I was once skeptical of my religion and became an Atheist. I grew tired of labels and became an individual. I didn’t enjoy being a part of religion that claimed everyone else but those exclusive to the “club” were wrong. I didn’t enjoy being part of a worldview that claimed anyone who held religious beliefs were wrong. The truth is out there but we just don’t know what it is. Truth is not just two sides of a story, truth is multifaceted but we are usually forced to take one side or another.
Last weekend I attended a discussion between “Skeptics” and “Christians”. I was interested in hearing what each side had to offer and to see if they could find common ground. It took a good hour for each group to accept the definition of “Faith” depends on the individual. It wasn’t too long afterwards that the “Christians” made innuendo’s about skeptics and the skeptics made innuendos about fairy tale creatures. I felt the jabs of both parties like an insult to my intelligence. The one thing I took away from the whole event was Am I alone in my thoughts?
Throughout my self discovery, I have often felt that Creation is a story and the Big Bang was a theory. No one knows for sure how the world came to be yet we butt heads claiming we do. I am more than happy to admit that I don’t know the circumstances but that we are here and we should be accepting of one another.
During the past week I attended a Buddhist teaching. Before anyone points out that this has been a Buddhism related blog, do understand my background of being religious, being atheist and at this point I am merely a “student’ of worldviews and theism. During the teaching the teacher said something astonishing “Our Mind Is The Creator”! It blew my mind. Think about it, no one knows factually how the Earth/World/Life came to be. The only thing that seems to be true is what our mind was trained to believe. If you deny what you were taught, you have created your own version of “Creation”. “Our Mind Is The Creator”
So when I asked, Am I alone in my thoughts? I really mean that. Is there anyone else who understands the concept I have explained above? Are there others who are satisfied not knowing the bigger picture? Who are willing to learn the story that others have to tell but at the same time do not need to prescribe to any one view.
Self discovery is awesome but it does not need to be done at the detriment of others. After all, each individual is on their own path of self discovery!
I always think about radio waves. They’re in the air all around us. We know how to measure them. But to me that’s proof that there are things that we don’t see that we don’t yet know about. I don’t reject anything. But I also don’t reject myself because I don’t have one absolute belief. I simply have to accept that I don’t know and it’s ok that I don’t know. The end result of having a good life has nothing to do with the path you took, it’s how you travelled.
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I like that.. “the end result of having a good life has nothing to do with the path you took, it’s how you traveled”… and now that you mentioned Radio Waves….
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omg, how apropos! 😀
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I’m a bit random and all my life I have had a tune to go with everything, lol 🙂
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Yes, yes, yes! I agree with so much of what you said. No, we don’t need to adhere to labels. Yes, we can seek truth and allow truth to point you in the right direction. However…. (lol) when we break truth claims down to their most basic components, we are left choosing sides because truth is either true or not true. It can’t be both and you can’t find common ground when something is EITHER true OR not true. Truth forces you to choose. That’s not to say that truth can’t find common ground with other truths that may be hidden beneath the assumed predispositions. But 2+2 can not equal both 4 and 5. We are left to choose which answer is truthful. Unfortunately, those screaming 5, no matter how ardent or passionate, are still wrong. But they can still be valued and treated with respect. And it’s always good to help identify terms because that is how common ground is found. Within the understanding of what things are. And at the most basic of understandings, we find truth. And we are still then left to choose. Again. Lol… sucks doesn’t it?
I re-read my blog and I actually talked to someone the other day about truth being multi-faceted.
Take the Black Lives Matter movement (and “All Lives” and “Blue Lives”) You have some people taking sides. Some people say “Black Lives Matter” and others are seemingly opposing them by saying “Blue Lives Matter”. Which is it? They are both correct.
But, then again, each side may have some things that are wrong.
