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    Thread: What was your Spiritual Journey?

    1. #1
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      What was your Spiritual Journey?

      Most of us, if we're lucky, were not born with the same beliefs we have now. We came to change our outlook on the world over time and grow and evolve. So rather than try to offer up some label of yourself as if you were some static being, describe how you got to where you are now.

      Spoiler for My Story:
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 02-10-2012 at 03:13 PM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    2. #2
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      OD, explain Chaos Magic and the philosophy of the mana-based universe for me (my google's broken).

      Mine might sound more like a religious history than a spiritual journey. Oh well.

      I have a Catholic father and a 'Pentacostal' mother. I put that in quotes, because she's not into organized religion, only her own complex and sacred web of religious superstition. We never went to church except in the rural south, North Carolina. Church always made me uneasy, with its cultish rituals that adults, of all people, partook in. At age ten, I thought that since so many people believed it, and since it's been with us for so long, there had to be a God, and with it a Heaven and Hell. Why else would everyone else take religion so seriously? Death-fearing child me cracked open the family Bible and read the commandments and learned to pray. This was at the same time child me was washing her hands several extra times a day and trying to calculate her chance of dying from a random virus, also trying to keep track of how many times she tapped each finger when drumming them, to make sure each hand had an even number of taps. Fucking PANDAS. Anyhow, after a couple months the OCD went away along with the fear of Hell. Still, every night I prayed, which is more than the rest of my family combined. By middle school my prayers had changed from wishing God would help with this or that in the world, to thanking God for what we have. I figured God The Creator had left us, but fancifully hoped it was somehow listening. I was Deist. I still believed in an afterlife system of sorts, but one more humane and awesome than what I learned from religion.

      8th grade was a good year, and I have my earth science teacher to thank for that. He taught us to think empirically and how to identify pseudoscience by its unfalsifiability. For the first time I felt in good company, with an adult who didn't just not believe in luck, but debunked it and even ridiculed it. I recognized that my own beliefs in the afterlife were unfalsifiable, and my line of reasoning was that if there was a God, it's probably good and so if I live a kind life I have nothing to worry about, and if there wasn't a God, then the whole point of life is to leave the world a better place than when you first arrived, to create a Heaven on Earth. I was agnostic.

      In high school, my scientific mind blossomed. I ran with the heaven on earth idea and thought of how I could do the greatest good. After taking biology, I wanted to be a medical scientist. After taking environmental studies I realized there were worse threats to all life, and wanted to be an environmental scientist. Spiritually, I became enamored with the concept that we are bits of the universe, perceiving itself. I never let go of it. I initially dove into lucid dreaming for entertainment, but became stricken by the awe and raw awareness its preparation (and realization) produced. By this time I had let go of the idea of an afterlife and God completely, embracing instead awareness and the beauty of science.

      And then I entered college and all of my friends were atheist too and we had a great big circlejerk. Literally. :3

      I'm at a point now where "doing the greatest good" isn't so much a priority anymore. I'm falling into patterns of hedonism and then nihilism. I'm falling. Sometimes a bit of Abraism pokes through though, the great thirst for truth and awareness, bored behind the cash register (to pay rent) I'll piece together my current universe-view and see the multiple absurdities saturated in the mundane as well as the spectacular. I remember the goal: I want to see as accurately as possible how the world dances and compare it to how I feel it dance and how I dance and how I choose to dance.
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    3. #3
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      From Liber Null by Peter J Carrol Liber Null (intro to chaos magick) - Peter J Carroll pt. 1 - YouTube

