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Losing My Religion

Discussion in 'Religion' started by SimonSays, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    The main difference between how I feel now and how I felt before, involves the loss of a conscious connection with what I’ll call God, as I have no other way to describe it. Guiding me, showing me, helping me in ways that felt so personal, it left me in no doubt this was what was happening.

    I've never been a religious man, but I was really humbled by it nonetheless. The way things took place, how my life changed, how my thoughts expanded to include things I’d never thought before, the relationships that occurred, the people I loved, and those who loved me, all seemed laid out for me and I was simply experiencing them in perfect timing.

    I can't say when this changed exactly. I just know I stopped experiencing it.

    When I was a child I relied on my mother far more than I realised, and then, once she’d done her best for me, I had to step into the world and make my own way. Even though I wanted/needed to be my own person, I never really found him, so when this divine maternal presence appeared, it was exactly what I needed. I wasn’t alone. I wasn't doing it by myself anymore.

    But every so often I’d lose this feeling and find myself involved in selfish things. Life slowly changed, to the point where I was no longer even sure whether any of it had been real.

    So the difference between me and him could be the recognition of a delusional state. And yet, his life was so real. He had relationships and friendships and love. And my life is so far from that. Perhaps it wasn't he who was the one who was delusional.

    A prisoner sometimes finds religion as a way of bringing meaning and support into his life. If I need to believe in order to belong, I don't know how to do it.

    I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians, finding many sincere and genuine people, while never quite being able to identify with any of them, at least not to the extent I’d need to. I could understand their connection, but could not join the club. The best I seem able to do now, from time to time anyway, is peer in through the window.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
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  2. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have explored nearly every religion and I have found that they all have "oneness" at their heart. I have rejected every religion though because I discovered that they all focus on the man made part of laws and rules and ignore the "oneness".
     
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  3. 1984

    1984 New Member

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    My wife is an ex-Christian. A few years ago we met up with a group of members from one of her former churches. We ate lunch and had casual conversation about life in general. At some point they started the inevitable god talks. We didn't want to be rude and just leave, so we just listened without comment.

    After about 10-15 minutes of listening to them talk about things god was doing in their lives, showing them, telling them, etc. I had an epiphany. The voice that they are calling "god" I also hear. I just call it my subconscious because that's what it is. I can understand that for someone who was indoctrinated into a religious world view as a child having thoughts and feelings that seem to appear out of nowhere could seem like they are coming from a god.

    Modern understanding of human psychology suggests that our subconscious may be as much as 75% of who we are. It's not hard to see how someone looking at the world through god colored glasses could come to understand that a large part of their thoughts and feelings that seem to be coming from somewhere else is proof of a god.
     
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  4. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I`m not religious but I have always liked the Asatru. Then you get to be a heathen and you eat good food, spend time in nature and live well and worship Odin and Thor and Frey and that gang. A fun religion that doesn`t take itself too seriously. :) And Odin is afterall the God of Gods, the other Gods call him when they need help. That`s the guy you want to be friends with.

    There is a Asatru gathering here now and then, a communion called Bifrost, it`s friendly and fun, anyone can join. Things go wrong when religion takes itself too seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
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  5. AprilR

    AprilR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Many religious people experience these feelings also. I am also not religious, but i believe in God and that he protected and shielded me in many ways.

    I say, if you feel at peace with yourself when you sleep at night it doesn't matter. Your conscience being clear is the greatest peace you can achieve.
     
  6. KingDiamond

    KingDiamond New Member

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    Organized religion is all about control none of them make sense.
     
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  7. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was 16 I found out that anyone can start a religion here I live. You just have to fill in the right paperwork and send it to the right office. They basically can`t say no because we have freedom of religion. And one thing that got my attention was that the state paid you around $50 a year for each member in your religion. So if you just get 20 000 people to sign up you get a cool million a year.

    I of course saw this as a way to make some quick money lol I was a greedy teenager, always looking for income. So I quickly made a religion based on brooms and it was about working hard and keeping the world clean. Brooms because that was the first thing I saw when I looked around the room for ideas. :) Luckily I didn`t go through with it, I would have ended up as a cult leader. There may have been something wrong with me when I was 16, I had so many ridiculous ideas. But sometimes they actually worked.
     
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  8. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nothing wrong with making religion a clean sweep. It certainly would bring new meaning to pan handling. But there might be a dust up over over "cult" or religion status.
     
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  9. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would have made that guy in Waco, Texas look like an amateur. :) I was an eager teenager, when I did something I did it 100%. And more. I`m happy I didn`t start a religion. I was just after the money, it was not good.
     
  10. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Forest Cat, you would have been in company with 100% tele-evangelists. You could have taken that $50 per person an invested it as a charitable investment and lived off the dividends tax free. It is a very modern career choice! But honestly, you could make almost as much with a YouTube channel. :p
     
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  11. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I better not, I tend to get carried away. :) It starts as just making some extra money and suddenly I`m a cult leader.
     
  12. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    I'm not looking for a religion. I'm not trying to connect with a group of spiritual people. But there is a feeling that something is missing. There is definitely a lack of community, family, in my life, and it is this that has seemed missing, or at least that is what I've been imagining is missing.

