Religious Experiences

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Postby eint » Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:24 pm

Has anyone had, what they can say is, a religious experience?<BR><BR>i can only think of one, but i explain it by lack of sleep, and a concious level of religious importance surrounding me at the time, like my mind playing tricks with me. I was in St.Peters cathedral in Rome, and i was sitting in one of the seats, staring at this cross, and there seemed to be an image of two people lifting the cross with jesus on it, up and down, i had to go and check it out to find there were no such happenings. I myself, am not particulaly religious, but it was still a weird experience.<BR><BR>Would love to get other peoples opinions of this, and other experiences too.<BR><BR>thanks for your time and co-operation
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Postby NoetherianRingBearer » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:09 pm

My experience has been an increase in simplicity. I used to think religion was about filling yourself up with things. Now I think it is about emptying yourself...no visions or "supernatural" breakthroughs though. I'm not sure what role these kind of things play in spirituality. If one isn't 100% completely sure that the experience was genuine then there is always an element of uncertainty, in which case the experience fails to be a source of the absolute assertion of one's being. Ie, an experience loses its inherent value if it is subjected to logical analysis or uncertainty because the whole point of an experience is to be a direct source of truth. And if the experience fails to serve as a direct source of truth then it also fails in being anything other than just another subjective criterion by which to base our everyday judgments and actions.
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Postby Griffon64 » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:42 pm

My experience: It was late and I was driving my old station wagon too fast. It had almost no brakes. I was hurtling down a hill that had a robot ( traffic light ) at the bottom. I knew if I did 120 km/h ( and I'm talking about a suburbian road here ) I would catch the light green. There was a car coming from the opposite direction waiting to turn right at the robot ( we drive on the left of the road so that meant this car would turn accross the lane I was hurtling down ). I guess he didn't realize I was coming so fast, because he turned *right* in front of me. A crash was inevitable. I was only about 30 metres away when he started his turn, and doing 120 means you travel 20 metres a second. No car can do 120 to zero in a second unless it hits something and it takes a car that starts from a standstill longer than a second and a half to completely cross a lane of traffic.<BR><BR>There was no space to try and swing out and avoid the collision. The road was narrow, with no shoulders, and there was street light poles on the kerb. I didn't close my eyes, I just gripped the steering wheel, allready hearing the scream of ripping metal from the crash. I looked into the horrified eyes of the passenger in the car. And then I had a sudden feeling of calm and safety, and just like that, I kind of went *right through* the other car, without a scratch.<BR><BR>I know it reads like a ghost story and I know it sounds unbelievable. I looked in my rear view mirror and the other car was parked right across the lane. ( The driver had also braked, too late ) There was no way I could have swerved past him, the road was too narrow and in any case, I hadn't turned the steering wheel at all. He was right in front of me. I lifted my foot off the accelerator where I had it jammed down in shock and coasted down the road. I wasn't frightened or shocked, just amazed. That calm was still in my body. I knew I had been spared paying dearly for a reckless moment. I considered turning around and speaking to the people in the other car to confirm what had happened, but a look in the rear view mirror told me they had driven off.<BR><BR>This incident more than anything else have confirmed to me that I still have a job to do on earth, that it wasn't my time to go yet, and that my fate, at a high level, was being driven by Someone with a lot more sense than me.<BR><BR>I don't tell this story and except for one close friend, I've never told it to anyone. Simply because it sounds so unbelievable. I wasn't drunk, or asleep, or hallucinating. I just experienced a miracle. And whether people will believe me or not really doesn't matter to me, as I know what I experienced. There is tons of ways to rationalize this experience away ( I've done most of them myself ) but I know despite how I try to explain it with logic, or science, or paranormal or whatever, it happened.<BR><BR>Griff<BR><BR>PS: As for my opinion on your experience, <strong>eint</strong>, I guess it could have been drowsiness and that seems the logical explanation. I've read somewhere that most of these experiences are being explained away as mass ( or solo ) hallunations. I, personally, are inclined to believe they are actually more than that.<BR><BR>On the same note, I read that a study was done and it showed that the very deep notes produced by some church organs can actually induce a feeling of spiritual ecstasy. Now that is being used to explain the feeling of connectiveness with God that people experience in church. But the organ isn't always being played when these experiences happen <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I guess in the end this, like almost all else, comes down to a person's personal experience, and also to what they want to believe. Miracles and religious experiences, even in the Bible, are described as both a catalyst for people to start believing, and as being of little value in this regard. It is because of how people are - good at explaining and twisting things to fit their world view <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Kushana » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:50 am

Yes.<BR><BR>(But to say more would be too personal)<BR><BR>-Kushana<BR>
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Postby Riverthalos » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:57 pm

