How I explain my religious experiences (long Opening Post)

Can I ask which God this is? Quetzalcoatl? Ea? Freya? Demeter? Bisu? Enki? Baal?

There are many gods that have had believers just as convinced to the truth of their particular god as you are. How do you explain this? Were their gods invalid because you know the truth? If so, how do you prove it?

Slee

It’s like reading the back of a Dr. Bronner’s soap pack.

Don’t take this the wrong way, kanicbird, but do you realise that if you could demonstate this in a properly controlled test to a statistical significance of, say, 0.0001% (ie. a one-in-a-million cahnce that the results came about purely randomly), you would receive a Nobel Prize and $1M from the JREF? (As usual, xkcd captures this beautifully.)

In my OP, I came to realise that the observations I was making of this nature were simply not rigorous enough to escape confirmation bias, since if I asked someone with excitement in my voice, “hey, did you pray for me last night?”, it would be a hard-hearted cynic indeed who would answer “no”, knowing that your excitement would instantly dissipate. The person would more likely exaggerate a fleeting (and possibly fictitous) ‘thought’ about you into a full-blown prayer at precisely the time you suggested. That is what we do as humans, to make our friends happy. It is therefore incredibly difficult to see these things with scientific clarity. One might even say that superstition is natural for humans while scientific clarity is incredibly unnatural, requiring intensive training from childhood.

ug, this was an interesting thread for about 14 posts or so.

God works through the heart of the individual, if the heart of the person is to seek Him and have experiences of Him (through His people in this case), then you will have that. If your intent of your heart is to prove God to others using the quest of what man can find out on his own, called science, that is the intent of your heart and God has no obligation to do that, He states it outright that He will frustrate such efforts.

This has not really been the case for me, one time that I prayed that Jesus pray for me that person could not have known, later the person came to me and told me that they felt the leading to pray for me, I didn’t ask them if they prayed, they told me.

When I was lead to pray for others, they told me about their experiences that they felt relief or a touch from God, before I told them I prayed for them at that time, some I didn’t tell I prayed at all, but knew God used my prayer for them at that time to reach them.

When one asked Jesus to pray for them, I have found out that you may not know what member of the Body of Christ He will use (if any at all, as He may do it directly), sometimes you will know however.

Again science is man’s attempt to figure things out, it is not God’s way. Man may be able to come up with facts but only God has truths.

I grew up Catholic. I attended church every week, was an altar boy, got confirmed, volunteered to help do things at the church, even got my Ad Altare Dei in the scouts. And I never once had anything resembling a religious experience. I felt no presences, heard no voices, saw no signs, had no prayers answered, nothing.

Not chiding anyone in particular, but let’s confine this discussion to possible explanation of religious experiences rather than having a general science vs. religion free-for-all.

Looking over your initial post, it seems like you just started to experience things of God, but then started to allow man’s explanations to pull you away from the truth.

God has much higher levels, and what is started out as faith becomes more and more sight to the point that science can’t stand. As you went deeper in science, you can go deeper with God, after all it is God’s job to prove Himself to you, yours is to let Him.

Just expanding on this a bit. In my own walk with Jesus, I started to understand why such spiritual experiences will not be explained this way, and was disappointed, as it would be nice to prove it, so even though I started to have my own personal confirmation of these spiritual experiences. So there was no motivation to even attempt that. Going further I realized that I desire to do the will of God, which means that my desire is not even to get involved with such stuff.

I believe people of great faith would say the same, they chose to just do the work the Lord sets out for them and not bother with such nonsense.

Hi hotflungwok, I can assure you that the things stated in scriptures, such as the gifts and powers that God works through us are as real as stated. What I have found that you have to be seeking God & God has to send you the person to ‘let you in’ or to ‘open the door’. You have to be open to how God wants to work, as God can work through any member of the Body of Christ, and not necessarily the one we expect.

There is the physical church which is the one you stated and the spiritual church, which is invisible (unless revealed by God), the spiritual/invisible one is the one that I have started to experience the power of God.

All of this being well within the bounds of expected behaviour if God did not exist, of course. That someone you know would pray for you on the same night that you “prayed that Jesus prayed for you” (whatever that entails) is not statistically significant, nor are people telling you they felt relief after you prayed for them. Again, you are remembering episodes which confirm your belief and filtering out those which don’t.

Ah, I’m glad you’ve finally seen fit to actually read it. I didn’t “allow” anything, the scientific explanations just seemed more convincing. Can I ask you to provide a clear answer as to whether you “return the courtesy” I mention there? (You sound like you’re suggesting that I didn’t stick with theism long enough to have true religious experiences, a charge which I would strongly deny.)

I feel so sorry for you.

