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Author Topic: What have your religious/spiritual beliefs given you?  (Read 10003 times)
Juniper
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« Topic Start: August 18, 2008, 09:48:47 pm »

This is a topic that gets touched upon a lot, and I would like to pose a question to you.  This question is for those of you who have found a religion and/or belief system that you feel fits you.

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs* given to you that you were lacking before you ‘found’ your religion/spirituality?*

* not to leave out those of you who are atheist; that is a belief also

You can be as broad or as precise as you like  Smiley
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 10:09:24 pm by Juniper, Reason: wording error » Logged

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wisdomsbane
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« Reply #1: August 19, 2008, 02:34:08 am »

This is a topic that gets touched upon a lot, and I would like to pose a question to you.  This question is for those of you who have found a religion and/or belief system that you feel fits you.

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs* given to you that you were lacking before you ‘found’ your religion/spirituality?*

* not to leave out those of you who are atheist; that is a belief also

You can be as broad or as precise as you like  Smiley

I'm not sure exactly what it has given me.  I would say nothing, really.  Most of my beliefs were derived before I ever "found" my religion.  Maybe, a name, an idea of what I am?  I do understand what you mean by the question, I just don't think I have the right answer for you. 

I mean, most of the religious beliefs I have now, I have had for a long time, but had nothing to actually call them.  For example, I practiced magic, before I felt "right" calling it magic.  The same with other beliefs.

On second thought, my religion has given me a bit of a sense of self, or more correctly comfort with myself, and what I believe in, and do.  It has given me... myself.  If that makes any sense.
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« Reply #2: August 19, 2008, 05:11:40 am »



Since accepting I don't believe in magic, gods, spirits, etc, I no longer feel like I'm trying to force pieces of a puzzle in my own life.  I accept the world the way it is, without trying to explain how all that I know to be real is compatible with X Y or Z.  In short, I've freed up thinking power from trying to explain the world as something it doesn't appear to be.
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« Reply #3: August 19, 2008, 07:05:11 am »

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

A sense of stability and structure.

I had all these beliefs before, but now I've got a framework to put them in.  And that makes other things clear, and it keeps going.  It's rather nice.
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« Reply #4: August 19, 2008, 09:51:53 am »

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

A community.

Before I found the Kemetic Orthodoxy (KO), I felt alone and separated.  A square peg surrounded by round holes.  I felt sad about not fitting in with local communities and groups, but I wasn't about to force myself to be something I wasn't, just so I could call myself "XYZ" and be part of a community.  When I discovered, and later joined, the KO, I felt like I found that perfect square hole for me. I didn't have to change, I was accepted (with great eagerness) just the way that I am.

Finding that community and finding that fellowship felt like finding home.
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« Reply #5: August 19, 2008, 02:30:58 pm »



A sense of self. I always knew I was witch. I grew up in a Christian household, but abandoned that at age 5. I spent many, many years lost and travelling in my faith until I found Her. Or, rather, She found me. Poke poke 'Hey! Pay ATTENTION to me!" ANd here I am.

I can't say that religion has answered any questions for me, but it makes me not want to ask them and just accept that some things just.... are.
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« Reply #6: August 19, 2008, 02:44:45 pm »

This is a topic that gets touched upon a lot, and I would like to pose a question to you.  This question is for those of you who have found a religion and/or belief system that you feel fits you.

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs* given to you that you were lacking before you ‘found’ your religion/spirituality?*

* not to leave out those of you who are atheist; that is a belief also

You can be as broad or as precise as you like  Smiley

A sense of connection to reality.  Before I worked this out, I always felt disconnected from life, like I was somehow missing the point.  Since then, I feel like I've found the point and I just need to figure out what it means.
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« Reply #7: August 19, 2008, 03:03:53 pm »

What do you have now, that you didn’t have before?

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs* given to you that you were lacking before you ‘found’ your religion/spirituality?*

I'm going to do this in two parts...

First, as opposed to the religion I was raised in.  Honestly?  I don't think I was lacking anything per se.  The church I grew up in taught values that, by and large, are very compatible with those I hold now.  There was a great community, very supportive.  There was structure, there was great music, I was encouraged to think for myself, I was given quality religious instruction...  I could go on.  And on the spiritual side of it, I did have those experiences occasionally as well.  There's a very good UPG-type reason why I believe the Christian God exists and deserves my respect in some ways even if I don't feel called to follow Him.  I didn't leave because it lacked anything in particular.  (Actually, in some purely practical senses, I lost stuff when I left, if you think about it.)  I left because it just wasn't for me in a more general sense.  I just didn't feel any connection to it.  And...  I guess that is a lack, sort of, but I never thought of it that way.  I wasn't sitting around thinking, "Gee, I wish I had a connection to something."  You know?

