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Featured What made you change your beliefs?

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by idea, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    To those who are still seeking, or for those who changed beliefs and settled into a new home, was there any "moment of truth" where you found your previous beliefs to be wrong? What was the catalyst for your change?
     
    #1 idea, Feb 15, 2019
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  2. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    .

    [​IMG]

    .
     
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  3. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    Why did you decide to read this book?
     
  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I never consider myself a seeker. I wasn't raised religious, so I didn't have that view until RF. I learned a lot here one way or another.

    The list was

    1. Nothing
    2. Met a Roman Catholic friend
    3. Went to mass with her every month if more
    4. Joined the Church

    I didn't have previous beliefs

    I found out it didn't click when I realized they believed in god/deity, a human was god, not accepting of christians as a part of the catholic/universal church with out all confirmation sacraments. LGBTQ issues such as conversion therapies they still have. Using a person's death in order to bring life (human sacrifice however interpreted) I've only read the bible once. I didn't connect to it. I like Catholicism because it isn't a book-based faith but a personal, communal, devotional-based.

    5. Started off with Zen meditation, went into Nichiren Buddhism, SGI, and took the precepts at a Zen Vietnamese temple. I don't agree that you can change your beliefs just your practice. So, I stopped practicing.

    Catalyst, I like that. Makes the question a bit more indepth.

    6. I started going to a Universal Unitarian Church near me off and on. Long story short, they aren't a creedal church (everyone has same beliefs) but a covenant church (everyone with different believes promise to help each other and serve those outside our church)

    I took their organization (rather than church) class. It was a small group, and everyone got to know each other personally. I will be a teacher in August. Next week Im taking pastoral care training. And trying to work more in the LGBTQ community.

    I never had this much family involvement in any of the two religions I went to. I've never heard any religion that has such an involvement. Made me feel at peace especially when they all remember your name.
     
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  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Instead of seeking, it's more let your life unfold. Call what you learn and click with blessings, add them as part of your journey, and keep going. Learn from what you can, drop what stunts your growth.
     
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  6. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    That is a really interesting way of putting it - I'm going to have to think about that one.
     
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  7. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    My cousin, who was an atheist, suggested it.

    .
     
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  8. Daemon Sophic

    Daemon Sophic Avatar in flux

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    When I was 15 years old my dad (a devout Episcopal Christian) spent a summer and autumn taking me to Sunday school and getting first communion, etc... I enjoyed some of the lectures during mass, but most of all I enjoyed turning to everyone around us and shaking hands and saying “peace be with you” to each person. It was very nice.
    However several times during a particular month in the fall we sang “They will know we are Christians by our love”. This song....


    It has a repeated refrain of
    “they will know we are Christians by our love by our love
    they will know we are Christians by our love.”
    And after a few times singing this I was almost throwing up. Not because the song is cheesy. It’s pleasant, but the unfortunate truth, which I knew even as a 15-year-old, was it it was a completely hypocritical lie.
    History records Christianity by the wars and the genocides that they are guilty of. While the teachings of Jesus the Christ are truly pleasant and peaceful (overall), it is undeniable that humanity has taken this name and distorted it into a cause for death and violence. :rolleyes:

    Meanwhile, I was raised (even by my dad) to follow hard scientific methods for evaluating most anything I undertake. Both of my parents were research professors (chemistry and engineering/physics), and my brothers were also all heading into science PhD programs, so its sort of hardwired in me too.
    So that inquisitive background with a keening for facts and evidence, as well as knowledge of the history of Christianity, led me to that “moment of truth” and out of that religious ideology.
     
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  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Ya, several times with me.

    I grew up in a fundamentalist Protestant church, converted to Catholicism because the former's theology was flawed in one major area and also somewhat anti-science. Then in my early 50's, I converted to Judaism because I ended up taking more of a literalist position against Jesus being the "Messiah" even though I had never been a literalist previously, and then I converted back to Catholicism but more based on convenience as my "theology" is very far-out. .

    Nowadays, I feel quite comfortable in most religious settings as I'm very ecumenically minded, but I strongly dislike the "my way or the highway" approach some denominations take.
     
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  10. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Evidence ..or lack of it.
     
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  11. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Over time they made less and less sense and simply failed to resonate with me. Even as a young child they intuitively felt ...off. As I continued to grow and learn my beliefs crumpled beneath the ever growing mountain of logic and evidence that continued to weigh against it.
     
    #11 Father Heathen, Feb 15, 2019
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  12. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    No. Sorry but there was no single moment.

    I wandered into the right situations and my experiences accumulated. I was forced to become introspective. All I did was believe what I was told and did what I was told, but things did not work out as expected or as promised either.
     
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  13. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    God told me, yes I believe at that time God would occasionally speak to me, long story but anyways "God" told me what we believed was not important. The religion we followed was not important. It wasn't even import to believe in God.

