "right" with "effective", then the answer is "yes". When people who follow any religion with a goal of spiritual enlightenment (or "salvation" for most Christians), the places they gather in and consecrate will all have a very special hallowed feel to them, even if you are not part of that faith.

I've had Christians come in to my altar room for readings and at first they seem a bit put off (understandably) but within about five minutes they always speak of a calming, powerful feeling that has overcome them and it sometimes makes them tear up or get giddy. I have felt this way going into a contemporary Christian church before! They will tell me it is the "presence of god" and I don't doubt them. Not for a second. It's not my god and it doesn't feel as good as the presence I feel in my normal ritual areas but I feel it, all the same.

I compare it to how every religion has a boogey man to chase away demons in their various versions of exorcisms. The Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, etc... all have their own holy people to cleanse places of negativity and "evil" spirits. And it works! This is something that's hard to swallow. When somebody comes to me with a problem of evil spirits or negativity in their home or psyche and wants me to clear it out, I ask them what their religion is. If they have one, I almost always direct them to their religion's boogey man. I do this because I know they don't need the help of a specific religion; just a powerful holy person.

This truth is very hard for many people to swallow when they are taught that their way is the only way. This is why they use Satan as a scape-goat for anything that makes them uncomfortable.

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 01:08 PM
I feel it most effectively on my own and outside like the poster above. It's too bad that direct sunlight makes me ill these days. I can still feel it quite easily at most of my nightly prayer sessions. It's a calm feeling of peace and certainty, comfort. I do know that it certainly helps to reflect in it after another long, hard, and hectic day.

I don't claim to know all the ways that God talks to others. I only know what I believe which is that the way is through salvation before any works we do here (although any who feel His call will feel the need to do works; it's just natural). Just exactly how many ways God might choose to offer us that salvation is not known to me; I only know the way I was taught through Christ, so that's my path.

I think it's possible that places can also reflect the mindsets or "psychology" of their patrons. So, churches, temples, mosques could all feel like places of quiet reflection. Conversely, you might be impacted by what you expect such places to "feel" like, too. If you expect a church to be a quiet place of reflection with a holy feel, then that might be what you would report feeling.

It would be interesting to try to design an experiment to test the hypothesis, but I'm not sure how you would do it since most people would recognize the signs of such places.
edit on 2-1-2014 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 02:57 PM
reply to post by iRoyalty

You have to first understand that we all have aspects of God within us, and therefore we exist because we have the Light of God within. As we traverse the physical world, we bring down God's light from Heaven into our beings, depending how many positive things we think about and do. The more God centered (manifesting Divine Love and Wisdom) you are, the more Light you embody not only within but also emit without (affecting your Light Aura). So as your God Light intensity increases, where ever you walk, whatever you touch, anything that you speak, of all things you think, you are manifesting Holy Light upon the world. It doesn't matter what religion or spiritual path, as long you have the Will to Be God on Earth, you are the God Presence. So a Holy Place doesn't have to be just a Temple or Monastery, it could be your home, a cave you meditate at, or somewhere in the forest. So anyone who walks in there, they will feel the Light of God.

Is it a Psychological thing? Yes, because your physical mind is linked to your other 3 minds of the higher planes of existence. These are the Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Identity, which is called the Soul. The Soul itself is linked to the Spirit. The Spirit is the Spark of God that can be transformed into the Tri-Flame of God, literally in a hidden chamber of your heart. This is why you will feel the Power of God's Light when you walk into a placed filled with God's Spirit. But it is not your imagination. The physical mind is just recording the process of merging with the Light of God, which in turn will promote Holiness and Peace within you.

posted on Jan, 2 2014 @ 11:42 PM
The faith is just a tool to manifest light/ki/chi that you are feeling calming you. The more sensitive your body becomes the more you can feel this light and use for instance prayer/Reiki to push this energy into others that are lacking it. The important thing is that the person is relaxed when it is done since if the person do not relax the placebo effect is not activated.

Somthing similar to chakras are real thing in our bodies even if some people do not like it.

posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 08:50 AM

I compare it to how every religion has a boogey man to chase away demons in their various versions of exorcisms. The Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, etc... all have their own holy people to cleanse places of negativity and "evil" spirits. And it works! This is something that's hard to swallow. When somebody comes to me with a problem of evil spirits or negativity in their home or psyche and wants me to clear it out, I ask them what their religion is. If they have one, I almost always direct them to their religion's boogey man. I do this because I know they don't need the help of a specific religion; just a powerful holy person.

So you think it's a mixture? Like a psychological thing linked to the persons own faith? But then if this is the case, could not all the God's that we know of just be aspects of the same God? People have developed their own way of worshipping him/her/it and they all receive the benefit of this psychological calm brought on my the spirituality of it.

Whilst I practice Buddhism and I will always keep it close to my heart, I'm also an agnostic, I believe it's illogical to deny that there is something more to this universe. However, I don't think that we could even comprehend a way to commune with something that would be so far beyond our level of existence.

