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Dean Kirkland

Church of the Churchless

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

Located in Salem

Last update: October 6th, 2014 at 08:37 pm

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

153 post clicks in the past 90 days

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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I'm feeling pretty damn good about my afterlife. Mostly because I don't think I'll have one. So almost certainly I won't be feeling anything at all after I die, which takes away worries about what will happen. Notice that almost...

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I'm an avid consumer of physics books aimed at the general public. "Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn" and "The Island of Knowledge" are my most recent reads. What comes through loud and clear in both books is how freaking far out...

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Today I heard from someone who discovered this blog by accident and has been enjoying my early posts. (The person is starting from the beginning, in 2004, and reading onwards.) At the end of the email message I was asked...

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Let's do away with religious freedom. There's no need for it. For lots of reasons it makes no sense. Let me explain. I'm fine with people being free to believe whatever they want to. So let's simply have believing freedom....

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I used to think that my intense longing for God, heaven, divinity, higher regions of reality -- whatever you want to call it -- meant that such existed. After all, I feel thirsty because water exists; desirous because sexuality exists;...

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Back in 1958 Alan Watts wrote a classic essay, "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen." Beat and square, back in the 50's, were words roughly equivalent to our "cool" and "lame." Or "hip" and "traditional." A beatnik bore some resemblance...

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Behold: my "Four Recipes for Instant Strangeness." This is my most recent Strange Up Salem column in our town's alternative paper, Salem Weekly. It's got some churchless aspects to it, for sure. Strangeness is what we want, even if this...

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Schrödinger's cat is a perplexing animal that seemingly is both alive and dead before an observation is made of it. This thought experiment was intended to show how the weirdness of quantum mechanics could be applied to everyday objects. It's...

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During my thirty-five years as an active member of an Indian spiritual organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, I heard a lot about seva, selfless service. Sikhs are big on seva and Radha Soami Satsang Beas' (RSSB) teachings, a form of...

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"I am nothing." "I am God, or all." Somehow these seemingly contradictory hypotheses coexist within what the Shimmering Dead End blog calls the folk theory of enlightenment. Here's a diagram of the whole confusing thing. (click to enlarge) Pretty darn...

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