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Christine98 Profile
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Varieties of irreligious experience


"And in any case, religion for James was more a matter of subconscious experience than explicit doctrine. “Feeling is the deeper source of religion,” he wrote, and “philosophic and theological formulas are secondary products, like translations of a text into another tongue.” Philosophical theologians who tried to “construct religious objects out of the resources of logical reason” were missing the point, and chest-thumping atheists who tried to refute these intellectual constructions only compounded the error."

http://newhumanist.org.uk/2657/varieties-of-irreligious-experience

Last edited by Christine98, Sep/25/2011, 9:30 am
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Varieties of irreligious experience


Excellent contribution, Chris. A real treat. I also enjoyed the lively discussion following the essay.

Mostly I am in tune with Henry James's comprehensions of religion. More closely the religious experience. Jung decided that in the human psyche there is an identifyable religious instinct. I tend to think he was right. Many years ago I read the classic work on the religious experience called The Idea of the Holy, by Rudolf Otto. His premise was quite simple: the root of the religious experience is awe. I can go with that too, mostly because of several real-time experiences I've had, for lack of a better word I'll call them mystical visions, that put me in a state of awe and that I've never been able to rationally, clinically, even reductively explain to myself. These visions or real-time experiences that have affected me physically force me to disagree with the atheistic position. That or deny to myself that they have happened, which would amount to intellectual dishonesty. Also, I remember something a Jungian thinker said about Freud: that he had genius but that he lacked in the oceanic feeling. This might be pivitol, what sorts out the two stances.

That said, as mentioned elsewhere, when a young man I steeped myself in the writings of Nietzsche, that last (ideal) philosopher, first psychologist, and moral philosopher. Years later, by chance, I discovered that even before he died, but after he went insane due to syphillis, almost an entire generation read him. Not just thinkers and artists, but literate working class people too. Common people. They ate him up, devoured him, soaked him up. Thus the all but complete death of Christianity in Europe within a generation. It was like someone had come along, pointed out that, in fact, the emperor was naked and everyone opened their eyes. Joseph Campbell called the Christianization of Europe a cultural pseudo-morphology, a graft from a foreign source, the Levant, that never actually, essentially took. Even after so long Europeans remained nature worshipping pagans under the skin. (my words).

My point being the discussion between atheist and someone who takes on a particular doctrine of faith, in my view, has never been particularly fruitful, certainly not creative. Both parties miss what the religious experience brings one to, which might be, for lack of a better word, gnosis.

Tere
Sep/25/2011, 12:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Varieties of irreligious experience


Glad you liked it Tere. Helps to articulate my own thought and experience.

Chris

Last edited by Christine98, Sep/25/2011, 1:12 pm
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libramoon Profile
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Re: Varieties of irreligious experience


this seems like it might fit here:

http://dontbeadickday.com/
Jul/28/2012, 11:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Varieties of irreligious experience


Ha! I like how your mind works, Libra, and thanks for bumping up this thread.

Last edited by Katlin, Jul/29/2012, 8:30 am
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