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Author Topic: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?  (Read 4996 times)

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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 09:05:06 AM »

Welcome Pencils ;     One of the lovely things about Paganism is you can follow a path , or construct your own.. . . 

I find that really nice.  I tended to do that a little within my Christianity, but obviously there is only so much wiggle room in a religion like that.  I get the feeling this particular corner of Paganism is a continuum where one's path is defined more or less by one's own spirituality.

I'm more used to the idea of having to find a box to put myself into.
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shadetree

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 09:26:57 AM »

I do understand , and some choose the "box" even here . But thats the thing, they chose it. Personally , I really never found a box to fit .If you will excuse the metaphore  boxes are like hats, try it on . If you dont like it ,try another. They come all shapes and sizes and some of the best ones are custom made.
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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 10:39:42 AM »

I do understand , and some choose the "box" even here . But thats the thing, they chose it. Personally , I really never found a box to fit .If you will excuse the metaphore  boxes are like hats, try it on . If you dont like it ,try another. They come all shapes and sizes and some of the best ones are custom made.

I think cats have a good sense of boxes.  They can be safe places, or can be used as a means of confinement.

Maybe that is part of mainstream society's irrational fear of Paganism.  There is a certain amount of safety when everyone is forced into the same box.  I think some people are struck with a deep and primal fear at the knowledge that some will leave the "box" of their own free will.  The implications of that are profoundly threatening.
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shadetree

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 12:50:58 PM »

True, but only threatening to some.Your hypothosis is sound . But people , speaking of the majority that is ,do not  like or welcome change . At one time this may have been led by fear of differance or the unknown factor,now ? I believe it is ease that leads the majority.It is easier to follow the same old routines and ethics our parents and gr. Parents sat down than to bother to struggle with with new thoughts or ideas.Remember they already figured religion out , your not supposed to question it .  Life in the box is simpler if you dont look around to hard. Thats what sets most of the people here apart,this now includes you.We are the ones that looked around and knew deep down there is another way because life in the box just felt wrong.hmm Now look at me rambling on.Use the search engine here ,there is a good variety of information. Lots of brains to pick too and most are more than willing to share.
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ejfinch

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 05:16:49 PM »

Hello and welcome, Pencils! It sounds like you have your situation well in hand. You will, likely, find that your path will change, very rapidly and take you around many confusing and wonderful twists and turns. Once you have opened your mind, it is possible to discover so much about yourself and the possibilites that abound, all around you. Your deep reverence for nature and the fact that you, obviously, are already paying attention to your "gut" will serve you well on your journey. Enjoy it!

Elizabeth
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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2011, 07:26:57 PM »

You will, likely, find that your path will change, very rapidly and take you around many confusing and wonderful twists and turns. . . .

Ain't that the truth!

I really appreciate all of the feedback here.  Kind of a disorienting situation to find one's self in.
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ejfinch

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2011, 06:53:24 AM »

Ain't that the truth!

I really appreciate all of the feedback here.  Kind of a disorienting situation to find one's self in.

Indeed it is! And, just when you think you have your bearings, along comes another fork in the road.....tends to keep you on your toes.  ;)
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Mijska5

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2011, 06:33:44 PM »

Hi all,

I have had a major spiritual upheaval, and was hoping some of you could give your thoughts on where it is I have found myself.

The short version: my Christianity has collapsed, and I think I match Wicca.  Or something.  I'm not sure.

The long version:

A short description of me: I am a married man old enough for children in high school, but have none.  I am trained in (mostly) natural sciences and engineering; that is my life outside of my marriage.

Last year I began to feel my faith (protestant Christian) weakening.  My social/political beliefs (conservative) had fallen a away earlier.  I had been studying global warming in some detail, and had become greatly saddened by that situation.  As a result of that study, aside from difficult realizations about our future, I have been coming to terms with often uncomfortable concepts relating to human belief systems and our place in nature.

At the end of last year I was in the darkest part of my life and my Christianity was hanging by a thread.  A discussion about something else led me to research a point about biblical translations several days ago.  The thread snapped and my Christianity collapsed completely.

Given my science background, I had expected to end up an atheist.

However that is not what happened.

Upon admitting to myself that I did not believe the Christian mythology anymore, I took stock of what remained.

Studying science has always been a de facto worship activity for me.  There are those who feel that the observable is the extent of what is, but I have never felt that way.  While science needs to be rigorous and disciplined about unsupported speculation, it is obvious that much more is there than is understood.  For me, study of science and the natural world in particular is an activity of wonderment.

Nature is, to me, infinitely complex and exquisitely beautiful.  I see a flowing, living, constantly changing set of interconnected systems that affect one another as an all-encompassing supersystem in a never-ending dance of dynamic equilibrium.

At times when I have been in the natural word, for rigorous study or simple recreation, I have had the feeling of the natural world seeping into me, as though to absorb me into it.  I frequently feel as though I am tapping into a deep and primitive thing with nature: chills and shivers and exhilaration and peace and all of those strong feelings, but also subtle ones.

So I figured at least I still had my study of science and nature, and I would be alright in time.  In fact I told myself that I would just "worship" nature.