Griff - I've had near misses like that. The one that stands out the most was a climbing accident my bro and I got ourselves into last summer. When I landed, there was a white mist before my eyes and I was wondering why it was I wasn't dead. Maybe it was the helmets and backpacks that protected our heads, necks, and spines, but my brother and I literally walked away from the sort of accident most people get medevaced for. It makes me wonder what makes us so special. And yes, I do believe I have something I am here to do, and I will not die until that task is done. What is this task? I have no idea. Until then, I'm a labrat with four lives down and five more to go.<BR><BR>Protecting spirits seem to run in my family. My mom's got a powerfulone watching her - I think that maybe hers trained her childrens' as well.<BR><BR>I must say that my relationship with mountains has altered slightly since that fall. I still climb, but I feel a strange new intimacy with them, especially with Rainier. Maybe because of all the blood I left up there. It's as if I have now crossed some sort of invisible line, and I can never go back.
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Postby TolkienLover » Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:21 pm

I left religion when I was 17. No regrets for me.
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Postby Elessar_theSecond » Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:32 pm

No such experiences for me either.. I had two near-death experiences in my life, but I credit surviving one to dumb luck (more than I deserved<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>), and the other to a friend who is not only fun to be with, but also handy to have around.
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Postby elfshadow » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:31 pm

TolkienLover, I left religion at a young age as well, I was 14 actually.....haven't gone back. And I haven't had any experiences either. Although if I did have a religion, I'd probably choose some Eastern philosophy, Daoism or something. I kind of lean towards the ideology that there isn't one God, but sort of a spirit that flows though the earth, kind of like the one Riverthalos mentioned <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>.
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Postby Griffon64 » Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:20 pm

<strong>Riverthalos</strong> - I like your description of yourself as 'four lives down, five to go' <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> If I count my own, I've shedded only three lives thus far. So, if I liken myself to a cat, I've got plenty to come <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby eint » Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:22 am

i appreciate all the input from people and i respect everyones personal experiences, but something has been on my mind since i posted the first time.<BR><BR>ok, agreed that these are all genuine experiences in there own right, but by what definition do they become "religious", has a philosopher or theologist ever commented on exactley what makes an experience "religious"?<BR><BR>In my opinion, as stated by someone earlier, its a matter of someone interpreting it as religious experience or not. I dont consider my experience religious, maybe a staunch Catholic would think a little differently to myself.
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Postby Angvill » Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:27 am

would you consider things falling of shelves (without anybody beeing near them) or disappearing as a religious experience?<BR><BR>or when you drive for more than 5 or 6 hours in the dark, and start to get tired, all the weird things you see on the road? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Beleg » Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:37 am

Well, if the experiences remain 'weird', then that's not really a religious experience, it's a..'weird' experience. <BR><BR>For myself, I would use the term 'religious experience' to mean some event or stimulus that gave evidence of the truth of religion that I could not have expected. At least one of the experiences earlier in the thread appears to be a miracle. That's a kind of religious experience, but the more usual one is the sense of being filled with the power of the deity and there is a library of writings produced by people who believed they had such experiences (St. John of the Crost, St Teresa of Avila, Thomas a Kempis, etc). <BR><BR>My own experiences have been varied. One was reading 'Atlas Shrugged', of all things. Another was walking into an Anglo-Catholic church after having been out of the church for 15 years and literally feeling the breath of the Holy Spirit in my face. There's no way to limit the number of ways God can make Himself felt, if people are aware of it. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Wolfgangbos » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:00 am

