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Old 05-18-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,999,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Until you encounter one.
I'll take my chances. If I ever do think I encounter one, I will seek professional help posthaste.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,217,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
I'll take my chances. If I ever do think I encounter one, I will seek professional help posthaste.
...and if your doc says everything is OK?

Sorry but this has happened to me already with my ghostie. I thought I was suffering from hallucinations and went to the doc.

Turns out I was OK after several tests...
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,891 posts, read 3,981,409 times
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Ties onto Maslow and The Self-Actualization principal, which cannot exist with the barrier of religion
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
5,322 posts, read 8,375,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Atheism *IS* enlightenment. The Universe is a Very Big Place, it is not a sentient being and it does not care who lives or dies. It would continue to function just as well without us as it did before we made our appearance.

There is no 'meaning' to life, it simply is, and it is what you make of it.
I agree, except I think that atheism is just a big step towards enlightenment, which is a mental state beyond which most people experience unless they train for it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,678 posts, read 6,784,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoistDude View Post
I agree, except I think that atheism is just a big step towards enlightenment, which is a mental state beyond which most people experience unless they train for it.
And I would say that any mental state beyond the recognition and acceptance of reality would be no more than delusion or hallucination. Such 'training' basically amounts to self-hypnosis, attempting to cause the mind to accept as 'real' something which does not actually exist.

Someone once talked me into smoking some marijuana laced with some other drug. I experienced an extremely vivid visual and auditory hallucination, it *seemed* very 'real'. Fortunately, I managed to maintain an anchor to rational thought processes and an awareness that what I was seeing and hearing could not possibly be happening, which prevented me from taking any actions in response (which could have been detrimental to my health). Although the experience was...interesting...it was at that point that I determined that I much prefer reality and the ability to discern the truth, so far as one is able...especially when faced with intentional deception.

IMO, attempting to insert meaning where none exists is no better than any other self-deluding fantasy.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
5,322 posts, read 8,375,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
And I would say that any mental state beyond the recognition and acceptance of reality would be no more than delusion or hallucination. Such 'training' basically amounts to self-hypnosis, attempting to cause the mind to accept as 'real' something which does not actually exist.

Someone once talked me into smoking some marijuana laced with some other drug. I experienced an extremely vivid visual and auditory hallucination, it *seemed* very 'real'. Fortunately, I managed to maintain an anchor to rational thought processes and an awareness that what I was seeing and hearing could not possibly be happening, which prevented me from taking any actions in response (which could have been detrimental to my health). Although the experience was...interesting...it was at that point that I determined that I much prefer reality and the ability to discern the truth, so far as one is able...especially when faced with intentional deception.

IMO, attempting to insert meaning where none exists is no better than any other self-deluding fantasy.
You are entirely wrong about that. Normal existence is fraught with assumptions, conditioning, and misperceptions of reality, even for those who have rejected most such distortions. Enlightenment removes the distorting filters to show the true reality.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:40 PM
 
40,150 posts, read 26,789,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
One can have an appreciation of his place in the Universe and its interconnectedness without any sort of theistic "true enlightenment". A belief in any deity is unnecessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Until you encounter one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuixoticHobbit View Post
Which to date, has not happened to anyone on this planet.
Au contraire . . . it has happened to me in deep meditation. So I am receptive to claims by others that they too have encountered God.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:27 AM
 
39,225 posts, read 10,905,565 times
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To Zymer "Atheism *IS* enlightenment. The Universe is a Very Big Place, it is not a sentient being and it does not care who lives or dies. It would continue to function just as well without us as it did before we made our appearance.

There is no 'meaning' to life, it simply is, and it is what you make of it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoistDude View Post
I agree, except I think that atheism is just a big step towards enlightenment, which is a mental state beyond which most people experience unless they train for it.
I agree though I'd say that this progression should be based on an evidentially supported corpus of knowledge rather than a lot of unsupported stories, myths and anecdotes. It may well be that the Woo Woo areas of Physics and the relationship between meditation and that reality through consciousness (taking Mystic's points on board) can be where our enlightenment ends up, but it ought to be based on evidence, not speculations.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,999,820 times
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I think that atheism is the 'endgame', although one need not give up the best features of spirituality to be an atheist. One may still feel a great sense of awe and wonder at the natural Universe. A very dark night sky with the Milky Way stetching across it from horizon to horizon gives me every bit as much of a sense of infinity (for lack of a better word) as religion ever could.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:49 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,984,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
In another thread I suggested "spirituality" could be ever so neatly divided into four catagories of progressing reality awareness:

1. True barbarism: living day to day virtually as an animal for selfish gain.
First your sorting into categories is seriously flawed from the start. Animals do not behave as such. Sure they kill and fight, but not for selfish reasons, but merely for survival and continuance of the species.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
One can have an appreciation of his place in the Universe and its interconnectedness without any sort of theistic "true enlightenment". A belief in any deity is unnecessary.
A belief in a deity is not only unnecessary, but it is counter to enlightenment. Sheep are not enlightened, they are merely non-thinking followers.
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