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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! I would be really interested, how do you have it with spiritual stuff - do you believe in god, higher power? Do you also trust your intuition? Or do you rather rely on facts, statistics and have mainly the rational approach? And if a part of you believes in such things, how do you deal with this conflict?

I should mention that rather than 'Christianity' (which me personally, I am not such a fan of), I am more interested in the type of spirituality such as:
- the idea of energy (tao), auras
- if there is something like a soul
- carma, past lifes
- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)
- destiny?
- different levels of spiritual consciousness
etc.
 

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Hello! I would be really interested, how do you have it with spiritual stuff - do you believe in god, higher power? Do you also trust your intuition? Or do you rather rely on facts, statistics and have mainly the rational approach? And if a part of you believes in such things, how do you deal with this conflict?
Most of the time, we don't really like coming to absolute conclusions at all, so most of us would simply identify as agnostic, or some other form of unspecific theism.

I am a little bit unusual in that I am a Christian, but if I were not a Christian I would probably be what I described above, because I don't really like coming to absolute conclusions either and it took me about a decade before I felt absolute about this too. I relied on multiple things to come to my determination, including research, but honestly I don't know if that would have swayed me because there are a lot of statistics and facts out there. What made up my mind were personal experiences, and the personal experiences of people I trust not to be crazy or liars. The only conflict I have with this is societal perspectives on what is "rational", not facts and statistics. You can find those to support any perspective, and there are lots of motivations for creating them.
 

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It's almost hard to post about this because it's so abstract in my mind.

Am I spiritual? Ehhhhhhhh.....not in the sense that I really practice anything. But I guess you could say I have spiritual moments. Moments where I am in awe. Moments where I realize something greater.

Do I believe in God or a higher power? I believe in something greater than myself. Is it God, god, or gods? I'm not sure. But we live in a magnificent world in an incredible universe. And we're self-aware. I'm open to the idea that we're not just a happy accident of evolution and don't have a purpose. But I'm not married to a belief.

I was raised as a Christian. I don't reject Christianity or any other religion. But at the same time, I don't take the ancient beliefs as stone cold fact. I think organized religion itself is merely a societal construct. Something to keep order. That doesn't mean it is not useful, or it doesn't have some certain truths embedded in it, or that we can't learn from it. It is not static, though.

In fact, I think it is very interesting how religion has morphed and changed throughout history and human understanding. The topic alone is incredibly fascinating.

I will say this -- from a personal level -- when you participate in a religious service (no matter the religion), and you truly involve yourself -- it is an incredible experience. For me, an introvert, and definitely not a singer (but someone who can read music) religious hymns and singing them with a group send shivers up my spine. It's not something that I can easily describe. It's something deep and personal inside. It gives me goosebumps, and not many things can do that.

I can't even really describe how hymns make me feel. But they keep my skeptical Ti in check in a way that I cannot describe. I don't believe in the Bible in a literal sense. There's a certain togetherness and belonging that is appealing. That has to be the Fe that is pulling me in. That's not to say I'm not sometimes cynical and jaded when it comes to organized religion. But in it's most pure, uncorrupted form, it is beautiful [you can overlay that statement with any ideology, political system, or religion].





How does the rational side of me approach it? Religion is a societal construct.

My intuitive more works on the theoretical/philosophical side (outside of the "organized" side of things)

My sensory side appreciates the sights, sounds, and tradition.

My feeling side does like the togetherness.



All in all...I can't say I feel very comfortable in a religious environment. But I try to understand it. On the flip side -- I can't say I'm comfortable with atheism, either. There's something about the lack of purpose that is disturbing to me.
 

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@Nashvols There is definitely something about worship that is appealing. My husband became a Christian after watching a group of us singing Amazing Grace while camping out in the mountains. He says it had more to do with the unity than the song. Since he's an ENTJ, he's gone all the way with it lol.

I am lyrics-specific myself, so songs like these get me more than the epic choral productions:


Not that I mind an epic choral production....
 
