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White Crane Feather

Which came first the experience or the label

20 posts in this topic

So just wanted to open up a discussion. Hopefully to clear a few things up and get some opinions.

There is a large body of people that beleive that the concept of spirit world/god/ afterlife.... What ever.., I'll just call it spirit is a human invention. This in my view is just an uneducated viewpoint. In fact OBEs and NDEs and the entities/psycologic constructs met during these states are a fairly common experience throughout human history.

--- I don't want to argue the nature of the experiences---

I find it hard to beleive that educated people can continue to say that spirit is an invented concept in the face of vast Human experiences. I should know I'm one of them.

Still some say that the idea of the spirit gives us the experience when we are altered... Really?

So if you don't beleive spirit is anything other than an invention, how do you reconcile with thousands and thousands of years of people experiencing spirit. Psychological construct or not.

If this is what you believe, which came first the experience, or some guy inventing it then everybody who becomes altered then succumbing to the suggestion?

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--- I don't want to argue the nature of the experiences---

I find it hard to beleive that educated people can continue to say that spirit is an invented concept in the face of vast Human experiences. I should know I'm one of them.

Still some say that the idea of the spirit gives us the experience when we are altered... Really?

So if you don't beleive spirit is anything other than an invention, how do you reconcile with thousands and thousands of years of people experiencing spirit. Psychological construct or not.

If this is what you believe, which came first the experience, or some guy inventing it then everybody who becomes altered then succumbing to the suggestion?

Well in order to explain, I'd have to argue the nature of the experience.

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It think it depends on what you mean by "invented".

It sounds like you believe doubters claim it was made up whole-cloth from nothing.

I tend to see it as a skin over an existing evolutionary trait. It was "invented", in the sense that it is an explanation for an existing phenomena.

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It think it depends on what you mean by "invented".

It sounds like you believe doubters claim it was made up whole-cloth from nothing.

I tend to see it as a skin over an existing evolutionary trait. It was "invented", in the sense that it is an explanation for an existing phenomena.

I see. The more sophisticated thinkers are aware that spiritual experiences are not some comfort fairy tale. You seem to be one. But I'm not sure how else people say a thousand years ago were supposed to inturpret floating above their bodies meeting divine entities... Etc. Certainly materialists these days have range of possible explanations. But I think the invented to be comforting, wishful thinking, etc etc. Theories should be put to rest. Certainly it's possible as you sugested these could be evolutionary traits, but it's not unsophisticated belief. It's far from it. When you have spoken face to face with something that apears to be a divine entity... It's not a belief. Anymore than it's a beleif that Im communicating with a real person that is you.

Are we in agreement here at all.? I know your interpretation of the nature of what is happening is diffrent that's fine and reasonable.

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I'm...not completely clear on what your position is.:blush: Could you clarify it a little?

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I'm...not completely clear on what your position is.:blush: Could you clarify it a little?

You said you tend to think it's an evolutionary trait, so you answered my question. The experience came before the interpretation. We are in agreement.

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Yeah, I got that part. I mean, your position on the topic.

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Yeah, I got that part. I mean, your position on the topic.

My position is that the experiences came before the labels and interpretations of said experiences.

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In fact OBEs and NDEs and the entities/psycologic constructs met during these states are a fairly common experience throughout human history.

OBE and NDE are not guaranteed of otherworldly experience. More often than not, they're dream experiences -- nothing special.

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You said you tend to think it's an evolutionary trait, so you answered my question. The experience came before the interpretation. We are in agreement.

Now, you do understand that I do not consider the spiritual to have any sort of necessary supernatural or paranormal component, correct?

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I think reason and logic has strengthened its hold on peoples minds in more recent millenia ( humans have been round in much the same shape for hundreds of thousands of years) and the spiritual has gone on the back-burner concurrently. But because nothing in the psyche 'disappears', it just goes 'undercover', but still seeks expression. Because formal religion is basically an external rationalization of something that is internal and irrational, it makes sense to me that it arises and gains vigour in a materialistic environment and time where the naturalistic spirituality is suppressed. Materialism has the compulsion to explain every phenomenon, spirituality is focused on the experience without trying to explain it, or assuming such things can be explained. So it comes as no surprise that every "spiritual" mystery that arises attracts a "that's just an illusion/wishful thinking" type of argument or rebuttal from the determinedly left-brainers.

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I would think the experience preceeded the label. People had to have experienced something in order to want to designate a label to it.

I could say a lot more, but it would be discussing the nature of the experience :)

Edited for incorrect wording

Edited by karmakazi

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Now, you do understand that I do not consider the spiritual to have any sort of necessary supernatural or paranormal component, correct?

