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I've spent another whole week just reading exhaustively about christianity. To the point that I am exhausted. I don't think I can go on like this for long. Some self-destructive thoughts have entered my mind already...

 

My situation can be described as "strengthened in unbelief, also strengthened in paranoias". Reading about exorcisms, fraudulent pastors, god experiences, etc. even from a skeptical perspective, is making me torn up and weary. On one hand, I have a good body of knowledge that christianity is not true, or is not the thing for me (based on emotion). Yet on the other-hand, those mind controlling doctrines of "satanic deception in everything" and that "my mind is limited" make me think I won't know for sure, ever, if at all, definitely not before it's too late.

 

Even if I read about the history of judaism and christianity, the history of the bible, all the doubts come rushing back in my mind. Doubts about both, about my current beliefs and christianity. I think some phobia is also entertaining itself in my mind; a fear of the unknown, a fear of spirits both good and bad. I don't think I can return to christianity, or even judaism, and I have trouble reconciling everything that is going on in my mind. All I really wanted is a peace of mind, and a slight hope that I can live up to be atleast a moderately good person without being defamed for being "Satan-led". I will say that I've never ever experienced demons or visions or such things; and I can reasonably attribute the messages I pick up from all-around with a hyperactive mind. (That is I get a message like a fittingly "placed" radio song. Love songs are damned bad for this since, well, being with god is a relationship)

 

As a side question, does anyone have any good materials on the development of the devil? I think this is one of the biggest fears I have to overcome.

 

In a way I wish I could entertain a sort of a willful ignorance towards these subjects, if it just kept me in a good mental shape. I know I didn't get better when I was a christian. I don't know if I practiced it wrongly or something, but this is just another doubt in a long line of tiring doubts. Returning to that mental abuse would be too much for me at this point. I may be bitter, but I also know what things don't work for me.

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Zuker my friend, you are experiencing the damn cognitive dissonance that comes with trying to reprogram your brain. Those 2 conflicting thoughts are enough to drive one around the bend. I remember thinking I was going to lose my mind as I tried so hard to sort this all out. I hate to tell you this...but it's normal. That's why you need to stay here and post with us. We will try to sort out some of the stuff you are going through. It's a bumpy ride but very freeing once you really start to understand that the whole thing is a lie. The lie itself is hard to deal with because the whole damn world seems to believe it. That makes it very hard on us!!

 

When I go through confusion, I always think of the first book of the bible which is supposed to be god's word? Just read the whole 'f'-ed up story on how this supposedly intelligent god ..who created the whole damn universe, set's his own creation (us) up for failure and to fall into sin and death. WTF??? With talking snakes.Wendytwitch.gif

 

This is the god who continued to wipe man off the earth cause he couldn't get his plan to work properly? He did not realize that he made us fucked up humans? Surely, he could have done better. I think you and I could have made man to be wonderful. But no ...not the christian god....he just didn't have the right 'powers'. And then he finally sends his own son to be brutally turned to mush as he was flogged and whipped into a live carcass. Again I say..WTF? Something is definitely wrong with the whole creation story.

 

I found documentaries on the history of the devil to be extremely interesting. Once you know the history of all of this..it starts to become a little easier. Just Google 'History of the Devil' and lots of good stuff will come up. I was so much like you. I overwhelmed myself wanting the truth. I was not going to stop until I knew the truth!! woohoo.gif  I had many people on the board tell me to slow down. I tried. I really tried to listen to them because my mind was turning to mush. I'm going to tell you the same thing. Take your time. Try not to overwhelm yourself. We are not going anywhere. EX-c will always be here for you to post each concern you have. My heart goes out to you because I know this deconverting stuff can make you crazy. Take one thing at a time. Just look up and study the history of the devil first. Then when you get a little comfortable, move on to something else.

 

Big *hug* for you. You're going to make it. Freethinkers are very intelligent people....you're going to be OK.

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Zuker: For most of us here, it's too late for ignorance. But we carry on.  Sometimes, we even carry on joyfully. Please stay with us.

 

Oh, and there isn't any such thing as the devil.

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For me, the best thing to do was walk away from all of it. Obsessing over it just made me crazier and crazier, and I had to set a boundary for myself. This shit owned my whole mind for four decades, all it ever did was keep me in a loop of fear and uncertainty. Now when people ask me questions about it, I always say I just don't care.

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"For most of us here, it's too late for ignorance. But we carry on.  Sometimes, we even carry on joyfully. Please stay with us." deva

 

You will get honesty  here, such as deva;'s post. She didn't say phony things like , "the peace that passes understanding."

That is a lie. This not a feel good site, but it does not cause despair. We are all in our different ways looking for the Truth, not expecting to know it all. It is a journey. We share our knowledge and experience and I have found it very helpful in creating a different world view than the false view propagated by Xtianity. I refuse to buy into a lie any more, even if it would make me feel better at times, But it really didn't when I was a Xtian. Each person's experience is different, and yet similar.I think you will learn a lot here and get good support.

