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Author Topic: Spirituality and HIV  (Read 25769 times)

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Offline beaubrent

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Spirituality and HIV
« on: April 24, 2008, 08:25:43 AM »

I grew up in a cult. Not just a cult, a horrible cult where the leaders of the temple controlled the lives, finances, and futures of the faithful. Since then, I have been completely turned off of spirituality of any sort, and in particular the Abrahamic religions.

Since finding a healthy balance with my virus, I’m starting to believe there is something pushing me toward a sort of spiritual journey. I’ve begun looking around the world for the best of each belief to internalize as a personal medicine. As I explore, I find that the best clue on where to go next is given from folks who have their own stories to tell. I’d like to hear about your experiences with spirituality and faith – either personal or organized - however distant, and how you believe that has impacted your life with HIV.

The obvious choice for me after the cult was to explore Buddhism. There was a Buddhist center near me and the idea of healing through meditation (as what they do in this medicine retreat in monasteries in Nepal) appeals to me, but there are some parts of Buddhism which do not (i.e., 10 kingdoms and 18 levels of tortuous hell). I’m still dabbling here.

The next choice was for me to explore some of the modern Wiccan ideas. There was a radical faerie group to me and the idea of spirit through social belonging appealed to me, but there were parts of it (what IS it with the need for mind altering crack at retreats?) I didn’t like at all.

The closest I’ve come to solidifying anything in my mind is my belief that my ancestors watch over me, that respect for myself and my body is respect for them, that I honor them with good deeds, and the general belief of karma.

What have your experiences been?
When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 08:29:08 AM »
I'm a heartless, cold, baby-eating atheist who maintains that the universe is a random place and that there is no divine personality or concept of cosmic justice at work.

MtD

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 08:42:01 AM »
 


                                      :: atheist ::
                                     
     

Offline BT65

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 08:53:24 AM »
Beaubrent, my strength comes from listening to people who have made real changes in their lives.  I can take ideas from different places without having to go whole-hog into them.  Good luck with whatever path you decide to follow.  It must be terribly confusing for you, being that you grew up in a cult.  Ugh.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Speedmotion

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 08:56:44 AM »
I grew up as a Catholic and even attended minor seminary. That's when I came out to myself as gay.

I left the RC church when  I discovered an MCC (http://mccchurch.org) MCC is a Christian denomination with churches  world. I've found that God loves me. period.

 RJ Hadley
Chicago
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Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 09:14:37 AM »
Beaubrent, I am a shamanic practitioner although my practice is not tied to any one religion. My practice deals with the emotional, spiritual and psychological aspects of healing. I believe healing is a process and is not a cure. I do go to Nepal and study with several shamans there, in fact I will be going back there next year. For the most part all of the religions are mixed together there(Hindu, Buddist, etc) which appeals to me.  The ones I visit are well connected to medical doctors and are very good about telling there clients, "now you need to see a doctor!" if it is a medical issue. My next visit there will also be to help out my fellow lesbian and gay sisters and brothers who are having a difficult time spreading the info about HIV around their country. Hopefully I won't be arrested for passing out condoms, but oh well.

Sharkie
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 09:34:30 PM by sharkdiver »

Offline aztecan

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 09:16:45 AM »
I believe there is a spiritual side to life. I was brought up catholic and nazarene. That didn't work for me on many levels.

So, I began to explore other beliefs, as you are doing.

This search evolved into a Wiccan/Pagan type of belief system. It works for me.

Keep looking. You will find the right path for yourself.

Oh, by the way, Radical Faeries are fun for a weekend, but not my cup of tea for a lifestyle.
HUGS,

Mark

« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 09:19:06 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Peter6836

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2008, 10:05:05 AM »
Beubrent,
I too was raised Catholic like others here. I have found that it did not work well for me. I have read many works on spirituality and looked into many different disciplines. I have attended Unity churches in the past an like their wide range of beliefs. I have studied Buddism and many other religious beliefs. I have also practiced the pagen ways.
I enjoyed reading the thoughts of Joseph Campbell and like his ideas of necessary ritual in the lives of humans. This has brought me to believe that spirituality is an important aspect into a well rounded life. I have relaized that there are similarities in many of the belief systems of the world. I tend to practice what feels most comfortable at the time. It works for me and has created a blended spirtual base for me.
As far as spirituality and HIV are concerned. I have found that dealing with this disease has given me a different aspect of life. I was near death at one time and it does put one into perspective with the universe. I have become more comfortable with myself and my spirituality than ever before.
Good luck on your journey, remember it does not matter what road we take, what matters is where we end up in the end.
Peter

Offline woodshere

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 10:21:09 AM »
I am of the Christian faith and throughout my life I have floated in and out of my faith.  What I have found is that the more I concentrate on faith the better my life is.  It doesn't mean my problems miraculously disappear and all is well or everything works out the way I want, it simply means I am better able to handle things. Sure I still get depressed and of course still do some of the same stupid things I have done my whole life, but in the end my faith gets me back on track.  I honestly feel that the reason I have handled my overall HIV experience pretty damn well is because of my faith.

Good topic,
Woods
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline Texan38

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2008, 10:36:26 AM »
My wonderful experience since becoming HIV+ is meeting people I never would've met if I weren't positive, which has helped me deal w/ life. Sounds as if you're on a great journey!
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 10:39:15 AM »
Hello,

I was raised protestant/Methodist. Mom, always made sure to get us kids ready for Sunday school, then church service every Sunday.  In the summer months,( when school was out) went to summer "Baptist Bible study".  I also sang in 3 church choirs. Then I decided, enough was enough. That was back in 1969.
There was a very brief period of time, back in the late 80's, that I was looking into Buddhism, (Nichiren Daishonin) that was short-lived though.

Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2008, 12:00:11 PM »
This is a good topic. I was brought up in the Baptist church and knew the Bible inside and out. It was the people in the church that turned me off. Instead of being a "house of God", it turned out to be a "house of gossip". I grew up going to Catholic schools so then I became Catholic---knew all their prayers and jeez they had one for just about any sin. But I loved the statues.... ;D

Through a local news article I became interested in Wicca or Paganism. I believe I had a calling through a dream and later came to find out that other members of my family had followed it as well. I do not follow one specific path but am eclectic and consider myself to be a solitary 3rd generation Witch. I had tried to join a coven once but did not like the atmosphere. I think I work better alone but would like to check out a few fairs.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2008, 04:27:31 PM »
I became a Christian at a younger age (11), but it was more about the rules, since when you are younger you only know how to do what the adults tell you in general, especially when in the kind of environment I was in. As I got older I was being groomed for being a preacher, I was doing seminary schedule while in H.S. I used to get into trouble because when being taught, the teacher would always refer to the Greek and Hebrew and then tell us that a particular word in english in the King James Bible meant this or that instead of what was on the page, I would always ask, then why wasn't that word used then?? I am still a Christian, I am very conservative, however; accepting of others since I found after leaving the Baptist faith due to the fact that it was legalistic (rules over faith) that my faith was about my relationship with God. I am not perfect and don't pretend to be. My status did raise some questions of my faith, but I soon got over it, because overall, my behavior is what caused me to become infected and nothing else. I cannot blame God for the fact that actions caused my to become positive. I now deal with it one day at a time, just as I do my faith. I do have to say that becoming positive has opened my eyes to a great many things, both with perceptions in the world and also my faith, I have not been forgotten or abandoned by God, He still loves me the same, and I am seeing a ministry opportunity opening with all of this. I may not agree with things said by others on this board, but I am not here to criticize, I may speak my mind and I am sure many will not like it, but It will be my right to say it. I am here to show love as Jesus would have me do and how he did during his physical time on earth. If you notice, he spent his time with the sick, afflicted, troubled, hurting, confused, and showed them what God really is all about. And if you have questions I am willing to answer them. Please be advised that not all Christians are hateful and view gays, or any other group as worthless. There are some who are like that, but not all of us are. I will not tolerate attacks, but will answer honest and respectful debate. I do hope the mods are reading this as well. That is my blurb for now.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2008, 04:51:59 PM »
I will not tolerate attacks, but will answer honest and respectful debate. I do hope the mods are reading this as well. That is my blurb for now.

I suggest that if you feel you are being attacked or unfairly treat, you should report it to the mods.  But this is Beaubrent's thread so lets get back to the topic

Shark
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 04:55:45 PM by sharkdiver »

Offline appleboy

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 06:34:42 PM »
I was raised in the south in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church.  As I got older I started to learn more about God through the MCC church.  That is where I finally came to grips with being Christian and Gay.  I know that my faith journey has helped me with being poz.  I believe God has some kind of plan for me and well it included HIV.  Recently 3 years roughly after moving to Delaware I have been church hunting to so I can continue to learn and keep going forward in my faith journey.  So I recently found a local UCC (United Church of Christ) that I just joined.  It is a very open and accepting church.  They are open to me being HIV poz and gay.  It not only helps me in my faith journey by going to church but being around people who love me for me.  So there is my 10 cents worth and I think it is quite awesome the diversity of religion/non-religion in this forum.
AppleBoy
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 06:43:10 PM by appleboy »
If you are walking down the street and your pants drop to your ankles bend over pick them up and keep on walking!
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Offline BT65

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 06:56:41 PM »
The church that I attend sometimes does tons of social justice work, which is why I go to it.  The minister is a lesbian and has been with her partner for almost 20 year.  Most of the people who attend are GLBT.  It does help me spiritually, but like I said, the main reason I go is because they get involved with social issues and try to make a change.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline chm02

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 07:06:03 PM »
I'm an atheist. Or rather, a "godless secular humanist".
I do believe that there are good reasons for being moral that do not require any belief in the supernatural.
I also partake in my own eclectic spiritual tradition. I believe that spirituality, like empathy or conscience, is part of what it is to be human, and doesn't require belief in anything that is beyond the actual.  :)

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 08:49:53 PM »
Humanism is the only ideology I can identify with. As far as afterlife, I feel no one really knows but we all find out sooner or later.

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2008, 09:05:24 PM »
A cultural Christian here. You know . . .Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day . . .that sort of thing.

Went to church a few times as a child when the Mormon or the Baptist grandparents were visiting from out of town but it never took.

Not sure about "spirituality", but like the "resonance" of the (King James) Bible -- how it reverberates in psalms and spirituals, links a community through time, the continuity of the physical church. I've often thought that, if it weren't for that little obstacle of faith, I could have been a very content high church Episcopalian.  :)
But it wasn't to be.  So instead, I practice polyphony, preferably one person to a part.
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline ScottJay

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I am a christian
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2008, 09:28:22 PM »
and I know that if I had followed the laws laid out in christianity about respecting my body, etc etc, I wouldnt be in this predicament now. There is no flaw in the teaching of Jesus.

I think you'll find a lot of people find a religion that suits their behavior and relieves them of reponsibility. That is why so many people in alternate lifestyles (and I am in no way bashing anyone here, GOd loves all his children) flee from christianity.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 09:31:43 PM by ScottJay »

Offline Jody

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2008, 09:46:06 PM »
Being gay is not an "alternate lifestyle" or a lifestyle choice of any kind, but merely what a certain percentage of the world's population have been since man walked on two legs. 

And if Christianity, or any of the world's major religions, were so perfect then we should not have had countless wars and horrible, unspeakable acts committed against so many folks because "my religion is better than yours".  The real "lifestyle choices" are from those who pick a certain religion to differentiate themselves from their neighbors. 

Jody ::)
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2008, 09:47:19 PM »
and I know that if I had followed the laws laid out in christianity about respecting my body, etc etc, I wouldnt be in this predicament now. There is no flaw in the teaching of Jesus.

I think you'll find a lot of people find a religion that suits their behavior and relieves them of reponsibility. That is why so many people in alternate lifestyles (and I am in no way bashing anyone here, GOd loves all his children) flee from christianity.


Indeed Scotty. The Talking Snake religion is replete with wonderful things. From 1 Romans (KJV 1611):

1:26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 


Wherein we learn, amongst other things, that the natural use of a woman is for the sexual satisfaction of men.

Or what about Matthew 13:10-15 where Jesus explains why he speaks in parables?

13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:   

13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.


Essentially he speaks in parables so no-one can understand what he's talking about.

And what of Christian family values? It's all explained in Matthew 19:29:

19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

So if you dump your wife and kids for Jesus' sake he'll give you a big reward.

:)

MtD

Offline BT65

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2008, 09:50:56 PM »
Scottjay, if you would have read my earlier posting, you would have seen that the church I attend sometimes has a lesbian for a pastor.  I don't know if (being gay) is what you were talking about by 'alternative lifestyles,' but I'm not buying that.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online joemutt

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2008, 11:35:53 PM »
I am an atheist budhist, I dont believe in a personified god, I think nature and the law of nature is god/darhma and budha someone who saw the logic of it, like Newton but better.
But mostly I hang out with Teravada budhists because their meditation techniques suit me. Its meditation without a budha, incense or bells. I went (see link) for eleven days in March.

http://www.suanmokkh.org/ret/ret-sm1.htm
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 11:38:35 PM by joemutt »

Offline John2038

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2008, 02:14:00 AM »
As a scientist, studying the universe, I came too few conclusions. Just giving one here:

- There is an order in this universe. The physics is the science describing it.
Some says we are here by hazard. I have conclude by Miracle.

And even when I try to think that the hazard, the chaos or whatever else might have create us and the universe, there are still at least 3 questions that makeme believe in this Miracle more than the hazard:

1) This universe is made of energy. Where it comes from ? why is there not just nothing ? What is nothing ?
2) Something has happen maybe 15 billions years ago (big-bang). Why don't we exist since eternity ?
Ok, maybe because the hazard is the consequence of this big-bang (if the universe is expanding/contracting) and a day or another we just exists (1)
Then come back to the point 1.
I go out from this loop when I think that:
3) In more than material, there is love, feelings, and order in our life. How to create life from just e-, p+ and n ? How to create love or justice from them ?
Where WE was before OUR birth ? Where WE will be after ? WE, our soul. This things that no science can explains.


(1) It is still not demonstrated either if our universe will just continue its expansion and die, or contract again. Seems that everything have a beginning and a end.
This include our life, and the universe. Then if the universe die, the theory of hazard can't exists reasonably.


It is not few line of text that will demonstrate either if God exists or not.
But as some give their argumentations, I was just willing to give mine. A short one before going to work.
I believe that the hazard theory is definitely not the best to explains all:

For example:
And if despite that we are was here because of the hazard, then why is there not a God by hazard as well ?
If we are the hazard, then the probability to be back is 1. Even the probability to live the same life, and many life.
But also is the probability of 1 that God exists...

But nevermind. I believe in God. Just because God have always be part of my soul, of me. I just feel it. Like you feel love.
And because I love Love, Honesty and Justice, as well as this feeling, I Love God. Not because of fear. And it has been by the way a natural but obvious choice.

I guess some people never feel God, because they just have never try to feel Him.
Just go to a church, no matter for what religion and try to connect your soul. Find the way with honesty, and then conclude.

