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#270911 - 01/12/09 12:03 AM I'm almost an agnostic
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1929
Loc: durham, north england
Going on from my realization that I no longer have any sense of God, this is again a decision I'm coming to.

Yes, when I was 7 I had a direct experience of the presence of God, ---- which prompted me to have a major interest in religion and theology (I went to several of my mum's theology lectures when she was doing a degree in it when i was about 10-11), for a while I even wanted to be audaned.

during my abuse as a teenager though, I lost that sense of God entirely, I was just far too focused upon the moment and the lack of time. Though I do remember getting a lot from the meditation I did during my work experience at 15 which was at Nottingham university chaplaincey. When I got to my A-levels, things started to come back,----- in fact I had another religious experience at the age of 19 when for the first and only time in my life I saw actual stars thanks to the clarity of the skies over the french alps.

My last experience was in the third year of my degree when I was 22, at a lecture on plotinus and some of his meditation exercises.

sinse then though, I've just not felt anything, and as i've slipped down into depression those memories of the sense of God have just faded and lost meaning.

I can stil debate theology, but that's all it is, a debate. It has no foundation anymore.

While I don't think I'd go quite as far as doubting God's existance, ----- I think this is entirely to do with the position i'm in, not anything from God, everything that made me believe in the actual and tangible existence of a loving, infinite power in the universe is just not working anymore.

I'm nearly at the stage of declaring myself officially agnostic, and classifying God in the same catagory as I think of people's experiences of ghosts or the paranormal, ---- ie, I'm uncertain and don't have enough information to comment either way.

Sinse I'm going to be traveling for the first time in 5 years, ----- first to the Italian alps for a week, then to Egypt, perhaps I'll find something to remind me, but at the moment it just doesn't seem like it'll happen.

I'm sorry to everyone who replied to my last post. The hole concept of "faith" is utterly incomprehensible to me, and I see no point at all in trying to pray when I have no sense that i'm in a position for anyone to listen.

while I know there are people here who've managed that sort of thing, ---- it's just utterly beyond me!

having had a close and special relationship with God at one point, it just seems dam near impossible to do it now.

I also am expressly talking about God here. Even when I was in my most theological, I wasn't particularly Christian, and in fact counted myself as a universalist as the more I studdied about various faiths, the more I found the God I knew involved. I even stil have a set of religious symbols (including a crucifix) on my mantlepiece, ---- just as a reminder, though I'm considdering removing them.

Btw, yes I know the footsteps poem, and it sounds utterly wrong! being carried is being protected, being warm, being close to someone, I feel none of these things.

Maybe, certainly while not of the same catagory of thing Walkingsouth mentioned in his post, ---- I personally reasoned (and probably could stil argue), the hole punishment/reward thing out when I was about 10, I do wonder if this is as Larry said, also an instance of spiritual abuse?


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#270941 - 01/12/09 08:39 AM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: dark empathy]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
My response is that when my CSA surfaced my first response was
but for the power of the love of Jesus
in the simply Sunday School Hymn
"Jesus loves me this I know..."
I would not have survived

I don't want to sound trite
honestly - it's only faith in Jesus that keeps me going

it's only seeing His pain that takes away mine


do I struggle yes but He gives me hope

do I have fantacies and expressions of my dark side which hide my vision of Him? yes

amazingly He keeps bringing me through

I hope to show His love and that other survivors can have hope too

I am in the same mess but my faith gives me hope past my pain

Nathan 5

_________________________
5 depending on God's grace gives hope
6 my dark side , my hurt inner being my struggle
8 looking to the day of overcomming

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#271056 - 01/13/09 06:59 AM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: nathan555]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1929
Loc: durham, north england
Nathan, I'm glad you found something that works for you, but for me that answer just doesn't.

Being loved by God was for me a distinct, warm and tangible sense, something I could see and touch and know and remember.

Those memories just don't mean anything anymore, it's like remembering a close and loving friend who you haven't seen for years. You have no doubt that that person was there, that you shared something, but as time goes on that friend becomes less and less relevant to your life, to the point where their just a memory.

If you have no more contact with that friend, this is the way things stay.

"faith" for me just seems impossible, sinse how exactly can I accept that I'm being loved and supported when I feel nothing of this.

When I lost my site at age 7, my sense of God was incredibly clear, real and distinct, and my sense of being loved. That is just not here now.

As for the "for the bible tells me so" bit, again, it's just not something that helps me.

It might be me being too rational, but I cannot "feel" something is the case simply because I'm told it is, and it's that feeling of the love of God which I just see as missing.


