Black Spirituality Religion : Atheist, Non Religious - Spiritual Comfort?

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by medusanegrita, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. medusanegrita

    medusanegrita Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    STL Missouri
    Ratings:
    +565
    I've mentioned several times throughout my postings that I'm atheist.
    Simply put, it means I do not believe in, adhere too or honor any deities, gods, goddesses, or holy books of any religion.

    If you are that way, you might not call yourself an atheist, you might call yourself non-religious - probably meaning you adhere to no specific religious denominations but have some spiritual or 'higher conscious' meaning and power.

    The upside to being an atheist is that I'm free and not bounded by religious mores, doctrine, and control. I don't have to worry about my inherent hypocrisy between doing what I want or what feels right and knowing that it goes against the religious values I been taught.

    The downside, for me, has been that in times of stress, hurt, depression, dire need (physical, emotional, psychological), our just feeling like an utterly wounded and worthless soul..... there is no outside force that you can depend on or 'pray too' to help you deal with these problems or issues. There is nothing higher than yourself.... and so many of these problems feel so beyond and above what one can humanly and possibly do to change it. It can and has created a kind of despair.

    So I'm asking others who are atheist and non-religious what do you do to find comfort, solace, harmony, and content in your life? How do you deal with your stresses, or with problems such as stressful finances or relationships (all types of relationships - friends, familial, intimate), or when you try to move forward 2 steps and instead of one step back you've taken 3 steps back. The more you forward, the further back you go.

    I think meditation probably helps, which is harnessing the power of the mind to change your physical life and surrounding - which fits very well for an atheist since the human being is the 'highest' religious and spiritual authority; and it fits well with the points made in the movies 'The Secret' and 'What the (Bleep) Do We Know.'

    But I have little patience for meditating and I'm lousy on imagery manifestation.

    I found a lot of comfort in books, especially black self-help.

    Some suggestions on either of those and more, and whatever helps you would be nice.
     
  2. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,447
    Likes Received:
    840
    Occupation:
    The~rapist
    Location:
    In the fantasy of Afreekan Unity
    Ratings:
    +843
    Black Post and Question:toast:

    I work to practice what I preach and teach and that is talking with others so I can "hear myself", externalize the 'stinking poo' making room for 'sugar' to come through.

    I'm not in a writing mood right now so this response is sparse and possibly convoluted. I know I'm not saying half of what I'm thinking and would like to say. That's why I do blog talk. This sounds like a good topic for discussion and I may talk about during tomorrow's show. In fact, I'd recommend you attending a R.N.A. meeting or listen to a show or two.


    M.E.

    :hearts2:
     
  3. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,479
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,399
    I don't think religion (including "spirituality") ever really addressed any of those needs. It tries to, but if you observe the behavior of the supposedly comforted -- things don't really add up.

    I deal with things by recognizing the nature of life itself and my own humanity. To deal with things like stress, a bit of exercise and getting rest battle the adverse effects of it. Diet can help too. To minimize it to begin with, simplify as much of my life as possible. This way I only allow sources of stress that seem like worthwhile efforts to me.

    There are numerous other practical solutions that can help with other problems. If you feel down, do some volunteer work. If it's extremely serious, try to find the source of it while seeking help.

    Meditation (in the form of practicing mindfulness) can be pretty beneficial, but there's no need to use it as a to commune with desired futures or circumstances.

    There's always reading a good book, hanging out with good friends, visiting family, or exploring something new. There's always finding a fulfilling hobby etc.

    A few aspects of my personality-type probably help too. I've got quite a high tolerance for uncertainty and I guess I've had the benefit of never really identifying as being a believer in any point in my life.

    Atheism doesn't offer comforts because it doesn't need to. It simply provides an opportunity to get back the things religion robs. Self-empowerment and the basic worth of life are just two of those things. It doesn't need to provide a sense of false security or assign agency to the things that happen in life when "it is what it is" will suffice.

    Cheers.
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professional Hitman
    Location:
    Da Desert, literally
    Ratings:
    +1,820
    Man, y'all are self-reflected. What comforts me in life.... just knowing life is an experience to be lived and not explained. I really attempt to find no meaning to life then that it just is.

    I hate to sound morbid, nothing is promised to any one of us. I could be typing this right now and a few minutes from now, slip and fall as I go downstairs to the refrigerator - breaking my neck in the process and meeting my end. I recently had an acquaintance that died in a motorcycle accident. He was a young brother, highly intelligent - a professor of history at a southern college. His life seemed on point and promising, but one unknowing decision ended that promise before it was ever truly uttered.

    My message is life is just that. Enjoy it for what it is.... the good and the bad.
     
  5. medusanegrita

    medusanegrita Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    STL Missouri
    Ratings:
    +565
    If I wasn't already indifferent and pessimistic, I would be after reading this reply.
    What it says to me - 'hell with it, death would be comforting, there's no real reason for living.'
    Yeah, I've already had those thoughts.

    Maybe that's not the intended response you expected someone to have I'm sure, but you know not everybody is gonna respond in the way you intended and that's what I got from it.

