IMHO most religion is about getting one in the right frame of mind to make a connection with the divine. Whether that's a Christian service or a solo mantra.
Is it about altered mind states? I suspect so, but not in the sense of losing all volition. It seems to be more about tuning.
Eman:I would agree - sometimes the answer is no. But, like the petty children we are, we often throw a tantrum
I wasn't condoning a wait and see attitude, just that if you opened your heart an inch (during a pause in a mutiplicity of questions, which all appear "anti-believer"), maybe you might get an answer.
I've never tried shrooms. I hear they taste like sh*t, so maybe I'll pass.
As for the law's of nature - have they discovered all of those? It seems to me that there are still enough unexplained phenomina out there, that there will be a market for "spirituality" for some time to come.
Finally, you state that I'm set in my beliefs and have effectively avoided your questions with a mile long pole. Completely wrong, on both counts, AND you know it.
Dude, you just need to chill a bit.
~lights up Gumby's fatty, and passes it on~
Danny:Your comments on looking "outside" of ourselves are similar to my own concept of "submitting the ego". Every spiritual tradition contains some element of this.
Touching on "public prayer", I believe it can have a purpose, but I need to qualify that.
Where prayers are formulaic, secularised and/or make people fall asleep, they are useless. When a group of people pray "together", even if lead by an individual, they can be of much greater worth.
I don't know if you believe in it, but "praying in the spirit" (not the alcoholic kind) is pretty incredible, and often brings results. Getting into that "place" is the difficult part, though.
I, also, suspect that God is not like man has painted him.
Aint nothing wrong with being angry at God, occasionally. Some of the best answers to pray have been after a tantrum
Trying to work out the "mind of God" has been a popular biblical theme. You'll note that most come to the conclusion that it can't be done.
Human logic works well in the physical world, but IMHO is defied in the spiritual.
Seeing that Genesis was likely a compilation of about ten previous histories, and the majority of the OT is a historical record of events in Israel, I can see where you are coming from.
Looks to me like people saw the hand of God in everything, and tried to come to terms with that, within their own limited minds. Not much has changed, huh?
IMHO the worlds problems are man's doing and have little to do with a deity.
Maybe that's what the Adam and Eve story was getting at.