Cognitive dissonance - Help!

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Fallen's picture
Cognitive dissonance - Help!

Please help me!

I was born and raised Christian, and still am, but science, reason and logic has shaken my faith.

I'm now in a situation where I fear that I may develop a split personality to survive - one that can 'praise the Lord' and one that can look at facts and reality and embrace them without feeling guilty when they contradict the Bible.

Interestingly my faith and understanding of scripture has become more and more 'spiritual' and less and less literal as things have progressed; I guess in an attempt to escape the ire of reality.

I get the feeling that many who do not believe in God do not understand how difficult it is for some to let him go. My whole basis of understanding from childhood is centered on God. Religion and faith in God is extremely self-reinforcing so that it becomes a total product of itself without a foundation in reality. We even give the self-reinforcement individual agency and give it names like Holy Spirit. It becomes alive and active but remains a product of the mind.

Even writing this causes me fear of retribution or punishments - the 'praise the Lord' part of me anyway. Sigh.

I'm so lost and isolated, because I run from religious fellowship which seems to be happy with a world view that conflicts with reality, and I can't fit in in reality and those that are sensible because my 'spirit' accuses me constantly and pushes me to give it (reality/flesh) up for eternal reward. I'm at breaking point to be honest.

Don't know if anyone will read this or care, at least it feels good just to say it. maybe I need to see a professional - then again I was taught they are secular and don't promote God.

This situation can be referred to as a case of being totally mind F!@#$%D (please forgive my swearword Lord).

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Diotrephes's picture
Fallen,

Fallen,

How old are you and which country do you live in? Such things affect how you will be able to cope with your problem.

Fallen's picture
Late 30's South Africa.

Late 30's South Africa.

Sheldon's picture
The loss is tangible even

The loss is tangible even though the belief is, and always was intangible.

Only you can decide If you want to spend tour life holding two contradictory realities with no attempt to objectively decide.

I think your wrong that most atheists don't realise the emotional sense of loss that accompanies losing religious faith. However atheism is in its own way very liberating. Life is scary, the idea we live in an uncaring and insentient universe, that from a human perspective is fairly pointless as well, must be hard to take in all at once. I never went through as I never really believed in a deity as you did.

My advice is that If the objective facts tell you one thing and religious claims another it's not really a decision is it? You can't decide to delude yourself when you are already starting to doubt the delusion is real. So take your time and understand that many atheists live for the most part happy contented and fulfilled lives. There aresecular countries like Denmark and Sweden that are predominantly atheist, and in every study show a population that score very highly in every indicator of living happy contented lives.

The transitiin might seem daunting now, but it won't remain so.

Fallen's picture
You know, I think one of the

You know, I think one of the final nails in the coffin came about two weeks ago.

I was extremely depressed because of this whole dilemma, so I absconded from work and just drove around aimlessly. Then i saw a sign next to the road: Cradle of humankind. Its a world heritage site where the bones of Homo Naledi were found. So I decided to take a look.

Reading about evolution and fossil evidence is one thing, but to actually stand in front of a skeleton of something from the genus Homo and compare it to our own and realize the truth - it is faith shattering. I became overcome with emotion.

But the roots of religion is such a part of me....how can I let it go? It defends itself against thing like this you know. These defenses have been refined over thousands of years and have answers for everything. The answers are without proof and baseless in reality, but for a spiritual mind very powerful.

arakish's picture
@ Fallen

@ Fallen

"But the roots of religion is such a part of me....how can I let it go? It defends itself against thing like this you know. These defenses have been refined over thousands of years and have answers for everything. The answers are without proof and baseless in reality, but for a spiritual mind very powerful."

I wish there was something I could say that would just take it away. Unfortunately, life ain't like the Matrix where you can take the Red Pill and Unplug. This is something you may struggle with for years to come. You already seem capable of critical thinking, logical and deductive reasoning, and rational and analytical thought. Those are your best weapons.

