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I've been an atheist for about 10 years, and every now and then I find myself missing the deep friendships and focus on moral development that I experienced in church. I visit with family now and then, but I can't make myself go often because I just don't believe what they're "selling," and I find a lot of what goes on pretty objectionable. I'm not into woo, so other supernatural ideologies don't fit either.

Have other atheists or non-religious INFJ's found meaningful "spiritual" connection elsewhere?
 

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I find spiritual connection in everyday life, with all the people I meet and in all activities I undertake. Spirit doesn't belong to a doctrine or building. It's here - life as it is, the only teacher.
 

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Join a nerdy astronomy group. You'll find them there. Are you certain there is no God? This isn't a religious question. It is a philosophical one.
 

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I grew up in a catholic home my entire childhood. I never bought into it as a child because it never made sense to me. I intuitive knew it was all bullshit, i thought it was a religion with a hidden and sinister agenda. The more i was forced to go to church and live a life of false faith in order to please my family, the more i grew to detest religion altogether. This naively set me on a path of atheism for 5 years. These events severed all ties with any ideas of spirituality, that in retrospect, I always felt and believed as a young child before religion was forced upon me. I started leaning towards agnosticism the older i grew due to sheer curiosity. The only thing that has undeniably and radically shifted my entire ontology was the use of entheogenic plants and a genuine intention on rekindling those intrinsic feelings i had as a young boy. They were morally rectifying for me, They helped me forgive all the pent up resent towards my family for their unbeknownst ignorant actions. They made me form a strong, meaningful bond with myself, instead of anxiously seeking it from others. But most importantly Those oddyseys with those plants made me a believer by personal experience, in something unexplainable by words. An interconnected impalpable force that I associate with “god” for the lack of a better word. But I entirely agree with Kirjuri’s statement. Spirit has no doctrine. Religions have no monopoly on the authentic experience of spirituality. I learned this when i deconditioned myself from what i was forced to believe and changed my perspective on life althogther. You can find spiritual meaningfulness in the mundane if you change your perspective, find your peace. I found mine in nature.
 

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I find my spiritual alternatives everywhere.

I was raised Catholic and was quite devote even though towards my late teens I had quite a few strong negative experiences that drove me away from it permanently.

I read into and practice my own version of spiritual connections based on elements of Buddhism, other eastern spiritual beliefs, mythology and psychology.

I don't believe strongly in "woo" type teachings but I remain quite open to experiencing them and understanding where they come from and what drove humans to seek and develop them.

I personal find that moral development comes from within and although many beliefs try and reinforce its origins as being from them, reality for me has never painted that picture.
 

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In some way, I feel connected to everyone that "woke up". It doesn't matter what they believe in exactly or what language they speak, I just think we have to stick together. Sometimes when I walk through my city at night I just talk to people that seem interesting to me and I had some pretty interesting conversations. People you can really connect with, they're everywhere.

Edit: On a sidenote, when I was around 8 years old I wanted to join the religions class. It was optional where I lived. The teacher was incredible and she teached us to find our own meaning in the bible. I found some meaning in it, though it was different from the churches interpretation - which it should be. On the next school I wanted to continue but the teachers were awful and I quit as soon as I could. My parents weren't religious and I never went to church as a child/teen. I think there is something to gain from different religions, though never in a fundamental way. Even though it might be difficult to connect, I think it is a good experience to explore different religions. I went to a church later in life to talk to a priest and I talked to some buddhists a few months afterwards. They have some good points, it's just sometimes difficult to decipher.
 

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I had problems organized religion for a long time too. I find mindless ritualistic behavior that can't be questioned or explained, quite stupid. I was lucky to have very accepting parents, even though they're quite conservative, they encouraged me to go on a journey of exploring everything.
I've always believed in God because science's everything-is-a-coincidence principle never really resonated with me. I also believed the Creator would send a message to us or that there was some answer in the universe, because we are a creation that always questions. I thought 'why make us this way if you didn't want us to question?'. In my research and exploration of all the different groups in the world , I started to see some universal trends which made me feel... if there was a true religion on the earth, it would encompass all those to a degree, in an 'Ockham's razor' fashion. I felt again that, if so many people over time and culture felt the pull to find God or create a set of rules to worship God, or find meaning in the world, there must be something programmed into our creation that makes us this way, this was put there for a reason at the very least. etc
Another realization I had was that humans are so d*** flawed, if a religion doesn't include regular spiritual cleansing or bringing back to humility, and/or if there is too much room for interpretation, we will cling to those flaws and push our perspective on everything, eventually twisting what may have been the truth, into something ugly and disfigured, and not even be able to see that's what we're doing. Because our own weaknesses takes something essential beautiful and kind and good, and twist it to suit our selfishness. I always thought that was very connected to how every religion seems to have a force of good and origin, and a force for bad and destruction.

...I'm obviously over simplifying all the things I found, and I don't really have the words to describe this well... but this post is already a novel so I'm not going to go more in depth here -_-;

In the end I settled on a religion. I'm quite happy, I don't follow it the way the people of this generation might, but try to follow the way it is written and was originally followed. Which sometimes makes me seem much more conservative than them and sometimes more liberal. That to me, seems like the true message of God. I am always open to criticism though, because I understand that my own perspective is biased and flawed and feel that to be overly obsessed with it is a bad idea. Also I'm sure I haven't understood every culture's or group's religion perfectly and acknowledge I may have missed something/not had enough maturity to understand it. All in all, this journey has more than enough information and content to occupy me the short few years we are alive, even if it's all rubbish in the end, I feel spiritually fulfilled and have much to look forward to! Also thinking in such a way lets me talk to/have deep connections with people of all faiths and spiritual inclinations.

