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WD's Church thing
January 29, 2008
6:31 am
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Because I'm a skeptic. You obviously experienced something, you're not lying, are you? So there's gotta be some explanation of whatever you're experiencing. Yea, I could be making fun though pretty easily and "lmao"ing. I recently met someone who claimed to be talked to God (2 way communication) so your case is much better. I told them about multiple identity disorder. That wasnt making fun either, it was a rational explanation of what could be going on.

January 29, 2008
6:34 am
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In your case, it couldnt be multiple I.D. but something else, umm, 'visual disorder' as you called it yourself. I think thats it.

What also happens is, in things like this, its random. You get "hits" 50% of the time. You ignore the hits which are wrong and the 50% which lean towards being 'correct', make you believe you have something going on.

January 29, 2008
9:51 pm
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Anyway, guest, it is always my weay to seek naturalistic explanations for stuff.

I don't think what was going on with my eyes is "ESP," per-se. I think it is probably just a way of visually representing intuition.

Doesn't matter what it is.

January 29, 2008
9:55 pm
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Seems every time somebody experiences something out of the "norm", it's a disorder. Or an untruth. or a psychotic episode.

WD can sense something with one of his physical senses that many others cannot.

That's cool.

free

January 29, 2008
10:23 pm
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Anyway, two years ago my boss just let me know I ought to call campus police if the husband showed up--we take threats against scientists very seriously where I work, ever since one of us was shot dead in his office. I hate guns.

I knew something was wrong, and I did the legal, politically correct thing and didn't talk about my concerns and suspicions for about two years.

Then, a couple of months ago, my boss called me into his office and had me close the door.

He told me that our colleague, who had missed about a week of work, was quitting, and that a big reason for it was that she was stressed out, partly from work, and partly because of personal circumstances.

"You might not know it but she is a victim of domestic violence, and her husband has spent the last two years in prison and is going to be released in a couple of weeks."

Well, duh. The "duh factor" is astounding here. Who wouldn't be stressed out by their psycho husband getting out of jail? The only good news is that he is a Chinese national here on a student visa, so they probably deported his abusive ass the day he got out of jail.

Anyway, my boss told me that he was trying to retain our stressed-out colleague, by:

1)arranging for her to get a raise of about $1000/month,

2) Assuring her that I, WD, would be available as extra technical support for her work. (I get assigned to help scientists who need help, because I am...well, I am really good at what I do, and I can do just about everything.)

Anyway, I approached the woman, and let her know she had an extra brain and and extra pair of hands to assist her in her research. I said that if she needed to talk about work, or any other subject, that I would be there for her.

Idid not tell her that my boss had said anything about her personal life, or about her husband, but I did tell her that I had noticed something wrong a couple of years ago, and that I myself have been a victim of domestic violence, and if she ever needed to talk *about that,* I would be there for her.

She was astonished for a minute--like "what, you too?" and she asked a few questions...and then, it was like she let out this huge sigh of relief--it was like some kind of weight was lifted off of her chest.

And she proceeded to vent, and basically spilled her guts.

She has been keeping a horrible secret--she spends 8-10 hours a day at work with people who really like her and like each other--and she could not talk about what was really going on in her life, because of some stupid professional boundary and desire to appear as if her life was "going well" or something.

Which brings me to the Church thing.

January 29, 2008
11:16 pm
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It turns out that my coworker is a pretty serious church-going Christian.

Her religion offers her a lot of comfort, and community and support. But it also offers her bullshit.

She explained that she has been trying to tell her church community that she would like to divorce her husband. Which to me, is reasonable. The guy just spent two years in prison. What must he have had to have done to get two fucking years?

And she has a kid.

I think she has a reasonable thought process, maybe something like "he broke his sacred vows to me, I don't like him anymore, and me and my daughter are afraid of him."

Hmmm, "Divorce or misery and pain followed by probable death?"

Seems like an easy choice to me.

But Noooo!

Her church people just won't hear of it. See, for them it's "Until Death do us part." For them, a woman must submit herself to her husband.

January 29, 2008
11:17 pm
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Mainstream Christianity does not work very well with the problem of domestic violence. It is a famous problem that battered women of faith experience.

For one thing, if you take a literalist, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, women are pretty much one step up from goats.

For example, it is forbidden not only to take a divorced woman as your wife, you are also required to take only a virgin as your wife. In other words, a woman who is a victim of rape is unmarriageable.

Fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible leads to all kinds of similar mind-fucks.

A man is worth twice as many shekels as a woman. Slavery is OK. If you eat pork, or clams or shrimp or lobsters you must be put to death and then you will go to hell. Etcetera.

I have a lot of religious training, and I find that kind of thinking to be not only offensive, but also destructive, and just plain wrong.

And also against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus had incredible faith in the INNATE GOODNESS of Human Beings! And he gave his life to prove his point.

I am appalled at the popular distortions, the horrible, sick and wrong distortions of the life and teachings and Spirit of Jesus.

