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Need advice... Clashing feelings about faiths!

Discussion in 'Seekers DIR' started by illykitty, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. illykitty

    illykitty BORG-KAT-06

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    Okay now this will probably come off as someone very contradictory and confused but if anyone can bare with me... I said in the thread "Reason to not be Muslim":


    I know it's going to sound contradictory, but at the same time, the reasons I gave aren't really all that bad, for example, some Muslims believe in equality for all, and leave judgement to Allah. My friend also spoke of interfaith marriages, between a Muslim woman she knows. As for the God issues, it's hard to really know and also, as said, some things make no sense but can be because God indeed knows what's best for us. Why wouldn't God have both mercy but also feel angry or dissapointed about us?

    Anyway, that's one side of myself. I can't seem to deny that I'm interested in Islam, always have a strong fascination with it since I discovered it. Also I keep having many dreams about it, especially if I ignore it for a while, about being a Muslim, converting or being sorrounded by them. I'm not sure how to interpret it. I wanted to convert a few months ago but I think I chickened out.

    The other side of me is what I constructed, Panentheism, mixed with nature reverence similar to Paganism and some Buddhist practises and philosophy. But sometimes it feels fake and made up (well yes, made by myself). How do I know what the divine is? It feels pretentious!

    I feel like I'm having a double life! How can I solve this annoying conflict? Is there any meaning in my constant dreams? Or am I overthinking? :areyoucra
     
    Monotheist 101 likes this.
  2. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Well-Known Member

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    11,158
    Hi illykitty,

    I have felt/do feel as you describe. I consider myself a muslim. Islam, as I understand it, is about submission to God.
    I am pro LGBT rights, I dislike conservatism, political or social and I have no desire to adopt a culturally alien way of life.
    A wise person on this site told me that Islam is a religion with room for everyone - I believe her to be right. In Islam there is (for me) a peaceful, tolerant and appealing path to God.
    Regarding your husband being irreligious - that wouldn't concern me if I were you. I believe that God is merciful and, speaking for myself, that's just as well :D - with all that goes on in the world I believe our actions are more important than our beliefs.
    I hear you on the buddhism - there's much of appeal there - I don't see Islam as that very different. If you find inner peace you have found God imo.

    Good luck with your journey
     
  3. Landerage

    Landerage Araknor

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    209
    Hello sister,
    I consider myself as very attached to Islam and everything it represents, and I try the best I can to devout. I truly know and not believe, in my heart that Islam is a true religion to follow but sometimes, faith decrease and sometimes it increase. But when my faith decrease, I remember previous experiences and knowledge and that keeps me going till something more stimulating pushes me to raise my faith higher. It is called faith after all and never knowledge. So I feel confused same as you sometimes, and all sort of weird questions about God come to my head, and I have no answer at all.
    And God cannot be found only in Islam, although Islam explains everything a believer needs to know about God. But sometimes it could be sitting alone in the garden, make u remember God, sometimes it's a person who don't even believe in God, said a word and that word made you remember God. So, I would tell you to not limit urself to a religion in what matters knowing the divine, but expand that to your whole life, and even more, embed it to your life.
    As for conversion issues, religion is for the person itself, and you are free to not make your beliefs to be public. However it is hard. I know many British and Americans who coverted to Islam, but had to migrate to a Muslim country to find a more supporting community since their family didn't support their decision, but it never stoped them from carrying on what they know is true for them. If you have the knowledge that Islam would be a right path for you, go with it and see how it goes. I remember a verse from the Qur'an, God telling h ow vast the earth is, and the many places we can go if we ever found ourself in a unwelcoming environment.
    Dreams in Islam are mostly symbolic and can help oneself towards understand ing their life, and sometimes give a very foggy image of what is going to happen so try to explain them using logical and symbolic analogy and decode the message behind them, and u can use the internet to find the meaning of certain symbols.
    And I want to remind you, that God asks us to have patience and ask for his guidance, And I think your looking for an answer, and what I usually do is simply make a prayer and ask him for an answer, usually comes in a dream or a vision. Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    Religion:
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    From an ex-Seeker to a Seeker... read, pray, study.
    Study all the faiths. Which ones have you studied?

