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Switch to Forum Live View Labels, Divisions and Boundaries ... Oh My!
9 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 7:36PM #1
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708

alyosha77 wrote:

Eyes... Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts... and your strong feelings (which I do not dismiss, by the way).  My education went all way from Grade 1 to 12. In my journey, I've gone full circle, as they say. My rebellion against it began probably around 11th Grade. The problem I had with Catholics was mediocrity. I sensed that religion had to something you should be passionate about. The brand I was exposed was rather watered-down, half-baked. This did not appeal to me. And folks at my parish seemed way too tolerant of the pastor who was more than a little too handy with the teen girls. I know at least one person who fell away because of that priest. There another priest in high school who come find was involved some pretty scandalous stuff with both boys and girls. The atheism I adopted in college wasn't so much directed toward the Church but religion in general, which I dismissed as silly superstition. I'll skip a rather the long story of the in-between stage (which lasted about 15 years), except the lives of few exemplary examples of Catholics intrigued me and I was kind of seduced back in the fold (in a good way). It fulfilled somethingI  was yearning for: a more intimate relationship with God. So, in my experience, it went both ways. Bad Catholics turned me off the Church and good ones brought me back. However, I like to think the spirituality and the teachings alone persuaded me, which is really the way it should be, since no matter what religion, there are always a few "bad apples." I'm in this because of Christ, of course, and think it is too bad the examples of some have turned you off the Church. By the way, I see nothing wrong with guilt and shame, except when it turns into something unhealthy. I see it a natural reaction to incidents when I "miss the mark" (which is literally what the word sin means). When I do feel shame, I'm so happy that I can resolve it through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Rob, I'd love share with you about this, but only if you are interested. I know I hit a sore spot here, and I prefer not to go there if you're uncomfortable about the subject.


Well, I don't think it's a 'sore spot'. It is something that I find very interesting, as a person's concept of 'God' or 'the Divine' are as big as it gets in terms of impact upon perception.
I'd love to talk about it as much as you'd like!
personally, I think the way generation after generation thoughtlessly manifest a continuation of backward, shame-based belief is inconceivably harmful to the race as a whole but even worse upon the individual. As I have liberated myself from the brainwashing, it's actually more a source of pride than soreness, now that I think of it, and I feel quite happy to help liberate others from the brainwashing to which they've been subjected to from before they even knew 'what was going on', so to speak.
I think one of my biggest concerns for the future is how I will talk to my unborn children about 'the Divine', as I'm sure they'll be bombarded by Xianity's dogma and I occasionally lapse into musings over how I will explain that people have many different ways of believing and not believing.

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 12:17AM #2
Jarrod R
Posts: 8
I am so excited to see this discussion.  I was having this same discussion with a Christian friend of mine and his wife the other night.  Same issues.  Really, for me, the whole question comes down to faith in something we can't possibly understand.  I'm of the mind set that : 1. I can't possibly understand IT all.  2. whatever IT is, IT's a natural phenomenon (as opposed to something that's got a lot of human influence or thought put into it)  3. it's universal, not selective

With all those things in mind, I can't imagine that any one of us has got it figured out.  No religion is right.  But equally then, in our ignorance, no religion is "wrong" either ... but who really knows.  So I keep going back to SIMPLE!!  Whatever it is, it's a natural thing which are usually the most simple and beautiful things you'll find.  God is everything.  Pretty simple.  Not a book of laws or stories trying to define God, but just simply Everything.  How a human mind tries to break that down into chunks that his feeble mind can digest is how we get to all of the questions we have.  The Dali Lama said ... there should be a different religion for every person on earth because we all start at a different place and chose different paths.  No problem with that. 

But what's the end goal?? 

