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Old 05-25-2007, 07:07 AM
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hi all... y'know, i was at a meeting last night and the topic was spirituality. this subject has been coming at me full steam ahead lately, i think that's pretty dope. so, i'm in this meeting, and i'm listening to what everyone's saying, and it runs from "god is everything or god is nothing" to "i don't know what it is, but it's there." right before the meeting, i was on my way to pick up my buddy from her job, and my boyfriend was riding with me, and we were talking about the program, sponsorship, god, etc. he said that he thinks there's so much intimacy in one's belief in their higher power that there's really no way to be able to give advice, etc. i completely agree with that, the take i have on it is that we're all here, trying to recover, trying to improve our lives and stay sober, and when people share i just have to remember that they're just like me and are only bumbling around trying to help others while i stay clean. as long as my motives are in check, then i'm pretty much golden on what happens when i try to help others, etc.

i guess i just can't wrap my head around how i've changed so much in just a year. i've been sober a year, and i'm not the same person, really. i'm like emily 2.0. or something.

if you don't mind me asking, what do secular kids attribute positive change to?
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Emimily View Post
if you don't mind me asking, what do secular kids attribute positive change to?

Making the right choices.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tyler View Post
Making the right choices.

Very true. Also- for me an important element in making the right choices is having access to relevent and accurate information on which to base those choices.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:50 AM
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This is a pretty cool existence, it occurs to me. I walk out of my front door on a morning like this, warm and sunny with the long weekend ahead, and I'm grateful. The positives that are there, just are - the universe gave them to us as our birthright.

When positive changes happen in my life, I don't think that the Cosmic Teacher is giving me a gold star. I see it as the fruit of work that I have done in the right direction. If I carefully planned, planted and nurtured a garden, I wouldn't, when flowers bloomed, be especially amazed at the personal miracle of it all.

Last edited by Lunapro; 05-25-2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: thought better of fiery rhetoric
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:16 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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okay, so then... what are the influences of making the right choices? for example, if i'm stuck on something, i give it to the big guy. i pray, and let it go, and then usually it works out. is that kinda similar to what you all do, nix the prayer?

i wondered for a long time about the clockmaker take on the universe's creation... the idea that the universe was created, then left alone to work out the way it worked out.

btw, luna, i loved your editing reason... "thought better of fiery rhetoric" haha, that's great!
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:32 PM
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Hee! Don't you get me going Em! I'm a tiger!

No, what I think that prayer does is ease your mind. What is going to happen is going to happen anyway, it just allows you to accept it and then deal with it without fretting. You can't change it by worrying, so why worry? But I don't believe that your prayer effects the outcome.

Last edited by Lunapro; 05-25-2007 at 12:34 PM. Reason: okay, that was a typo
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:02 PM
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For me, I guess it goes back to that "gut feeling" I described earlier. Rarely do I not know what the "right" thing to do is. That being said, I don't always choose to do the right thing. There are various reasons for that and the consequences range from nothing to really bad. Time and time again when I try to "make" things happen unstead of "letting" them happen, it ends up being a f'd up mess. That's really the only way I can describe it. Take care.
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:22 PM
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It really depends on the situation. I try to make informed decisions whenever possible, which, of course, means gathering information first. Sometimes that's not possible (too short notice, etc), and I rely on experience and that afore-mentioned "gut feeling". I also do not always make the right decision. Then I get to gather experience, right?
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:54 PM
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I don’t rely on mythological beings to guide me in my day to day living, rather I learn to awaken and open the mystery of the Self.

When I direct my thoughts and actions in the direction of love and compassion, I find myself naturally making the right choices. Then it its my “Higher Self” that “Powers” my motives. The direction comes from instructions that gives me insight into the cause of my thoughts and actions.

Last edited by Zencat; 05-25-2007 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Ohmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:17 AM
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I have a higher power......

I just don't call him/her God. The symbol of my higher power is a tree. It's worked for me 15+ years. I go regularly to AA meetings because denial is always perched on my shoulder. My sponsor is an athiest (21 years).

Remember: the only requirement for membership is a desire to stay sober. Everything else is a suggestion. Another suggestion I heard in early sobriety: take what you need, leave the rest behind.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:27 PM
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moved post

Last edited by Zencat; 05-31-2007 at 10:38 PM. Reason: .........ops
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:00 PM
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I do not believe because, simply, I have no reason to believe.

If others have faith, I have no difficulty with that. I do not.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:07 PM
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In some ways I'm envious of those who have faith in God or a HP (whom I refer to as Hewlet Packard!!). It really seems like it does make thing "easier". It just isn't how my mind works though. I need proof to believe. I don't not believe in God, I just don't know. Only one way to find out for sure I guess, and I'm not ready to find out just yet. Take care.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:51 PM
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When it rains, I don't actually think there's an "It" that is raining. It's just a manner of speaking. Same with people with HPs - I don't share their vocabulary, but we can still share experience beyond the semantics of it.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:41 AM
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It would be simpler for me to believe in a 'higher power'. For good or ill, I do not believe in a 'higher power' that is sentient. Call it an 'act of 'dis faith'.

It seems clear, and has been clear to theologians, that human reason fails when analyzing the divine. It is emotional; an act of faith. It is, literally, revealed truth.

It seems clear to me that tolerance is indicated, by all sides.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:23 PM
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Pantheist here, checking in....new kid on the block here too! <smile>

I sang in the chruch choir for years, taught sunday school, etc. many years of dedicated service. I was brought up in a Church that said, "If we get just one message across to you, please let it be that God is Love". That was pretty cool esp for me since my friends were being brought up in the church of damnation. lol

For me it comes down to.....what do you believe in? I believe in me and not in any narcisstic way but just me. <smile> Also, being a Pantheist means believing in my fellow man and in the earth, respecting both.

