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Trials in your "There and Back Again"

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Snow White, Dec 6, 2022.

  1. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    In facing your spiritual life and spiritual pursuits, have you ever met a crossroads where you have to decide between being a critical thinker and being taken seriously by society in general, and pursuing some abstract (to the world at least) spiritual quest that might involve devotion, but may not necessarily be accepted (or looked favorably upon) by the outside world?
     
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  2. The Hammer

    The Hammer Wyrd Wide Web
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    I've never thought critical thinking was something I need to be rid of for my spiritual journey. Seems silly to do away with that.
     
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  3. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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  4. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Unknown Member
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    I've been on the 'outside' as long as I can remember.

    Though its sometimes uncomfortable, I feel its left me freer, as I don't really have to worry about losing favor. I never had it.
     
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  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Sort of.

    When I was making the decision to go to graduate school, I felt I had essentially two roads I could take. I could take the path of the scientist and researcher - and the increased societal respect and job prospects that would go with that. Or I could take the path of the religious scholar and mystic - and the utter lack of job prospects that would go with that in spite of it being what I was really called to do at the time (and still am).

    It wasn't a hard decision - I'm not a risk taker and I do poorly when I don't have a well-supported foundation. I went with the safe option, and incorporated elements of religious importance to me into my thesis. Besides, to me studying sciencees is studying and serving the gods, and I didn't have a problem operating from the impartial non-theistic head space that doing scientific research demands. But none of it was really addressing questions of value and meaning - the things that really matter. Scientific research only matters to us because it has value and meaning for us. Those religious and philosophical questions are what really interest me.
     
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  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Registered People sTabber

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    When I was a Christian, no on all grounds. I wasn't really taught how to think critically too much or how to ask good, thoughtful questions, basically as much was needed for reading the Bible. Retaining and retrieving information were the skills focused on and taught. And social acceptance I didn't actually have to worry about but was taught the world generally doesn't like Christianity and finds many faults and flaws with Christians (Chick Tracts often reflect this). But it was more of having some unacknowledged (at the time) skill in critical thought that brought me to a crossroads of accepting my own faith. And there were many issues I had with it at the time, including the realization that so much of what I was taught and believed was a lie, and ultimately I left it all behind.
    But when I left that and went to neo-Paganism I was immediately pulled to all those darker things people told me to stay away from. Much like how I found the world to be (in contrast to how the Church taught me it was), I found all the dark side stuff wasn't what people hyped it up to be. A few years later I joined here and was exposed to many new things and ideas (also my first web forum, so there was a lot of new things in that regard and also without things in that regard, lmao). And ultimately it was some form of divination I learned about from a member here is what started guiding me in a different direction because whatever this method was exactly (something to do with a deck of cards) there was just no way it could be because it was assigning millions of people to very specific things. And that crack kept growing until it fractured.
    As for the accepted part there's some layers to that. Such as being taught not to care from a very young age because it's Jesus I have to please, not the world. And then there's the bullying at school and social clubs and authoritarian parenting that led me to a predictable path of rebelling and not caring. But even then there is still some degree of caring. Like how I generally won't back done from a confrontation, I don't seek it out even though I do sometimes enjoy it because there is aspect of caring to not be regarded as a total ***** so I don't seek them out and have a threshold that must be met before I'll likely say or do anything (in these cases it's usually not really worth it anyways). And some of my views that can make things potentially bad for me I tend to only let out around familiar company. And though I was warned when I first became a neo-Pagan to wear my pentagram under my shirt I openly wore it anyways, the first time I stepped out as female was one of the scariest times in my life and my already hyper sensitive senses when into this crazy, berserker overdrive mode.
    I guess to the outside world and acceptance, I largely don't care but I'm far from immune to that aspect of being a social critter.
     
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  7. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Thanks for sharing.

    My story is that I became more focused on the spiritual side after facing some health problems which set me back.

    I've had some challenges to overcome. Some, I toppled easily. Others, not so much.

    In the past, I have found RF particularly difficult because I feel that at times, it's like looking in the mirror. And because I didn't have previous experiences to draw on that were *exactly* like some of the interactions I had on RF, I kind of just would get overwhelmed, frustrated, and draw on the side of myself that was that teenager living in a conservative family and with no one who understood them, but who hung out with people most people saw to be misfits, and would talk with them about things like emo and goth, but who also saw an artistic side to some of these people I met - I've literally met people who could do things that can be seen as "trash of society" - then turn around and paint beautiful, professional pictures, or do other amazing things - and then add to that I kind of had the challenge of growing up "smart", but also being rather "helpless to change anything" and "not being heard or understood (by most)". But the point is I had a lot of frustration there, and if anything ever kind of channels that, I tend to air that frustration, which isn't good at changing any sort of current situation.

    These days, I'm just trying to strike a balance. Or trying to learn to.
     
    #7 Snow White, Dec 6, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2022
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