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#271077 - 01/13/09 09:13 AM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: dark empathy]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
I struggle to open up my dark side to allow myself to feel God's love as sadly until recently He only had His side of my wall of pain and shame

The fact is my dark side is in darkness and my efforts to explore it have not suceeded so far

I read posts of men who feel their emotions
emotions to do with my abuse remain frozen

If you are in a similar place it will take the unthawing of your emotions to feel the love of God - or anyones love


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#271090 - 01/13/09 10:46 AM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: nathan555]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1929
Loc: durham, north england
I don't think it's a darkside thing with me, ---- in fact I'm not precisely what you mean by "dark side"

the acceptance explanation might be nearer the truth sinse I find it difficult to believe that anyone would wish to care for me in a real way, ---- and that probably counts God. Accept i have tried all the old methods I used to use when i wished to feel closer to God, meditation, walking in the country, ---- but it just doesn't seem to work.

this is why I say I'm feeling almost like an agnostic. While I don't think I'd go so far as to doubt the experiences I had myself, I'm almost at the stage of believing that rather than being all accepting and all loving, God is only accessible to certain people and at certain times.

I used to think that to find God, it was only necessary to look. But I've been looking as damnably hard as I can, and getting no where, and literally no answer.


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#271097 - 01/13/09 11:51 AM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: dark empathy]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi Guys. I sure do feel the same like you all. In fact I even wrote a letter to god. Titled Trusting God No Longer. Most of the time I think that it still fits my current situation. And in the end I still want some answers, BEFORE..............I get sent to hell.
Heal well, my friends/brothers.
Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#271139 - 01/13/09 05:35 PM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: petercorbett]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1929
Loc: durham, north england
Hmmmm, why do you think you'll be sent to hell Peter?

It might just be all the theology, but whether or not God is there, I'm not convinced of the punishment thing at all.

I could put my reasons down, ---- but that would be very much getting into the theological arguement side of things, and i don't really want to do that when I have no sense anymore about what I'm arguing about. it was actually discussing theology with someone that made me realize I no longer knew God.

I would say though that personally, it strikes me these matters are hard enough to deal with on their own without adding fear on top of them.


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#271144 - 01/13/09 05:53 PM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: dark empathy]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Luke,

Why worry about Hell if there is no God.
Seems sort of pointless does it not?

A saying that I heard in an AA meeting.

Religion is for those who have not been to hell.
Spirituality is for those have.

I understand your point about love. There is a difference between having someone tell you that they love you. And those who show you by their actions that they love you.
To me action means a hell of alot more then mere words.

From my experience you will find God where and when you least expect too.

Mike



_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#271157 - 01/13/09 06:24 PM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: michael banks]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1929
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Mike.

this is what people have told me about God, but despite several years slipping into depression, culminating in a major crash last year I stil haven't found the God that I used to know, which is why i'm now almost feeling like an agnostic.

While i've never bene tempted to start blaming God for abandoning me or anything so dramatic, it does seem that I've for a long time been very distant from God indeed.

In Cs lewis novel perilandra someone actually is arguing about death life and the fear of death, and mentions that if there is a God, he would only concern himself with the living, those in the pleasant good world of life and not with those abandoned after death.

this is how I'm feeling at the moment. I remember reading at one point someone who said sin created a wall betwene God and people. While i've never particularly subscribed to the sin concept, ---- just like I've never subscribed to or been concerned about the idea of hell, I do wonder if it's not sin that creates a wall betwene God and people, but suffering, ---- in which case what is the good of the love of God if it can only be experienced by those who are not suffering?

I'm really sorry if this offends anyone, --- it's certainly not my intention to. As I said, this is very particularly the place I am at the moment and not meant to be judgmental of others.

This is why, ----- even if i somehow decided God probably does not exist, ---- which I have to say is an unlikely decision to make sinse it would involve completely reexplaining my previous experiences of the presence of God, I'd stil class myself as an agnostic rather than an atheist, ---- ie someone who is uncertain, or has no data about the existance or otherwise of God, rather than someone who (for reasons best known to themselves), actively believes and encourages the belief that there is no God.

I have a friend who calls himself an atheist but who is more an agnostic, sinse he does not think I've lied to him about my religious experiences, ---- he just says he literally can't process my meaning, like a computer reading a file it's not meant to, where as the active atheists i've run into tend to want to dismiss or explain away my experiences.

I think though I am getting close to minimizing God, or reassessing my notion of God being all loving.


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#271192 - 01/13/09 08:01 PM Re: I'm almost an agnostic [Re: dark empathy]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Luke,

To me sin is nothing more than selfishness or self-centerness.

God never rejects or condemns us, we do that our selves by our own selfish behaviors.(sins)

Like the story of the prodical son.

Where the father gave his son his inheritance in advance. And the son when out and spent on all on his own selfish desires.Until he found himself utterly pennilless.
What did they father do? But love and long for his son's safe return. Watching daily for his to return to him. Did he go out seaching for him? No because he knew that his son had to go out into the world and find himself,realize who truely loved him.

At the return of the son what was the reaction of the father?
Did he condemn or blame him for his choices?
No he threw a celbration at his safe return and welcomed him home.

This how I view God's love for me.
Like the love I feel for my own children. That no matter what choices in life that they may make I will always love them.And I will always look for their safe return so we can celbrate their importance to me and my life.

God is always there loving us and waiting for us to return to him.
We feel God's persence when we allow ourselves to be open to him.
For me it is as easy as that.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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