These few thoughts that I am sharing here are nothing.
Not here to convince. It's just a view of the Life, just sharing an opinion. I just hopes everybody to be happy in their Life. No more.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 02:28:13 AM by John2038 »

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: I am a christian
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2008, 06:09:12 AM »
ScottJay

I think you'll find a lot of people find a religion that suits their behavior and relieves them of reponsibility. That is why so many people in alternate lifestyles (and I am in no way bashing anyone here, GOd loves all his children) flee from christianity.

I suggest that you tone down the rhetoric a bit. The way I'm reading this, you're equating "alternative lifestyles" -- and let's be clear, in these Forums, it's probably you who leads the alternative lifestyle -- with irresponsibility is incendiary. This is a akin to flamebaiting in these Forums and, well, let's just say you won't be here long if you don't tread lightly and with the respect of the people you're here seeking support from.

Not a warning -- but a nudge to poceed with caution.

Tim Horn   


Offline BlueMoon

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2008, 07:44:20 AM »
There is no God, no Jesus, no Great Spirit, no karma.  There is only a swirling mass of matter, constantly forming and reforming.  HIV is one tiny element of that, neither good nor evil.  It exists for its own sake. 
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline beaubrent

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2008, 07:59:37 AM »


I’m pleased with the variety of responses – thank you!

I can appreciate the atheist point of view, but I don’t you don’t have a heart, MTD. Especially if you eat babies; you’re bound to have more hearts than the rest of us. I get angry when some zealot from my family asks me if I’ve heard of Jesus. I want to scream “The whole damn world has heard of Jesus. Go away.”

I like the idea of taking different pieces without the “whole hog”, like you say, Bettytacy, and I think that probably makes for a better-rounded picture. Were there any particular rituals you found worked especially well? The American voodoo religions have some interesting rituals (I am fascinated with rituals) and I’ve read a lot about some of the South American rituals, too.

I attended an MCC church once and found it very welcoming, Speedmotion; that’s a good solution for a lot of us. My best friend met his boyfriend there. They are still together. I’m sure it’s not all coincidence.

I’m very interested in the work you do with the shamans, Sharkdiver. The medicine you talk about is very much something I am interested in exploring, but I’m having trouble where to start looking. Are the focus of your trips spiritual journey-based or health based? Do you have any recommended reading?

Mark, I agree that the faeries aren’t a very good destination for a spiritual journey, but some of those colorful characters do seem to serve as a kind of conductor for other sorts of religious journeys. The idea of a nudist retreat worked until the second gay guy arrived… then it devolved expectedly. 

I’ve been interested in a book given to me by a friend of mine by Joseph Campbell, Peter, and I agree with your conclusion that it highlights the need for spirituality. The tribal way he describes it interests me because it feels like a connection to my ancestors. 

Woods, I like the tempered view of spirituality you have, and that is very much what I hope to get from it: some helpful equilibrium. 

Texan, when I went on my first AIDS ride, all the amazing positive people I met really changed my life. I think that experienced helped keep me out of the crack tailspin a lot of my friends were going through at that time.

My looking into Buddhism is hitting snags too, Ray. I think that the 18 hells are a bit too much for me. I think maybe I glamorized it before I knew what it was or how incredibly strict the doctrine appears. It seems like the sanghas downplay the severity of the doctrine, but I guess it would scare folks away.

Queen, do you have any reading recommendation for starting out in paganism? What got you started? And which fair – a witch affair! – does a witch have from which to choose?

Dusty, my story is tied in a way to your own. The zealots of the cult I grew up in would claim to read the bible in another tongue (which conveniently, nobody but them knew) and that lead to divine proclamations (such as the leader of the Chruch being God for our time, such as tearing families apart, building up a military-type branch, owning people’s wives… scary stuff). I only believe only biblical verse anymore: “Let God be true, but every man a liar” Ro 3:4

Appleboy, I think that you bring up a good point in the social aspect of spirituality. While some folks, like Queen, prefer to practice alone, a lot of folks really draw from that tribal sort of feel that originally described spirituality. I’d like to be part of rituals with other folks because I love rituals!

Chm, your view is exactly the view of my partner. I appreciate that he joins me for tai chi and meditation for the sake of simply what it is without looking further.  That view fits well with me.

GSOgymrat, I read once that Einstein believed the universe had five or six dimensions and that scientists now are imagining dark matter is the only universe matter which travels freely between the dimensions. Does your humanist ideology involve any practice?

Assurbanipal, my grandma used to sing psalms. I don’t know if she actually believed any of the stuff she sung, but I found it soothing all the same. There’s nothing like a 60 year old lady with a  smoke-cracked voice singing hymns.

I think maybe, ScottJay, you are right about why people flee, but until I left the cult, I never realized how strange we all actually were. The “laws” you talk about are, to me, just the codification of human bias wrapped in divinity wrapping paper and handed to the masses.

Joe, THANK YOU for that link. That is exactly the sort of thing I am looking for to poke around. The array of Buddhism is a bit daunting, so this is helpful.

John, do you consider yourself agnostic? I like the scientific approach to divinity because it asks important questions about purpose and direction – the same sort of questions which drive a spiritual quest. There are parallels, but the great part about a world full of religions is that there isn’t an answer to the equation everyone can agree on. It gets to actually be a quest!

Thank you all again for your responses! It is good to know that as I am on my own spiritual journey that a lot of other folks have useful bits to share about their own. 
When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2008, 10:44:33 AM »
As a relative newcomer to these forums, I probably shouldn't say this, but I found ScottJay's posting actually rather hurtful. Personally, I cannot share the religious convictions of some posters here, but I respect their right to express them. What I found problematic in ScottJay's comments is the old inference that infection with HIV is somehow the consequence of not having 'followed the laws laid out in Christianity': an idea which I consider both wrong and offensive. Nor do I  'flee' from Christianity, because it has no power over me and holds no terrors for me. But the implication that it is somehow the benchmark against which humanity is to be measured is, in my view, unacceptable. If Christianity wants to name and condemn 'sin' (whatever that means), then it need look no further than its own inglorious and deeply unpleasant history.

'Spirituality' is one of those words which seem to mean different things to different people, and is therefore actually very hard to engage with. One of my interests is the history of words, and how they change in meaning, and when, and why. Both in Antiquity and in the high Middle Ages, we find that the concept from which the idea of 'spirituality' developed had as much to do with what it means to be a living, breathing human being in this world, here and now, and with all that implies, as it did with any religion or God. For me, engaging with the consequences of Life After Birth (or, if you prefer, Life Before Death) holds a lot more interest than pointless metaphysical speculation.

And why do so many people refer to God as 'Him'?!

Regards,

A.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 10:52:53 AM by aelwyd »

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2008, 12:41:22 PM »
 One thing that's always been a part of me has had a significant impact on my spirituality . The best way to describe it is to tell all of you a conversation I had with my buddy Tim when I was 8 years old  .

We were talking about what heaven must be like after hearing about someone dieing . I told him I didn't know about heaven but I thought we would just go back to the place where we decided to start from , I said we probably just go back there . He was very confused by this statement and asked something like what do you mean by "there". I said ,you know that place we were before we were born . I don't remember much more of the conversation after all we were only 8 at the time. I do remember thinking it very odd that he did not know what I was talking about . Later I asked my parents about this and they just dismissed it as one of the strange things kids say . As far back as my memory of life on this earth I have had this memory. The day I found out others did not share my memories stands out in my mind .

I don't know if I dreamed this or my child's imagination came up with this .
All I know is it seemed then and now to be very real to me .There are many things in life I fear , like pain or not being being able to provide all my basic needs due to my limited income but one thing I have never feared is death because of my memories of being " there" My memories of this have more details than I feel I can share here in a post . I have talked about this with only a few friends until now . I no longer fear ridicule about sharing something that's brought me comfort through many tough times .       

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2008, 12:59:52 PM »
I'm a heartless, cold, baby-eating atheist who maintains that the universe is a random place and that there is no divine personality or concept of cosmic justice at work.

MtD

How come it doesn't sound very convincing Matty... :-*
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline DavidinCA92284

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2008, 02:04:55 PM »
My experience has been that there is a definate difference between understanding and feeling one's spirit - in terms of "spirituality" and then attempting to express that spirit by attending services in organized religion.   In my opinion, organized religion is just that - an organization, which usually instills it's own belief structure in order to control and maniupulate people and things to their own end.   For instance, many Christians believe that if you don't believe in Jesus as your personal savior, then you're going to hell.  But, Christians don't have an answer for those millions of souls before Jesus and whether they are in heaven, or whether only souls born after Jesus get the opportunity to be in heaven because of the requirement to believe.

In college years ago I had the honor of participating in an elective course exploring Myth and Legend.   The main book of the course was "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell.   Without going to much in detail, the focus was not on greek mythology, but on the origins and history of how various people around the world connect with the Universe by their cultural practices.   While "The Power of Myth" is just a starting point, it doesn't suggest any one religion or spiritual undertaking is more right than someone else's belief.  It suggests that "there are two totally different orders of mythology."   First, there's the one that "relates you to your nature and to the natural world."  And then there is "the mythology that is strictly sociological, linking you to a particular society."   Campbell makes the point that understanding one's own heritage or mythology background helps define one's place in society.

The problem that many folks have, even myself, a person that grew up with parents ashamed of their own Jewish religion so that they moved away from New York and raised me in California in order to be "open minded" - means that for me, I have been disconnected from my true heritage and have no interest in practicing it.  I spent years "searching" for meaning because as a young child I had none.

The overall problem with HIV is that, for the most part, it's a sexually transmitted disease.  In the context of modern Christian culture where condoms are not allowed and sex before "marriage" is not approved of, contracting HIV instantly says that you are 1) gay, or 2) praticing some kind of sexual act that is not intended to make babies, or 3) you had sex with someone that hasn't been faithful.   All these things can be considered a "sin" and therefore by admitting to having HIV and no disclaimer on how it was contracted, it outs the person in a society that still, for the most part, doesn't accept homosexuality.

Christians have a certain concept that it's important to note.  They believe that you must look outside of yourself in order to find spirit - letting Jesus in to your heart - and then after that acceptance your spirit is reborn or free.   In Eastern or Oriental thought, you don't have to look outside of yourself for spirit - your spirit is already inside.   This is greatly important especially how it relates to issues like the 'war on terrorism'.   For instance, a Muslim would say that if you kill one of us, you kill all of us - that's because they believe they all share the same spiritual journey and are all brothers/sisisters regardless of family blood line.   In America, most Americans live seperate lives, and the only struggle is to empower the individual and to identify saving an "individual soul".   Eastern thought, and even Native American thought is that we are all connected - that our souls are one - not individual.   

HIV is much better an accepted 'disease' in the context that it impacts everyone - the Eastern thought.   However, still in America, HIV is considered an Individual disease, that it can't happen in my family because we are "straight" or that it's OK to fight AIDS in Africa because we don't have to face the real problem at home - the Bush policy.

- Just a few thoughts.

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2008, 03:00:01 PM »
GSOgymrat, I read once that Einstein believed the universe had five or six dimensions and that scientists now are imagining dark matter is the only universe matter which travels freely between the dimensions. Does your humanist ideology involve any practice?

Humanism actually require practice and action. Some of the principles of humanism include:

- Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
- Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
- Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.

Humanism is one reason why I'm a mental health counselor and not a nuclear engineer, which is what I initially went to college to study. I like helping people and value improving relationships. As far as spirituality I do believe "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." Some may see that as a rejection of the spiritual but I see it as a call to action to help the people around us now and not focus on what will happen after we are dead. I don't believe in prayer for myself but I do recognize the comfort it provides and it's intrinsic good will toward others. Therefore I find it of value. However I think prayer without action is like meaning to send a birthday card but never actually doing it.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2008, 04:58:16 PM »
The great speaker of truth in this thread is Chm02:

I believe that spirituality, like empathy or conscience, is part of what it is to be human, and doesn't require belief in anything that is beyond the actual.

Excellent stuff. I like this because it acknowledges that there is stuff we don't know but doesn't consign it to the crap heap of "faith" placing that stuff outside the realm of reason.

Also Aelwyd who so eloquently puts the spear through the idea that christianity is loving and accepting:

Personally, I cannot share the religious convictions of some posters here, but I respect their right to express them. What I found problematic in ScottJay's comments is the old inference that infection with HIV is somehow the consequence of not having 'followed the laws laid out in Christianity': an idea which I consider both wrong and offensive. Nor do I  'flee' from Christianity, because it has no power over me and holds no terrors for me. But the implication that it is somehow the benchmark against which humanity is to be measured is, in my view, unacceptable. If Christianity wants to name and condemn 'sin' (whatever that means), then it need look no further than its own inglorious and deeply unpleasant history.

And of faith? Well when I was being raised a roman catholic I was taught that faith:

. . . is the substance of things unseen and the promise of things yet to be.

But I've subsequently learned that faith is what allows reasonable people to believe unreasonable things. Faith is the thing we use to suspend common sense so we can get away with doing things which are, by any objective assessment, just plain idiotic.

Like educated young men being convinced that killing themselves and others will assure them eternal life in paradise with 70+ virgins. Or that Jesus will return to smite the perverts with a flaming sword sticking out of his mouth. Or that lighting candles to the earth mother will assure that cabbage moths don't decimate your vegetable patch.

More pointedly, faith is the device through which abstinence is taught in certain high schools rather than the reasonable and scientifically sound principles of harm minimisation.

MtD

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2008, 08:14:01 PM »
I'm a heartless, cold, baby-eating atheist ...

MtD

So Matty ... (I'm confused) ... if this is so, how come you are so kind ...??

 :-*

A x
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 08:23:28 PM by aelwyd »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2008, 08:14:55 PM »
I use it to lull my victims into a false sense of security.  ;D

MtD

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2008, 08:26:00 PM »
Yeah, right ...  ;D

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2008, 08:49:23 PM »
Humanism actually require practice and action. Some of the principles of humanism include:

- Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
- Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
- Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.

Humanism is one reason why I'm a mental health counselor and not a nuclear engineer, which is what I initially went to college to study. I like helping people and value improving relationships. As far as spirituality I do believe "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." Some may see that as a rejection of the spiritual but I see it as a call to action to help the people around us now and not focus on what will happen after we are dead. I don't believe in prayer for myself but I do recognize the comfort it provides and it's intrinsic good will toward others. Therefore I find it of value. However I think prayer without action is like meaning to send a birthday card but never actually doing it.

And what do you think of Carl Rogers?

No, I'm not "getting" at you, I'm thinking you're familiar with him and I'd like to hear your opinion. He was quite esoteric in his own way.

Ann

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HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2008, 10:19:57 PM »
Queen, do you have any reading recommendation for starting out in paganism? What got you started? And which fair – a witch affair! – does a witch have from which to choose?