    Man could do whatever he chose to do and wouldn't be judged. That God would always be ready to accept us whenever we were ready regardless of whatever past we had.

    Seeking God is not important. What is important is to experience living. To experience all of the good and all of the bad life has to offer, then when we feel ready come "home" to God.

    No worry, no stress, no fear about displeasing God. Just go out their and experience life as best you can. Last "message" I received from God.
     
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  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    This almost precisely as I see it too. I know that some people run hither-thither seeking, and that's fine, but it isn't really necessary, and could be quite frustrating, not finding a match. Wait and see what happens works too, generally. And if it doesn't, so?
     
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  15. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    I had been a conservative Christian for over 30 years, and prayed about the areas where I knew I was failing, and if I did reveal something, they'd wring their hands and pray and say you were healed, but inside, I knew I wasn't. I was doing all the good works I could, but knew that inside my heart was black. Then came 9/11 and the "Brothers and Sisters" reacted with anger and hatred toward Arabs.

    To me, that proved their Jesus was like a plastic bobblehead, so I left Christianity. Those old enough will remember the times ...

    Searching and deeply aware of my sin and willing to plead with God for mercy on my hands and knees, I became Muslim to see if their God felt real, to cover up to hide my shame, and to plead with Allah SWT on my hands and knees. Deep inside, I kept asking myself, "What about Jesus as the Son of God"?

    Then I joined a pseudo Christian sect that assured me that all my sin was forgiven, but then they acted like it wasn't entirely. Still processing, and don't have the answers.

     
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  16. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I grew up to atheist Jewish parents. We went to Temple only when there was some family ritual that took place there. I was not Bar Mitzvah either - just had a party. So growing up I thought of religion as not being worth spending time thinking about.

    This continued until when I was in graduate school. I gradually started feeling that the ultimate questions about the meaning of life was worth considering rather than ignoring. At that point I started a search vacuuming up religious texts and spiritual ideas.

    I visited Trungpa's Vermont Tibetan center and really liked how it was run. When they had a work period, you were supposed to work on whatever bothered you. If it bugged you that the floor was dirty, you washed the floor. I, as a guest, was given something to do. This seemed to reflect a deep understanding of psychology and how people can function in a group.

    I visited Philip Kapleau's Zen Center in Rochester, NY. I appreciated how he had adapted Zen to work in the west. Rather than begging, they picked up trash along the roadside. This led me to see that what worked in the East might not work in Western culture and practices had to be adapted to fit the Western mind and environment.

    At some point, my belief about the value of drugs was challenged by someone who had been part of the drug culture and was now lecturing on the limitations of the drug experience - that it does not offer a spiritual path for us.

    This also included him talking about Meher Baba who made the most extraordinary claim - to be the Avatar, Christ for this age. I found myself considering this claim with deep skepticism considering his life and actions asking "is he or isn't he" over and over again.

    Among other things, I challenged a follower with something like "Meher Baba says we need to be absolutely honest". How can we if we're planning a surprise party and the guest of honor asks what is going on? If we say "nothing", we're lying. This led into reading and thinking about what the nature of honesty really is, how to respond to questions we don't want to answer honestly, how causing pain to a loved one does not reflect the honesty of love for the person and so forth.

    At the end of that long process, I came to accept that Meher Baba is the Christ, the God Man, the Avatar.
     
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  17. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Im dyslexic, by age 14 i was sick to death, (literally, i was so depressed i thought of suicide) of the mockery and verbal abuse poured on my by "good" christians becaus i couldn't read the bible.

    I left the church. Soon after i was diagnosed, tools were prescribed, i learn to read and became an avid devourer of books. Eventually i read the bible. Not as christianity would have you selectively read recommended verses but read it as written.

    I learned why (some) christians are real nasty people and decided, if thats what the bible teaches i want no part of it.
     
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  18. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    Rather than retyping what the catalyst to my departure from Catholicism, I'll share what I wrote in another thread about a year-and-a-half ago...
    What led to me to my current worldview was an eventual understanding of a mystical experience I had when I was in my early teens. I wrote about it here: Ask Salix Anything, not too much later than I wrote the preceding.
     
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  19. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their faith-journey so far - so beautiful, and so diverse!

    Honesty is a big deal to me. I am still trying to learn when it is best to be true to myself, when it is best to "make others happy", when vulnerability is appropriate, what is better left unsaid - left a mystery.

    So much of spiritual journeys revolve around around honesty, fear, acceptance, hope...

    thank you all again for sharing!
     
  20. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    Hypocrisy is the worst type of betrayal - wolves in sheep clothing who promise hope and love yet dish out hellfire and abuse - I hear ya! Through it all we learn to walk on our own two feet though, which is a good thing.
     
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