Man is not made for the Law; the Law is made for man.

Religion, according to my training, according to Jesus, and according to WD, is not supposed to make us feel small, or ugly or afraid--it is not really about making us feel unworthy or disgusting.

The true purpose and utility of religion is to uplift us, to help us appreciate our unique place in the Universe, and how we fit in, to help us celebrate the connectedness of all life, to feel compassion for ourselves and for others...to live a life of abundance and charity and joy. That is what piousness, and reverence is really about--not fear.

I remember when I was looking for a wife. I got so many letters from women who said that they were looking for a "God-fearing man." You know what? I do not fear God, and I am almost 100% certain that God does not want me to.

And I am really tired of hearing good people think that religious faith is supposed to make us feel that we are dirty or evil or going to Hell, and that if we don't want to stick with an abusive marriage and let our kids get abused.

No. No fucking way.

See, the Atheists don't have this exact problem--I can deal with them with mere logic and medicine.

But most of the people I have met are Christians and Muslims. I can't talk them out of "believing in God," and that is not my job, and I don't want to anyway.

But I can communicate to them with my heart. And I can teach from scripture. And I can explain how the ancient wisdom and the new wisdom, called Medicine and Science are congruent.

And I feel a calling to do it, and sometimes it just tears me up...And you know I like giving sermons and lectures.

But I don't think I will go the Church route.

Too narrow of an audience. And too noisy.

January 30, 2008
12:33 am
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WD * You said "The true purpose and utility of religion is to uplift us, to help us appreciate our unique place in the Universe, and how we fit in, to help us celebrate the connectedness of all life, to feel compassion for ourselves and for others...to live a life of abundance and charity and joy. That is what piousness, and reverence is really about--not fear."

To me, you have a good basis for a church if you stick to these thoughts. They seem enough. And I sense te big concept of HOPE in what you said which is so much needed. The more controversial issue is abundance cause we tend to think of it as monetary abundance based on the idea that we can make as much as we want if we apply ourselves.

Ive visited a pretty quiet church. It stuck to the bible and their bible interprettation. The audience was kind of narrow but worked the "program" and seeing the small benefits, they aimed for the big ones. Or like me, just came back to feel good again.

Where else would you apply your relligious expertise/gift?

January 30, 2008
12:35 am
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Cant stick around, gotta try to sleep.

January 30, 2008
6:28 pm
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WD,

What mainstream christianity are you talking about? I've been raised in church ever since I was 2 and still go to a church in my new city. Neither of my churches would ever tell someone to stay in an abusive relationship. None. In fact our pastor had a message about the topic of abusive people, including marriages, and he feels God is not expecting us to stay in any type of abusive relationship. Those people are called wolves in sheeps clothing and will be dealt with very harshly. My God would not want anyone to be harmed. Not my God. Dont know about yours.

Please dont over generalize mainstream christianity. There are many different denominations, therefore many different interpretations. And within denominations there are people within the church who interpret the bible in ways that make it convenient for their lifestyle, which is wrong of course. We live in New Testiment days, not old testiment. We look back on Old Testiment times and learn from the past, but we certainly dont base our lifestyle on that. So, its ok to eat meat, its ok to eat pork. We dont live by those rules anymore.

And just in case you are going to bring up the 10 commandments...they were repeated throughout the bible in the new testiment so yes they still apply today. They were meant as rules to follow but also as a reminder that we are not perfect and that we have already broken at least one of the 10 commandments in our lifetime, that bc we are not perfect we need Gods forgiveness for our sinful nature, which we were all born with, thanks to Adam and Eve.

It is also a reminder that good works is impossible to do in order to get to heaven. As the verse says, It is by grace you are saved through faith, not of good works. Its impossible to be good enough to earn our way to heaven. We were born with a sinful nature so we;re screwed from day 1. But again, it is faith in God and his dying on the cross that has given us that road to heaven.

Thats what I was taught and believe and practice since I was a wee child. I realize we all were raised differently and have our own interpretations.

January 30, 2008
9:13 pm
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Hi sini,

The shallow breathing thing doesn't ring a bell, sorry.

January 30, 2008
9:18 pm
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Hi the wall,

In DV circles, it is a pretty well known problem.

I am not sure what exact church she attends, but I know she has a fairly literal interpretation of the Bible, the Adam and Eve story, etc.

January 30, 2008
9:24 pm
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Hi theWall,

Like you said, there are many different approaches to scripture.

Personally, I am an esoteric, and my theology emphasizes the essentially good nature of Human Beings. Created "in His image" and so on.

February 2, 2008
7:34 pm
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Hi, WD

No prob. A lot of things about my x dont ring a bell...

February 2, 2008
10:20 pm
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Hi sininho,

A rule of thumb, though...

Always take mental health advice from one's ex with a grain of salt!

