hello to all
#1
Dear All,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. I made a few posts before introducing myself, but now on an impulse would like to avail of the opportunity to give a brief introduction.

Like many others I asked the question “who Am I” and “where did I come from”. The desire for an answer led me to “spirituality” a.ka.religion which included a few new age gurus who wielded tonnes of charisma and who for most part passed of advaita vedanta and its “oneness” experience as their own personal experience which they would transmit to me at a fee. I don’t know how many devotees of these gurus achieved “oneness”, but certainly their time, money, intelligence and energy was achieving oneness with the guru.

Then came a few eye openers in the form of articles by Meera Nanda, blogs which critiqued these gurus and some essays written by a monk of the dasnami order named Agehananda Bharati (AB).

AB was an Austrian anthropologist who for thirty years of his life was an ordained monk of the Dasnami sect. He wrote extensively about his religious experiences and Hindu fascism amongst others and finally advised the seeker to enjoy the religious experience but never to confer existential status upon it. Knowledge he declared was the end result of reason alone. It dawned on me then all my religious experiences were rooted in the physicality of my mind and body. It then dawned on me that why the scriptures say that even the gods are envious of human birth, for what good is an experience without a body. ROTFL

So what am I?? I am a physical body with a physical mind and any and all of my experiences are rooted in them as long as I live. Does that make me a naturalist?? I’d like to hear from the community here.
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#2
Hey there Seeker, welcome to the boards!
I think it essentially boils down to the fact that we are sentinent life forms because we've realized that we are sentinent life forms. It's great that we have questions like where we came from and what our purpose is, but sometimes such questions may be the product of our own evolution and self-awareness, rather than being actual valid questions. (I do hope I'm making sense to you here Biggrin )
We have no purpose as human beings, we are simply the outcome of an eventuality of cosmic and biological phenomenona.
Would love to have a discussion about this on the threads!

Peace,
nick.
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."
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#3
Thanks for the warm welcome Nick. From a naturalist pov you reply certainly makes sense, and yes a thread on the subject may invite some interesting viewpoints.
I'm only taking my first baby steps in the naturalist/materialist worldview. For all the advantages I perceive in it, I am somwhat repelled by its apparent brutal unsentimentality and lack of romanticism. Not many humans can view even their emotions as being nothing but the products of neural processes going on in the brain.No
But I'm going to try hang around for as long as possible and see if I can colour myself in the colour of naturalism. But for now the only compliment I can pay is, if I'm asked to choose between organised contemporary religion and naturalism, I'd take naturalism without a second thought.
BTW I'm working for a Bangalore based pharma firm, and maybe can hook up with the local chapter of nirmukta as soon as is possible.

Regards

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#4
Hello and welcome to Nirmukta!

(23-Feb-2012, 07:39 PM)stupidseeker Wrote: I'm only taking my first baby steps in the naturalist/materialist worldview. For all the advantages I perceive in it, I am somwhat repelled by its apparent brutal unsentimentality and lack of romanticism. Not many humans can view even their emotions as being nothing but the products of neural processes going on in the brain.No

A person who was very dear to many of us here has written about naturalistic worldview and emotions - http://nirmukta.com/2009/04/01/sacred-re...d-emotion/

Here is what we had to say about him - http://nirmukta.com/2012/01/12/in-memori...1978-2011/

Naturalism does not mean you become cold and unsentimental. It means having accurate beliefs about the world and ethics built on those beliefs. Our emotions are part of the world. Denying them would mean having a wrong belief about the world.

As to romanticism, one only has to read/watch the likes of Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

On emotions being nothing but the products of neural processes, does understanding a flower rob us of its beauty? Understanding the human brain does not mean emotions lose value. If that were the case, this person would be the most boring human on earth. He is in fact the opposite. Very few people exude the kind of passion he does.
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#5
Quote: I am a physical body with a physical mind and any and all of my experiences are rooted in them as long as I live. Does that make me a naturalist?? I’d like to hear from the community here.

Stupidseeker, its not sufficient to just consider yourself rooted in natural world. You should be ready to reject the supernatural, if not provided with sufficient evidence, in every case, including the sources of your experience. For e.g. its common for people to rant about how everything is "mithya" [illusion]. Such stands are also against naturalism.

[adding to the comment through a quick edit]
What I mean is that the attitude should be to discard supernatural in all facets if there is no compelling evidence. For e.g. you will find a lot of atheists who "believe in luck". A naturalist can believe in chance but not luck.
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#6
Welcome to the forums Flowers
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