Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
Please note S2 sensory level, Ti...

I believe our friend Tim was making a lighthearted (though not without a bit of brutal truth, which I can appreciate) jest.

I'm glad you found your way, and probably for many of us god/religion/spirituality is a part of that way.

Though for me it was not.

Interestingly I spent a few years exploring religion in my early 20s, and the Bible and Koran still sit on my bookshelf along side the Kebra Nagast and a book by Mao about guerilla warfare, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Marx Das Kapital. I attribute the same significance to all of them. They all had a bit to do with mysticism and they all preyed on that element of our nature that requires explanation of the unknown. I'm sure your perspective as a scientist will help you appreciate in part where I am coming from, though obviously your supernatural experiences ground you in a different way than I am grounded.

I grew up in a Lutheran church in the south. It was not your typcial Lutheran church, there were routine "revivals" and it was not an uncommon experience to have dozens or hundreds of people laid out on the floor having been "slain by the spirit". Numerous people speaking in tongues (including my parents) was an every-Sunday experience from as early as I can remember. I have only one sibling, but of the four members of my "family of origin" as we say in the parlance of my profession, I am the only areligious one.

Here I will digress slightly to give some perspective. As I understand it atheists believe there is no god, and that's not me... exactly. I hope that I would believe anything if enough proof were provided for me. Yet agnosticism is a bit of bullshittery, at least as I understand it... you don't believe in god, but you don't disbelieve in god? Okay... I don't believe in the tooth fairy or Saint Nick, but I definitely DO disbelieve in them until such time as evidence is presented to me that they do exist. Just as I disbelieve in spontaneous combustion and vaccines causing autism and everything else that has no evidence or that cannot reasonably be inferred from evidence at hand.

And that's not to say that I "believe in science"... I mean I certainly do, what fool wouldn't? I just mean that there is no religious connotation to science as some academicians seem to ascribe it. I find it quite amusing when people go out of there way to profess their lack of religion with such religious fervor and absolute conviction, professing that the believe in nothing that has not been proved with double blinded controlled trials.

Yet somehow I seem to have been able to find a purpose for my life without (at least from my own admittedly limited insight into myself) that purpose being something prescribed by an outside individual, group or tradition. Perhaps I am a humanist... I don't know much about that philosophy to be sure... in fact it seems a philosophy that wouldn't really attract many messianic proselytizers.

Doing good for goodness sake seems to be a fundamental human characteristic. At least so long as the human in question is well fed and unfamiliar with regular want or danger... which admittedly is a state humans have rarely existed in until the last 100 years or so, and even now those of us with such a reliably stable existence are probably outnumbered by the desperate and the needy.

I feel for anyone who isn't able to reach a stage in their life when they feel that they have done some "good for goodness sake". Those who are of the Abrahamic tradition might attribute it to divine inspiration. Hindus or Buddhists might view it as building karma, but I would argue that anyone who is human (and not sociopathic) can find some gratification in the improvement (however slight) of the lives of others by their own hand. Google tells me it was some anonymous Greek gentleman who said "Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never sit in", and I've always empathized with that statement.

So basically my point is that whatever the reasoning underlying your motivation, so long as you can do something that makes you feel that you contributed in some way to the improvement of the lives of others, you've found a purpose in life. I guess I'm fundamentally opposed to the idea of "the" purpose of life because that seems too exclusive and narrow minded. Clearly you've found several significant purposes to your life... I hope that I have found one or two. I certainly don't think any purpose in life requires some great feat or even gainful employment. I meet plenty of people on a day to day basis who have never really held down a job in their lives, yet they supply so much fulfillment/help/joy/benefit/gratification/meaning to others, that I hope they are as convinced as I am that their purpose in life has been well fulfilled.

So in closing god or spirituality (whatever that means) might well be integral to one persons experience of "coping" with SCI, while it is entirely possible to cope quite adequately with SCI without even entertaining the thought that a god might exist.
Thank you for the thoughts. I having always thought a lot like what you have written. And you really cleared my doubts that i had in them.
I have no clue on whats or if there is a after life. But I do hope there is something. And there is a meaning n life even though I don't have a clue what it is. I do believe all life has a meaning.