February 4, 2008
7:43 pm
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don't forget "faith without works is dead"

February 5, 2008
10:32 pm
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WD, whenever you think about stuff like this:

"The true purpose and utility of religion is to uplift us, to help us appreciate our unique place in the Universe, and how we fit in, to help us celebrate the connectedness of all life, to feel compassion for ourselves and for others...to live a life of abundance and charity and joy. That is what piousness, and reverence is really about--not fear."

Think of the nice athiests that live happy peaceful lives. Yes I know, I'm not one them sadly, but, they do exist. I know a couple myself, one who is a very happy mom, a bass guitarist and more. She has a little boy she loves and she and her bf take good care of him. They enjoy their weekends getting together with friends and generally living life, you know. These are athiests. Think about these nice people the next time you praise religion. You might realize "goodness" doesnt depend on religion. It can come without it too. This is what I realized about 10 years ago i.e., religion has absolutely nothing to do with how good a person really is, or what matters in life.

The biggest and easiest mistake everyone makes is see the world from only their own point of view. Its understandable as we try to make sense out of what we observe. Frequently, the other person who also tries to make sense often comes to different and opposite conslusions.

February 6, 2008
1:21 pm
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religion has absolutely nothing to do with how good a person really is, or what matters in life.

I must agree, that is one thing that really made take a good look at my former religion and go, now if its true that god brings happy family and true joy and good moral people, then why are there so many atheists who live good lives, who have better morals than some religious people and whom are as they say in the christian religion and I hate this word btw, blessed?

I also know many who are thankful, not arrogant or rude and would take the shirt off their backs, and expect not a thing in return...so the rule that god brings better people to the plate, is false, absoltutely.

February 6, 2008
9:52 pm
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Hi guest,

I live and work in a multicultural melting pot.

I get along just fine with most people of whatever faith.

One of my greatest heroes is my Boss, who is an atheist. I get along just fine with most atheists.

My experience is that for most people, What divides us not faith, but manners.

I don't have a problem with Atheism.

I do have a problem with aggressive, dismissive, judgmental, abusive, militant, prosteletizing, pseudoscientific atheists.

I don't like what that approach "accomplished" in the USSR and China--persecution.

I also have a problem with aggressive, dismissive, judgmental, abusive, militant, prosteletizing, pseudoscientific people who try to push any brand of religion.

I've seen what that has "accomplished" lots of places--persecution.

This thread is not about atheism.

This thread is about my struggle to reconcile my own beliefs and values with my desire to be a good friend to people of faith.

And it turns out that telling someone "your problem is that you believe in the existence of God and therefore you are delusional" is, 99% of the time, definitely not helpful to a person in crisis.

February 7, 2008
2:34 pm
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you said "...my struggle to reconcile my own beliefs and values..."

I get scared to attend or try a new church...Although I know in my I'm searching for something like that...

February 7, 2008
6:46 pm
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WD, you advised me: Always take mental health advice from one's ex with a grain of salt! I should have done that when I was married bc it actually happened then. lol

Taking things with a grain of salt from some sources really makes more sense than just being suspicious of things these sources say.

As for manners, actions speak louder than words, right? The religious rites are great and all but the rite followers sometimes really get on one´s nerves. Especially the incoherent proseletizing ones. Ive been turned off by people in religions more often than by religions themselves. So, WD, since you seem to have a way with keeping to the point, perhaps you will do fine in the religious arena.

February 7, 2008
8:43 pm
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I hope I got the meaning of manners but youll tell if not, right?

I received a presentation from Gurdjieff´s thesis, 20 items on how to live life (I tink). Then I found something in the net that apears related to your wish to reach out to people, what do you think?

“A man who wants to awake must look for other people

who also want to awake and work together with them. . . .

The work of self-study can proceed only in properly organized groups.

One man alone cannot see himself.

But when a certain number of people unite together for this purpose

they will even involuntarily help one another.”

G.I. Gurdjieff,

quoted in In Search of the Miraculous

by P.D. Ouspensky

I wish we could more of that here at aac...

February 7, 2008
11:49 pm
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Hi Sini,

The last thing I expected from you was Gurdjieff quotes.

You continue to surprise and impress me.

Yes, I take Gurdjieff's point.

In the end, I think I am not really cut out to be a preacher in any conventional sense.

It isn't really me to try to , from a religious standpoint, convince or convert or any of that on a large scale.

I am more of a religious philosopher than a preacher.

Jesus wisely advised against making a public display of piousness.

Any "ministry" I could undertake would necessarily be quiet, gentle, informal, and subtle.

Little things can mean a lot.

February 9, 2008
9:32 am
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Definitely. Some people only believe in projects that reach out to many people. But ripple effects cn be more lasting sometimes. It just seems like Jesus to believe in the subtle approach. (to me he is jusst an idea/concept - so Im safe if they find him to be different than purported - but the most coherent, leak proof so far and well, cute for lack of a better word).

Well, I take it that I impress you well... I wish I had started on Guerdjef before. So much out there.

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