We all tend to want to believe in something because it validates our existence and meaning. Why can I not cherish you and the good earth that provides for us?
We fear being alone, we fear death and so we cling to some higher power in hopes that there is a better life afterward. Life for me is now, not later.

IF there is a God (and you can explain who God is for you, if you wish) <smile>, then my actions toward my fellow man and the good earth will probably be seen as "worthy" of entry into this divine kingdom.

We are all brought up with various Beliefs and Values. I was brought up with religion however it is far more valuable to me to believe in me and believe in you than in something that might be.

Prayer is much like meditation. If we pracitce some time out, we will probably get to some calm and rational thinking.

Organized religion appears to have brought much war throughout history and even today.

Spirituality is believing in something outside of ourself. I do best to believe IN myself. <smile>

But I will admit that the Bible is filled with some great stories and parables to learn from like "Love one another" and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" along with dont kill, etc. One of my favorite is the story of the boy with fish and bread. The multitude had followed Christ into the dessert and just one boy brought food. LOL Think about it <wink> and you may discover a much more basic "miracle".

But what of other religions and faiths? Which is the "correct" one? I would imagine its the one you believe in! <smile> If I dont believe, am I less valualbe as a person?

Yes, I still feel small when I stand beside the ocean; whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens........... this is for me to make happen.

But I will end with a phrase my mother taught me: "Life is God's gift to you; what you do with your life is your gift to God." That being said, it is still up to ME to decide on my life. Prayer, meditation, mindfulness, etc are some of the ways to get there.

Thank you for allowing me my perspective! <smile>
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:33 PM
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i do believe in a higher power...for me He is God.

HOWEVER....he has undergone such a serious overhaul. he is nott he same god i once believed in, and im sure this time next year, he will change greatly in how i 'understand' him.

still, i relate SO MUCH BETTER to the way all you secularists think, and the way you glean insight. rarely in any one group, or fellowship, or church (i currently deliberately dont attend, BTW) do i find people who think outside the box alwhile ALLOWING others to do the same, and even encourage that. i am all about freedom. i really fail to see how my 'spirituality' (apologies for those who detest that particular word, lol!) differs that much from you all; as i read i relate in a profoundly deep way. i dont know if it is so much HAVING a higher power or NOT HAVING one that splices us......it is more that we seem to share the same principles:.....freedom.......authenticity........ .uniqueness......i could go on and on.......i fail to see how me having a God sections me off from any of you, so it simply cannot just be the fact that i have one (a god)! our philosophy, idealology, and yes even theology seems so in sync. well, thats my opinion. keep chirping, i LOVE to listen!

Last edited by Melanchonika; 06-25-2007 at 02:41 PM. Reason: clarity in sentence structure
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:39 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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anyway, oddly enough too, is that the Jesus i know hates religion, control, conformity, and bandwagon joining. but i had to get free from the grips of my shame and guilt based thinking before this was possible. once i started getting 'whole'...my perceptions of God and life changed so radically. and yes, most christian people i know think ive fallen off the deep end. i cannot sit peacefully in church without an internal war inside me. right now my spirituality has meshed with my recovery or healing-they arent separate but dually working. i find todays christian churches operating in a very twisted fashion, and keeping nooses and binds on people. well, that is just a bit about me. try to look past the words chosen or the labels, cause that is not where the meaning of my post resides anyway.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:45 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Melanchonika View Post
anyway, oddly enough too, is that the Jesus i know hates religion, control, conformity, and bandwagon joining.
I think that's the root cause of all the animosity between people of different faiths, and people with different ideas.
It's the phrase "The Jesus 'that I know' ".
(The word 'Jesus' here being a synonym for the word 'Truth').

None of us possess all-knowing, eternal truth.
And all of us change over time. And with our change comes
a new perspective. Or, if you will, a new 'Truth'.
And when a person believes they have THE truth,
then the truth-holder becomes argumentative and dismissive of others.

So, i equate the term Truth with Opinion.
And i realize that each one of us has a viewpoint of life,
based on our experiences.
And none of us can know the 'right' way. We can only know
the right way for ourselves.
And most of the time, the right way for ourselves is to keep
searching, and accept others.

(Melanchonika, i'm not speaking to you directly, or correcting you.
Rather, i'm using your statement to continue the idea within the discussion.)

---
Here's the poem "The Blind Men and the Elephant".

It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approach'd the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," -quoth he- "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," -quoth he,-
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said- "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," -quoth he,- "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL,

So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean;
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index...tter=B&spage=3
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:16 PM
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mostly we are on the same page, esp regarding the jesus 'that i know'. i hope it didnt come across that i was saying that in a condescending or self-righteous manner; hopefully from my other posts here people can see that i dont think ive 'arrived'. my truths about myself, the world, principles, and even my HP change all the time. it is a constant evolution. whenever i say the God i know what i really mean is the way i know him today, in todays 'present'. ive changed my outlook on my HP so much that my Hp certainly wont be viewed or understood the same way by me next year.

you are correct in stating that the truth we have or possess is only ours, for today. to say there are absolute truths in all things is ludicrous. even scientists are changing 'absolute' truths everyday; my daughter just informed me Pluto is no longer a planet, lmao! my 'truth' has undergone such radical surgery that id be follish to think the truth i know today, is the same truth ill know 3 months from now. everything has vcertainly not been revealed to me, and if it were, what is the reason for living? part of the joy in living is knowing that more will continuosly be revealed to me....and i just LOVE that!

thanks for telling me not to take it personally; i almost did. just proves how defensive we can get as people, even when i think ive grown kilometers in that arena! lol.
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