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Featured Any Atheists Ever Had A "Spiritual" Experience?

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

  1. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    As a coastie Oregonian (astoria) someone pointed to blue sky yesterday and said whats that? I replied " invisible clouds"!! AndThat's without herb!!

    #41A moment ago
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Maybe. Trees are not thinkers, so they can live cheaply. We are going to survive Science. Its just going to take some getting used to. We have to wear deodorant now and recycle our garbage.
     
  3. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Everyone experiences such things. Not everyone needs to ruin the experience with extraneous labels or interpretations.
     
  4. Underhill

    Underhill Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I've had moments that blew my mind. I've experienced wonder and peace. But I don't like the term spiritual to describe it. It isn't mystical, it's just goodness at a level I don't experience often.
     
  5. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

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    Here is a clip from a conversation between House and Eve(who was raped). It demonstrates where he is coming from.

    "House: If you believe in eternity, then life is irrelevant - the same as a bug is irrelevant in comparison to the universe.

    Eve: If you don't believe in eternity, then what you do here is irrelevant.

    House: Your acts here are all that matters.

    Eve: The nothing matters. There are no ultimate consequences. "

    The patient expresses the idea that if this life is all there is, then what's the point? But for House, if this is all there is, then what we do here is the only thing that matters. In fact it makes it matter all that much more."

    So in his own way he really does care.
     
  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Seriously?

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    Ive had a spiritual experience during my grieving my grandmothers death. I assume when we are open to feelings without analysing, we have more experiences. To many its an everyday occurance.

    I believe in spirits. Souls who live after death to take care of their loved ones. Have grown up with that belief and spirits or connection with the environment. My father used to take me hunting and fishing with him. Wed go on stick walks and msgic stores and more. He was into writing and music so I picked up the arts from him and my mother with music and painting.

    I never actually thought these passions were spiritual experiences until I came from my atheist shell and experienced the church sacraments. Now I know my passions and expressions are spiritual experiences in themselves.

    As for my grandmother, she saved me from getting hit by a car. A huge shove on my right shoulder crossing a four lained no traffic light intersection I cross all the time.

    I wanted to go to a zen retreat three hous from here in the shanadoahs. They have a theravada buddhist monestary two hours away with similar things youre talking about. I have yet to go. Any religious place i go to i feel the spirit.

    If i stop and say thank you, i get it.

    Really, my lack of belief in god has nothing to do with my experiences other than I dont attribute them to any creator
     
  7. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    I do sometimes. Especially when I observe the color of the sunset as the high frequency photons are filtered out by the increased thickness of the atmosphere that they need to cross.

    Or when I receive a beautiful flower from my husband. The fact that flowers have such beautiful colors is clear evidence that the insects that are necessary for its gene propagation can also see colors.

    Isn't that uplifting to realize that the naturally evolved structure of an insect nervous system is linked to the feeling of love? It really makes you feel one with the Universe.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
    #47 viole, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  8. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    For me, the big head's up is that mystical experience makes us question the very premises involved in our own assertions.
     
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  9. Esoqq

    Esoqq Member

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    It is as vivid and real to me as it was almost 50 years ago. Of course NDE's was the first subject I began my studies on and over the decades what I've found only strengthened my convictions regarding life after death. Even the claim that NDE's are a product of brain chemistry during the death process, at least to my mind, has been disproven thanks to cases like the Pamela Reynolds case. In such cases all brain activity is shut down as a necessary part of the operation.
    One thing I've found interesting though, the more we learn about the realm we live in the more we realize how little we actually do know. If the majority of our universe, both at the macro and the micro level, is beyond our ability to understand. Why would we expect a realm outside our own to be any more understandable.
     
  10. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    which are good things including sound engineering and hot water and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I would take religious funydymentals seriously on their reductionism theories but alas not even a decent recipe in the whole bible!
     
  11. Mary Blackchurch

    Mary Blackchurch Free from Stockholm Syndrome

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    I have more "spiritual" experiences as an atheist than I did as a theist. The problem I may have had with my theism is that I was constantly looking for something magically spiritual, i.e. like the regrowth of limbs or eyesight regained by a blind person. But I realise now that it isn't magical. It's innate in all of us. It's that inherent sense of awe at great acts of kindness bestowed, or beauty in all the different ways we find it. I think I understand spirituality better than ever as well. There is much more spirituality in tolerance than there ever was in closing my mind off to it because of a canonised bigotry pasted together with bubblegum and bullsh*t. Cheers! :)
     
  12. Blastcat

    Blastcat Active Member

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    Yeah of course.. all we have to do is to re-define the word "spiritual", and Bob's your uncle.
     
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  13. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    There is no ancient king who ever had anything to eat as good as a peanut butter and jelly, but I can eat them every day if I like. Cleopatra never tasted ketchup and lived without air conditioning in Egypt. Electric lights greatly improve a parent's ability to treat their children well, but people have been doing without them.
     
  14. psychoslice

    psychoslice Veteran Member

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    No nowhere near it, its just natural that everything is one, its nothing to do with religion, its just that many who have had this or similar experience have made it into a religion, separating themselves from the experience.
     
  15. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    Ho,
    First, I'm glad for you you were able to experience what you describe here.
    I Am an Atheist, And i have "spiritual" experiences on a daily basis!

    The fact is, that while I did believe in a god, and I was a spiritual person, I have had some spiritual experiences, but never to the magnitude I'm having today.

