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Dean Kirkland

Church of the Churchless

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

Located in Salem

Last update: November 26th, 2014 at 08:26 pm

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

153 post clicks in the past 90 days

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up here in the United States tomorrow, I was trying to decide whether to write something thanks giving'ly for today's blog post. Problem is, I don't like forced or expected expressions of any sentiment, including...

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I really like Julian Baggini's retort to the oft-heard saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes." (Meaning, in desperate situations.) Which, by the way, isn't true. I can also affirm that there are atheists/agnostics in dentist's chairs. Here's what Baggini...

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Ooh! I bet the title of this blog post will irk spiritual types who believe that enlightenment is some sort of mystical transformation of consciousness requiring lots of meditation and/or other practices to achieve. I certainly would have felt that...

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Here's three godless good news pieces that popped into my web browser recently. I liked Russ Belville's (a.k.a. Radical Russ) "No More Special Rights for Religion" a lot. I learned about Belville, who lives in Portland, via our shared interest...

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The existential alternatives in the title of this post were named by brain researcher Susan Greenfield. I came across a mention of them in Julian Baggini's intriguing book, "The Ego Trick: What Does It Mean to be You?" Here's how...

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I'm a big fan of getting my cosmic inspiration from the comic pages and Comedy Central. This week has been a bonanza in that regard. Here's what today's Pearls Before Swine had to say about the meaning of existence. In...

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Maybe this statement seems paradoxical to you: I feel more genuinely spiritual now that I've stopped believing in God. But it makes good sense to me. Here's the main reason why. I no longer feel special. Virtually every religion and...

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Having written a well-received book called "Return to the One," I've obviously thought a lot about oneness. My views have changed considerably since I wrote the book. I used to believe that the goal of a spiritual or self-realized life...

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My journey from churched to churchlessness pretty much can be summed up in this fashion: I used to believe that I had (or was) a distinct, unified, immaterial soul or self. Now, I rejoice in the understanding that there's no...

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A few days ago "Tanvee" left a great comment on a recent post, "More weird news from the world of Radha Soami Satsang Beas." It deserves to be upgraded to its own post, which I've done below. This is a...

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As I've observed before, for me churchlessness isn't an event but a process. Meaning, it isn't a sudden jump from being religious to being non-religious. It is a lengthy path with many twists and turns. I keep recognizing shadows of...

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One great thing about being churchless is that you don't have to sit through long boring sermons. You can pick and choose your sources of inspiration and information. Here's a recommendation. Watch a new 7-minute talk by Sam Harris, atheist...

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I enjoy Zen. But I have no desire to actually practice Zen. Not formally. Too much work. Too much discipline. Too much bowing before a master who, you eventually realize, doesn't deserve veneration. I prefer the idea of being my...

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In one of my periodic fits of grandiosity (assuming I'm ever doing anything else), last month I popped out a blog post titled, "Subjective and objective: the key to understanding everything!" However, even non-humble me understood that, duh, between the...

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Giving up religiosity doesn't happen all at once. At least, not in my case. I wasn't able to go cold turkey, so to speak, and give up my addiction to unfounded faith-based beliefs all at once. They just have gradually...

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Recently I've been blogging about Sam Harris' new book, "Waking Up," whose central thesis is that our sense of being a Self or Soul separate and distinct from the brain/body is an illusion. Harris doesn't talk much, if at all,...

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There's a lot of stuff written and said about non-duality. I've both partaken of it and spewed out my own in various blog posts. For example, see here, here, here, and here. After reading a bunch of neuroscience books, Sam...

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Every religion is strange. Within every strange religion, some rituals and practices are even more strange. Such is the case with Kapporot (or Kaporos), a Jewish ritual of atonement. I hadn't heard about it until I got an email from...

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Well, Sam Harris' new book "Waking Up," a guide to spirituality without religion, was about what I expected. Interesting. Inspiring. Well written. Not hugely enlightening. I've already blogged about some key themes in the book here and here. Like I...

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Oh, Sam, you almost deeply disappointed me. But after a closer reading of the Meditation chapter in your new book, "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion," I'm feeling better about your approach to understanding consciousness without mixing in...

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Just as predicted, I'm really enjoying reading Sam Harris' new book, "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion." I'm about a third of the way through. Which is far enough to have discovered the central theme. Harris writes: My...

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Oh, yeah, I'm ready for it! Bring it on, USPS or UPS, whichever Amazon has selected to deliver Sam Harris' new book, "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion." Delivery day is tomorrow. Within a week I expect to...

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Thinking isn't viewed very highly by lots of spiritual (or pseudo-spiritual) folks. Especially those on the Eastern side of the religious divide: Buddhists, Advaitists, Neo-advaitists, Non-dualists, Taoists, and such. Of course, a lot of thoughts pass through their minds when...

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Amazing video. What's even more amazing is that this galactic map is based on only 8,000 nearby galaxies. There are an estimated 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Awe. Mystery. Vastness. Who needs religion? Embrace science.

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Thanks to an email from a regular reader of this here Church of the Churchless, I learned about an interesting article in Mother Jones, "Study: Science and Religion Really Are Enemies After All." Are science and religion doomed to eternal...

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Whenever I read a book about Buddhism or mindfulness, I've got my highlighter poised to make a skeptical marginal question mark when (usually not if) I come across mention of perceiving reality "as it is." This is an absurd pre-scientific...

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Religions thrive because people are afraid of dying and not being alive anymore. If death didn't exist, I doubt religions would either. People can deal with other problems without religion. What gives life meaning? What is right and wrong? Is...

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Non-religious Buddhism and neuroscience agree on this: there is no such thing as a "self." Meaning, there isn't an "I" who is separate from "me," a soul separate from body, a mind separate from brain. Understanding this -- no, more,...

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Somehow I'd read a lot of books on Buddhism without ever becoming familiar with Chögyam Trungpa. I'd heard the name before, but had no idea who the guy was. Recently one thing led to another, which led me to buy...

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Thanks to a David Chapman tweet, I came across an academic article about religious belief. Interesting stuff. Below I've chosen some excerpts from Pascal Boyer's piece which capture, pretty much, the gist of his commentary on another scholar's book, "When...

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