Returning to my computer I found the web page still up from my Bible research.  I clicked on a link at the bottom of the page about Wicca.  I had no idea what it was.  It frightened me: within an hour I had an oh-my-god-I'm-a-pagan moment.

I have spent the last week trying to sort this out.  Aside from my feelings about nature more or less being "deity," there are other things about sexuality/nudity, one's deeds returning magnified, etc.  I do feel a need to ritually honor a connection with nature. 

Not sure how I feel bout magick.  I am a technical professional, trained in austere black-and-white-ism.  However, I have experienced firsthand (and strongly!) energy flows induced by another (a healer) within my body.  I am open to the idea that people are differently perceptive to forces in nature, many of which are not understood.    I am even open to the idea of manipulating these things.  (If one can receive, then why could one not also send?)

Ham radio operators know that there is a pervasive electromagnetic field which passes invisible and otherwise undetectable disturbances, i.e., radio waves.  Different antennas are receptive to different disturbances, and can broadcast disturbances themselves when properly energized.  I feel people could very well be like that: different people will be differently receptive and able with different kinds of disturbances.

I feel vulnerable and adrift and spiritually worn out, not a good condition for making any major decisions.  For the moment I will let things settle, but still I would like some input.

*applauds*  This...is EXACTLY what I went through. Only much earlier. (I'm 19).  I've noticed intelligence lends a factor in beliefs (not always true, but it is a trend).  It's easy to say everything evolved from something, or was created to keep the circle of life going, but you find yourself wondering.."All circles are drawn somehow."

If TCC had a friends list, You'd be the newest addition. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 06:36:05 PM by Amber HawkMij »
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bunni

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2011, 04:44:13 PM »

I didn't read all of the responses yet, so I hope I don't step on anyone's toes.

but I can say I understand the struggles of "what comes after Christianity."

It is a constant struggle in my household, as my husband is a very conservative Christian, and I ... well I'm not.

The best input I could give to someone in your situation (or similar) is to relax, take a deep breath, and trust your instincts. No matter what higher power or deity you believe in, they gave you those instincts for a reason. Be open minded, study everything that interests you, if something feels "wrong" don't stress about it, just leave it alone. There are no set rules except that you harm none, including yourself.

Your faith, like you the person, will continue to grow, evolve, change, or fluctuate the more you study and learn. And no matter what age you are, there is no limits to learning. :)
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Serpentium

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2011, 03:25:19 AM »

I know a few Pagans who used to be Christians. They came to Paganism in the same way, from getting totally disillusioned with Christianity for one reason or another, and turning their back on the Church completely, and going hammer and tongs at Paganism. But here's the thing. While they had every bit as much dedication to their new path, and wholly embraced Paganism, after a couple of years, they went back to a Christian perspective. And all for the same reason, pretty much. (I say "they all" but I'm only talking four or five people) As they studied Paganism, it's history, influences , it's Gods, they also became more aware of a side of Christianity they had been  completely missing for maybe 25 years of  regular Churchgoing. They would see how similar Christianity actually is to Paganism, behind that mask of "Church" it's been wearing for 1500 years. This caused them no end of confusion. Re-reading the Bible as a largely allegorical work, but with some knowledge now, of how to recognize the allegory. For instance, It's no good trying to tell good Churchgoing Christians how Christianity is actually just the latest face of an incredibly ancient Solar Temple tradition that goes back as far as Mankind.

The Bible especially the Old Testament (which many Christians are taught to see as pretty irrelevent)  when read with this in mind, lends itself to validating much of what has been retained by many of these older Mystery Schools. But it has to be read as part of a much larger scheme, and not as a separate "stand alone" application.  This is where Christianity let them down in the first place. because the Church has always taught that the Bible is the only Truth, that all other Faiths are wrong. The big Three Abrahamics, even though they all pretty much deny each others Prophets and Books, all stand together in the face of Paganism, for Jehovah God.

But this is their weakness. If the congregation really were able to find their way to their God, through this little corner of the map, then it would negate the need for the Church, the  Body Spiritual, the whole Priesthood, Monks, Popes, Saints, etc. as  intercessionists between Man and God.

Look even closer, and you'll see that many of the largely disappeared Middle Eastern Desert mystery Cults, that can trace their traditions back to the time of Christ, Like The Gnostics, the Essenes,  Johannites,  Nazarenes,  Druze, and  you'll see that much of the mystical aspect of Christianity is pretty much exactly the same as their older beliefs.
Most of these Heretic Cults were pretty firmly stamped out by the Church, because they were proof that The Way was not a thing exclusive to the Church at all. But before they all passed from knowledge, their traditions were passed on. As traditions always have been, from time immemorial. The new keepers, of much of this Heresy were the Warrior Monks who were the first Western power in the region.
The Templars. Who in turn passed it on to other groups, before they were ruthlessly put down by a coalition of the Church, and pretty much all Royal Houses of Europe.

