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Conversations With Jesus


Mythra
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When you guys were tight with the Lawd - did you carry on conversations with him - say, when you were driving in your car or home alone? I'm not talking about prayer necessarily - I'm talking about the whole full-time relationship gig. I did. All the time. Sometimes they'd be out loud, or sometimes it would just be active thoughts that seemed like a conversation. But I was convinced that Jesus was 1/2 of it.

 

In the two years time since I escaped, I notice that I still do this. Only now I know it's just me. Like, for instance, I thank myself all the time for scraping together the guts to get out of religion. I'll think of something funny and make myself laugh. And, sometimes it does seem like there are two of me carrying on a discussion. Sometimes I manage to talk some sense into myself. And sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have an argument with myself, and neither one of us win. :HaHa:

 

WTF is this? I mean, I know I'm quite level-headed and well grounded on terra firma. But, could the whole Jesus thing be just a way to express some kind of an alter-ego? Sure seems like it to me.

 

What do you think? Any of you notice this in yourselves?

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<snip>WTF is this? I mean, I know I'm quite level-headed and well grounded on terra firma. But, could the whole Jesus thing be just a way to express some kind of an alter-ego? Sure seems like it to me.

 

What do you think? Any of you notice this in yourselves?

 

Mythra - what you are describing is part of the false self/true self concepts within the contemplative traditions. Following is a quote from the forward of a book called, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - http://www.eckharttolle.com/store/index.ph...32&parent=8

 

I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how ‘The Power of Now’ came into existence.

 

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else's life.

 

Awakening

 

One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

 

‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind.
Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’

 

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. <snip>

Understanding

 

I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me.
I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this
false, suffering self
immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my
true nature
as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form.

 

Within all the meditative/contemplative traditions is the understanding of true self/false self. The concept of true self/false self can take up whole volumes of books in both the east and the west. In general the false self is associated with ego. But, don't take that to mean that ego is "bad" or even that false self is "bad".

 

Hope this helps rather than muddying up the waters. ;)

 

 

Edit _______________________________________

 

Mythra - here is more information about the true self/false self: http://www.spiritualitytoday.org/spir2day/...22teasdale.html

 

In what follows I would like to explore this "common heart," from which dialogue, reconciliation and advances issue forth into being. I will examine briefly several points of convergence between Eastern and Western spirituality. These include: the human condition as a starting point common to all the traditions of the various world religions;
the spiritual paths that lead to the same goal in all these traditions; the awakening to the
true Self
and what that involves; mystical consciousness proper, and the fruits of the acceptance of our unity in the Ultimate Mystery
. This last aspect, an essential one, concerns the realm of collective action and responsibility, responsibility and action which arise in and flow out of mystical contemplation, and our universal participation in it.

 

BEING HUMAN

 

The first point of convergence among the traditions of Asia and the Occident is that of the human condition itself. The human condition with its incompleteness, its suffering and struggle, its trials and endless challenges is a common experience of every tradition by virtue of the humanity we all share. This characteristic of incompleteness, of imperfection in human nature, is regarded as the result of original sin by the religions of the Book -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- while in the Asian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Zen it is considered the consequence of clinging to the ego which is itself a form of ignorance, an ignorance of reality.

 

The ego is the false self
. It limits a person to self-interest and the lesser goods of life, rather than allowing one to see the supreme good of one's own liberation and that of others. Of course in the case of Buddhism which has no concept of the self or more precisely, recognizes no self or ego -- and the various attachments consequent upon it -- it is the idea of a self or an ego that is the cause of the suffering that a person experiences.
It is the attachment to anything, the desire or craving for it, a desire and a craving emanating from the false self, that makes one imperfect and incomplete
, because
one is then bound, or enslaved by such attachment
. So there is agreement that human nature is not what it should be. This condition is interpreted differently, but is essentially seen with realism and compassion; it is experienced as in a state of disorder and woundedness.

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Hope this helps rather than muddying up the waters. ;)

 

:lmao: You know me too well!!

 

I assure you that my waters get muddied with a whole lot less than that..

 

I could read that for the rest of the night and not know what it said. I even tried to explain it to myself, but to no avail. It's futile.

 

I just don't do deep.

 

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the effort.

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When you guys were tight with

 

To answer you simply, yes. I do catch myself saying little prayers,or thinking of god. I try to quickly banish this and shrug it off. Church/god was part of my being. Reason can't always banish years and years of indoctrination.

