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#76600 - 07/29/02 03:12 PM not so much spirituality as philosophy for me
BlueOne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 27
I've been reading everybody's posts about their spiritual paths and I think it's cool that there are so many different ideas of diety/religion and whatever here. I'm an agnostic, which means that I don't think that the existence of God or a higher spiritual power can be either proved or disproved, so there's no point in arguing either side.

When I was in rehab spirituality was kind of forced down my throat, since they took the N.A. twelve-step path. I never got past surrendering myself to a higher power, since how can I surrender to something that may or may not be there? I was 14 at the time, so I couldn't really articulate my thoughts and everybody thought I was just being difficult.

Anyway, I'm kind of an existentialist. I say kind of, because it's such a broad term. I'm not an individualistic Christian existentialist like Kirekegaard, though in a way I kind of understand him saying that even though there's no proof you just have to let yourself fall into faith. Never worked for me, though.

For me, it's more that we exist, the world exists, but there's no meaning in existence except what the individual chooses to give it. And, since nothing can be explained and there is no meaning, life has to be seen as absurd.

Other people seem to think this is depressing, but I don't. Yeah, there's a bit of despair in it, but I'm comfortable with that.

As far as how this shapes how I think about my abuse, it's really been freeing to be honest. Instead of "why?" "why me?" I just know that the abuse was irrational. I didn't deserve it. It just happened. It was terrible and there's no explaination--it's absurd.

And, since the only meaning there is is what we construct through our actions, I have control of what the meanings of things are for me. Through free will, I've chosen that my actions will determine that my life *does* have meaning, to me at least, and that for me it's mainly centered around living a good life, being kind, being honest.

It was hard when I started believing this, because you have to take responsibility for all your actions. You can't say, "Oh, this was out of my control," because you always have a choice. Even refusing to choose is a choice. So it was hard accepting responsibility for myself, but now that I have it's empowering and liberating and I've escaped from the trap of victimhood that I was in and have become a survivor, instead.

#76601 - 08/01/02 10:08 PM Re: not so much spirituality as philosophy for me
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
You seem to have a great integrity in your thinking about these matters, Blue One. What an individual chooses has always impressed me, as well.
The absurdity of violations always bothered me. I wasn't able to simply tag it that way. Nevertheless, recognizing what is and isn't under my control has also been pretty key. Victimhood as a choice also has been an empowering choice. My awareness of it's presence got started with my concern about the environment, when I recognized that violations like at Love Canal were being perpetrated, and that people in general who have lots of power have used it many times to hurt others.
Others, it turns out, have used it to help others.
It has often perplexed me when some people flaunt religion and use it to invalidate other traditions.
You say you're an existentialist, and believe in absurdities. That inspired Camus to write The Plague and other books, didn't it. And others, like that play, No Exit.
Have you heard of William Glass' choice theory? He has written some books over the years as a psychiatrist. The article on Corning in the Current events section is about his view and a town that's trying to apply it.

#76602 - 08/17/02 08:54 AM Re: not so much spirituality as philosophy for me
Broken Offline

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
I have been into philosphy for a while. Religion and philosophy are like the difference between telling people what to believe and discussing what our perceptions lead us to believe. That is why i dont really like religion. I read some thing socrates wrote, he was pretty cool. He was a mason, but he would actually walk up to people and sometimes even pay them to have a discussion with them about things. He was smart too, but he was a bit of a wise ass, which i liked. \:\) The thing that really got me is how even though he was going to be executed and his followers would have broken him out of jail, he choose to commit suicide as an act of defiance against ignorence. He is kind of my philospohic hero. I think a lot like he did, and it felt good to be able to relate so well with someone who everybody holds in such mysticism.

It is strange, but there is actually more evidence that jesus was a sort of guerilla fighter, not a peacefull messiah. After his death, most people thought he would come back to reap vengeance. It didnt become populalr opinion that he would bring peace until hundreds of years after he died. There is a picture of jesus riding a horse and brandishing a flaming sword. It is also recorded that he entered a jewish temple and started to thrash it. It is in this book i read, called cows, pigs, wars, and witches. I am not completely secular, because life itself requires faith to believe in, but that is all you need to believe in. I think, therefore i am.


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