My personal explanation of "God" and religion

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Mentally Ill
 
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 09:52 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;117977 wrote:
I kind of sympathise with where you're coming from, and agree to some extent, but I do wonder whether this will provide you (or anyone) with a roadworthy vehicle. In other words, is it just idle speculation? Among many other things, religion is transformative: it changes you. As part of what makes it useful, actually, it changes you in ways you can't imagine or possibly do yourself - because this is often what it takes to 'experience God', if that is the aim.

But you might actually define it in such a way that it seems like you're saying something about 'God', but are actually not. In which case it might not have whatever that factor, that mojo, or whatever it is, that actually makes it work. I guess you will have to decide that.



I have already experienced 'god' as I've defined it in this thread, while I was on LSD.
But again, the purpose of my post wasn't to create a religion or tell people how to find 'god' for themselves, it was to explain what I think 'god' is and why I think religion is. I'll clarify again.
'God' is the scientific notion of infinite singularity, that all is, in actuality, one.
Religion is a vehicle used to experience unity with the universe, to become one with all.
The words are poetic, but I mean this in the most literal sense of the words.
Whether you call infinite singularity God, Allah, Chi, Heaven, Bliss, or Larry, I believe the phenomenon is always exactly the same.
Christians can experience infinite singularity, Buddhists can experience it, Muslims can, Atheists can, dogs, cats and frogs can.
Our conscious brain-computers impose limitations on our comprehension of existence in a restrictive way. Experiencing 'god' is the transcendence of those limitations.
I think I'm rambling...
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:14 am
@Mentally Ill,
OK I'm with you now. I know just where you're coming from and it's a great place.

Here are some interesting and relevant links if you haven't seen them....

The Paisley Gate, by Erik Davis

Great account of the role of entheogens in spiritual awareness

Council on Spiritual Practices

Some fantastic articles on related subjects.

I presume you have read the Doors of Perception by Alduous Huxley? If not, have a look at that too.
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 03:25 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;118078 wrote:
OK I'm with you now. I know just where you're coming from and it's a great place.

Here are some interesting and relevant links if you haven't seen them....

The Paisley Gate, by Erik Davis

Great account of the role of entheogens in spiritual awareness

Council on Spiritual Practices

Some fantastic articles on related subjects.

I presume you have read the Doors of Perception by Alduous Huxley? If not, have a look at that too.


I'll have to read Doors of Perception. I just read the first article and it was great, thanks. I'll read the second when I get some time.
I'm young, (only 20) and still opening my own doors, so to speak, so the times are strange but good. Growing and changing is bizarre...
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 11 Jan, 2010 04:40 pm
@Mentally Ill,
good on you. There is much to discover.
 
JLP
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 10:32 am
@Mentally Ill,
While the use of psychedelic/hallucinogenic drugs to stimulate spiritual or religious experience is culturally ubiquitous, I would strongly caution against their use.

"Revelations" influenced by intoxication are purely illusory. When a person is tripping on acid, that individual is in a state of severe incapacitation, during which he experiences a loss in the sense of time, synesthesia, euphoria, and sharp decline in rational judgment. Doesn't really sound like a recipe for enlightenment, does it?

To be frank, the "drugs for religious purposes" argument makes more sense to me when it stems from a tribe or band that has a completely different (generally animistic) perception of the world and existence. When contemporary Westerners employ the same argument, it strikes me as a weak facade for escapism.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:32 pm
@Mentally Ill,
are you speaking from experience or prejudice? I would not advocate illegal drug use for anyone. But I'm sure that insights into the culturally-conditioned nature of conventional reality have been experienced by these means. The word 'esctacy' has an exact meaning. You might live 70 or 80 years and never see beyond or outside yourself. And you will never know what you have missed.
 
JLP
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 04:13 pm
@jeeprs,
My opinion stems from three main sources: my personal experience experimenting with psychedelics as a teenager, years' worth of various observations gleaned from watching those intoxicated whilst remaining sober myself, and a sturdy foundation of empirical data regarding how drugs affect physiological functions like neurotransmission.