 

 

A good blasphmey such as uttering "jezusfuckingchrist" to myself quickly brings me back to being the godless person I desire to be.

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... I'll think of something funny and make myself laugh. And, sometimes it does seem like there are two of me carrying on a discussion. Sometimes I manage to talk some sense into myself. And sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have an argument with myself, and neither one of us win. :HaHa: ...

 

Yeah, me too. Isn't that normal? I mean, doesn't everyone have a near constant dialogue going on in their mind? If not, what does one "hear" when one just sitting alone doing nothing in particular?

 

You hear a word or see something that instantly evokes a thought, maybe a memory association. Then your mind takes off with in a new direction and "talks" about that topic for awhile, then it's on to something else, maybe you get a song stuck in your head, maybe eventually you think "I'm hungry."

 

Some other stimulus presents itself; example, the woman at work who wears too much perfume walks by your desk and you immediately start thinking about Aunt Matilda who wore the same scent but you remember that fact only on a subconscious level so you don't comprehend the connection. Maybe instead you start worrying about why thoughts of your now elderly auntie popped into your head and wondering if you should call her. Maybe god is sending you a message?

 

Anyway, the point I'm so pathetically trying to make is that those "conversations" are just the stream of consciousness or internal dialogue in each individual's mind BUT someone who is indoctrinated in religion can fool themselves into thinking it is actually a conversation with jesus.

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Hope this helps rather than muddying up the waters. ;)

:lmao: You know me too well!!

 

I assure you that my waters get muddied with a whole lot less than that..

 

I could read that for the rest of the night and not know what it said. I even tried to explain it to myself, but to no avail. It's futile.

 

I just don't do deep.

 

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the effort.

:funny::lmao:

 

OK --- you asked ----

In the two years time since I escaped, I notice that I still do this. Only now I know it's just me. Like, for instance, I thank myself all the time for scraping together the guts to get out of religion. I'll think of something funny and make myself laugh. And, sometimes it does seem like there are two of me carrying on a discussion. Sometimes I manage to talk some sense into myself. And sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have an argument with myself, and neither one of us win.

 

WTF is this? I mean, I know I'm quite level-headed and well grounded on terra firma. But, could the whole Jesus thing be just a way to express some kind of an alter-ego? Sure seems like it to me.

 

The true self/false self dynamic can be explained as follows:

 

I have this son. He's 19 years old, soon to be 20. He's talented and skilled and has the same unlimited potential as every other person on the face of this earth. But he's MY son and that makes him brilliant (right)? Or at least that's what my false (ego driven) self tells me.

 

OK - everyone out there who is in their early adult years, I'm going into mother-mode right now. Be patient with me and you may learn a bit about your own mother. ;)

 

Now - my son is like most 19 year old kids - he's making his share of mistakes. And lately he's been making some whopper mistakes. Mistakes that cause me great worry. I worry because my false (ego driven) self is too attached to the out-come of his mistakes. My false (ego driven) self tells me he should "know better". That we raised him "better than that". My false (ego driven) self is simply too attached to be able to let go. It sees the long-term consequences of his mistakes and wants to continuously nag him and tell him there's a cliff about 4 feet behind him and if he doesn't turn around and look he's going to tumble off the cliff. It makes perfectly good sense (to my false self) to constantly aprise him of the dire situations he's in.

 

Now - when my true self is talking to my false self - my true self says, "take a deep breath and think through your response". My true self (not attached to ego - the more objective self) reminds me that:

  • My son really DOES want to work.
  • My son really DOES want a career for himself and he really DOES WANT to learn.
  • My son - deep down - knows right from wrong and when push comes to shove he will do the right and honorable thing.
  • My son's mistakes are within the realm of "normal" for 19-20 year olds in this culture.
  • That he really DOES do a pretty good job with his life - even though his mistakes are major - they haven't yet been so dire that they will impact him for decades.

See - my true self knows all of this. It constantly reminds my false-self of these things. But, alas, my false self is grounded in fear and anxiety about the unknown, fear and anxiety for his future. It is grounded in attachment (in this situation - specifically attachment to all MY dreams for this son). It is grounded in control - he's 19 years old and I no longer have control of him and - well - that just SUCKS.

