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#238502 - 07/16/08 11:20 AM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: LW1527]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6818
Loc: USA
Lance,

What qualifies me to answer you is that I have been there. I have had trouble believing that God loved me, and I still do.

But please let me make an observation you may not be able to hear now.

I am saying this as something that I heard rather than something that I am proficient in.

A radio psychiatrist whom I used to listen to profitably every day said several times that when we are very young, say 3 and 4, we look to our father on earth as god. We are formulating our idea of what God in heaven is like by what our earthly father is like. Well, if our earthly father is a SOB, then we think that the Father in Heaven must also be a SOB. We can't even help it. It gets hard-wired into our thinking. Then we later have to be re-taught what God is really like.

Puffer



Edited by pufferfish (07/16/08 11:21 AM)

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#238513 - 07/16/08 12:30 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: pufferfish]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Puffer said "...if our earthly father is a SOB, then we think that the Father in Heaven must also be a SOB. We can't even help it. It gets hard-wired into our thinking. Then we later have to be re-taught what God is really like."

Very astute and timely.

_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238528 - 07/16/08 02:07 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: hogan_dawg]
VLinvictus Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
This assumes, of course, that the "Father in heaven" is not just in actuality an idealization of fatherhood in the first place.

This is what I meant about the metaphors we create to understand God. They're fine so long as they work and hold meaning and so long as they aren't mistakenly held up in place of That which they are intended to describe.

God is not really a "father" or a "king" or what-have-you. Rather, those are ideas in the human world that most people are familiar with and which were used to try to communicate something about how God is perceived to act or be. The notion of God as father is derived from the experience of real, human fathers, and for those who had at best troublesome relationships with their fathers this metaphor is of questionable value or use.

One could try to rehabilitate the father-metaphor by trying to congnitively sever God-as-father from whatever or however our real fathers have been. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's difficult and I'm not sure of the value in it. Much more profitable, I think, would be to construct new metaphors through which to understand and engage with God (however one comes to understand that word).

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#238532 - 07/16/08 02:20 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: VLinvictus]
MarkK Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: VLinvictus
Given the classical understanding of angels as spiritual beings (i.e., not material), then they do not absorb, reflect, or give off light of any wavelength. If they have the ability to manifest their presence in any sensory way at all, it would therefore seem likely that they could appear any color they wished or needed to.

Angels appeared in the old testament as regular people. (Read about Lot)
In the new testament we are told to show hospitality to strangers because sometimes we might be entertaining angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2).

Sound material to me ... or at least able to take that form.


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#238550 - 07/16/08 06:38 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: MarkK]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
VLinvictus said "This assumes, of course, that the "Father in heaven" is not just in actuality an idealization of fatherhood in the first place."

Hmmm.

Maybe it's the reverse of idealization: Maybe people felt an ineffable, infinite concept, a spiritually loving power, and it needs naming and describing in some way tribal people can understand. Tribal people understand family. So the Father in Heaven tag gets applied because it is the closest most powerful kin that would be understood by tribal people.

Sorry for the nitpick but the idealization part sounded just too much like Freud's idealization, which is nearly adolescent.




Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 07:23 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238570 - 07/16/08 08:30 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: hogan_dawg]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg

Maybe it's the reverse of idealization: Maybe people felt an ineffable, infinite concept, a spiritually loving power, and it needs naming and describing in some way tribal people can understand. Tribal people understand family. So the Father in Heaven tag gets applied because it is the closest most powerful kin that would be understood by tribal people.

Sorry for the nitpick but the idealization part sounded just too much like Freud's idealization, which is nearly adolescent.


Actually, the point about "father" being a metaphor to describe Something that couldn't otherwise be expressed or understood was what I said. ;\)

That doesn't mean, though, that "God" cannot at the same time be both "real" and a projection of human consciousness onto the cosmos. If one subscribes to the notion that all existence is at the fundamental root of all things a single organic Totality, there really isn't much practical difference between the two.