 

But we won't threaten you with hell or do the other tricky things that all cults do to control their victims. Like, for example, Xtians

telling its victims not to listen to anything that in any way conflicts with their doctrine because that will be the devil. That is a bald faced lie. People who say that are either shameless or brainwashed. You will receive no pressure here to believe anything. That's what we escaped from.  Good luck and keep coning here.   bill

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I don't have any materials to offer but what I can say is that I've been doing something similar. I've been kind of obsessed with watching YouTube videos from atheist points of view, and I actually just spent an hour watching something about the questionable existence of Jesus. Before that I was obsessed with learning about other types of Christian cults and what other people were subjected to. I guess learning about that helped me to realize that I was just one of many people in the world that got fed a crazy and convoluted lie from birth. I'm not an expert by any means and I'm struggling too, but I agree with everyone else that we just have to slow down sometimes and not overwhelm ourselves (like staying up till 4am watching documentaries >.<). I used to be terrified of demons and the devil and I probably still am, so I haven't even researched that yet. I sometimes also have thoughts like," well I'm doing __ right now and it might send me to hell if that's real, but oh well..." Good luck, and know that you're not alone.

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I don't know if I practiced it wrongly or something, but this is just another doubt in a long line of tiring doubts.

zuker, there are 41,000 different christian denominations, which means there are at least 41,000 different interpretations of what is supposed to be god's inerrant and infallible revelation of himself (the bible).  I say at least 41,000 interpretations because within each of the 41,000 denominations, there are probably individuals or small groups who have slightly different interpretations than the denomination to which they belong.  So, the true number of ways god's perfect word can be interpreted can not be known.

 

What does this mean?  Well, all 41,000 ways of practicing christianity can't be right, can they?  Does this mean you practiced it wrong?  Not necessarily, if you consider the 41,000 denominations as evidence that Christianity can not be practiced correctly to begin with.  Think about it, if there was one true way to be a christian, wouldn't there be only one denomination?  Wouldn't a loving god see to it, given that our eternal souls hang in the balance?

 

A lot of christians come on this site and tell us that we just didn't practice christianity correctly, or that we were never true christians, or that we just didn't know jesus like they do.  If this were true, don't you think true christians would be able to agree on more than just jesus being god?  If it were possible for true christianity to be practiced, wouldn't all the christians who come onto this site also belong to the same denomination?

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For me, the best thing to do was walk away from all of it. Obsessing over it just made me crazier and crazier, and I had to set a boundary for myself. This shit owned my whole mind for four decades, all it ever did was keep me in a loop of fear and uncertainty. Now when people ask me questions about it, I always say I just don't care.

Describes me exactly.  This shit owned my mind for six decades and I'm finally coming out of it.  Good idea about setting boundaries and just walking away from it all.  Stay with us here, Zuker, and talk it all out.  You are on your way to freedom.

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I guess one of the problems I'm having is the idea of evil spirits, spiritual manifestations and exorcisms. It took me by a storm back when I first read about it. Reading more about it, it boils down more to suggestion and communally reinforced expectations of what happens during an exorcism or manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but then it can be attributed to a demon or a holy spirit, when it necessarily isn't so. It does bring a hellish cognitive dissonance to me though, since in other parts christianity simply doesn't feel or seem to be true.

 

I'm setting a boundary though, that I won't research any more exorcism stuff, not by myself atleast. The more I read about it, the more I get obsessed with it.

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Sounds to me like Zuker's O.P. is the perfect discription of what it's like to be a member of a distrutive cult.

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I have no resources about the development of the devil as such, though I think you'll find Google a useful research tool if you want such information.  Basically I see it a necessary part of a dualistic philosophy where god is represented as being absolutely good - evil then has to come from somewhere.  The devil is, then, an abstraction and a human construct.

 

You need a rest.  You can't just research your way out of this state that you are in - but you can reinforce your position by taking a rational stance and repeating it to yourself when the doubts intrude.  I went down this path years ago - when for me the issue was very much one of having turned to what I would have viewed in my christian days as being a form of satanism.  It cooked my head for quite for some time.  Research helped a little, but could not dispel the doubt of itself.  Realising that there were relatively straight forward reasons I had rejected christian doctrine and simply repeating them to myself helped a lot more.

 

Take a break, do something you enjoy and then revisit this, trying to simplify it in your own mind as much as possible.  Then use that simple formula to combat the doubts as they arise.  It'll take time, but it does work - or did for me, at any rate.

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I guess one of the problems I'm having is the idea of evil spirits, spiritual manifestations and exorcisms. It took me by a storm back when I first read about it. Reading more about it, it boils down more to suggestion and communally reinforced expectations of what happens during an exorcism or manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but then it can be attributed to a demon or a holy spirit, when it necessarily isn't so. It does bring a hellish cognitive dissonance to me though, since in other parts christianity simply doesn't feel or seem to be true.

