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Narcolepsy And Religion/philosophy


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#1 DeathRabbit

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:45 PM

I thought it might be interesting to discuss how N affects our viewpoints on our religious convictions and the philosophies by which we live. I, myself, am mostly Christian (although many would find my ideas heretical), but Atheists, Pagans, or whoever can feel free to jump in as well. Only rule is don't hate on other people.

 

Guess I'll start with the obvious, and say that having a chronic illness sort of puts a pointed tip on the Problem of Pain/Evil. It's easy to give off platitudes like "God works in mysterious ways" and "God can use any evil for good" when it's not you that's in the hotseat. But when your looking down the barrel yourself, it's pretty easy to lose hope. Perhaps, I'm just crazy, but I felt God watching for most of my life, kinda like the feeling someone was perennially reading over my shoulder. Lately, however, I just feel like I'm in an empty universe though. Anybody identify with that feeling? There's been more than a few times where I've gotten drunk and shook my fist at the sky "What in the hell did I do that was so wrong that I deserve this?!"



#2 Mmartens3

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:27 PM

Ok so my view is this: As a born again believer, my hope mainly comes from the fact that I will be with God forever in eternity and saved from damnation. I have repented of my sins and placed my hope in Christ as the payment on the cross for my sins. So i can have joy and peace knowing that i have heaven as a reward and that i am not enslaved to my sin any longer.

So does this mean I will have no longer have suffering on this earth and have prosperity? Of course not. If I signed up for Christianity to have health, wealth, and prosperity, I would have given up on it already! I think we can let God teach us in our suffering and allow Him to give us some hope that even in our pain we can still find joy and peace.

Every morning when I wake up I pray and ask God to give me a good day. If I have a good day I praise him. If I don't, I say "well there's always tomorrow. And every morning I wake up I thank Him for a new day.. "

Now with that said, I have definitely questioned God before asking "why?" And I have suffered from depression. I don't think Christians are immune to these things.

#3 oneplustwins

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:15 PM

First off, I'm an Atheist, so if that effects anyone's opinion, here it is now.  :)

 

I 'stopped' believing a while back, but having the issues I am having now, I would say it has made me question it more.  Like, if there were a God, why would people go through these sorts of things, and worse?  Why would someone have to feel so tired all the time, on top of other disorders they have that cause pain, so much that it makes them wonder why they are even alive?  

 

Maybe it's just me, I don't know.  Sure, good things have happened to me too, and people tell me the bad things were tests from God, or such things as that.  Sorry, I don't buy it.

 

So I just look at my husband and children.  They're who I need to get me by.



#4 DeathRabbit

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:35 PM

@oneplus-I'm coming back from a stint as an agnostic, but even when I was a good little church boy, I never quite bought that either. My official explanation for why bad stuff happens is, hell if I know. Now that's not to say you can't learn stuff from hard times; I think the trust fund kiddies of our generation have taught us that getting life on a sliver platter is one of the worst possible things that can happen to a person. And one does learn a lot from their mistakes But at the same time, I can honestly say I was a better person before N. The symptoms themselves mute my empathy and give me a short fuse. And there's *BEEP* goes down in this world that makes us all look like whiners on here. What's the purpose for it all? For all the good and the bad? Who knows. Maybe some silly semantic bullcrap about how good cant exist without evil.

 

@Mmartens- I'm glad that your faith gives you such strength. You actually remind me of someone I very much admire and respect IRL.



#5 munky

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:16 AM

:excl: I'll start by warning y'all that I'm a pagan. If that bothers any of you, stop reading here. :excl:

 

So, as a pagan, I don't believe in the concept of 'sin' as something a god-figure tells me I'm not allowed to do. I do believe in a higher power, and I believe that, as humans, none of us are equipped to fully understand that higher power. I see all the gods--Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, whatever--as being the same higher power ... but, being incapable of fully grokking it, we focus, instead on some aspect of it that is defined by the filters of our cultures, our upbringing, and our personal beliefs.

