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The non-religious/not-spiritual Thread

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I'm no stranger to religion and spirituality...by which I mean Catholicism Judaism, a little bit of Buddhism, even a tiny bit of Shinto, and whatever you wanna call the spiritual beliefs 12-step folks hold. Yes, my strong opinions around things spiritual/religious are biased enough, because I don't know tons about those practices not mentioned above. I was born and raised Catholic, but I hold strong views that, more often than not, contradict the views that seem to be commonly held among a vast number of, if not all Catholics. I have also had personal, first-hand experience in the 12-step arena.

My purpose in saying all this is to give anyone reading this an idea of my spiritual history so that the chances of a misunderstanding happening is lessened. I don't want anyone accusing me of saying something derogatory when I said nothing stating or implying such things. So I'll be very clear: my objective here is to speak up and claim my spot on this forum. I do not intend to hurt or put down anyone or anything. I do, however, intend to speak as freely as I can without causing others harm. So I ask before I start ranting that any issue with what I personally write here be taken up with me personally via PM first, and then with the appropriate authorities if needed. In other words, I don't want a huge ordeal made over something that is rectifiable in a less dramatic way. Thank you in advance.

So here's my thoughts on the topic of spirituality/religion (I use these terms NOT interchangeably, but if I seem to, it's only for the sake of having a convenient shorthand, so please bear with me):

In general, I have a relaxed view on the existence of god. I suppose one could call me agnostic because I don't know if there's any sort of greater entity out there or not. But that works just fine for me. I acknowledge that this perspective may not work for others out there. I can only talk about myself and my own thoughts and feelings, though.

One notable facet of my spiritual belief (or whatever you wanna call it) is that I believe STRONGLY that everything happens for a reason. I believe that there's a reason for everything, although said reason may only be realized in retrospect. I hardly ever see the purpose in something in that moment. But I do see it later.

So how does all this connect to HSV? Well, it connects because I believe that if I do in fact have HSV-2 (still waiting on the test results), I contracted it for a reason. Could be anything. But I believe that there is a reason just like how my Catholic parents believe that god exists. I choose to live without explanations when I don't believe they're relevant. And when they are relevant I handle them carefully, prepared to have to let go of one for forever, or to have to protect another ever more fiercly.

Anyway it's getting late, so I think I'll continue this post in part 2 tomorrow. Thanks for reading everyone and please reply if you'd like. :)

~ LovableBubble

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i really don't like religion especially at the mo because it plays a large part in social stigma.

i believe in hard determinism. i believe in mega slow time that the step before dictates the next step wether it is functioned by a human brain or an animal or even an object moving. and they can all effect each other. i dont believe in free will, i believe the same thing was always going to happen because the chain of events were always going to happen. doesn't make anything any easier.

i re-discovered this thing myself. i have an autistic resembling brain and my mind jumps way ahead of my actual thinking thoughts, and struggles to catch up. i fell upon this discovery as i was waking up, and my brain very very slowly was moving into gear. as it was slowly moving into gear i could anylyze my thoughts and realize that every single little thought my brain has leads to another thought which is a chain of events that was inevitable would happen and is uncontrollable.

eventually i found out that the leading ancient greek phillosophers had stumbled upon this before me :-(. but hey if i lived in different times i would be a mega important rich famous cutting edge greek phillosopher.

now im just a bum without an education.

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Hi, and thank you for the post, very thought provoking.

I've just finish reading "The Shack" by William Paul Young and whether you believe in a god or not, it's a fantastic read.

It covers the issues you raised of reasons, spirituality, acceptance and forgiveness.

PS Looking forward to reading your Part 2

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Sorry for taking so long to update; I simply lost my train of thought and didn't know what to write.

Picking up from where I left off, I believe that there's a reason for everything. Note my use of the word "reason," not "excuse." There's a difference in that a reason simply answers the question, "Why did this happen?" Excuse more so is targeted to answer the question, "Why is this event, which seems unforgivable, okay and not a big deal?" Take for example the mass suicides committed by Japanese civilians during World War II. An explanation such as, "These people committed suicide out of fear and agony, as well as out of their desire to die in an honorable way," is a reason. An explanation such as, "These people had to die in order for the Americans to realize the horrible mistake they made in participating in death and destruction," is an excuse. In my opinion, there is no excuse for death from unnatural causes, only reasons.

Anyway, reasons for everything. The mention of Japanese mass suicides above is not a coincidence. (I promise this is relevant.) I just yesterday picked up a book called Cries for Peace that's an anthology of stories told by Japanese WWII survivors. The book, although written in English, was not published in the U.S. It was published in Japan, and I can see why. If it had been published in America, chances are it would have been edited enough to make the stories seem less gruesome and America's actions seem more excusable. The purpose of publishing these stories, as told on the back cover, is not about scaring people or exaggerating these people's sense of terror in an attempt to write a horror novel.

The point of this book, in the words of the editors, is that "what has happened in the past must be remembered so that it will never be repeated...generations ignorant of war must know something of its suffering so that they can eliminate it from the earth." These stories are presented as a reminder to learn from our mistakes and then do our best to not make them again. They are presented in an attempt to remind us that we must not take our luxuries for granted. No matter how insignificant it may seem, any factor in our lives that is in any way beneficial should be appreciated because it can vanish in an instant. There are countless examples of this throughout history. Perhaps I will go into those details another time, though.

The relevance this has to the purpose of this website is this: Health is not something to be taken for granted, for it can vanish unexpectedly at any instant - and when it does, we may not even notice it. So perhaps the reason for my contracting herpes - if that is in fact what I have (I'm still waiting for the test results) - is so that I can be reminded to not take my health for granted. The pain I experienced during what seemed to be an HSV outbreak was so debilitating; I had never been so incapacitated in my life. I've been so healthy up until this point. When my health was sacrificed, appreciation began to grow in its place. In other words, I believe that my suffering served as a reminder to be grateful for my health.

That said, I don't feel grateful towards any particular entity. I don't know where the opportunity for this mental check came from, so it's hard for me to say, "Thank you, god" or something like that. It could have been all a coincidence, but it seems to fit into its place in my life just right. I don't think I've ever had a "blessing in disguise" that didn't have some sort of potential reason behind it. Coincidence? Not just unlikely. Almost impossible, to me.

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