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I Still Feel Like My Thoughts Are Being Monitored


flockoff
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Out of all the things that remain of my faith, this is probably the most irrational, and scariest. I feel like my thoughts are going to have some eventual consequence regardless of whether or not I act upon them.

 

I think part of why it remains is that fear of committing the unpardonable sin was a huge issue for me. I didn't have any real problems with hell until I was nine, ten years old and I saw a televangelist getting the crowd riled up and then suddenly he said something to the effect of "... because there is only one sin god cannot forgive -- rejection of the holy spirit." I turned pale when he said this because it had already been planted into me that you have no secrets, and god hears your thoughts and will judge your "secret life." At least I was always a prayer away from forgiveness ... but now there was a sin god would never forgive me for.

 

I want to deck that minister. I don't care what he meant or what his intentions were. So much of my growing years was ruined by this garbage. I kept asking people for an understanding of what it meant, and they kept saying things like, "if it bothers you, you won't/haven't committed it." But it was never enough. Too many different answers to trust one, so I instinctively braced for the worst possibility, and was tormented for it. As far as I was concerned, I was a mere thought away from irrevocably losing my salvation, if I hadn't already. From there life would just be a death row, and I'd be waiting out the rest of my life, shorter than a blink of an eye in the context of eternity, to take my place in the pit prepared for the devil and his angels.

 

I was never diagnosed with it, but as I got older I was having issues with what I believe was paranoia. I don't blame religion for causing this, as it didn't always involve religion and I probably inherited it from my mother. But it certainly did not help. The worst bouts of it invariably involved religion.

 

I've been out of Christianity for three years now, and it's hard to shake away this sense that someone other than me knows what I think. I guess Christians are able to tolerate this notion because they trust that god would only make the best use of the information because he loves them. Maybe this is why they feel close to him ... you HAVE to find ways to make yourself comfortable with someone, anyone, knowing that much about you. But I could never completely do that. Because although I did everything I could to run from it, deep down I knew that this god, if he existed, certainly didn't love me.

 

Now it seems that I find myself still thinking in ways that would imply a god is listening. I'm wondering if I'm stuck with it because I missed the chance in my formative years to be free of it. I wonder if it's harmed or still harms me in ways I don't realize. Maybe I actually want to believe this ... it's a lonely feeling to realize that I'm actually not so significant that it's worth it to some being to know all my thoughts, and that I'm actually not so loved that this being wants to enrich my life in regard to those thoughts.

 

If anyone else is struggling with this or has struggled, how do you cope? I feel like I'm missing out on the peace and security of feeling alone in my own mind.

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Why would an alleged supernatural being be interested in your thoughts? *(no offense intended) I'm pretty sure he's got a few more things to deal with at most any given moment.

And if through logic and reason you realize there is no bible god, then who is listening?

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I do struggle with this but it gets better all the time. I posted a thread about this a while ago in regard to sexual thoughts, and got lots of good advice, but one thing that stood out to me was that if your "conscience" (or in this case Xian brainwashing) bothers you about something you know isn't wrong (in this case, just thinking your own natural thoughts) then you should just do more of it until you're more used to it. Hope that helps a bit. It's working for me, in many areas, and I'm feeling more comfortable with myself and my own thoughts all the time.

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You know, it's funny.

 

If someone other than a (recovering) hardcore religious believer were to complain of their "thoughts being monitored" by some supernatural entity, the social worker's first thoughts would be "paranoid schizophrenic." Now, I of course struggled with that very thing for years, and it was one of the absolute worst things about my Christian experience. So that just goes to show you how fucked up our religion was.

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I actually struggle with this quite a bit...didn't really realize other people were dealing with it. I'm going to have to think more about this.

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I guess I am lucky in this regard. Such ideas were never more than an abstraction to me. I guess my attitude was that I wasn't one of those naughty little boys, so I had nothing to worry about. The hubris of youth combined with the arrogance of the True Believer, I guess. Becoming a sexual being gave me some pause, but not much, as I was well aware that whatever thoughts or feelings I had were perfectly normal, regardless of how some of the more prudish or uptight of my tribe might have considered them.