How about this thought? When me mom tried teaching me to read using the Bible when I was only 3½ years old, even then the Bible made no sense to me. It was not until I reached the Age of Minority (13) that I was allowed to choose whether I wanted to continue to church. I chose not. I later asked me dad why I could not believe the Bible or Christianity and he said, "Your mind and brain are like a computer. If it is not rational or logical, it does not compute." It was then I truly endeavored into the study of science. ALL sciences.

Hang in there dude. It will get better. And if others don't agree with you, that is their problem. NOT yours. If you feel you need further help in making your decision, or want some knowledge for arguments against religion, then peruse the resources in this Repository.

Good luck in pulling the wool from over your eyes. We are here for you. Even all you want to do is rant about the bullshit of religion, we are here for you.

rmfr

arakish's picture
Fallen: "Don't know if anyone

Fallen: "Don't know if anyone will read this or care, at least it feels good just to say it. maybe I need to see a professional - then again I was taught they are secular and don't promote God."

Bold Text. And that is why they are a GOOD reason to seek their help.

rmfr

Nyarlathotep's picture
Fallen - I get the feeling

Fallen - I get the feeling that many who do not believe in God do not understand how difficult it is for some to let him go.

That is a actually a rather common theme here. Clearly decades of magical thinking don't go away easily.

LogicFTW's picture
@Fallen's original post:

@Fallen's original post:

Perhaps start with not choosing a nickname of yourself as "fallen." You are not fallen. You are instead starting to see the real truth. A better nickname that would perhaps put a more positive instead of negative spin on things is more "enlightened." Not by god of course but by your own advancement in seeing the world for what it really is.

Science, reason and logic will shake faith when you give it the time of the day the arguments against god from science, reasoning, logic and even basic common sense is hugely compelling and powerful arguments.

Many other atheist here have started deeply religious. I am not one of them but you will find others that have gone through what you have, or are going through the same thing. There are books that can help you with the transition. If you cannot afford to buy them you can find free similar books on the net, or perhaps send a small cash donation to the author that you can afford if you download the guy's book off the internet.

There is no "retribution" from god for turning your back on whatever particular faith you are turning away from. I have been completely faithless and tell everyone that is interested there is no god, that it was made up fairy tale by humans. I have personally influenced several people I know to cast aside the religion lie and nothing bad has happened to me. In fact if I could describe my life, I would say: it has been very successful and almost completely free of tragedy for me and those that I care for. This is in part due to the fact that I am not counting on some sky fairy to make things better for me in this life or as many religions depict "the next life."

I actually find in the US most therapist are NOT secular, only the ones in major cities/college towns have therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist that are secular. Although for most all of them religion does not come up unless the patient brings it up.

Finally: you do not need to ask your "lord" for forgiveness.. There is no invisible sky fairy around that listens to all 7+ billion conversations of people alive today. Also how do you not have a problem with calling anything "lord" why would you want to be subservient? Especially to some human created idea that is entirely unproven?

 
 

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Cognostic's picture
Fallen: "Interestingly my

Fallen: "Interestingly my faith and understanding of scripture has become more and more 'spiritual' and less and less literal as things have progressed."

What do you mean spiritual? Lacking any measurable definition of spiritual, if you can not see it, touch it, explain it, WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING SPIRITUAL???

FALLEN: "I get the feeling that many who do not believe in God do not understand how difficult it is for some to let him go/"

You are wrong. Your sentence makes no sense at all. You do not "Let God Go." In fact you should try to hold onto god as tight as you can and never let go. Only then will you understand that there is nothing at all there and you look like the king in the Emperor's New Suit. This FABLE was made for you:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9mQoJU-6I0

FALLEN" " my 'spirit' accuses me constantly and pushes me to give it " BULLSHIT.
All you are doing is playing mind games with yourself. You think someone magical loves you. Why not open open your eyes and see? Was there a magical being ever protecting you from anything. Where is magical being that ever loved you? Has a magical being ever granted a prayer. Was a magical being ever the source of your morality. If you think it has...... please feel free to prove any of this. We have been waiting 2000 years for someone to prove a theist claim,

