Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 262571

Shown: posts 1 to 10 of 10. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Faith that Fits or How to find my place

Posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 0:47:42

I'd like to start out by saying that I was raised by a Jehovah's Witness mother and a Catholic father in Hasidic (Jewish) neighborhood in Queens, New York; and in my adult life I've had very close association (through volunteer work and friends) with Mormons.
Now I feel I've seen a lot of different sides of the spiritual path, and I've always found that the people in these spiritual organizations are, for the most part, most of the time, wonderful human beings who seemed to have tuned into something that was TRUE. And for a wonderful second or two, I've been able to almost tune in also; but alas I've never felt comfortable within these spiritual groups; and for that I am very sorry (for myself), as I've lacked community all my life.
So my question in a nutshell (no pun intended) is: has anyone ever had similar experiences (i.e., Found great folks/community with interesting beliefs who were kind and wonderful and yet you've felt uncomfortable and never able to fit in?) I don't know what to think. I would like to see where this post takes me.
I apologize in advance, as I hope my posts or ideas do not bring anyone down ... I've read the faq pages and guidelines for this site and I'm still not sure if I understand the rules here, but I mean no harm; I'm just here to compare notes with other spiritual seekers.
(Disclaimer: NEWBIE ALERT... I'm trying to start a new thread but if I posted twice, I'm sorry ... I'll get the hang of this yet.)

 

Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place

Posted by Tabitha on September 23, 2003, at 2:18:15

In reply to Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 0:47:42

Hi Dillon, welcome to PBFaith. I've recently begun looking for a spiritual home myself. I've also had several experiences of people trying to interest me in their groups or churches-- I've gone to classes and visited churches and felt completely out of place, despite the enthusiasm of everyone around me, to the point where I thought they had to be faking it. (Looking back I don't think that anymore. They were just having a different reaction than me.) I think we all just have to find a group and set of beliefs that fit for us. It isn't easy.

I found it wasn't easy to even give myself permission to look. Somehow, not having any faith was easier than admitting that the faith I was raised in (various flavors of Protestant Christianity) didn't suit me. Striking out on my own is like cutting ties to my family. It also feels like cutting ties to my faith-free friends. Although I've read spiritually-flavored self-help books for years, actually joining a groups seems like a big step-- like coming out of the closet with my interest.

After some exploration, I figured out what I personally need-- a group that provides social opportunity, that appeals to my emotional needs (I seem to really need to hear positive messages), that doesn't offend my intellect, and that doesn't induce guilt and shame to prod changes in behavior (or doesn't otherwise offend my humanistic values picked up in therapy). I've found one group that seems promising, but I'm not sure how involved I want to get.

 

Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place

Posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 3:04:51

In reply to Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by Tabitha on September 23, 2003, at 2:18:15

> Hi Dillon, welcome to PBFaith. I've recently begun looking for a spiritual home myself. I've also had several experiences of people trying to interest me in their groups or churches-- I've gone to classes and visited churches and felt completely out of place, despite the enthusiasm of everyone around me, to the point where I thought they had to be faking it. (Looking back I don't think that anymore. They were just having a different reaction than me.) I think we all just have to find a group and set of beliefs that fit for us. It isn't easy.
>
> I found it wasn't easy to even give myself permission to look. Somehow, not having any faith was easier than admitting that the faith I was raised in (various flavors of Protestant Christianity) didn't suit me. Striking out on my own is like cutting ties to my family. It also feels like cutting ties to my faith-free friends. Although I've read spiritually-flavored self-help books for years, actually joining a groups seems like a big step-- like coming out of the closet with my interest.
>
> After some exploration, I figured out what I personally need-- a group that provides social opportunity, that appeals to my emotional needs (I seem to really need to hear positive messages), that doesn't offend my intellect, and that doesn't induce guilt and shame to prod changes in behavior (or doesn't otherwise offend my humanistic values picked up in therapy). I've found one group that seems promising, but I'm not sure how involved I want to get.
>
>

Your experiences sound promising to me too. I wouldn't mind hearing more about your experience with this group (whomever they are... and I would like to know that too). It sounds like you and I have simmilar interests in what our needs are from a group...
My 27 year old son is investigating Buddism and is enjoying that experience and the people. He says it's very different that what he's been used to. It's helped him get over his brother's death this past year. It has been a tough year for us, but there is a reason to keep going, I just know there is.
I have made wonderful friends in all the religious groups I have had contact with... their faiths are all so inspiring... I just wish I could experience a community/home of my own up here in the Great NorthWet... It gets depressing in the winters here.. I figured it out once.. We get approximately 278 days of cloudy weather a year... You need faith just to get though seasons that gray!
Keep me posted on your experiences please!
Cheers!
Dillon

 

Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place Ľ dillon

Posted by rayww on September 23, 2003, at 5:45:10

In reply to Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 0:47:42

The shoemaker might offer you several pair, but you are responsible for the fit. If they give you blisters, learn from the experience, and choose another, or walk in them till your feet toughen up. Sometimes a little salve and a good bandaid is all you need to endure till the shoe is comfortable enough to walk in. Religion is not a quick fix, but it's effects are permanent.

 

Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place Ľ dillon

Posted by Tabitha on September 23, 2003, at 18:02:28

In reply to Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 3:04:51

Hi, so if your son lost a brother-- did you lose a son? A stepson? I'm so sorry.