Second, as opposed to the time I spent wandering about Paganism before settling on Hellenic Paganism.  I think structure is the big one here, a framework to express the things running around in my head, an idea of where to start with doing things instead of just believing.  I used to think it didn't matter, that I didn't need any of that structure stuff, but I do.  I really do.  I'm in some danger of stagnating even with it, but without it I'd just be adrift.

I don't think this is exactly what you were looking for, but it also gives me a sense of obligation, to do certain things and perform certain duties.  I've been bad about that obligation lately, and I feel badly about that, like I've let the Gods and my Patron particularly down.  I suppose if you want to phrase it in terms of positives, you could say it gives me motivation to continue doing religious stuff.  I really didn't have that before, in either context.  At church, I did things because they were just what you did, not because I felt any particular drive to do them.  After that, there were no set things to do, so I generally didn't bother much.
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Juniper
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« Reply #8: August 19, 2008, 08:50:52 pm »

Since accepting I don't believe in magic, gods, spirits, etc, I no longer feel like I'm trying to force pieces of a puzzle in my own life.  I accept the world the way it is, without trying to explain how all that I know to be real is compatible with X Y or Z.  In short, I've freed up thinking power from trying to explain the world as something it doesn't appear to be.

It definitely sounds as though you have found a sense of freedom.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath
Juniper
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« Reply #9: August 19, 2008, 08:53:27 pm »

A sense of self.

Me too  Smiley

My spiritual beliefs have also caused me to look at the world around me in a different light. I'm not as negative as I used to be.

Side note: I'm really enjoying reading everyone's responses.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath
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« Reply #10: August 19, 2008, 09:07:04 pm »

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs* given to you that you were lacking before you ‘found’ your religion/spirituality?*

Ah, a list...

1.  Peace
2.  Freedom from sin-related guilt and shame
3.  Freedom to be myself
4.  Venue to explore magic as well as various types of spirituality
5.  Happiness
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« Reply #11: August 21, 2008, 01:09:38 pm »

A sense of peace and wellbeing. I know that things will work out as they will, and I believe it now. I never did before.
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« Reply #12: August 24, 2008, 05:25:16 pm »

By this I mean, what has your religion/spiritual beliefs given to you that you were lacking before you found your religion/spirituality?

Nothing. Spirituality does not come being trained to believe in symbols nor can anyone or any doctrine tell you what spirituality really is..if in fact it even exists.

I never believed in deities, miracles or really even magic. The doctrines I sifted through did nothing to help me feel like I mattered in this life or that I even had a place in this world. In fact I feel worse than I ever did before and I feel I have been duped by all the books I read claiming to have some morsel of truth. I am disillusioned,dissappointed and I had to re-learn that this so-called spirituality cannot ever come from any book,doctrine or self procalimed "master" or guru.

Yeah..I am bitter.
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« Reply #13: August 24, 2008, 07:10:21 pm »

Nothing. Spirituality does not come being trained to believe in symbols nor can anyone or any doctrine tell you what spirituality really is..if in fact it even exists.

I never believed in deities, miracles or really even magic. The doctrines I sifted through did nothing to help me feel like I mattered in this life or that I even had a place in this world. In fact I feel worse than I ever did before and I feel I have been duped by all the books I read claiming to have some morsel of truth. I am disillusioned,dissappointed and I had to re-learn that this so-called spirituality cannot ever come from any book,doctrine or self procalimed "master" or guru.

Yeah..I am bitter.

Then answer based on what your current spiritual beliefs have given you.  In what way have your own beliefs benefitted you as a person, as part of a community, etc.?  In what way have they justified your existence, or helped you justify your own?  It's not about what beliefs you held before, or what you have read in the past, but what you have become, what you are and what you believe now.
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« Reply #14: August 25, 2008, 03:04:21 pm »

In what way have your own beliefs benefitted you as a person, as part of a community, etc.?  In what way have they justified your existence, or helped you justify your own?

No benefit, no justifications. Nothing.

In what way have your own beliefs benefitted you as a person, as part of a community, etc.?

I really have no beliefs anymore. I either think or I don't think. I am endeavoring to eliminate the word "belief" from my personal vocabulary.
Sorry..can't give you anything overly interesting.
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