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Dean Kirkland

Church of the Churchless

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

Located in Salem

Last update: December 14th, 2017 at 09:33 pm

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

153 post clicks in the past 90 days

Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence

I've never written a screenplay. I've only read one screenplay. But I know from watching TV and movies that pitches for screenplays often take the form of X meets Y. And I can do that much. The Da Vinci Code...

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I just came across a LA Weekly story, "A 1986 Murder Cold Case in the Mojave Desert is Finally Unraveling," about the gruesome killing of two members of an Indian spiritual organization that I used to belong to, Radha Soami...

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OK, I get what this guy is saying in "Donald Trump, Accidental Buddhist." Let's just stress the accidental. Have a read on the New York Times site. Or, the piece is short, so I've shared it below. Donald Trump, Accidental...

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The most recent issue of New Scientist has a story called "Delusional You." The online version is differently titled: Grand delusions: Why we all believe the weirdest things. Now, most of us consider that it is other people who are...

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I'm afraid of death. This is natural. It is normal for a living being to try to cling to life and avoid death for as long as possible. But as I wrote about twelve years ago in "Death and the...

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All terrorist attacks are despicable and difficult to comprehend. But when Muslim militants killed 305 Sufis, members of their own religion whose supposed crime is viewing Islam differently -- that's freaking insane. Back in my true believing days, before I...

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I just finished reading a disturbing chapter in Kurt Andersen's book, "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire." Disturbing, because in America Versus the Godless Civilized World: Why Are We So Exceptional?, Andersen presents facts about our zealous religiosity that sent chills...

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The title of this blog post sounds like a theological or philosophical question. Actually, it is an outgrowth of a scientific theory, that of eternal inflation. Which doesn't mean that the price of stuff keeps going up forever. In this...

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Some people claim that specific sorts of meditation practices are akin to a science that produces the same results, no matter who is doing the meditating or where the meditation is being done. A thoughtful piece by David L. McMahan,...

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Wil Wheaton, an actor, is getting criticism for this Twitter tweet that was in response to a call for prayers by House Speaker Paul Ryan following the murder of 26 people in a Texas church. Wheaton apologized to offended religious...

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My wife, Laurel, has had another faithless letter to the editor published in our local newspaper, the Salem Statesman Journal. The paper titled it, "Newspaper can't be faulted for decline in respect for God." Enjoy: A recent letter to the...

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To have faith, or not to have faith. This is a big question. I was pleased to see a thoughtful comment interchange between Spence Tepper and Appreciative Reader on a recent post of mine, "The most amazing thing about religions...

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Religious people believe in the miraculous. Atheist me finds a different sort of miracle embedded in religiosity: the fact that almost everyone who embraces a particular religion is highly confident, if not absolutely certain, that their particular faith is The...

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Someone emailed me a link to a short essay on the Secular Buddhist Association site, "What's your calling or purpose in life?" I like the author's conclusion: there's no reason to feel that you have a special calling. After all,...

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During my religious days I took solace in feeling that I had, or was, a soul that would survive my bodily death. Now, I'm more attached to truth than to fond beliefs, even when they feel good. So I enjoy...

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This isn't a big shocker, really. But it was still surprising to read that people who don't believe in God actually are more likely to hold other unfounded beliefs, like aliens visiting Earth. So says psychologist Clay Routledge in a...

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Today Arjuna left an intriguing question in a comment on my post, "Why I stayed with a religion for 35 years." Hello Brian, I trust you are well? May I ask a question and if you don't wish to reply...

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My atheist mind goes back and forth between Taoism and Buddhism when I try to decide which secular version of these philosophies appeals the most to me. Since I'm heavy into Tai Chi, which basically is Taoism expressed in human...

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The United States is a Fantasyland. And not just any old Fantasyland -- people in this country probably have the most fantastical beliefs of any country in the world. This is the core message of Kurt Andersen's marvelous book, "Fantasyland:...

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This morning I listened to a wonderful guided meditation on my Calm app about the chips and cracks of our experience. Tamara Levitt ended the meditation with the words I've transcribed below. I couldn't help thinking about how this applies...

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I'm always (well, usually) glad to admit when I've been wrong about something. So I'm pleased to say that during my true believing days, which stretched into over 30 years, I was decidedly wrong about the world's major religions having...

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A few days ago I was talking with somebody about finding "spiritual" uplift without believing in God or any other supernatural entity. I put that word, spiritual, in quotation marks because I no longer consider that there's some sort of...

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I've got some semi-serious health problems. Meaning, they aren't fatal or debilitating. But they're damn annoying. The details aren't necessary to know for the purposes of this post, though I've blogged about what I'm going through here. It's been interesting...

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I love the title of this blog post, because it is such a damn fine question. During the thirteen years this Church of the Churchless blog has existed, I'd say that this question has been at the root of more...

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Ah, the craziness of religious belief is on full display in India. First, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a guru who claims millions of followers, was put on trial for raping two women in 2002 at the headquarters of his Dera...

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A while back I got an email from Marc Deprey, who shares my interest in Greek philosophy -- notably Plotinus' conception of the One as being both the fountainhead and essence of existence. Deprey said that he'd written a book,...

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Here's another atheist-themed letter to the editor that my wife, Laurel, has been sending in monthly to our local newspaper, the Salem Statesman Journal. She makes some great points. Laurel's letters usually generate quite a few comments. This one has...

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I don't read every article in The New Yorker. But when I got near the end of the latest issue and saw this image, along with "American Nirvana: Is there a science of Buddhism?" by Adam Gopnik, I knew I'd...

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For over 30 years I was a devoted initiate of an Indian guru, Charan Singh. He was the leader of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a spiritual/religious organization headquartered in Beas, India. The only time I saw Charan Singh in...

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In my previous Church of the Churchless post I talked about how much I liked "The Way of Wonder" by Jack Haas. Wonder, awe, even reverence -- these aren't feelings that only religious believers have. Hey, us atheists are equally...

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