I took a lot of influences from Buddhism too. I was going to the practice centers for a while, but ultimately I decided the tradition was just a little too cold and impersonal for me. Intellectually I liked it, but emotionally something was lacking. The group I'm trying now is a Religious Science church, but the speaker seems to have a lot of influences, including A Course In Miracles, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and various pop spirituality authors. Some of the original religious science teachings from the 1940s are kind of off-putting to me-- but so far I'm enjoying the services. Have not yet gotten very involved. I think I may balk at actually joining, since I'm afraid of being pressured to tithe, which I'm not comfortable doing. I may try some of their study groups.

I also meant to try some Unitarian Universalist groups. I really like their philosophy the way it's presented on some web sites I've found. So far though, I haven't made it to any of their services.

It would be nice to find a group where I equally like their teachings and the people. I've spent time in groups where I liked the people, but took the teachings with a grain of salt. I felt like I had to watch myself though, and kind of hide my true thoughts about it.

 

How God Plays Hide and Seek

Posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 22:30:39

In reply to Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place Ľ dillon, posted by Tabitha on September 23, 2003, at 18:02:28

Thanks for your responses. I have read some of the Religious Science books (I'm a book dealer and have seen some of their REALLY Old stuff too). They have some pretty interesting ideas. I've never met any Unitarians that I know of but I'll have to check them out. Recently in my search for God I came across this great story that tries to explain God and good and bad ...
Have you ever read "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts? (You can buy it on Amazon cheaply).
I believe the following story is from Alan Watts' book and its a great one...Anyway I'd love to hear what you think about his story... and I'd LOVE to find a congregation that thought this way about God... so here it is:
"Hide and Seek:
God likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, he has no one but himself to play with. But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.
Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But thatís the whole fun of it Ė just what he wanted to do. He doesnít want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self Ė that God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.
God is the Self of the world, but you canít see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you canít see your own eyes, and you certainly canít bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.
You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he really isnít doing this to anyone but himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. Itís the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.
Alan Watts, The Book"
Well, that's it for me tonight. God Bless...

 

Re: double double quotes Ľ dillon

Posted by Dr. Bob on September 23, 2003, at 23:03:54

In reply to How God Plays Hide and Seek, posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 22:30:39

> Have you ever read "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts? (You can buy it on Amazon cheaply).

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob

 

How God Plays Hide and Seek revised

Posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 23:25:49

In reply to Re: double double quotes Ľ dillon, posted by Dr. Bob on September 23, 2003, at 23:03:54

I'm reposting my post and using double quotes because it is a totally cool feature. So here's my corrected post:
Thanks for your responses. I have read some of the Religious Science books (I'm a book dealer and have seen some of their REALLY Old stuff too). They have some pretty interesting ideas. I've never met any Unitarians that I know of but I'll have to check them out. Recently in my search for God I came across this great story that tries to explain God and good and bad ...
Have you ever read "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts? (You can buy it on Amazon cheaply).
I believe the following story is from Alan Watts' book and its a great one...Anyway I'd love to hear what you think about his story... and I'd LOVE to find a congregation that thought this way about God... so here it is:
"Hide and Seek:
God likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, he has no one but himself to play with. But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.
Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But thatís the whole fun of it Ė just what he wanted to do. He doesnít want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self Ė that God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.
God is the Self of the world, but you canít see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you canít see your own eyes, and you certainly canít bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.
You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he really isnít doing this to anyone but himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. Itís the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.
Alan Watts, The Book"
Well, that's it for me tonight. God Bless...

 

Re: Faith that Fits or How to find my place Ľ dillon

Posted by madwand on September 24, 2003, at 10:10:04

In reply to Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 0:47:42

There is an old Bhuddist saying: "When a finger is pointing at the moon -- do not be distracted by the finger".
There are a lot of fingers pointing at the moon. And what I have found is that truly spiritual people (to whom I am drawn) have their attention more on the moon than the finger (ironically, that even includes some folks who will insist that their finger is *the* only true finger).
And an interesting thing about the die-hard atheists is that, seeing that none of the fingers actually reach the moon, they conclude that the moon does not exist.

 

Hide'n' Seek And Hope for the Flowers Ľ dillon

Posted by chicklet on September 24, 2003, at 22:18:12

In reply to Faith that Fits or How to find my place , posted by dillon on September 23, 2003, at 0:47:42

Hi Dillon, I'm Karen.
Your post really struck me, as I'm in the similiar boat of trying to find my true 'place'. It's probably more the size of a cruise ship, hmm? I was raised Roman Catholic and although don't really agree with many aspects of the Catholic church, have remained fairly active until the last year or so. i've always felt a bit hypocritical though, being a member of a church that I didn't really feel was 'me'. My sister feels the same way (we are in our 30's) and we are "in the market". It would be tougher for her to convert to (???) because she has children. I believe that there is a higher power. But I don't like the way the Catholic church teaches or demonstrates existence of a higher power. And I'm extremely surly about the politics of all of it. But I'll keep mum on that for now. Anyway, "Hope For the Flowers" by Trina pauling (I think?) is one of my favorite inspirational books about life, death, choices...decisions and faith... actually it's about whatever you want it to be about. My mom used to read it to us when we were young. I love it because it can provide anyone inspiration for anything...at whatever point a person is in life- whether or not they believe in the practice of religion.

>>interesting beliefs who were kind and wonderful and yet you've felt uncomfortable and never able to fit in?

Couldn't have put it better. And actually, without your words, was never really able to put my finger on it better than that. I'm going to pop over to Amazon and get the book you quoted! I already sent the excerpt to several of my friends in similar situations...
Thank you! And I have much more to say but I'm receiving a very strong, progressively less friendly look from my husband from across the room...it says, "Getttt offfff the commmmputerrr!"...
Take care
and welcome!
Karen


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