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Re: What is the Spirit?

Posted: 11 May 2016, 07:05
by West
Interesting thought. I think it has something to do with confidence. ... If we feel more confident with where we currently stand in the eyes of god then we may feel more confident that god is speaking to us.
For some reason, that really clicked something in my thought process. I don't know how to articulate it, but it seemed to make the issue in my mind a little clearer. Confidence has an incredibly effect on perception, and when we think we are following all the rules, our confidence increases. Thanks a lot.
Now, I have felt completely void of the spirit at times in my life when I have just been angry, acted "violently"...
The more I've listened to people's experiences, particularly experiences if those who left the church or those in other churches, there's a common thread in that negative emotions shut down whatever the Spirit is and positive emotions bring it out. I assume that has something to do with how the brain is wired to process anger; it bypasses reason and logic, which likely plays into the perception of the Spirit talking to us (or otherwise as you said, the anger bypasses the part of our brain associated with "good judgement).

On another entirely not scientific note, I sometimes aimlessly wonder if the Spirit is a single individual (God) or a group of individuals characertized as one body (like loved ones who have passed on).

Thanks, all, for helping me through this thought process with your own thoughts.

Re: What is the Spirit?

Posted: 11 May 2016, 10:05
by Heber13
West wrote:How do you, post-FC, reconcile any past experiences with the Spirit with your current beliefs?
Of course, my path is my own and differs from others...I didn't have a crisis as much as a transition because of events happening around me that didn't support my prior faith view which was limited, but now that I've transitioned to new ideas and beliefs...I don't find a need to go back and re-write my prior experiences. What was real to me at the time, is a part of me and my life. God spoke to me as a missionary, there were things I said and did that I didn't realize others needed...and at the time I felt God worked through my efforts.

I don't see a need to revisit and redefine it.

My focus is on today and the now...and I am open to having those experiences again possibly, but I don't see it the same, and so since faith proceed miracles, and my faith is different, I suspect I won't be having those experiences again. I have good experiences now with connecting to other people and meeting their needs or saying kind words. I think the source of it is different than what I thought when I was younger. But in many ways, not so different, or not meaningfully different. In the end, I still try to connect with others.

Re: What is the Spirit?

Posted: 11 May 2016, 14:25
by Curt Sunshine
West wrote:How do you, post-FC, reconcile any past experiences with the Spirit with your current beliefs?


Like Heber13, I don't try to "reconcile" anything. I have evolved, and what was real previously still is real in hindsight. My view of reality simply has changed since then - and, hopefully, I will say the same in twenty years about my current experiences.

I try to understand myself and my faith better and more clearly on an on-going basis, but dismissing previous experiences is something I'm not interested in doing. There are a few experiences I still can't explain away logically or intellectually, no matter how hard I try, so I don't try.

Also, dismissing previous experiences often leads to dismissing other people and their experiences, and that result does not appeal to me.

Re: What is the Spirit?

Posted: 11 May 2016, 15:30
by West
I don't find a need to go back and re-write my prior experiences. What was real to me at the time, is a part of me and my life.
I sometimes get stuck in that stage where I reassess and try to explain away and discount past experiences. It never occurred to me that it's okay to accept them as real to my past self...it's progress without throwing past self under the bus or dismissing the significance and effect these past experiences had. Thanks for that.
Also, dismissing previous experiences often leads to dismissing other people and their experiences, and that result does not appeal to me.
I've noticed that with some atheists who have left religions. Atheism itself can be empowering, but sometimes the people who ascribe to it, like any belief system, discount the things that seem opposite. And I never want to be at that dismissive point, so that's a great thought, thanks for sharing. I've always loved that level of supernatural/spiritual unknown and faith.

Re: What is the Spirit?

Posted: 11 May 2016, 15:50
by Heber13
West wrote:.it's progress without throwing past self under the bus or dismissing the significance and effect these past experiences had
You might also consider that you might not be able to be where you are now, questioning and doubting and looking at things in a broader more mature way, if you did not first have the experiences of your past.

In a progression of things, we can build off the past. Those experiences are part of who you are today. Perhaps only to show you now that you are growing. If you did not have a standard to compare it to, you wouldn't know that you are doing great, and humbly, can see you have so much more changing to do going forward.

If I go back to my prior experiences, I can still draw deep meaning to the impacts they had on me and others. They become stories like personal scripture to me, that even if I don't see them as literal from my perspective today, are symbolic and mythical and of great value to me on how I feel and how I connect to the universe.

I don't think I could view them on a deeper level, had I not first believed them as I did back then.