Book Forward

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by mindbender82, May 26, 2013.

  1. Just something I'm working on....

    Caution: "Leave your ego at the door."

    An old acquaintance introduced me to that phrase shortly after I graduated high school. I never appreciated it very much back then due to the fact that as far as I was concerned its smug interjection into our discussions always smacked of accusation and stood out to me as an invisible white flag whose bearer had no other recourse than to concede an argument without really conceding. By pretending I had been the one to take things too personally, he was often successful at ending the argument without ever admitting he was truly a big baby who didn't like his opinions challenged. That meant I had to settle for scratch rather than taking home the prize of actually knowing I was the undisputed champion of friendly intellectual debate.

    Honestly, I lived to be right for a very long time. Now I don't feel as strongly about it. In fact what my friend parroted to me from his local marital arts dojo was actually good advice. When reading this book, please keep a completely open mind. Leave your ego at the door, and forget what you know or think you know about anything.

    The purpose of this book is to satisfy those people like myself who have a special thirst. It seeks to bridge the gap between the religious believer and the secular agnostic as this is often where I've found myself. I know I will inevitably receive objections and criticism from both camps. Again, all that I ask from you is to keep an open mind and to simply understand that this book has a very specific intended audience. It is designed for those that have been disillusioned by the religions of their ancestors, who have yet to have found any other religion or spiritual philosophy that agreed one-hundred percent with their intellectual palates, and for whom complete secularism is just blatantly too stale, too boring, and too unhelpful.

    We are everywhere. We are self-taught, self-made, and self-described intellectuals. We may or may not have any special training. We have the same jobs and the same families you do. We are your sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, and friends. We have either at some point questioned and left our old ways of thought behind, or we were raised secular from the start. The point is regardless of how we got to this point or however much we hate to admit it, we have never quite gotten over that God-shaped whole in our hearts.

    We make fun of the ridiculous and outdated aspects of Christianity and Islam on Facebook or other online and offline forums to make ourselves feel better. We roll our eyes at church-goers. We call them sheep. We can't stand new age jargon and regard it all as science fiction, fantasy, and hooha. We call ourselves atheists, agnostics, humanists, and secularists. We vehemently support the separation of church and state. Politically, most of us are liberals or libertarians. We love to stand up for the little guy. In general, we are peace-lovers, human rights activists, and sympathizers. We are generally speaking a very kind-hearted, lax bunch, despite being characterized by our cynicism.

    But where does this cynicism come from? No, we aren't born with it, and although we often act like we think we are smarter than everyone, most of us don't really think that way. What we actually think about everyone else is that they are intellectually lazy, specifically when it comes to the big questions in life, which we like to pride ourselves in being the experts on. But what do we actually believe?

    Ask one of us that question. If we are feeling especially nice that day, we will give you our favorite short stock answer: science. If you catch us on a bad day, expect at least an hour rant on what we don't do not believe; this act can also be described as tearing apart religion. See, we don't really answer the question. Science doesn't tackle questions of belief, nor do scientists have all the answers. What we don't believe is not the same as what we believe. So why don't we answer the question? Because most of us don't know what we believe, or whether we believe anything at all.

    I present this book to you, my faithless reader, as both my personal attempt to answer this question and as a potential alternative spiritual philosophy. My hope is that it will be viewed as a refreshing breath of fresh air by others like myself who may be still seeking. In addition, my goal is to submit all material included within these pages in a form that can be used as a self-help manual.

    This book will be broken down into four parts. The first part is an introduction to the author. I will give you a little background information about me, describe for you what it was like to grow up in the religion of my childhood, and reveal to you how and why I've started to change my mind about certain religious concepts. The book's second part will discuss more in detail the problems of both religion and atheism, the power of belief, God theory (if God exists, what is God?), and finally what a rational religion might look like. In the third second, I will unveil my treatise with a practical self-help, follow-along guide. So that I can show you at least one example of what the results of this spiritual undertaking might look like, the third and final part of this book will contain my thirty day journal, a personal account written while using the guidelines presented in the previous section. The appendices in the back of the book include all supplemental materials that you may find useful while reading Section 3. All appendices are referenced within the text.

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  2. This kinda just wreaks of a way to make yourself feel even more above other people than was possible before :laughing:
  3. How is that? By giving food for thought? I don't get it. To me it's more about the personal journey and sharing the conclusions (or lack thereof, and what can be reconciled for psychological benefit). It's not supposed to be the new Bible, just an alternative view aimed at inspiring others to do the same.

    I'm inspired by a Universism (and paxism, which I authorized after my experiences in the dissolved Universist movement), a concept of "build your own god" that I was introduced to via members of AA (plus my knowledge of deism, pantheism, physicists' views on god, religious and occult practices demystified and explained), good old fashioned agnosticism, philosophy, my personal struggles, influences of Buddhism and emotional stability via thought control (meditation and thought awareness) which in turn relates to cognitive theory.

    It's a different approach and way of thinking. I speculate that there are others like me who probably are on the same page who would be delighted to have it all come together in one book.
  4. I'm more concerned with how people think than what they actually think.
  5. Because if you believe what this guy says it puts you in a category of understanding that is above all others since you're the most enlightened. Now if you abolish the ego i guess this isn't an issue but that's the impression i got from reading it.
  6. Don't worry. I tend to avoid absolute truth claims. :)

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