How did you get started?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Awake, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Awake Just BE! Registered Senior Member

    I wasn't sure how to word the title, but at what age did you first start to question religion?

    For me, I have gone to Protestant Churches on and off for most of my childhood. I first started to question things when I was about 8-ish. Although by the time I was a teenager I was fairly brain-washed by the idea of Christianity. I was a fairly devout Christian. I had even thought about becoming a youth minister. But as I matured, I learned more about the politics and b.s. involved in the Church. I started to question everything. With the popularity of the internet, I studied and researched other religions and philosophies. I have read and studied Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age movement, Hari Krishna, Mormons, Jehovah Witness and Catholicism. I have basically looked at the commonality of the beliefs, taken what I feel is truth and discarded the dogma and religiousity.

    I was just wondering how others here have gotten to where they are.
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  3. te jen Registered Senior Member

    I was raised in a benign neglect of atheism. No indoctrination whatsoever. In my twenties I began considering some of the deeper questions, but had no particular attraction to the Abrahamaic traditions. I think my natural outlook led me towards the eastern philosophies, but I found Hinduism to dogmatic and complex, Buddhism better but still somewhat overwrought in some of its sects. Classical Taoism fits best, while keeping mindful of the best bits of Buddhism and indeed the basic social teachings of Jesus and Mohammed.

    So I guess I am a taoist, grown out of an atheistic skepticism.
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  5. duendy Registered Senior Member

    as a kid growing up our household wasn't exactly religious at all. but being impressionable i was aware of religious warnings of 'hell' and promises of 'heaven' etc. and i had a really deep imagination and could envision really havey halls awaiting.
    Being Queer, and not being able to share it, and knowing people thought of it as evil and taboo, that added to my guilt. though all that didn't stop me having fun.

    it was at 15 when i first took LSd things clicked into gear. i knew--espsh with hindisght--that my worldview had been hardened via school etc, in that Nature had taken second place to semantic reality--i loved big cities, neon etc

    from there i tried to integrate my psychdelic experience and tried loads of different ideas and cults, including joining the hare krishnas....even becoming a christian. what really got to me though was finding a book by Alan Watts who in his poetic and uniue hip way helped me understand Taoist insight of how reality is a continuum. NOT oppo-sites in conflict with each other

    all of that i endlessly explore
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  7. Simonbubly Registered Member

    i was raised as a baptist, and i first started to question religion when i was about 11 years old, at this point i was already saved and all, and my dad at the time was volunteering at a christian rock station. we were told by the pastor of our church that we werent allowed to be active members if he worked for a christian " rock" station... yeahhhhhh.. so that was really a turning point to my life.
  8. Sicksixix Registered Senior Member

    raised as a christian, yet only very early on did i have to accompany my father to church, eventually we both stopped going altogether

    i hear little from my father now about religion at all

    i never believed it, i only had questions, as there was never any proof i continually questioned and nobody gave answers

    ive been through pretty much all religions now, not by joining but have researched each, i always end up never subscribing

    yeah they describe things humans perceive, considering they were created by humans

    i stay with the orientation of human, as opposed to any religious title
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    When they tried to drown me in the canal where they baptized me!
  10. Awake Just BE! Registered Senior Member

    I find it very interesting to hear from others about their "religious" histories. I have had some input about this before and people have said that between the ages of 8-12 were turning points for them. Do you think there is any truth to that?

    How much psychedelic experimentation have you done. Psychedelics have a profound interest to me as well. I have done very little experimentation but have found that they clear away alot of the socialization that we have endured in our lives. As many of the Eastern religions talk about it brought me to an understanding of oneness as well as past the ego I see as "I".
  11. www.seifermania Banned Banned

    I don't know, myself.
  12. Yorda Registered Senior Member

    When I was 8-12 I was still a child and not conscious of myself or the world (I didn't know anything). 15 and 18 were turning points for me.
  13. duendy Registered Senior Member

    Sorry i have taken so much time to answer you. must have missed it when i am here

    I have had LSD and shrooms over the years. not all the time, but have had really deep experiences that have deepened me to Nature.
    Also the experiences have inspired me to explore mythology, and different fileds of exploring like physics, poltical spin, etc

    ihave found that a patriarcahl mindset runs through the ideas both West and East.