    What is it, specifically, that you like about Islam?
    About Buddhism and Paganism?

    What is it you're uncertain of with these religions?

    How much of this is admiration because of it being "new" or exotic, and how much is your actual, deep-down liking?
     
  5. illykitty

    illykitty BORG-KAT-06

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    I have read at least a little bit about pretty much all of them, without really reading about various denominations. I didn't dwell much into the ones that were not interesting (Judaism, for example) or that I did not understand. The ones I read the most about were Buddhism, Paganism, Wicca, Islam, Baha'i and Atheism (used to be one). Perhaps Hinduism is one I just didn't read much about because it seemed like it was for Indians only... I am reading the Bhagavad Gita though, at the last chapter of it.

    Islam feels very structured, organised, very devoted. Buddhism, I like the philosophy, meditation and peaceful nature of it. Paganism simply because of the deep connection with nature, feeling one with it.

    I'm just not sure I'm on the right path (with my mixture of self made beliefs) and I want to please God. I know many people say there's more than one way but I'm perhaps scared that I'm doing something wrong!

    I don't know and I have a lot of thinking to do. :shrug:
     
  6. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    Religion:
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    Did you ever look at Sikhism? It's an often overlooked, often misunderstood religion.

    It's a very prevalent idea, but it's unfounded. A significant chunk of Hindus on RF are non-Indian. Many are white.

    I can understand those. :)

    But do you like Buddhism's philosophy, or the New Ager interpretation of Buddhism's philosophy? The two can be very different.

    I know this feeling. Just take your time and don't worry too much. :)
     
  7. illykitty

    illykitty BORG-KAT-06

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    Religion:
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    Well I'm not 100% sure but I think perhaps Islam is just a fascination of mine, perhaps why it happens to be often in my dreams. Islam is the reason I started to open myself to believe in a God, so perhaps I feel attached to it because of that... But I can't seem to believe in even just the core beliefs. I'm sure most people will agree with me, that you cannot force yourself to believe something you don't agree with.

    I'm still not sure about my mix-up constructed beliefs though, I'll look more into other religions. Right now it's Hinduism, and it sounds very good so far. The Bhagavad Gita is so fun to read, definitly the best religious text I've read so far. Plus, on many other (basic) stuff I read about Hinduism, I agree with a lot of it!

    Well, sorry I seem all over the place and thanks for everyone who replied, especially Odion, because your questions allowed me to really think carefully. I hope people will put up with me because I'm sure there will be a lot of other things I'll be considering and confused about! ^_^'
     
    Breathe likes this.
  8. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    Religion:
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    You're very welcome. :)

    If you have some issues with the core doctrines of Islam, it may not be for you - at least right now.

    Shop around, and don't be afraid of the DIRs. I've been in the same boat as you, so I'll help in any way I can. :)
     
  9. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    12,284
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    If you like aspects of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism, perhaps you should look into Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
    atanu likes this.
  10. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon Staff Member Premium Member

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    Jewish
    Also, don't forget that many religions have many different facets to them; just because a certain religion is structured and uses a lot of rituals, that doesn't mean it isn't very philosophical and spiritual.

    That's one of the aspects that drew me to Judaism. While I love the structure of the service and the rituals involved, there are thousands of years worth of philosophy and mysticism to go along with it.

    Like Odion said, keep looking and learning. The DIRs are a great place to ask questions.
     
  11. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    I'd also suggest you go visiting places of worship.

    Go on a few journeys to local gurdwaras (Sikh temples), mosques, mandirs (Hindu temples), synagogues, Pagan meet-ups, and even different churches like Quakers. You will find something that speaks to you. I suggest going more than once (I'd say about three times) so it's not as overwhelming and new, and you will get an idea of how it feels to be there.

    Of course, depending on whether you live in a big city or the countryside depends on what you have access to. If you live in a big city in England, you'll have more opportunities for visiting than you will if you live in the countryside.