The book that I first read and liked because it explained to me why Christian fear Pagans and explain their concept of Satan was "Power of the Witch" by Laurie Cabot. I also liked Spiral Dance by Starhawk, though I have not finished it.

What got me started was an article in our local paper on Halloween or Samhain by a local Wiccan High Priest. I actually met the High Priest but he was more interested in bedding me even after introducing me to his wife. That was a bit freaky, had to get the hell away from him. But shortly after, I believe my calling came to me in a dream. I then went on my own and started researching things, buying a mess of books and reading. I do not follow one specific path but incorporate many into my life.

I actually would like to go medeval fairs. Also check out Witchvox.com....That was one of the sites I use to go to for info. I think another one is Avatar.com or something like that.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
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Offline appleboy

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2008, 10:51:22 PM »
This is honestly one of the best threads I have seen on this site.  Again, I really enjoy reading about what people believe.  Diversity is quite a neat thing.  We may not all agree on religions but we do share a common bond HIV/AIDS that makes us all common in one aspect.  I am smiling from ear to ear!  All you folks are wonderful awesome people!  :)
AppleBoy
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Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2008, 11:35:00 PM »
I grew up protestant with no particular religion. I've attended many different types of churches and faith based schools in my life.
For the most part I've never been able to identify with any particular religion and through most of my life I've considered myself christian. I'm not sure what I am now.
Since the deaths of my son and husband I've questioned my beliefs and never really decided one way or another what I believe in.
Since my teen years I would describe myself as spiritual rather than religious. I've never really cared for religion.
I do enjoy discussion, regardless of whether the person I am speaking with shares any of my opinions in faith, religion or spirituality. It can be interesting to hear other peoples thoughts on the subject as long as they aren't trying to convince me that their way is the only right way. I don't like being preached to.
I'm open to other peoples beliefs. I don't think that my opinion of God is the only acceptable one. I don't really care if someone thinks there is a God or if Jesus was his son or if Mickey Mouse is God. So long as said person treats me well it makes no difference to me.

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2008, 11:53:46 PM »
14 billion years ago a massive explosion heaved the universe into existence. The resulting cataclysm generated trillions of arbitrary combinations of a little bit of this and a smidgeon of that, over and over and over again for nine billion years, mostly with no results. An infinite universe, expending so much energy...for nothing.

Then finally, four billion years ago, on an orbiting rock that formed 500 million years prior, one random combination figured out how to make copies of itself and combine with other similar combinations. These combinations mounted a successful struggle against the universe's default entropy. And thus an atmosphere formed on that orbiting rock, from which developed oceans, which in turn gave life to life.

Random? Totally. That's what makes it so beautiful.


Taking a different tack...

Humans are intentionally relational beings. Look at how we've evolved: to communicate with each other, to want to be with each other, to enjoy the physical pleasures of each other (I've never understood why religion shames sexual expression, when it's obvious that we're built to enjoy it). We are all we need. The supernational is purely a human invention, before scientific thought and observation explained natural phenomena. Promises of an easy eternal life became the primary way people supressed fear of their ultimate individual nonexistence (not to mention giving those in control a very powerful motivator called guilt). Gods are always made in the images of their creators, assumed to be placated by only by salving the selfish jealousies of their peculiar outrages.

My calling? None other than to live in the present and savor the now.


--------------------
Two books have been very instrumental in helping me discard ancient mythologies and come to respect the simple pleasures of random life and present living:

  • Walking zero: Discovering cosmic space and time along the Prime Meridian, by Chet Raymo
  • The ghost map: The story of London's most terrifying epidemic--and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world, by Steven Johnson
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 12:41:28 AM by Okealyshire »

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2008, 12:35:23 AM »
And what do you think of Carl Rogers?

No, I'm not "getting" at you, I'm thinking you're familiar with him and I'd like to hear your opinion. He was quite esoteric in his own way.

Ann


I identify a lot with Carl Rogers. His ideas about client-centered therapy, positive regard, and becoming a fully-functioning person are concept I have intergrated into my work. I also particularly liked his optimism about humanity and human nature.

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2008, 12:40:17 AM »
"Spirituality" is a by-product of men's ability to imagine. It's a hiding place we all drift to (or crawl on all fours) when our analytical power based on imperfect knowledges fails us. When our power to rationalize cannot give us a convincing explanation of events or rationality is not an option because of our built-in inability to accept certain things rationally (the biggest of those "things" is that we are all born to die), we sort them out from the enclosed safe haven of our imaginative mind.

A collective sense of "spirituality" then evolves into religion, and religion breeds rules to organize human affairs by either being seized by those whose want to be in power or already in power. A religion is not a religion if it lacks the power to rule and organize, and as long as religion is intrinsically based on rules it can never be "spiritual". And as long as having "imperfect knowledge" and the desire to overpower other men and dictate their behaviors are our peripheral state of existence, "spirituality" will never be a component of any religion.

So, to enjoy your spirituality, seek it elsewhere, seek it inside yourself and just accept in your mind it's all illusionary and therefore inconsequential to any affairs that are parts of our physical existence. Our spirituality is there to answer questions that are only by-products of our imaginative mind; to enjoy it I think one has to completely isolate it from in particularly religion and the analytical part of our brain.

The great Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu, IMHO, asked over 2 thousands years ago the most enjoyable spiritual question ever recorded  - When he woke up from a dream, he asked himself, "was I a man just woke up from a dream of me being a butterfly, or was I a butterfly just drifted into a dream of being a man". I don't want to find out if I am a man or just a butterfly, but I shall have fun trying to figure it out spiritually for the rest of my life.

(modified to clean up some typos)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 12:42:02 AM by komnaes »
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2008, 01:25:21 AM »
I'm pretty new to these forums, and it this post might be risky, but here goes...

Saw this the other day: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/16/congo.crash.survivors/index.html. A plane crashed during take-off in Congo. It plowed into a market and caught fire; several people on the ground died while a "shoving mass of humanity" stampeded from the burning wreckage.

Terrible story, indeed. A family of missionaries managed to escape, and of course they think it was for a reason: "The lord has a plan for us, otherwise we wouldn't have survived. He still has work for us to do," said the father.

Wow. What about the innocent shoppers who got creamed by the aircraft? Were their lives useless? Did "the lord" have no plan for them? How can one believe in a just and loving god who apparently dishes out such ruthless brutality? Would you want this god to be your co-pilot?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2008, 01:30:11 AM »
I like church/mosque collapses. There is something particularly appropriate about the Lord dropping the roof on his most devoted followers whilst they praise him.

MtD

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2008, 01:46:28 AM »
I'm pretty new to these forums, and it this post might be risky, but here goes...

Saw this the other day: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/16/congo.crash.survivors/index.html. A plane crashed during take-off in Congo. It plowed into a market and caught fire; several people on the ground died while a "shoving mass of humanity" stampeded from the burning wreckage.

Terrible story, indeed. A family of missionaries managed to escape, and of course they think it was for a reason: "The lord has a plan for us, otherwise we wouldn't have survived. He still has work for us to do," said the father.

Wow. What about the innocent shoppers who got creamed by the aircraft? Were their lives useless? Did "the lord" have no plan for them? How can one believe in a just and loving god who apparently dishes out such ruthless brutality? Would you want this god to be your co-pilot?

Epicurus 341-271 BCE

"Is god willing to prevent evil but not able, then he's not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing, then he's maleviolent.
Is god both able and willing, then whence cometh of evil.
Is he neither able nor willing, then why call him god."
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2008, 03:58:45 AM »
what do you think of Carl Rogers?


Ann, you might enjoy reading Rogers' book 'A Way of Being'.

A x
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 04:00:22 AM by aelwyd »

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2008, 10:30:20 AM »
I identify a lot with Carl Rogers. His ideas about client-centered therapy, positive regard, and becoming a fully-functioning person are concept I have intergrated into my work. I also particularly liked his optimism about humanity and human nature.

Me too. I really like his optimism too, and his ideas about creating person-centered communities.

Ann, you might enjoy reading Rogers' book 'A Way of Being'.

A x

I did enjoy it. I also liked On Personal Power and On Becoming a Person. :)

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline buca45

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2008, 11:05:59 AM »
Very interesting topic that I am sure could go on for days as each of us has a firm belief of why, who, when, what and how we exist as we do. A few very solid opinions have been voiced, my favorite being the last one from Okeleyshire.
It begs me to ask why was this man spared when others faced their deaths...what is the grand division point "the maker" sets for us all...what is the cut off mark?  For someone like the man saved, do you then spend the rest of your life looking for the reason you were saved while others perished? That would drive me crazy!!
I don't understand, if the great one loves us all and we are created equal, why do some fly through life not knowing the hardships even some children face?
Personally, I was raised with a combination of "forced Catholicism" and the beliefs of my Native American ancestors. After  being rounded up and placed on reservations, the native people were then forced to discard their old names and chose names that were from the Bible. After that happened, only catholic services were performed and everyone was required to attend and to never again practice their spirituality.
I lived those Catholic beliefs as a child as they provided me with what I thought of as just a set of entertaining fairy tales...something that I just could not believe would have any place in my life.
Now , to me as an adult, any sort of organized religion is nothing more than different groups of people who feel that their teachings have made them somehow superior... like the survivor of that airline crash.
In my NA teachings, we were taught to respect the Earth and all it included...the skies, the winds, the animals and to look within ourselves for the answers to the questions we were faced with in becoming adults.
I can honestly say, for me, this is how I am able to live from day to day and to tackle the things that come up in my life and to do so without doubt or regrets.
IMHO, everything you will need in life is packed within the package that is your mind and body. To me, it seems a little self defeating for a person to spend his/her whole life searching for the answers to live when it is all  within you already.

Now, I am not passing judgement on anyone or their beliefs....only contributing my opinions on this topic.
"Love and Laughter and Happiness Ever After"

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2008, 12:00:02 PM »

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2008, 12:21:28 PM »
Epicurus 341-271 BCE

"Is god willing to prevent evil but not able, then he's not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing, then he's maleviolent.
Is god both able and willing, then whence cometh of evil.
Is he neither able nor willing, then why call him god."

I had to google Epicurus. In case anyone else doesn't know he was a Greek philosopher.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2008, 12:29:12 PM »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2008, 12:38:30 PM »
Impeccable logic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXf8COiHMuM

He annoyed me I had to turn him off half way through.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2008, 01:28:53 PM »
He annoyed me I had to turn him off half way through.

I know dear, I guess satire is an acquired taste.

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2008, 01:35:52 PM »
Since I can not respond to your PM as that I am blocked. Are you Edward Current?

Modified because I realised since I am blocked you may never read this question and if that is the case I should also say if you are Edward Current I meant no disrespect nor insult to you. And maybe someone who isn't blocked would tell you that so you could know it.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 01:40:35 PM by Winiroo »

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2008, 02:20:21 PM »
Since I can not respond to your PM as that I am blocked. Are you Edward Current?

Modified because I realised since I am blocked you may never read this question and if that is the case I should also say if you are Edward Current I meant no disrespect nor insult to you. And maybe someone who isn't blocked would tell you that so you could know it.

I am sooooooo confused.....
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2008, 02:33:53 PM »
Sorry. I'm having a really bad day.

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2008, 11:25:25 PM »
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #59 on: April 27, 2008, 07:38:23 AM »

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #60 on: April 27, 2008, 01:24:40 PM »
I think that's a parody done by a comedian...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqJpZOljjG8

I had no clue he was a comedian. Guess if I had stuck thru till the end maybe it would have been clear to me he was trying to be funny.

Offline hartiepie

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #61 on: April 27, 2008, 01:38:40 PM »
I had no clue he was a comedian. Guess if I had stuck thru till the end maybe it would have been clear to me he was trying to be funny.

Well ya know, he was so good at sounding like the people he is lampooning that it is hard to tell.

I grew up hearing these things in Current's line of videos and the speakers really believe lines like "If I haven't heard it, I don't need to know it because I have read the whole Bible" and "Since the word of God is in the Bible and it describes God, how can I doubt his existence?"

I used to be a Believer and still consider myself to be a cultural Christian, but I really can't believe in supernatural explanations --- they are just too convenient.

Being spiritual doesn't mean being religious.

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #62 on: April 27, 2008, 03:12:17 PM »
Atheist of course.  But I try to avoid hubris and be more the 'why would anyone even think of such a ridiculous idea?' kind of atheist rather than the 'faith is stupid and irrational' kind of atheist I used to be.

Honestly I have never once felt any impulse to 'believe'.  I suppose my emotions and psychological needs manifest themselves in some other way.  But I haven't noticed it.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #63 on: April 27, 2008, 10:14:34 PM »

Being spiritual doesn't mean being religious.
I agree whole heartedly

Offline CaliGuy22

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2008, 01:12:21 AM »
Hi Beaubrent!!

This is my first post on the forums since finding out I was positive two months ago. (But that is another topic)  :D Four years ago I was in a Bible College studying to be a Pastor through my own will. My family was not Christian and never went to church with me, it was not something I was raised into it was something that at age 15 I went searching for. Living in a very small closed minded community there where no other churches or belief systems around then Christianity. I found much peace and joy in the Bible and in Christ. I left Bible College to move to San Francisco and experience something new. I shortly there after came out to everyone and have never looked back sense. I found that my biggest issues where not with my concept and belief in God but with the Churches I was in and there wrong and close minded views (I should point I have found amazing Churches that are open and loving of all the way I believe God is.)   About a two years ago some of my good friends in San Francisco where into Eastern Religions, without speaking to them I started reading. Picking up every book I can about Buddhism and reading what I could. Today I am spiritual and Buddhist. I find love and peace in Meditation and the overall belief in Buddhism that Compassion is key. I have always been known as a "good guy" not doing drugs, working my butt off at my jobs, stay at home don't party kind of guy. So I have felt from a early age that Compassion and Love are the keys to my walk in Spirituality. I have a large tattoo on my arm that say REVOLUTION the meaning behind it is that Compassion is Revolution. I am not an expert just another person seeking, but I am far happier now then I have ever been. Becoming Poz threw me for a big loop, being angry, wondering why, hating myself for a bit. But, the life I lead is too short to be angry and mad. I can make the best of it or let it get me down and my beliefs help in that. I am not trying to preach or teach to anyone on here, I just wanted to share with everyone where I have come from in my life. I am new here and hope to talk with you all more.

With Love,
 J
Compassion is Revolution.

tendai

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2008, 06:04:07 AM »
i firmly believe in God. i may not fully understand why He lets bad things happen and all that but i believe everything happens for a reason and its all part of His plan for us.

Offline beaubrent

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2008, 08:00:07 AM »
CaliGuy22 – Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story with us. Your journey is especially interesting because when one is as immersed in belief as you were, planning your career through those beliefs, it must be especially hard to open your mind to other types of spirituality. I’m sure that same open mind will guide you on your own spiritual path as you go along.