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@Nashvols There is definitely something about worship that is appealing. My husband became a Christian after watching a group of us singing Amazing Grace while camping out in the mountains. He says it had more to do with the unity than the song. Since he's an ENTJ, he's gone all the way with it lol.

I am lyrics-specific myself, so songs like these get me more than the epic choral productions:


Not that I mind an epic choral production....
It's weird for me...I'm Anglican (Episcopalian)...so a lot of my religious musical interests are very...traditional. I grew up around it. My family has a long tradition in it. (Also, I went to a Catholic high school). For me, I grew up with it...questioned it...nearly separated...but could never really identify with the atheist point of view. My denomination is fairly liberal in theology, so that's probably what has tethered me overall...but I'm happy that I've actually had the freedom to question my own faith on my own terms, and not worry about being *wrong* or ostracized from the community (grew up in a kinda sizable city).

I still do not have a fully formed opinion, but I actually feel satisfied in not being forced to know (as of now). But I do like the more humanitarian aspects of religion. And like I posted....the hymns have a really strange attraction to them.
 
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It's weird for me...I'm Anglican (Episcopalian)...so a lot of my religious musical interests are very...traditional. I grew up around it. My family has a long tradition in it. (Also, I went to a Catholic high school). For me, I grew up with it...questioned it...nearly separated...but could never really identify with the atheist point of view. My denomination is fairly liberal in theology, so that's probably what has tethered me overall...but I'm happy that I've actually had the freedom to question my own faith on my own terms, and not worry about being *wrong* or ostracized from the community (grew up in a kinda sizable city).

I still do not have a fully formed opinion, but I actually feel satisfied in not being forced to know (as of now). But I do like the more humanitarian aspects of religion. And like I posted....the hymns have a really strange attraction to them.
I guess it's our Si coming out haha. My experiences were more based on sitting around and discussing theology with my parents - my father who studied it and my mom as another NT - and then they pretty much only played Christian music while I was young, but I didn't grow up with that sort of music. It was more like we had CDs of Christian artists singing non-worship music, except one or two here and there.

I think I would feel more unstable about my decision if I hadn't had the option to question it though, like you said. I think my Fe desires for everyone to just get along would restrict me from properly exploring and questioning like I need to.
 
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Hello! I would be really interested, how do you have it with spiritual stuff - do you believe in god, higher power? Do you also trust your intuition? Or do you rather rely on facts, statistics and have mainly the rational approach? And if a part of you believes in such things, how do you deal with this conflict?

I should mention that rather than 'Christianity' (which me personally, I am not such a fan of), I am more interested in the type of spirituality such as:
- the idea of energy (tao), auras
- if there is something like a soul
- carma, past lifes
- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)
- destiny?
- different levels of spiritual consciousness
etc.
Not in mystical ways.

- Energy / Aura to me would be metaphor for certain nature of person that is being perceived in particular way. I could say that INTJ have different aura than let's say ESFJ. Or I could describe it more directly.
- Soul - a part of unconscious mind where source of most intimate emotions and feelings are.
- Carma / Past lives - No past lives, however we do encounter consequences of our actions in unpredictable ways. Either from inside or outside, so again this can be metaphorically called Carma.
- Law of attraction - not exactly sure what is meant, but perhaps the same as above
- Destiny - we make our destiny, though our nature predisposes are in many ways. We do not have specific destiny, but certain things are more probable for us to experience in life than others. I do not believe in some being or intelligence to bind us with destiny.
- different levels of spiritual consciousness - I will bold the part in definition of spirituality that I share as opposed to one I do not share:
The term spirituality has to be understood in a very broad way, it comprises our relation to invisible beings, like for example God, angels, spiritual guides, non incarnated souls and other non incarnated beings. Spirituality also comprises questions about the meaning of life and about our personal attitude towards life as a whole and all its related goals and cycles.
It is something that has more to do with soul I have described above than with fantasy. Love for example is a thing that I perceive more in spiritual than physical way.
 

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Believing in "the spiritual" is just as asinine as believing there's a god.