I had a long conversation with my twin (his name is Scott), a liberal Protestant, a few days ago on this topic specifically. He described to me, in detail, an experience he'd had a few years ago that to this day he believes came from God. Hopefully, I'll be able to do it justice:<BR><BR>He was living in Oregon at the time, and his area churches were hosting a free Christian music concert (he told me the names of some of the performing groups, but the only one I can remember is Jars of Clay). He and some friends decided to attend. At one point in the concert, one of his friends who had gone out for some air failed to return in a decent amount of time. Scott decided to go out and look for her, and discovered that outside of the building in the parking lot there was a large group of Christians demonstrating against the church he belonged to. An equally large group of kids Scott's age had apparently been trying to engage the demonstrators in debate (attempting to defend the validity of their religion, apparently). <BR><BR>As Scott walked towards the gathering, he noticed that the kids appeared to have been cowed by the discussion with the demonstrators. Many were sitting in little groups crying, lamenting that "all they'd ever believed in was wrong." He took one of them aside and managed to discern what was happening. At this point, he noticed the friend he'd been looking for having a heated discussion with one of the demonstrators. The demonstrator must have been winning the argument, for she - in a fit of anger it seemed - grabbed his Bible and held it out into the road saying something along the lines of, "If you don't renounce your ideas and come to realize the truth I'll throw your Bible into traffic." (Scott's thought: Apparently religious fervor can make you do some interesting things)<BR><BR>At this point, the demonstrator tried to reach for his Bible, but managed to briefly hit the girl's arm instead. She reacted instantly by hitting him with his own Bible. This didn't sit too well with him, and he summarily punched her in the face. Scott had moved up behind his friend by this time and managed to catch her as she fell back from the punch. She regained consciousness a moment later and tried to rush her opponent, but Scott picked her up and told a nearby friend to get her back inside. He then walked back towards the concert himself. Walking back, he suddenly felt the need to kneel down. He closed his eyes and prayed that God use him as He saw fit. (from this point on Scott's voice became increasingly intense as he told me the story, and he was on the verge of tears for many minutes afterwards)<BR><BR>Scott describes the following minutes as a time of complete serenity - a total loss of his own desires and petty goals. He felt as if God's presence had taken hold and was directing his actions, and that his only personal desire at this point was to let God act through him. He turned back towards the crowd and randomly grabbed the first two kids he saw. These two kids were, incidentally, the leaders of their respective schools and likely the only ones out there who could have had much of any effect upon their fellow students. Scott told these two that these demonstrators would not be convinced and that the best thing to do would be to get the other kids back into the concert. Although they didn't know who Scott was, they immediately heeded his call and started rounding the other kids up. Scott then called out to all the kids and told them to go back inside. People all the way across the parking lot later told him that they could hear him say this clearly as if he was standing right next to them.<BR><BR>Scott walked along the edge of the group, ensuring that all the kids got safely away. He then turned towards the demonstrators and said (I can't remember it exactly but I'll paraphrase), "What you are doing out here is not Christ-like. These kids are only trying to gain a blessing from this concert. You should be ashamed of yourselves." He then proceeded to walk through the demonstrators back towards the concert. He describes their reaction as being completely silent, and they parted before him without accosting him in any way. Walking back towards the concert, Scott noticed that no one was left in the lot to argue with the demonstrators.<BR><BR>Once back inside, he sank to his knees and cried - for the presence had left him. He cried for the loss of that perfect serenity of purpose. Nearby students and pastors approached him and congratulated him, asking him how he'd managed to do what he'd done. His sobbing was so overwhelming as to make him unable to answer their questions. <BR><BR>----------------<BR><BR>After telling me this story, Scott and I discussed what it might mean. I admitted that his interpretation of the experience (that it was God that enabled him to do these things) was not one I would deny. However, having heard members of many other religions recount similarly intense unexplained experiences, I could not help but wonder if we have a tendency to interpret our experiences within the context of our belief systems. <BR><BR>I have also heard many descriptions of near-death experiences where a person will experience exactly what their belief system says they will experience upon death. Some people see Jesus, others see dead ancestors, while others see Sri Krishna or the Buddha, etc... And always these experiences are exceedingly intense and are accompanied by powerful emotional responses when they are spoken of. <BR><BR>Whatever the reality of these experiences are, the relation between a person's belief system and the actual substance of the experience seems, to me, too consistent to be mere coincidence. <BR><BR><BR>Wolfgangbos<BR><BR>Edited for clarity
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Postby Rooty » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:21 am

It's amazing he didn't get angry.<BR>I would have started yelling at everyone involved to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.<BR>Hitting each other with Bibles!! I never heard the like!!!!<BR>No wonder he sat and cried!<BR>I would have.<BR><BR>--Rooty
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Postby Wolfgangbos » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:45 am

I've personally had a few experiences that I have yet to explain. Might as well throw one of them into the hat:<BR><BR>While selling Christian literature door-to-door one summer, I came upon an extremely bizarre dog. I was at the front door of a dilapidated old house, and this dog meanders up the steps towards me. He was the ugliest dog I've ever seen, but he seemed harmless. I reached out to let him sniff my hand, and he immediately lunged at me to bite. I can't explain it exactly, but it looked like he was either hit by an invisible wall or pulled back by an invisible leash. Either way, he stood there an inch from my hand growling and biting the air. <BR><BR>I pulled back my hand quickly, and sternly said, "NO." He turned around and walked away. <BR><BR>--------<BR><BR>My explanation at the time was that God or my guardian angel must have done it. Now that I'm no longer a theist, it seems possible to me that the dog's owner might have trained it in a way that it was all bark and no bite - that it's training kicked in at the last moment and it reflexively reacted as such? <BR><BR>I don't know. <BR><BR>Wolfgangbos<BR><BR>
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Postby RELStuart » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:05 pm