Well thank you, but really feel sorry to those who don’t know the way of God.
These things are expected:

Matt 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

1 Peter 1:5-7 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Again, this is off topic. Take this to another thread if you want to witness.

SentientMeat;

Gestalt, to me, is an organized whole — a whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. In other words, Gestalt is a great aha! For example, Gestalt is the climactic understanding of one of the parables of life, or it could be the awakening to a physical pattern or model of something. Revelation, to me, as I understand in the Words of God (the Bible), is not only the pathway for one to be raised to an intellectual understanding of that which is created, but to, by giving the ability to see the ultimate life to others, literally live in that place of eternity.

In my heart and mind the Biblical Revelation, which I understand to be the ultimate paradigm and greater than the many theoretical theories culminating from scientific methodologies, came as a Spiritual understanding.

I think of each person as I used to think of the universal system — factually, I think of every person, in particular, as being a cosmological system. I see each person as a sun, with the light of a galaxy of parts manifest in their mortal flesh, the light of life that is given one to another — the same Light that does encompass the heavens above. I see each believer as suns of righteousness. Moreover, I call the Light within and manifest from every person, believer or not — God.

My understanding is that each who believe and do not yet understand, will be part of God’s eternity. I believe that each who understand and do not take part, but continue to profit themselves only, will, like the hypothesis of galactic explosions, dissipate into the darkness forever. The end, the perfect eternal life on this planet that humanity is destined to come to, can be accomplished if we labor toward that Kingdom or “day of rest.”

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Blessings

To put your faith on man’s understanding of the human mind as your explanation, you are standing on very shaky ground, as we generally admit that we don’t know much about how the mind works, and I don’t believe that is something God has to reveal to you.

Your ability to experience spiritual experiences have to do with your connectivity to God through the body of Christ IMHO, and grow as you connect more and more. At a time when you know it is God, it has been my experience that looking back you can see that those other things, though you had a human explanation, was also God. So I do think you had true spiritual experiences, just that you chose to accept a scientific explanation.

You cannot assure me of this. My experience, and the experience of many others I’ve talked to, indicate the exact opposite. I was open, I was seeking, I searched, I wanted, and I found nothing. No gifts, no powers, no works, no doors, nothing. If what you say is true, then it would be true for everyone, and it clearly isn’t. No amount of seeking or hoping or being open or expecting is going to help if what you’re looking for just isn’t there.

You can claim your experiences involve the supernatural all you want, but until you can actually present something more than ‘I just know it!’, then there’s no way you can realistically expect anyone to your claim on face value.

Untrue, sir. If you were reading the back of a Bronner’s soap pack, you would at least know something useful was inside.

ETA: In light of Marley’s gentle chiding abot avoiding a science versus religion thing, I should retract this and apologize, so I will.

What this seems to indicate to me is that you were in a group that had no one that could open the door for you. Quite possibly you had to look outside the Catholic church, perhaps a step you were unwilling to make (note this is a WAG, but one that makes the point, something from your believe system may have held you back, for instance you must experience this though a Catholic church.

And before we go down that road, Yes I believe God does work through the Catholic church, and I have had spiritual experiences while there, just God may chose another path for others.

It is very possible that actual spiritual revelations have happened in that church, but unless God opens your eyes you won’t see it. Yes I believe and feel scripture supports, tongues of fire can enter the room and only the believers will see them. As I pointed out above, non-believers sometimes don’t remember or actually have ‘black out’ periods of that time, one person I know went to the hospital for it.

God knows the time you are ready. In the OP it seems like God was starting to open the eyes of SentientMeat, He started to experiences some, IMHO lesser, spiritual effects of God, Maybe he can chime in as to how he felt was the entrance to these things.

It is available to everybody, but that does not mean that everyone is going to experience it.

All I want to get across is that I have experienced things that I believe are far beyond man’s explanation to explain, highly spiritual, in consistency, volume and frequency to know not only is it not explainable by things such as the above, that the scriptures are true as stated.

IMHO Man has a natural block, for a seemingly supernatural event there must be a physical explanation, and they will search high and low to find it. That is the danger, they will come up with a assumption and then apply it to those who have has these spiritual revelations. IMHO the initial assumption is faulty logic, that a seemingly supernatural event must have a natural explanation.

ATTENTION KANICBIRD: take the theology elsewhere. If you can’t confine yourself to the topic of the thread, which is potential scientific explanations for religious phenomena, don’t post in this thread.

hotflungwok, if you want your experiences with kanicbird, I’d ask you start another thread to do that.

lightwait and kanicbird, try though I might, I am gleaning very little of substance in your replies. If you could both answer the simple question “do you return the courtesy?” in the OP, that would be enormously helpful.