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Fear


Striving for Logic
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I've found this website to be tremendously helpful in both getting my mind to make the break, and little by little the emotions are coming along.

 

I've been reading some helpful books, that for the most part give me the courage to at least think these thoughts in my mind, even if I'm not sharing them with others yet.

 

The trouble is that some of the helpful books have sections or passages that trigger fear in me. It's not only unhelpful, but it makes me feel worse.

 

I hate to admit that I am one of those gullible fools who can be influenced by anyone with a seemingly convincing argument, which is why I'm trying to learn how to think for myself, and in the meantime only talk about these matters with people who are not deeply religious. So all my reading on religion as a natural phenomenon can be easily overturned if one author happens to be spiritual. The flip side of the gullibility, is that once a fear driven belief becomes lodged in my brain, it takes an incredible and lengthy process to get it out - I'm not easily convinced by the things that should be logical to most rational people.

 

I am currently reading a book on leaving Christianity, which will probably be helpful once I get through it, but I can't help but focus on this one topic brought up in the beginning about the idea of "communing" with God and transcending our bodies. That concept really freaks me out. I've been exposed to a lot of New Age stuff (from the "evangelical" new agers who really believe they're communicating with something) and I have family members who believe this stuff, so I know they're not lying or trying to get money from me, they really believe in it. That's why growing up I believed it was possible to communicate with "the other side." I want to get as far away from this as possible and don't want to be around people who actually *want* to have a closer relationship with God, because if I saw God that would scare the crap out of me.

 

I find it difficult to weed through which books are actually helpful, because so many of them dismantle Christianity but glorify the other world religions and spiritual paths that they view as harmless, or that they practice themselves. At least in Christianity, God isn't supposed to talk back, but all these "enlightened" people think they are literally communicating with God or spirits. I find it frightening and I'm not sure how I should handle this as I continue my path of leaving Christianity and New Age stuff behind. I'm trying to convince myself that even though the author may believe in and wish to commune with God, doesn't mean that it is possible, and doesn't mean that I have to believe it and have an experience myself. I've never really heard any arguments against transcending the body and communing with God, so I'm not sure if it can or can't happen.

 

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for from this post, but I suppose a reasoned argument why I don't need to be afraid of that, and how it logically couldn't happen anyway. I'm so frustrated from and tired of this lifelong indoctrination.

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I don't understand what's causing you to be fearful. I read through your post several times, but I just don't see it. Could you help me understand?

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Striving for Logic, thanks so much for sharing where you're at, I feel like I can empathise with the mental battles you're experiencing...but I want to make sure that I'm understanding you first. It sounds like you are wanting to leave behind not just Christianity but also other forms of spirituality that are based on some kind of relationship with "God" - however it is defined. The idea of transcending your body and communing with God freaks you out. But you also have a hard time letting yourself make the call that these various authors are wrong...or mistaken...or deluded...(or perhaps on some conditioned level you even wonder whether they are misguidedly communing with the dark side...?) You are looking for arguments against the possibility of communing with God and transcending your body. Let me know if this is an accurate reflection of your message.

 

Okay, so I'm sure there will be people on this forum who will be happy to offer you evidence or logical frameworks for rejecting any kind of reality "outside of the body/brain/physical matter"; for me personally, I can't at this point do so because in my own research on consciousness and in my own meditations, I am not convinced at all that there is no such thing as "non-local awareness" but I think all evidence points to the reality that time and space are relative phenomena and that any boundaries between "me" and God/ the Divine Matrix/ the fabric of reality are arbitrary, artificial, and examples of "spiritual dualism". What I can offer you is more a postmodern/deconstructionist perspective that will be more about teaching you to fish (how to handle every argument that comes your way) rather than giving you a fish (a specific argument/rebuttal for every doubt you'll ever have).