I won’t get into specifics as I’m thinking about blogging about the topic 🙂
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It’s true. Dig deeper and you’ll see exactly how deception is so powerful against truth. Each one holds tightly onto an idea, THEIR idea. Somewhere within the middle there is reality. That’s why I find that when we separate ourselves from our judgements and see things for the way they are, truth becomes SO clear. And I also struggle to explain how I know our understand truth because there is a lot of instinct involved. I genuinely connect to God in my heart, gut and mind all at the same time and it’s like reality becomes so clear to me. People are being played by emotional sensationalism. If they would think rationally and allow reason to dictate their actions, a lot of this nonsense could be avoided.
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People are easily manipulated. I see it in politics, news, and marketing. It’s almost a spectator sport, you either root for the home team or your the enemy! lol.
I may listen but don’t take much stock in other peoples opinions. I try to rely on my own and as you stated, reality comes clear to me.
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Very true… well it’s always refreshing to see people at least asking the hard questions and seeking answers. It at least means
Sorry, sent without finishing…. just saying that our means you’re at least thinking. That’s so important. Good luck on your journey! I truly hope you find the answers you’re looking for.
On another note, and correct me if I’m wrong…. but what I see is that you’re looking for a way to connect the dots. You’re finding some great morsels of truth, but Im observing a struggle for you to find a worldview in which all of these pieces fit into a bigger picture. I implore you to look into Ravi Zacharias. He is an amazingly brilliant Christian apologist who’s thinking has transformed my own. He has a few doctorates in Philosophy, studies and teaches at Oxford University and has had discussions at many universities all over the country including Stamford, Princeton and just about every other Ivy League school in America. This is not a man who lacks knowledge or wisdom. Listen to some You Tube videos. I’d be really anxious to know what you think.
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I believe there are no absolutes in life so thought that I am just roaming around life connecting dots is probably accurate.
My worldview is discovering who I am, trying to figure out who you are (that sounds creepy! err, trying to figure out other people) and just being a good person to everyone along the way.
I am open to listen to anyone but have to admit, I find apologists tend to make God the answer to everything and then carefully craft their argument to get to that answer.
If you believe there are no absolute truths, then is that statement absolutely true? Because if it’s not, then absolute truths do exist and CAN be discovered.
Can you explain what you mean about apologists? I’m not sure what you mean by that.
That should read “I believe there are no absolutes in life so *the* thought that I am just roaming around life connecting dots is pretty accurate”. By absolute, I meant in my direction, not necessarily about life and the universe in general.
What’s to explain about a Christian Apologist? What is their purpose? They are arguing for gods existence. They are not debating to give me a non-biased view, they have the answer, it is god.
Is your view not biased? All of our views are biased in some way since we are influenced and affected by those experiences most important to us. If you’re really seeking truth, does it matter where it comes from? Every blog on the Internet holds a bias. I think the heart of an apologist is to give rational, logical and reasonable explanations for the existence of God. Of course there is a bias, we’ve experienced relationship with God. We can only profess what we know to be true, right? I can’t tell you God doesn’t exist or might exist because I know beyond a reasonable doubt that He does. That’s not my opinion, that’s a truth claim. Atheists will not explain the case FOR God because they don’t believe God exists. They too have a bias, no? If you have never listened to Ravi Zacharias, I highly encourage you to at least check him out. Worse case scenario he’s just another apologist any way. But I think of you’re rational, have a true open mind and at least ponder the truth claims he makes, you’ll at least be intrigued.
I had to go back through our messages as the direction of these messages appeared to have turned a bit…
One of your first messages to me was your interest “to learn from another’s spiritual perspective, especially someone who walked away from Christianity.”. my spiritual perspective is to be able to have non-biased clinical discussions about belief and religion. If you find that to be biased, I’m sorry you feel that way.
Never once during this conversation have I proselytized my belief. You acknowledged I walked away from Christianity in an earlier message but highly suggest I view information from a Christian Apologist? But the growing trend here is that you seem to be proselytizing me.
Over the last 10 years when someone finds out I am atheist or that I study world religion, they think I am lost or it is their duty to “Save me”. You wouldn’t believe how many book suggestions I have received including the bible of all things. (I took Christian religious ed classes until I was 18).
My non-biased view is there are countless religions and worldviews. Each believer believes their religion is the truth. I believe religions can offer us many valuable lessons and I don’t need to follow a religion to be a good person.
