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Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
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Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

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Discussion Forum

Surreal, I haz it

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by booklover on Monday. 75 Replies

Surreal, not just found in art.Continue

Tags: surreal

Poem - "Oh, Wait..."

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Luara Apr 11. 7 Replies

Before you ask, no, I didn't write this.  I discovered it in a comment on a Discovermagazine.com piece which…Continue

Tags: poem

Curious: Has anyone read the novel "Christian Nation"?

Started by Brent Feeney. Last reply by Plinius Apr 10. 11 Replies

So I've been thinking about this some lately, and I wanted to see what your thoughts were:I read a novel last fall that was making the rounds of Atheist blogs and what not called "Christian Nation", which is part alternative history and part…Continue

Stop the Religious Right. Four Steps You Can Take, Sean Faircloth.

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Apr 9. 2 Replies

Thanks to Grinning Cat via Loren Miller led me to this additional video by Sean Faircloth. He provides positive and powerful examples of thinking and acting. Continue

Science, Atheism & the Joyful Life -- by Sean Faircloth, Richard Dawkins Foundation

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo Apr 9. 6 Replies

Some speeches by atheists are factual and practical, dealing with the nuts and bolts of reality.  Some are diatribes against the superstitions we seek to overcome, pointing out the man behind the curtain and the fallacies and snake oil he tries to…Continue

Tags: life, joy, Richard Dawkins Foundation, Sean Faircloth

Bedtime Bible Stories (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller Apr 8. 0 Replies

Uh, oh!  America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, is at it again, THIS time with bedtime stories!  Somehow with her retelling of some of the classics, I'm dubious that her versions would go over with the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson,…Continue

Tags: stories, bedtime, Betty Bowers

Comment Wall

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Comment by Sarah Walton on April 10, 2012 at 6:52pm

What about the feeling one gets when  experiencing something uncanny or strange? That feeling of being so weirded out you're not sure how to react? And I mean, really weirded out.

I'll give you two examples. Once, when I was about 5, I saw an opossum on a neighbours' back patio. They are not native to the region I grew up in, and he was likely an escaped pet. I had never seen an opossum before, and it was like seeing a freaking unicorn. It was so bizarre, and I'll never forget how weird that felt. This must be how people feel when they think they've seen Bigfoot.
 

The second time, I was 12, star gazing with my family at my aunt and uncle's house and we saw a UFO. No really--it was flying, it was in the sky, I didn't know what the heck it was. Now I know I probably some sort of US stealth or flying wing aircraft, but at the time I was unfamiliar with them. Mix in the fact that it was night, flying very high and UFO themes were popular on TV at the time, and well, there's yer problem. ;)

I'd sort of like to be able to have that experience again. I see things that confuse and astound me, but I haven't been put in my place by weirdness in a long time.

Comment by Paula T. on April 10, 2012 at 6:10pm
I like watching clips of the Atheist Experience on YouTube. In one particular clip, the caller explains how good she felt after going to church, listening to hymns, hearing the sermons, etc. The host asked her if she ever felt chills while listening to anything else...any type of secular experience and she replied that yes, she had. He explained it just as Ruth did - the mind plays tricks on us and what we may feel is the "holy spirit" is just an emotional and physiological response. I just wish more people would see the connection - there is nothing spiritual or supernatural about these feelings.

I really wonder what goes on in one's life to be so indoctrinated to truly feel they have a 'personal' relationship with god or that he talks to them. As they say, when one hears voices, they should go see a psychiatrist...not go to church...
Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 10, 2012 at 3:48pm

"today's Fresh Air story"

I heard this too (my car is NPR -24/7), brief critique: crock o' shit.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on April 10, 2012 at 3:10pm

I once had an experience at a jujitsu class where the instructor darkened the room and put on a subliminal tape. I literally went under -- my arms and legs started to gyrate without any conscious control on my part, and I fell into a golden place of ineffable joy. It was so beautiful that when the instructor stopped the tape and flashed on the lights, I started to bawl out of control, and it lasted for about half an hour. Needless to say, everyone else in the room was shocked, and tried to comfort me, but I couldn't stop crying.

I can see where people who have that kind of experience could think it was supernatural, and some of the people in the room tried to convince me it was a death-like experience (I won't know about that until I die), but I see no reason that it couldn't have come from brain chemicals crossing synapses in just the right way to create the experience. I think spirituality is what people make of it -- I'm SURE that some people would have interpreted it as a message from god, or the experience of nirvana or some such, but I'm pretty sure it was a physical phenomenon. I've never been able to recreate it, and it WAS beautiful, but I just think my brain simply happened to be stimulated in the right way to cause it. I DO wish I could do it again! :-)

Comment by sk8eycat on April 10, 2012 at 2:58pm

Similar sensations:

1. When I was a teen at Sunday evening candlelight services; lots of quiet music, low lights, silent prayers.  I did feel something, thought it was god, but I never "heard" any words.

2. Age 19 - took a course in hypnotism as part of a PR deal when I was on the road with HOI.  The teacher gave the class a post-hypnotic suggestion that we would do the best show we ever had that night, and feel wonderful.  I did (I don't know about the others), and I also realized that I was having the same "uplifting" feelings that I used to have at those Sunday evening services.

3. 2 years ago - having an MRI of my neck...same "floating" feeling after a while.  (Much better than a drink or two!)

We still don't know a great deal about how the brain works, but I have read that meditation/prayer and experiments with magnetic fields can create the same bio-chemical effect...or electro-chemical.  I don't know which.  (I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.)

And when I'm in that twilight place between sleeping and waking, I sometimes hear my mother quietly say my name.  Mom died in 1993.

I know my own miind created those "experiences."  Except maybe the MRI.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 10, 2012 at 2:16pm

Thanks for the post, Simone. It's an interesting study, albeit biased toward theism. Human beings have very flexible minds. I was always fascinated by accounts of how we failed to distinguish inner voices from outer (real) voices before widespread print literacy. For example Michael Foucault's describes how we once organized reality very differently in The Archaeology of Knowledge. Most people don't realize that reality as we perceive it is largely organized culturally at a deep level prior to perception. As I see it, our collective grasp of reason and subjective vs objective is more fragile than "common sense" admits.

Comment by Patricia on April 10, 2012 at 1:07pm

Smacks of self-hypnosis Simone....not to mention really disgusting to me. I'll worship my cats....hahahaha.

Comment by Simone Rosa on April 10, 2012 at 12:03am

Talk about an imaginary invisible friend!  I almost ran off the road when I heard today's Fresh Air story - http://www.npr.org/2012/03/26/149394987/when-god-talks-back-to-the-...

 

Comment by Pamela on April 8, 2012 at 10:12am

Happy Zombie Jesus Day to you too Chris.  Careful now....he wants your brain!!!

Comment by Chris Dodds on April 8, 2012 at 9:19am

HAPPY ZOMBIE JESUS DAY! 

 

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