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Thread: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

  1. #11

    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    I'm reading the Gita for the first time as we speak.
    It is truly marvelous.


  2. #12

    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by srivijaya View Post
    Hi Rishab,
    I'm not the best person to answer but since nobody else has, I thought I'd comment. Like you I rejected god outright after a religious search. I was about 18 at the time and in hindsight what I rejected was the "angry deity in the sky" of Christianity (I'm European background but from an un-religious family). But I was still aware that this rejection did not answer the fundamental questions which were still within me. I guess it was the start of a very honest quest.
    In my opinion the Gita is an amazing spiritual teaching of great profundity (it's historical accuracy is, for me at least, irrelevant). If you meditate, then the truth will manifest. If you take drugs, then any experiences you gain will be delusions and not something you can repeat or control. You will also gain no true insight via drugs. Do not pollute your temple - insight is your birthright. Seek it out.
    This was more or less my stance, except that my worldview formed as an undiagnosed deaf child, and upon introduction to religion by my nanny (my parents didn't do it), I rejected Christianity outright upon hearing "Jesus died on the cross for our sins," or something like that. I knew somehow that it wasn't true (at least for me), IMMEDIATELY. I had only learned to speak, read, and write a year before (I was already eight and a half years old at this point). I had no religion, because I couldn't accept Christianity. I also came from a non-religious European-stock family). I had known that there was something to my worldview that makes SD accessible to me. I looked at a lot of different things, like Cherokee beliefs (by the way, I found some similarities between Cherokee and SD beliefs - Cherokee council houses, where the sacred fire is kept, always has the main door/entrance facing the east, AND Cherokees traditionally sleep with the head pointing east, or south if that orientation is not available, but NEVER west - west is considered darkness or death), Paganism, and witchcraft.

    I have NEVER done drugs, only alcohol, and recently decided to completely stop drinking it from a social basis (I never got in trouble with it like BOTH of my parents did). I have to second the comment on the delusional aspects of drugs. I, with my Natural Hygiene background, have always considered the sensations from drugs merely a bodily reaction against the effects of the drugs and not of significant events happening on the spiritual level. That is just the brain/mind malfunctioning while under the influence of these drugs.

    I'll give you an insight, some of which you already know. I'm a member of the Counter Crusade to Unbuckle the Bible Belt, a facebook group of believers of separation of church and state, anti-dominionist, humanists, atheists, etc. They have no understanding of religion outside the Abrahamic mindset. Just yesterday, I posted a post about science within religion, and how this relationship within SD differs radically from the western perspective of religion versus science. Not one comment was posted on the post. On previous posts offering SD perspective on various issues, people either gloss over it or make the comment, "So? And...?" They clearly do not get it. What is dangerous is that this group shows no signs of acceptance of different paths and in fact denigrate religions of ALL kinds with no understanding of the difference between them, especially between Abrahamic and Indic religions.

    I don't know what to do yet to help people go from Abrahamic religions to Indic religions or at least an Indic thought of civilization. Remember, Dharma is not the same as religion (mata, sampradāya, and paṇtha is).

    I have not been an atheist for a long time, since I realized that I have something spiritually happening that can't be explained. Let me correct myself here. I was an atheist in a western perspective in that I reject an Abrahamic gOd, but not in the sense that scientist believe that inert matter came to together, and eventually formed consciousness. I feel that it's the other way around.

  3. #13
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    January 2008
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    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rishab View Post
    I'm bipolar and I suffer from ADHD, I constantly have thoughts in my head and I can't focus on one thing enough to meditate.
    Hi Rishab,
    A friend of mine has the same condition. She found that a gentle meditation to bring her awareness to the breath has helped. Your thoughts are not your enemy, they will also become objects of awareness. Just don't cling to them or self-identify with them. Then like waves after a storm they will dissolve back into the base clarity which is your mind. It will take time but that's no problem.