FALLEN: " Evolution" Evolution does not have a damn thing to do with Atheism. It is a RED HERRING that idiot theists throw out there to try and defeat so that they can claim Atheism is defeated. EVOLUTION is the scientific theory of mutations that occur over time. (It is an observable fact.) Atheism is non-belief in God or gods. Non-belief in God has been around since before JESUS. Atheism is as old as any religion and predates any idea of Evolution by 5000 years. No one is an atheist because of Evolution. Evolution says NOTHING about the origins of life and NOTHING about God or Gods. (By citing it in relation to Atheism, you only show your absolute ignorance on the subject.)

FALLEN: "I'm so lost and isolated, because I run from religious fellowship." THEN GO BACK TO IT. Go back to it and ask your questions. You do not belong in an atheist site. You go back there and you keep asking question until you have finished asking question. Or you go back and pretend that you have no questions and enjoy the mind washed bliss that is religion. You stay religious until you are ready to leave. You stay ignorant until you are ready to learn. When you are ready, you will simply set your bible down and walk away. When you are ready, there will be nothing to hold you. When you are ready, you will be ready to face the world like an atheist "Without an invisible means of support." Go be a Christian until you are actually done with it.

Last Thursday I had a client ask me, "How do I refuse religion." I asked him to explain and he informed me that people (friends) were trying to convert him to Christianity. I told him that when my Christian friends try to convert me, I only tell them, "I am not religious." This is a fact. It does not matter what they say after that. I get that their intentions are well meant. I simply repeat, "I am not religious." When they ask why? I just tell them because I do not believe. They press it and I tell them. I am not religious, I don't believe that. (What are they going to do? Tell me I do believe?) REMEMBER THIS IS FRIENDS. I got a whole new range of responses for anyone who I do not know who gets pushy.

Okay, so what is the point of that? It's easy. I KNOW WHO I AM. I am not religious. That is who I am. Who are you? Running from religion is running from yourself. You are running from a part of yourself and you can not escape it., STOP RUNNING. Go back there and confront that self. Either embrace it or reject it but do so with 100% conviction.

I am not saying to go back and sit on your ass blindly accepting all that you are told. Go back like an intelligent human being and START ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. You have an adventure of discovery and growth in front of you, and instead of facing it head on, you cower and beg for things to be different than they are. Open your eyes. Things are the way they are. You will never finish anything by running away from it. You don't get to run and hide in Atheism because you are afraid of confronting religion. That's just not the way it works/

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xenoview's picture
@Fallen

@Fallen
Welcome to AR!
Feel free to come here and rant about religion or ask about Atheism.

As an Atheist I live free of the guilt of sin and the fear of Hell. You can have that too. All you have to do is walk down the road of reason, logic and reality. Your first steps towards Atheism can be scary, but it gets better the further you get away from religion.

Fallen's picture
I thank everyone for their

I thank everyone for their replies.

It seems my journey and futile attempts to 'get closer' to god and truth was actually my minds way of telling me, and leading me to what I secretly knew all along: That there is no god.

That is why he became more and more unreal (spiritual) the harder I tried. Until finally disappearing completely.

I even ascribed some of the events that started me on this journey to him saving me from false religion. For example: I was one of Jehovah's witnesses, and when I made the decision that I would officially leave them to seek the truth about god, it caused me to be shunned. My mom actually died last year while I was shunned (left two years ago). I convinced myself that god saved me from Egypt (jw's) and although leaving and the shunning were painful, I felt the true god was leading me to the promised land, only for the promised land to turn out to be the realization that I have been following a hallucination to a land overflowing with ignorance and circular reasoning.

@Cognostic - I AM done with it (me a year ago would find your post offensive, me now, on the other hand know your words (wake up call) to be true and appreciate them).