    When I felt that God connection, I didn't need anything else. What I had was enough. More than enough. There were people in my life, many of whom I loved being around. But it didn't matter, not really, because there was something going on that gave me something no person ever could.

    Since then I've made the mistake of attempting to find that connection in other people, and of course, failed. I've felt for a long time that any form of connection with God can only be direct and personal, and doesn't need to go through an intermediary or a group. In fact those things actually interfere and inhibit the reality of it.

    So I wonder where is it? Why does it seem so elusive now when it was so present and obvious before? It can only be me. I must be different in a way that doesn't allow me to feel it that way.
    I can't look for it. The more I try the more ephemeral it all seems. The only thing I can do is accept things as they are. Which seems to be all I ever do these days.
     
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  13. Forest Cat

    Forest Cat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can relate to that, a feeling that something is missing. I have actually had moments where I understood why people are religious. Being a part of something and having something bigger than yourself in your life.

    Jehovas`s Witnesses are knocking on my door now and then, they want my soul or something I think. I have never had anything to do with religion but they are polite and friendly so it`s not a problem. But I think they are trying to outsmart me, they send pretty women to my door now.

    I have to be careful, I was working outside one day and I was tired and down. And then two beautiful women comes walking into my yard and wanted to talk about what they talk about. And for a moment I thought "I`ll just sign up and go with them, can`t be worse than what I`m doing here alone now". :) I have to be a little careful.
     
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  14. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    There has been an internal struggle going on in me, between the need to be self-reliant and the recognition of a need for help, and being able to accept that help or even ask for it. Self-reliance feels like a freer way of being, whereas accepting that the form in which help may come may not be what I need. And yet whenever I receive the gift of help, especially when it comes unexpectedly or in unexpected ways, it always makes me feel connected. I really appreciate this feeling. It is a feeling of love.

    I've always struggled to ask for help. I don't like feeling I’m a burden. I don't like putting people in a position where they have to do something because they are kind and caring. I can't expect to be helped, or even reveal that I might need it so I can be.

    Even when I felt I was being self-reliant, I wasn't really, as there was this underlying personal support from something that could support me exactly how I needed to be, without me needing to say a word. And I could just accept what happened as being the result of what needed to, regardless of what it looked like. I suppose in many ways I still do. I just don't have the same faith or insight that I once did.
     
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  15. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    My only comment regarding Christianity is that the church always seems to be in conflict with science. Why does religion require one to suspend all logic and reason?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
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  16. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hear you.
    For me finding a connection with spiritual people, with whom I can connect, speak and be real is a hard ask. I have just signed out of a church to which I belonged for 5 years, due to a lack of connection with the folks there.

    However, the connection with God, the Divine or however you want to name it is a completely other matter. The sense of the presence of God has been largely absent from me for several years, and I do not know the warm presence of the divine. The feeling is absent for me.

    However, in my better moments I remember that the absence of the divine, the knowledge of the lack, the longing for the presence, is itself a witness to of the divine.
     
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  17. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Being self reliant is good, but I recognise a danger, for me, in that one. I do not want to end up earning the epithet, "He is a self made man and proud of his maker".

    Asking for help - always a hard one. No I find that really hard for myself too.
    With my diagnosis of ASC I now understand a bit about being different and that plays into this story too.

    This sounds like something worth hanging onto - "without me having to say a word".
     
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  18. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    For me, finding my way back to God was a lifesaver.

    'May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.' (Galadriel to Frodo in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings)
     
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  19. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Volumes have been written on "accepting things as they are". Spiritual books, motivational writers, psychology and other self help books cover this very thing endlessly.
    Ekhardt Tolle "The Power of Now", "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass are just two of those books.
    So are you accepting or just trying to figure out what it means?

    Isn't it interesting that the two books I choose to illustrate "accepting things as they are" seem to be about something else? (I know you know this one!)

    Discontent can not arrise out of acceptance. But, while acceptance is the recipe for peace, who says being in a tranquil state is what you really need? Sure, the concept has earned a few gurus some bread, but it is only part of the story.

    Let me put it this way - the big bang didn't arrise out of acceptance of the way things were. "Accepting" can also mean allowing yourself to tear yourself (preconcieved ideas) apart on your way to creation.
     
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  20. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Volumes have been written on "accepting things as they are". Spiritual books, motivational writers, psychology and other self help books cover this very thing endlessly.
    Ekhardt Tolle "The Power of Now", "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass are just two of those books.
    So are you accepting or just trying to figure out what it means?

    Isn't it interesting that the two books I choose to illustrate "accepting things as they are" seem to be about something else? (I know you know this one!)

    Discontent can not arrise out of acceptance. But, while acceptance is the recipe for peace, who says being in a tranquil state is what you really need? Sure, the concept has earned a few gurus some bread, but it is only part of the story.

    Let me put it this way - the big bang didn't arrise out of acceptance of the way things were. "Accepting" can also mean allowing yourself to tear yourself (preconcieved ideas) apart on your way to creation.