I really didn’t mean to offend in any way. I genuinely appreciate the back and forth discussions where we can engage in a rational conversation about ideas and truth. I mention the apologist because of the enlightenment he brings to the table. Of course I am biased. I have lived my experiences. And you are biased as you lived yours and believe your perspective is the truth. I’m most certainly not looking to save anyone. That’s not my job. I just love to discuss religion in general, particularly the Christian tradition because I find it so fascinating. By all means, If you would rather I not engage in discussion on your page just let me know. I really don’t want to offend in any way.
I too enjoy back and forth discussions. So let me ask you a few questions. Having gone back on our messages, you mentioned you were brought up agnostic. How do you define that? Did your family have a religious background but just didn’t practice? (was it Christian based?) What had you investigate religions? and can you give me any details on the religions or activities you looked into?
It’s interesting to me that people state they had an experience and found god or god talked to them.
My dad was brought up Catholic but we never attended Catholic church. My mom was raised with some (very little) Episcopalian church attendance. But growing up we rarely talked about God. When I was 5, we went to church (non-denominational) about a year or so. For whatever reason, I think we moved, stopped going. My dad, even now has faith in a higher power but it’s more of a pantheist. He believes all paths lead to God. My mom has been more agnostic in the sense that she believes in something. Just not sure what. She borderline thinks aliens planted human seeds here, but that’s a whole other topic lol! So, I wasn’t really raised in a religious family. I knew nothing about the bible nor did I understand anything deep about most religions at all when I became Christian. I understood some basic differences but never understood the depth and complexity of them. I’ve always been spiritual, more into mysticism or witchcraft. I really was into astrology, mediums, psychic stuff, witchcraft…. all that garbage. The funny thing is that I learned more about other religions once I became a Christian because I so desperately questioned what makes it so special. I truly, with all my heart and soul can tell you I never WANTED to be a Christian. I’m an extremely sceptical person and I don’t believe things until I see them. Which is why I completely understand your cynicism towards religion and I genuinely respect your ability to be a free thinker because I too find that most Christians I encounter have no idea what they even believe in. I question if they even believe that what they believe is true! I absolutely HATED Christians… could not stand them. But take people out of the equation, I still managed to connect to God through prayer. My faith story, for me, is miraculous because I want looking for God, I was looking to debunk Christianity and find all the reasons why all of their beliefs were ludicrous as I challenged most people at every bible study I went to. I debated so many moral issues because to me they were just narrow minded shallow thinkers. So I really get it. But since God slowly captured my heart, he also began to capture my mind. I am a very deep thinker and I THRIVE on these type of discussions. I try to think about things from different angles and so a couple of years ago I really wanted to learn about Islam, so I began reading the Q’uran. What a beautiful book…. yet as I grew to understand the heart of Islam I began to find inconsistencies with what I know God’s character to be. But I’ve learned a lot of practical wisdom from its principles. I also began to learn more about Buddhism, Philosophy, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism and of course Christianity. I have delved into history, anthropology, physics, quantum theory/mechanics, astronomy, psychology, sociology, politics, literature, I mean I could go on and on…. I am by NO means an expert, but I really try to do my homework in order to get a bigger picture so I know how the pieces fit together. Anyhow about a year ago I began watching Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. I’ve watched a LOT of debates and have heard a plethora of arguments on both sides. But those are some very smart men, whom I have learned a lot from. Staunch, angry atheists. But isn’t that beautiful? Thats the wonderful irony. No man is too ignorant to learn from. I don’t care if you are atheist, Christian, whatever… I just love to learn. So that’s why I recommended Ravi Zacharias as well. No intention to proselytize. I can honestly say, I don’t know you and I really don’t care what you believe. Your life has no bearing on me. I just enjoy learning. But I will never, ever push my beliefs on you. I share my heart and mind and what’s on it at the moment. Anyways, I hope I answered your question. Please feel free to ask away. And I’m glad you’re not upset. I really don’t like to piss people off, but unfortunately when we begin speaking about these topics, I guess it’s bound to happen, whether intentional or not. Lol…
Thanks for sharing the path you took to get you to where you are now. My path is very similar but right now I’m more on the hands off approach in trying to understand religions and the religious. I have to be honest, I feel I think clearer when I am on the outside of religion. I can see the struggle between the theist and atheist and more so now, I see the struggle between theists of different beliefs.