 

So my false self rears it's ugly head and tells my true self that we must slap this son upside the head and "knock some sense" into him. (And no I haven't done that yet - but DAMN I WANT to). :)

 

So - Mythra - in the end ......

 

My true (the self NOT attached to ego, the self driven by more objective processes) is saving my dumb-ass, brilliant son from a butt whoopen. :grin:

 

Does that help - or does it muddy up the waters even more? ;)

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Of course, I agree with O_M. This is the stuff I love!

 

Tolle also tells about a time that he was sitting beside a woman on the subway that kept having a conversation with herself, out loud. She was saying things like, "Oh, you'll be sorry!" and just arguing back and forth with herself. He said that no one was sitting by this woman, probably thinking that she is insane.

 

Well, it happened that this person was going to the same university that Tolle was (this was before his enlightenment) so he was curious as to where she was going. Did she teach there? Was she a student? He said the woman disappeared into an elevator and was gone.

 

He went to the men's room and found himself muttering outloud about how he never hopes he ends up like that when he noticed another man looking at him. He then realized that he was doing the same thing the lady was.

 

His point being was that most people have this internal dialogue in their mind constantly, but when they say it out loud, it is considered insane. If a person goes to a doctor and tells them they hear voices in their head, they are sent to a psychiatrist. We are all insanely talking to ourselves over and over again. The mind has taken possession of the person, whereas, thinking is a tool to be used by us when required. But, we dwell upon things and make up stories and dialogues that haven't even happened or are based on something in the past.

 

Most eastern traditions involve trying to quite your mind in order to understand your true nature. When the mind is quite, the thoughts that do arrive come from a deeper center of yourself, not the ego. I found it true for myself.

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When you guys were tight with the Lawd - did you carry on conversations with him - say, when you were driving in your car or home alone?

 

I never really had conversations, though there was the occasional row or shouting match.

 

In the two years time since I escaped, I notice that I still do this. Only now I know it's just me. Like, for instance, I thank myself all the time for scraping together the guts to get out of religion. I'll think of something funny and make myself laugh. And, sometimes it does seem like there are two of me carrying on a discussion. Sometimes I manage to talk some sense into myself. And sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have an argument with myself, and neither one of us win. :HaHa:
I am a big fan of talking to myself. It's amazing how well it can keep you focused and connect you with your deeper senses. It sounds kooky, but just telling yourself to keep on track or stay positive can work really really well.

 

WTF is this? I mean, I know I'm quite level-headed and well grounded on terra firma. But, could the whole Jesus thing be just a way to express some kind of an alter-ego? Sure seems like it to me.

 

What do you think? Any of you notice this in yourselves?

 

I don't know about alter-ego, but you could put it that way. I think we all are attached by energies that we don't understand. It's the reason meme thoughts exist, and other unexplainable events like premonitions & whatnot. I think things like this are you just getting in touch with the forces of nature & energy that are in existence.

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It's so strange to see this thread because I was talking about this to my mother and daughter on Saturday. We were actually trying to fathom out why my 14 year old daughter can manage to disappear an hour by merely washing and dressing in the morning, it transpires that it's because she spends too long in conversation with herself! She and my mother both keep it internal, I do it aloud! Yes, I feel a bit stupid when I catch myself doing it but, hey, no one can hear me! My point is that my daughter has never been touched by the xian thing so I firmly believe that we all do it to some extent. I'm not sure what I make of the true self/false self hypothesis, I would need to give it more thought, all I know for certain is that it's my way of working through things, saying those things I wouldn't ordinarily say and guaranteeing myself an intelligent conversation! :wink:

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Most eastern traditions involve trying to quite your mind in order to understand your true nature. When the mind is quite, the thoughts that do arrive come from a deeper center of yourself, not the ego. I found it true for myself.

 

NotBlinded – the tradition of quieting one’s mind is not just limited to the eastern traditions. Within the western contemplative tradition there is also an emphasis on quieting the mind.

 

Much of the way we (those of us involved in contemplative Christianity) read the Bible has to do with the True Self/False Self dynamic.

 

About quieting the mind – some of the following Bible verses speak to the need for finding the “deeper center of yourself, not the ego”. Within Christianity this “deeper center” is affiliated with things like:

  • Wisdom
  • Holy Spirit
  • Christ Within

For instance, the following verse:

In John 7:24 Jesus tells His followers, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment”.

