Monday, August 31, 2015

Feeling the Holy Spirit

As I mentioned in last week's my post from 2 weeks ago, I currently work at a high school and school has just started up again. The week before school starts we have to spend a lot of time in various meetings, which include meeting the new hires, a lot of random administrative stuff, pep talks, whatever new initiative the higher ups in the district want to roll out this year, and if there is any time left we can actually plan our lessons.

from wikimedia
To kick off the week, all of the teachers in the whole district got together in a local church (have I mentioned that I'm really glad I decided to use a pseudonym for this blog?). The event started with a musical number. I was expecting it to be okay at best, but to my surprise it was absolutely fantastic. The whole crowd was getting into it, there was a real energy in the room. One of my former students was even playing the drums, so that got me more excited about the whole thing, one more connection to it. It was very enjoyable, and actually quite an emotional experience.

Given that we were in a church (and that I recently started writing this blog again), my mind wandered to the idea of feeling the holy spirit inside of you. I'm sure that weekly there are many people get that feeling in the same building I was in (sometimes probably that exact seat). I'm have no doubt that they see it as evidence of God. If they were confronted with the fact that I, an atheist, felt the same thing, I wonder how they would react. I have come up with 2 guesses.

1. God lets me feel the holy spirit even though I'm an atheist in the hopes of showing me what it is like to worship him. Thereby ultimately converting me to his religion.

2. Denial that we are feeling similar things. We might use some of the same words to describe the sensations, but qualitatively there is really no comparison.

I of course would argue that this is evidence that this is not a supernatural experience, but instead just our brain chemistry at work. We are social and emotional creatures. Music really strikes an emotional nerve, and when it is good and you are surrounded by other people who enjoy it as well it just enhances the experience. And like I said, one of the performers was a former student of mine which made me proud of him that he was doing so well, and happy that he was being successful in what he's doing. Just more positive emotions to enhance the whole thing. The point being, there is no reason to bring the supernatural into it.

An old amazon review of mine, I'm currently reading book 4 in the series: Koban [5 star]


  1. Well said, it is why a lot of people have such attachments to bands they have seen live which may not be as technically good as others. Hope the new term goes well.

    1. haha, I have noticed lately that I have been listening to some music I loved when in high school. I still like it, but I can also step back and recognize the music is really not all that great. It just has so many emotional connections with what was going on with me at the time that I still enjoy it, despite the fact that it is mediocre.


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