I think you could just try a spiritual journey like this as an alternative. Study religions and cultures as a study of perspective, not searching for some set of rituals to follow but a perspective on how people think, of how possibilities of a Creator's guidance of us could have come? or just the spectrum of spirituality the human condition experiences?

Also, some meditation groups seem to have a good handle on the deep friendships focused on moral development but no strict policies on God/Gods/Religion, people of all types go there and just focus on connecting with their own experience and also other people and general loving/kind/moral behavior.
 

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A more traditional-leaning martial arts dojo? As their spiritual philosophy is often part and parcel to their training. Perhaps yogo, tai chi, or qigong(chi gong?) if you're looking for something less combat oriented. Both places also often have people who are growth-oriented, which I find easier to establish lasting connections with as well. Just be sure to check out the place before you enroll; some places have different focuses (more on the sparring/competition, more on practical self-defense instead of the spiritual stuff, etc).
 

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I've been an atheist for about 10 years, and every now and then I find myself missing the deep friendships and focus on moral development that I experienced in church. I visit with family now and then, but I can't make myself go often because I just don't believe what they're "selling," and I find a lot of what goes on pretty objectionable. I'm not into woo, so other supernatural ideologies don't fit either.

Have other atheists or non-religious INFJ's found meaningful "spiritual" connection elsewhere?
Vipassana meditation, and there are online and off-line groups if you want to either meditate with others or simply meet up with some persons who view Vipassana coming down from Siddhartha Gotama as spiritual or experiential work backed by philosophy, et cetera.
 

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I got to know an INFP near intimately, whom shared the same 'sun sign' as me, that was a spiritual connection in my book.
:laughing:

Can one find a spiritual connection through the arts? Looking into it as deep as I am, I don't think so, but there may be something better than a spiritual connection down this path. To have people adore your work, and everything you do educates people of the greater good inside the relevant social realm, bringing objectivity into it. Giving power to people to help solve their own issues, inspire them, share and bring them to your inner circle, the friendships, connectivity... Who knows maybe then.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another realization I had was that humans are so d*** flawed, if a religion doesn't include regular spiritual cleansing or bringing back to humility, and/or if there is too much room for interpretation, we will cling to those flaws and push our perspective on everything, eventually twisting what may have been the truth, into something ugly and disfigured, and not even be able to see that's what we're doing.
I really resonate with the above. I think this exactly why I feel being surrounded by depth and striving for our higher natures is so important. After all, we become what we dwell on, and it's so easy to become self-centered when I exist too much in my own self-reinforcing thought patterns. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In some way, I feel connected to everyone that "woke up". It doesn't matter what they believe in exactly or what language they speak, I just think we have to stick together. Sometimes when I walk through my city at night I just talk to people that seem interesting to me and I had some pretty interesting conversations. People you can really connect with, they're everywhere.
You are so right! Thanks for sharing this. There is definitely wisdom to be found in the world's religions and all the diverse stories of strangers. I feel blessed that these connections come relatively easily - I just have to remember to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do you have a Unitarian Universalist church in your area? It's a church that doesn't endorse any specific belief of god or lack thereof. Seems like exactly what you would be looking for.
Thanks for that suggestion! We do have one here and I visited a few times. Sadly they are still too into woo for me. I just can't abide pretending - and there is a lot going on at this particular UU which has a strongly Christian Protestant vibe. Makes sense I guess since they are Christian Protestants. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you for all the helpful and supportive replies! I will definitely be looking into some of these ideas!

About a week ago our local community center hosted a group of Tibetan monks who created a sand mandala and opened the dissolution ceremony up to the public. It was such a moving experience and resonated so strongly, apart from any supernatural element for me, that I've been thinking maybe I need more of something like that in my life. Maybe from a whole host of sources.
 

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I'm an atheist myself, but I enjoy "spiritualistic" activities... or perhaps meditative is a better word. The main thing I do is run.. I find it very meditative getting into a rhythm and running a long distance..getting the endorphins flowing ..and I love running outside esp somewhere w/ a nice scenic view. Getting in touch w/ nature hiking etc is great for the psyche. Sometimes I like to meditate and do breathing exercises... I'd like to practice Tai Chi.. I've looked up some videos and such about it. but never got into the habit of doing it. Listening to chill music, watching a beautiful movie...esp stuff like Baraka or samasara or a nature program... going to a crowded city and just walking around. I like reading and learning about religions... tend to always have spiritualism books I'm reading, like on buddhism or philosophy or samurai culture or such ...always like go to a park or a public space w/ lots of natural light to read. Taking in some awe at some of the beauty in the world, reflecting, getting yours chakra in line with the flow of the universe around you etc.... I think everyone needs that and should take time every couple days to do that sort of stuff. You don't have to be religious or spiritual to do spirittualish activities.

Not sure if that's the sort of thing the OP was asking about though:
I find myself missing the deep friendships and focus on moral development that I experienced in church.
church was never anything like that for me.
 
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