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I come across devout people (Ni users) talking about souls, soul groups, energy, astrology, elements, the universe, etc. They all kind of claim the same things, with slight nuances, but the one thing they really have in common is full conviction.

The concepts in itself make sense I guess (as they are designed to) but how does one... know. I do not understand how how such devotion comes to exists. (I mean, I doubt my own name and age if someone disputes it.)

What information do spiritual devotees build from? How do mere belief and (faint) experiences amount to asserted truths?

I neither oppose nor consent of spiritual concepts, to be clear. But I do question. It is perhaps a matter of naiveté: they being too naive, me being too leery, or a combination of both.

So: Are they any spiritual INTPs (as in, truly devoted practicioners)? And what chain of events, or basis shaped you one? Because we (Ti opposed to Ni) require different sets of data before committing to something.

 
I'm a man without conviction...
 

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Bookkeeper personality types like the known/unknown ledger balanced. Everything needs to be on the 'Known' side but we're not dealing with numbers. This makes for easy faith-based balancing.

So what makes for a good bookkeeper?

https://medium.com/@cre8tivemediase...ity-traits-of-a-good-bookkeepers-746ba43559af

#7 - Positive outlook

#6 - Nurturing

#5 - Hard Worker

#4 - Organized

#3 - Able to handle multiple projects

#2 - Detail-oriented

#1 - Personable and caring

That's five nopes and two sorta-kinda-maybes for me...someone else can work out a scoring system.
 

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I think to be truly objective, that also includes examining your motives for objectivity and answers, and how you might privilege them. Sometimes you wind up with a question mark and a new category. A new category is a new category, even if you can't label it.

The category isn't, "shit I don't understand," because that's too broad. I don't actually understand plumbing, but I could probably research it, and there are things that are very unlike plumbing that I don't understand that really need their own category. So it's more "shit I don't understand of this very particular type that I don't have a word to describe, but I know what they have in common."

That category is where there is room for the spiritual. Is it agnostic? No. Because I have enough to know the category exists. There's enough in the category to make me acknowledge it has being as a category. Whatever "it" is, it's there. So I just go through my little life recognizing what fits in it, and what doesn't.*

*Almost nothing of the phenomena you cited as examples fits my category.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@DarkBarlow: Center-brained? Much.
@Eryngo: "*Almost nothing of the phenomena you cited as examples fits my category." - Then what does if I may be so bold? And also, about the categories... is this particular category really one that is understood by anyone at all (like plumbing is)?
 

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@DarkBarlow: Center-brained? Much.
@Eryngo: "*Almost nothing of the phenomena you cited as examples fits my category." - Then what does if I may be so bold? And also, about the categories... is this particular category really one that is understood by anyone at all (like plumbing is)?
Well, since I can't name the category, I can't exactly describe it, can I? :kitteh:

Here's the best I can do:

I "pray" to "God" and "God" "answers" me.

Those words do as much to disguise what I'm talking about as describe it. However, when "it" happens, it's obvious to me it's happening. That part's completely rational. The "faith" part is only faith in myself that I'm not insane when I see it happening.

Now that particular faith may be misplaced, but if it is, my entire consciousness is compromised. Do we have the time (now or in general) for that kind of radical doubt of subjectivity? Shall we wonder now if we are brains in vats? I'd rather not.

Therefore, in theory, I could say, without scare quotes, that I pray to God and God answers me, because nothing we say actually describes what's going on at any time, and it's all just a close approximation. So sometimes I do say exactly that, in the humble realization that, for millennia, people the world over probably weren't morons when they used the same terms. It's just a tough process to describe, they used the tools available to them, and that's as good a shorthand as you're going to get, because the longhand is way to long to conceive.

That's probably all I'm going to say about it, since I do value accuracy, and this is just one of those things that the more you strive to put a pin on it, the more inaccurate you get. One step forward, two steps back, and so on.
 

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"A regular practitioner" of spirituality? One can be a regular practitioner of a religion, of religious rituals, or even practice meditation (which can intersect with spirituality), but spirituality is more of a state than a practice.

On the side of religion, we have fantastical stories, meant to be taken as allegory, which people insist on accepting as real. While I personally think that's absurd, I do find great value in the moral lessons embedded in those allegorical stories (provided they aren't born out of oppressive or damaging concepts). On the side of spirituality, we have knowns and unknowns from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including art, math, science, and theoretical science, all of which point to a beautiful and perfectly orchestrated set of rules which govern reality.