 

In my case, that means a plethora of gods, each of them representing some aspect of that higher power--hearth & home, healing, knowledge, wisdom, war, death, birth, crops, forests, domesticated animals, wild animals, creativity & inspiration, crafting ... there's a god-figure for everything, but none of them visit eternal punishments on a person for doing wrong. That's one aspect of Christianity that I never understood, despite going to church every week--and even spending a year in Catholic school--until I was 16. I never understood why anyone would want to dedicate their lives to any being who did something that seems so ... petty and vengeful. Please understand, I am not trying to talk smack about the Christian version of god and I mean no offense. I am only trying to explain how the teachings of the church came across to me.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, my gods will punish a person for doing wrong, but the punishment happens now, in this life, and has an end--like when a child breaks the rules and gets grounded, only ... well, worse--and is the result of intentional, malicious wrongs. If I steal a loaf of bread because I'm starving, the gods don't punish me for it. If I steal a loaf of bread because I'm angry at the person to whom it belongs, I'll be punished for it--starving or not.

 

I'm not sure if I'm making sense or not, but my point is this: a chronic illness, like Narcolepsy, is not a punishment or a test from my gods. They will help me if I ask it of them, and ask for the right reasons. They will punish me if I deserve it. Other than that, they don't interfere in my life one way or another--they've got more important things to do than look down and say, "Hmm, Kendra's had it too easy lately. Let's give her Narcolepsy!"

 

Rather, chronic illnesses are simply ... bad luck. Our bodies are, in essence, biological machines. Things go wrong with machines all the time, and sometimes you can't tell why, even if you take it completely apart and put it back together. A chronic illness, then, is just a malfunction we have to learn to live with. How we do that may attract the attention of the gods. If we do especially well and manage to brighten the lives of those we touch despite all our own troubles, the gods will shower us with blessings. If we turn angry and violent and do harm to those we touch, our own lives will crumble under the touch of the gods--unless and until we turn it around.



#6 DeathRabbit

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:30 PM

So I guess that's what they call Neo-Pagan I suppose?



#7 Starbuck

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:15 PM

I think it would be an incredible love story to find out in the end that God tried to reach everyone through all religions. That said, I am a Christian.

To first address the presence of "evil" and "sin", I believe that there is only good and a lack of good to varying degrees. The philosopher St. Augustine wrote about this and I think it makes a lot of sense.

Reading The Shack helped me a lot in revealing and dealing with anger I had towards God. It's not necessarily a God-inspired book but I believe that God can use things to reach out to people. In the book talks about how we just things is good or bad but like the man in the story who kidnapped and killed a child, that was the result of things that had happened to him when he was a child, So do we kill the man who killed the child or do we kill the man's father who did terrible things to the man when he was a child, etc., going further back to the origin of "sin".

Our bodies are not perfect, our doctors are not perfect and our knowledge is not perfect. Our bodies are not made to live forever, only our souls.

The problem I have with some Christians is that some of them think that I have not opened myself enough to allow healing. Or others who believe that sickness is the result of sin. Paul explains that he has to live with a "thorn" in his side which tells me that although healing is possible, healing isn't for everyone.

Jesus' main focus was not to heal the sick, but for our salvation. He healed some people to prove that he was compassionate and so others would believe. He didn't heal everyone in the large crowds that gathered.

I'm very thankful for modern medicine and that I live in a developed country with 1st world problems.

If I didn't have my medicines to help with my EDS and cataplexy, I'd quite possibly be much more cranky than I already get especially when when its that time of the month. I don't worry about reverence towards God and maybe that's a problem but I think that being honest with God is more important because he knows anyway what we're really thinking and it would be a slap in his face in my opinion if we weren't honest with him about how we're feeling.

In any relationship, there is an ebb and flow of feeling close with Him, _especially_ _Him_ because it's not like we can see Him like people saw and talked to Jesus. Same thing with our moods -- they go through ups and downs. Even Job had his limits.

#8 DeathRabbit

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:42 PM

In regards to the first part of your post, I know Paul O'Neill of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a Christian, and he believes, in the end, God will save everyone, even the Devil. He worked that into the story of the Night Castle album, which even if you don't care for the music, the little novella he wrote to go with it is amazing. I'm not actually sure I believe in the Devil as an actual entity. I know if he does exist, he's surely not a goat hoofed/horned, red suited guy with a pitchfork. The whole goat appearance thing is actually a reference to paganism, anyway (Comus, Dionysus, Bacchus). However, I'm inclined to think that he's just a convenient foil for the collective ill will and malevolence of the worst parts of human nature. Since the people Jesus appeared too weren't exactly philosophers, it helped them codify that which was wrong, since the more abstract concepts of morality might fly over their heads. Most of them, if the Gospel's accountings are to be believed, had trouble grasping his simplistic parables even.