My Mom had twin boys about 14 years ago. She had some complications and ended up being airvacted to a hospital in San Antonio TX about a 7 hour drive away. The Doctors told her she would probably miscarry and at that point they would both be to young to make out of the womb. Both she and my Dad prayed that she could hold on until they would be devleoped enough to make it. She was there in bed for over seven weeks longer than the doctors expected before she had them. One of them only lived three days. My mom said she was laying in bed there at the hopsital greiving when she said she felt a presence in the room that made her feel warm and she says she actually felt being hugged. She said she cryed then from joy. Bittersweet, she thinks it was the Holy Spirit. <BR><BR>I remember losing a lense from my glasses and not noticing it right away. I was at the Myrid Garden Park in OKC right after we had 8 to 9 inches of snow there. We had the most gloious snowball fight <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> It wasn't till we were back where we were staying that I or somone noted that it was missing. I was working up there and only had one pair of glasses and I needed two lenses. SO I and one other person prayed we could find it and went to go look for it. It could have been anywhere there inthe park. Several acres of 8 to 9 inches of snow lookingfor one little piece of glass. Needle in a haystack. We found it in just a couple of minutes. I suppose it COULD have been a co-ink-adinck. But I don' think so.
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Postby Aravar » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:13 pm

Wolfgangbos, maybe an EPE had caught it in its trunk.
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Postby Wolfgangbos » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:37 pm

Hmmm...... Well now there's an idea.... EPE's are known for their tendency to try to trick people into believing false religions. And they probably knew I'd interpret the experience within the belief system I already had, thus reinforcing my belief in my false religion. Hmm.... Plausible. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Angvill » Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:27 pm

what's an EPE, then?
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Postby eint » Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:38 pm

yes, could anyone enlighten me as to what an EPE is?<BR><BR>P.S in the words of the great philosopher michaelangelo gonzalves: Live The Dream!<BR><BR>
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:01 pm

EPE: Ethereal Pink Elephants <BR><BR>See <strong>Wolfgangbos</strong>'s sig pic <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I <em>think</em> they may have originated in the <a href='messageview.cfm?catid=41&threadid=76253#1' target=_blank>Argument vs. Experience</a> thread, but I may be wrong. This thread may turn out to be a nice compliment to some of the discussion on that thread, btw.<BR><BR>A religious experience is a spiritual experience. It is something that you experience with your soul moreso than your physical body. So, there are a broad range of experiences that could fit this category: near-death, miraculous or otherwise un-explainable events, sudden enlightenment (an eye-opener), an experience of divine presence, divine love, divine forgiveness, etc., a vision, hearing voices, spiritual warfare, true meditative prayer, etc.<BR><BR>It is better to call them religious experiences than spiritual experiences, though, because 'spiritual' is a very vague word, and people sometimes use it to mean 'meaningful' or 'emotional', which is too broad for what is meant here.<BR><BR>A religious experience is just that - an experience. You can interpret it within the context of various religious traditions (or even in various ways w/in the same religious tradition), but it is objective material you are working with. The interpretation is only secondary. If it is a real supernatural event (and not just a trick of the eyes or sleep-deprivation), then it will most likely have the effect NOW - in the moment. Afterwards, you can shrug it off and forget it. Not that people forget something like that, but I am saying that if you aren't really 100% sure it was for real, don't worry about it. You've already gotten whatever benefits you needed from it if it were genuine. (At least, this is how I interpret St. John of the Cross' advice).<BR><BR>I am familiar with some religious phenomena (ie, religious experiences of other people), and I do find such things...interesting. But, I don't look at the experience for itself. I don't want my rosary to turn gold or for St. Therese to shower me w/ rose petals. But, the reality behind what happens there does touch me. I do hunger for that experience of peace, for instance. My relationship with God doesn't leave too much room for these types of experiences. My soul is at a very 'beginner' stage, and I think I would run off and be dazzled by the pretty lights. So, he let's me know he's taking care of me, and teaches me to trust Him in the small things. <em><shrug></em> Maybe someday He'll think it important to do something a little flashier, but my baby, mini-experiences are good for me right now. (And maybe someday my faith will grow enough to accept 'spiritual favors' from Him without harm). <BR><BR>It is my personal opinion that the flashiest things - miracles, actual visions, etc. - are for the benefit of people other than those who experience them. The people who experience such things are tools in God's hands. St. Bernadette (the girl at Lourdes) described herself as a broom, to be put behind the door when you were finished with it. So, I am very much in favor of the "something yet to do" opinion of those who believe their lives have been spared by the hand of Providence. <BR><BR>I have experienced God in my life numerous times (in mostly small ways, though important to me, of course). I'll share one of them here. It also occured in St. Peter's in Rome, which is probably what brought it to mind <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>.<BR><BR>I was there last year for the Easter Vigil - awesome experience! Anyway, afterwards, I had a short conversation with an Italian lady. She was speaking to me in Italian, and I was replying in English, since I don't know a word of Italian (well, ok, I know a few words, that I had learned during my not-even three days in the country). We understood each other just fine. It amazed me at the time, since I've had enough difficult, awkward conversations with people who speak different languages. Let's see if I can remember what was said. Mass was over, and JP II was coming down the center aisle. We were a couple of seats in from the aisle, so we were "up-front" as everyone crowded in to see him and take pictures. I was standing there (w/ camera!) looking through the crowd. She told me I should stand on one of the chairs, so I could see better. I told her that I didn't want to, because then the people further back wouldn't be able to see. She was amused, and said something about me not being from around there. Nothing profound, but for me it was just a tiny taste of what it meant to be part of a universal church. I credit the understanding of a foreign language to the Holy Spirit (you see, <strong>Wolfgangbos</strong>, that's the particular religion showing up - it is showing up in the interpretation). This is a very 'small' grace, so it doesn't have to be explained as a miracle or divine intervention. I doubt my story is going to make anyone fall down on their knees and weep! But, I personally have to credit God, because the entire moment was a 'gift' to me - that is how I experienced it. And so, being grateful, I of course would like to thank the giver of the gift. <BR><BR>I realize that this experience is downright mundane compared to the others being related here. So, I'll defend including it by saying it adds 'variety' to the thread <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>.
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Postby RELStuart » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:42 pm