      "The Materialist or Rational Universe consists of mass and energy in space and time, the Transcendental Universe consists of Spiritual Consciousness. As there is no universally accepted word for the underlying reality of the universe in Magical Terms, I shall borrow and adapt the word Mana. All Magical Systems are explicitly or implicitly structured around the recognition of Mana in some guise or other. Mana cannot be precisely described in Materialistic or Transcendental Terms, but as Magical Terms are rather limited in our culture, it is worth attempting these descriptions. In Materialistic terms, Mana is the information which structures Matter, and which all Matter and Thought is capable of emitting and receiving across space and perhaps time. In Transcendental terms Mana is a sort of life-force, present to some degree in all beings, objects and events, and able to act between them. In Magical Terms, Mana is the Power that shapes phenomena and which phenomena emit to shape other phenomena. It is also Knowledge, in the sense that the shaping power imparts information. Mana is not synonymous with consciousness in the Transcendental Sense. Consciousness is no more than a word used to describe the sensation arising from mental activity. Mana is analogous to Spirit only to the extent that Spirit is taken to imply communicated information. Mana is not an attribute of Matter. Rather it is the other way around, Matter is the way in which Mana most commonly appears to us. The so called Scientific Laws of the Material Universe are an expression of Mana. From a Magical Point of view, the laws of nature are incomplete. Future events are not entirely determined in advance. Mana acts chaotically within those arbitrary limits it has already invented, thus Mana is creative and unpredictable in those situations where there are insufficient Mana conventions to determine what will happen, and this includes everything more complex than clockwork. And it is here that Mana or Magic Projection can be used to force the hand of chance."

      Couldn't have said it any better.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 02-11-2012 at 03:04 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    4. #4
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      I was a young man and a monk when the Chinese invaded Tibet. I escaped into exile, but my master and many people I knew were killed, and I grew disillusioned, with the dharma and in general. Eventually I found my way to some city in Central or Eastern Europe, poor and alone, where I died in my forties or early fifties sick in bed. Dying, I remembered the face of my master and called out to him for aid. I joined with my master and with Avalokiteshvara, dying in a better state than I had lived for quite some time.

      Awareness re-emerged early, and I found myself in a beautiful wooded land, surrounded by people who seemed to pretend not to know what they were and how they felt about each other. The foundation of my spirituality was laid in nature and eternity--acceptance of the beforelife and the endlessness it implied.

      Since then I've mostly just continued the pattern of wandering off and finding myself right back where I started, which is not a bad place. My attitudes toward various religious ideas have changed, wandering through deism to antitheism to a kind of spirit-animism to Buddhism/Taoism to first grudging and now fairly comfortable Universalism. I love and honor Christ and Buddha and all beings who have lived giving of themselves to coax or rattle others out of needless suffering.
      Last edited by Taosaur; 02-11-2012 at 03:55 AM. Reason: subject verb agreement
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      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    5. #5
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      Was raised Catholic, was never really serious about it apart from sporadic spurts. Started moving away from it in my early-mid teens, abandoned it completely along with the idea of taking most religions seriously by 16. That's pretty much it. Unexciting, with no major "breakthroughs" along the way.
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      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    6. #6
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Taosaur View Post
      I was a young man and a monk when the Chinese invaded Tibet. I escaped into exile, but my master and many people I knew were killed, and I grew disillusioned, with the dharma and in general. Eventually I found my way to some city in Central or Eastern Europe, poor and alone, where I died in my forties or early fifties sick in bed. Dying, I remembered the face of my master and called out to him for aid. I joined with my master and with Avalokiteshvara, dying in a better state than I had lived for quite some time.

      Hmmm. I was a (presumably) Theravadin "child monk" living at Angkor Wat. I was sent out to pick up a cobra but I was cocky and it bit me. Next thing I knew, I was rolling out of my bed on Big Island. I was about 3 and couldn't even talk yet. That's my first memory.

      Past life?

      It is a weird dream.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

    7. #7
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      MY LONG BORING STORY

      When I was four years old I had my first mind-expanding thought. I was trying to remember as far back as I could. And I was scared because I could only remember a few months back. Before that nothing, a void.

      I remember FEELING that I am. So how could there ever be a time when I never was? How I could know anything if I didn't remember how I knew it? How did I know my mom is my mom when I don't remember ever learning that this person is my mom?

      That was the day I woke up and became self-aware.

