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Dean Kirkland

Church of the Churchless

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/

Located in Salem

Last update: January 17th, 2017 at 01:57 am

ping: http://ignoregon.com/ping/271

153 post clicks in the past 90 days

Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence

Last night my wife, Laurel, and I watched the first episode of the HBO series, The Young Pope. It was weirdly realistic while also being strangely fantastical. The official trailer will give you a feel for the Young Pope, masterfully...

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A few days ago somebody emailed me a document about how life is purposeless, since I'd recently blogged about "The joy of living in a meaningless world." They weren't sure who had written the piece, but thought it was Osho...

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The deeper I dive into atheism, the more blissful those warm waters of faithlessness seem. Which is a big change from my early non-believing years, when I often felt that something important was missing from my life. That something was...

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I've meditated every day, with a few exceptions, for over 45 years. For a long time I was a super-meditator, spending 1 1/2 to 2 hours at a time on a quest for the Meaning Of It All (MOIA). Failing...

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A Church of the Churchless reader just sent me this thought-provoking exchange between two hosts of The Atheist Experience Internet television show and a Christian caller. It's well worth watching. The first six minutes of the 12-minute video pretty much...

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The title of "Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts that Will Save Us" pretty much sold me on the book. Even though the authors focus on medical myths, often the same factors that lead people to embrace...

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Since I'm not privy to the Secret of Ultimate Reality, naturally I don't know whether this letter-writer's thesis is correct: that subjectivity is innate to material reality. But what Godwin says in his letter in the December 10 issue of...

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Scientific. Philosophical. Well-written. Creative. Mind-expanding. "The Simplest Case Scenario" by Karl Coryat pushed all of my book-loving buttons. It's subtitle points to why I liked it so much: How the universe may be very different from what we think it...

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Today our local newspaper, the Salem Statesman Journal, published my wife's "Good Without God" letter to the editor. Naturally I feel that Laurel makes a lot of sense, fellow scientifically-minded atheist that she is. After her letter, I'll share the...

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It's easy to see what happens in life. It's much more difficult to comprehend why something happens. For example, we know that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. But why this occurred -- beyond the obvious...

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Here's a true tale about my life that does a pretty good job of illustrating the philosophical notion of "contingency." I related it in a comment on my 2006 post, "Breaking free of family influences." I graduated with a useless...

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Along with my progressive, liberal, Clinton-voting friends and acquaintances, I've been struggling to come to grips with the bizarre reality of a President Trump. (Yikes, just writing those last two words brought about a feeling of impending doom.) Today I...

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Like a lot of people, I was shocked last Tuesday when, instead of the Hillary Clinton win that I expected, I went to bed with the nightmare of a President Trump coursing through my still-awake brain. It took me a...

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November 8 can't come soon enough for most of us. The presidential election campaigning feels like it has been going on for years. Because, really, it has. We're stressed out. Whether someone is a Clinton fan, a Trump supporter, a...

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Religious believers like to claim that they're more humble than us atheists. Their devotion to God supposedly is a reflection of a selflessness lacking in spiritual skeptics. Actually, the reverse is true. It's taken me a while to realize this,...

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When I decluttered some bookshelves recently, and gave a bunch of books away, one of the titles in the Absolutely Must Keep pile was Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am a Strange Loop." This is one of my favorite books. It does...

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In the course of de-cluttering my office yesterday, I came across a long-forgotten piece I'd written for RS Greetings, a spiritual magazine published by Radha Soami Satsang Beas, back in the days when I was a member of this India-based...

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I love books. I learn a lot from books that I've bought. But yesterday I also learned a lot from deciding which books to give away (to the Friends of Salem Library, who sell them to support the library). Two...

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I used to think that I knew what it meant to be "spiritual." Now, I don't. (See here and here.) But whatever the word means, I'm pretty damn sure that Donald Trump doesn't have any sort of genuine spirituality --...

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This month's Scientific American has a great "Skeptic" column by Michael Shermer: At the Boundary of Knowledge: Is it possible to measure supernatural or paranormal phenomena? Shermer cites physicist Sean Carroll's book (The Big Picture, which I enjoyed) in this...

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Here's another chapter in my never-ending story of Observations About the Cosmos That Are Either Astoundingly Brilliant or Fucking Obvious. I've figured out where anxiety comes from! And how to cure it! OK, let's make that my anxiety. Your results...

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Amazingly, and not a little scarily for me, I've written 2,194 Church of the Churchless posts since I started this blog in 2004. I've covered lots of subjects. But an important topic hasn't gotten much attention from me. It's difficult...

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I'd expect better from a professor of philosophy than William Irwin's poorly reasoned essay in the New York Times, "God is a Question, Not an Answer." I really have no idea how he can defend statements such as this: Dwelling...

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We've all heard lofty sounding spiritual phrases that initially seem like they mean something, but on further reflection are recognized as empty words. In one of his Scientific American Skeptic pieces, "The True Meaning of BS," Michael Shermer uses Deepak...

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My churchless "sermon" this Sunday is based on an article in TIME magazine's March 28 issue, "In a turbulent stock market, the best investment move is the least obvious." This non-sacred secular scripture ends with a paragraph that has deep...

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Back in 2011 I discovered David Chapman's "Meaningness" writings. In a blog post I praised Chapman's dizzying thoughts about what life is, and isn't, all about. And shared what I said to the person who turned me on to the...

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Great timing, Steve. Your comment today on my "Why 'man of faith' is an insult" post came soon after I'd come across a perfect reply. But first, the comment: Brian, thank you for taking a moment to respond to my...

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Here's some news items from 2013 and 2014 I've learned about for those who like to keep up on what's happening with an Indian guru-led spiritual organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB). RSSB has been appropriating land from a wildlife...

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After reading Steven Pinker's book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," my thoroughly atheist wife recently was moved to write a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Salem Statesman Journal. The claim that...

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Wow. That was my thumbs-up one-word reaction to a well-written, cogent, intelligent, moving comment on a 2006 blog post, "Top ten signs you're a fundamentalist Satsangi." The writer put so much time and thought into the comment, right away I...

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