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I left Christianity and after exploring many faith traditions and I am very confused. I have come to the point that I do not know what is true. It has become such an obsession to determine the Truth that I feel emotionally sick. Has anyone else here had the same experience? I would really appreciate your advice and encouragement!

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My sympathies. Sincerely. Most of us here will know what that is like to lesser/greater extent.

 

Welcome to wherever you are. It's a tough road, but it's one that many have traveled.

 

Not that your road will be exactly the same, but there will be some similarities.

 

And that's the point. It is YOUR road to follow. You blaze the path. It's your life and no one can tell you how to live it. Find out what is true for you. Find out who you are.

 

You have time. There is always hope ahead.

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It took a while for me to be OK with not knowing absolute truth. I'm not sure it's knowable, or that the quest is even a rational one. There might not be any "there" there.

 

But what you can know is pretty cool. You can know stuff about this amazing universe. You can look at the night sky and know that you are seeing into the past. You can know other people.

 

If you still insist on knowing the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, I suggest you read the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy.

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I feel ill emotionally, if not mentally, because of religion. It's not Ultimate Truth so much as religious truth. I am exasperated and want to chuck it all, but that may not be wise. I just don't know. I need to find a way to mend.

 

 

It took a while for me to be OK with not knowing absolute truth. I'm not sure it's knowable, or that the quest is even a rational one. There might not be any "there" there.

 

But what you can know is pretty cool. You can know stuff about this amazing universe. You can look at the night sky and know that you are seeing into the past. You can know other people.

 

If you still insist on knowing the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, I suggest you read the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy.

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You might try a psychopharmacologist. Depression is a bitch to get over, and meds help speed up the process significantly.

 

There are no easy answers to what you're going through. But there are answers, and there are a whole lot of folks here who will listen to you vent if need be. It does get better, it just takes time.

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I went through something a bit similar - for me, I started looking into Buddhism, since after some religion classes in college I figured that would interest me the most. I still agree with a lot of philosophy behind it, but after a couple years I've personally come to the decision that there is no "right way" or "absolute truth" when it comes to spirituality.

 

Others find a different path, but mine took me to a much more philosophical approach and outlook as opposed to a spiritual one. Sounds like you're a bit overly concerned with finding the "right path" now that you gave up christianity - a bit of this is probably a result of the christian brainwashing of there only being "one way."

 

Of course, no longer believing in any kind of afterlife takes away a lot of the concern I once held. But it is hard for some time as you attempt to find where you are going. Do a bit more reading around the site - after some time I think you'll find there's a lot of information (sometimes too much!) but it may help you sort through some of what you're going through. I found things very useful in getting a better grip on what I believe, you will given time as well.

 

Remember this may not happen overnight for you...it took me at least two years from when I realized I didn't really believe christianity till I got where I am.

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Thank you so much. I don't feel depressed, but rather frustrated. Perhaps I should give myself a rest from religion. But I keep getting drawn back to it. When I do, I wish that I could just find one that is right for me and settle into it. But it just keeps getting more confusing.

 

 

You might try a psychopharmacologist. Depression is a bitch to get over, and meds help speed up the process significantly.

 

There are no easy answers to what you're going through. But there are answers, and there are a whole lot of folks here who will listen to you vent if need be. It does get better, it just takes time.

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Thank you HRDWarrior,

I think that things would be easier for me if my mother didn't keep dinging me with Christianity. At this point I have come to reject all "revealed" religion (I haven't told her that yet). But there has to be a way that is right for me. I have looked at every major religion and paganism, too. I can't decide which way to go.

 

 

I went through something a bit similar - for me, I started looking into Buddhism, since after some religion classes in college I figured that would interest me the most. I still agree with a lot of philosophy behind it, but after a couple years I've personally come to the decision that there is no "right way" or "absolute truth" when it comes to spirituality.

 

Others find a different path, but mine took me to a much more philosophical approach and outlook as opposed to a spiritual one. Sounds like you're a bit overly concerned with finding the "right path" now that you gave up christianity - a bit of this is probably a result of the christian brainwashing of there only being "one way."

 

Of course, no longer believing in any kind of afterlife takes away a lot of the concern I once held. But it is hard for some time as you attempt to find where you are going. Do a bit more reading around the site - after some time I think you'll find there's a lot of information (sometimes too much!) but it may help you sort through some of what you're going through. I found things very useful in getting a better grip on what I believe, you will given time as well.