    i feel THE 'thing' both fear is Nature

    And it's notieceable that all the religions of the patriarchy prohibit pople having direct experience inpired with hallucinogens!
    I have explore reasons for this. Even Zennists have warned about becoming entangled with 'Delusion' so INSTEAD of discussing set&setting that might deepen the taker to Nature and community, push their own bag, which for many Eastern religions is 'meditation'. and interior form of mysticism.
    So i have explored the origins of mysticsm, and see it comes from Indian Upanishad. it separates an idea of a 'One' and a 'Many' ...and the 'One' is the ideal.
    So this is a duality isn't it--yet agaib. a separation between 'spirit' and 'natrual'

    so i intuit that we should explore emotions, and hallucinogens in a celebratory way that encourages us to FEEL BODY and ENVIRONMENT

    it is returning to the Goddess
  14. jacob Registered Member

    I was bought up a catholic. the only thing that was invovled was listening to a dude talk for an hour each week. by the time i was 13 I stopped going to church and when i was 16 I realised that it didn't matter to much. now that i'm older i think church great place to pray so you can tap into the synergy of the people.I must go back some time. I believe religion is an illusion but pray is sweet.
  15. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member


    my mom tells me i was about kindergarten age.
  16. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    I was suicidal from before I can remember. There were stories growing up of why I wasn't allowed to do certain things, because I had attempted to jump out of windows and such.

    Basically everything I was told was greeted with doubt. I was routinely kicked out of Presbyterian confirmation class because I'd ask questions about things the Pastor couldn't answer. (not even all that difficult, either: my favorite was "if our calendar was adopted after jesus, and it has a different number of days per year than the on they used in Jesus' time, then why do we celebrate his birthday on the same date every year? the math doesn't work" hint: apollo's birthday is an adaptation of a 'druidic' ceremony celebrating the winter solstice w/ the decoration of Oak trees w/ jewelry and candles)

    Around 7th grade, my best friend killed himself, and I finally got to see what effect suicide really has on those left behind. I no longer wanted to die, but I couldn't live the way I had been taught; I couldn't survive a life where every day was simply waiting to die.
    So I threw everything out that I couldn't verify myself, and began studying life. I got into eastern religions late (early college), mainly because they most closely reflacted what I saw around me. The methods of buddism and daoism were very similar to the methods of living that I had found to work well enough to keep me alive.

    These days, I live outside of depression (I thank meditation for that), and am fairly functional, although a bit odd to most people.

    I think Buddhism is the best possible religion/philosophy for depressed people, because it does not deny the harshness of life. It instead suggests a method for surviving it.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2005
  17. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

    When I was 11 and was required to go to Hebrew school to begin studying for my bar mitzvah, that's when I questioned religion. I said "I don't believe in God" (at least in the form presented), so I refused to continue.
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    That's the same reason I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, that's when I started to question the existence of god. It's not that I made up my mind just then, but they kind of force you to consider what they are making you say, and I liked to read anyway.
  19. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

    Nowadays my objection to the Pledge is not just the part about God. It is the idea of children saying a "pledge" every day, particularly when they don't know what it means. It's pure indoctrination.
  20. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    I have gotten into the habit of simply pausing at the "under God" part, but going forward with the rest of the pledge.

    The idea of a system of government by the people, based on ideals of fairness and agreed terms of justice appeals to me. I pledge to that, not the country or the flag, but the ideas those items were based on.
  21. kornrulz Satan is a Nerd Registered Senior Member

    I was going to church at the age of 6 months, so I never questioned, just tagged along with everyone else
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Yes, that too. We also had to sing patriotic songs like "Dixie". Come to think of it, that song doesn't even seem very patriotic, since it's about the glory days of the south. But back then in the early 80's, my town was still stuck in the 50's.
  23. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    When I reached the age of reason.
    I wasn't alone.
    In my junior high Lutheran Sunday School class we went through 4 teachers in one year.
    They couldn’t handle the questions. Grown adults who had never questioned their own beliefs.

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