I am sitting here just before two am on the 3rd of December 2018 and it feels like my birthday - because religion stole my life from me for all these years and finally I am born in freedom. I would be ecstatic if not for the great loss I feel I suffered. All those years living for god, all the guilt, denying myself, seeking unattainable approval from him. No wonder these days I feel like I don't know who I am - I've never been me, and have spent my life chasing an illusion. I wonder if this would have happened if I wasn't raised in religion.

I feel angry, very very angry, and a sense of loss. (I could not even say goodbye to my mother). Where do I direct this anger? Who will answer for this loss I've suffered? I'm tired of guilt and blaming myself all these years for nothing so I would not like more of that at this stage. Religion? No, I lay all this at the feet of this invisible product of imagination - god of the gaps - that elusive deity that dodges truth, always moving, running from science and logic, never fully graspable, using coincidence for agency, never taking responsibility, never talking without human intervention...and all just in my mind. May my anger and sense of loss always be at his feet; my final and lasting sacrifice that burns him to ash in my mind forever.

You know what, I feel liberated from figments of the imagination and can freely say: May God burn in hell forever. I'm done.

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to get this off my chest. Some of it may not make sense. Thanks for the replies, I think I just needed to end this publicly so to speak. A sort of baptism lol.

I plan to take a couple of days leave, and will seek some therapy because I'm sure there will be issues.

Regards
Fallen a.k.a Enlightened

LogicFTW's picture
@Fallen:

@Fallen:

You should be angry, you been lied to, by a lot of people you thought you could trust. It stings when you realize you been lied to, for so long about something so large. Worse still, many of the people doing the lying are only repeating the same lies they been told, most of them have been tricked too, so you cant even really blame them!

Who can you blame? Well the higher up's in religion. Those really rich and powerful old white men, the roman catholic church even has its own country with its own laws! (Even though it is in steady decline for the last 100 years or so.) The amount of wealth hoarded there is absolutely stunning. Direct your anger to those people. The people that say they are super close to god and study god all day, those people have had time to "figure it out" if they were at all intelligent. Those people know there is no god, but the concept does make them fabulously wealthy and powerful. These people got "real close" to god and they like you found nothing, and what did they do? They took advantage of the situation.

It is good to hear you are seeking out professional help, it can be a painful transition, but I can tell you from where I sit, an atheist, an agnostic, and an anti theist, I am better for it, I am happier, more focused, and living a good life all without the, (now obvious to me,) made up god nonsense.

 
 

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Cognostic's picture
FALLEN: "That there is no

FALLEN: "That there is no god."
It is not necessary for you to make this leap of logic to join the Atheist camps. This is the Anti-theist position. Frankly, if you make this assertion you have to prove it with facts and logic. It is an assertion and carries with it a burden of proof. Many on the site openly adopt this position, as do I, with regards to nearly all concepts of gods. Still, this position requires a bit of knowledge in apologetics and fallacies of logic to accomplish. All you need do as an atheist is look at the theist claims and find them lacking.

Theists have a burden of proof to prove that their god is real. When they make the assertion that god is real, they must prove it. It is enough to not believe their claims. That is not the same thing as believing there is not god. This is called the "Null-hypothesis." Science does not look at the christian claims and then claim the opposite based on a lack of evidence. Science just looks at the claims and evaluates them. After the evaluation the scientists conclude, "You have not proved your claim." The claim that god or Gods exist is unfalsifiable. (It can not be proved false.) There is no reason to go there unless like some of us you enjoy a good mudslinging session. It is enough to simply see the fallacious nature of the Christian / theist claim.

RE: "I don't know who I am."
You are a person who just left religion behind. You have walked through a door and into a strange new country. There are different customs, different languages, and different ways of interacting with each other. You do not know the language or the customs of this new country. Get yourself a travel guide, find a friend to show you around, and learn the basics of the language just like you would if you were visiting any other country. Take your time and do not be hard on yourself. The more your learn, the more you know, the more you will fit in. In this country, knowledge is respected. If we can not log into google and find support for an opinion from a reputable source, someone is going to say something about it. That's just the way we are.