I admire your reasoning, Okealyshire, in questioning the purpose of a divine being intervening in the lives of others. I tend to agree with your point of view, with the important caveat that if there are intervening powers in the universe, we (those who survive the crash) are rubbish at seeing its purpose. It is probably more subtle than that.

Buca, to your question about why some “fly through life” without knowing the hardship some face, I would answer with the Buddhist point of view that our karma determines what we are dealt. Or, perhaps the Christian point of view would be that hardship is our lot to bear for belief. Or, perhaps the humanists could chime in here, but I suspect there is a philosophical point of view which has something to do with taking our lot and changing it by sheer desire of our personal mind because it is all we have. Or, maybe MtD would say life’s a B and that it really is all a game of chance. Whatever the answer any of us has, the question fascinates me.

Komnaes, your question of the butterfly dream is a great example of how I feel sometimes in my own search.  For me, it isn’t as easy as drawing a line in reality, because I accept that my line of reality is different from other folks. I believe my ancestors watch over me and guide me, but if I were to concede your point that it is illusionary, I am not ready to concede that it isn’t at least helpful to my current existence.

Queen, thank you, thank you, thank for the reading recommendations. If any of the rest of you have some reading recommendations, please post them. I learn very well this way.

Tendai, a lot of people have the same unequivocal belief in a being. When faced with them, I am haven’t got much to say out of respect. Until I am that certain about anything, I won’t say otherwise, but the whole point of starting a spiritual journey like I am starting is to find that out for myself!

Thank you all for your responses! I’m enjoying reading through them.

When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2008, 08:16:12 AM »
Or, maybe MtD would say life’s a B and that it really is all a game of chance.

Nope, I wouldn't say that. But as I went about my morning rounds today, checking the cat-traps in the grounds of the Manse here in snowy BoolaBoolabongbong, I considered this very question.

I would point out that we live in a world constructed by humans and that the hardships experienced by many are inflicted on them by powerful. Not that there's some evil cabal plotting away to do over the masses, but rather that when one person serves their own self-interest somebody else suffers.

In other cases, people experience misery of their own making.

And yet others have a roof fall in on them for no good reason at all.

And whilst I've flayed the Jesus-freaks  a fair bit in this thread, don't think I won't turn my jaundiced eye to the slaves of "eastern philosophies".

The peddlers of karma always make me giggle. Those who when faced with the misery of another offer by way of comfort platitudes like "oh don't worry, what goes around comes around, you just wait and see."

I'm sure they'd be horrified to learn that many Hindus, when they encounter a poor or crippled person, simply move on because that individual is paying now for wickedness in a former life.

Or that the Dalai Lama is in fact an appalling homophobe.

Karma can be a real fucker it seems.

Yes, the universe is a swirling mass of randomness (quantum physics is probably beyond the scope this discussion) but the human society is not. It's deftly structured and capriciously ordered. There is nothing random about racial composition of American or Australian prison populations or that it's the poor and not just the patriotically stupid eating lead for George in the middle east.

Or something like that. :)

MtD

Offline BT65

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2008, 09:30:07 AM »
I'm struggling right now with whether I truly believe there is a magical being who always "was" and who "controls everything, everywhere."  How could that be?  Where's the proof?  I've kind of moved from believing things at face value to thinking more critically.

The church I go to does a lot of social justice, with battered women, GLBT people, even local animal shelters.  The pastor is lesbian, most of the people who attend are GLBT.   There are no hard and fast rules.  My pastor said the only thing she takes from the Bible as literal is "love thy neighbor as thyself." 

I was raised Seventh-Day Adventist, back when it used to be a very radical religion.  They base a lot of their beliefs on a lady named Ellen G. White who they said had visions; I believe she was having hallucinations; though, her health message (vegetarianism etc.) was a good one.  Most Adventists who follow that live a long, long time.  I've been to a few other churches (Apostolic Pentecostal, Catholic), and I've found every organized religion has left me with a sour taste. 

I'm not sure what my whole conclusion will be about my belief in God (or nonbelief); I do, however, have a reading suggestion from the Damned One I'll be reading and hopefully that will help me out.  This thread has been interesting thus far.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2008, 09:42:57 AM »
My younger brother and I got into a debate yesterday about religion and spirituality. He is an atheist and very well versed on the subject. His argument was that spiritually, superstition and religion are not only wrong but dangerous to society. I found myself in the awkward position of defending religion and spirituality and had a surprisingly difficult time supporting my position. Part of the problem was that I agreed with 95% of what he was saying. Another problem was I couldn't effectively reconcile subjective experience with it's impact on society.

I ended up saying that atheism is intellectually satisfying but it doesn't feel very good, which was a pretty lame conclusion on my part.

Offline BT65

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2008, 09:56:03 AM »
Ford, I think that's the core of it- religion makes people "feel good" and offers simple explanations and ways to live.  I'm just not sure if it's correct to assume all that.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline hartiepie

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2008, 10:02:55 AM »
The disapproving smuggness and condemning manner of religious loudmouths looks just as bad on atheists.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2008, 10:06:51 AM »


...or anybody.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2008, 10:41:49 AM »
If I want to "feel good" I'll just take a sedative (or two).  I don't feel this eternal need to ask questions about things which will never be answered.  Over the course of human history there have been thousands of different religions.  Evidently none of them have been correct, hence they must all be wrong.  Seems obvious to me.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Florida69

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2008, 11:10:54 AM »
I gotta say that I really enjoyed reading everyone’s’ response to this topic, so thank you for making the thread.  It is amazing what you can learn about a person when you find out the spiritual beliefs that they were taught in their youth.  I grew up southern Baptist, yes southern Baptist; however I had bad experiences within the church with secular rules that tended to only apply to church members not the leaders.  I grew up in the seventies in the south, and although I don’t care to reenact it, I remember being the one that questioned everything, including how different classes of people were treated.  Growing up around farms, in a simpler fashion, with land as far as one can see to roam and explore was always an adventure, I guess that is why I enjoy exploring places on foot that I have never been.  Sorry for rambling.  When I graduated high school, I was a very angry person, at the world, at God, at life for dealing me this hand.  I was all state in football and had just had a detrimental injury that ruined my career.  I was set up with a full scholarship at UGA, but with the injury that too was diminished. I am the only child of 10 that graduated high school, less go to college, and I am also the one out of ten that was gay.  My family had a lot of difficulty dealing with my sexual orientation at first, but luckily I was able to educate, transcend and move forward.  I have had a similar experience in coming to terms with my status, but here we are two years out and I am still managing to live my life on my terms.  My family has struggled, but slowly the ones that matter have come to terms.  I studied many religions in my quest, for what is God and in attempt to answer my quest for knowledge.  I enjoyed the information that I received studying different religions, because in the end it was a great history lesson, and also taught me that my belief belongs only to me, my relationship with God is my relationship, and I do not have to share it.  My point, is that whatever your belief is that belief belongs to you, whether it be paganism, Muslim, atheist, Buddhism, etc. that belief belongs to you.  You have to find the path is that is right for you.  Take care, D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline wishihadacat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2008, 05:20:54 PM »
The questions of whether there is a "God", and if not, what purposes our existence serves, are one and the same.  If there is a God, then we live, die and serve at and according to his or her will; if there isn't, then you can take a totally nihilistic view and go fuck anyone you want and do anything you feel like doing, subject only to whatever rules we've all agreed on (but find yourself a good lawyer.)

If there is a God, he/she/it has never directly revealed himself and never will, nothwithstanding some very old rumors to the contrary; every now and then, he sends along someone or something (e.g., Jesus, Mohamed, Shirley MacLaine) to give us a few pointers, and then he sits back and laughs at the whole thing.

If there isn't a God, and we are in fact just some mold growing on one of the rocks left over from the Big Bang, then it still makes sense to give meaning to existence, even if for no other reason than it will keep our minds off the fact that we are all going to die, thus the mysterious and enduring popularity of Donald Trump and "Deal or no Deal."

Then again, there is the completeness that we feel when we make love (and not just copulate with each other, although that can be perfectly entertaining,) which is either proof of the existence of God or just a quirk of human biology. Decide for yourself.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:14:09 PM by wishihadacat »
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Offline DanielMark

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2008, 05:24:06 PM »
I enjoyed the information that I received studying different religions, because in the end it was a great history lesson, and also taught me that my belief belongs only to me, my relationship with God is my relationship, and I do not have to share it.  My point, is that whatever your belief is that belief belongs to you, whether it be paganism, Muslim, atheist, Buddhism, etc. that belief belongs to you.  You have to find the path is that is right for you.

I couldn't have said that better myself!

Daniel
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2008, 05:49:03 PM »
that my belief belongs only to me, my relationship with God is my relationship, and I do not have to share it.

The instruction manual seems to differ with you here, Donnie. From the gospels:

Matthew 28:19 (KJV 1611):

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Mark 16:15 (KJV 1611):

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

MtD

Offline DCGUY2007

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #78 on: April 29, 2008, 01:09:58 AM »
Interesting post. I was brought up very religious. Christian religion. I have looked into buddhism too. I like the relaxation and meditating. Like you though there are some issues I don't agree with.

I feel I also need to become more spiritual again. I'm just not sure anymore if there is a God. I hope there is. I just wonder

Offline John2038

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Nick Vujicic is a giant of a man
« Reply #79 on: April 29, 2008, 01:51:35 AM »
If you believe in God, you will feel a lot of Love.
Can't say more. So God exists in this way at least.

Also, I was willing to share these words from Nick Vujicic:

My name is Nick Vujicic and I give God the Glory for how He has used my testimony to touch thousands of hearts around the world! I was born without limbs and doctors have no medical explanation for this birth “defect”. As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles.

“Consider it pure joy, my Brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the best for those who love Him.” That verse spoke to my heart and convicted me to the point where that I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these “bad” things happen in our life.

I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can’t be used.
I am now twenty-three years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today’s teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.

I have a passion for reaching out to youth and keep myself available for whatever God wants me to do, and wherever He leads, I follow.

I have many dreams and goals that I have set to achieve in my life. I want to become the best witness I can be of God’s Love and Hope , to become an international inspirational speaker and be used as a vessel in both Christian and non-Christian venues. I want to become financially independent by the age of 25, through real estate investments, to modify a car for me to drive and to be interviewed and share my story on the ” Oprah Winfrey Show “! Writing several best-selling books has been one of my dreams and I hope to finish writing my first by the end of the year. It will be called “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!”

The awesome thing about the Power of God, is that if we want to do something for God, instead of focusing on our capability, concentrate on our availability for we know that it is God through us and we can’t do anything without Him. Once we make ourselves available for God’s work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? God’s!

May the Lord Bless you
Nick Vujicic








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DxlJWJ_WfA
Nick's Web Site: http://lifewithoutlimbs.org/

EDIT: Website added
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 02:00:05 AM by John2038 »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #80 on: April 29, 2008, 02:21:56 AM »
As inspirational as some may find this differently-abled chappie, perhaps a closer look at what he's talking about (as opposed to the gawking at the freak-show gallery of pictures from his site) is in order. From the article, John so kindly linked to:

Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Number two, objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists. Let me repeat it for you: Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists.
(source)

Heh. Can't argue with that circular logic which, of course, is the idea.

There's also a Statement of Faith with all the usual fundie things. Scripture is the inerrant word of god, redemption through Jesus, people are rotten sinners etc.

And of course, Nick is pro-life:

Pro-life is a fundamental and clear issue from scriptures and it is exciting to know that there may be possibilities of speaking to Government bodies about this important issue.
(source)

MtD

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #81 on: April 29, 2008, 05:25:56 AM »
Oh the Christians do like their freak shows. I can't even recall how many disabled/disfigured Catholics, Catholics recovering from all sort of cancers, etc we met in church gatherings when I was kid. No doubt Mr. Vujicic is an admirable individual. He's also hard to attack, and organized religions, especially Christians, like people like him testifying and promoting their values on their behalves. Exploitation? No, he does it willingly!

Thousands of differently disabled persons like Mr. Vujicic live happy and productive lives without having his or any religious belief. I am sure there are similarly disadvantaged people have strong faiths on, say, voodoo or monkey king that give them the meaning of lives.. but we tend to call them crazies.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #82 on: April 29, 2008, 06:38:56 AM »
Quote
Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Number two, objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists. Let me repeat it for you: Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists.

Nice guy, I have no doubt; shame about the syllogism, though.

To me, it seems that all too many people of religious conviction appear to live their lives by another fallacious syllogism:

- I believe in a god.
- What I believe has to be true.
- Therefore, there is a god, and you must believe it too.

The OP asked what our own experiences have been. My problem over a lifetime has been that the 'spirituality' of those who profess religion has usually been accompanied by the abuse of power which those religions so frequently indulge in. The religious tend to become angry when their convictions are challenged, and the consequences to those around them can be appalling. From Antiquity on, the historical record is littered with examples of what happens to individuals and entire communities who refuse to change their world-view at the behest of another. One of my favourite examples comes from a 19th century 'missionary' in Africa, who stated with smug satisfaction that in his opinion the gospel is most effectively spread when accompanied by the point of a bayonet.

Objective moral values do NOT only exist if there is a god, and you do not need a god to live a life of compassion, kindness, love and wonder. The word spiritualitas has its roots in 'spiritus' (Latin) and πνεύμα (Greek: pneuma), which were intended to reflect רוּחַ (Hebrew: ruah). All carry the connotation of 'air', or 'breath', or 'wind'. It was in origin a Christian word, but in recent years it has come to be used in different and sometimes diametrically opposed ways by people of varying religious beliefs, or none.

As I see it, to draw breath itself - to be alive - is an extraordinary thing, endlessly wondrous and tragic, which soon enough will come to an end. How I use that time of breath is my choice.

I was diagnosed HIV+ about two weeks before my mother died of cancer. When I went from the clinic to the hospice where she was, she asked me whether I had had a good day, and was I happy. My answer was, I think, the only real lie I ever told her. But the diagnosis has made me reflect again on what it means to be alive, and on all that entails. So for me, spirituality is fundamentally about the here and now, and how I choose to respond to that.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 01:00:45 PM by aelwyd »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2008, 07:56:18 AM »
I can't believe someone in this thread has employed visuals of a limbless human being to prop up their weak argument.

Oh wait -- OK, I can believe it.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2008, 08:28:22 AM »
Insulating yourself against the taint of all religion is a kind of psychological, informational hygiene. Abandon all rigor and requirement for reality-based evidence for one's ideas, and you open the door wide for the kind of conditioning in dogma modern religion promotes.

Offline mudman8

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #85 on: April 29, 2008, 03:53:29 PM »
Started out protestant, then the Baptists got ahold of me in my college years. It got ugly I moved and left the church. 10 years later I started searching and doing things like meditation.  There's a whole lotta dogma out there and no "proof". My disease, and those I've lost, taught me compassion. I don't adhere to any one thing. I think there's a purpose, but I'm not putting anything on anybody and don't want them to influence me.