And Freud? Pulease! I was instead referencing Feuerbach. ;\)

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#238577 - 07/16/08 09:04 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: pufferfish]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
A radio psychiatrist whom I used to listen to profitably every day said several times that when we are very young, say 3 and 4, we look to our father on earth as god. We are formulating our idea of what God in heaven is like by what our earthly father is like. Well, if our earthly father is a SOB, then we think that the Father in Heaven must also be a SOB. We can't even help it. It gets hard-wired into our thinking. Then we later have to be re-taught what God is really like.Puffer


my experience of my earthly father is such that i never had any emotional connection to him whatsoever. so i guess i would be the exception to the rule as stated by the radio psychiatrist. that sounds like a good theory, but i don't feel personally that it applies to my experience.

growing up i never saw myself as a boy struggling to identify as maleness personified, so the 'father energy' that arises out of the jungian archetypal system as a metaphor for biological fatherliness never had any power over me. the lack of his positive attention did not cause me any grief. it was neither his negatory relationship or nor his non-relationship to me that affected me. i had assigned all power of the fatherly energy to my mother, whose approval i desperately sought for so many years.

so as a result it was rather to authoritative systems and institutions that i sublimated the father role and fatherly power. church, cops, mothers, priests, deans, presidents etc, spiritual writers and saints.

in my early 20's when i began to cultivate a personal relationship with god, it was in desparate hope that i would not have to make myself worthy of his love, but when i went thru my born again christian phase as part of my dis-ease, i did in fact go the route of striving to become worthy, attempting to undo the sense that i was deeply flawed [by original sin!] and i chose 'the imitation of christ' by thomas a kempis as my benchmark morality. this phase of my life really drove me deeper and deeper into my dis-ease, until finally i got into aa and began to experience god as salvific being and was then able to stop beating my head against the wall and just got sucked into the flow of his pure happening being.

so in that respect, i began to define god as a part-ner; in other words, he took me from being a-part from him/her/it, and made me into the part with him/her/it that i was always intended to be. he/she/it partnered me into the happening he is and took me out of the realm that divided us into two separate beings and planted me squarely in the kingdom. i came to understand that god as "I AM" is unity, not division. he is not in some lofty moral cloud casting disapproving glances from above, as some of the other human characters who dominated my life in my earlier formative life stages. i do not relate god to typical human being behavior.

to be sure humans beings, having arisen from the essence of god'sbeing, do embody characteristic that i project as attributes of god's being, but i am careful not to invest too much verity in them, because anything that seems like god is just a shadow in a dream.

as i became a father myself, i had to, as you say, reinterpret the model for my own children, and since i held no pre-existing bias in favor of contructing one way or another, i just followed my heart and allowed them to be all they felt they needed to be at any given point in their development, and i supported them totally unconditionally, and never reproached for doing something that apparently, according to someone's narrow opinion, breached moral code.

growing up i had a dad who did the best he could, but he did not father me in the way i learned to father, with complete acceptance. for today i do not seek father energy to guide my life, because i feel that since i have learned to parent myself well, the idea of division and the tension that emerges in the divided state between the two roles of the i-thou relationship, has dissolved into a happy union where, simply and unapologetically, i just get to 'be', where all the rest is rest.

your brother in recovery,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#238579 - 07/16/08 09:10 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: Sans Logos]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
For a screen name meaning "without words," you sure put em together nicely, Sans Logos...


:-)


CD


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#238584 - 07/16/08 09:47 PM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: CDavid]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...


aw shucks, thanx david ;\)

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#238885 - 07/19/08 12:39 AM Re: God Loves Most, but Not Me [Re: Sans Logos]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
LW, I hope that some of these replies to your post make some sense to you and that you can come to realize that any God that would see you as "unclean" and abandon you because of what was never in any way your fault is no God fit to be called such.

Posts like yours here put me in conflict between the desire to reach out to someone who suffers the same thought processes I once suffered from and the desire to stay on good terms with other survivors who may take something I say as an attack on their beliefs, so if anyone does feel I am attacking their beliefs or religion, please know that it is not personal and that I am here to support you whatever your spiritual beliefs are.

So LW, I know you are not God and neither am I, so how can we know and so forth, but by the same logic, how can we know because of something written in a book that God is someone who creates imperfect beings then rejects them when they follow the wrong religion or somehow fail in some other way and lets the fallen suffer for eternity?


LW, I have suffered from feeling exactly the way you have expressed feeling in your post and the turning point for me was when I stopped listening to these ideas and started allowing myself to think critically about them---something I was taught to think of as the devil deceiving me.

To this day I still have a hard time thinking of myself as clean and innocent because of my rejection of the beliefs I was taught at such a young age, but I can bear witness to the fact that when I consciously hold those beliefs up to rational scrutiny, they melt away and leave me feeling as clean and blameless as the day I was born, and if that's all the devils trickery, then how in the world am I to blame for being so well deceived?

I just can't believe for a minute when I consciously think about it that I am really dirty or some "fallen soul" because I failed some test of faith that goes against all I have learned about life and the world.

I hope these words do more good than harm, but like ron's sig line says, "That's my story and I'm stickin to it! \:\)

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