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Posts: 55/280
(17-Apr-2003 at 13:24)


Whatīs been the Experience that made you religious (or atheist)?

Whatīs been the Experience that made you religious (or atheist)?

I am a very sensible madman, so I thought I had to put some kind of thread like this. Itīs not offense intended, just I wanted to compare my experience (for I may have sounded like an Atheist to some people here) with those of others.

The point is: experience that transformed you in one sense or the other, either you were religious and you lost your faith or you were faithless and turned into religion.

To start I go with mine: the experience that changed me and made me into Zen Buddhism happened on December 30th, 2000. Due to some past personal circumstances, impliying serious and painful events in my family and some to me directly, I had gone through depressive periods for weeks, alternating with others of euphoria. Also I hadreached a point where I hated everything, and everybody, even myself, for I was almost every day enraged and unhappy with my own situation.

Then came that day. I remember I passed that evening with some friends at an Irish pub. I went back home and I went to sleep. Not a remarkable day to that point.

But then, while I was in bed hearing some music from my discman and thinking about my own situation then (common thing in Christmas and New Yearīs eve) when I began to feel something. I still can not describe it, it was a mix of falling down into an abyss and being trapped into a whilpool. However I felt my own self being shredded, desintegrating while I tried to get a grasp on my senses, and then nothing. Inner Emptiness. To put it simply it was like if I had been all the time burning myself in loud hate and anger and then absolute silence.

It was an illuminating experience to me. Something immediate, no Godīs words in my head, nothing, only clear mind, emptiness and feeling more myself than ever before. I passed through all the lower states of conscience: Naraka (absolute suffering), Preta (constante desire), Asura (the need of power, rage), Mamousia (the state of man: socially, culturaly...); and reached Deva (ecstasy).

Of course all of this is explainable through common physiology, like some kind of small air bubble in my brain or something like that, but I do not care, the efect of the process was the same. The capability to change was there and it worked. Without any external influence.

This post does not exist.- Someone you know is One of Us. - FNORD!
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(17-Apr-2003 at 13:40)
i personally am an atheist.

my parents are also not religous (they were brought up religious, but didnt hang on to their relegion, so...) so thats the way i was brought up.

i supose its nice that if you believe in (any) god(s), that ull always have someone to turn to... i didnt quite feel happy last year, started cutting my arms and so on. i had no one to turn to. my parents were always busy (4 kids, a dog, both jobs...) and i started comparing myself to my brother, in a negative way.

at moments such as those i wished there was just someone there, but in my eyes there wasnt. i was alone.

and in fact i still am (and i think WE still are), but the thing i believe in is that you can make life what you want it to be. you start with nothing, you can create. if we seek someone to talk to, some people turn to (a/the) god(s). i think that infact you turn to yourself.
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(Posted as jh211988)
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(17-Apr-2003 at 13:42)


smile My experience.

Haha, my experience was that I felt the presence of God during my first service in church.

He came down to me, and I had my soul saved. However, I did backslide once, but I didn't anymore, until now, coz' God was there for me. I was once a vulgarity spitting nut, but not now. God made me a new man, and killed the old man within me. He gave me control over my life...
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(17-Apr-2003 at 16:27)


I have always believed that Nature was special, important...I love being in Nature...As a child I remember sitting outside in my parent's yard at night in complete awe of everything around me...I always felt this connection with Nature and felt complete being in Nature...Then right before my Junior year in highschool I had a lot of problems at home...I became extremely depressed and had to go see the Juvenille Court Justice because of somethings that happened between me and my family...He wanted to put me in a Foster Home, but since I was 16 and there was no physical abuse going on, he let me choose...I chose to stay with my parents because there were no foster homes near my school and I couldn't lose my friends...He then required me to see a Psychiatrist (sp?)...Things in my family got worse and my anger towards them increased, then, my Junior year in Highschool I was looking for something online for one of my classes and somehow one of my searches brought up Wicca...I felt drawn to it, even though it wasn't what I was looking for...I read about it and was amazed that there was actually a Religion out there that believed what I had my entire life...After that I read every book about Wicca I could get my hands on...Wicca helped me find my inner peace and taught me how to let go of the anger I felt towards my family...It turned my life around...I was finally able to forgive my family and start my life over...

I believe that Wicca found me when I needed it the most...I tried several times to search for that same thing and Wicca didn't come up again...How it came up that first time I'll never know, but I am grateful that it did...

For the first time in my life I felt like I had found myself and I knew who I was...Everytime I do a Ritual or meditate, I have this sense of being complete...

I believe that Wicca found me, as it was by complete luck that I found it that day...

Fight the Fear
Freedom of Religion means ALL Religions
Proud member of the Wiccan Religion
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(17-Apr-2003 at 20:49)


This all seems a bit of the same from a different perspective. There is always a component of inner fight, opposing desire to will and education (or Superego and Ego against the ID, in Freudean terms). Should all this come to be a fight for being more human than beast?

