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Featured Any Atheists Ever Had A "Spiritual" Experience?

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by sugnim, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. sugnim

    sugnim Member

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    I'm wondering if any other atheists here have ever had a "spiritual" experience. I've put the word "spiritual" in quotes because as atheists, we don't tend to believe in spirits. But, I don't know of another word to describe the feeling or experience that I mean.

    I had the opportunity to go on a brief meditation retreat yesterday. It was 6 hours of varying types of meditation, all in silence. During one of the walking meditations, I became a little irritated. There I was on my day off of work walking through the grass barefoot on a cold afternoon, unable to speak, and unable to connect with my wife who was there as well. I wanted to walk with her. Then, it occurred to me that I really was walking with her. We just were not side-by-side nor were we communicating. But we were both walking, together in a way. And it occurred to me that I was walking with everyone at the retreat, and really everyone in the world. I began to feel a deep sense of connectedness. I thought of theists who describe their "walk with god," and it occurred to me that maybe I understood what they mean. I felt that I was walking on a spiritual journey with all of humankind, and really, all life and all concepts. It was a profoundly spiritual experience.
     
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  2. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

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    • Here is a quote from a fictional character who was a doctor and fierce atheist, in the TV series "House".


    • "I choose to believe that the white light people sometimes see... they're all just chemical reactions that take place when the brain shuts down.... There's no conclusive science. My choice has no practical relevance to my life, I choose the outcome I find more comforting.... I find it more comforting to believe that this isn't simply a test." Dr Gregory House
     
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  3. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    The word "spiritual" is slippery to define, but I think I have such experiences fairly frequently. Sometimes I might associate it with feeling awe (like looking at the Milky Way), or deep appreciation (like watching a hummingbird), or during meditation...
     
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  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I consider spirituality as valid in the sense of personal reflection and emotion. It's an intimate experience.

    Usually my spiritual experiences come from reflecting on the past. Immersing myself in past memories and experiences that guide and shape the person I am.

    Re-living again what's essentally can be considered as "ghosts" from times and events no longer around. Sometimes hated, sometimes loved.
     
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  5. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I've had feelings of deep peace and contendedness, felt close connections to other humans, and even described myself in high spirits. But I haven't yet had an experience I'd call supernatural. But plenty of atheists who aren't materialists would say they have, so I don't think it's too unusual or anything. :)
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Two places where we get philosophical: Mountains or graveyard/funeral ground. The latter known as 'Smashan Vairagya' (Renunciation of the funeral ground). You get out of it as soon as you leave the place.
     
  7. psychoslice

    psychoslice Veteran Member

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    Yes I have had an enlightenment experience, it changed my whole life for the better, in my experience I realized there is no god, that we are all One in Consciousness, there is nothing outside this Consciousness, and the only thing that separates us is our belief we are separate, and so we make up belief systems such as religion to bring us back to where we already are, its quite funny.
     
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  8. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    As soon as a problem happens the first thing many atheists say is "God help us."
     
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  9. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Good topic, Sugnim!

    Most days of the week, I define myself as an agnostic atheist mystic. Agnostic in knowledge, atheist in belief, mystic in experiences. But that's just most days of the week: I only hold to agnosticism and atheism tentatively, and my mystical experiences were -- and still are -- beyond making any sense to me.

    If you're curious what I mean by "mystic" here, then you can check out my post on the subject, Mysticism is a Whore: Allow Me to Introduce you.

    While we're at it, for an alternative definition of "spiritual", one that might make more sense than most to the nontheist, go here.
     
  10. psychoslice

    psychoslice Veteran Member

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    Bad habits are hard to get rid of.
     
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  11. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I've never personally known one to say that in ernest, and I'm sixty years old.
     
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  12. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    When I get exasperated, I sometimes say 'Jimminy Cricket.' You shouldn't read too much into common phrases.
     
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  13. Esoqq

    Esoqq Member

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    What interesting observations and experiences. While I was never an Atheist, I was an agnostic for a while because the religion I was raised in didn't make any sense to me, especially after my tour in Vietnam.
    I would probably have either remained an agnostic or become a full fledge Atheist if I hadn't had an NDE. After that I "knew" two things for certain. 1st, that I was something aside from my physical body, The term spirit seems to fit the bill as well as any other label.
    2nd, that there is something beyond this physical realm. Since I was experiencing it as a spirit and I also encountered other spirits, I tend to think of it as a spirit realm.
    That's when I began examining the research of others and researching related subjects ranging from various branches of science, to numerous religions, several schools of magick and a few types mysticism on my own.
    It's been an interesting journey and it has left me firmly convinced that this Universe does have an intelligent creator but religions due mainly to human limitations are generally too complicated and corrupted to be of much use to me.
    I've also come to understand that we are not our human identity but something far greater, something which I refer to as "that which is aware of being aware", and that we are as interconnected with each other as the cells of our body are connected with one another.
    What I found most surprising is that I've found that science supports the idea of a God and our spiritual existence more than it opposes it.
    One final note, It really did take an NDE for me to be able to accept that I'm not a human with human limitations but rather part of something far greater than I could have ever imagined.
     
    #13 Esoqq, Apr 9, 2017
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  14. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Have you ever had any experiences that you do not believe can be rationally explained? Just curious.
     
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  15. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

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    That's a very interesting story, as someone born and BRED a staunch atheist, remaining so for decades, it was a very similar experience that ultimately changed me- moving from an urban environment where I had always lived, to living in and around 'creation'.- I think it's hard to see God's work, and hence God himself, when physically separated from it
     
    #15 Guy Threepwood, Apr 9, 2017
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  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Why would spiritual experiences be any different for atheists?

    Less saddled with unnecessary concepts, I guess. But hardly any different in nature proper, or even less frequent.
     
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  17. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Not personally, yet anyway. Though even if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell if it couldn't be rationally explained or if I simply lacked enough information for a rational explanation. Like what I've seen in things like UFO reactions. (One time a group of people insisted a cluster of lights they saw couldn't have been mundane even though I knew for a fact they were paper lanterns set off at a wedding.)
    But I still feel things like awe and even reverence for the world and life in it.
     
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  18. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I always thought you were a loaf. ;)
     
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  19. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Your NDE is quite interesting as a turning point in your thinking. How firmly do you hold the views you've arrived at over the years in regard to it, would you say?
     
  20. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

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    I meant to spell it that way because my atheism was baked in :oops: or maybe I'm just hungry!
     
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