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Author Topic: I need some help figuring out my beliefs  (Read 1381 times)

shadowtalon

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I need some help figuring out my beliefs
« on: June 19, 2013, 11:30:35 pm »
I know one shouldn't get hung up on labels, but I love them (esp w/r/t sexuality) because they can help clarify and contextualize one's experiences. I recently started reading about paganism and identified with a lot of the beliefs I read about and am having this little stumbling block...

First off, I really am an atheist, or at least an agnostic. I don't believe in a god. The word god has so many connotations that are unattractive to me personally (the idea of deities doesn't appeal to me, and how the word "god" is used in culture in general just gives me bad vibes).

However, the word "divine" or "divinity" does appeal to me. I like the idea that nature is divinity and the basis of my spirituality and spiritual energy (not necessarily "god," whatever that means) and that's the main reason paganism is attractive to me. However, the idea that nature is the divine would make one a theist, right? Unless the word "divine" can be used in both a theistic or atheistic context? What are your thoughts?

I thought the word pantheism kind of fit, but I'm more into the idea that nature and natural processes are the divine, rather than everything (including stuff people made) is divine. Is there a word for believing that nature is divine? Also, pantheism and atheism as definitions are not compatible, and I'm more inclined towards atheism.

For some background, I have had various psychedelic AND sober meditative experiences in which I felt "the oneness." I felt my ego dissolve and realized that everything is really one and that everything is connected. That's where I got the idea that nature and natural things (like people and their consciousnesses) are what are divine.

Also, I'm not sure if it would be really paganism to be a very spiritual atheist would believes nature is... spiritually important. It seems like some sort of vague pagan-ish belief but I don't see how it's different from atheism exactly.

I don't want to let go of my atheism because I really don't believe there is a god or anything we can call god, but I consider myself very spiritual and I do believe in some sort of natural force (the oneness) that science can't fully explain. I'm not sure where I'm going with this exactly, but if anyone could provide some sort of advice, direction, or personal experience that would help, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

CoraFrost

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Re: I need some help figuring out my beliefs...
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 07:26:23 am »
Quote from: shadowtalon;113076
I'm not sure where I'm going with this exactly, but if anyone could provide some sort of advice, direction, or personal experience that would help, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

 
So I'm kind of a newbie here, but I wanted to say that I hear and understand the concept of being attracted to the notion of the "divine" and it's presence in creation.  As you say, "the oneness" is something that connects us all (and nature).  There are plenty of spiritual paths that recognize a similar 'beingness' -- my husband, for example, believes much as you do.  His is most closely associated with Zen Buddhist principles that does not include "intelligent design" or a deity per say, but some uniting principle.  

Although I'm not one for online quizzes taken seriously, http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx may actually help you get a starting point for some traditions that believe similar elements that you believe.  

Best of luck to you, Seeker.
I\'m a white witch... but only between Memorial and Labor Day. ;)

Snowdrop

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Re: I need some help figuring out my beliefs...
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 08:53:27 am »
Quote from: shadowtalon;113076
I thought the word pantheism kind of fit, but I'm more into the idea that nature and natural processes are the divine, rather than everything (including stuff people made) is divine. Is there a word for believing that nature is divine? Also, pantheism and atheism as definitions are not compatible, and I'm more inclined towards atheism.

 
Well, some forms of pantheism are essentially atheistic --- i.e. if everything's divine, then there's no real, clearly defined God.  You might also look into animist philosophies, though, in which everything in nature has a soul.

Materialist

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Re: I need some help figuring out my beliefs...
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 03:26:06 pm »
Quote from: Snowdrop;113111
Well, some forms of pantheism are essentially atheistic.


This is my guess as to what path you're on shadowtalon. Also called spiritual naturalism. I've heard of pagan humanism, too. You can also look up the World Pantheist Movement, this where I ended up, anyway.

Idho

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Re: I need some help figuring out my beliefs...
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 05:03:14 pm »
Quote from: shadowtalon;113076
However, the word "divine" or "divinity" does appeal to me. I like the idea that nature is divinity and the basis of my spirituality and spiritual energy (not necessarily "god," whatever that means) and that's the main reason paganism is attractive to me. However, the idea that nature is the divine would make one a theist, right? Unless the word "divine" can be used in both a theistic or atheistic context? What are your thoughts?

 
This also makes me think of animism, the belief that everything in nature is spiritual. Might be interesting for you to look up.

shadowtalon

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Re: I need some help figuring out my beliefs...
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2013, 05:55:04 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;113150
This is my guess as to what path you're on shadowtalon. Also called spiritual naturalism. I've heard of pagan humanism, too. You can also look up the World Pantheist Movement, this where I ended up, anyway.

 
Thank you, everyone, for the guidance! This has made me feel a lot better about my path and given me lots of new stuff to read up on. Spiritual naturalism seems to be what's the most accurate for me currently, but I'll definitely look into them all, especially the quiz. Stumbling block cleared. I'm glad to see that atheism and pantheism can indeed be compatible.

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