This post does not exist.- Someone you know is One of Us. - FNORD!
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(Posted as BlackPope USC)
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(17-Apr-2003 at 22:01)
Well
It all started in summer
When I was hella bored
So i went to a chapters
To read the books there
Fear And Loathing, etc
And I picked up a copy of the satanic bible
i didnt think much of it at first, and just threw it away

for a 6 month period i didnt really have a place. i was a christian, but i felt i was hiding my true self to be one. then i was bored one night, so i randomly searched people on my icq and added them. one of the people was a bitter computer programmer, whos site was a downloadable version of the satanic bible.
I read it, and was amazed how well its teachings fit my personality. and best of all it was a no bullshit deal. it talked about praising satan, but only as a symbol, not a person. its atheism with egotism, i felt better than ever. instead of hiding from myself, i revel in it. ive become a better stronger person from it.
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(17-Apr-2003 at 22:12)


Atheist

No experience. I just thought about it. Than I started thinking about it more. And thats that.
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(17-Apr-2003 at 22:13)


Quote:
(Originally posted by BlackPope USC)

Well
It all started in summer
When I was hella bored
So i went to a chapters
To read the books there
Fear And Loathing, etc
And I picked up a copy of the satanic bible
i didnt think much of it at first, and just threw it away

for a 6 month period i didnt really have a place. i was a christian, but i felt i was hiding my true self to be one. then i was bored one night, so i randomly searched people on my icq and added them. one of the people was a bitter computer programmer, whos site was a downloadable version of the satanic bible.
I read it, and was amazed how well its teachings fit my personality. and best of all it was a no bullshit deal. it talked about praising satan, but only as a symbol, not a person. its atheism with egotism, i felt better than ever. instead of hiding from myself, i revel in it. ive become a better stronger person from it.
Thatīs a positive thing after all, is not it?

This post does not exist.- Someone you know is One of Us. - FNORD!
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(17-Apr-2003 at 22:15)


Re: Atheist

Quote:
(Originally posted by blind io)

No experience. I just thought about it. Than I started thinking about it more. And thats that.
Yeaps, but there is also a point of fracture, you can doubtand doubt forever and not getting to decide...

This post does not exist.- Someone you know is One of Us. - FNORD!
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(17-Apr-2003 at 23:02)


Well, there wan't a really noticeable one for me. I didn't go through some kind of special event or traumatic experience. Since I first saw that other opinions existed, I started thinking. And I didn't make up my mind all at once. There wasn't any memorable moment when I thought to myself: 'thats it, now I'm an atheist'. It just happened, slowly.
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(17-Apr-2003 at 23:14)


Quote:
(Originally posted by blind io)

Well, there wan't a really noticeable one for me. I didn't go through some kind of special event or traumatic experience. Since I first saw that other opinions existed, I started thinking. And I didn't make up my mind all at once. There wasn't any memorable moment when I thought to myself: 'thats it, now I'm an atheist'. It just happened, slowly.
Itīs better than getting stuck into a constant doubt... Descartes was near to it but his education prevailed and took the existence of God as a nail to hang on the cliff. In my opinion he was a coward. He could have put it clean and clear as Zen masters did: nothing is true out of oneself (or the same: all perceptions are ilussory but they become true through us perceiving them).

This post does not exist.- Someone you know is One of Us. - FNORD!
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(18-Apr-2003 at 00:09)


I was raised Catholic, but I never really felt it. You know how it goes...accepted the word, but there was always something at the back of my mind that kept me from ever taking it all seriously.

Eventually, my parents forced me to be confirmed. During that process, I was forced to look at the religion as a greater whole, and realized just how absurd it looked to me. That left me without any sort of religion or spirituality, so I decided to try and figure out just what the hell it was I thought.

I finally concluded on agnosticism. I do think all religions are pretty absurd, but I'm not quite comfortable in denying the existance of supernatural beings.

In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
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(18-Apr-2003 at 00:25)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Erik64)

I was raised Catholic, but I never really felt it. You know how it goes...accepted the word, but there was always something at the back of my mind that kept me from ever taking it all seriously.

Eventually, my parents forced me to be confirmed. During that process, I was forced to look at the religion as a greater whole, and realized just how absurd it looked to me. That left me without any sort of religion or spirituality, so I decided to try and figure out just what the hell it was I thought.

I finally concluded on agnosticism. I do think all religions are pretty absurd, but I'm not quite comfortable in denying the existance of supernatural beings.
Depends on what you take as supernatural. Zen concepts are quite philosophical (thatīs logical for itīs sincretism of Buddhism and Taoism) but put aside the metaphysical, like afterlife and all that. If you can not define it through experience, be it Illumination, Satori or what you want, then itīs a bit impossible to be felt, no?

Anyway, supernatural is soooo wide a term...

About religions in general: somebody told every religion is true, and every religion (or almost) tells everybody not believing will go to hell, hence we will all go to hell... Nice perspective, hum?