    Just for this, I'm presupposing you live in England. Apologies if not. Here are a few websites you can visit to find some near you:


    Gurdwaras:
    England Gurdwaras - SikhiWiki, free Sikh encyclopedia.
    Punjab Online: Gurdwaras in England

    Mandirs:
    Mandirs in England
    Hindu Temples Directory > England > England

    Mosques:
    Browse Mosques in england

    Synagogues:
    Synagogues in England - Shuls in England - Jewish Temples in England

    Pagan meet-ups:
    Pagan Heart Briitish Moots (yes, lol, Briitish moots)

    Quakers:
    Find a Meeting | Quakers in Britain


    Hope this helps. ;)
     
  12. nnmartin

    nnmartin New Member

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    4,134
    not sure if you need to be an Indian to be a Hindu or not but I also find the beliefs of Hinduism the closest to mine regarding the well-known religions.

    Try reading the Rig Veda - great stuff.

    Similar to Buddhism but more mystical.
     
  13. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    You don't.

    Angkor Wat was originally a Hindu temple.
    Island of Bali in Indonesia is predominantly Hindu.
    The Phillipines was Hindu in the past.
    Indonesia, also, was Hindu in past. Maybe Malaysia, too.
    Thailand, also, had Hindu influence. Ayutthaya was named after Ayodha, birthplace of Lord Rāma. Not to mention, Bangkok's full city name (which isn't Bangkok) is, "The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarma". Thailand's national epic, too, is called the Ramakien, named after the Rāmāyaṇa epic of Hinduism.

    Additionally, many Hindus on RF are both white, and converts.


    Later Vedas are even better. Upaniṣads are even more awesome. Bhagavad Gītā is one of my favourites, though -- especially with a good poetic translation.

    Hey, what can we say? ;)
     
  14. nnmartin

    nnmartin New Member

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    4,134
    ^

    someone told me the other day you have to be 'born into' Hinduism.

    from what you are saying it seems possible that one can convert - are there any restrictions?

    I am a white European.
     
  15. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    This is a common misconception, furthered by anti-Hindus, a small number of racist Hindus, ultra-conservatives, and a few who've had bad experiences (some Hindu temples forbid non born-Hindus, because of experience in the Moghul period, and so on), and the ignorant.

    Some, however, shun the word 'convert', because convert is usually seen as an Abrahamic thing, which includes shunning your ancestry and family and so on. This is not something Hindus generally seem to do from my experience.

    Nope.

    Find a local Hindu temple. Phone them up, ask their opinions on people not born into Hinduism and if you are welcome to visit and possibly 'adopt' Hinduism (say adopt, follow, or join Hinduism, or "worship the Hindu gods") as your religion. If so, go visit. If they prohibit it, they're probably not worth your time.


    As am I. :)
     
    Vinayaka likes this.
  16. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

    Messages:
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    Religion:
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    Here is a little bit on joining Hinduism.

    How to Become a Hindu, Chapter 5: Does Hinduism Accept Newcomers - Admittedly, the Himalayan Academy is a bit funky, to me, due to its incredibly stringent practices. These are not needed, but as you can see from a quick read, it is possible. You don't have to change your name to be a Hindu and so on.


    List of converts to Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Can a Westerner convert to Hinduism? | Western Hindu



    Additionally, there is a "Shuddhi" ceremony, propagated by Arya Samaj for people to convert into their denomination of Hinduism.

    Shuddhi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    As to it being based on skin tone, that isn't the case. Russell Brand, a White British comedian, practises Hinduism.

    [​IMG]
    - Source Hare Krishna closes MTV’s 25th Music Video Awards show « Hare Krishna Women
    Russell ditches his wild side and gets a brand new religion | Mail Online

    As did Julia Roberts.

    Julia Roberts converted to Hinduism while making Eat, Pray, Love film | Mail Online


    Two groups will explicitly welcome followers: Gaudiya Vaishnavas (Hare Krishnas), and Arya Samajis. Others will, too, but these two are the most open.