 

And this is probably the crux of the matter -- how one views themselves relative to the rest of the universe, and that is a product of a lot of things besides religious beliefs -- personality, brain biochemistry, parenting, social conditioning. I have always had issues with loneliness and not feeling particularly well understood or appreciated for who I really am, but I have always felt that this was not a deficiency in me so much as an imperfection in how people communicate and connect -- in other words I localized the problem as inherent in the process, not in me or in others specifically. I applied the same thing to God -- I didn't blame either him or myself for my sense of disconnect, I just assumed it was for some reason inherent. How I came to think this way, I have not a clue. It's no doubt a combination of things. I could just as easily have decided that there was something wrong with me, or on the other hand, that I was being persecuted or taken advantage of.

 

My meager knowledge of psychiatry also reminds me that very young children do not see themselves as separate from their world or from other people, particularly their mother. Perhaps in some of us, the normal perceptual shift where we start to see ourselves as distinct beings is imperfect, and we are left with a lingering sense that our parents, or teachers, or God, or authority figures generally, can know or intuit our thoughts and that they are therefore not entirely private. In such a state you wouldn't consider yourself an entirely autonomous actor in the world. On the other hand, why would it have to play out that way? Why wouldn't you be just as likely to feel connected to all things and to everyone else in the touchy-feely way that some people do? In other words, isn't individuality an expression of duality, and wouldn't feeling more connected be a Good Thing?

 

Interesting questions. I wish I knew the answers but at the very least I would need more coffee to even think about it more this morning. The only idea I can offer is that if God could know your thoughts it would be just as likely you could know his, and I'll just bet he's done a bangup job of revealing himself to you, hasn't he? No? Oh. What a surprise.

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This is something that bugged me for a little while after my deconversion. It wasn't a huge deal for me and didn't last for long, but the feeling that my thoughts were monitored didn't just go away when I quit believing.

 

Knowing that there is no god doesn't necessarily make the feeling go away. I guess its similar to knowing that the roller coaster you're about to ride is probably safer than the car you drove in to get to the amusement park, but still feeling the fear anyway. The emotional part of ones mind isn't necessarily going to automatically agree with the rational part of one's mind. When you spend your whole life thinking with the assumption that god is listening, it doesn't just go away.

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Out of all the things that remain of my faith, this is probably the most irrational, and scariest. I feel like my thoughts are going to have some eventual consequence regardless of whether or not I act upon them.

I have gone through that too. But even more than the feeling that my thoughts were being monitored was the feeling that I was being watched. I still have a hard time remembering that I'm not being watched 24/7. What I do in my own home, when the shades are drawn, is completely unknown to anyone. I still can't get my head around that sometimes. Ugh.

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One's thoughts really are one's only true sanctuary from intrusion. Any intrusion into our minds and thoughts is done by us, not by an outside force. But I think you know this intellectually, but you have been conditioned by the religion to believe (as I was and as were so many others) that even our thoughts can be sinful with things like lusting in "our hearts" even if we don't actually commit adultery. Of course, "the heart" is really the mind and there is no way for god to know if we lusted in our "hearts" unless he has full and complete access to our minds. What it really is is a group of people who want to control even your thoughts because they are not satisfied with controlling your money and your actions. If they can keep your mind off of everything except their bible and their nasty and vengeful god, then they can keep you under their control for a little longer because you will not think such thoughts as the religion is not true.

 

You will be able to get past this nagging feeling that your thoughts are being listened to. It will take some time to lose the years of conditioning, but you can do it. Just keep doing things like reading and studying to thoroughly convince yourself that Christianity and the Christian "god" are all mythological notions and are not reality and eventually you will lose this feeling that this non-existent god is monitoring your thoughts.

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I have this same problem 4 years after deconversion. It's tough. Even worse, it usually only rears its head during thunderstorms and feeds into my phobia.

 

And I'm deathly afraid of anyone knowing I have sex. I have trouble thinking about anything sexual when I'm around other people. Even if there is no god I'm afraid someone will know what I'm thinking.