I'd like to think that my intuition is based on experience and knowledge, so if my "intuition" makes a call I will give it some credence and investigate.
 

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Well, a bit hard to separate it out as I'm a die-hard Christian.
Have looked into other religions and spiritualities, but seen no reason to change. Each of them seemed like a downgrade.

What I mean by that: In Christianity, the truths are constant and entirely outside of my subjective experience.
It not only explains the state of the world, but also gives meaning to everyday life, an ultimate purpose, an ultimate authority, and the existence of a spiritual realm fraught with paradoxes to delve the mind into. And yet all that is necessary is incredibly simple: Believe and you will be saved.

And because of that, I see no reason to base my worldview around speculation about auras and the law of attraction.
Because I do believe in souls and the existence of a spiritual realm, I imagine that there are possible ways to tap into it. However, most of what I've read on the subject sounds either like synesthesia or BS.
I'd be more inclined to attribute such phenomena to an undiscovered scientific force.
 
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I fall into the liberal Protestant category of things.

- the idea of energy (tao), auras

I do somewhat believe that there is a natural flow to the universe, such that things tend to work themselves out in certain directions regardless of human efforts. Some people call it tao, we Christians call it God. They could even be the same thing. I don't really know anything about auras except that I don't see them and I don't wanna know my color. I'm whatever color I feel like at the moment, okay. I can be the m-f*cking rainbow if I want to. Don't pidgeon-hole my aura, you aura-ist.

But erm... my name is based on Taoist principles, actually. It's supposed to attract positive energy and repel negative energy. My mom (INFP, I think) definitely believes in it and she used to tell me all the time. I also believed in it for a while, because my mom did. I always thought I was lucky, like a rabbit's foot. lol Now that I'm grown up, kind of settled in my beliefs, and skeptical about almost everything, I'm not so sure. But I am a very positive person most of the time (with mostly positive consequences), and I think the early belief in energies helped. I also notice pretty much nothing truly awful has happened to me, like ever. People are generally nice to me. Coincidence? The power of expectations? It's a mystery.

- if there is something like a soul

Of course I believe in souls.

- carma, past lifes

It's fun to consider. I used to think I was a dinosaur (the long-necked herbivorous kind) in my past life. The fact that I'll never find out for sure makes it a bit pointless, though.

- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)

Not sure what this is.

- destiny?

Not really.

- different levels of spiritual consciousness

I think some people are wiser than others. Or if you're referring to people who are more sensitive to psychic energies and stuff like that, I don't know. My life is pretty... earthly. There's not a lot going on that I can't explain with boring old science, so it's just not super relevant to my life.

btw, a lot of this "spiritualist" stuff sounds like eastern philosophy. Karma, past lives <- Buddhism. Tao <- Taoism. I don't totally discount these perspectives - a lot of it makes intuitive sense (and are great in fantasy, e.g. the Avatar series). But idk, they never really touched me/spoke to me in the way Christianity does.
 

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- the idea of energy (tao), auras
- if there is something like a soul
- carma, past lives
- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)
- destiny?
- different levels of spiritual consciousness
etc.
None of those are even remotely attractive ideas to me.

I tried to be religious when I was a kid, but even then I couldn't ever get into it. I'm envious of those who can believe something intangible so strongly, it must be a great mental safety net.
I really prefer to leave all of these spiritual questions under the "I don't know" category, because I don't know and I have no way of knowing. Therefore- it's uninteresting to think about. I'm also not really into philosophy, my dad used it as a weapon to put people down. I think that's where the hatred stems from as I have no other reason to avoid philosophy like the plague. Spirituality and philosophy go hand in hand.
I would definitely say I like to use some level of intuition and work with logic and facts, and from my knowledge I make leaps. Sometimes I just get a "gut feeling" and when I do it's almost always a negative one, but I go with it.
 