      When I was six years old my sisters talked about God and eternity. They told me God was omnipresent and they explained that meant everywhere. They told me God was eternal, no beginning no end. And that I had an immortal soul, also with no end. I tried to wrap this around my mind. Eternity. Eternity. Eternity. Forever. No ending. Just the concept was mind-blowing and I felt expansive and it felt like my head could just explode because eternity was just so damn huge. And I thought, wow, God is amazing.

      At this time I had no other concept of God.

      I accepted wholeheartedly that God - this omnipresent being - was also in the trees, in flowers, in bees, in birds. I was pagan and I didn't know it.

      When I was eight years old I had an experience I couldn't explain. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling I'm about to see something really scary, my heart is pounding. I shake my head and think "stop freaking yourself out, calm down". But when I turned around I saw a glowing being float from my bedroom to my parents. I ran to my sisters but I was so scared I lost my voice. I saw lights, like dozens of people were playing with flash lights, later I learned they were called orbs. It couldn't have been my vision, because the orbs were isolated only to one portion of the room. I tried to calm down but then sis said she heard something in mom's room - where I saw the being float to. Omg I could throw up now. I go with sis to check out the room and we found something had actually broke.

      Ive never really questioned whether or not there's an after life. When you see a spirit, in my case twice in my life, you don't really question if there is an afterlife, you just question what the afterlife is!

      Okay, so believing without a doubt that Ive got a soul - I really took my religion seriously. By the time I was ten I was catholic. Catholic. Catholic. Catholic. And catholicism had soiled my loving nature God - and replaced it with something distant, serious and judgmental.

      In middle school I hit the dark ages. I became paranoid about demons and demonic possession. I was having nightmares that Lucifer was trying to impregnate me. Actually I think these dreams had something to do with me coming of age, lolz. But I was traumatized. Really it was YEARS before I could even tell anyone that Lucifer tried to rape me in a dream. I would wake up in tears. I would wake up seeing a dark presence looming by my bedside. Well good news these nightmares really propelled my fascination with dreaming.

      My parents secular life and one hour of mass a week couldn't save me. Demons are after me!! I took the initiative and at about 12 years old I opened up the bible WILLFULLY. I read genesis, gee this book is big, so I skipped to the gospels.

      I looooooved reading what Jesus had to say.

      But I didn't see any of it in church. I couldn't figure it out, I didn't understand, but there was something reallllllly fucked up about church. I also suspected that Jesus' words were completely misunderstood.

      Around this time something spontaneously happened. I was playing with my toys when suddenly I had an ego-collapse. I KNEW that I am not the identity. I knew I am not my thoughts. Not my feelings. Not my memories. Not my likes or dislikes. Not my name. Not my face. Not my personality. I even knew I wasn't female. I was no gender.

      And then I asked, if I am not my identity, who am I? Who am I?

      I only got one answer. I am. And I started to giggle because in that moment I knew what this meant.....I was G-NOOOOOOOO. I shook my head and said my name until I could accept my human identity as me.

      High school. My sister is fighting with her boyfriend. As a fundie, he thinks women are sinners and should be subordinate to men, and only men can serve as priests. The next year of my life was an emotional roller-coaster. It was the 90s and there were so many websites about this issue, the role of women in church, why Jesus only had male apostles, Mary Magdalene. Reading those christian websites and what the bible says about women tore my heart out.

      I was angry and horrified. I cried many nights because my own church rejects me. I hated church and church hated me. But I still held on to Jesus. And I thought, why don't I just fuckin ask Jesus myself!

      I prayed to Jesus and asked for an answer, show me it, lead me to it. What am I not understanding? And I told Jesus, I would accept the answer you give me - even if its something I don't want to hear. I just wanted to know.

      Within the next year my entire catholic bubble burst!! A great synchronicity led me to the strangest and most bizarre sources of information for questions I didn't even remember asking. I became obsessed with reading about all things spiritual from a wide range of sources. The world of new age poured into my mind. (And back in the 90s angelic experiences was really in.)

      One source of information led to another, each one left me wanting more. Until finally I reached the NDE research website. In the course of one week I read thousands of experiences and was blown away.

