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Thread: How do you cope with Sci?

  1. #31
    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.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRainman View Post
    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.
    Glad my ramblings resonate with some people.

    Personally I hope there is no after life. My family (who is all very religious - Christian) believes in the afterlife. They ask me how bleak and depressing life must be if there is nothing after this. To that, I tell them that only makes life more precious. This one brief visit to this globe then nothingness for all eternity. There is a beauty in that. If I were master of the universe I would create no afterlife. Good or bad you get one shot. Make the best of it and live life to the fullest like there is nothing coming after it.

    Plus part of me hopes there is some sort of rest after all of this chaotic/intense/traumatic/beautiful/painful life, and I can think of no rest more pure than endless oblivion and nonexistence.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I dunno, I can think of lots more restful, and enjoyable, ways to spend an afterlife than non-existence!

    I'm definitely (and far) less concerned about the literal truth of an "afterlife" than I am about how folks are incentivized (or enabled) by whatever belief about it they have while they're living.

    "One life, so live it up!!" can mean some pretty horrible things, for the rest of us, to a sadist. Much less an entire society built up around that notion. I think people, en masse, are better off with some good ol' fashioned, fire-n-brimstone (or karmic) fear of doing evil, than not.

    The 'figurative truth' (how our beliefs affect our behavior) is way more important than the 'literal truth', IMO.

    I deal with my SCI, mostly, by trying to ignore it, and by asking myself, "So, what am I going to do about it?" when I can't ignore it, and I'm facing an obstacle. Forward. Always forward. Never back.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  4. #34
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    Glad my ramblings resonate with some people.

    Personally I hope there is no after life. My family (who is all very religious - Christian) believes in the afterlife. They ask me how bleak and depressing life must be if there is nothing after this. To that, I tell them that only makes life more precious. This one brief visit to this globe then nothingness for all eternity. There is a beauty in that. If I were master of the universe I would create no afterlife. Good or bad you get one shot. Make the best of it and live life to the fullest like there is nothing coming after it.

    Plus part of me hopes there is some sort of rest after all of this chaotic/intense/traumatic/beautiful/painful life, and I can think of no rest more pure than endless oblivion and nonexistence.
    We seem to be on the same page.
    I remember that moment in "The Power of Myth" when Joseph Cambell responds to a question (sic) "Heaven is right here and right now! This is it! Enjoy it."

    I live in a world without a god, but there is plenty of magic! I operate out of abundance and I am satisfied. Life is good.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    I dunno, I can think of lots more restful, and enjoyable, ways to spend an afterlife than non-existence!

    I'm definitely (and far) less concerned about the literal truth of an "afterlife" than I am about how folks are incentivized (or enabled) by whatever belief about it they have while they're living.

    "One life, so live it up!!" can mean some pretty horrible things, for the rest of us, to a sadist. Much less an entire society built up around that notion. I think people, en masse, are better off with some good ol' fashioned, fire-n-brimstone (or karmic) fear of doing evil, than not.

    The 'figurative truth' (how our beliefs affect our behavior) is way more important than the 'literal truth', IMO.

    I deal with my SCI, mostly, by trying to ignore it, and by asking myself, "So, what am I going to do about it?" when I can't ignore it, and I'm facing an obstacle. Forward. Always forward. Never back.
    I never heard of anyone restraining their evil impulses due to fear of hell.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I have, but it's not always that literal (or obvious) of a cause/effect. The behavioral evolutionary effects of spirituality, on morality, have absolutely shaped our notions of right and wrong, and consequently our behavior.

    The idea, that a desire to avoid painful consequences heavily influences our actions, is undeniable IMO. Prior to secularism, for many many many thousands of years, "jail" wasn't the consequence. "Offending the gods" was a big part of it.

    The past few hundred years have changed our concepts, and rationalizations, but the past few hundred thousands of years of selective pressures are still indelibly stamped on our psyche, IMO.

    "I'd kill that mofo if I wouldn't go to jail!" isn't fundamentally very different than, "I'd kill that mofo if I wouldn't go to hell!"

    By and large, our notions of consequences heavily influences our actions. Religion/spirituality was a big source of our notions of consequences for ages. Those effects are still present, even if the language (and suppositions) around it has changed.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  7. #37
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Rainman:
    "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."

    I believe it is what you say it is (providing you're not lying to
    yourself). My stand is that my life has purpose and meaning.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  8. #38
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I think youre right, too. Belief in meaning is sufficient to create meaning. Doesn't much matter whether that comes from inside us or outside us. How it affects us is what counts. Believe what you want! But don't lie to yourself about the effects, or how it affects you.

    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    Rainman:
    "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."

    I believe it is what you say it is (providing you're not lying to
    yourself). My stand is that my life has purpose and meaning.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    Glad my ramblings resonate with some people.

    Personally I hope there is no after life. My family (who is all very religious - Christian) believes in the afterlife. They ask me how bleak and depressing life must be if there is nothing after this. To that, I tell them that only makes life more precious. This one brief visit to this globe then nothingness for all eternity. There is a beauty in that. If I were master of the universe I would create no afterlife. Good or bad you get one shot. Make the best of it and live life to the fullest like there is nothing coming after it.

    Plus part of me hopes there is some sort of rest after all of this chaotic/intense/traumatic/beautiful/painful life, and I can think of no rest more pure than endless oblivion and nonexistence.
    I come from a catholic background. I agree with the bleakness because if this is it then what is the meaning in life. But I do think religion is a scam.
    But if I had my choice I wish I was a believer because it would make death a lot easier. But logic tells me non of the religions make any sense. And their is a whole big universe out there that totally unexplainable.

  10. #40
    I'm not a big religious person. I haven't been to church regular since I was about 9. I have always questioned everything and due to a love of science regard the majority of the Bible as folklore and legends. Most particularly the Old Testament. That being said, I still believe in God (some sort of creator). My belief in the afterlife has been steadied by two different other worldly occurrences. In 1993, the night before my paternal grandmother's viewing/funeral, I was at my computer when I got that feeling that someone was in the room. I turned my head and saw my grandmother standing there in a bluish-green dress. The next day at the viewing, she was wearing same exact color dress. It freaked me out completely and I didn't tell anyone for a long while. In 1997, my maternal grandmother passed away. I was sitting in my room with my back to the door and felt someone's hand on my shoulder. I turned my head to see who it was but no one was there, however I felt her presence.

    I know that there are logical explanations for what I experienced but its what I believe occurred and it gives me reason to believe in an afterlife. Even if it has no scientific basis.

    As for how I cope with almost 29 years of quadriplegia (and currently 5 continuous years of bed resst), fuck if I know. Even with my belief in an afterlife, I still fear death. Maybe its vanity and a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance. I could end things if I wanted and leave the pain, fear and anger behind me, but I'm still here... perhaps its the masochist in me.

    Anyhow, see you all, tomorrow.

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