Originally posted by Good Wolf
I'm desperately looking for the answer to two questions:
1) Does a God(s) exist? and,
2) Is there an afterlife?
Given that you say you are an ex-Christian, these questions shouldn't matter, right?
Jung would often say that once you are raised in a specific religion, then your subconscious has already been formed by it, and you cannot really
leave it behind, but you can learn to understand how you relate to it better.
I'll give you a preface:
I am exactly 19 1/2 and I have been an ex-Christian for roughly a month or two.
I had always been a christian and from about age 15 onward I was devout bible-bashing. But I had a mind[love] for science and philosophy which lead
me to over think things. In biology I decided that genesis was a creation myth, but that raised a problem. If genesis was non-factual, how much more
of the bible was non-factual?
Did no one ever describe the purpose of Allegory to you? Remember Aesops Fables? Guess what.. there are no talking Lions. But that doesn't detract
from the wisdom contained in Aesops Fables.
Nor does the allegory found in the bible detract from the wisdom found there.
I couldn't be sure. I decided that ultimately the bible was unnecessary and that a strong personal relationship with God (not Jesus, I thought he was
a significant preacher but not the One who I should pray to) was the important thing as he could teach me directly. I also recognised that, if the
bible was infallible then it wasn't divinely inspired as God wouldn't do that and then not care to protect it from distortions and that sort.
Hrmm I think you mean "if the bible was fallible".
Once again, I point you to the fact that the Bible is a collection of allegories and experiences of many people who wrestled with their universe and
the relationships that came of it. It can no more be infallible than a great an inspiring novel.
Then things got shaky for me when 6 months ago I started hearing a voice in my head (which I later attributed to God) and it taught me many lesions
and wonderful messages.
Heh.. I hope it didn't give you lesions :-)
I know you meant lessons, and so I would say you research these voices in all of the different traditions. Some call it channeling, other's call it
the communication with ones Holy Guardian Angel, others still refer to it as talking to God. Personally, I have found it to be the formation of a
relationship with your subconsious mind. More than likely spurred on by the fracture you created in your mind when you decided to reject that which
you had embraced so strongly before.
Work with it.. you'll be surprised what can happen.
Acting upon the voice, I applied the ideas to a troublesome relationship I had. A friend of my friend (lets call him Jason) hated me and let me know
it. 2 months after the voice started, Jason respected me, and we became close, he confided in me and trusted me for advice.
There ya go. Yep when you listen to the subconcious mind it can be a very powerful experience.
The voice brought a lot of life and love to me but it made me critical of my Church because of the overwhelming
hipocrisy, double standars, and most of all, apathy. I stopped going and sought to follow what I called
"pure christianity" which entailed looking inward to where I could hear God and seeking understanding.
Well, I would say that you are in the process of learning your own rules.
...Then I watched Zeitgiest. At first it was so shocking I was unable to watch it as the ramifications of it being true to to painful to consider. I
eventually sat through it and for its' significance, needed to know more.
I was glad to learn that revelation talked in code about Nero and rome.
Zeitgeist isn't infallible, as I found out, but the fact alone that there was no evidence supporting the christian messiah ever existing threw me
into a hunt to prove/debunk christian theology.
Don't be disctracted by anything in the world at this point.
Do as Jesus did... remove yourself from the world. Turn off the internet, the TV, your friends, and go to a retreat where you can be in silence with
only your mind for a while.
I have found a lot and promptly dropped my religion all together.
My christian friends deal with me with caution after one fundamentalist had a go at me and I rendered him literally speechless.
Im so fresh out of the church and so immature in my belief system that I don't know what's what and frankly I'm scared...
Very understandbale... that's why I recommend you take some time to just be by yourself and allow yourself to find out what is what for you.
I realise that there is a deep seeded desire for life to have meaning and for there to be an afterlife and for 'God' to love us but it all just
appears to be derived from an instinctual fear of death.
Do we believe in God because we need there to be an afterlife?!
Many of us do. Sometimes it's because we need a sense of Universal Meaning. The concept that the Universe is ultimately indifferent is a tough pill
to swallow with you are partly driven by, and owe lots of your survival to your ego.
The idea that God does not exist and that there is nothing after death terrifies me, as you would expect, and for the first real time in my life I am
afraid of death.
It terrifies you because you have yet to feel your own authority. When you are making your own way in the world and have to stare surivival in the
face you may come to a different conclusion.
Keep in mind, that even Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is inside of us and here at hand. Look for the afterlife here. Look for it as being after
you have woken up.
Let the dead bury the dead, and embrace life.
To all those atheists, agnostics and ex-christians; how do you reconcile these problems in yourselves?
[edit on 8/31/2008 by Good Wolf]
For me personally, it's a journey. I have had to learn to balance the interpretration of pattern (order) with the existence of dissonance
It was a long journey for me, but in the end, I realized that the vast majority of what I did was out of a sense of insecurity. Learn how to find
that security in yourself so that it does not depend on anyone or any concept. Simply being.
Here is a good exercise.
Sit on the ground, not a floor, but the ground outside. Close your eyes, and focus on the reality of three things,
The Vast Sky above you, it's been here for eons
The Immense Earth Below you which has been here for eons to
And yourself, sitting peaceful inbetween both of these ancient aspects of your world.
[edit on 24-11-2008 by HunkaHunka]