#9 2Tired4This

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:12 PM

*I might add that I would not have had the notion to start thinking for myself if it had not been for great literature made available to me through school. I hated "classics" for the same reasons every other teenager hates them. It takes much more effort to understand the messages printed in them. It's disappointing to see that these books didn't do the same for my peers. I wish they would take a second to think instead of accepting all that they are given.

This is something i've actually been dealing with recently. Being 17 is very confusing. I'm sure you can all remember. Girls, Cars, School, Friends, Religion etc. So far it has been a pretty interesting experience. When my N was at it's worst so was my apathy, but when I started taking my meds and having more energy things changed a lot. I woke up one day, and though to myself "Who am I?". Part of this questioning was induced by some of the de-personalization I was experiencing because of my meds. But regardless, I couldn't really answer my own questions. "Who am I? What am I? Where am I?" and it began to really trouble me. I was in the process of losing most of my friends, and my birthday was just around the corner. I celebrated alone. Of course I had family, but I was never the type to confide in my siblings or parents about my feelings.

First some background on my religious history though! I grew up in a Mormon or LDS family who attended church every sunday, performed their "Churchly" duties, and were firm believers in the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
I never really cared much for Church, even as a kid. I used to say that I felt "bored" because it was all "repetitious". I kid you not, when I say that by age 10 I had heard every lesson at least 50 times. I knew the children's hymns by heart. Without much thought I had accepted what the Church told me as the truth, because I figured that it was probably true if so many people believed in it. I had always been told to put your "Faith" in God and that he would handle the rest. I can even see Church Leaders instructing the youth not to even entertain ideas about the falsity of Church doctrine. To read any literature that spoke out against the Church would be to allow Satan to reach inside your mind and manipulate your thoughts. To me it all just seemed, so forced. I observed the other kids and adults who attended. Kids who didn't go to church were "punished" by their parents. No T.V., No Skateboard, No Nothing. Whatever the parent felt would give them the greatest leverage over their child they would use it against them to make them attend church. I felt like only a handful of people actually wanted to be there, the rest only went because it is the "right" thing to do. As I got older I became less active. Let me tell you, being a less-active member of the Mormon church is what hell would look like if there was one. Church Leaders take every opportunity to approach you and invite you to activities or meetings. This may sound nice, look nice, and seem nice, but it sure as heck didn't feel nice. The sickly sweet tone, the inviting yet forceful conversation, and the formal informality turned my stomach every time. They might as well have said "Hey you can come to the next Youth activity with us, or deny us flat out infront of all of these people, which is basically letting them know that you Hate God and want to go to Hell. Your choice buddy, we would love to have you with us though." *barf* I could go on, but basically, my experiences put a bad taste in my mouth regarding Religion.


Enter Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I had asked for the book as a birthday present, a stranger had recommended it to me over the Internet. This is where things really changed and began to pick up. I had always liked the idea of Space, The Universe, or the Cosmos. It's infinite nature provided infinite possibilities. Reading Sagan's thoughts on religion and other facets of life made me start to question what I believed in. My interests really began to pickup in the Math and Science field and I began to discover myself through these things. I was sitting in my 2nd Period Math class doing homework when it hit me, Math is Logic. I was using Logic to break down Math into it's more basic functions so that I could better understand how more complicated calculations were done. While struggling, I decided to google Logic.

This brought me to a page about Deism. I really liked all the things that I was beginning to read about Deism. If you don't know, Deists believe that God exists, but not in the traditional sense. God is trans-personal, typically does not interfere, and does not give revelation to man. The proof of "his" (I dare to even say his, because in Deism God isn't necessarily a conscious entity. When I say God, it's throwing out all the normal definitions and almost referring to just a "force") existence lies in Nature. His existence is manifested in the trees, the apples, the molecules, the atoms, the nuclei, and the electrons. As for moral codes there is the Golden Rule. Just treat the world and other how you want to be treated. It's obvious. That's what most Deists come to believe, but what is great about Deism is that it's open to your interpretation. You can agree or disagree with however much of it you want, as long as you back it up with some Logic and Reasoning.