I do know when I've really been down or needed help several times in my life, good things have happened. Coincidence? or Faith? I don't really know, life has just been an interesting trip.
Life is analog

Offline Florida69

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #86 on: April 29, 2008, 04:53:22 PM »
Started out protestant, then the Baptists got ahold of me in my college years. It got ugly I moved and left the church. 10 years later I started searching and doing things like meditation.  There's a whole lotta dogma out there and no "proof". My disease, and those I've lost, taught me compassion. I don't adhere to any one thing. I think there's a purpose, but I'm not putting anything on anybody and don't want them to influence me.

I do know when I've really been down or needed help several times in my life, good things have happened. Coincidence? or Faith? I don't really know, life has just been an interesting trip.

Exactly, how I feel.  The one thing in life that is constant is change. 

As I said I may have grown up Baptist, however I do not practice any religion.    I see them as I see most people as being hypocritical. It is okay to do it at one point, or by some, but not by all. It is important to know history.    I am not saying all people are hypocrites.   In evaluation of any debate there comes a time when it is easier and better to let it go, as no good or change will come from it.  Regardless how confident I feel on the subject, there will always be those that will be more reverent, as I have learned from this forum.  In life I have always been able to do what is best for me, by looking out for me and putting me and those I care about first.    I guess my philosophy is all about evaluating self, and doing what is right for me.  I learned that through some really great people in dealing with my own diagnosis.  That has even been true of past relationships, I try to hold on in hopes that things will change, but at some point you have to ask yourself what is the necessary element that has to change to make the affiliation right for me.   However, I am resilient and my flexibility is tested regularly. As I stated, my relationship with any deity belongs only to me.  I have this saying yesterday is history, tomorrow is a dream, today is what counts.

I did find this site and found it interesting, and wanted to share, I hope you all enjoy.
http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/gods.warriors/

You guys totally rock.
D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #87 on: April 29, 2008, 05:08:21 PM »
I had to think about all the different churches and or schools I've attended. Might not be interesting to anyone but I'll list them anyway.

Schools : Lutheran, Baptist and non denominational christian.
Churches : Pentecostal, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon <baptised there>, Catholic, Unity church and several non denominational churches.

That's all I can remember the names of. I know there where others I've attended but I cant remember what kind of church they where. I visited a Buddhist temple once an took a tour but never went to a service.

Modified because I failed to say I dont attend church now unless its a wedding or funeral.

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #88 on: April 29, 2008, 09:44:29 PM »

A question and a follow-on:

I feel I also need to become more spiritual again. I'm just not sure anymore if there is a God. I hope there is. I just wonder

This is the crux of our discussion here. DCGUY2007, why do you hope that there is a god? Please understand: I imply no criticism, I'm genuninely curious why you feel this longing. Is there some aspect of your life that requires a supernatural cause, a mover external to this universe that in some way maneuvers the universe's course through time? Why? Or if not, then why maintain the hope?

Objective moral values do NOT only exist if there is a god, and you do not need a god to live a life of compassion, kindness, love and wonder.

Intelligent people are engaging in thoughtful discussions about how morality and compassion are an intrinsic part of our evolutionary and genetic programming. See, for instance:

While I haven't yet tried any of the surveys here (http://www.yourmorals.org/), I've bookmarked it for return later. Wonder what I'll learn about myself? :)



Offline Jody

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #89 on: April 29, 2008, 11:29:49 PM »
Arianna Huffington has a book out: "Right is Wrong" and one of the topics she astutely mentions in an interview is how at a recent debate by the Republican candidates for president a question was asked: "How many of you do not believe in evolution?" and three candidates including the beloved Huckabee raised their hands.  Huffington, and no doubt millions of Americans and folks worldwide were appalled, angered and no doubt frightened by these people and their ancient beliefs coming from people who knew no better and had no evidence to the contrary.  As Edward R. Murrow alluded to some questions just don't have two sides.

I remember going to Hebrew school back when in the the tumultuous late 1960's to prepare for my Bar Mitzvah in 1968 and though the boys in class came from largely secular Jewish families like myself, we were taught, probably just for the sake of it, that God created earth in 6 days and rested on the seventh.  Science taught us the fallacy of this theory of course yet we accepted that religion would always teach it because they just couldn't change .  Deep down surely even the rabbis knew this was bogus?!?

Yet today, 40 years later, large numbers of Christians and Muslims, who make up a huge portion of the worlds population, as well as Orthodox Jews, push this thinking to their children and to society.  Surely they must know that their rejection of scientific evidence is dangerous and wrong?!?

So I was an innocent boy back in 1968, turning 13 (a man-LOL), living in a time in America just around the era of the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and I recited the Hebrew I learned to speak but not understand in a synagogue for the obligation of a Bar Mitzvah boy, not fully contemplating it then, but now realizing that people partake in such rituals more for themselves and the perpetuation of their cultures they are so desperately afraid to lose, than for any judgemental God they may face someday and that while some good may come to the spirit of a number of us, the big lie and the rejection of real truth and the prejudice and division that results may be more harmful to us all sooner than later.

Jody  ???
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline edfu

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #90 on: April 30, 2008, 12:26:37 AM »
I can't believe someone in this thread has employed visuals of a limbless human being to prop up their weak argument.

Oh wait -- OK, I can believe it.

You better believe it.  It's something you can truly believe.  Those who insist on converting the entire world to their belief systems will stop at nothing--absolutely nothing--to achieve their totalitarian ends.  Our recent history proves that, if nothing else does. 

I spent six years in the seminary preparing to be a priest:  three years of high school and three years of college.  I believe I know whereof I speak.  The one dominant thing I learned in all those years is that the Roman Catholic Church has caused more human suffering and death throughout history than any other organization.  It continues to do so.  Its current position opposing contraception is relevant to this board.  Not to speak of the Crusades, the medieval European wars when the Vatican was a secular power, the burnings at the stake, the condemnation of human beings loving one another.... 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 02:30:44 AM by edfu »
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #91 on: April 30, 2008, 01:05:12 AM »
The one dominant thing I learned in all those years is that the Roman Catholic Church has caused more human suffering and death throughout history than any other organization.  It continues to do so.  Its current position opposing contraception is relevant to this board.  Not to speak of the Crusades, the medieval European wars when the Vatican was a secular power, the burnings at the stake, the condemnation of human beings loving one another....

Matty the Damned finds that he could not agree more strongly with Edfu. :)

The cathylick church has an enormous case to answer for it's role in the spread of HIV throughout the developed world, especially Africa and Central/South America.

MtD

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #92 on: April 30, 2008, 06:56:21 AM »
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #93 on: April 30, 2008, 06:05:07 PM »
You better believe it.  It's something you can truly believe.  Those who insist on converting the entire world to their belief systems will stop at nothing--absolutely nothing--to achieve their totalitarian ends.  Our recent history proves that, if nothing else does. 

This goes for the groups that do not "believe" anything. Or any group that wants to achieve their goals of what ever they want to get across. And truth be damned in the whole thing. I also have found that people make statements about what Christians believe. There are some that do believe some of the things described, but NOT all Christians believe many of the things described here. I for one am one of the people that, as a Christian do not believe as having been described. I DO believe in God, What I believe to be sin is what goes against the very character, person, and nature of God. There is the old law and new law. Much of the old law has been done away with because they are no longer needed as many of the reasons for those laws (designed to protect the people) went away. The most famous and still remaining laws are the 10 commandments, 4 of them are your relationship with God. the other 6 are your relationship with man. They have also been summarized into this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind and strength, and love your neighbor as your self. Pretty basic, a lot of the other stuff really doesn't matter. And yes, there are those who make things bigger than necessary and then fall themselves. I have my faith, I fall all the time from what I know to be sin (for me) but the thing is, I get back up and continue on. I know I am loved by God and my faith continues on.  I do think though, that pointing fingers at what the Christians are doing only makes you look bad. So they screwed up, so what? Do you want people pointing out your flaws? I know, I know, they kinda ask for it, and yeah would tend to agree a little bit. But please, DO NOT lump ALL Christians in together.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2008, 06:58:25 PM »
This goes for the groups that do not "believe" anything. Or any group that wants to achieve their goals of what ever they want to get across. And truth be damned in the whole thing. I also have found that people make statements about what Christians believe. There are some that do believe some of the things described, but NOT all Christians believe many of the things described here. I for one am one of the people that, as a Christian do not believe as having been described. I DO believe in God, What I believe to be sin is what goes against the very character, person, and nature of God. There is the old law and new law. Much of the old law has been done away with because they are no longer needed as many of the reasons for those laws (designed to protect the people) went away. The most famous and still remaining laws are the 10 commandments, 4 of them are your relationship with God. the other 6 are your relationship with man. They have also been summarized into this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind and strength, and love your neighbor as your self. Pretty basic, a lot of the other stuff really doesn't matter. And yes, there are those who make things bigger than necessary and then fall themselves. I have my faith, I fall all the time from what I know to be sin (for me) but the thing is, I get back up and continue on. I know I am loved by God and my faith continues on.  I do think though, that pointing fingers at what the Christians are doing only makes you look bad. So they screwed up, so what? Do you want people pointing out your flaws? I know, I know, they kinda ask for it, and yeah would tend to agree a little bit. But please, DO NOT lump ALL Christians in together.

The bit I've highlighted here is interesting. I think what Dusty is referring to is comments attributed to Jesus' in the Acts of the Apostles where he talks about his death and resurrection doing away with Jewish ceremonial law (ie not eating pork, shell-fish, sprinkling pigeon blood on the doors of the Temple, women being unclean when they menstruate) but that the moral law remains and is enforced.

As for the "other stuff that doesn't really matter", well that's a different story. I'll expand on that later. :)

MtD

Offline edfu

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2008, 07:41:51 PM »
Here's a really excellent article that is superbly relevant to this discussion:

http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/burningpaper/2008/04/03/christianity-owes-us/

And here's a BBC report that makes one want to weep.  The head of the Catholic church in Mozambique claims that condoms and some antiretroviral drugs are deliberately infected with HIV:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7014335.stm
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 09:35:53 PM by edfu »
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #96 on: May 01, 2008, 02:25:25 AM »
I do think though, that pointing fingers at what the Christians are doing only makes you look bad. So they screwed up, so what?

Priceless ...  ;D

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #97 on: May 01, 2008, 05:26:32 AM »
The most famous and still remaining laws are the 10 commandments, 4 of them are your relationship with God. the other 6 are your relationship with man.

Exodus 2:12 (fifth commandment) -- "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land your lord god is giving you."

Luke 14:26 (Jesus, presumably replacing the old law) -- "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple."

Hmmm...?

Offline Torey

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #98 on: May 01, 2008, 06:38:15 AM »
Hi, Beaubrent  ;D

I was a Wiccan for ten years before finding that my path led me to what is deemed 'eclectic witchcraft'.  I am also walking the path of the Shamanist.  It's interesting that you say about your ancestors, as Shamanism and ancestors mesh together on a huge level.  There is extensive work with the ancestors and they are revered right up there with the many other aspects of what is 'divine'.

If you would like to know more, you can message me.  Otherwise there is a wealth  of information online about Shamanism...although some would advise you to steer clear of Michael Harner's 'Core Shamanism'.  Blessings to you, friend.
Seroconversion 2006 (?)
Jan 08 - CD4 409 (28.5%)  VL-10,000
May 09 - CD4 297 (19.2%) VL-92,000
October 09 - CD4 244 (15.2%) VL-116,000
December 09 - CD4 239 (13.5%) VL-142,000
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #99 on: May 01, 2008, 07:46:42 AM »
This goes for the groups that do not "believe" anything. Or any group that wants to achieve their goals of what ever they want to get across. And truth be damned in the whole thing. I also have found that people make statements about what Christians believe. There are some that do believe some of the things described, but NOT all Christians believe many of the things described here. I for one am one of the people that, as a Christian do not believe as having been described. I DO believe in God, What I believe to be sin is what goes against the very character, person, and nature of God. There is the old law and new law. Much of the old law has been done away with because they are no longer needed as many of the reasons for those laws (designed to protect the people) went away. The most famous and still remaining laws are the 10 commandments, 4 of them are your relationship with God. the other 6 are your relationship with man. They have also been summarized into this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind and strength, and love your neighbor as your self. Pretty basic, a lot of the other stuff really doesn't matter. And yes, there are those who make things bigger than necessary and then fall themselves. I have my faith, I fall all the time from what I know to be sin (for me) but the thing is, I get back up and continue on. I know I am loved by God and my faith continues on.  I do think though, that pointing fingers at what the Christians are doing only makes you look bad. So they screwed up, so what? Do you want people pointing out your flaws? I know, I know, they kinda ask for it, and yeah would tend to agree a little bit. But please, DO NOT lump ALL Christians in together.

The bit I've highlighted here is interesting. I think what Dusty is referring to is comments attributed to Jesus' in the Acts of the Apostles where he talks about his death and resurrection doing away with Jewish ceremonial law (ie not eating pork, shell-fish, sprinkling pigeon blood on the doors of the Temple, women being unclean when they menstruate) but that the moral law remains and is enforced.

As for the "other stuff that doesn't really matter", well that's a different story. I'll expand on that later. :)

MtD

/EDIT:  Matty is the one who comes up in the quotes, but this post is in reference to statements both he and dusty make in their posts./

I've been steering clear of this thread over the last few days, but I have to raise one point / question.  And coming to you as both a "dunked in the river mountain Baptist" and a gay man, I feel I've got some pretty good grounds for asking it.  I hear these lines all the time and have for years since coming out.  I get maligned and condemned - loudly - from pulpits and podiums all around the world by those who claim to have the moral authority of the Bible.  I get told I am unnatural and evil and quite literally a harbinger of the apocolypse simply because of my desire to live and love as in the way that I feel is natural and right for me. And yet I also have people whisper to me all the time: "Oh, I don't really feel like that.  Not all of us think like that." 

Really?  Then where is the public outcry, eh?  I really wanna know.  People will tap it out from the comfort of their keyboards.  They'll  whisper it  quietly in my ear, but I don't think that's nearly good enough.  Not by a long shot.  Your fellow "children of God" are being told they are wicked and doomed to Hell and dragging the whole of the world down with them.  They are essentially suffering not only discrimination but psychological abuse because of these so-called christian teachings.  If so many of you don't believe it and disagree, where is the protest?  How is it you feel comfortable enough to sit quietly by and let this continue?  At the very least, it drives untold numbers away from your faith and outside the church doors.  That's right:  "souls are being lost".  At worst, this hateful venom is responsible for not only things like not teaching about contraception, but specifically working to make sure that discussions of safe homosexual sex practices are never properly discussed - the very young people who probably need this information the most.  It seems like the popular take is that it is OK to throw these kids under the bus for the sake of propping up this continued farce of moral piety.  And yet so many of you do nothing.  Say nothing.  Shouldn't you all be shouting down the rafters against this hateful and, in my opinion, unholy rhetoric?  Well?

