The occasional feeling of closeness to God as a JW is what makes me doubt if anyone is ever really close to God, or if God is just something we make up in our heads.
My feelings are there is some real wisdom showing here.
Because of the correlation, If I may, I would like to now quote defd:
Thinking of Him and Jesus with every move I make. Wanting to please them and make them proud of me and a sadness of displeasing them.
When we think of something, we engrave mental images in our head which are not the actual thing thought of. Thinking of food is not the food; and if I continue to think of the food as I eat it, the actual pleasure and reality of the food will be missed. The most joy is through silent presense and attentiveness to the tastes, aromas, colors and indescribable (un-think-able) nuances of what we call food.
If being present, without thought, is how to we have the most meaningful relationship with food, or a sunset, or anything else for that matter, how much more so when it comes to God, our real Source and Sustenance?
The word G-O-D, is closely related to the word T-R-U-T-H. What they point to is often sensed as synonymous. Truth, is what is actual and real. As mentioned, thinking and thoughts, are not the real thing that is being thought of. So, what is real? What is actual and true right now?
Is it not this present moment of aliveness and existence? In and around us we are surrounded and permeated with truth, and yet we seek for God, in thoughts and beliefs, in empty images engraved in our mind? What kind of sense does this make?
Why not instead, seek for God in the existing pool of truth and reality presently available? Why not give more precious attention to the warm and intimate sense of being and aliveness within and around us, rather than barren words form a book, or thoughts?
There is an old story about a very religious man who while diligently praying and thinking about God, God taps him on the shoulder, and the man says "Go away! Don't bother me! Can't you see I'm having a relationship with God!!!
I have found within the depths of simple, silent and open presence with life, there is no need for a relationship with God. Because, there is realized to be no separation between us. The mind's beliefs and thoughts never revealed this. I had to be very, very still, and know...
To answer the question directly: the Witnesses only filled my mind with false images and directed all my attention to them. I eventually let go of all beliefs and mental concepts regarding God. Gave up on all religions and scriptures (thoughts). Only then was there the first glimmer of light.
Never think, that what you seek, you do not already have. Never think that what the word G-O-D points to, is too small and tiny to not be here now.