    So here's how I'm seeing it. 6 billion messed up folks on the planet.
    Not everyone is gonna stand out and be a 'star' in whatever way possible. For them, they found their calling. They knew what they were here for. They got it and worked it.
    They are the stars of the basketball team.
    For the rest of us, perhaps the majority, it seems like we are just here to take up space.
    Many die in vain through pain and struggle and without ever doing anything worth while. I've seen that. I think my mother was a victim of that.
    So for the rest of us, we're just the bench warmers. Nothing spectacular.
    And we're only the bench warmers if we were special enough to make it on the team at all.
    I'm not on the team. I'm sleepin outside, in the tent, in the rain - wondering why there's even a basketball team to begin with and makin all that money.

    If I were dead, I wouldn't have to worry about any of it.

    But I'm not.

    I'm here. In the street. In a tent. In the rain. Wondering where the hell I'm going, how I'm gonna get there, what am I going there for, what's the purpose of going there in the first place, and why the hell do I have to live and be like this before I get there?

    That's an analogy but it ain't that far from the real truth, and all those questions I ask are questions I have truly asked and how I really feel.

    If everyone felt as you did there would be no depression and we'd all feel good in down times.
    But depression is a HUGE problem with folks, especially black people. We have an inherent disposition to depression because we live in a racist society that devalues us and we have internalized that and devalue ourselves.
    Is it possible to be confident in yourself and yet still feel devalued as a whole? I would say yes because that's how I feel.

    I feel like I'm a muthafriggin shizzit, and no I'm not narcissistic.
    But I know where my talent lies and all I have to offer and how beautiful I am all around ... and none of it getting utilized to the degree that I want and need for it to be utilized.
    I make efforts and meet failure and struggle and then have to fight and I'm too tired, too lazy, to emotionally drained, too physically ill to fight.
    Givin up would be easy if I could.

    If I were dead, I wouldn't have to worry about. Death ain't no big deal, but how.
    But I ain't dead. I'm still here and wondering and figuring out thangs while always on the brink of some minor catastrophe.

    They say 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
    But it does make you wounded. It wounds your soul. It can hurt to the core and you're never quite the same.

    They say 'god doesn't give you more than you can handle.'
    A lie.
    If that were true people wouldn't commit suicide.

    Sorry for the tangent, all of it wasn't meant for you, only part of it.
    The rest was just thoughts I have a lot of times.
     
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professional Hitman
    Location:
    Da Desert, literally
    Ratings:
    +1,820
    Wow... I'm honored that my words elicit such a response and eventhough all wasn't meant for me, I feel privileged that some of your train of thought was.

    Understand me. I am a contradiction. I am religious and not at once; I am agnostic, a fallibilist and moral nihilist, but not atheist. My words above were not to forsake the reality of existence or living, but to offer a point that life is a beautiful struggle. We are all privileged to experience it in whatever capacity we do. I once told a friend that life is perfect in its imperfections and that in of itself makes it magical.

    We all seek to organize and understand things in a way that's meaningful for each of us and that affords us some comfort. For me, to deal with the many "failures" and "disappointments" thrown my way, I interpret them as the "flora" and "fauna" of a journey that is not promised to be anything but what I experience.

    Thus far, life has offered me many amazing opportunities. I was born a country boy in rural Louisiana where my nearest neighbor, whom was an elderly cousin and wife, lived half a mile away from me. However, this journey has led me to live in the largest city in the country (Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York City) and I have lived in every region (South, Midwest, East and now the West). I have been homeless, contemplating suicide - standing in soup lines to get government issued apricots and raisin bread to owning a multi-million dollar business with two houses. I have kissed death on more than one occasion from my years as a gangbanger (ages 14-18), having my backwindow shot out or my car rear-ended on the freeway in high speed car chases. I came one day short of being completely paralyzed from the neck down with fractures at my C6 and C7; thankfully, I haven't experienced being paralyzed, but I did endure having something taken away from me that I took for granted because it was so natural. I was unable to turn my neck for 4 months. Something so simple - that i couldn't do and I would look at people with envy because they could.

    When we expect something, we develop complications when we don't get what we expect or think we deserve. I did... When I was homeless, besides contemplating suicide, substance abuse sounded tempting. Who would care any way?

    We all want to do something great, leave our name behind as proof that we did indeed live and accomplished something meaningful. Sometimes the thought that we are somehow insignificant or that we are not putting our talents to full use can leave us frustrated. The fact of the matter is regardless of who we are, when our time comes - life still goes on. Do what you enjoy and feel fulfilled knowing you are putting your talents to use.

    I have went from homeless, broke, suicidal and frustrated to currently owning two houses and in the works of purchasing a new home. I have a mental health business that covers all my needs and help me develop a respectable portfolio at the same time I help people in need. One of my homes we are considering to house severely mentally ill people in need of housing and support with independent living skills.

    So much has life given me - good and bad, like so many others. We come out either stronger or bruised souls or sometimes, a combination of both.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Hopefully you can understand mine a little better.

    Life is a beautiful struggle, but it is fragile. Yet magical filled with many twists and turns. Enjoy it for what it is and what it is not. Each one of us must find out what is best for us. I wish you well....

    If my words make no sense, they were not said to make any... but if you were able to follow some logic behind them, take it for what it is. Nothing is true; everything is permissible.
     
Loading...