Dying Down.

    Monday, August 4, 2008, 8:34 AM [General]

    Monday. 8/4/2008

    Why is it that finding God is like a 'wild goose chase'? Should it really be this difficult? What else must I do? I find myself becoming more cynical by the day. I find myself musing over the unfulfilled promises of the Bible (or at least my perception of them). I get bitter and anger from time to time...then just melancholy. My heart tugs at me and encourages me that there is more out there but my mind, rational as it is, says look at all these experiences that contradict your heart. Such is my problem at present. The ferver of my longing and search is dying down again after what feels like the millionth defeat. My heart wont let me give up completely...it hangs on to threads of hope.  Maybe God really is just a passive force that watches creation from on high. Maybe God is just a higher state of consciousness that we all must work at to achieve...that would even seem to make more sense to me, now. I feel lost and hungry. I want some difinitive direction. I want God to audibly speak to me and say 'here I am'. I am not asking for symbolism or coded messages that require deciphering. I want God to make Himself abundantly clear to my poor ignorant self. I am limited in my humanity but God is supposed to be most powerful. Why then is it I that must search God out? That is neither here nor there. I have sought God in all the technical "right ways" and in non-traditional ways and have found only more confusion and longing. I just need some spiritual rest. I am tired.

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    Tired Today.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008, 9:06 AM [General]

    Thursday July 31-

     I find myself exhausted spiritually today. For the past two weeks I have been near manic in searching and seeking God. I am tired now and I feel no closer than I did two weeks ago. My mind keeps reflecting on scripture promising that those who seek will find....whatever that may be. I am tired to others trying to give advice in what I may be doing wrong. I have had faith. I have prayed. I have meditated. I have resisted "sin". I have asked forgiveness. I am just tired today. Weary from the elusive promises the Bible has stated as fact...tired of hearing pastors drone on about how true those promises are. Its always just out of reach..I am tired of "failing". I know in my heart I am a good person albeit with flaws just like everyone else. Now, I ask myself...what is spiritual growth really? If it is not through, in my experience, traditional routes...then what? I tend to agree with the Buddhist tradition in that life is illusion and that there is no right or wrong but levels of consciousness.  Therefore, there should be no judgement for no one is blameless. I guess I am just so used to hearing that I must repent, repent, repent because people are so vile and sinful. I am sick of it. Yeah, there are those who do horrible things...I cannot deny that. No one is perfect. I cannot be perfect. I am not perfect. And I am tired of trying to be Perfect. I am no Jesus. I am more like Judas or Thomas much of the time...at least I am admitting thats how I am. I dont want anymore self-illusions. I just want to be accepted for who I am. I am tired of trying to reach and Ideal Self that is based on unreachable standards. What I can do is work to love more, give more, listen more, and help more. Those things I can do. I am just so tired today.

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    About Hell.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 1:48 PM [General]

    Tuesday, July 29th:

    I have been raised to believe that Hell is a place in the afterlife where punishment is dealt out to the unbelievers in Christ. Hell is taught as a physical location for torment. This weighs heavily on my heart and I cannot bring myself to believe that a Good God would sentence souls to eternal punishment. I have come to believe that Hell is the ignorance of God and spiritual maturity but it is certainly not eternal. I suppose it would be a lacking of awareness, consciousness, or elightenment of sorts. I think Dante was right in some ways...there are levels of Hell and Heaven. In this way, as we progress spiritually we grow closer to God. Ignorance, Sin, separates us from God. That is hell. It is a state of MIND that is the important point...I think that is the point Jesus continually makes throughout his life here. Spiritual growth is that of the mind and attitude and thought. In many regards it parrallels Buddhas teachings. This new way of viewing Jesus' teachings has given me new hope, a new attitude. I also see the Bible now as Gods teachings filtered through human efforts...there are mistakes, elaborations, and contradictions. But within there are also truths.

    I have to say that Deepak Chopra's book 'The Thrid Jesus' has been very useful and insightful. Check it out if you wish.

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    Angry At God.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 12:07 PM [General]

    7/23- Wed.

    Only recently can I say that I am angry at God. Intellectually think it and verbally I can say it but I am still terrified emotionally. I was raised to fear God and to question, and certainly to become angry with him, is not acceptable. Yet, I AM angry with God. I am angry because I have prayed, just as the Bible teaches, I have claimed things in the name of Jesus, and I have read the scriptures of promises to answer prayers. I am angry because I have seen nothing in response. My heart is broken and God is supposed to be here...I feel alone inside. The sad thing is that despite my anger at God I cant move on from Him. I am stuck between beliefs of hell-fire and damnation and hopes of a higher spiritual experience that is anti-traditional. This dynamic seems to cloud much of my life and decision making. A constant flux of guilt and shame for my "sins". I am angry because if God is so powerful and he knows me better than I know myself then He would know I need Him in a real, concrete way, right now...not tomorrow, not three years from now...NOW. My soul cries. I want answers. All I get from friends and family is the old same ol "have faith and pray'. I am tired of those strategies...I havent found they work well. I think I could manage better if I was raised believing God was more impersonal...unfortunately, I was raise to believe He is PERSONAL. I do not feel God, see God, or hear God. The closet I feel to God is when I am in nature. But thats pagan I am told...well maybe I am pagan. Damnit. I am pissed off and scared at once. I dont want to go to Hell for not "believing" but I do not want to live in this current hell either. Whatever, I am just going to be me and live life as pure and justly as I can...judge me if you will. I am already in a spiritual hell.