Anyway, once you start going down that road, you can take a look at Christianity in a new light. Forget the resurrection as a literal event. Dead people don't come back to life. That's just plain stupid. And all that mumbo jumbo about rising on the third day.
It's allegory. Look at the other Sun Kings before Jesus. They all rose on the third day . Round about Easter too. It's part of the same Ritual. The Church just bolted on the "Literal" resurrection thing, and a few standard, miracles,to gull to the gullible. Not really that hard to do, when there's a shameless self publicist like Paul who wants to hijack this new, anti Roman movement for his own reasons, to  claim that they were indeed, the Way, the Truth, and the Light.

To recognize the sources of the resurrection, and the Pentecostal mystery, puts the new Church out of a Job. But while all this evidence pillories the Church, it also validates Jesus as a credible Holy Man, of an ancient tradition. Which is why those people I know, now call themselves Christians again. Christian Mystics, or Pago-Christians, or whatever, but Christians, certainly. And one lot of Superstitious "Priests" or "Holy Men" pretty much operate the same way as all the others. So, to put a Religion in between a man and his Gods, is the laziest form of Atheism there is.
Anyway, something to think about, before this lot of ullalating, screeching, Wiccans, Witches, Wizards, Chaotes, Goblin worshippers , and *Shudders* Discordians drag you off to their Beltane Fires, where (by all accounts) your immortal soul will be claimed by the Devil, as he drags you straight to Hell!

And welcome to the Forums, and good luck.  ;D
        
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 03:36:08 AM by Serpentium »
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soulfire

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2011, 09:37:18 AM »

Well said, Serpentium. 
But even though I consider my beliefs to run along the lines you said (generally called gnostic) I could never stomach going back to Christianity.  I probably appear to some to be an esoteric Christian (as well as a 'mystic' pagan) but I prefer to be solitary and, like pencils, find my own rituals/worship. --just my $.02

Pencils, it took me 6y and a heaad full of study before I could carve my own path objectively.  I hope you find what you need soon.
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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2011, 07:39:52 PM »

Hi all,

I have had a major spiritual upheaval, and was hoping some of you could give your thoughts on where it is I have found myself.

The short version: my Christianity has collapsed, and I think I match Wicca.  Or something.  I'm not sure.

The long version:

A short description of me: I am a married man old enough for children in high school, but have none.  I am trained in (mostly) natural sciences and engineering; that is my life outside of my marriage.

Last year I began to feel my faith (protestant Christian) weakening.  My social/political beliefs (conservative) had fallen a away earlier.  I had been studying global warming in some detail, and had become greatly saddened by that situation.  As a result of that study, aside from difficult realizations about our future, I have been coming to terms with often uncomfortable concepts relating to human belief systems and our place in nature.

At the end of last year I was in the darkest part of my life and my Christianity was hanging by a thread.  A discussion about something else led me to research a point about biblical translations several days ago.  The thread snapped and my Christianity collapsed completely.

Given my science background, I had expected to end up an atheist.

However that is not what happened.

Upon admitting to myself that I did not believe the Christian mythology anymore, I took stock of what remained.

Studying science has always been a de facto worship activity for me.  There are those who feel that the observable is the extent of what is, but I have never felt that way.  While science needs to be rigorous and disciplined about unsupported speculation, it is obvious that much more is there than is understood.  For me, study of science and the natural world in particular is an activity of wonderment.

Nature is, to me, infinitely complex and exquisitely beautiful.  I see a flowing, living, constantly changing set of interconnected systems that affect one another as an all-encompassing supersystem in a never-ending dance of dynamic equilibrium.

At times when I have been in the natural word, for rigorous study or simple recreation, I have had the feeling of the natural world seeping into me, as though to absorb me into it.  I frequently feel as though I am tapping into a deep and primitive thing with nature: chills and shivers and exhilaration and peace and all of those strong feelings, but also subtle ones.

So I figured at least I still had my study of science and nature, and I would be alright in time.  In fact I told myself that I would just "worship" nature.

Returning to my computer I found the web page still up from my Bible research.  I clicked on a link at the bottom of the page about Wicca.  I had no idea what it was.  It frightened me: within an hour I had an oh-my-god-I'm-a-pagan moment.

I have spent the last week trying to sort this out.  Aside from my feelings about nature more or less being "deity," there are other things about sexuality/nudity, one's deeds returning magnified, etc.  I do feel a need to ritually honor a connection with nature. 

Not sure how I feel bout magick.  I am a technical professional, trained in austere black-and-white-ism.  However, I have experienced firsthand (and strongly!) energy flows induced by another (a healer) within my body.  I am open to the idea that people are differently perceptive to forces in nature, many of which are not understood.    I am even open to the idea of manipulating these things.  (If one can receive, then why could one not also send?)

Ham radio operators know that there is a pervasive electromagnetic field which passes invisible and otherwise undetectable disturbances, i.e., radio waves.  Different antennas are receptive to different disturbances, and can broadcast disturbances themselves when properly energized.  I feel people could very well be like that: different people will be differently receptive and able with different kinds of disturbances.

I feel vulnerable and adrift and spiritually worn out, not a good condition for making any major decisions.  For the moment I will let things settle, but still I would like some input.

Considering your background, my suggestion would be to read The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Kapra, and God is a Verb by Rabbi David A. Cooper.

I think you'll find what you're looking for...
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