 

For those of us within contemplative Christianity – this is a reminder to seek the “true self.”

 

The False self is NOT evil, although I have seen theologies (like original sin) that make it into an evil thing.

 

One way to look at this is the original word for “evil” didn’t mean evil in the sense that we think of in the west. It meant something closer to “unripe”. The false self is attached to things – it’s not ripe yet. It makes decisions based on attachments. Within the Buddhist tradition – suffering comes from our mental and emotional attachments. This is much the same thing as the “false self”. The false self is a way of stating that our human egos are attached to surface appearances. Our true self sees things at a deeper level.

 

In fact – the Garden of Eden story is not so much a story of original sin – it’s a story about this very human tendency to judge by surface appearances – to get caught up in the false self.

 

Gen. 3:1-6 follows:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, ”We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, ‘knowing good and evil.’”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.

 

The underlined verse is telling. It describes the reason Eve ate the fruit. Look how human senses are appealed to in these verses.

  • "the woman saw …”, appeals to seeing
  • "good for food … “, appeals to hunger and rational thinking
  • "delight to the eyes …”, appeals to seeing and human desires of all kinds.
  • "desired to make one wise”, appeals to rational thinking

This dynamic points to the human condition? Human beings are physical – but our ability to make decisions is NOT limited to our five physical senses. Although – these senses are our typical avenues of gathering data – we are also able to make decisions on a deeper level.

 

The fundies would use these types of verses to vilify the five senses and our dependence upon them. But, that’s not the way these senses are seen within contemporary meditative traditions of Christianity. Within the meditative traditions these senses are seen as aspects of the “false self” – not to be treated as “evil” and “bad” but to be recognized for their natural limitations – to be recognized as the source of (often – but not always) unhealthy attachment.

 

The true self is capable of knowing when an attachment is unhealthy and harmful. The false self only processes physical data through the senses, it is NOT capable of making the distinction between healthy processing of this data and unhealthy processing of this data because it is ego centered.

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O_M,

 

I really meant to say, originally when I said the eastern traditions. But, I'm glad you took it that way because you posted the rest of your post!

 

I'm pretty sure you do know that I agree with you and I live my life with this understanding.

 

I just wish there was someplace around me that I could go where there are people like you. I go to a Unitarian church and find that is pretty good though but I would like to understand more about the Christian part of it.

 

I think all mythologies point to the human condition.

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When you guys were tight with the Lawd - did you carry on conversations with him - say, when you were driving in your car or home alone?

I tried doing that with Jesus, but I found I actually preferred just talking to myself over involving him in the conversation. You could never quite make out what he was saying, so I just found myself talking to someone who made a lot more sense to me - me.

 

Sometimes I have an argument with myself, and neither one of us win. :HaHa:

As long as the fight doesn't turn into violence like Ed Norton's character beating the hell out of himself in his bosses office in the movie Fight Club. A little harmless spat with yourself is Ok now and then.

 

Actually I talk out loud fairly often, it's more a way to help focus my thoughts, or in some cases vocalizing something helps affirm it to yourself. I have to either talk out my thoughts, or type out my thoughts. I just try to avoid vocalizing when I'm around others, like in a grocery store, at work, or at a restaraunt. I try to mind other's comfort zone to not have some guy just carrying on and on in conversation to someone no one else can see. (And yet, we think preachers are normal)! :wicked:

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I'm pretty sure you do know that I agree with you and I live my life with this understanding.
Oh .... yes ... I know this. ;) As I always say, ILWYT. :grin:

 

I just wish there was someplace around me that I could go where there are people like you. I go to a Unitarian church and find that is pretty good though but I would like to understand more about the Christian part of it.
I wish I had an easy answer for you. :( Even the group I'm involved in is quite small .... meditation is rather boring and the average person has no interest in it.

 

I think all mythologies point to the human condition.
Yes - I think one way or the other mythologies are human stories and we can find ourselves in them if we're willing to look underneath the surface.
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Well, I prayed, but I certainly never heard anyone talking back to me. I wonder if they mean the self that is subconscious...the one that is you, but you don't actively think about. It would make sense that the subconscious self might come out during altered states of consciousness.