    I meditate a lot, meditation is not a spiritual concept.
    Meditation is a way to "listen" to your body, to "clear" your mind and "let go" of the logical part of your brain.

    I Have an "Awe" moment every day.

    The more I learn about astronomy, the more I am amazed with this universe.
    The more I learn biology, the more I am amazed with nature.

    There is nothing more "spiritual" to me, than the understanding that me and my little cat all come from the same source. We are connected in our "roots".
    The same goes for trees, grass and every other living thing in our world.

    How can it get more magnificent than that?

    Our brain is amazing. You don't need to be spiritual in order to understand this. It is enough to close your eyes and imagine.

    Is music a spiritual thing? One might say that, but it is not! It is "vibrations" that "sync" to your brain and make you feel certain things.
    Is seeing a movie and crying because of a sad scene is spiritual? It is not! it is an amazing mechanism we call empathy that is a vital part of our survival as a specie (And we are not the only specie to demonstrate it)
    You feel connected to the grass? you feel one with humanity? amazing, I would argue this is because you were able to "let go" of your day to day worries and really feel whats around you in that moment.

    If you'll go and live on a deserted island with someone you love, it is probable that you will feel the same amazing connection (assuming you have everything you need to live in comfort)

    Seeing you kid smile makes you happy as if you just found the meaning of life (Which in a way, maybe you did?)

    So yes, I agree with you that I can understand those feelings and experiences theist might have.. the difference is I don't believe they are in any way related to un-natural process or deities.

    Cheers :) Wishing you plenty of more experiences of "spirituality".
     
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  16. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    I Think we are philosophical everywhere.
    Why would you pick Mountain and Graveyard?
    What about the open Sea?
    What about when staring at the moon?
    What about watching TV?
     
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  17. raw_thought

    raw_thought Well-Known Member

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  18. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Veteran Member

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    I did once have an experience of Wiccan "magick" (I hate spelling that word with a "k", but since it's the word the person who performed the ritual used, I feel it's the most accurate one for me to use). I'm uncertain of the specifics, but they were a friend of mine online who professed great power, and asked if I would be willing to be subject to a kind of ritual in which they "connected" with me. I remember being told only vaguely that I would feel "something". After a first time with no success, we tried again and something very unusual happened - I felt an invisible force pulling me upwards, and a sensation I can only really describe as... Pseudo-orgasmic? That might have to do.

    Needless to say, I was pretty spooked by the event at the time and immediately started seriously researching Wicca. However, since then I have concluded it was little more than a brief state of mania brought on by a desperate desire to believe in magick. To be fair, I'm a massive nerd raised on a diet of fantasy stories and computer games. Who wouldn't desperately want to believe it to the point of hysteria?
     
  19. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    Haven't been able to get a concrete definition of "spiritual" from anyone, so I have no idea.
     
  20. Vancouversailor

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    I tend to define myself as agnostic rather than atheist, mostly because the humility of admitting that I don't have all the answers seems more fitting than the somewhat arrogant attitude of flatly crying out that 'God is great' or 'God is dead' or wherever some people's beliefs take them.
    So as an atheist who has never seen or heard of any credible evidence of the existence of God or of the truth of the 2000 year old myths that many are a fan of, I have had many experiences that I would consider spiritual. Spiritual, that is, in the sense, that they are not easily defined or explained in the terms of the material and scientific world and also that they were a memorable, positive experience.
    One experience in particular sticks in my mind, something that happened to me half a century ago when I was a young man hitchhiking around Europe, doing the post Woodstock adventure thing, headband, long hair and all. This was in Munich, a city in the far south of Germany, and as nightfall approached I was looking for somewhere safe to camp out until the morning.
    At this point I have to add that having grown up in Norway, I had learned German in school from grade 8 and spoke and understood that language quite well. However, as a safety measure when travelling, I did not always let on that I knew the local lingo.
    At the entrance to the park I was considering I was approached by a couple of German males, around the same age as me, who asked if I was looking for somewhere to sleep. I confirmed that I was and one of them said something like 'follow us, the police often harass people who sleep out, but we know where to go'. At this point we were speaking English.
    I tagged along into the park until eventually they stopped as we were walking under a canopy of trees. They said 'We can sleep here safely'.
    As I lay on the ground in my sleeping bag, looking up at the trees, and occasional openings to the clear sky and nighttime stars, I was able to listen to the conversation of my two companions. It was not particularly comforting, as they were discussing who was going to cut my throat and determining what they would need to do immediately afterwards, including going through my pockets, my backpack and so on.
    At some point during that conversation I looked up and noticed a particularly beautiful configuration of stars above the canopy. Then incredibly, I fell asleep.
    I had a rather brutal awakening probably not long afterwards, from the leather boot of a German cop prodding me in the side and shouting 'Aufstehen, Aufstehen!' which I took to mean that I should get up. The three of us who were on the ground were bundled into a paddy wagon and taken to the local police station where we had to produce our papers etc., as the fashion always is in Germany, and were interrogated.
    I saw that my two sleepmates were led away in handcuffs, while I was told I was free to go. The officer who told me that also said I was one lucky man, because the other two were wanted on Germany wide warrants for various assault and robbery charges.
    So I was free to go, but somehow that experience did get lodged in memory, and in a sense I suppose I could say it was a spiritual one of sorts.
     
    #60 Vancouversailor, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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