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(18-Apr-2003 at 04:37)


I was raised in a non-religious family to be Christian.

But, I didn't really buy it, and scoffed it (as I still do Organized Religion) as silly and proverbial.

I was atheist for a while, but nothing made sense then. Why was there Science, why did existance exist? Randomness made no sense no matter how much I could rationalize the infinitely small possibility for the current state. In truth it was impossible.

I have always had a love of living things.

I first saw God in my yard, and in the sky on a beautiful spring day. I remember the tree and some sort of connection. Then I realized, there is a God, a God who created life through the principles of Science.

I went back through the Jesus books of the bible and really UNDERSTOOD them, not interpreted them as the morons in the church do. I understood them as Jesus intended. I saw truth in him, realized he never claimed to be divine, but he had absolute faith and a damn good understanding of the world.

If you see the light at the end of the tunnel, then you passed the test.
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(18-Apr-2003 at 05:20)


Just in my bed at night thinking about stuff like I always do. I wish I could write down some of that stuff but its terribly hard to convert it into spoken word. I always leave something out.

I just thought about the Bible and everything I had been taught over the years. None of it added up. So I reviewed everything and came to the conclusion that I no longer believed in God.
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(Posted as IAmGoofy)
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(18-Apr-2003 at 14:21)


1) Going to the sinagogue and seeing all the petty squabbles between people that believe in slightly different forms of Judaism
2) Seeing all the wars the were caused by people that believe in what their religion has taught them.
3) Seeing that all the people in the sinagogue are like driven children - they could believe in anything, and most of them just follow religion because of tradition.
4) My parents' pressure on me to be religious - I think that each person should have a choice. If you're forced to be a believer, then f*** that. Too many religious people are overzealous..
5) The opinion that you don't need belief to succeed in life.

I can show you the way

Last edited by GoofyIAm, 18-Apr-2003 at 14:23.
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(18-Apr-2003 at 14:44)


pep's checklist

I guess it had to do with these factors:

- My family not paying any mind to religion
- My mother who gave me full clearance on believing anything i wanted to (although she *did* explain me her views and why she has chosen that, which influenced me)
- Realizing that God was created by humans (its a social/cultural matter) instead of vice versa
- Realizing that the Great Questions in Life shouldnt be answered by any preset form of thought, but through own experience
- Realizing that humans are afraid of uncertainty, and therefore create the necessary means to fight that uncertainty.
- Not having an urge to belong to any sort of group
- General stubborness

"Observers worldwide have been expressing great pity for the people of Gaza [...] This pity may be a natural emotional reaction, yet it is unethical and immoral." - Adi Dvir, Ynetnews editor
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(18-Apr-2003 at 16:14)


Quote:
- My family not paying any mind to religion
- My mother who gave me full clearance on believing anything i wanted to (although she *did* explain me her views and why she has chosen that, which influenced me)
- Realizing that God was created by humans (its a social/cultural matter) instead of vice versa
- Realizing that the Great Questions in Life shouldnt be answered by any preset form of thought, but through own experience
- Realizing that humans are afraid of uncertainty, and therefore create the necessary means to fight that uncertainty.
- Not having an urge to belong to any sort of group
- General stubborness
Wow, like me!!!

One of the most interesting experiences I had was through psicoactive drug. It really opened my mind. Everyone should try it at least once in a life-time. But I did not see god.

[size=1.5]Hey Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
Same thing we do every night, try to take over the world![/size]
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(18-Apr-2003 at 20:14)


One day, my father told me " You know, my son, religion is pure shit" That pretty sum up my belief concerning religion. I live my life without worrying if God will be theyre for me or if what I do please God, because they're is no God and I dont feel the need for having God in my life. I believe in the power of humanity to solve itself his own problems

Both of my parents are atheist, even tough they were brouth up into catholics familly (well it was important especially in my mother's side, my father was skipping church and was out with his buddies instead His parents knew but werent really caring )
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(18-Apr-2003 at 21:00)


I was raised Catholic, and was confirmed at age 13. However, I found I never fully believed in the Catechism... In the next few years I began to realize what had happened, that church made me declare I was Catholic before I had the ability to think about it on my own. They forced their belief on me before I could make up my own mind. I became very angry at the church and disinterested... I stopped going to church. I remember almost getting into a fistfight with my dad one Sunday because I refused to go. Eventually, he let me have my way...

Over time, the more I thought about it, the more my religious upbringing made sense. God really is all around us, He really is the all-powerful. The father, the son (maybe, I'm still iffy on this part), the holy spirit: it is all makes sense. There are a lot of good teachings in the Catholic Catechism.

So I consider myself Catholic because of my upbringing, but there are still some things I disagree with. I don't think condoms, birth control, and abortions (to an extent) are evil. I don't think God will punish me for not going to church every Sunday. I don't think that eating meat on Friday during Lent is bad... But I did go full-circle and found my beliefs.
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