I realize I may have veered a bit from the initial direction of this thread, and I apologize or that.  But it's something I really needed to get off my chest.  I am sick to death (quite literally now, mind you) of this talking out of both sides your mouths.  I grew up hearing endless condemnation against gay people from "good christian people" while they chomped down on slabs of ham in the fellowship hall.  As a young child, it absolutely battered my self esteem and, I believe, set me on a path toward some of the reckless behavior that led me here.  Some of you reading may want to say, "Oh...you're trying to blame the christians for your actions", etc.  Well why the fuck not?  They've spent innumerable years blaming people like me for all the ills of the world.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 08:09:11 AM by thunter34 »
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #100 on: May 01, 2008, 08:02:28 AM »
-takes the century-

MtD

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #101 on: May 01, 2008, 10:44:44 AM »
I will answer that, with this, yes, there are those who feel homosexuality is wrong, simply because they read it in the Bible. What they fail to understand is that once Adam and Eve disobeyed God Imperfection now has entered the world (understand that God gave us free will or there would have been no disobedience) The scriptures referring to homosexuality (this word did not exist then) called it an abomination, now this was due to the earlier command of God to be fruitful and multiply. well, we all know that same sex cannot produce offspring, (doesn't mean they can't care for them) but that is that, something to note, and this does piss me off about those Christians who do flame the gay community for being gay, is that they are hateful about the fact that gay people have sex with each other and go to the "death to gays" attitude. Fact is the law states that same sex offenders (understand context with which I am speaking) were to die the same way. If a couple who were not married had sex, they were to die by stoning, same with same sex. The Christians who cop the attitude fail to look at the laws for themselves in a "normal" sexual extension. Now, I am not gay myself, I am bi (yeah, I am dealing with that let me tell you) I am now HIV+, I contracted the disease by either a faulty medical procedure or by my own sexual actions. I tend to believe the latter. Not as punishment, but for consequences of unsafe practices. Does God still love me? Absolutely.

Now, back to what what is at hand, We are ALL imperfect, whether it be gay, straight, bi, etc. proof of this is that we make mistakes, ie. spell something wrong, add or subtract something, bad attitudes, and on and on.  I am still trying to figure out for myself where I am in all this, I know a number of Gay Christians who have reconciled their faith to their life. I am still working on that. (I have been a Christian for over 30 years and the sexual/romantic side of me is still at odds, but that is another story) It could be argued, that homosexuality is the result of imperfection entering the world. I can't say that for sure. I know that I do struggle with it. (again, for me) even so, this is not a bad thing, and I am not saying anyone who is gay, or bi is imperfect (other than what I stated before) They are what they are, just as straight people are what they are. Condemning them either way, is wrong. I will no doubt get flamed for what I have said, even though I am trying to explain what my studies of the Scriptures and history has taught us. (by the way you have to examine both, to understand what the scriptures really say [context])

Anyway, that is it for now, I'm sure there will be much more posted both negative and positive concerning what I have posted. Btw, Matty is quite astute in his observations, just an observation coming from a guy who has been through a few years of seminary (Hard Core Baptist) I am now a recovering Baptist, as I am now experiencing a relationship with God, not just obeying all the rules . I hope I cleared some things up, but probably just made them more muddy. I guess we will see, from comments posted after.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #102 on: May 01, 2008, 10:58:41 AM »
It could be argued, that homosexuality is the result of imperfection entering the world. I can't say that for sure.

Pure unadulterated crap. Arguments like yours resulted in Jews, gays, and any other group considered "imperfect" dying in the gas chambers.

Please don't project your guilt on me or my brothers and sisters. Oh and just for the record, gays are quite capable of procreating.

Total rubbish.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #103 on: May 01, 2008, 11:20:02 AM »
Now, I am not gay myself, I am bi (yeah, I am dealing with that let me tell you)

How does that work, exactly?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline woodshere

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #104 on: May 01, 2008, 11:37:24 AM »
It could be argued, that homosexuality is the result of imperfection entering the world. I can't say that for sure. I know that I do struggle with it. (again, for me) even so, this is not a bad thing, and I am not saying anyone who is gay, or bi is imperfect (other than what I stated before) They are what they are, just as straight people are what they are.

I cannot disagree with this more.  My homosexuality is not the result of imperfection entering the world.  As a Christian, I believe I was created as the man I am, a child of God. My being gay is only a facet of who I am, and my goal is to use all these facets to live my life and become the person I am.

I know far too many Christians that are gay, but because they have been taught that they are abnormal, an imperfection or some other bullshit, they choose to try and be someone they aren't.  This is wrong.  It is my personal belief that we are called to embrace the person that God created and live our lives completely as that person.

Pure unadulterated crap. Arguments like yours resulted in Jews, gays, and any other group considered "imperfect" dying in the gas chambers.

Please don't project your guilt on me or my brothers and sisters. Oh and just for the record, gays are quite capable of procreating.

Ditto
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 11:57:06 AM by woodshere »
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline danguy

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #105 on: May 01, 2008, 12:43:53 PM »
I have read a lot of this, and find it all interesting.  I have been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 30 years, and HIV+ for twenty years. One of the great benefits of AA is that you can choose a god of you understanding.  AA is basically a spiritual program, that gives you some principles to use in your life and stay sober and clean.
I was raised in the Southern Baptist church, and became alienated in my teens because of its racism, and anti-semitism.  However, I continued to search for a god for many years.  At the same time, I obsessively sought a partner, which I thought would make me whole.  After 3 years in psychotherapy, I lost the obsession about partners.
I have continued on some sort of spiritual path, without ever deciding if there is really ONE God.  I find interesting points of view everywhere.  I find the Navajo concept of being in Harmony with the World very appealing.  i  think that The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus, gives many positive views about how to interact with other people.
If I were forced to choose, I would probably be a deist.  I have always paid a great attention to my dreams, and my therapist who was also in AA, told me that she thought I was one of her best dreamers, and that dreamers were very spiritual.  I also find answers to problems in Literature and in cinema and the theatre.
To me, the very best indication of having a spiritual life is reflected in how you treat other people. Even then, I dont think you need call it a spiritual life.  If you claim to be very religious or spiritual and treat other people like crap, then you are mostly a liar.
Each of us must find a way to live our lives that is meaningful to us. The main gift of HIV+, is that it drove me into psychotherapy, which I really needed.  That allowed me to be released of other peoples definitions and agendas. I will think I will always be a seeker of self-knowledge and of truth.  I have no idea where that will lead me.
Dan Hardy


Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #106 on: May 01, 2008, 01:21:33 PM »
well, I thought I would get flamed and I did, apparently due to people only wanting to read what they want and NOT what was said. I said, it could be argued and I couldn't say for sure myself. i.e. I don't believe that myself, I am NOT projecting anything on anyone. It is interesting enough, the comments thus far are the result of NOT reading the WHOLE post and only taking the parts you wanted to criticize what you don't agree with, I am still trying to figure out for myself what I am dealing with for me. None of you can do this for me, no one can I figure anything out for you. We all have to do it ourselves, support and help in understanding things can be given but it is still up to the individual to figure things out.

I posted both sides of an argument, (God forbid anyone should do that!) but it seems that was overlooked. So, that tells me that there are those who are so closed minded they only want to see others as being so, That is why I said what I said about criticizing the Christians. You don't like when they criticize your life, but it is ok to do the same to them. What is right for them is not for you and vice versa. I don't agree with many Christians on many things, but there are things that I do agree with. MY faith is MY faith, and I follow God how I interpret the Bible. I am very Open minded, I am still trying, as I stated before that I am finding MY way through all this, NOT yours or how you live. And by this, I am talking about how my sexuality and romance play a part in my life. I do have people in my life currently that are willing to help me and I appreciate that and it means so much to me. Many of you may not be confused about it, but I am. Next time read the entire post and keep in mind what is being stated, and for Pete's sake look at both sides of something. You don't have to agree with it, but it helps to understand it.

Unfortunately, it would seem that we have gotten off the track of what the OP stated and I for one apologize for that, as it was not my intent. Beau, my apologies to you from me personally. There are aspects of faith being discussed, but I think it is going far afield. If you are OK with it, then I will answer further anything posed, but if you find the same to be true, then I will not continue with this particular subject matter.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #107 on: May 01, 2008, 01:26:29 PM »

To me, the very best indication of having a spiritual life is reflected in how you treat other people. Even then, I dont think you need call it a spiritual life.  If you claim to be very religious or spiritual and treat other people like crap, then you are mostly a liar.



So true, so true. Can I hear an AMEN?! ;)

Hi Dan, nice to meet you. Welcome to the forum!

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #108 on: May 01, 2008, 01:32:59 PM »
Dusty,

You have not been "flamed". Flaming is when a poster calls you names or posts otherwise abusive comments directed at you. People disagreeing with your ideas does not constitute flaming.

I would appreciate it if you'd stop trying to turn this thread into a flame war. It's been a good thread so far, let's not ruin it, ok? Thanks.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #109 on: May 01, 2008, 01:47:30 PM »
Ann,

My apologies, I didn't understand the terms, (I took hostile criticism as flaming) on other forums that would be considered flaming, I don't mind anyone disagreeing(it is a free country after all), but I think before one criticizes what is being posted, it would help to fully understand the full context of a post, would you not agree? If this was being turned into a flame war I again aplogize, that again, was not the intent, I was careful not to call names or anything like that. I am new here, I still am sorting out myself, how my life is or has changed due to my recent status, and what is going on with my own sexual/romantic issues (yes for me issues) but at the same time, I think both sides of an issue should be looked at, even if they are not agreed with. Just my opinion.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #110 on: May 01, 2008, 01:49:58 PM »
What's funny is most Christians know exactly what it is like to be an atheist, rejecting other religions as false all the time. Why choose Christianty over Islam? Every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that Christians have for being a Christian. Who's to say they're are wrong? Or Mormons? Who's to say their take on Christianity isn't the right one? What if they're right and you're wrong. You can't prove they're wrong, and if they're right, boy are you screwed.

Offline Ann

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #111 on: May 01, 2008, 02:00:22 PM »
Thanks for understanding Dusty. You might want to have a read of the Welcome Thread so you know what's what as far as the posting guidelines governing these forums go. I'm not saying you've done anything wrong, it's just a FYI kinda thing.

I agree that people should try to understand the context of posts, and that's a two way street. The printed word can be a bit tricky when it comes to subtle nuances and meanings in people's statements, especially when we're more accustomed to talking things over face-to-face. For instance, anger can often be read into posts where none in fact exists.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #112 on: May 01, 2008, 02:02:05 PM »
What's funny is most Christians know exactly what it is like to be an atheist, rejecting other religions as false all the time. Why choose Christianty over Islam? Every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that Christians have for being a Christian. Who's to say they're are wrong? Or Mormons? Who's to say their take on Christianity isn't the right one? What if they're right and you're wrong. You can't prove they're wrong, and if they're right, boy are you screwed.

Interesting (and valid) point, and one that has been expressed before. I personally choose to follow Christianity, I have checked out all of them, and find that Christianity is right for me. Others can believe what they choose, Again, a free country. But the argument can go both ways, flip what you stated. But I understand what you are saying here, and it is a valid point, but as for me I choose the Christian faith, because of my aforementioned studies. But again, valid point.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #113 on: May 01, 2008, 02:06:11 PM »
Thanks Ann, I appreciate what you are saying, and true, things can be read into what is printed.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #114 on: May 01, 2008, 03:46:36 PM »
I think that we may be getting away from the original posting, but Dusty’s post deserves an answer (and no, I’m not going to ‘flame’ you personally, Dusty, just the fundamentalists’ ideas you discuss in your posting).

Quote
… there are those who feel homosexuality is wrong, simply because they read it in the Bible.

I’m sorry, but to me this is nonsense. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who feels that homosexuality is wrong 'because they read it in the Bible'. In my experience, they already think that homosexuality is wrong, and disgusting, and repellent, and the very few, select texts they choose from either the Tanakh (= Hebrew Bible) or the ‘New Testament’ appear (to them) to provide a justification for the gut-instinct revulsion they feel, as well as for whatever repressions or sanctions they wish to employ against homosexuals. That their gut-revulsion in regard to this matter is not biblically-inspired may be seen clearly in the fact that it does not seem to be apparent when it comes to other biblical prohibitions of equal—or greater—importance. So I have yet to see any fundamentalist Christians, anywhere, marching in protest against prawn cocktails (and please don't say that Jesus changed all that), short haircuts or cotton/polyester shirts. To say nothing of such key biblical issues as greed, usury or lying: all of which incur the same definition of *to'evah* (תּוֹעֵבָה = usually [but poorly] translated as ‘abomination’) in the Tanakh as is employed regarding homosexual activity. Check out what ELSE is considered to be *to'evoth* in these texts! ;-)

The same Holiness Code to which fundamentalists appeal has absolutely no problem with (for example) slavery or genocide, and Dusty’s background in scriptural scholarship will remind him that in this ancient culture, rape is wrong not because it is an unspeakable, horrendous violation of a woman, but quite simply because it lowers her value in the marriage market. Not to put too fine a point on it, in the purity and property tenets of what is usually referred to as the ‘Old Testament’, and to which fundamentalists appeal so happily in the case of homosexuality, rape is not so much a crime against a woman but against her father (if she is unmarried), or her husband: it’s actually a kind of theft, and affects not her rights but his. Does anyone believe that nowadays? Not me, for one.

I could go on … and on … and …

Quote
Once Adam and Eve disobeyed God Imperfection now has entered the world (understand that God gave us free will or there would have been no disobedience).


I respect anyone's right to his- or her deeply-held religious and cosmological convictions, but they are not knock-down arguments which can be employed in this context. For me there was no Adam and Eve, no Eden, and no Fall. Nor, as it happens, do I believe in genetically-transmitted guilt ('original sin').

Quote
The scriptures referring to homosexuality (this word did not exist then) called it an abomination, now this was due to the earlier command of God to be fruitful and multiply.


Again, no, it wasn’t. Sorry. In the world-view of the Holiness Code, in which symbolism is a key to its interpretation, the problem was with a man engaging in sexual activity in a context other than the one prescribed and sanctioned by the Law. We can understand this more clearly by comparison with other biblical proscriptions. For example, various types of creature were declared ‘unclean’ by the Law: not on hygiene grounds (though that may have been a useful by-product) but because their classification crossed over from one category to another and thus made them liminal: hence they were not ‘all of a piece’, but mixed (like the abomination of the shirt you may be wearing right now). ‘Dirt’ is matter in the wrong place: the coffee in your cup is clean; the coffee on your shirt is dirty. In the Hebrew Bible, if what you did was not where it was supposed to fit in to the Great Symbolic Scheme of things, then it wrecked everyone’s afternoon and was considered wrong. Very wrong. And human bodies were considered to be fundamentally dangerous places in that culture, needing to be controlled and legislated for by means of various purity proscriptions. It was, for example, just as much an abomination for a man to have sex with his wife during her period as it would be for him to have sex with his boyfriend.