I'm curious, what faith do you follow? If you don't mind me asking of course.
edit on 3-1-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by iRoyalty

Whilst I practice Buddhism and I will always keep it close to my heart, I'm also an agnostic, I believe it's illogical to deny that there is something more to this universe. However, I don't think that we could even comprehend a way to commune with something that would be so far beyond our level of existence.

I agree, it's illogical to think we know everything. Especially with modern psi research (yes, folks, scientific research), it is becoming more evident to me that we have a LLllllloooong way to go before we are anywhere near "complete" in our grasp of 'reality.'

posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:37 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

I always find it very exciting when science turns out something to help prove something spiritual. I met a man several weeks a go before he went off to do a several month long ski boarding instructor trip (as is his profession). He was very interested in Buddhism and when he came to my house and saw my shrine to Buddha we had a several hours long conversation.

Turns out he went to university to study Physics, he was especially interested in the experimental. The reason he was so curious and asked so many questions (beyond having an incredible need to give his life to help people) was because of so many similarities he found in Buddhism and Experimental Psychics. It just amazed me that concepts though up 2,500 years a go, are only just being experimented with now...

Anyway! I didn't start this to preach Buddhism...

What I'm getting at is that there is a real, measurable part of our existence that many are very unaware of. I was almost hoping for a lot of people to talk about psychological reasoning behind experiences of the spirit, since it is another interest of mine, however people in general seem quite set that it is something beyond 'us'. This would give me hope, except that people believe that the way they commune with the entity "God" is greater than others.

Strip away judgement, the spirit does not understand discrimination, we made that up.
edit on 3-1-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by Gryphon66

Nail on the head my friend, I think this is exactly how the world gets seen. People have different perspectives on the same thing, if one person sees that thing (in this case "God") differently then people who also see it (God) differently will join with that person instead. Like a tree growing new branches, doesn't it seem so illogical to hate a different branch of your own tree? (Christians, Jews, Muslims to name the big three)

I always say that in every argument between two truthful people, both are right. It's usually just perspective, I find I can avoid 90% of all arguments by agreeing with the other sides point, then offering my own. If you are ready to accept someone else's perspective on things, they will be more willing to accept your own, the argument is only about misinformed facts the other 10%, even then the person has to be stubborn as hell to cause an argument!
edit on 3-1-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 06:46 AM
reply to post by iRoyalty


I'm not sure I can answer!
Some strands of psychotherapy speak about storing our memories in the body, and so when we assume certain positions, memories and emotions are triggered. Kneeling for prayer would be a good example, as the action would evoke thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Babette Rothschild is one proponent of this belief, if I remember correctly.
As far as specific places go, I'm not sure that theory goes far enough. There are places in Scotland that hold their very own special 'energy', for want of a better word. Glen Coe is one obvious place, but there are many more. I think that the earth, particularly stones, manage to hold emotion somehow but I have no idea how.
So I don't know if the feelings evoked in temples are the presence of God, or the emotions of those who have been there before.
I do agree that some places have very obvious and definite 'personalities' though.

posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 07:23 AM
reply to post by beansidhe

I've been quite surprised by the few replies on this thread, I was expecting people to be showing me psychological tests on something similar, seems like spirituality is far more accepted than I originally thought.

This is good, I thoroughly believe there is a deeper side to us all, through the deepest meditation I've practiced I felt a connection between myself and the rest of the living beings on this planet, it was phenomenal, blew my mind!

This may sound a bit... I don't know hippyish? but perhaps it is love. Love is the strongest human emotion, closely followed by anger, perhaps these two emotions leave an imprint. You said in your post that it was the love for your friend that drove you to where you were going, perhaps it helped give you some clarity?

posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 07:39 AM
reply to post by iRoyalty

Yes maybe it did. Love, anger and shame can be overwhelming emotions.
We could talk about endorphins and the like, but what they cannot explain is why? Why do we feel these things?
Maybe for group cohesion, because we benefit from living in a community - life is easier, food is more plentiful etc etc. I don't know, really I don't. It has something to do with environment, and it has something to do with emotions and it has something to do with a feeling of being a very small part of something vastly greater.
That's as far as I've got in my search, which probably doesn't help you to answer your question!

posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by beansidhe

Perhaps it is an answer we aren't ready for yet? With so many variations of faith I doubt we are ready to accept one truth of the reality of the spiritual world, until then we will run around and state that we have all found the correct path.

Even I don't agree with everything Buddhist, I have trouble with Karma and I have my own interpretation of it, I follow Buddhism because it's practical, it literally teaches you how to implement good and the benefits of it, rather than saying be good or burn in hell.

Once we shed mainstream religion, money and identity. That will be when the human race becomes a great species, maybe then we can better understand things like this.

posted on Jan, 6 2014 @ 08:22 AM
reply to post by iRoyalty

I've been thinking about that and I've just had a mini-piphany, if such a thing exists. Is it easier to talk about 'God' than love?

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