That idea each individual was challenged to find their own beliefs and moral codes based on Logic and Reasoning was something that I was very ready to adopt. After all, why should what I believe in be determined by what someone else says that God said. What makes anyone an authority on God? We know that stimulating certain parts of the brain can induce out of body experiences like those that we have during HH or SP. In fact there is a contraption called the "God Helmet" that does just that. It makes the user feel as if they are experiencing God. So if I happened to see God talking to me during SP does that make me an authority on God too? Why should any religion, institution, or philosophy be considered unquestionable or absolute? Is it absolute because the highest priest said that God commanded it? Everything surrounding Religion was just a little too convenient for it's creators to seem legitimate to me.

But then I started reading Atheistic materials. Especially those not in favor of Deism. Because in fact Deism is kind of hypocritical. It's based on Logic and Reasoning, but in truth there is no real empirical evidence that God, or any other conscious force, does exist. It's easy to say that everything is a manifesto of God, but it's a stretch. This really brought me down. It was great to have knowledge of some solid arguments, but Atheism is just.. grim. After much reading and thinking I came to the Agnostic view point. There really is just no way to prove God exists. There is no way to prove that he doesn't exist either. It's a cop-out, but holds a lot of merit.

I never really believed in Buddhism, but I do like a lot of what the Dalai Lama has to say. One of the most important parts to Buddhism is "the middle path". The middle path refers to balance in all things. It is never a good idea to cling to one extreme. I see the benefits of the "middle path" EVERYWHERE. The other thing that the Dalai Lama believes, is that most religions have one main purpose. To make people better people. We all want to be better people, and religion helps us along the way. In this sense, it would be dumb to put down other religions. You may not accept their views or God on how the universe was created or what happens after death, but you can accept that they are just trying to be the best person they can in the best way they know how.

Other things can be said about churches like the Westboro Baptist Church though... =) (the God Hates Fags church.)

Which leads me to my current state. Agnostic Deism.
I accept that it's impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God. We can fight all day about it, but really it just comes down to "faith". Do you believe in it or not?
I choose to claim that there is a "God" of sorts. I have no evidence. I have no proof. I only got what "God" gave me, that gut feeling that there has to be something more. I look up at the sky at night and just can't accept that this all came to be by chance. Everyday I read about Quantum Physics, Classical Physics, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, and Electronics. I can't help but think that it is what it is without even the slightest bit of design or intention. Atheists will say I am a fool. Christians will tell me I don't understand Jesus. Catholics will tell me to go to Confession. Mormons will tell me that Joseph Smith, like me, was lost too, but that he found God while praying in the woods. Religion provides a God for you. I found God without religion.

They say that regardless of the overwhelming factors against you, that you will always see what you want to see in life.
Well, I want to see God.

#10 DeathRabbit

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:11 AM

I do need to read Cosmos. It's on my bookshelf, but having a full time job with N doesn't lend itself to much quality reading time, especially something so heavy. But personally, I guess I've never found the concept of science and logic to be at odds with a Christian God. Granted, I cast the Christian God in quite a different light as do most. I always thought it was kind of strange that non-Catholic Christians would claim a personal God, yet would say the only way to learn about him is through a strict one-sided interpretation of the Bible. If he truly is a personal God, then he teaches you himself. Not saying the Bible is bunk, or there's no wisdom nor moral maxims to be garnered from within, but I consigned the doctrine of infallibility to the garbage bin a long time ago. In fact it destroys itself, IMHO. God says you shall have no other gods before him, but by looking to the Bible as an oracle of truth, that's kind of essentially what you are doing, thus a sort of Kantian contradiction arises, and the argument is thus destroyed. Perhaps that's all semantic jiggery-pokery, but ultimately, I guess I do kind of agree with you, that God needs to be discovered through one own journey. I still believe an abstract interpretation of the gospel truth, but ultimately I guess when you die, I believe you get to play the next level or you game over, depending on your score, lol. We gotta be careful here though. Like the Hitchhikers Guide says, by definition, God's existence is unprovable, therefore if we prove him out, he'll "disappear in a poof of logic." :D



#11 salomeforever

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

I've found for myself personally that separating my thoughts from religion has helped my frustration and general functioning in the world.  I guess I would say Im an atheist, although I feel like that is even saying too much.  The existence of God or a one true religion simply has no bearing on my life.  I would continue to live the way I do now if Jesus returned tomorrow, or if science for once and all proved the inexistence of a higher power.