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I rely on facts, but I'm also open to intuition. I'm very open to the possibility that there is a higher power, but not enough to put my faith in it. I do think about how the world is connected spiritually though, but I'm mostly linking that to f.ex. quantum theory etc. If there is such a thing as a soul, does that mean that every universe with "you" have different souls or is it the same? Things like that. I like to humor myself with the theorycraft, but not because it gives me any answers.
 

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- the idea of energy (tao), auras
I believe in body language and the idea that you can give off a vibe but not direct energy.

- if there is something like a soul
I believe in hormones and chemicals in the body and brain, but there are so many valid questions that absolutely complicate things that it makes it hard to answer questions like this. Soul typically involves an emotional theme to it, and there are a lot of grey areas here so no definite answer from me.

- karma, past lifes
Karma implies there is some sort of higher power judging all of our actions. Personally do not think so just cause of all the fucked up shit that has happened in the world (what kind of god would allow this) but god doesn't necessarily have to be some bearded man in the sky. Could aliens with the power to create life be considered gods? Just a whole lot more questions and philosophy to get through here.

- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)
Not quite sure what the law of attraction means and I am finding colliding sources of articles telling me different definitions and don't care enough to thoroughly research this topic.

- destiny?
Sort of. I think someone can believe that it was their destiny to do something and feel emotionally powerful to achieve that end but I don't believe reality is built for any particular person.

- different levels of spiritual consciousness
Yes. I believe the wiser and the clearer you see things you will achieve a higher level of at least consciousness rather than someone that goes through life not questioning anything. But spiritual consciousness is hard to figure out. So many variables thrown into this equation it's hard to sit back and have a clear 100% right answer on this.
 

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I think I am just an atheist who has no interest in religion or spirituality. I just can't see the difference between mythology and religion as they have the same credibility in my eyes. I believe that all organised religions will eventually fade into history. I'm not against spirituality being practised as long as people just keep it to themselves since it's supposed to be a very subjective experience anyway.
 

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No, I'm not religious at all. I doubted religion as a kid and became an agnostic atheist by age 11. My second choice would be deism. Other religions — eh, not so much. But I consider it.

It was a weird kind of obsession for a kid to have but I was really interested in the question if there was a God or not. I checked every argument I could fine online for several weeks, if not several months. And whenever I see an argument for and against God, I find it's an argument I've already seen even with several of them. It was an interesting yet terrifying experience. As a kid, I liked the idea of someone who loves me unconditionally running the show in the world. That seemed safe. Yet I was also afraid of getting thrown in hell for the smallest sins. I was emotionally biased for either side from time to time. But from what you might expect from a kid with Dominant Ti, I kept it unbiased and got my evidence balanced. I valued objective truth and skepticism from a young age. I wasn't going to let my emotions get to me. It became a somewhat emotionally bound thing I followed because whatever truth I found, it would vastly matter to my life and change it.

I was raised a Catholic. And back from what I remember, I did like it. I cried some number of times as a kid when I figured out that I didn't really believe in a God anymore. Jeez. Looking back, I wished there was someone open minded around with the little bastard thinking of big questions like this. You should think about these things when you're older, you bastard. But now that kid is me. Too late. But I guess I'm somewhat thankful for making this decision so early since much of my life decisions would have been different if not for this.

I tend to use logic and reasoning to make decisions like this. I tended to hate the idea of intuition but realized I needed it in times when I needed more quick thinking. So I'll use it when I need to improvise but more long term important decisions are more left off to logic. But if I really can't choose with logic, I'll go with intuition. Intuition is really just unconscious processing in the brain and the fact that it's unconscious is something I distrust. I don't completely trust something I don't clearly see.

I'm still an agnostic atheist but I find some interest in Buddhism minus the supernatural beliefs around them. Buddhism tends to put more emphasis in thinking for yourself than other religions (Not saying that all religious people don't think for themselves but Buddhism tends to be more up front about it.) There's a focus on clarity in meditation that I really do find valuable in objective analysis and gaining wisdom in general. And an emphasis on contentment rather than pleasure that did a hell lot to make me more satisfied with life even with its ups and downs. Also, the more Feish aspects like its teachings on loving kindness is something I don't get as easily as the things that help with my Ti but something I still seem to appreciate and like to understand more. Ive gained a weird amount of warmth as an INTP for other people after listening to some of those teachings somehow. And tend to be more in touch with my feelings than with my much more overdetached and overlogical self after that. Before I thought all relationships were a waste of time. Took a really long time as you can imagine (A few years?) for someone so ridiciously committed to logic, but well, life happens.
 