What insights on the "culturally-conditioned nature of conventional reality" have been discovered from drug use that have eluded those brilliant thinkers/social commentators who never imbibed? A drug-addled individual is still confined by the nature of conventional reality; in fact, he is handicapped by his altered state. This is precisely what I assert about the illusory benefits of drug use: that the insights gained are simply a product of the chemical effects, and not of any real, applicable use.

Quote:
You might live 70 or 80 years and never see beyond or outside yourself. And you will never know what you have missed
I don't need drugs to see beyond or outside myself--Those who do strike me as small-minded at best and pitifully dependent at worst.

Also, this same argument could be made about heroin or crack. Maybe those drugs really make you see outside yourself, and by not shooting heroin you will never know what you're missing.

Where does the promise of reward (which I still maintain is illusory) become overshadowed by risk?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 07:12 pm
@Mentally Ill,
I will own up to having experiences with LSD, decades back. It was an amazing experience, I am glad I had it, and through it I gained some insights that have stayed with me to this day.

---------- Post added 01-22-2010 at 12:15 PM ----------

also never having taking opiates or cocaine, I can't comment on them, but there is a mile of documetation about the mind-expanding attributes of LSD, mescaline and peyot. It is really not woth arguing the case, everyone knows 'drugs are bad' and besides I have given up all substances, intoxicants and stimulants.
 
prothero
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 09:21 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;121690 wrote:
I will own up to having experiences with LSD, decades back. It was an amazing experience, I am glad I had it, and through it I gained some insights that have stayed with me to this day.

---------- Post added 01-22-2010 at 12:15 PM ----------

also never having taking opiates or cocaine, I can't comment on them, but there is a mile of documetation about the mind-expanding attributes of LSD, mescaline and peyot. It is really not woth arguing the case, everyone knows 'drugs are bad' and besides I have given up all substances, intoxicants and stimulants.
I would think at the very least, the altered perceptions induced by psychactive agents would give credence to the suggestion there is a difference between "the object" and our perceptions of it. A mind expanding notion in itself although just reading Kant is probably safer.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 09:22 pm
@Mentally Ill,
Kant is definitely safer, but not nearly so interesting.

Picture yourself on a boat on a river.......
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 08:49 pm
@jeeprs,
JLP, when I use drugs, it is not as an escape. LSD lowers the filter between your brain and your sensory organs. What you experience as the effects of acid is just an excess of external information coming into your brain. The reason for visual hallucinations is due to your eyes receiving more light than your brain can compute per second (or whatever rate), and so you see streaks of colors and whatnot.
The experience that LSD gives you is not going on inside your head as a result of additional dopamine, or chemical rearrangements, like for example, heroin, the experience is purely from your mind becoming more open to external information than it ever has been before.
And the revelations a person may have are not fake or illusory, they stay with you after the effects of the drug are long gone. You are still able to think rationally while tripping, and calculate and critical think, and all that good stuff.
To dismiss my experiences as a facade is naive on your part. I've felt 'god' in this life, and that's something that no amount of argument can take from me.
 
JLP
 
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 10:07 pm
@Mentally Ill,
Quote:
The experience that LSD gives you is not going on inside your head as a result of additional dopamine, or chemical rearrangements, like for example, heroin, the experience is purely from your mind becoming more open to external information than it ever has been before.
Bull. This argument is continuously raised by drug users, but attempts to obfuscate the fact that your perception of reality is chemically altered and by all measurable standards impaired on a number of levels. Your subjective interpretation of a mind "more open to external information" is unverifiable and in all likeliness utterly contrary to empirical fact. Of course, if you have case studies or other data that tend to support your assertion, I'm open to changing my stance.

Quote:
You are still able to think rationally while tripping, and calculate and critical think, and all that good stuff.
You're joking, right? How can one maintain rational and critical thought when one's brain and sensory perceptions are severely impaired? I'd love to observe a debate (philosophical or otherwise) wherein a person on acid is using his "more open," rational mind to intellectually tromp a greatly-disadvantaged sober thinker. :whistling:

Quote:
And the revelations a person may have are not fake or illusory, they stay with you after the effects of the drug are long gone.
So do the feelings inspired by a good novel or a powerful dream. That does not make the events of a dream "real" in the same sense as we define the reality of waking life.