 

Remember this may not happen overnight for you...it took me at least two years from when I realized I didn't really believe christianity till I got where I am.

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Religion is an easy answer to an impossible question. If that attracts you, try zen. :grin:

 

I like Lao Tzu's writing, and some of the zen koans as well. There is no such thing as enlightenment. When you recognize that there is no such thing as enlightenment, you will be enlightened.

 

The whole thing with religion is that it promises to answer the unanswerable. Just chant this, sing that, dance thusly, meditate in this posture, and you will be part of the "in crowd." But you never, never will. Some people might trick themselves into bliss that way, but true seekers always end up walking away because we simply won't stop asking questions.

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I think that most of the problem is fear. I am afraid to be turning my back on God. On the other hand paganism solves that one, believing that we are parts of God and to enjoy it.

 

 

Religion is an easy answer to an impossible question. If that attracts you, try zen. :grin:

 

I like Lao Tzu's writing, and some of the zen koans as well. There is no such thing as enlightenment. When you recognize that there is no such thing as enlightenment, you will be enlightened.

 

The whole thing with religion is that it promises to answer the unanswerable. Just chant this, sing that, dance thusly, meditate in this posture, and you will be part of the "in crowd." But you never, never will. Some people might trick themselves into bliss that way, but true seekers always end up walking away because we simply won't stop asking questions.

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I'm not sure if you've read this yet or not, but you may find this thread helpful in understanding where you're at, and why:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/21830-phases-of-deconversion/

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I think that most of the problem is fear. I am afraid to be turning my back on God. On the other hand paganism solves that one, believing that we are parts of God and to enjoy it.

 

I suppose it's a question of belief. I never once worried about offending Rah, or Aten, or Zeus, or Baal. Never. I don't think they are "real." I no longer worry about Santa Claus bringing me presents, although for a while that was a major focus of my life. I also no longer worry about the barbaric man-made terror that excused murder, genocide, rape and slavery called Yahweh. Or the deluded man that thought he was going to be rescued by the nonexistent god of a bronze age tribe.

 

Mythology is interesting, but not meaningful to me anymore. I can turn my back on any god. Even the one below.

 

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Shyone

I no longer worry about Santa Claus bringing me presents, although for a while that was a major focus of my life.

 

 

 

Pease, tell us more, Doc. :lmao:

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Thank you so much. I don't feel depressed, but rather frustrated. Perhaps I should give myself a rest from religion. But I keep getting drawn back to it. When I do, I wish that I could just find one that is right for me and settle into it. But it just keeps getting more confusing.

 

 

 

I can relate. Perhaps it is because your thinking is becoming more sophisticated; and the confusion and contradictions of mysticism and religion are becoming more and more evident.

 

Just because you want to abstain from religion for a while doesn't mean you're turning your back on "God". Many people lead non-religious lives, think practically about reality, but harbor a sense of the spiritual in certain ways.

 

What you want is a foundation of thought that leads to some answers. Can't answer that one in a single post.

 

 

I would like to hear you elaborate further, though. Just because we're largely ex-religious here doesn't mean that we've given up the search for meaning and truth and stuff.

 

Then again, isn't the "journey" supposed to be the thing ?

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It can get confusing after a while. I know christianity did a number on me.

 

The thing is no one really knows what the truth is, I know that is a simple thought, but really we don't know.

 

It took me a while to get over the fear, guilt, it was a difficult and emotional time for me leaving christianity, but it was the right decision for me so as to gain my sanity back, well most of it anyhow.

 

Since then I have found freedom and a bit more peace in not feeling the need to pursue any kind of god or religion. I am ok with just not knowing, not having any absolute belief and I am living my life fine.

 

It sounds you are putting yourself under pressure in finding the "right way" for you, perhaps just abstaining from searching for a while may help and give you some breathing space.

 

Society has a habit of wanting to label people, but I think there is a sense of empowerment in not conforming, just consider you don't have to put yourself in the proverbial box right now.

 

I hope you find what works for you.

 

I am glad you found us, enjoy yourself.

 

Peace

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Thank you! That is very helpful.