    So it is possible. Don't let anyone say otherwise. Not to mention the information on the ancient peoples who used to be Hindu, too. :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. illykitty

    illykitty BORG-KAT-06

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    Yeah well unfortunatly there isn't a whole lot around where I live. There's one Hare Krishna place, one Sihk temple (it's HUGE and really pretty), few Anglican churches and a Muslim Community center. We live in the country... In the middle of nowhere and I don't drive.

    Well I'll try to read more even about religions that I didn't really consider interesting (such a Judaism) I suppose it's unfair to read only the surface of it.
     
  18. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

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    No worries. I completely understand your issue.

    However, go to all of them when and if time and money permits you to do so. I don't drive, either - although I live in the city which has made my ability to visit various different religion's places of worship. I know it can be difficult to get time and to afford to go to places. If you're not sure of what to do, ask what you need to do before you go to the place of worship, what you need to wear, bring, etc.

    Also, if you can, try and read some of the scriptures of religions you haven't. It's easy to dismiss, say, Sikhism from a brief reading (many do, stopping as soon as they learn about the five Ks, not realizing these are only required for those who take the Baptism Ceremony).

    I know you've been reading the Bhagavad Gītā, so I won't link to that. Most people know where to find the Bible.

    There is also the Sikh text:
    Sri Granth

    Read the Quran:
    Quran Recitation and Translation Online in Arabic, English, and Urdu
    Or, in the Quran Alone format: http://www.free-minds.org/quran/

    And the Eddas, since I don't know what forms of Paganism you're into :D
    Read Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas Online, Free Books by H. A. Guerber - ReadCentral.com

    Jewish translation of the Tanakh (Old Testament):
    The Complete Tanach with Rashi - Tanakh Online - Torah - Bible
     
  19. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    12,284
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    Sounds like you're in a perfect spot to commune with the fae folk.;)
     
  20. muslim-

    muslim- New Member

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    254
    I think one must distinguish between finding a faith that teaches what you already believe in (without willing to change any of small details), just to take it as an "umbrella" of a faith, and finding a system that you do find convincing. The difference is small but its there.

    Islam is not a matter of convenience, but a matter of truth. This is why the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said that desire should be inline with faith, ( and not the opposite.) Granted, sometimes theres "issues" in every faith in which people would hesitate to accept, however, Islam being "submission" to God, one must accept what he believes God says. Its not only okay to wonder, have questions about certain elements or concepts, as this is a human trait thats rather encouraged in the Quraan, as opposed to blind following/faith, but the question should be about what the faith message really is.

    So if you do have questions, id personally suggest seeing them not as doubts, but as questions of an inquiring mind. On some issues instead of saying "doesn't make sense" which means rejecting, one could say "Im not sure I understand why this is", IF you do believe generally in the prophethood of prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, because texts would be central to a proper understanding.

    Also, you can't "chicken out" of something you believe in if you already believe in it, but perhaps its the cautiousness in us humans, towards the unknown, and towards making a step forward.

    I don't think your dreams is about "over thinking" as much as it is your sincere desire to find whats right, to find answers. This is the feeling of any sincere person I believe.

    About your questions about God, and why he wouldn't be merciful AND angry, disappointed with us... well.. you're right.. what you said is an Islamic concept, and His mercy precedes His anger.

    This in Islam, is known as the divinity of His attributes (Tawheed Al Asmaa Wal Sifaat). Its a long topic and I think this post is long enough.

    Ive always asked the "big questions" and never wanted to inherit my religion, and this only led me to a stronger faith, especially after asking some of the top Muslim scholars in the world. I also hope to have some Arabic writings on Islamic philosophy translated to English, as I'm confident they'll change philosophy curriculums around the world. The problem is that some are long (ten volumes or more), and hardly understandable in Arabic (being extremely deep and detailed) which makes translating to English a challenge.

    Anyhow, you have any questions regarding God, "punishments", or any issue you want , or would just like to throw ideas around, please do not hesitate to contact me, you're more than welcome.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
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