Quote:
I've felt 'god' in this life, and that's something that no amount of argument can take from me.
I'm not trying to argue away your experiences or your belief in "god," whatever that means to you. However, if your belief-forming experience occurred while on a hallucinogenic drug (one which has a known side-effect of inducing precisely the experience you describe!), don't expect anyone to accept your position with anything other than a heap of salt.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 11:21 pm
@Mentally Ill,
especially if their mind is already 100% made up in advance of anything you could say.

Never mind, Mentally Ill, I believe you, but I also reckon that one day you will need to figure out how to stabilize this perception in your actual life without recourse to substances. Otherwise there is a chance, admittedly small, that you could live up to your handle.
 
Owen phil
 
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 06:48 am
@Mentally Ill,
Mentally Ill,
To dismiss my experiences as a facade is naive on your part. I've felt 'god' in this life, and that's something that no amount of argument can take from me.

Nonsense, your misinterpretation of what you 'felt' has nothing to do with reality.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 06:53 am
@Mentally Ill,
we all believe there should be a god, but do we need religion?
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 01:26 pm
@Mentally Ill,
I am very interested in the subject. I did experience pychosis with those thoughts. I started reading about it and it's quite common to have religious hallucinations or visions. Religions change, people worship the same god by different names. On a day-to-day basis I am more of a humanist and think of god as too magnificent to understand fully.
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 10:16 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;122315 wrote:
especially if their mind is already 100% made up in advance of anything you could say.

Never mind, Mentally Ill, I believe you, but I also reckon that one day you will need to figure out how to stabilize this perception in your actual life without recourse to substances. Otherwise there is a chance, admittedly small, that you could live up to your handle.


I don't need drugs to continue living with this viewpoint. I've already learned everything I can from LSD. At this point in my life, I just take it to have fun.


JLP...the mind being more open while on LSD is actually one of the only verifiable effects of LSD that's even been studied. LSD also has drastically different effects at different doses. There are videos of BBC interviews of one of their reporters while he's on a low dose of LSD. They asked him questions about geography, math, grammar, etc... and he was able to answer the (simple) questions perfectly and hold a conversation with the interviewer. I think you're probably confusing a high dose trip (usually highly hallucinogenic and overpowering) with a more laid back experience. I'm telling you from personal experience that you can retain your ability to critically think while on LSD. If you take too much LSD, you can go utterly crazy too.

But, look people, I didn't create this thread to talk drug ethics, I created it to discuss my personal explanation of the 'god' phenomenon.
So, I am going to stop explaining my drug use to the naysayers because it's really far from the topic at hand.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 10:58 pm
@Mentally Ill,
I don't suppose you have ever heard of Richard Alpert, a.k.a Ram Das? He was Timothy Leary's partner but parted company and headed East. He wrote Be Here Now in the late 60's which was a classic of the genre (i.e. hippies in search of enlightenment.) Had a big impact on many in my generation.

Albert Hoffman, who discovered LSD in the 40's, lived until he was 102, and remained an advocate until he died. That was only a year or two ago.

As for me, I have long since had to abandon that particular route to fun - probably some time before you were born I would guess. But the memory lingers on. Now I get my kicks by seeing if I can enjoy not having any.

Anyway see if you can get your hands on Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream by Lee Stevens. Great read. Also be sure to check out www.ramdass.org.

Be well.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 01:00 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;116480 wrote:


But even if the universe was "one," it is a natural universe and most conceptions of deity place it outside of the natural universe. So then there is the universe and then there is God: TWO.


And then there was the Word Go to get us moving: THREE:whistling:
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:23 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
"So then there is the universe and then there is God: TWO."

This is a complete misunderstanding of what I'm saying...
I don't think 'god' exists. 'God' is just a notion, outdated terminology, used to describe the phenomenon of all things actually being one thing.
There is no 'god' deity. We are in this by ourselves, nothing watching over us, nothing all powerful, all knowing. That's not what I'm talking about when I say the word 'god'.
I'm just using the word 'god' to describe this phenomenon. I prefer to call it 'infinite singularity' actually.
I think that when people think they've spoken to 'god', they've briefly experienced complete open mindedness momentarily and have felt the infinite singularity.
 
 

 
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