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Old 11-24-2014, 05:27 AM   #1
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Question I got a religious question for the older folks

I'm a young guy, only 25. So if the older folks will help me out with a tough question, I'd be grateful. I can't give you the customary tobacco online, but I would definitely do it if I was asking in person.

I have a very very hard time understanding religion of any kind. I'm Agnostic at the moment, but I have tried about a dozen different religions. Agnostics are not Atheists. We don't have a disbelief in deity any more than having a belief in deity. We openly proclaim that we have no idea if religions' claims are for real or not. I just don't feel spirits like I used to as a kid. I thought maybe I just grew out of religion, but my grandma says I need to believe in something. So I'm looking for something that makes sense to me. The only time in the last few years I felt any sort of spiritual feeling was when I smoked some old tobacco (the little leaves with really high nicotine content) for some migraine headaches that wouldn't let me sleep. The headaches went away. And it felt spiritual like when I was a kid. I know the scientific explanation for this is MAOIs and the high dose of nicotine, but it felt like there was more to it even though I was using it to fix a headache and it wasn't being used religiously by me at that time. I'm sure the religious use varies from tribe to tribe and probably family to family. So...

I'm not going to ask about specific beliefs, but I want to know the why of it. Not what specifically, but how you are able to hold onto the beliefs you have and what they mean to you. I want to understand it because it seems like if there is a good reason to believe in it, I must have missed the memo somewhere. Right now, I feel silly for even asking this, but my family is encouraging me to give it another go.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maize-Grower View Post
I'm a young guy, only 25. So if the older folks will help me out with a tough question, I'd be grateful. I can't give you the customary tobacco online, but I would definitely do it if I was asking in person.

I have a very very hard time understanding religion of any kind. I'm Agnostic at the moment, but I have tried about a dozen different religions. Agnostics are not Atheists. We don't have a disbelief in deity any more than having a belief in deity. We openly proclaim that we have no idea if religions' claims are for real or not. I just don't feel spirits like I used to as a kid. I thought maybe I just grew out of religion, but my grandma says I need to believe in something. So I'm looking for something that makes sense to me. The only time in the last few years I felt any sort of spiritual feeling was when I smoked some old tobacco (the little leaves with really high nicotine content) for some migraine headaches that wouldn't let me sleep. The headaches went away. And it felt spiritual like when I was a kid. I know the scientific explanation for this is MAOIs and the high dose of nicotine, but it felt like there was more to it even though I was using it to fix a headache and it wasn't being used religiously by me at that time. I'm sure the religious use varies from tribe to tribe and probably family to family. So...

I'm not going to ask about specific beliefs, but I want to know the why of it. Not what specifically, but how you are able to hold onto the beliefs you have and what they mean to you. I want to understand it because it seems like if there is a good reason to believe in it, I must have missed the memo somewhere. Right now, I feel silly for even asking this, but my family is encouraging me to give it another go.
Let me tell you something and that is that you have no soul for doubting your existence. If your family didn't give you the foundation and support, you deserve to be in limbo.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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I have a very very hard time understanding religion of any kind.
Why is it so difficult for you to understand religion? They exist which is good, thinking of what I know best, christian religion, religion maybe is like a glue keeping society together. Religion getting abused has a departing effect.

Some people lost everything in life and believes may can help to not give up on one owns life as well. I too smoke tobacco, I can't answer on the religious part. The addiction is bad, the helping part is good. I know of people getting very old and smoked and have no cancer, I know of people who die young of cancer.

Maybe it is healthier not to smoke, in fact it is, but I think only if you never started to smoke (cigarettes). I leave it up to native people to talk about or not to talk about the use of tobacco for religious reasons.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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If you don't feel comfortable talking openly about it, you can send me a message privately.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:01 AM   #5
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I am not a medicine woman or shaman. I am just an old woman of 69 years old.

You should not smoke regular tobacco. You should use Native tobacco for smudging yourself and your home. We don't just smoke like what people smoke on the regular tobacco. If we want to smudge from the Native pipe, we don't inhale the smoke in. We just let the smoke blow out from our mouth to smudge us to keep the bad spirit away. It is the same for shell bowl with tobacco or sweetgrass including sage. They will make smoke with feather to blow around the house and to yourself as smudging yourself.

The only place where you get spiritual advice is from the reservation in Ohio. It can be found probably in the health center like clinic and they might have Firesides. Or you can try to ask at the Band Office on the reservation about that. It does not hurt to ask. We don't use "religion" only in regular church and Native American Churches. We use the word "spiritual" for us to guide us with the help from our Creator.

There are some powwows that have Firesides, too. There might be some medicine people there. They will help you. Yes, it is the way to give medicine people tobacco every time you need help from one medicine person.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by wanjica_the_one View Post
Let me tell you something and that is that you have no soul for doubting your existence. If your family didn't give you the foundation and support, you deserve to be in limbo.
Owie... >.< Do you hate me or something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritflight View Post
Why is it so difficult for you to understand religion? They exist which is good, thinking of what I know best, christian religion, religion maybe is like a glue keeping society together. Religion getting abused has a departing effect.

Some people lost everything in life and believes may can help to not give up on one owns life as well. I too smoke tobacco, I can't answer on the religious part. The addiction is bad, the helping part is good. I know of people getting very old and smoked and have no cancer, I know of people who die young of cancer.