The main item, when I try to boil it down, that bothers me about Christianity is the insistence on salvation.  I don't feel I need to be saved.  "Have you been saved?  Oh ... no.  Well you should be."  I'm a natual phenomenon, part of the Whole.  What am I being saved from??  I think I'm doing alright ... Why put so much focus on correcting myself when there is a life to live, my wife to love, my children to teach, some kind of harmony to seek out with my world ... so many fulfilling, positive, encouraging things to do in a short 80 years.  That's what I'd like to focus on.  I don't get that in Christianity without being forced to buy into the story.  "All those who are to be saved MUST come through Me." or something like that.  So exclusive.  So much pressure.  So unnatural.  Whenever I see a departure from "natural" and an insistence on something ... it makes me wonder.  Not sure if it's right or wrong ... just doesn't feel right.

Anyway, going to bed.  Write back.

- Jarrod
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 12:44AM #3
JennieMarie
Posts: 3

alyosha77 wrote:

Thanks for sharing, JennyMarie. I'm sorry you had a bad experience in the Catholic Church. I'm sure you know by now that the Church teaches that we have been created in the image of God. It also teaches God is personal being, of course, who we have a personal relationship with. Interestingly, according to Huston Smith, the author of the "World's Religions," this idea is compatible with a branch of Hinduism called "bhakti yoga."  Your point of view sounds like  "Jnuna yoga." In Jnuna yoga " the guiding image is of an infinite sea of being underlying the waves of our finite selves. This sea typifies the all-pervading Self, which is as much within as without, and which we should seek to identify. This envisons God as impersonal... To the bhakti, for whom feelings are more real than thoughts, God is outgoing and wholly OTHER (in a personal way)." In other words, the essence of religious devotion is the sweetness of a loving relationship. As a Hindu devotional classic put it: "I want to taste sugar; I don't want to BE sugar."


Religious devotion is not something I have.  It sounds very beautiful for one to whom it has meaning.  For myself, to the extent that anything is experienced as other,  there is separation, which is suffering.   I am describing my experience but words fall short.  I don't feel god as a separate being, and if I did, that would be a suffering to me.

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9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 11:02AM #4
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708

Jarrod R wrote:

I am so excited to see this discussion.  I was having this same discussion with a Christian friend of mine and his wife the other night.  Same issues.  Really, for me, the whole question comes down to faith in something we can't possibly understand.  I'm of the mind set that : 1. I can't possibly understand IT all.  2. whatever IT is, IT's a natural phenomenon (as opposed to something that's got a lot of human influence or thought put into it)  3. it's universal, not selective

With all those things in mind, I can't imagine that any one of us has got it figured out.  No religion is right.  But equally then, in our ignorance, no religion is "wrong" either ... but who really knows.  So I keep going back to SIMPLE!!  Whatever it is, it's a natural thing which are usually the most simple and beautiful things you'll find.  God is everything.  Pretty simple.  Not a book of laws or stories trying to define God, but just simply Everything.  How a human mind tries to break that down into chunks that his feeble mind can digest is how we get to all of the questions we have.  The Dali Lama said ... there should be a different religion for every person on earth because we all start at a different place and chose different paths.  No problem with that. 

But what's the end goal?? 

The main item, when I try to boil it down, that bothers me about Christianity is the insistence on salvation.  I don't feel I need to be saved.  "Have you been saved?  Oh ... no.  Well you should be."  I'm a natual phenomenon, part of the Whole.  What am I being saved from??  I think I'm doing alright ... Why put so much focus on correcting myself when there is a life to live, my wife to love, my children to teach, some kind of harmony to seek out with my world ... so many fulfilling, positive, encouraging things to do in a short 80 years.  That's what I'd like to focus on.  I don't get that in Christianity without being forced to buy into the story.  "All those who are to be saved MUST come through Me." or something like that.  So exclusive.  So much pressure.  So unnatural.  Whenever I see a departure from "natural" and an insistence on something ... it makes me wonder.  Not sure if it's right or wrong ... just doesn't feel right.

Anyway, going to bed.  Write back.