The question is, does reality inspire awe in you, or do you approach these mysteries with the cold logic mantra of "it's only unknown for now, and we will neatly define it eventually?" Humility and imagination, or hubris and dispassion. Although time spent in either state may reinforce your chosen mindset, I maintain that these are more states of being than practices.
 

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Humility and imagination, or hubris and dispassion.
That's one interesting way to set up the dichotomy. However, it's clearly biased in favour of "no answers." (A person could have a lot of imagination around potential "rational answers" as well.) And hubris, is, itself, a supernatural concept. So it's a bit like telling a nonbeliever he's going to hell.

But I get what you're driving toward, and since terms are part of the problem, it's fine.
 

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Many people constitute a mix of these perspectives on the axis of religion and science, while some religious persons and atheists exist at the extreme ends of the spectrum. There's plenty of space for varying shades of preference, imagination, and potential in between.
 

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I'm taking a course on Kabbalah on edX with the explicit intent to 1) find a something that agitates the Sefirot 2) find a way to reliably channel that energy into 3) my golem Goyim Murderfists, Esquire and in so doing create life.

So.
 

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I was curious about this myself, so I asked my handy Ni user who said: "We are really good seeing connections and how things interweave together. The problem is, without Ti/Te we don't have the logical basis to reject those conclusions." Take that as you will.

Spirituality has always been a mystery to me. I think the moment in my life that underscores this the most was when I was put in Sunday school as a young child and we were taught about Adam and Eve as if this magical story were true. It didn't sit right with me, so I asked the teacher after class: "How do they know Adam and Eve were real? Did they find the bones?" She responded: "You have to have faith." That...pretty much killed religion for me. That's no answer at all. I've been told that I "don't have the gift of faith." I can't say I can argue with that!
 

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Well for me I was raised in a Christian home by parents who were themselves actually devoted to Christianity and took it seriously. Growing up [from grade school through high school] I had good teachers in Sunday school/youth group who didn't tend towards extremist interpretations, like taking everything literally on the one end, and taking everything as allegory on the other. Not to mention many of them also took their faith seriously. I was also able to find good apologists (e.g. Ravi Zacharias) who were able to counter many of the arguments used by secularists/atheists/agnostics to argue against Christianity.

Another important thing to mention is that my parents consciously avoided trying to force things on me and gave me a lot of freedom growing up, which in hindsight was definitely a good move on their part. I don't remember them forcing me to go to any particular religious activity, though sometimes (i.e. rarely) they "strongly encouraged" me.

So all these things really helped me develop a solid intellectual basis for my faith, which is absolutely critical for me because there are times where my life is so bad that the only thing I fall back on is the logic undergirding my belief. But really I think it is my experience that ultimately convinces me because in the end it is quite difficult to deny that I experienced something. Now when I say experience I'm talking about what happens over a lifetime, not some flash-in-the-pan type thing. I mean the experience that comes from praying everyday, reading and meditating on Scripture everyday, seeing prayers consistently answered. If it just happened one time, sure it would be easy to deny or explain some other way. But if it happens consistently over many years I find it difficult to deny.

So, the TLDR version: I had a positive experience with Christianity growing up and it was not forced upon me which allowed me the freedom to develop my own thoughts regarding it. I've heard no argument from any opponent of Christianity that I have found convincing and felt that I must renounce my faith in light of it. But really, I think its the everyday experience of living the Christian life that convinces me because I find it very difficult to deny my own experience. Or in other words, it's basically always been there and I've found no good reason to abandon it or renounce it.
 