 

I'm not sure if you've read this yet or not, but you may find this thread helpful in understanding where you're at, and why:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/21830-phases-of-deconversion/

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In my opinion, there is no one religion that has all the answers. They all do have some wonderful insights and are true at a deeper level. At this level, this is no competition between the myths in order to be the one and only right one.

 

I look at it this way (and is only my belief): God doesn't belong to any story and they are all stories about God.

 

I don't know if that helps you any or not, but maybe authors like John Shelby Spong can give you a new way of looking at Christianity if that is something you might enjoy.

 

Here is a great one by the mythologist Joseph Campbell: Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor. I loved this book.

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I left Christianity and after exploring many faith traditions and I am very confused. I have come to the point that I do not know what is true. It has become such an obsession to determine the Truth that I feel emotionally sick. Has anyone else here had the same experience? I would really appreciate your advice and encouragement!

Yes. I had many panic and anxiety attacks because I couldn't get the pieces together. But I'm beyond that now. Time will heal those scars religion gave you.

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All I really have to say is keep going, No More. It takes courage to explore on your own. Don't let anyone discourage you. You are in the driver's seat. If you find a certain religion helps you, stick with it or if no religion helps you, drop it all. No one can tell you what to do in this area.

 

As others have pointed out, Christianity teaches you that there is one ultimate truth, and it is their truth. There is an amazing level of comfort in that --if you can believe it. I know, I have been there. I was raised Independent Baptist Fundamentalist. The more fundamentalist the Christianity you bought into, the more difficult it will be to rid yourself of it, and the more gigantic the emptiness when you do. Honestly, sorry to say, I think it results in some permanent damage to a person's thinking process. I had to learn to think in entirely different ways. It took many years. I still have emotional relapses to Christianity which are triggered occasionally.

 

I have at times chucked religion wholesale for long periods of time. Then I was into Hinduism. Right now I am Buddhist (Tibetan, Nyingma School). That simply comes closest to where I am at, and I am very lucky to have a local Dharma center nearby. I am at times very confused and even discouraged, but overall feel it has helped me more than not, and I have a certain amount of faith that it will help me more in the future.

 

I am not sure what to say, wish I could talk to you personally.

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Oh DevaLight, I wish I could talk to you, too. In the 1970s I was a Baptist. But I didn't feel that I was growing in it. I visited many denomiations and then I got into New Age teachings. In a reaction to that, fearing that I had gotten way off track, I swung back the other way and became Russian Orthodox. It was beautiful, but depressing for me in Orthodoxy. That's when I started to explore, once again, outside of Christianity - Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, Bahai Faith, Judaism, Kabbalah, Wicca, Druidsm, etc. You can no doubt see why I got so confused!

 

Some of the replies that I got here were helpful in clarifying my thoughts about it all. Then this moring I had a breakthrough, realizing that the consciousness with which I am conscious is the The Eternal One for Whom I had longed. Now I feel inner peace. Before, teachers had said that, but today I suddenly realized it as my truth. My truth - that is such a joy!

 

:thanks:

 

 

All I really have to say is keep going, No More. It takes courage to explore on your own. Don't let anyone discourage you. You are in the driver's seat. If you find a certain religion helps you, stick with it or if no religion helps you, drop it all. No one can tell you what to do in this area.

 

As others have pointed out, Christianity teaches you that there is one ultimate truth, and it is their truth. There is an amazing level of comfort in that --if you can believe it. I know, I have been there. I was raised Independent Baptist Fundamentalist. The more fundamentalist the Christianity you bought into, the more difficult it will be to rid yourself of it, and the more gigantic the emptiness when you do. Honestly, sorry to say, I think it results in some permanent damage to a person's thinking process. I had to learn to think in entirely different ways. It took many years. I still have emotional relapses to Christianity which are triggered occasionally.

 

I have at times chucked religion wholesale for long periods of time. Then I was into Hinduism. Right now I am Buddhist (Tibetan, Nyingma School). That simply comes closest to where I am at, and I am very lucky to have a local Dharma center nearby. I am at times very confused and even discouraged, but overall feel it has helped me more than not, and I have a certain amount of faith that it will help me more in the future.

 

I am not sure what to say, wish I could talk to you personally.

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Then this moring I had a breakthrough, realizing that the consciousness with which I am conscious is the The Eternal One for Whom I had longed. Now I feel inner peace. Before, teachers had said that, but today I suddenly realized it as my truth. My truth - that is such a joy!