  4. #14
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    September 2007
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    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Vannakkam: In my years of teaching, and dealing with students with ADHD, I honestly couldn't tell which was worse, the ADHD, or the stigma attached to ADHD. ADHD kids get told that there is something wrong (read 'bad') with them so often that they start believing it. The same stigma does not apply to other conditions like diabetes, chronic fatigue, minor autism, and more.

    The entire ADHD drup debate focusses on one thing ... that drug, IN COMBINATION with another drug, is a substitute for heroin. The drug alone isn't some evil stupor inducing state, but one incredibly helpful thing when proper diagnosis is had, there is consistency in monotoring, etc.. I would go as far as to say it's prevented many suicides. Do we have the same attitudes to blood thinners, insulin, cholesterol drugs, painkillers, and tons of others?

    So the attitude becomes 'we have to fight this' rather than work with it in a positive way from acceptance. ADHD means you have to work faster, things change faster, attention will wander quicker. So rather than suggesting meditation, something similar can happen in an active shortened puja. In a puja, the hands are kept busy, there is lots to do, and attention can naturally shift from one offering to the next, without the feeling of failure.

    I think everyone here is an atheist to the Abrahamic God, or at least the portrayal of whatever it is by hard core evangelicals.

    Sorry I went rambling there.

    Best wishes.

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #15
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    December 2007
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    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Dear Rishab,

    Just don't label yourself as ADHD or whatever. In fact, from what I have studied, identifying the symptoms associated with children and labeling them as ADHD is not free from controversy. Yes, it may be true that you are more active / restless than many children of your age. However, slowly thing will come into your grip with practice. My own son was highly restless but now he has matured into a very responsible and studious person.

    Your mind can do wonders. You become what you believe you are. Give yourself time. Try to be calm ... train yourself to enjoy one thing at a time. Refuse getting bored with whatever is around you and whatever is happening around you. Get interested in small things. My advice will be that you should try learning sketching/painting. Meditation can help you greatly. Sit in front of most attractive face of your chosen deity and focus all your attention to that face ... discard all stray thoughts and feel that you are becoming one with that deity. Slowly chant OM with a long duration.


    You can train your mind to be calm and peaceful by practising Vipashyana. Sit cross legged in comfortable position with your chest out and erect spine. Your eyes should be half-open as you are comfortable. Just watch your breath ... notice whether it is fast or slow ... where it touches the nostrils. Just focus on that point and keep watching the breath. If your mind wanders bring it back to breathing. Don't try to interfere in anyway the process of breathing. You have just to keep watching and do nothing else. Thoughts will keep coming and going. You should neither attach yourself with any thought process nor try to stop it or interfere with it. Don't even judge if the thoughts are good or bad. You have to focus ONLY on your breathing process. Do it for ten minutes to start with and then increase the timing upto say 20 minutes everyday. This exercise is sure to improve your concentration and it can fully rid yourself from your so-called ADHD syndrome.


    Don't copy all SAdhus. Yes, there are a number of SAdhus who smoke GAnjA. However, it doesn't help in meditation unless it is prescribed by a highly accomplished Yogi ... it takes them towards more and more darkness and nothing else. SAdhus who take alcohol are very few because it is permitted only in Tantra sAdhana and that is highly dangerous. Stay away from all such SAdhus who take drugs or take alcohol.

    Why don't you copy SAdhus who are completely clean and take SAttvik food. Bhagwad Gita says that drugs are TAmsik in nature and if consumed will take you towards more and more TAmsik domain.

    What is the first step towards "Realising God/Self". Be a good human being. Be compassionate to all beings. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Keep a daily routine and try to stick to it. Control your senses and nerves. ... then start reading scriptures like Bhagwad Gita and Upanishads. Do daily meditation and try to connect to God by dropping all attachment to this world.

    Best of luck ...