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    Cant shake it...

    Monday, July 21, 2008, 3:20 PM [General]

    Monday July 21

    I just cant shake it. I want to believe the way I was raised to believe but cant shake my growing discomfort and disbelief in my "faith of origin". I want to believe that the Bible is authoritative and directing and inspired by God but I cant seem to make it fit into my mind. A resounding thought is "inspired isnt the same a authored"...I suppose that would mean there is some room for mistakes and misinterpretations, but if it was Gods will...wouldnt that mean that there could be no mistakes? I have no strength to debate the philisopical arguments. I am worn out trying to understand. Faith makes me weary. I am naturally doubtful and questioning, bordering on obsessive. Or, is all this an elaborate rationalization to satisfy my "flesh", my desire? I am willing to explore both sides of the matter. I could be feeling this way as means to do what I want to do instead of what God wants me to do....albeit, in some preconscious/unconscious manner. What a war that rages inside my soul. I want answers, need answers, and the source of those answers, as prescribed by aged-mentors in the church, has not proven so direct and understandable. yeah, why is that? If you are supposed to be able to "ask and you shall recieve"...why then are heartfelt prayers left unanswered or answered, supposedly, in complicated, often overlooked ways. If God is most powerful, why not just say to me "Hey, stop that and do this instead." I need it simple and absolutely clear...because, man, I have one hell of an imagination, and a neurotic on at that. God, please make things undeniably clear to this woolheaded lout that cannot seem to see past the point of his own nose!!

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    God is not my father.

    Friday, July 18, 2008, 8:36 AM [General]

    Friday July 18

    God is not my father. Although, sometimes I expect God to react like my father. I find that my past experiences have influenced and ingrained themselves so much into my life that often I react unconsciously. How often do we expect God to treat us like our human parents or significant past figures? Growing up, I could never do anything good enough to please my father and yet I yearned to gain his approval. Now, I project that onto God and it took me a long time to see the truth of the matter. I find in very hard to believe, not because I do not want to, that Gods love in unconditional. Its hard to accept now what you never received growing up. I have difficulty gaining perspective because of my experiences and how I tend to view myself, relationships, and God. Often I felt that my father was distant and emotionally cut off...likewise, I struggled with similar feelings about God. Its easy for me to become angry with God for things He hasn't done. How many of us unconsciously or consciously force God into a mold that He cannot fit into? How often do we do this with others, or even ourselves. This insight has really challenged my experience with God. Emotionally, I feel one-thing, intellectually I know another. I continually have to remind myself that God is not my father.

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    Taboo

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 8:56 AM [General]

    Tuesday July 15

    What has three letters and is considered a four letter word in our society? Answer: Sex. I say the following with a mix of anxiety, relief, and embarrassment: I love sex. I am strolling in the taboo just by admitting I like sex. I feel our culture says sex is forbidden, "dirty", and "sinful". I struggle with these internalized values and punish myself when I find I have sexualized feelings. If I find I am admiring a beautiful body, I feel guilty and "dirty". If I explore my own body, I feel guilty and dirty (despite 90% of all people masturbate). If I explore sexually with my wife, I feel guilty and dirty. When buying condoms, I feel guilty and dirty. How sad!! All these internalized beliefs dictate how I should feel! Sexual feelings is NORMAL! Sex is NORMAL! I challenge myself to change my beliefs and feel proud of my sexual identity. Just verbalizing these thoughts gives me a sense of liberation and is the first step to a more fulfilling sexual life.

     (I say all this in the context of responsible sexual acts that do not cause harm to self/others. And of course law prohibits sexual activity for minors.)

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    Strange Faith

    Monday, July 14, 2008, 12:56 PM [General]

     Monday- July 14, 2008

    What is faith? Is it elaborate hope? Believing in something without concrete evidence? Or is it merely a psychological defensive mechanism that protects our inner self from obliteration from the realities of life? If we have something to anchor ourselves to, hope then is more available. We can say, "I may be down today, but tomorrow, tomorrow, I shall rise like the eastern star". Faith is also the most destructive force on Earth. Faith anchors reality for those of all faiths and when this faith is called into question, reality is really called into questions. And if reality is questioned and proven false, the reality fractures...hope disappears...despair sets in. Most conflicts on Earth are based around faith. Maslow would put faith on a higher level but I believe it should be on the most basic level. Faith in a religious and non religious sense propels humanity forward and it also rips it apart. Faith is paradoxical. Faith is strange.

    I suppose for me, the paradox in faith is this: for faith to grow, it must first be questioned.

    Blessings.

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