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Author Topic: Spirituality and HIV  (Read 29443 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, Iím starting to believe there is something pushing me toward a sort of spiritual journey. Iíve 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. Iíd like to hear about your experiences with spirituality and faith Ė 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). Iím 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 didnít like at all.

The closest Iíve 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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Donations can be made online
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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, 25 mg 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


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 63 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.  :)

Offline 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

Offline 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 »


Iím pleased with the variety of responses Ė thank you!

I can appreciate the atheist point of view, but I donít you donít have a heart, MTD. Especially if you eat babies; youíre bound to have more hearts than the rest of us. I get angry when some zealot from my family asks me if Iíve heard of Jesus. I want to scream ďThe whole damn world has heard of Jesus. Go away.Ē

I like the idea of taking different pieces without the ďwhole hogĒ, 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 Iíve read a lot about some of the South American rituals, too.

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

Iím 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 Iím 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 arenít 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 arrivedÖ then it devolved expectedly. 

Iíve 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 Ė a witch affair! Ė 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 peopleís wivesÖ scary stuff). I only believe only biblical verse anymore: ďLet God be true, but every man a liarĒ 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. Iíd 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 donít know if she actually believed any of the stuff she sung, but I found it soothing all the same. Thereís 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 ďlawsĒ 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 Ė 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 isnít 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.

Offline 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:

- Lifeís 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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"...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 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 Ė a witch affair! Ė 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
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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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 »

Offline 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

  • Member
  • Posts: 139
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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  • Ninja Please
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,898
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 292
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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  • Member
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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
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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  • Posts: 187
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"

 


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