- Jarrod


Xianity's crime against humanity is it's insistence that God is apart from us and we can only acheive Grace by him shedding it upon us like a king giving a beggar a piece of bread.
I also detest the idea of humans being "fallen" and "sinners" and also guilty for Jesus' execution, which mind you was predicated on the charge of blasphemy! Religion is a control mechanism and a way for people to acheive power and attain positions which are "beyond suspicion", so they can they commit horrible crimes and get away with them.

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 10:13PM #5
Jarrod R
Posts: 8
Eyes of the World ... I sense a lot of negative passion with respect to Christianity in your messages.  I don't know why I feel the need to do this, but I want to share some of my own personal journal with you.  Maybe you are of the same mind and can benefit from some of the peace I have found in my struggle with Christianity.  From here to the end of this post is a journal entry I wrote in August of 2006.  I hope that maybe you'll find something in there to sleep on.  Yours in a similar struggle ... Jarrod

"... I have been so long in a struggle with my Christianity.  I actually feel that reading Osho has pushed me to a place where it makes sense to me.  I feel stronger in my vision, the vision that does not include clinging to Christian doctrines.  I was reminded of this passage in my journal from Sept 14 2005:

“To select and move forward is to buy into the compartmentalization.  To put forth all energy to one path and forsake others is to put a box around yourself and divide yourself from your world.  What then is the right thing?  I imagine myself sitting in the middle of a large field and I can see the whole universe circling in my space at the same time … me taking in just enough from every possible path to keep the connectedness of all paths in the forefront of my mind.  The selection and progress down a single path is not the goal … the comprehension of the connectedness of all paths is the goal.  The goal of the human situation should be to comprehend the Whole together.”

Where I feel that I am with respect to Christianity is this … I no longer feel the need to read about “who wrote the new testament” and “prove to me the bible is truth” and “prove that Jesus was the Son of God” and “why Christianity is the sole owner of Truth” etc…. I feel that the struggle with this is in vain.  It will always lead to no where.  It is ignorance trying to prove other ignorance.  What I do know is that the feeble human mind can not possibly generate within it Absolute Truth.  The bible was written by humans and that is that.  Even if Jesus was divine, I do not believe that he wants us to worship Him because he was divine.  I believe he had an important message and looking deeper at his message … it was certainly about our connectedness with the rest of the universe.  Therefore, my struggle is over with Christianity.  I have no quarrel.  We are in agreement on all matters except for the necessity of belief in Jesus’s divinity.  The end game for Jarrod Rossacci is NOT a trip to heaven.  It is a stronger connection to the universe TODAY and a reluctance to put the future ahead of that aim.

I imagine myself not riding, but floating with the current.  The universe ebbs.  People struggle.  The universe flows.  People struggle.  Why can’t people flow?  The universe changes, people change.  Circumstances/details move in curious paths … people move with them.  Our human constructions are a disease … a crutch to our feebleness.  Why can’t we admit our weakness, be ok with it, and move on with the flow of life?  Freedom from the medicines and crutches of the mind is the ultimate freedom.