Maybe it is healthier not to smoke, in fact it is, but I think only if you never started to smoke (cigarettes). I leave it up to native people to talk about or not to talk about the use of tobacco for religious reasons.
I don't get it. And that's probably the it of it. When others say they feel something, I just feel like always. Nothing special.

I don't use any commercial tobacco, Nicotiana tobacum. Just Old tobacco, Nicotiana rustica. I'm not an addict either, just use it for medicine as needed. I grew it like my grandpa used to. Little bitty plant compared to the huge plants used for cigarettes.
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Old 11-25-2014, 04:49 AM   #7
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As for my part, I don't feel the need to discuss this any further in any private messages.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maize-Grower View Post
Owie... >.< Do you hate me or something?



I don't get it. And that's probably the it of it. When others say they feel something, I just feel like always. Nothing special.

I don't use any commercial tobacco, Nicotiana tobacum. Just Old tobacco, Nicotiana rustica. I'm not an addict either, just use it for medicine as needed. I grew it like my grandpa used to. Little bitty plant compared to the huge plants used for cigarettes.
I don't hate you for you seem to have that in your mind. You should feel special when you are with your family.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:23 PM   #9
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I don't get it. And that's probably the it of it. When others say they feel something, I just feel like always. Nothing special.
Cogito ergo sum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:05 AM   #10
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I don't hate you for you seem to have that in your mind. You should feel special when you are with your family.
We have trouble getting along for various reasons... I don't want to air our dirty laundry in public.... Sorry for misunderstanding your first statement. I thought the bit about not deserving to have a soul was malicious.

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I don't doubt my own existence. I doubt the existence of deity. I think my problem is more of cognitive dissonance: that feeling of conflicting information competing for the worldview slot.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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We have trouble getting along for various reasons... I don't want to air our dirty laundry in public.... Sorry for misunderstanding your first statement. I thought the bit about not deserving to have a soul was malicious.

It was intended to be maliciously funny for your whole pattern of thinking is off and so is my humour.
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafElderWoman View Post
I am not a medicine woman or shaman. I am just an old woman of 69 years old.

You should not smoke regular tobacco. You should use Native tobacco for smudging yourself and your home. We don't just smoke like what people smoke on the regular tobacco. If we want to smudge from the Native pipe, we don't inhale the smoke in. We just let the smoke blow out from our mouth to smudge us to keep the bad spirit away. It is the same for shell bowl with tobacco or sweetgrass including sage. They will make smoke with feather to blow around the house and to yourself as smudging yourself.

The only place where you get spiritual advice is from the reservation in Ohio. It can be found probably in the health center like clinic and they might have Firesides. Or you can try to ask at the Band Office on the reservation about that. It does not hurt to ask. We don't use "religion" only in regular church and Native American Churches. We use the word "spiritual" for us to guide us with the help from our Creator.

There are some powwows that have Firesides, too. There might be some medicine people there. They will help you. Yes, it is the way to give medicine people tobacco every time you need help from one medicine person.
There aren't any reservations near me. I've never seen any on maps of Ohio either; though there are some Shawnee and Delaware communities here and there, kind of scattered about. If I'm only going to be able to get help from medicine people, should I write the band I come from since the Land Trust is a few states away? Or would that be improper?
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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I find the use of the expression "scientific explanation" interesting. Why do people think science removes the Creator's hand? Before the proselytizing, atheist evolutionary biologists parachute in to save me from delusion, hear me out with respect.

In my experience, science is a profound testament to the incredible, intricate and unexpected web of powers and forces in which the Creator has intermeshed us. I've stood in my lab and watched my FTIR trace out the dance of the nuclei in a molecule and tell me what the chemical identities of the compounds are. Or I've watched the change in laser intensity caused by fleeting absorption of short-lived, collision-induced change in that dance. I can talk about oscillating dipoles and selection rules, or do the complex mathematics necessary to determine the partitioning of collisional energy transfer… And in those moments, I get the lightening flash revelation of a fragment of a sacred mystery reassuringly larger than my mind and my experience.

Immanence is part then of the experience of seeing a storm, watching a water bug cross a stream, seeing a hawk…. The absolutely amazing process of this cosmos and life on this little planet comes from these particles and the stochastic processes that govern their interaction. I cannot look upon this and not see sacred, spiritual power in action from the dawn of creation to this very moment to the end of time.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:33 PM   #14
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I find the use of the expression "scientific explanation" interesting. Why do people think science removes the Creator's hand? Before the proselytizing, atheist evolutionary biologists parachute in to save me from delusion, hear me out with respect.

In my experience, science is a profound testament to the incredible, intricate and unexpected web of powers and forces in which the Creator has intermeshed us. I've stood in my lab and watched my FTIR trace out the dance of the nuclei in a molecule and tell me what the chemical identities of the compounds are. Or I've watched the change in laser intensity caused by fleeting absorption of short-lived, collision-induced change in that dance. I can talk about oscillating dipoles and selection rules, or do the complex mathematics necessary to determine the partitioning of collisional energy transfer… And in those moments, I get the lightening flash revelation of a fragment of a sacred mystery reassuringly larger than my mind and my experience.

Immanence is part then of the experience of seeing a storm, watching a water bug cross a stream, seeing a hawk…. The absolutely amazing process of this cosmos and life on this little planet comes from these particles and the stochastic processes that govern their interaction. I cannot look upon this and not see sacred, spiritual power in action from the dawn of creation to this very moment to the end of time.
I think I get what you're saying OLChemist. And I'll mull it over a while. It makes sense to me that beauty and complexity can be awe-inspiring.
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