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Pulling the Rug out from under Myself

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Goodman John, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Goodman John

    Goodman John Member

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    Just when I think I'm getting myself sorted out on what I believe and how to work it into may daily life, *POOF*, my mind is filled to overflowing with doubt and second-guessing myself and wondering if I'm literally in a dark room chasing a black cat that isn't there.

    It isn't that I don't WANT to believe in anything- I do. I want to find that Something that I can believe in and hold on to for guidance. But, as has happened without end in my entire adult life, every time I think I'm getting close to some sort of answer- or at least a happy medium- I somehow manage to completely sabotage everything I've learned and think I know or think I believe in.

    I've always believed in God- not necessarily the Christian God- in the sense of 'someone watching over us' or 'who brought us into being'. But I've never been able to pin a specific set of beliefs around that idea, and at this point in my life I'm beginning to wonder if that dark room (in which I'm looking for the cat that isn't there) even exists. Does God- or any gods- exist in any form(s)?

    Some time ago I stepped away from 'organized' religion and satisfied myself with being an off-the-shelf basic issue general purpose Deist, but now I'm wondering if that's not a viable path either.

    I know from many Standard Answer #142 will be incoming: "Pray on it". Well, I've been doing that for the better part of my 56 years and so far just a dead line, not even a busy signal. I wonder if there is any 'higher purpose' for us, or if this- our limited existence on this wretched little planet- is all there is.
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Not all religions are organised.
     
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  3. Goodman John

    Goodman John Member

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    'Organized' in the sense of being based around a central belief system- not necessarily an organizational structure. But the intent of my post stands.
     
  4. Rival

    Rival Noachide
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    It's alright to be an agnostic or confused. Put no pressure on yourself with this journey, it will only leave you unfulfilled when you race towards the smoke you think is heaven. I believe in G-d, but do not expect everyone to have the same frame of mind as I have. You should probably first start by asking yourself which deity you feel closest to; if you were dying, to which would you call?
     
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  5. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Thanks for sharing your insights with us. As someone who has deconverted from Christianity as well, I totally empathize with what you're going through. It can be a disorienting experience to realize that you don't have any good reasons to believe something you held onto so tightly for so many years, that was once an organizing principle of your life. And it's also a process, where we do a lot of bargaining and what-if-ing. So this is all completely normal and expected.

    That said, I would encourage you to not just see our little planet as wretched. Lots of awful things happen here, but lots of beautiful and hopeful things happen, too. When you start paying attention, you realize that there is plenty of good around -without God.
     
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  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think the solution is to stop thinking that you need to 'get it right'.

    You don't.

    Faith is not about getting it right, or pretending to yourself and others that you've got it right. It's about defining and choosing what you hope to be so (about God), and then living according to that hope even though you can't know that what you hope to be so, is actually so. God is beyond our comprehension. So however we choose to comprehend God, we will almost certainly be wrong. But getting it right is not the point. And getting it wrong is of no consequence to whatever God is. It's about a practice of faith, not of righteousness.
     
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  7. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Instead of starting with God and trying to fit ideas and beliefs around that, a preconceived idea of God. Maybe try approaching from the other end... first determine what you do believe. If you (want to) believe in a higher power I think it's easier to fit a higher power, i.e. God, into those beliefs. Almost any philosophical or belief system, except any that clearly excludes a God, can incorporate one. I think the problem a lot of people have when seeking is that preconceived idea of God... very hard to shake,
     
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  8. Goodman John

    Goodman John Member

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    As I noted in another thread, I took the 'Belief-O-Matic' quiz earlier today and to my surprise my top answers tied at 99% each with Hindu and Sikh in first place, with Jain a strong second. Christianity- in any form- was decidedly far down the list of matches. The thing is, I have no background in any of those three faiths- so, according to this rather superficial quiz, I'm either smack in the middle of Eastern beliefs or I'm certifiably insane. You don't find many Southern White Guys with anything but conventional Christian beliefs, so I'm a bit out of my element here.
     
  9. Rival

    Rival Noachide
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    Sikhism sounds like it could be for you, though.
     
  10. Goodman John

    Goodman John Member

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    Bloody hell, I just shaved my beard off! ;)
     
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  11. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    First of all, doubt is a positive step in faith development. No matter how long it takes.

    Second, perhaps you should turn that around and let your beliefs flow from your life experience, rather than trying to fit exterior beliefs into your life. It doesn’t have to be organized religion, but it helps to have a like-minded support base. Remember: God is known by a thousand names and yet is unnameable.

    I’m not going to suggest prayer, but I am going to suggest observing the world around you and listening closely to your intuition. God often is known through the created order and through the relationships we form, so long as those relationships are loving.

    I feel as though you’re treating this as a cognitive exercise rather than an intuitive journey? Be gentle with yourself and don’t try to make it happen; just allow.
     
  12. FooYang

    FooYang Active Member

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    I see "organised religion" as a wholly modern phenomena. Even Catholicism (the religion of popes) was more dispersed in the past.

    I think it's more that out of Protestantism the notion of quite business-like organizations formed calling themselves "churches" (tends to be related to Christianity almost exclusively for some reasons).
    The funny thing is that Christianity is the only religion that could really be described as an "organised religion" but not as a whole, more as a result of Protestantism (and Evangelicalism).
     
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