 

I'm setting a boundary though, that I won't research any more exorcism stuff, not by myself atleast. The more I read about it, the more I get obsessed with it.

When I was a christian I was subject to many, many exorcisms. At the time I also believed I actually saw demons which only re-enforced my fear and led to more exorcisms. I was 100% convinced in the existence of the devil and demons and fear of them consumed my life. Once I stopped being a believer I struggled (and still do at times) to overcome the fear of demons but research has really helped me, although as others have mentioned over-researching can lead to worse problems. Now I know that the demons I saw was due to 'sleep paralysis' and an overactive imagination. Basically, I was hallucinating. It is funny how I no longer have nightmares and visions of demons now that I am not a christian and am not obsessing about it. The mind is a complex thing.  I wish you all the best in your recovery from religion. 

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I am facing one of the worst anxiety attacks I've ever had. I cannot shake the fear of doing something wrong. Yet I'd like to let this feeling go, wither away, simply. I'm not sure if I want to go chasing fables or spend an eternity "truth-seeking" for the more or less abusive religion that feels wrong on so many levels, especially with these symptoms.

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I cannot shake the fear of doing something wrong.

 

No matter what you do, somebody will think it's wrong. You only fear that you are wrong because somebody else says so. How do they know? Why is there so much disagreement between those somebodies?

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I cannot shake the fear of doing something wrong.

 

No matter what you do, somebody will think it's wrong. You only fear that you are wrong because somebody else says so. How do they know? Why is there so much disagreement between those somebodies?

 

I realize this. I guess I'm not setting my standards according to myself or reality though... Which makes it all the harder.

 

In other news, I had a sort of a message, in a car register plate, "JOH-59". Which I immediately looked as a sign to look up a bible verse, it ending up meaning nothing. A description of an ill man being healed, from a physical perjury, but unless I interpret it spiritually, it makes no sense. This is a problem with my message getting; I'm placing too much stock on them, I don't receive them all the time, and I have to interpret them "spiritually" for them to make any sense. This seems more like paranoia to me than anything sensible.

 

I think I need a month's rest from everything religion - possibly the whole internet needs a break.

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I think I need a month's rest from everything religion - possibly the whole internet needs a break.

 

 

Good idea. No need to look for triggers.
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"Satan" is a mental trick the Xtian myth makers created in order to have continuous mind control over the faithful. Why not turn that on its head by pretending that it is Satan who created the whole Xtian religion and uses it for mind control over as many people as it can get to buy into its lies? In other words, turn the myth around and use it for your own peace of mind. Every time you start to put yourself down for something, say to yourself."That's the devil trying to trick me again". After all we all bought into the Xtian myth. Why not create our own myth for self improvement?  It's just a thought.   bill

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When I was a christian I was subject to many, many exorcisms. At the time I also believed I actually saw demons which only re-enforced my fear and led to more exorcisms. I was 100% convinced in the existence of the devil and demons and fear of them consumed my life. Once I stopped being a believer I struggled (and still do at times) to overcome the fear of demons but research has really helped me, although as others have mentioned over-researching can lead to worse problems. Now I know that the demons I saw was due to 'sleep paralysis' and an overactive imagination. Basically, I was hallucinating. It is funny how I no longer have nightmares and visions of demons now that I am not a christian and am not obsessing about it. The mind is a complex thing.  I wish you all the best in your recovery from religion. 

 

 

Oh my gosh I had the same problems. I just saw this and I'm really glad I did. I think I had sleep paralysis too for about 6 months when I was 15 years old. It was horrible. I had terrifying demonic nightmares and I would wake up not able to breathe or speak or move. It was so frightening and I thought that demons were attacking me every single night. Other people told me it was spiritual warfare at the time and that made it worse. I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one who went through this.  I always had nightmares when I was a Christian and living at home with my parents, but those 6 months were the worst. I had a similar result as you in that after I moved away to a new university and began letting go of religion I stopped dreaming almost completely. I realized how powerful the mind is from all this. 

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 This is a problem with my message getting; I'm placing too much stock on them, I don't receive them all the time, and I have to interpret them "spiritually" for them to make any sense. This seems more like paranoia to me than anything sensible.

 

 

I get "signs" and "messages" all the time.  Whether they come from a god, or a demon, or from my own imagination, who knows?  But the best thing I can do is just ignore them.  They will drive you to insanity if you take them seriously.  Anything and everything could be interpreted as a "sign" and then there's the impossible matter of determining what the sign even means.  They will give you conflicting and unclear messages just like horoscope or tarot reading will.  Even if they are actual signs from god- I have read the bible enough to know how demented the Christian god really is and that I should not take any direction from him.  If there's a god out there that really needed to communicate with me, he would have to do it face-to-face, not by sending mysterious signs. 

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When I see bad things happen on television news, I do not see devils but very evil men and women who have the ability to choose not to do evil to others.

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