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Hello! I would be really interested, how do you have it with spiritual stuff - do you believe in god, higher power?
No, but benevolent ones would be nice.

Do you also trust your intuition? Or do you rather rely on facts, statistics and have mainly the rational approach? And if a part of you believes in such things, how do you deal with this conflict?
I give my intuition consideration as a possibility when I do not have any facts to contradict it yet, but it is unreliable at best and I would never immediately take what it says as fact. Facts and statistics tump intuition.

I should mention that rather than 'Christianity' (which me personally, I am not such a fan of), I am more interested in the type of spirituality such as:
- the idea of energy (tao), auras
- if there is something like a soul
- carma, past lifes
- 'law of attraction' (I attract, what I am inside)
- destiny?
- different levels of spiritual consciousness
etc.
Ha. Hahahahaha. No.* All pretty wrappers to put around a much more mundane reality that the brain is trying to explain things it doesn't understand, or is getting tricked by its tendency to look for patterns and find causation within correlations, even when there is nothing truly there.

My husband once told me "You lack the gift of faith." That's one way to put it.

*Well, there may be some exception to "Law of Attraction" and "Destiny" depending on how you interpret such things. People are attracted in a general way people who are similar to themselves. It makes communication easier. I am unsure if this is what you are actually meaning though, since that lacks anything spiritual. As for Destiny, we do whatever our brains tell us to do in reaction to our basic genetic instructions and the way the environment has nudged and prodded it along the way. You may be able to describe that as destiny since we do not have any true choice and are just pinballs being bounced around the giant pinball machine that is life. But again, it lacks spiritual glitter.
 

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I'm still an agnostic atheist but I find some interest in Buddhism minus the supernatural beliefs around them. Buddhism tends to put more emphasis in thinking for yourself than other religions (Not saying that all religious people don't think for themselves but Buddhism tends to be more up front about it.) There's a focus on clarity in meditation that I really do find valuable in objective analysis and gaining wisdom in general. And an emphasis on contentment rather than pleasure that did a hell lot to make me more satisfied with life even with its ups and downs. Also, the more Feish aspects like its teachings on loving kindness is something I don't get as easily as the things that help with my Ti but something I still seem to appreciate and like to understand more. Ive gained a weird amount of warmth as an INTP for other people after listening to some of those teachings somehow. And tend to be more in touch with my feelings than with my much more overdetached and overlogical self after that. Before I thought all relationships were a waste of time. Took a really long time as you can imagine (A few years?) for someone so ridiciously committed to logic, but well, life happens.
I think people of all religions and non-religions can benefit from some of the principles of Buddhism.
Especially: distancing oneself from the reliance on pain and pleasure, acceptance of circumstances outside of our control, responsibility for what you can control, and benevolence towards mankind.

A bit like Stoicism, though, it seems to reach its highest potential as a philosophy of daily life, rather than a rounded religion.
 

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Honestly, religion and spirituality confuse me a fair bit. I'd go so far as to say I'm pretty uncomfortable about people not being at all agnostic. I guess it's because I'm used to digging into people's thought processes to understand them when they have a different perspective from mine, but I just cannot understand someone having unshakeable belief unless they've been brainwashed into it.
 

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I don't even trust my own intuition. I'm not even sure if I really have an intuition. I'm usually aware of why I'm feeling a particular way about something.
 

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@Reje Haha yes, that's exactly. :D Belief is something, you build on your experiences, feelings and intuition - at least that's my experience. My INTP special friend call me once also 'brainwashed', I guess he just couldn't understand, emphatise with me.
 
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