 

You may already know this, but I'm just trying to offer my own conclusions. Understanding that there is raw reality, and then there are the stories, narratives, ideas, opinions, beliefs that people layer on top of reality - will go a long way in helping you to differentiate between seemingly water-tight paradigms, systems of logic, experiential evidence - and raw reality. Here's an example: A person can walk into a room and see a snake in the corner. They jump, scream, they have very real emotions of fear, they may even jump back, trip, and hit their head against the wall or something, hell they could trip and and fall and die. But what if the snake was actually a rolled up rope? Their very real emotions and very real physical consequences were based on a case of MISTAKEN IDENTITY, an illusion. People have experiences that they filter through their own conceptual frameworks. For example, someone may have an experience of levitating off the bed - a Christian will likely see it as demonic and pray against it, a New Ager will probably think, "Cool! Let's develop this skill!" and an atheist would probably say, "What a kooky dream" :) That may not be a fantastic example, but it's just something I've thought about before.

 

The point is, you don't have to be intimidated or convinced by ANYONE ELSE'S EXPERIENCE OF REALITY - because it is an interpretation based on numerous factors - their psychological makeup, their education, their place in time and history, their philosophical leanings, and their fundamental assumptions about reality and human nature. Every argument - debated to its "logical conclusion" - will ultimately expose the person's fundamental assumptions about reality and human nature, and considering that this could all be some dreamscape of some sort, we could all have it horrendously wrong anyway :) This is a bit more of an aside, but just in case you can relate, part of my healing from my Christian conditioning was coming to the realisation that It's okay to get it wrong. The only reason it might not be okay is if there are dire consequences for getting it wrong - which of course, in orthodox Christianity, there are (hell). This was conditioning - an unconscious fear of hell despite conscious rejection of the dogma - that took me literally years to even recognise through a continual process of self-awareness.

 

It's hard I know. For me, even while I rejected orthodox Christianity, I eventually had to reconcile the perceived reality of miracles, healings, answered prayer, etc. How you do this makes up your own unique journey. I've reconciled a lot of it through the placebo effect, synchronicity, and other observable patterns in our experiential reality. As far as actual resources go, you may personally enjoy reading "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" I'm pretty sure you can google that sh*t. I also found The Way of Solomon by Rabbi Rami Shapiro to be mind-blowingly helpful (don't be turned off by the fact that he's a Rabbi) ;)

 

I hope that helps somewhat...!?

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I am currently reading a book on leaving Christianity, which will probably be helpful once I get through it, but I can't help but focus on this one topic brought up in the beginning about the idea of "communing" with God and transcending our bodies. That concept really freaks me out. I've been exposed to a lot of New Age stuff (from the "evangelical" new agers who really believe they're communicating with something) and I have family members who believe this stuff, so I know they're not lying or trying to get money from me, they really believe in it. That's why growing up I believed it was possible to communicate with "the other side." I want to get as far away from this as possible and don't want to be around people who actually *want* to have a closer relationship with God, because if I saw God that would scare the crap out of me.

 

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for from this post, but I suppose a reasoned argument why I don't need to be afraid of that, and how it logically couldn't happen anyway. I'm so frustrated from and tired of this lifelong indoctrination.

 

The question here is why would it scare you so much if you actually had some sort of communion with a god? I suppose I could try to convince you there is no god at all (as I believe) and if you really became convinced of this then perhaps your fears would simply go away. However, I suspect there is something deeper involved here.

 

Are you afraid of some sort of divine retribution? Are you afraid that it will challenge your world view? Are you afraid that it may expose something about yourself that you don't want exposed?

 

I was once in a philosophy class many years ago. The professor was going into all the classical "proofs" of the existence of god. You know, things like there had to be a beginning and only god could be the beginning. The professor told us about a student who was really freaking out about these "proofs" because he didn't want there to be a god. His reasons centered on the fact that he had been a bomber pilot who had dropped tons of bombs on the North Vietnamese and he was afraid that if there were a god then he would be punished for his actions.

 

What is there that is so fearful for you?

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Hmmmm..That's odd. I always thought Christianity was all about getting to speak with God, "relationship and not religion" and so on.

In fact, I strived for so many years to discern God from my own thoughts before realizing it was bogus.

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