    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  6. #16

    Smile Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Hi Rishab,

    Initially when I read your post, I was thinking "oh just another guy with his own problems and issues" later I read your other posts and saw your enthusiasm.
    As the other posts are long and some times you need patience to go through other posts, I will merely give you suggestions to go through a Canadian guy's videos on Hinduism his name is "Anekantavad"(Youtube). Also I would suggest you read the complete works of Vivekananda as well. The way Vivekananda presents the Hindu Dharma is marvellous. However I must warn you, once you get hooked onto "Anekantavad" or especially Vivekananda, you will lose interests in other aspects.

    So this is my warning. I understand what you go through in this age, you will be having a lot of pressure, especially in deciding your career and all that so take care.

  7. #17
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    December 2013
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    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Namaskar ji,

    A lot of wisdom has been given here. It is not much, but I would like to add, Rishab, it may not be worth it to "spread the message" among your friends and correct their misunderstanding too much. Certainly stating that you disagree and why when asked is good, but much more beyond that and you risk alienating your friends and peers, and becoming isolated. Of course that may not be a problem, in fact in my experience to steer clear of drugs and drink one often needs to steer clear of the communities that use them. It's not really so much fun being around a crowd of blotto and insensate people while you yourself are sober.

    And then there are the ones who seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to such speech and party a little harder in a kind of defiance. I used to know people who would see an anti smoking ad anywhere and light up in direct response. And that was one of the more mild responses.

    There are all kinds of anti drug campaigns and ads everywhere. Youth groups, health classes, etc. If people navigate all of this growing up and are still determined to give it a try, then you are not likely to stop them. Let them make their own choices. Make your statement initially, and then just quietly lead by your own example. That will speak much louder than any words you can say to try and convince them otherwise.

    And for the record, even the greatest proponent of psychedelic stimulation for opening consciousness, Dr. Timothy Leary, recanted in the end. He was not coerced into it. He finally realized the truth that the truly wise and open have always known and stated. You can force a door open, yes, but only under the strict, controlled guidance of a master and even then it it dangerous and not advisable - every culture with a tradition of this kind of thing bears that out. There is always the controlled guidance of a strong master and a respect for the danger of the attempt. And even with the guidance and training of a strong tradition and teacher, a person may attract and open themselves to very negative things.

    99% of people who say they do drugs to "open their consciousness" are deluding themselves. It's an excuse. They're not really interested in illumination, they simply want to experiment and experience. It's a dangerous ride, and not worth it.

    As to ADHD, I was once diagnosed with ADD (the 'H' didn't exist yet). I agree with EMji and others, it is a poorly understood label that serves to limit more than anything else. You can indeed harness your thoughts and mind, through the advice already offered by several learned people in this post. I wish you all success and happiness!

    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  8. #18

    Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Thank you all for your responses!
    It really has helped me

  9. Re: Atheist reconsidering stance on religion.

    Science And Faith - Not A Conflict

    Some Links

    Summary - Some of the greatest scientists in the history of the world believed in God. The percentage of belief among the professional scientific community is just about the same as the rest of the population. It is pure myth that most scientists do not believe in God. One link for a professional study that proved that prayer works. Another link to the Vatican council on science
    which includes a huge list of Noble Prize winning scientists who believe in God.

    Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton, two of the founders of all modern math and science, both believed in God.

    Nikolai Tesla believed in God and was a fan of the Hindu saint Swami Vivekananda.

    This article concludes that about 50% of scientists are religious, and, additionally, many more, while not religious, believe in God.

    from this book:

    Quoting from the article: "In the course of her research, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them. She finds that most of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are what she calls “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion…..only a small minority are actively hostile to religion."


    And here's A professional scientific study proving that prayer works:

    "There is ample proof that prayer works. Many scientific studies have been conducted that validate this observation.

    A 1993 Israeli survey following 10,000 civil servants for 26 years found that Orthodox Jews were less likely to die of cardiovascular problems than "nonbelievers." And a 1995 study from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., monitoring 250 people after open-heart surgery concluded that those who had religious connections and social support were 12 times less likely to die than those who had none."


    the Pontifical Academy of Sciences has a long list of Noble Prize winning scientists who believe in God...


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