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I guess it's not so much a feeling as it noticing patterns. I've grown incresingly secure in knowing this god isn't real over the years, but I wonder sometimes if I'm still thinking from the perspective of someone who believes as if they're being watched. I guess it's like someone who never throws food away even when there's plenty of fresh food because they grew up poor.

 

It has, in fact, largely gone away, and that's given me a lot of freedom. I just wish I'd snapped out of it at say, 15 instead of 25 before the bigger mistakes were made. Still, that's a lot sooner than it could've been and I'm fortunate to be able to make up for lost time. Thanks for all the comments so far.

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Guest wasachristian

Yes, I also had this big time. It drove me mad when I was a xtian ... this always being watched. In the early days after I got converted it was kinda comforting ... being watched but not criticised (like my mother did). So, yes I reckon your mother probably did contribute to the bum deal Wendyshrug.gif. Anyway, then I got like paranoid always talking to god, incessantly; &%@# I even taught myself to wake up praying vent.gif

 

So the way out for me was to talk my way out of the rubbish. "Ha, ha you're not effing real!" Wendyloser.gif At the start I got quite a rev from saying it but then it got easier and easier. I reckon it mostly just getting rid of old habit.

 

So now you're free! Have some fun with it. woohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gifwoohoo.gif

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All I have to say is that if God really monitored our thoughts, he would have know how much pain I was in previously and would have done something to put a stop to it. You can all guess if that happened at all. :Wendywhatever:

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I know how this feels. Ironically, it wasn't God reading my thoughts that bothered me, but the thought of other people reading my thoughts. I am diagnosed with mental illness and I do have this aspect, also I keep thinking sometimes people are watching me. In fact, I keep having thoughts my relatives are somehow watching my computer and that they know what I am doing online.

 

I guess my thought was that God saw everyone doing everything and so he wouldn't care that much what was going on with me, but another person would...

 

But I'm going off-topic. Basically what a doc told me to do when faced with the thought that someone can read my mind is to remind myself over and over again "nobody has that power."

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You know what was really sad? The idea that someday after the rapture or whatever god was going to reveal all your dark secrets to your peers and family. So every lie, every fetish, and all the porn you ever watched, god was going to make it universal knowledge. And we were too petrified to stop and question what kind of insecure juvenile "god" could possibly care about such a thing, never mind why our families would care about it. And it's the end of the world, right? What difference does it make now that there's nothing you can do about it? The bible is supposedly anti-gossip, but this would undoubtably make god the biggest gossip queen of all time, right? :Hmm:

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This subject has been heavy on my thoughts for a long time, and more lately for something up and coming that is not even christianity.

 

On christianity: yes, thought control runs rampant. It was horrible being under that and liberating to get out.

 

Of late, I see a new breed of though police rising. It's not christian. It comes with the philosophy of interconnectedness, how we are all interconnected. This will be the new, global religion. With it will come a new challenge for us concerning thought control. In preparation of this, I've drawn a Polarity Index.

polarityindex.jpg

The purpose of this Index is to make clear definitions of thought alignment in the face of a population who will likely attempt to enforce purely positive alignments in our daily thoughts and behaviors. I won't stand for this. My intention is to make clear the importance of forming balanced alignments between positive and negative. Neither all positive, nor all negative.

 

How is this on topic? Trust me, it is.

Humanity is on the verge of major paradigm shifts. Entire sectors of the global population are moving toward this. As it appears now, all religions will take a lesser status in favor of a new, which will support the idea that our very thoughts (subsequently our behaviors) affect everyone else. This idea is based in quantum theory, string theory, metaphysics, the new physics, and it is growing huge, fast. Be ready.

 

I would take great comfort in what you've all been saying here about our thoughts being our own. It's true, our thoughts can be our own some times, in some places. In other places, and at other times, they are not.

Where I live right now, unfortunately, my thoughts rarely seem to be my own. I'm in a town that wants to enforce a kind of group think all its own, and purely positive. It makes me shudder and cringe. It was the initial impetus for this Polarity Index. I find peace in the middle of the night when I know everyone here is asleep. The thought control is enforced by the cutting off of those who don't fit the positive mold. You're either in or out. If you're all positive, you're in. Ughgh... I'm afraid this is going global.

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