I'll tell you right up front that I'm an Atheist. However, I have had spiritual events in my life too and it's part of what makes everything so complicated. Not that I think "maybe God is real" or anything, but more like a gravitation toward the spiritual, even if there is no divine source (my perspective). I was once talking to an Atheist friend about why people believe in miracles (he was dismissive of faith). I mentioned that when I was a missionary in Latin America, that I had experiences that I couldn't explain. He was incredulous and shot back, "C'mon, you don't believe in that stuff!" My point hadn't been about my beliefs, but about why people believe. He was so closed to it that he couldn't allow that people could see things in ways that he couldn't.Rob4Hope wrote: I have had spiritual events happen in my life that are unmistakable. I have felt things reach across the veil and touch me in various ways, and I've seen the affects.
Regarding the Fowler's Stages, I personally find limited value there. Others like them, memorize them, make their kids recite them on Family Night, do stenciling of them in their family rooms. I have zero problem with that, and if they work for you, great. I do think there is a tiny bit of danger in trying to label ourselves and others with broad-brush generalizations. Each person is different and has different circumstances and drivers. I've been an Atheist since the Bill Clinton Era, but I still take the sacrament with my right hand and don't drink tea. From a 2012 thread:
On Own Now wrote:I'm not totally bought into the "stages of faith". I find much that is accurate there, but it's an awfully broad brush, and I find a bit of dissonance in the idea of labeling where each of us finds ourselves in the transition. It also leads to a false sense that progression from the stages is both akin to maturity or evolved state, as well as an inevitability. So, it's definitely interesting, and I can see my vague image reflected in it, but it's hardly a roadmap. There are many people who exhibit aspects of several of the stages at once... others who move in the reverse direction, others who skip stages in their entirety, others who never move from one stage to another once they reach adulthood.