RE: "Who will answer for this loss I've suffered?"
What have you lost? You are confused and trying to compare your new culture with the culture you left behind. Comparisons are totally unnecessary and especially unnecessary when you are not strong enough to look back and see things clearly. You are not at a place where you should be looking back now. As I said before. You are here now. You are in a new place now. Your concern should be with moving forward, learning the language and customs. Condemning the past serves no function at all.

Regarding the past: By condemning the past you give it no honor. You do not honor yourself. You are disrespecting yourself by disrespecting your past. Anyone brought up in the environment you were brought up in would have survived in the way you survived and very few would have the strength or ability to walk through the door you have just walked through. It is not a wasted life to understand any religion from the inside out. I will NEVER have your understanding. (EDITED TO REMOVE ISLAMIC REFERENCE) Even if I went to JW and joined tomorrow, I would only know my own experience. You have learned an amazing set of survival skills, you will not recognize that until you are strong enough to look back and actually appreciate the life experiences you have had that make you unique.

A Quick Story:
When you climb a cliff and find yourself a quarter of the way up the cliff before discovering you have made a mistake, you do not just let go. That would be disastrous. You also do not have to return to the bottom to start over again. That would just be a waste of time and energy. Instead, you evaluate your position. You make a new plan with a new rout. And then, once you are stable, you reach out with one free hand towards that new goal, and you pull yourself up. Your only problem at the moment is that you are focused on the journey left behind, and you should be focusing on the next move in front of you. There is no "anger" in front of you. There is no "regret" in front of you. There is only the next step and an adventure to be discovered.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

Meepwned's picture
@Cog "It is not a wasted life

@Cog "It is not a wasted life to understand Islam from the inside. I have gone through great efforts to understand it."

Fallen said that they were Jehovah's Witness. I'm pretty sure that it is a Christian denomination. Besides, Africa is predominantly Christian, especially South Africa.

"I was one of Jehovah's witnesses, and when I made the decision that I would officially leave them to seek the truth about god, it caused me to be shunned."

@Fallen I suggest that you look into the Youtube channel Genetically Modified Skeptic. It is run by an ex-Jehovah's Witness atheist. He even has made videos responding to JW religious propaganda.

arakish's picture
Genetically Modified Skeptic

Genetically Modified Skeptic

Love this guy. He makes great content.

rmfr

Cognostic's picture
Apologies! The same holds

Apologies! The same holds true for JW. I have not spent as much time learning about JW. I am aware of the bible changes and some of the beliefs they hold as well as their cult like activities. Please disregard "Muslim." (Fundamentalism is fundamentalism - You have still survived a very unique upbringing and somehow created the strength in yourself to look beyond it. Good for you - keep moving forward!!)

Cognostic's picture
FALLEN: "Where does the

FALLEN: "Where does the anger come from?"

Let's try thins, since you said you read my post and are still uttering the same nonsense about being angry.
ABCs of RATIONAL THOUGHT.

There is an activating event, In your case RELIGION. Your time in religion is the "A."

What you are doing is putting out all these beliefs and assumptions about 'A." (BELIEFS ABOUT 'A')
BELIEF 1. No one can understand how difficult it is - (NOT TRUE - it had been difficult for thousands of theists.)
BELIEF 2. I am lost and isolated because I run from religious fellowship. (NOT TRUE - You are lost and isolated because you have not yet made new friendships. Instead of sitting on your ass and feeling lost and isolated, what should you be doing? There is no anger in the future - all the anger you feel is from your past. Coming here is a great first step. You can meet people and express yourself. So, what's next? The way to feel less isolated is to stop isolating yourself. It really is just that simple. The way to stop being angry at your past is to move forward. I can't say it any clearer.)

