Somedays i was so unhappy and disappointed in everything, that i was about, as they say, to "take a refuge in Buddhism", but i couldn't imagine myself having a teacher and going to datsan, as i'm a rebel inside.As I understand it, at least some Buddhists might be this way. There is certainly a spiritual element in Buddhism, but although I don't think Buddha actually denied a Creator exists, neither did he give any teachings about the subject. He taught about how to be free of insatiable desires, and how to transcend the limitations of "self", as well as many excellent ethical teachings. (I'm not a Buddhist, so I might be mistaken about some of this... and it's been quite some time since I investigated it.)
Interesting! I didn't know you had to go to datsan to be Buddhist... but I suppose I should have grasped that. I know the full statement one recites when formally embracing Buddhism is: "I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha."... with "Sangha" meaning the fellowship of believers... which implies that one normally doesn't become a solitary Buddhist.Somedays i was so unhappy and disappointed in everything, that i was about, as they say, to "take a refuge in Buddhism", but i couldn't imagine myself having a teacher and going to datsan, as i'm a rebel inside.
Exactly! IMO, the moment when beliefs and faith become a religious denomination (with its dogmas, rules and hostile attitude towards everything that doesn't fit this concept), they lose their initial sacred meaning and connection with nature and god.I really didn't think the Buddhist attitude was supposed to be at all like that.
That bolded part is where I mostly fall, though, like Katrina, I wonder whether there is something bigger than ourselves, just not some all-powerful being in the religious sense. I also consider what is called the power of God to be more inside ourselves, untapped potential, if you will, to dig deep and think/exist on a higher level. I'm not sure what that is. I was raised Catholic, but I began questioning the logic of organized religion pretty early in life. So many things didn't make sense to me, so I pretty much gave it up after high school. My mother was very religious, so we were kind of required to follow along while we lived under my parents' roof.I like this one better.
Are There Any Spiritual Atheists?
This is not, however, the only way the concept of "spirituality" can be used. For some people, it involves a variety of very personal things like self-realization, philosophical searching, etc. For many others, it is something like a very deep and strong emotional reaction to "wonders" of life — for example, gazing out at the universe on a clear night, seeing a newborn child, etc.
All of these and similar senses of "spirituality" are entirely compatible with atheism. There is nothing about atheism which prevents a person from having such experiences or quests. Indeed, for many atheists, their atheism is a direct result of such philosophical searching and religious questioning — thus, one might argue that their atheism is an integral component of their "spirituality" and their ongoing search for meaning in life.
That's how I see it, too. Religion/spirituality made no sense to me until I learned about Jungian archetypes. For those not familiar with it, Carl Jung came up with the idea that humans have a collective unconscious, which consists of archetypes: the hero, the trickster, the mother, the wise old man or woman at the edge of the woods, etc. I think the closest way to connect with "god" is connecting with these deeper parts of ourselves. And certain things serve as pathways: music, nature, beauty, etc, like Indian Summer and KLS mentioned.I also consider what is called the power of God to be more inside ourselves, untapped potential, if you will, to dig deep and think/exist on a higher level.