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Thread: What constitutes authentic spiritual expression?

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Bozeman, MT AWW YEAH
    Quote Originally Posted by Charley Brown View Post
    I just want to sparkle in the sunlight.

    On a serious note if the people in question feel that some fool story (modern or ancient) fulfills something in their lives then more power to them.

    It is my position to point at them and laugh.

    My wife is my goddess. She is real, warm, curvy, beautiful and right here.


    "There are many intelligent species in the universe. Some are owned by cats." Anonymous
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  2. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I get stuck on this acceptable and authentic line of thinking.
    Acceptable and authentic to whom?
    Who cares what another thinks.
    All that matters is whatever your ideals are, that you approve of them!
    If someone truly feels that Barney the Dino is a god or something to be worshiped, believed in, or/and whatever, more power to them! If they approve of their ideal thats all that should matter.

    Its not my place to say what feels real, right, authentic, or acceptable to another nor to judge ideals of the metaphysical even if those ideals started on the side of a cereal box!

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma View Post
    I canít help but wonder what makes a valid individual spirituality.

    Iíve seen so many people say that Christian Pagans should be left alone, that Faery traditions should be left alone, but they can be the first ones out to ridicule more recent spiritual paths such as Jedi, Twilight and the people who might treat Elvis as a god... calling these people sadly deluded fans.

    My problem with this is that I do not see what it is we're using as a measuring stone for what is an acceptable personal spirituality or not. I'm an atheist, which means I have no belief in Gods or Goddesses. I see them all as psychological constructs.
    The only difference I see here is the number of followers and how long a mythology has been around.

    Is that the only difference? More people believed in the Greek Pantheon, so that myth is more acceptable than the fiction about the Cullens?
    More people believe that Jesus rose from the dead, so the myths about Elvis aren't true because more people believed in the Jesus myth?
    Or is it because of the age of the myths?
    That they've been around for so long?

    I'm extremely fascinated by what is an acceptable spirituality and what is not. Because the message seems to be that you can't criticize someone for mixing already accepted myths however they want. Because it's a healthy and authentic expression of individual spirituality. But if you chose, personally to have "The Cullens" as your personal pantheon, you're deluded and sad?
    Where do you draw the line?

    Jedi seems to be very similar to Pantheism., just with a spin.
    The Twilight as a pantheon seems to be just as diverse as a lot of older pantheons.

    If you accept one, and demand others accept one, but then you don't accept the other yourself... why is that?

    And why is it okay for one person to consider "Twilight" an unacceptable expression of spirituality, to make fun of those who do and then turn around and get highly offended if an atheist laughs at their spirituality?

    Once again... where do we draw the line of what is and what isn't an authentic spiritual expression?
    Excellent post Njorun Alma! I really am impressed, not because it came from you but that it is coming up period!

    Okay I don't know about anyone else as I only have a very few minutes so I didn't take the time to read what anyone else said so if I repeat anyone my apologies I am just going to shoot from the heart here on my take.

    There is and should be no difference. All the old mythologies were at one time current stories.

    To me a genuine spirituality is one that is based on anything that helps a person get closer to their idea of divinity and spirituality. Now this being said that does not mean I think young kids should be trying to be vampire-like but honestly that could be my own predjudice (sp?) speaking.

    Living in a fantasy is one thing using current fiction as a tool to help one get closer to their perception of God or divinity is something else. The difference is in believing that Edward Cullen and the gang were anything more than imaginary characters in a book and upholding the ideals and principals that the Cullens stood for (or the werewolves if you are team Jacob. ).

    This to me is the difference and while most people of say the Jedi faith don't believe that Yoda was anything more than a muppet in real life that doesn't mean his teachings were any less valid. However I think that not allowing Anakin or other young Jedis to have any real emotional attatchments was a huge mistake and that is what ultimately led Anakin to the darkside. My theory on this is because without love, without that very necessary connection to others we lose ourselves. That is my theory anyway.

    Blessed Be! And really awesome post!

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    In Love
    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma View Post
    Is the question really about intent though, or is it about personal spiritual expression?

    If someone decides that they wish to follow a spiritual path close to that of the Jedi, is it the intent of the creator of the fiction or the intent of the individual that matters?

    For me, I don't see that big of a difference. I think all paths are constructed around fiction. If we were to unearth proof that any of the widely accepted Pagan pantheons were in fact just meant as fiction to begin with, would that make the people who worship said pantheons less spiritually authentic?

    A work of fiction is quite often based on dreams, on ideas and sometimes even on actual humans. Much like I would imagine the myths of old were.

    I suppose it might be because I am an atheist that the ideas baffle me. I seem to be missing what is okay to make fun of and what isn't. What's okay to deem as invalid and what isn't.