BELIEF 3. "my 'spirit' accuses me constantly and pushes me to give it (reality/flesh) up for eternal reward." (What spirit? Do you know what "Major Life Songstress" are? These are "TRANSITIONAL" events that occur in our lives. Events like getting married, the death of a parent - brother - or sister, graduation and entering the work force, losing a limb in an accident, discovering you have cancer. Transitional events are serious major events that happen in our lives. Believing they are horrible, terrible, awful, etc.... is not useful. It leads to irrational thinking. These events are just transitional and they happen to all of us. They are a part of life. They are especially a part of life if you are JW and then leave the religion. You are not the first person to leave the JW faith and you will not be the last.
A. Recognize that transitions hold a special place in your life memories. When transitions happen, there are things you can do.
B. View stress not as a threat, but as a challenge.
C. Appreciate the benefits of change.
D. Remember the times you’ve successfully navigated a previous transition.
E. Turn to your support network. (CREATE A NEW SUPPORT NETWORK - That's why you are here.)
F. Prepare - Think ahead. Look to the future an leave the past behind. There is so much to do.
G. Use a transition to reflect on where your life has been, and where it’s going.
H. Focus on the positive aspects. (I gave you the mountain climbing analogy before, which you seemed to ignore. Go back and read it again. ) (You are where you are. The events of your life have all happened. People who look to the past are living their lives backwards. Your direction is forward ---- START MOVING!)
I. Use role models to inspire you through this transition.
J. Realize that change is inherent to life.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201703/10-wa...

USING ROLE MODELS: There are hundreds of fantastic videos on YouTube. Debates, lectures,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyr5Uf-ti-w

4. My mom actually died last year while I was shunned.
(This is really fucked up. It is not the end of the world. It is ANOTHER TRANSITIONAL PHASE ON TOP OF THE ONE YOU ARE ALREADY DEALING WITH. You get a double whammy. Anyone experiencing the loss of lifetime friendships, the transition away from religion and then the death of a parent would be feeling shitty about this time in their life. THERE IS NO BIG SECRET HERE. (AND) it is not about all that has happened to you, it is "what you do with it." Do you allow these experiences to drag you down, or do you use them as stepping stones to move forward. The third choice is to sit on your butt and do nothing which is the same thing as just leaving things the way they are. (Why would you do that?)

5. "I am sitting here just before two am on the 3rd of December 2018 and it feels like my birthday - because religion stole my life from me for all these years and finally I am born in freedom."

I love that you are reborn. Why bother believing that religion stole anything from you? Religion did not steal a damn thing from you. Religion gave you a model from which to view the world. You wore religious sunglasses for a while and now you have simply taken them off. What will you do with them? YOU CAN DO NOTHING WITH THEM. They are indestructible sunglasses. You step on them and destroy them and the next morning they will be resting on your night stand. THEY ARE A PART OF YOU. You can not destroy them, thrown them away, forget them, or do anything with them. Condemning them is condemning yourself. STOP! Simply set them aside. Put them in a drawer and leave them there. You do not need them currently but they may be useful later. (I AM SERIOUS.) Think about the future ability you will have when you relate to a JW. You can pull those glasses out, put them on, and understand everything that person is saying. You will have the ability to put those glasses on and take them off at will. You will understand exactly where the JW you are talking to is stuck and exactly how they feel. Something the rest of us, without JW glasses will have great difficulty doing. BUT FOR NOW, JUST PUT THEM AWAY. They are not good, they are not bad. They are just glasses. You will be able to use them when you need them but until then, YOU HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO.

BELIEF 6. You know what, I feel liberated from figments of the imagination and can freely say: May God burn in hell forever. I'm done.