Quote
It could be argued, that homosexuality is the result of imperfection entering the world.


Only if you believe in the concept of a ‘fall from grace’, or ‘original sin’. Again, with respect, I do not; nor do I feel bound by that world-view.

Quote
Condemning [gay people] either way, is wrong.


Hear, hear: but surely an unchallenged interpretation of the texts these people refer to will lead to exactly that, as we have seen as a result of every condemnation Christianity has issued on this subject from Apostolic times onward.

Quote
I am trying to explain what my studies of the Scriptures and history has taught us. (by the way you have to examine both, to understand what the scriptures really say [context])

I have studied both, in detail, and it does not make for particularly pleasant reading; nor, to be honest, does the 'context' always make it better. To return to my initial point, those who use their holy texts as some sort of justification for the oppression of others are to be challenged, implacably. I personally reject the religious world-view, and deny its claim to have the right authoritatively to interpret the meaning of my existence. But, of course, we all need to be open to having our views challenged. Maybe the various and mutually antipathetic Christian Churches now need to recognise that they might, just might(!) be wrong on this issue, as in the past they have been forced to accept that they have been wrong about women, the environment, anti-semitism, slavery, genocide, freedom of conscience …

A x
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 04:32:52 PM by aelwyd »

Online GSOgymrat

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #115 on: May 01, 2008, 05:16:52 PM »
Personally, I’ve never met anyone who feels that homosexuality is wrong 'because they read it in the Bible'. In my experience, they already think that homosexuality is wrong, and disgusting, and repellent, and the very few, select texts they choose from either the Tanakh (= Hebrew Bible) or the ‘New Testament’ appear (to them) to provide a justification for the gut-instinct revulsion they feel, as well as for whatever repressions or sanctions they wish to employ against homosexuals.

Let me introduce you to my sister. She has always been "gay friendly" and has gay friends and we have been and continue to be close. She was in an auto accident 10 years ago, had a spiritual awakening and became active in church. She now believes homosexuality is a sin because it is in the Bible. She treats me the same as always but feels if I don't ask Jesus for forgiveness for my sins, including that one, I'll end up in hell. She isn't really judgmental but she says she doesn't make the rules about what is a sin, God does and it is communicated through scripture.

Offline chm02

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #116 on: May 01, 2008, 05:28:07 PM »

...have you ever noticed how open-ended threads about "spirituality" or such so often end up being kind of vehement arguments between the christians and their detractors?
I think it's great, if that's what you want to do, but, have ya noticed?
 ???

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #117 on: May 01, 2008, 05:29:37 PM »
Let me introduce you to my sister. She has always been "gay friendly" and has gay friends and we have been and continue to be close. She was in an auto accident 10 years ago, had a spiritual awakening and became active in church. She now believes homosexuality is a sin because it is in the Bible. She treats me the same as always but feels if I don't ask Jesus for forgiveness for my sins, including that one, I'll end up in hell. She isn't really judgmental but she says she doesn't make the rules about what is a sin, God does and it is communicated through scripture.

Ask sis if she would stone an adulterer to death, that's also in the good book.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #118 on: May 01, 2008, 05:31:40 PM »
have you ever noticed how open-ended threads about "spirituality" or such so often end up being kind of vehement arguments between the christians and their detractors?

damn detractors, how dare they

Offline chm02

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #119 on: May 01, 2008, 05:34:19 PM »
damn detractors, how dare they

lol! :D
but really -where's the "sprituality" part? Not to mention the hiv part.

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #120 on: May 01, 2008, 05:58:02 PM »
Question:

Can someone (anyone) tell me where Jesus is on record as having uttered one word against or in defence of homosexuals? In fact, he never said a thing about it.

But, he is on record with multiple messages about LOVE, especially love of our fellow beings. The hate (forget homophobia – it’s homo hate!) that some folks spew is enough to make a person retch. I wonder which is the bigger sin?

The corrupted Fundamentalist versions of so-called “Christianity” we see today bear little resemblance to Christianity’s beginnings, and are often far removed from Christ’s actual teachings to his followers.

Aren't Christians supposed to be followers of Christ?

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
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Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #121 on: May 01, 2008, 06:37:47 PM »
There is nothing specifically mentioned by Jesus about Homosexuality you are correct in your assertion, and yes, Love is his key sermon material. As for Christians living like Christ, I cannot speak for others, but this one is trying to live that life, I had hoped my posts would have shown that. I have expressed both sides of an issue simply for explanation of how I deal with it and how my walk with God is. As to the sin aspect, sin is sin, God makes no identification between them as any one being greater than another despite peoples assertions otherwise. There are old law punishments on earth that are more severe than others but that had more to do with the purity aspects as mentioned earlier in another's post, (which by the way were pretty dead on but since the new law was in effect, the old laws no longer apply (in Christian faith anyway, the Jewish faith still ascribes to them, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that even if members of the Christian faith did so) For those who follow the Christian faith, sin is sin, and God's end judgement concerning them makes no difference other than where eternity is spent (mind you this is according to the Christian faith, I am not speaking concerning others) But yes, the greatest law is: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and love your neighbors as yourself. Pity is as was pointed out not too many Christians are actually following that especially in regards to, as was mentioned earlier, the HIV aspect. Anything, it seems can be forgiven, except being gay or bi. This is an area where I differ greatly with many Christian counter parts and for quite some time through discoveries of my own concerning scripture and how we are to act towards anyone.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #122 on: May 01, 2008, 07:01:48 PM »
One of the things that always bugged me is that the Bible is supposed to be God's word but it is written by men.
How do I know all the men who wrote the book where writing everything they where supposed to and not passing on their own prejudices or ideas? Or that they even heard the message right?

You remember the telephone game? It was a popular party game once upon a time. Kids sit around in a circle. The first person would whisper a few short sentences in the ear of the next person. They would have to repeat it to the person next to them, and so on around the circle. When it got to the last person, they would announce what they heard. It never, ever, came close to the original message, and was usually so distorted that it would evoke belly laughs from all the players.

What if the same thing happened with the Bible?


Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #123 on: May 01, 2008, 07:22:49 PM »
It always amazes me that liberal and even moderate Christians can pick and choose what parts of the bible they wish to believe and what parts of the bible they choose to disbelieve. I guess God's okay with that.

If you don't believe Jesus had a bit of a dark side you might want to either read or reread the New Testament. Confucius was teaching the Golden Rule long before your boy Jesus came along, but he didn't feel the necessity to add this little warning.

If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.

                                                                          ~John 15:6

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #124 on: May 01, 2008, 07:25:52 PM »
One of the things that always bugged me is that the Bible is supposed to be God's word but it is written by men.
How do I know all the men who wrote the book where writing everything they where supposed to and not passing on their own prejudices or ideas? Or that they even heard the message right?



How true Wendy . We are supposed to believe that man got it right this time , only to leave us is to debate the fine points ever since
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 07:31:39 PM by jg1962 »

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #125 on: May 01, 2008, 07:51:27 PM »
Concerning Winnaroo's question, we do believe the Bible to be the word of God. You do have a good question about it. Man on his own could not have written the Bible, for the very reason of the number of authors of it and over the time it took to write it, with the lack of errors contained in the manuscripts. There have been a number of attempts to state the opposite. There is even an internet page written by a guy who goes over verse after verse and points out the errors, only when I looked at it myself, I found the guy to be so off base it wasn't even funny. He wasn't objective at all and pointed out things without even really examining things and it was obvious that it was his opinion and not based on fact at all. There is a form of Bible out (can't think of a better term right now) called a Thompson Chain Reference, that can link every verse in the bible to at least 1 or more other verses. There are people who think the Bible cannot support science, yet it does constantly. There was a post about whether the earth was created in 6 days, there are theologians who even argue this, even though God's view of time is different then ours the Bible even states this (1 day is as a thousand years) I still think that it was a literal 6 days, since God is God and there is nothing He can't do. (except lie) Our finite minds do have a difficult time wrapping around that. Laugh if you will at faith and what it takes to believe, yet for me it takes far more to believe that there was a cosmic collision and bang we are here. That takes far more faith for me to accept that than that we were created. I hardly think an accident could come up with the complexity that exists on this planet not to mention the sad comedy of the political system that ours has come to be (oh, look an element of evolution can even exist on the planet, go figure) There are elements of evolution that I do accept, just not that we came from a primordial ooze and all of a sudden we came to be at the intelligence we came to be at now. There far more questions unanswered by evolution than there are answers. but that is going off course so I will go no further than that.

There was a study done about the Bible, and the conclusion about the lack of errors contained, stated that the chance of that being able to happen with a book written over 400 years by the number of authors (memory escapes the number but it is close to 40) is 1 in 100 Million Billion. Will have to look up where I noted that last, but it is out there.

View this as you will, but that is my explanation and again it was a very good question. Believe what you will, and I will believe what I will.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline hartiepie

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #126 on: May 01, 2008, 08:16:09 PM »


There was a study done about the Bible, and the conclusion about the lack of errors contained, stated that the chance of that being able to happen with a book written over 400 years by the number of authors (memory escapes the number but it is close to 40) is 1 in 100 Million Billion. Will have to look up where I noted that last, but it is out there.

Lack of errors?  ??? It's rife with errors! What do you mean?

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #127 on: May 01, 2008, 08:18:54 PM »
Actually no it is not rife with errors. can you prove any of them? I mean actual errors, not because one believes something isn't true?
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline hartiepie

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #128 on: May 01, 2008, 08:22:09 PM »
What I am asking you is to define "errors".

And mentioning a study that you don't have isn't very substantial........

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #129 on: May 01, 2008, 08:27:24 PM »
and I guess I am asking you to do the same.  errors, what isn't true, factual, and proven to be so. As I said I will have to find the source for the study. I will have to look it up. I just have to remember where I found it the first time. As for not being substantial, I think your statement was pretty much the same, you gave no example of any errors, you just stated so.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #130 on: May 01, 2008, 08:30:25 PM »
From a christian perspective, Dusty is right.

The bible does proscribe homosexuality as a sin.

But fortunately for us sodomites, christianity is a crock.

MtD

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #131 on: May 01, 2008, 08:52:02 PM »
since the new law was in effect, the old laws no longer apply (in Christian faith anyway ...)

My sincere apologies for coming back at you, Dusty, but I'm afraid I can't let you get away with that one. The twenty-seven documents of the canonical Christian scriptures are stiff with references to all three sections of the Tanakh, and far from no longer applying, the 'old laws' formed the very basis both of Judean Christianity (i.e. prior to the destruction of the Temple in C.E. 70) and, where it suited them, the new churches also, both Gentile and the Jewish Diaspora. Hardly surprising, as Jesus himself was a Torah-observant Jew (and probably a Hasid to boot); James of Jerusalem most certainly was. Christianity started life as a Jewish sect, remember, and Judaism expelled them from its synagogues. Now, it may have served the purpose of the Christian missionaries to 1st-century non-Jewish communities to rewrite the script and downplay elements of the Holiness Code which were never going to go down well over there—such as the dietary laws, and circumcision—but the Hebrew scriptures provided the very mainframe of the early Christian discourse, and Paul was no exception. To the contrary.

The problem that primitive Christianity faced in regard to its relation to its Jewish origins was surprisingly similar to the one faced by literalist Christians today, namely: is everything in the ‘Old Covenant’ abrogated by the ‘New Covenant’, unless specifically reaffirmed (‘New Testament’ strictures about homosexual activity being just one example)? Or does everything in the Law still stand unless specifically abrogated by a Dominical or Apostolic pronunciation (e.g. Matthew 5:18: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”)? Or can you mix and match, depending on where you are and whom you are trying to convert?

But whatever we may think about primitive Christianity’s (perhaps we should say ‘Christianities’, there being more than one version at the time) attitude to the Torah, there is no doubt whatsoever that a singularly potent mix of the Hebrew purity- and property codes, and contemporary Platonic and Stoic thought, underpinned much of the moral programme enshrined in Christian-based secular legislation from late Antiquity onward. If indeed ‘the old laws no longer apply’ for Christianity, nobody seems to have told the Christian lawmakers, whose debt to 'Old Testament' as well as 'New Testament' ethics is clear; and the biblical vision of how life should be conducted has and continues to impact on even modern and supposedly secular societies. When in the UK consensual and private same-sex activity between men was partially decriminalised by the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 (women had never been legislated against on this matter), it was pointed out that what is ‘sinful’ cannot always be considered illegal. At the time (and since, of course) there were deep misgivings and regrets expressed in many quarters about this separation.

Chm02 reminds us that we have moved away from what the OP intended by his thread. I apologise if I have been part of that.

DanielMark asks:
Quote
Can someone (anyone) tell me where Jesus is on record as having uttered one word against or in defence of homosexuals?

I can, I think, address that point, if the thread is still running after the weekend (and if no-one minds me doing so!).

Love to all,

A x
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 09:11:16 PM by aelwyd »

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #132 on: May 01, 2008, 09:15:18 PM »
I'm curious, how do we know there are no errors? And I'm not sure what that means anyway.

Would it be errors like Job had 3 daughters and not 4?  Did Moses say the exact phrase "come thou with us, and we will do thee good"?  Instead of him shruging and saying if you want to come, come.

Aside from having faith in what was written I dont know how anyone would really know.

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #133 on: May 01, 2008, 09:26:23 PM »
I am talking about  the Old Law, being passed, (purity and such, as in the conversation God had with Peter about calling what God had created being unclean) In this God stated that pork and other animals previously deemed unlawful were no longer so. Also, yes the areas that were re-affirmed in the new testament are new law. Those who keep going back to the old law (in Christianity) are doing so by choice, but that doesn't make anyone else who chooses otherwise wrong for doing so. Also, don't lump all Judeo-Christian groups together in observance of the law. Some do still follow old law, but they not required as I said before it is a choice. I choose to follow the new law as I had said before, and no I am not ignoring anything, I am following the scriptures according to my convictions and I really don't care what anyone else does.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #134 on: May 01, 2008, 09:35:33 PM »
I appreciate your convictions. I have no desire to try and sway you from your beliefs "as if I could"

But I don't think my question can be answered in a way where I'll say "oh hey, that makes sense now."

I respect everyones beliefs even if they aren't the same as mine. As long as they aren't way out there like I gotta kill kittens in order to please God. or some foolishness like that.

Sorry if I've just offended anyone who kills kitten for God. LOL

Offline fearless

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #135 on: May 01, 2008, 09:36:09 PM »
Actually no it is not rife with errors. can you prove any of them? I mean actual errors, not because one believes something isn't true?

And from here stems the fundamental problem (and power) of religion. It is generally not falsifiable. To believe in it, or to have 'faith', you have to accept a whole raft of propositions that are simply not falsiable.

edited to add: I will respond to the question of spirituality and HIV when I have some time at home tonight.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #136 on: May 01, 2008, 09:37:35 PM »
I am following the scriptures according to my convictions and I really don't care what anyone else does.