<em>I realize that this experience is downright mundane compared to the others being related here.</em><BR><BR>I disagree with you Mithy. That is exactly what happened in the book of Acts were Peter preached and people of several different languages heard his sermon in their own tongue even though Peter was speaking in his native tongue. I think you experience is pretty neat. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:37 pm

<BR>Well, yes, so did I, obviously. But, well, we were talking about mundane stuff, not listening to Peter preach the gospel...well, ok, fine, we were talking about how to get a better view of Peter's successor after he was finished preaching the gospel <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>.
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Postby yovargas » Sat Apr 24, 2004 11:26 am

<em>I think they may have originated in the Argument vs. Experience thread, but I may be wrong.</em><BR><BR>Though I don't remember when they originated (I think it was during my long hiatus) I know the EPEs origins go back a good deal farther than that.
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Postby Wolfgangbos » Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:56 am

The origins of the EPE's are certainly older than the Argument vs. Experience thread. They have existed for eternity, after all. However, their introduction by myself to this forum also took place much much earlier than the A vs. E thread. I would expect that I introduced them sometime in 2002, although I do not remember the specific discussion in which I first mentioned them. Likely, it was Tuor, FaramirsDaughter, GrumpyDwarfMom, Fairwynne, Windfola, or Magpie with whom I first discussed the EPE's. <BR><BR>And the rest, as they say, is history. <BR><BR>Wolfgangbos <BR><BR><BR>
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Postby MerriadocBrandybuck » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:45 am

Hey, you're forgetting about one of your first disciples!!! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0>
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Postby Wolfgangbos » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:55 am

*gasps*<BR><BR>My most sincere apologies Merriadoc! It would be a strange thing indeed if you were not present in one of the earliest discussions of the EPE's!<BR><BR>Wolfgangbos<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby RELStuart » Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:08 pm

<em>Any thing more low, obscene, feculent, the manifold heaving's of history have not cast up. We shall come to the worship of onions, cats and things vermiculite. - Rufus Choate</em><BR><BR><BR>Or pink Elephants? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> But we digress from the purpose of this thread. Lets take this to Rooty's all topic thread shall we?
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Postby MithLuin » Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:52 pm

<em><blushes></em><BR><BR>Oops, my mistake! Sorry about that, <strong>Wolfgangbos</strong>. I should have guessed that the EPE's made their appearance on TORC much earlier. By any chance, is your sig pic relatively new? *crosses fingers* Maybe I noticed <em>that</em> showing up in the Argument vs. Experience thread....
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Postby yovargas » Tue Apr 27, 2004 5:15 pm

<em>By any chance, is your sig pic relatively new? </em><BR><BR>Since I am the genius who thought up the idea and composited the picture (<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>), I think I'm qualified to answer the question, and the answer is yes. Wolfie got hit by the PM fairy several weeks after starting the A v E thread.
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