 

:thanks:

 

Well, No More, I think that is wonderful!

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Guest I Love Dog

I left Christianity and after exploring many faith traditions and I am very confused. I have come to the point that I do not know what is true. It has become such an obsession to determine the Truth that I feel emotionally sick. Has anyone else here had the same experience? I would really appreciate your advice and encouragement!

 

Fistly, congratulations on leaving Christianity. That is a major and an important first step.

 

I, too, looked for the truth. All you will ever find is someone else's truth. Your "truth" is inside you, your belief must be your own. Research, look at evidence. I could never find any evidence of any god or gods. All religions, as far as I could see, were invented by humans seeking power, money or selfish satisfaction.

 

The truth, to me, is that humans are just another life form on this planet. They are not special, but are, in fact, just about the nastiest animal on this planet, the way that they destroy each other, exploit each other and other animals in pursuit of personal wealth and greed, the way they destroy their environment, causing the extinction of other life forms. They have little respect for each other, being racist, discriminatory, judgemental, etc.

 

We are born, we live, we die and our remains decompose and our elements are taken up by other life forms to be re-cycled. This is the way that life has always been on planet Earth. There is no mysticism, or spirits or souls. Just life and death.

 

 

The Christian god Yahweh - invented by gypsy nomads, to frighten hell out of their enemies by being invisible and silent but with a reputation for being ferocious, vengeful and capable of bloody mass destruction.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply to my call for help, I Love Dog. I appreciate your thoughts, but to me, there is more to life and death than meets they eye. As long as a person is at peace with what they believe, it's okay for the time being. We have a long journey of unfolding, both behind and ahead of us.

 

P.S. I love my dog, too! :grin:

 

 

I left Christianity and after exploring many faith traditions and I am very confused. I have come to the point that I do not know what is true. It has become such an obsession to determine the Truth that I feel emotionally sick. Has anyone else here had the same experience? I would really appreciate your advice and encouragement!

 

Fistly, congratulations on leaving Christianity. That is a major and an important first step.

 

I, too, looked for the truth. All you will ever find is someone else's truth. Your "truth" is inside you, your belief must be your own. Research, look at evidence. I could never find any evidence of any god or gods. All religions, as far as I could see, were invented by humans seeking power, money or selfish satisfaction.

 

The truth, to me, is that humans are just another life form on this planet. They are not special, but are, in fact, just about the nastiest animal on this planet, the way that they destroy each other, exploit each other and other animals in pursuit of personal wealth and greed, the way they destroy their environment, causing the extinction of other life forms. They have little respect for each other, being racist, discriminatory, judgemental, etc.

 

We are born, we live, we die and our remains decompose and our elements are taken up by other life forms to be re-cycled. This is the way that life has always been on planet Earth. There is no mysticism, or spirits or souls. Just life and death.

 

 

The Christian god Yahweh - invented by gypsy nomads, to frighten hell out of their enemies by being invisible and silent but with a reputation for being ferocious, vengeful and capable of bloody mass destruction.

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Hi NO More. I'm glad you found a way to resolve the dissonance caused by christianity. For me, it took years of reflection and reading a wide variety of religious opinions before I had an "awakening" (for lack of a better word). Most religions pretend to know just about everything, when they really know very little.

 

I also realized whenever I observed another sentient being or was immersed in nature, I felt a powerful connection and unity (at-oneness). This connection was there all the time, but christian beliefs deflected it and coated it with b.s. Now my grounding is reality and being a part of the wondrous mysteries of life. I am no longer a "reed blowing in the wind", as the bible would like me to be.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I understand what you are saying. I also feel the connection and unity, especially when I look into the eyes of a living being. It kindles a deep tenderness in me.

 

Hi NO More. I'm glad you found a way to resolve the dissonance caused by christianity. For me, it took years of reflection and reading a wide variety of religious opinions before I had an "awakening" (for lack of a better word). Most religions pretend to know just about everything, when they really know very little.

 

I also realized whenever I observed another sentient being or was immersed in nature, I felt a powerful connection and unity (at-oneness). This connection was there all the time, but christian beliefs deflected it and coated it with b.s. Now my grounding is reality and being a part of the wondrous mysteries of life. I am no longer a "reed blowing in the wind", as the bible would like me to be.

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