Then case closed end of discussion.
 

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #137 on: May 01, 2008, 09:39:12 PM »
I'm curious, how do we know there are no errors? And I'm not sure what that means anyway.

Would it be errors like Job had 3 daughters and not 4?  Did Moses say the exact phrase "come thou with us, and we will do thee good"?  Instead of him shruging and saying if you want to come, come.

Aside from having faith in what was written I dont know how anyone would really know.

you kind of made my point right there.  Can any of the "errors" that the poster said the Bible be rife with, be proven? Other than examples you gave, which I know you were asking as a matter of the question, Just because someone doesn't believe something written in the Bible doesn't make it "rife" with errors. Show me historical errors, errors within the texts for each other etc.

By the way, I did make a mistake with my reference to the 1 in 100million Billion statement. That had to do with the Old Testament references that refer to Jesus not being in reference to him. In other words, the Old Testament Prophecies referring to the messiah NOT being Jesus were 1 in 100million Billion. This is from the book "Evidence that demands a Verdict" written by Josh McDowell.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #138 on: May 01, 2008, 09:47:11 PM »
By the way, I did make a mistake with my reference to the 1 in 100million Billion statement. That had to do with the Old Testament references that refer to Jesus not being in reference to him. In other words, the Old Testament Prophecies referring to the messiah NOT being Jesus were 1 in 100million Billion. This is from the book "Evidence that demands a Verdict" written by Josh McDowell.
LOL I didn't understand that at alllll

Man I feel especially blond right now

Offline fearless

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #139 on: May 01, 2008, 09:51:50 PM »
Perhaps you may wish to start a new thread, dusty, as this line of discussion really has nothing to do with spirituality and Hiv - the topic at hand.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #140 on: May 01, 2008, 09:58:28 PM »
LOL I didn't understand that at alllll

Man I feel especially blond right now


wendy,

sorry that was about a previous post my fault for not being clear there.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #141 on: May 01, 2008, 09:58:58 PM »
Perhaps you may wish to start a new thread, dusty, as this line of discussion really has nothing to do with spirituality and Hiv - the topic at hand.

here here,  very much agreed.

let's get Beaubrent back here and steer it where he'd like it to go

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #142 on: May 01, 2008, 10:16:27 PM »
Perhaps you may wish to start a new thread, dusty, as this line of discussion really has nothing to do with spirituality and Hiv - the topic at hand.


yeah, I hate the bunny trails myself, I tried to head that off at the pass in a previous post, but seems was unsuccessful.  Not sure if I want to start another thread, seems doctrine would not be a good thread to do, not to mention all the different denominations and where they would go. Again, this I was trying to avoid as I said in a previous post.

That being said, I think that what I should say about spirituality and HIV is that I think that Faith and Spirituality is important in some form,  if one is willing to ascribe to one as it does help when dealing with a disease such as this. Just as one comes to a forum such as this for support, faith and spirituality are just as important for support. If it weren't for my faith, I am not sure where I would be even before HIV. HIV can be too much for people to deal with on their own, otherwise if that were not the case, these forums more than likely wouldn't exist. Just as people in a like situation need each other to lean on and seek advise, the same can be said of faith. I had my faith before HIV and I still have it, I have found a church that helps me deal with my HIV and my faith.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline fearless

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #143 on: May 01, 2008, 10:42:14 PM »
Where as I see spirituality as more akin to a sense of oneself.
I tend to see spirituality and faith as been oxymorons, as faith (a belief not based in proof) is to me a delusion (a false belief) as it is not supported by any proof. (edited to ad: if one is delusional they do not have a well developed sense of self, unless of course they are able to see and acknowledge the delusion)
I fulfill my need/desire for group ritual that someone mentioned previously by going to watch football games.

As for HIV and spirituality, I have developed a much better sense of self since my diagnosis. I took 3 months out in my first year and wandered the globe thinking about things, putting things into perspective, and truly learning to love me just the way I am.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 11:36:55 PM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #144 on: May 01, 2008, 11:26:35 PM »
I would have to disagree about faith not being based on proof, there is quite a bit of proof, so I don't think that people that have faith are deluded. but, let's keep this on the trail that was originally intended, I should say that I respectfully disagree with you on this point. Besides, I would rather have faith than not.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline thunter34

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #145 on: May 01, 2008, 11:55:18 PM »
Wow.  This thread sure has been active today.  A lot of catch up reading to do!  I got through most of it, but would like to go over it again more carefully - there is a lot to digest.

What I would like to do right now, though, is to applaud all of you for navigating this sensitive, deeply personal and often perilous subject in such a fashion that it is still open this far into it.  It may totally crash and burn in the next 5 posts - I dunno - but that it managed as civilly and insightfully this long deserves a nod of recognition, I think.

And it's beaubrent's tread, so I defer to him...but I don't think this thread has really gone "off topic" at all - it's just delved a little more closely into one area, but I still don't see it as having been truly highjacked myself. And I say that because I think the discussion of christianity and homosexuality bears directly on spirituality and HIV.  (Sort of as I said before about how confusion and esteem issues directly resulting from these teachings about gays helped launch me on to some of the more self-destructive behaviors that led me here, not to mention the (especially early) response the christian world had to those who became infected and sick.)  I hope you can see what I am trying to say...busy day and kinda tired.

Still, I have another post for this thread that I would like to contribute - and it would be the one for me that would most directly answer the original post from my life experience.  Personally, I hope that this thread maintains long enough for me to get it up here.  Youth Pastor Tim did a great deal of meditating on this one earlier today.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 11:57:51 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #146 on: May 02, 2008, 01:04:27 AM »
I grew up hearing endless condemnation against gay people from "good christian people" while they chomped down on slabs of ham in the fellowship hall.
And don't forget that venerable official Christian beverage, coffee -- yes, coffee, laden with the vlie drug caffiene! And the rightwingnuts say drugs are bad...


What they fail to understand is that once Adam and Eve disobeyed God Imperfection now has entered the world (understand that God gave us free will or there would have been no disobedience)

Imperfection? After nine billion years of failed attempts at random molecular combinations, somewhere in the universe one of these attempts succeeded, and resulted in the mysterious and beautiful planet we now inhabit: a place teeming with life, life constructed with the obvious intent to interact sensually with its environment.

Tactile response is the primary sense through which humans discover their world; emotions are the primary expressions humans employ to communicate their reactions to these sensual discoveries -- and these reactions will be as unique as the number of this planet's inhabitants. Every part of me, every part of you, every part of each one of us exists for this purpose. To claim that because some of us are built (by "the creator," if you must believe in one) with "imperfect" emotional expressions of our sensuality denies our very existence.

Nothing in nature can be described as "perfect" or "imperfect." Such dualisms serve only to unnaturally divide people. Certainly, if there were a creator, he/she/it must now be completley ashamed of how the created have perverted the creator's diversity.


Man on his own could not have written the Bible, for the very reason of the number of authors of it and over the time it took to write it...

The other day I picked up a new copy of the bible. Finally, it had an honest cover:

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline MarkB

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #147 on: May 02, 2008, 04:58:28 AM »
Perhaps you may wish to start a new thread, dusty, as this line of discussion really has nothing to do with spirituality and Hiv - the topic at hand.

Point taken. I'm out of this thread.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #148 on: May 02, 2008, 08:32:20 AM »
The second coming of Jesus will be immediately followed by the final Cher farewell tour.

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63076

Offline dusty99

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #149 on: May 02, 2008, 09:02:31 AM »
The second coming of Jesus will be immediately followed by the final Cher farewell tour.

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63076



OK, now I have to say that is just funny! ;D
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline beaubrent

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #150 on: May 02, 2008, 09:27:49 AM »
I agree with you, Tim. This thread hasn't gone off topic at all; and in the event, I hardly think I own this thread.

I appreciate all the heartfelt reflections you all have posted here, even when they are clearly written with pain or anger, or even barbed with cynicism or overt distaste. It is part of our human journey to react with emotion from our experiences, and a lot of folks have been injured by organized religion. I think that pain is a valid part of any spiritual journey and is certainly a big component of discussion for it.

The discussion in this context is healthy precisely because are not bound by the dogma of faith to believe or discuss anything spiritual, and as people with HIV our view is unique. Maybe it is our greater sense of self, as fearless points out, or maybe it is because for a lot of us the question is tied to homosexuality as well. If now we all have such hugely different beliefs, we all still experience generally the same challenges as we go along.

I'm enjoying greatly all the points you have posted here and I don't think anyone has hijacked anything. It's all valid. 



When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline komnaes

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #151 on: May 02, 2008, 11:05:47 AM »
My only experiences with "spirituality" (of course not counting close to 18 years of Catholicism) was "studying" the Fourth Way, a series of lectures by G.I. Gurdjieff, with a self-claimed shaman. It was interesting until it caused me my first nervous breakdown by following his exercises. I still have the copy he bought me, but I don't have the courage to read it again.

It's really scary when my mind is acting up and taking me places that I am not sure I want to...
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #152 on: May 02, 2008, 12:20:30 PM »
In other news, the American Psychiatric Association has had to cancel a symposium titled “Homosexuality and Therapy: the Religious Dimension”

source
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #153 on: May 02, 2008, 02:24:59 PM »
My only experiences with "spirituality" (of course not counting close to 18 years of Catholicism) was "studying" the Fourth Way, a series of lectures by G.I. Gurdjieff, with a self-claimed shaman. It was interesting until it caused me my first nervous breakdown by following his exercises. I still have the copy he bought me, but I don't have the courage to read it again.

It's really scary when my mind is acting up and taking me places that I am not sure I want to...

That sounds awfully scary. I don't think I'd want to go back to try a second time.
If being enlightened meant I have to totally freak out I think I'd rather remain in the dark.

Offline danguy

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #154 on: May 02, 2008, 04:47:04 PM »
I like knowing what words mean.  So I looked up the word "spirit" in my dictionary.  The first definition is "animating principle of life, esp. of humans, vital essence. The second is "the incorporeal part of humans or an aspect of this, as the mind or soul" But it goes on to list 20 other meanings. I assume that  the first 2 definitions indicate something that is something different from the human body. Something that you won't find in an autopsy. Something that cannot be scientifically proved. Spiritually is derived from spirit, so I guess spirituality is something that exists without scientific proof. Therefore, it seems to me any discussion of spirituality immediately enters the area of opinion; choosing to believe something, some faith in something that is intangible. That immediately puts people in conflict. Every body chooses what they want to believe. 
HIV+ is a medically treatable disease, usually  caused by sexual activity in which the virus comes into contact with the blood stream. If a baby can be born with HIV+, I cannot consider that a moral issue.  The baby had no choice in the matter.   This discussion seems to take the view that HIV+ is primarily a disease suffered only  by homosexuals.  That is not true especially in Africa.   
I understand the topic to be how something intangible affects interacts with a medical disease.  Many people believe that their belief in something intangible can help with disease. It is pointless to argue about what someone chooses to believe.To me the discussion should not be on Christianity. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, or any other mind set.  The topic is how whatever I choose to believe helps me in dealing with a disease.  My family is for the most part Southern Baptist, my lawyer is Jewish, my doctor is Jewish.  I have friends who are Catholics, I had many Buddhist friends in Vietnam. My ex wife is Buddhist.  I choose to believe that there is bigger than me, that knows more than I do.  Even if it is only my dreams.  I choose to believe that there is something like a life force, whatever I choose to call it.  I don't really understand electricity, but I depend on it.  I dont really understand how cell phones work, but I use one. I cannot really prove what I call a life force, nor do I really understand what it is. Nor do  I care whether you approve of it or not. Nor do I feel the need to judge you, or criticize you.  I am a dyed in the wool New Deal Democrat. One of my close friends is a straight female Republican.  We choose to ignore that and can love each other. Jesus said that the second most important commandment was that you love your neighbor as you do yourself.   That means to me that you love thm  in spite of what they believe.

Offline hjeffs

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #155 on: May 02, 2008, 05:38:53 PM »
You have asked for a lot and your search is one we are all on. There is one path but we are at all different places on this path.
For me I practice Science of Mind. It is a recognition of One God and a non judgemental look at the world and our worldly experience. What we think is what we believe. We have all heard the statement "perception becomes reality". This reality can come about when we visualize things in our mind, real or not, but create them to be real or what reality is to us.
I believe very strongly that we are capable of so much in our lives. Our day is as good as we see it. Our experience in our lives can change based on how we see it unfolding in front of us.
There is so much to say and so hard to say it. For me I have had some very difficult life experiences and my faith and practice of God in meditation and Eastern thinking of religion has provided me with Peace Joy and Abundance. There is so much to learn in the quietness of our own mind experience.
I wish you the best on your journey. This is another saying "it is not the destination but the journey that counts". The journey is now, it is the destination. Live like it is and be at peace with what is now. Life is a wonderful place, not easy, but wonderful. What I seek usually is always present now in me. Best to you.
Jeff

Offline danguy

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #156 on: May 02, 2008, 06:56:16 PM »
Jeff, I totally agree with you. We are all on a path.  my main goal is remain open minded, and to continue to grow.  I am 60 years old and have seen at least half of my friends my age die from AIDS.  How I managed to survive until the miracle drugs, I dont know.  Ever since I was a child, I have been on a journey, and have made many changes as I go along.  In my own life time, there have been so many material changes in our lives.  My mother died after being horribly sick for 12 years.  We could not understand how she survived, or why she chose to.  I know her Christian beliefs sustained her  Deep in my heart, I believe she survived until I was 22, so she could feel that I was ready to take of myself.  my favorite aunt had cancer three times, her life was very hard.  The third time she got  cancer, she choose not to seek treatment. She survived until her last grandchild was born.  Even on the nite of her death, she was writing down things she wanted people to know.  I never saw her go to church, and she was an alcoholic. I never saw her practice anything that resembled a spiritual path.  I only know she loved me  like her children, she accepted it when I came out. I have a gay cousin and a gay step brother.  The mother  of my  gay  cousin has  continued to puzzle about the Bible and being gay, she does not understand it.  But she has never stopped loving me or her son. My favorite niece turned on me when I came out.  She was sixteen. She finally met some gay boys where she worked, and got over it.  I am still her favorite uncle, and we can talk for hours on the phone.
AS i grow older, I realize how little I really know other people, that is hard to love our friends and family, when they have different beliefs, and political ideas. I have learrned to have a true friend, you must accept them as they are. We say in Alcoholics Anonymous that we have to give up old ideas. It also says that we must find something to help us stay sober and clean, and it can only be found deep within ourselves.
In  Hamlet, one phrase says that There is more in heaven and earth, than is dreamt of in  our philosphy.
I will have good luck on my journey and so will you. 

Offline hjeffs

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Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #157 on: May 02, 2008, 08:27:18 PM »
" to find that out for myself" I think that is the spiritual journey. The question being, what is the truth of myself and my experience.
The belief in One is also the belief in that one in me expressed in my human experience. This is my purpose. This is my journey.

 


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