 

When I was in high school, like most kids, I was constantly trying to fit what I experienced into some unified world view, religious or otherwise. I went to school in an affluent southern neighborhood in which "where do you go to church?" is one of the first things people ask when meeting you. It always stressed me out to not be able to give a concise explanation of what I and my family believed. I went to different churches with friends often, and never really felt like I could commit to a particular belief system unless I believed all of it 100%. 

 

Everyone struggles with the grand meaning of life, weather this has religious significance for us or not.  In the past few years I've reached a sort of peace with it. I take situations as they come. I strive to hold myself to my own standards of goodness: I don't presume to know anyone else's circumstances, I consider how my actions affect others before I make decisions, and I try not to confuse my emotions and gut reactions with fact. I realize no one is at their best always, myself definitely included, and try to be forgiving and understanding of the hardships of myself and others.  I think of this behavior as my responsibility as a human being.  We're all stuck here on earth together, God or no, and kind cooperation and understanding is the only chance for us to get through life with as little misery as possible. 

 

Even though I struggle, I love life and I think the world is amazing and exciting. I hate that religion always ends up being discussed in such black and white terms, an argument between believers and nonbelievers. For some people religion is the lynchpin of order in their lives, and for others, like me, its absence is beneficial.  I get offended when people suggest my life isn't complete because I'm not religious, but I find it equally awful to paint all Christians as stupid or evil or deluded.  People who feel they have to win the world over to their side in either way I doubt are very square with their own beliefs. 



#12 salomeforever

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:20 PM

Lately, however, I just feel like I'm in an empty universe though. Anybody identify with that feeling? There's been more than a few times where I've gotten drunk and shook my fist at the sky "What in the hell did I do that was so wrong that I deserve this?!"

 

This makes me incredibly sad.  I'm so sorry you feel this way. I don't have much experience in feeling like this, so I hope I don't offend in offering other perspectives, but I have definitely struggled with issues of morality and uncomfortableness when not able to sum up something as "good" or "bad". For me, totally removing that polarity from my thought process has been helpful.  Another thing, maybe, is realizing that if we are in what you say feels like an "empty universe", that empty doesn't equal bad. It's just empty. I'm not calling for you to abdicate your beliefs, but taking the, well, fear out of the fear of the alternative may help you feel better. 

 

Also as cheesy as it sounds, when I feel super down about Narcolepsy I do remind myself of the (very few) positives it brings as well.  I think people who struggle with things so largely misunderstood have a truer capacity for joy. I think we appreciate the fortunate aspects in our lives more fully.  And I think we are much tougher and resilient than the average person, we have to be to survive.  Through the extended and awkward interpersonal situations regarding Narcolepsy, proving myself, and fighting to be treated and seen fairly, I have reached a much deeper understanding and consciousness of myself-- my emotions, reactions and thoughts-- as well as the behavior of others.  Although I always fear Narcolepsy blocks me from achieving what I so desperately want, I have to believe that the skills I've developed to cope with the disease ultimately make me more of the person I want to become.  



#13 2Tired4This

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

It's always super easy to judge people based on their beliefs and actions. Within the last month though Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby gave me a great line to use. He writes “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

 

I took this to also mean that not everyone is privy to the same information that you have been. Everybody knows something different than you do. You have something to gain by listening. 

 

In that same way, we have something to give the world with our unique views of having Narcolepsy. Some people will never understand what it feels like, psychologically it's a whole new world. 



#14 salomeforever

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:03 PM

Ok, this may sound a little silly but one of my dominating personal philosophies/motivational pep talks comes from the end of Alien....