      I had come full circle and was led right back to where I started. A nature God, present in all life including me. Simple, so simple. It was only then that I learned about the dead sea scrolls and the gospel of Magdalene, a female apostle of Christ. My question was answered, thanx Jesus you rock.

      I was a freshman in college and finally accepted I could no longer call myself catholic!!! Now what? It was lunch time, I was in the courtyard and I saw two girls looking for someone or something. I felt bad, did they lose their purse, did a boyfriend run away? Oh well, I just continued eating but then - I could feel from the corner of my eye that they were looking at me! I looked up and they smiled, I was the person they were looking for.

      They sat next to me and their expressions were so bizarre - LUCID high and so loving, they were just out of this world!! The first girl introduced herself and her friend, who for some reason didn't speak only smiled. And she told me she wanted me to join her church. Ohhhh okay. Whatever, its the beginning of the school season and lots of bible clubs were recruiting. I was nice and took their piece of paper.

      I watched them for a while, they just looked around and then they left. What? Are they giving no one else this paper?

      I finally read the paper. And it pretty much said "Heaven is within you and so is God". There were no instructions on how to join their church. What? I hoped I would meet them at lunch the next day but I never saw them again.

      The next years of my life have been confusing, difficult, awesome, disappointing and weird. Religion which was so easy at the time left a void. While I felt intuitively that this omnipresent God is, I don't know what that means, what God means, or what I'm supposed to do with that meaning, if anything at all.

      Just this year I'm just starting to understand that everything is a part of the spiritual journey. Everything, even getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth, that's a part of it too. And everyone is on a spiritual journey because everything is of spirit and spirit is moving in time - so its on a journey. This idea that some things are spiritual and other things aren't....not true! The only question is, are you self aware of your journey?

      THANKS FOR READING. I didn't talk about dreams but they've been important too

    8. #8
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
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      ...raised Christian by very religious parents (dad's a preacher). They've both changed a lot over the years for the better, but they were quite adamant when I was growing up. Sunday school each and every week, and all that. I still remember my mom explaining to me why evolution was a wild and fanciful theory. She said it was like taking each piece of a watch apart, putting them in a shoe box, shaking it up, and opening the box to find an assembled watch. They've always been very warm and loving parents but I think this upbringing has had long-term effects on me. Teenage years were sexually frustrating because I was expected to 'just say no' until I was married, simple as that.

      So due to mounting frustrations, sexual and otherwise, at some point I just went self-contained in my thinking. I became like a submarine. I could still float about in my environment (a very Christian town in East Texas), but my thoughts were like Captain Nemo. I often felt guilty at first as my Christian understandings started to unravel. I knew that there were protocols for people in my position, I was to maintain faith through these "trials". I wondered how I would get past that great catch-all known as hell. Hell was like a dome over the city. It looms in the background and we assume that the walls are fortified. But since I had my submarine, I could go inspect the structure, just to see if it was really solid.

      The way out came to me... it was very logical and elegant. I simply incorporated my own observations into my pool of available assumptions. I invalidated a bare minimum of the assumptions I was being bound by. I confidently concluded that one does not consciously choose one's beliefs. I simply rejected that belief and action are judged by two different standards. Christian teachings on action are congruent with my moral intuition. Christian teachings on belief are not. The idea that God can understand justice that judges people for their beliefs is contradicted by my own observation. So, there's no way I can justly be condemned for not believing if I'm still basically a good person in my actions.

      The dome dissolved, the cage opened up. I had no reason to stay, no reason to go. So I went. Now I'm a bird, not a submarine. Sometimes I go back to visit my parents and everything's still the same, but completely different. It's like Stary Night with the spire-thing on the left missing.

      As a spiritual bird, I've gone many places. A chronological history of the places I've visited is not informative because destinations are completely irrelevant to the journey. It hasn't been a story that goes: oh I thought w until I realized x, and then I was y for a while but I realized z... the only relevant form of that narrative is that I was a Christian and now I'm free.
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 02-11-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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      Member petersonad's Avatar
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