For you, what is the contrast between those three terms?

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Now, you do understand that I do not consider the spiritual to have any sort of necessary supernatural or paranormal component, correct?

Sure I expected that. I just wanted to put to rest that spirituality being products of wishful thinking and flying spagetti monster creations. Certainly some religons are these things.

Anyone else willing to see this common ground?

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I think reason and logic has strengthened its hold on peoples minds in more recent millenia ( humans have been round in much the same shape for hundreds of thousands of years) and the spiritual has gone on the back-burner concurrently. But because nothing in the psyche 'disappears', it just goes 'undercover', but still seeks expression. Because formal religion is basically an external rationalization of something that is internal and irrational, it makes sense to me that it arises and gains vigour in a materialistic environment and time where the naturalistic spirituality is suppressed. Materialism has the compulsion to explain every phenomenon, spirituality is focused on the experience without trying to explain it, or assuming such things can be explained. So it comes as no surprise that every "spiritual" mystery that arises attracts a "that's just an illusion/wishful thinking" type of argument or rebuttal from the determinedly left-brainers.

Agreed. But in their defense, it would be difficult for me to beleive in certain things had I not experienced them myself. There are still things that leave strong doubts in my mind even with all of my own craziness. I hear them, but I can't imagine the experience eventhough I have some whoopers in my own bag. It's hard to come to terms without doubt. Luckily I know better than to totally discount.

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I would think the experience preceeded the label. People had to have experienced something in order to want to designate a label to it.

I could say a lot more, but it would be discussing the nature of the experience :)

Edited for incorrect wording

I agree of course, but that is well traveled road. The end of it is always the skeptic believing that because it happens in the brain it's materialistic, and the mystic ;) frustrated that the skeptic can't see that the brain is part of the larger system. I would be interested in comparing notes though. Pm Mabey.

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My opinion is that the experience came first than the label. This topic is highly debatable because it is on a topic that is well.....pure experience. We all have different levels of spirituality whether we want to or no(which is another factor). You can say one is just imagination or a mere dream but how could you know without EXPERIENCING it for yourself. This reality has a set of rules and we often imply them to EVERYTHING we come to know-ruling things that may be in fact possible, impossible- Mankind since the start of time(or as far as we know) have been practicing many rituals and beliefs. We often take what we believe and shun everything else away which is pure ignorance. As humans we look for answers and when we don't have a clear answer explained by physics or science we either A. Ignore it B. Take it in as something made up or C. Put a "god" in it which automatically makes it right in some people's minds and they don't dare to question it. We don't really take on the adventure on figuring it out for ourselves especially in this day and age. We are too absorbed in worldly things which is fine because some of us are busy with whatever it may be BUT we all have a little time to ourselves and this is the perfect time to further ourselves spiritually. You may go out to the mall with friends, watch the game on T.V. or maybe just once try to get some alone time away from everything. Go on a trip somewhere where you are at peace with little distraction. I am not saying meditate everyday, I am not saying change your beliefs, and I am definitely NOT saying change your lifestyle. I am just saying at least ONCE in your life try to go out on an unknown adventure alone and find yourself. May it be one day or a week heck even a couple hours in the park. Just sit down someplace quiet and reflect. Let your mind wander and let go of everything! You will be surprised how relaxing it can be. I am not saying you will talk to spirits but you can really feel a difference! Sorry for the wall of text and rant but that is my stance on this whole topic! :lol:

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I came to this conclusion on my own. No one came up to me and preached to me or told me what was right or what was wrong. I believe what I believe simply because I have went looking for answers for myself and to be honest I am far away from all the answers I am looking for.

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For you, what is the contrast between those three terms?

The paranormal generally refers to events that are attributed to unknown powers sourced from the human mind. They are exclusively individual, generated by one particular person.

Supernatural forces, on the other hand, are not necessarily generated by the human mind, and are often considered external to people. They may fixate on people, but are, themselves, separate and distinct.

Because of this, you have things such as telekinetic abilities, which are paranormal because they are generally assumed to come from some unknown part of the brain, and you have things such as ghost, who are external individual entities (allegedly) from a given humans brain.

As far as spirituality goes, here's a thing I did: Godless Spirituality

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Interesting topic. What is spirt? Spirit is true reality. Thats not to say that it is also not made up. The truth seems like a pradox but its very simple. Just because humans created belief systems that gave name and form to the higher realms does not mean that they are not there. Just because they are there does not mean that they exist because we continue to beleve that they do. Such is the mysetery of life

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