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I find it a futile exercise to discuss these intimate parts of how the mind works. Why? Because of the information from Myers-Briggs and Karl Jung that there are different ways of normal mental functioning. I've read philosophies of the mind and they are so stupid. Each author thinks he gets it better than a former author. If one looks closely at their descriptions they are merely describing different dominant and inferior functions and the like, easily explained by Myers-Briggs.

 

For example, Amythest, there is no way I can identify with what you are saying but I think you said somewhere else that you are an INTJ. It sure makes sense that an INTJ might experience the self as you describe. For INTJs, feeling (experience of self?) is the third function (counting down from dominant). And it would be introverted feeling. That is my dominant function. Naturally, I experience the self quite differently from what an INTJ would. That is my reasoning.

 

Talking with Jesus/myself. I can decide whether I talk to Jesus, myself, or some other entity. I certainly do carry on countless conversations in my head and they are not sociopathic or whatever. They are quite normal thinking processes. They tend to be very analytical of my environment and my place in it--what is happening, what I will do about it, etc. Of course, there are also times such as when I am walking to the bus stop when I am not thinking at all. That is when brilliant new ideas introduce themselves. Or when I end up not being at all where I had planned--I wandered off the track. This doesn't happen on my way to the bus but it can happen when I'm out exploring or just enjoying the day. The prime time that it happens tends to be on my way to an errand that is not urgent enough to keep me worried every step of the way, and I have time to notice the birds and enjoy the breeze or whatever on my way.

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Holy fuck, I'm so glad I'm not the only person out there who talks to themselves.

 

I used to talk to god all the time. When I was a Xian I'd call it a "conversation"; but now I think that's something of a misnomer. With a conversation it's more than one person interacting. With prayer or "talking to god", nobody ever answered back. Granted, I'd pull a "response" from random events happening around me, but it was ultimately just bullshit. I was only ever just talking to myself.

 

I suppose by now I just don't even bother pretending that I'm talking to anybody else, whether the monologue is internal or out-loud.

 

I have conflicting internal "conversations" now too though. Usually it's when I'm weighing the pros and cons of something, or am conflicted about what to do in a given situation, or conflicted about how I handled something. But then other times it's just random bullshit I need to mentally sort out, and the sound of my own voice - the act of shaping words with my mouth and speaking them aloud so that my own ears can hear my mental processes for real - is just very helpful in organizing what I think about something. Not sure why.

 

But yeah. I used to have convos with Jeebus. Until I figured out nobody was out there listening and it was just me self-assuring. So now I just talk to myself, and it's still self-assuring.

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I am currently reading Tolle's 'The power of Now' - and it is brilliant reading - I highly recommend it.

 

I have always had internal conversations with a range of 'characters' as well as with myself. These conversations are usually with people who are significant to me in some way and their 'responses' are how I imagine they would respond to my actions or questions.

 

Sometimes these exchanges have seemed so real that I've subsequently believed I have discussed a particular issue with a friend when actually I just made up the conversation in my head.

 

Of course when I say to my hubs 'but we've had this conversation, and you said ....' then we really have had the conversation, its just that he has a terrible memory ;)

 

I fully believed that I had conversations with God/Jesus - the voice that spoke back to me was the commentary on topics that I already believed to be god's position on any given topic.

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Okay - cool. So, I'm not the only one who carried on this internal conversation and believed that another entity was playing a part in it . Now, another question: did any of you imagine that Jesus (or God) was withdrawing from you when you did something that you thought was displeasing to him?

 

Like, say for instance you were involved in gossip or you got overly materialistic or maybe you had a little sexual liason that didn't have Jesus' seal of approval.

 

Did you feel like Jesus was pulling away from you after that, until you repented?

 

I did. And that was a big part of the unending treadmill of this "relationship" that was dreadful.

 

Now, when I do something stupid, I just say "dude, that was stupid". And the other guy says "indeed. That was stupid". And on we go. :woohoo:

 

Life is so much easier without pretend friends.

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Oh, and here was a weird thing about this whole "relationship" that made life difficult, too:

 

Sometimes, I'd imagine that Jesus was withdrawing from me, and I didn't know why. So, I'd be racking my brain trying to figure out why God was pissed off this time. Now that I think of it, it's kind of like a parent smacking their four-year-old in the head, and the little kid doesn't know what he did wrong. Great parenting skills, that Yahweh has. (Thank God God isn't real)

 

What a dumb-ass mind game the whole christian experience is.

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