I’ve always been one to review perspectives, almost like a mediator. I could listen to two different sides and show each side how it is effecting the other. I think that’s the way I am with religion, sometimes I have to separate myself from religion all together to understand their point of views.
It is absolutely true that many people take the religious teachings and corrupt it with their points of view, their fears, their anger, their biases. (edited to say: I noticed I used that absolute word again, maybe I should have said “Truth is”). BUT… then to say their holy book sanctions this behavior! That frightens me. I’m not sure about you but most everything I have read seem to have passages both for and against certain situations. or for instance “Thou Shalt Not Kill”… but then killing first borns, or causing a flood that kills people. or more so towards how the individual twists religion “God told me to do it”.
So I think, if the book says “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, don’t say you did it for god or because God told you to.
I’ve edited this a few times so it might sound choppy, trying to write during a busy time 🙂
I agree! It’s not that cut and dry, there’s so much more to it. I can honestly say the same thing, I can see clearer when I separate myself from religion. Ultimately, it comes down to what’s true. Whenever we look for answers, we’re seeking truth. And seperating emotional attachments away from our “beliefs” in an effort to find out if those beliefs are true or not allows us to find answers. Because that feeling in our gut as to whether or not we “found” an answer is really the feeling of our connection to the truth. If we’re looking for truth, it “feels” right when the pieces connect. It must correspond to reality. If it doesn’t, it raises red flags because if something isn’t realistic, it can’t be true. So much of discovering truth is sorting through what we truly believe. Organizing our thoughts. Searching through our feelings. We begin to have this mind-body connection as we search for truth and it begins to feel right. Imagine now when we connect to our spiritual body, mind-body-soul all working together in harmonious unison. Sounds like the trinity doesn’t it? You want to find answers? You want to find connection to pieces and deep understanding? If you ever decide come to the discovery of your own spiritual body, you will be blown away by the level of insight you will find. I’m astonished by the level of confidence I have to the things I know to be true. That’s not my personality. I’m a very “you can’t be too sure about anything” type of person. But the more I seek, the deeper I think, the more confident I become of truth and more I begin to just feel right about the truths I know and so my perspective of life grounds me in stability when issues come my way. Faith infiltrates my entire being. My mind, thoughts, heart, motives, understanding, everything! Here I go writing a book again… I’ll end here. Lol thanks for sharing!
And as I’m reading over my last couple of comments, I think maybe there was a lack of communication on my part. Sometimes, I come off curt when answering a question, but that’s not my personality. I can be kind of “matter of fact” sometimes in my answers, so I can see how my comment may have almost came off as aggressive. It’s hard to fully communicate through text especially when you don’t know the other person’s voice and personality. Lol… so by all means, If I’m coming off like an arragant tool, feel free to call me out on it. Again, my intentions are not to be an a-hole, but sometimes it can come across that way.
Yes, at work I get emails all day and detecting “tone” is sometimes difficult.
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I went down this road of self discovery. Buddha, yogis, reiki, etc. Spent many years figuring things out. Then I came across Death of a Guru.
Much blessings on your journey.
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I wrote this blog three years ago so I actually had to go back and read it, lol
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it sounds based on the book you came across, that you found Christianity. I say if you found something that works for you, that is great.
My own answer was in this blog all along. “The Mind Is The Creator”. Freeing myself of any specific dogma/religion, I am free to take portions of any religious teaching and bring it into my own worldview and make it my own. No need for me to feel one specific religion is “True” while all others are “False”.
Thanks for the blessings and I return blessings to you as well.
‘The mind is the creator’ is a very interesting thought. I believed. Out of my palms would come great surges of energy felt by me as well as others. Very seductive manifestation.