- Jarrod
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 10:19PM #6
Jarrod R
Posts: 8
JennieMarie,  I'm so much in agreement.  I love the simplicity of what you say. Your quote ... "I don't feel god as a separate being, and if I did, that would be a suffering to me."  I can't add any words to substantiate or elevate what you say there ... just that the message is the essence of so much of what I've come to believe in my own journey.  Very nice.  ... Jarrod
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 10:16AM #7
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
I apparently did not articulate how I feel Jesus' teachings and examples are quite vaulable contributions to human culture. My point of view, in the expressing of which you perceive 'negative passion' is the way I am. I appreciate your concern, but am not seeking any kind of resolution with Christianity. I have an understanding of all religions and traditions as being human constructs and I'm very interested in what they provide for humans and how they do so.
the fact I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school certainly has contributed to my thorough familiarity with Xianity's dogma and subsequent knowledge of the rampant hypocrisy with which the Church is permeated.
I hope my posts help you with your struggle... I don't think I'm struggling with it anymore. I've extricated myself and like to share my point of view.
My perceived lack of peace stems from a kind of compassion for the people who are brainwashed by negative, shame-based, sin-oriented slave cults and anger at those who exploit such brainwashing to their own ends, which can be far worse than material comfort, extending into despicable behavior absolutely contrary to their teachings. The clergy's aura of being 'above suspicion' served countless members well in their evil endeavors. I'm glad you're at peace with it, but don't try to reconcile me with it.
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2009 - 6:44PM #8
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Whoa! I seem to have found myself in the tenuous position of being the sole proponent of Christianity. I want you all to know that read your posts carefully, thoughtfully, with profound interest and sympathy. As you probably picked up by now, I'm not the type to pass judgment on anyone regarding their beliefs or lack of belief. On the contrary, I think such frank discussion is very refreshing.  Thanks Eyes, Jarod, and Jenny.

There are so many things to address; I don't know where to begin. The first thing I think needs to be said is, I'm woefully unqualified to fill the position of "defender of the faith." Indeed, even if I was the best Christian apologist in the world, I'd probably fail to convince any of you resolute souls of anything! At the same time, I think something good could come out of this dialogue (...maybe...or maybe not). I'd be happy to provide my perspective on these issues (that is, if you are willing, of course).

Let me start with you, Eyes. When I think of someone who "brainwashed" I have all these mental images. First of all, think of the poor Lawrence Harvey character in the movie "The Manchurian Candidate" brainwashed by the Red Chinese. I think Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange." Thirty years ago, I was even involved a religious sect that supposedly uses "brainwashing" techniques (the Unification Church aka the Moonies). What I gather about this phenomenon (and what I had actually experienced!) is that individuals are isolated somewhere where sophisticated behavior modification techniques are used. Special diets are given. Sleep is reduced. Etc. This is make the victim vulnerable to messages repeated, day in and day out.

Eyes, I'm curious to know something. What do you mean when you say Christians are brainwashed? In my own journey, I pondered the issue of (re)converting to Christianity for a long time, weighing the arguments and counter-arguments. I even went away on a long trip to get away from anyone who may try to influence me one way or the other. (I was very skittish about anyone pressuring me after that Moonie experience!). In short, my choice to be a Christian (as an adult) was 100% my own choice. I received no pressure. In the end, I made up my mind that the case for (traditional) Christianity was convincing and intellectually satisfying. I was certainly not motivated by fear of hell. Do you think I was "brainwashed?"
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 8:07AM #9
alyosha77
Posts: 148

Jarrod R wrote:

JennieMarie,  I'm so much in agreement.  I love the simplicity of what you say. Your quote ... "I don't feel god as a separate being, and if I did, that would be a suffering to me."  I can't add any words to substantiate or elevate what you say there ... just that the message is the essence of so much of what I've come to believe in my own journey.  Very nice.  ... Jarrod


Jennie Marie (and Jarrod)

Forgive me. I don't understand what you mean. How having separate being correlate with suffering? Do you mind elaborating?

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9 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2009 - 2:03PM #10
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Christianity is Anti-Nature and absolute hypocrisy. Just being born is a sin. God talked to people and narrated the Bible, but stopped for some reason. Mary was a virgin and Jesus came back from the dead, but any supernatural occurances afterwards are the work of the devil. The Middle East is the most important spot on Earth and billions of people are damned because they were born too far away and never heard of Jesus. The Pope is God's vicar on Earth and is the self proclaimed lord of human souls on Earth, though such a position is warned against in the Bible. Priests are between humans and God and we need to listen to them though some are amongst the worst soundrels ever and the Church decided to deny their victims and protect them instead of their future victims. God is everywhere but you need to go to a special building to listen to other humans who, as we've seen, may be predators.

that's all for now.
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