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I was raised a practicing Catholic but started questioning it when we learned about the theory of evolution in science class and then the teachers and the priest I asked about the book of Genesis had nothing to say about how to reconcile them. However in graduate school (philosophy) I came into contact with better informed Catholics who knew more of the history of theology and scriptural exegesis. I was shocked to find out that there was so much philosophical sophistication in historical Christian theology. (Eg Augustine’s interpretation of the 6 days, etc etc etc) I became a scholar of Augustine and ancient philosophy and also studied the history of the dogmatic councils and writers like Newman, etc. Once I saw that it was genuinely intellectual and rational, I returned to more active participation in the religion and started praying. I don’t think that what most people are talking about when they say “spirituality” is an experience of something really transcendent/divine. INF types are aesthetes and can be very affectively moved by experiences of beauty in the natural world or in artworks, but this is not the same as worship of a transcendent deity (though it can later lead to it). ENF are passionate about causes and social structures, and naturally tend to have a positive outlook on the world and their ability to change it, which they can believe is theological “charity” or “hope,” but that too I think is a case of not quite doing it. So frankly I think that real theologians are NTs and the vast majority of people who practice (at least in Catholicism, which has a definite intellectual tradition) need to rely on them to know what to believe (since the meaning and full import of the Bible is not always immediately obvious, and in any case the Bible does not contain everything about Christianity as a lived and historically grounded reality). If you look at the history of Christianity, for the most part the real mystics are either INTs, or NFs who meditate deeply on the theology that’s articulated by the NTs. Another thing about “spirituality” is that it is usually vapid or vague about morality, which is why people often (today) prefer to subscribe to it rather than to some particular set of doctrines... but that’s not particularly useful for deciding how to make the myriad choices that make up one’s life in the concrete.
 

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I can't even step in a church without getting a headache.
 
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What information do spiritual devotees build from?
Usually a book.

How do mere belief and (faint) experiences amount to asserted truths?
Idiocy cannot be stopped by silly notions like facts, or logic!

Truth is an amalgamation of fairy tales, wishes and imagination!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Usually a book.



Idiocy cannot be stopped by silly notions like facts, or logic!

Truth is an amalgamation of fairy tales, wishes and imagination!
People take The Bible literally, so yes, I can see that.
 

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I can't even step in a church without getting a headache.
I actually find the architecture and atmosphere very pleasant. The colored glass, the sculptures, the paintings, ... And there is something abut the quiet, temperature and smell as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was raised a practicing Catholic but started questioning it when we learned about the theory of evolution in science class and then the teachers and the priest I asked about the book of Genesis had nothing to say about how to reconcile them. However in graduate school (philosophy) I came into contact with better informed Catholics who knew more of the history of theology and scriptural exegesis. I was shocked to find out that there was so much philosophical sophistication in historical Christian theology. (Eg Augustine’s interpretation of the 6 days, etc etc etc) I became a scholar of Augustine and ancient philosophy and also studied the history of the dogmatic councils and writers like Newman, etc. Once I saw that it was genuinely intellectual and rational, I returned to more active participation in the religion and started praying. I don’t think that what most people are talking about when they say “spirituality” is an experience of something really transcendent/divine. INF types are aesthetes and can be very affectively moved by experiences of beauty in the natural world or in artworks, but this is not the same as worship of a transcendent deity (though it can later lead to it). ENF are passionate about causes and social structures, and naturally tend to have a positive outlook on the world and their ability to change it, which they can believe is theological “charity” or “hope,” but that too I think is a case of not quite doing it. So frankly I think that real theologians are NTs and the vast majority of people who practice (at least in Catholicism, which has a definite intellectual tradition) need to rely on them to know what to believe (since the meaning and full import of the Bible is not always immediately obvious, and in any case the Bible does not contain everything about Christianity as a lived and historically grounded reality). If you look at the history of Christianity, for the most part the real mystics are either INTs, or NFs who meditate deeply on the theology that’s articulated by the NTs. Another thing about “spirituality” is that it is usually vapid or vague about morality, which is why people often (today) prefer to subscribe to it rather than to some particular set of doctrines... but that’s not particularly useful for deciding how to make the myriad choices that make up one’s life in the concrete.
If I understand correctly, Christianity, and the theories and scripts upon which it is based, has been greatly 'romanticized', simplified, and commercialized (perhaps in that order as well)?

What about the hierarchical structure: man < God (and/or its mediator)? Has that always been there, or is that a regulatory trick of the church?

You also mentioned that studying those 'rational ancient philosophies' increased your devotion and praying habits. Is that imposed by the (NT) theologians/philosophers? If so, do they literally mention to turn to divine powers, or is this act of praying more of a meditation, directed at the self for connection and inner peace? (More like the stoic view, that is. Stoics too talks about 'the whole' and 'the divine', but focus on attitude. Inside-out, in other words, not outside-in.)
 

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I actually find the architecture and atmosphere very pleasant. The colored glass, the sculptures, the paintings, ... And there is something abut the quiet, temperature and smell as well.
There is nothing I like about them. I do not like the colored windows, sculptures, paintings, smell, or architecture.
 
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