 

I've struggled with anxiety and perfectionism/OCD-like problems since I was a little girl, which combined with Narcolepsy difficulties can totally shoot my motivation all to hell. I can get so anxious about "using" my good days properly, about starting things when I know at some point in the near future I'm going to have a really hard time finishing them, and about struggling all the way through to the end of something to have it not be all that great or worth it in the end.  I'm an artist so some of these concerns are like, daily and inescapable, just part of the job. 

 

In the end of Alien, Ripley 's the only one left in the ship with the monster, she sets the ship's self destruct feature, and goes about getting herself and cat into the escape pod, not knowing where the alien is the entire time.  The countdown to self-destruct is obviously intense.  She's either going to die by alien or when the ship explodes. I used to think that in that situation I'd be too overcome by fear and just sit in a corner somewhere and wait to die.  But then I realized that is the absolute worst answer, because it leaves you there with your worry to wait for certain death.  If you try to escape, knowing it may never happen, at least you're keeping your mind occupied with hope until the end.  

 

If I sit around and worry and cry I most certainly won't get anywhere.  If i'm doing something constantly, I still may never get anywhere, but at least I don't know my failure is certain.

 

It's nerdy but it works for me. 



#15 exanimo

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:25 AM

Well I'm not sure what I would coin myself as, probably spiritual.

But I do believe in reincarnation. I believe we are all energy, and as Newton stated, energy cannot be created nor destroyed. So we, as energy, conform to vessels and continue to do so. Why? I guess I believe there is some sort of ascension or spiritual growth involved. I do think we all hold karmic energy, which plays into the ascension somehow. And so I do believe that narcolepsy is somehow going to help me along my path - perhaps I didn't manage my time well in a past life and thus having narcolepsy in this one is meant to make time more crucial. Because unlike normal people, who only spend 1/3 of their life sleeping, I probably will spend 2/3 of mine sleeping. And more of it tired, confused and not as clear headed as I should be.

I'm also a bit of an astrology buff - and I sure many who have not properly researched it or used credible sources will probably scoff at me. But honestly esoteric astrology makes sense when tied into reincarnation. So anyway. I take my narcolepsy as any other struggle in life and try my best to deal with it appropriately, use my information to help others and to better myself for it.

#16 2Tired4This

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:44 AM

I like the bit about Newton's First Law of Thermodynamics. When I was reading books about the Dalai Lama I learned a little about reincarnation as it is seen through Tibetan Buddhism. Some people don't know but the Dalai Lama is said to be the reincarnation of all 13 previous Dalai Lamas. A continuous spiritual leader for his people. It's a lovely thought. If there was one very large bit of a religion that I wanted to accept the most it would be Reincarnation. 



#17 DeathRabbit

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:50 AM

I personally dislike the idea of reincarnation. One pass through life is miserable enough. If I finally manage to escape just to have to do it all over again, I'll be pissed, haha. Not to mention the fact that our planet and our species is circling the drain. I'll use a line from Pushing Daisies here: "I don't believe in reincarnation. The planet's going to hell, but right now it's our kids problem. We get reincarnated, it's our problem again!" I guess overall, I just hope reincarnation isn't true, because that means that not even death is a way out. I guess I basically believe not necessarily in Hell, but more like some orders of Judaism do: we either get to continue on afterward and ascend to harmony, or we don't. If we don't get to continue we just go away. Unbeing. It's probably a bad sign that either one of those sounds ok to me right now.



#18 2Tired4This

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:08 PM

Yeah... lol. I really wouldn't mind being reincarnated. I like living. XD no matter how bad things are I can't help but look at the world and smile. For every sick and twisted person there is in the world, there are double the amount of people doing great things. Plus in Tibetan Buddhism you aren't always reincarnated as a human. It just depends on your Karma. 



#19 munky

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:53 AM

So I guess that's what they call Neo-Pagan I suppose?

 

It could be, if you wanted to call it that. I've also been known to tell people I was a druid in the original sense of the word--it originally meant "seeker of truth," according to some sources. More often, I've described it as "Kendra-ism." After all, what I believe isn't going to be exactly the same as what anyone else believes, neo-pagan or not, since it comes from everything I've learned about any religion and includes bits and pieces of all of them, and it evolves according to new things I learn or new experiences.

 

The core rarely changes, though, and that is since no one can really understand the thing most often referred to as "god," everyone is probably right in some ways and wrong in others--including me.