As long as you are angry, you are not free. You are stuck in the past. You are ruminating on the past. You are blaming the past. You do not actually see where you are. You are not respecting yourself. You are not giving yourself credit for being amazing. You are not seeing how special you are. You are not recognizing the inner strength you have to pull yourself out of the grips of JW while also dealing with the death of your mother. You need to sit down in front of a mirror and actually look at the person you are. You say you are free. WHO MADE YOU FREE? WHO HAS PUT FORTH ALL THE EFFORT TO GET HERE? WHO HAD THE STRENGTH TO CHANGE HIS LIFE? WHO IS GOING TO LIVE YOUR FUTURE?

A - activating event B - your beliefs about the event. C - consequences
Your beliefs are negative and look only to the past. Anyone believing the things you are believing would feel the way you feel and be experiencing the consequences you are feeling. Your beliefs are disrespectful to yourself and the life you have lived. I suggest....

A. Shit happened and then I got out of it
B. Wow, I don't know how I did this but I pulled away and I am surviving loneliness, loss of friends, shining, and even the death of my mother.
C. I have demonstrated my inner strength to deal with all this and so I certainly have the strength to get through it all.

Change your mind and you change the world!!!!

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Holy hell, dude. That was freakin' amazing. Fantastic post! Even if Fallen doesn't see it or use it, there are others out there it can potentially help. Outstanding! I particularly liked the "JW glasses" analogy. Never thought of it like that before. Hope you don't mind if I steal it.

Cognostic's picture
I'm sure it is not mine.

I'm sure it is not mine. One of my psychology classes or training - just picked it up someplace.

David Killens's picture
Hello Fallen. I hope your

Hello Fallen. I hope your journey to this place gives you some peace of mind.

You are not alone. I was raised christian, and although I divorced myself from organized religion at age 18, I spent over the next forty years still searching for some form of spiritual guidance. From what I read in your post, the sole difference between you and I is that my early years were not as dedicated to religion.

But for over forty years I was like the lost lamb, wandering in the desert. But once I sorted things out in my mind, it was like a liberation where all my fears and anxieties created by religion dropped away. I do not answer to any god, I answer to a much higher power, myself. I decide my fate, and no one else has that much power over me.

I mentioned that I spent over forty years in search for something spiritual, and seeking a solution to my questions. Only when I started to watch videos did my thoughts finally take form, and I was able to think things through and arrive at a reasonable and sane conclusion. You are fortunate Fallen, you have those same resources at your disposal, right now.

Fallen, take your time, thinks things through carefully and do not rush to conclusions. Ask questions, watch videos, read some of the crazy threads in this forum. You will arrive at peace of mind, it does not have to happen tomorrow, or even next year. Work at your own pace because your decisions affect the highest power in your world, you.

Take care, you are in a safe place.

Fallen's picture
I would like to thank all of

I would like to thank all of you for the advice and support, and please excuse the parts of my posts that were more emotional than reasonable. I just had to let some of the feelings out and give them a voice.

Some of your reply's were almost like therapy and much appreciated. I agree that I can draw strength and understanding from my experiences, and seeing them that way is definitely more constructive. I don't want to give the past power to ruin my future.

arakish's picture
No thanks needed.

No thanks needed. Appreciated, but not needed. I shall always help any person I can, if I can. I did not comment much because I have never been a believer. I have always been an onerous skeptic, which of course kept me an atheist. In fact, it was the Star Trek, Season Three, Episode Four, The Enterprise Incident that saved me from being literally beaten into being a believer. I figured if Spock could pretend to be a Romulan, then I could pretend to be a believer. You can read about it here: The Gentle Love of the Church (a PDF you can download).

rmfr

Cognostic's picture
A well prepared mind notices

A well prepared mind notices the open door when it sees it.

David Killens's picture
Fallen, it is expected that

Fallen, it is expected that your emotions would run amok. Religion is like the nastiest salesperson in the world, they will use guilt, fear, and one's emotions in order to control you.

Do not feel bad if you have high emotions or confusion. Just understand that you have been manipulated all of your life, and separating religious doctrine from your everyday life and thinking is a long and difficult process.

You are not alone.

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