    There are plenty of holy texts that began as tales designed to express morality, which is at the foundation of a lot plain fictional literature. They also had a good dosage of cultural commentary, just like modern fiction.

    If I write a piece of fiction with a made up pantheon in it filled of moral stories, is it a spiritual text or is it plain fiction? Are we giving the authors intent the power of deciding what is valid or not?
    And if we do, why aren't the same rules applied to the mixing and blending of spiritual paths, such as the Christo-Pagan paths?
    To me it's about the intent of the person. If a person finds philosophical ideals or principles with merit that guide them through their spirituality who am I to deny where that inspiration for their spirituality is derived.

    I think we are in an era now where we are really beginning to understand how EASY it is to fabricate spirituality to fit our world view and understanding. So we are writing the rules as we go along.

    I personally find quite a few great ideals in the Star Wars universe. Then again I often rip on George for borrowing from all the cultures of earth to make his world. The parallels can be staggering so am I really buying into something George fabricated or am I just hearing those principles in a format more pleasing to me rather than in an antiquated holy books of ancient cultures?

    To touch on your statements about why one may be more valid than the other, I tend to think of it coming from a place where the person has to put down anything they perceive as competing with their own ideals as to accept them might invalidate their own beliefs. It's a very black and white mindset vs one with shades of gray. If yours is valid than mine must not be and therefore when you tell me you find spirituality in Twilight and I say Jedi than one must not be true ergo you must be implying that my spirituality is wrong.
    Last edited by HetHert; January 31st, 2011 at 08:43 PM.

    "Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain

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  5. #55
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Anoka, MN


    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKitten View Post
    I know you and I don't seem to agree on much, but I wanted to comment on this. My husband falls into the group of people you mention. I swear, he could ask God to set a bush on fire, and if it happened, he'd say it was coincidence. Same with seeing ghosts/spirits/etc. We, together, have seen things... odd things. He just flat out refuses to believe they happened, and continues on business as usual. A deity could appear before him, answer his deepest questions, and he'd say it was just a dream (or possibly that he had a fever). I believe that my husband is protected by a thick bubble of denial.
    I tend to agree with you that if someone refuses to aknowledge that there is a spirit world, dispite evidence to the contrary, he probably does have a bubble of denial (to use your words). For this I would just ask: Is it possible you really did see/hear/experience what you are trying to say was just a dream/haluscination/etc.? If the denial continued by them saying that's not possible, then I would just ask that they ask themselves to explore that question, letting their spirit/soul guide them.
    I also believe this is a highly personal issue, and each person interprets their spirituality and the things around them differently, usually drawing on their own spirits (souls if you prefer), and their personal life experiences and family teachings.
    I will give you an example from my own life.
    When I was young (about 16 or 17), I had been seeing spirits for about 6 or 7 years, but dared not say anything for fear of being labeled (by my mother) as being "nuts". I just kept my mouth shut, denied it, until one night, a friend took me to his family's home, asked me to go get something from his room for him. I returned (according to him) whiter than a ghost, and feeling sick to my stomach. He let my stomach recover, then went down with me, the same thing happened, he asked me what I was "feeling", I told him "I can't go there, barely pointing to the door. He told me I picked up on the room where (what he previously neglected to tell me) his brother was violently murdered. I shared with him that according to my mother this is not possible. He shared with me that spirits do exist, and that some people (like me), are very sensitive to them, then asked me to at least consider the possibility. Strange things like this have happened to me all my life, and continue to this day. I actually have learned to admit to my spiritual side of me, even if it isn't the same path as others around me might be on.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Circe3 View Post
    I'm not one to begrudge whatever a touches a persons soul but twilight... well it's message is not good. I find the thing about spirituality or religions is that they have good intentions, it's about being the best you and helping others. Twilight doesn't even come close.

    As for worshipping a musician, I for one think music can be very spiritual but a musician is human and I just can't see myself worshipping another human being. I mean a person can learn a lesson from knowing what happened to Elvis perhaps make sure they don't travel the same path and perhaps look up to certain aspects of him but worshipping goes beyond that.

    I just don't think any human deserves worship but that's me.
    I'd have to respectfully disagree with that. The Romans were pretty good at making their Emperors into minor gods, and the Greeks had Herakles and Perseus. It did happen historicly, and I think it's legitamate in that kind of context. Perhaps Elvis is the "numen" of Rock n Roll? Or for me, as a trek fan, I could totally see Roddenberry as the "numen" of science fiction. More like a catholic saint, not really a "god" in the sense of Jove or Odin or Shiva. Of course, taken to the logical extreme, that would technically make Ronald Reagan the "numen" of modern American Neoconservatism. I don't have a problem with that, but YMMV.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Ozarks ... In the woods
    If you have to name it you ain't got it.

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