As a JW did you ever have a personal relationship with God?

by Evanescence 60 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    I never did despite all those years growing up in the dubs. Even when I impelled myself to get out of my apathetic mood and dove in "whole souled" with the whole baptism, study, field service regimen (for a few solid months anyways ) I got silence and void. I won't blame the dubs for it though because I also had the opportunity to experience Roman Catholicism for all those same years, and it didn't do much for it either. I guess I'm not as adept to interact with concepts or symbols and am limited by my disposition for the concrete.

    Not that I'm entirely agreeing with JamesThomas, but I'll admit that only when I wasn't trying to perceive through the JW or RC filters and images, and wasn't even really thinking about god, did I momentarily experience something that made me wonder whether there was a brief connection. Was it only a surfacing of the subconscious though? So I still find myself with nadda.

  • Honesty
    Now that I have found the truth in Christ and attend a nice friendly church I feel Gods presence all the time. I can actually feel his spirit often. That is an awesome feeling when you feel Gods Holy Spirit and is something that is faked inside the WTBS. OldFlame

    So true, OF. And that is something the Watchtower makes sure the JW's never find.

  • katiekitten
    It was a totally one way relationship for me. I was raised in it, did all the stuff you were supposed to, some nights prayed until my head hurt.

    I agree 100%. I wanted a relationship but I felt like I was just convincing myself. I did everything right, praying all the time, thinking of him all the time etc etc. But it just felt like I was playing a game of lets pretend. 'Lets pretend God is listening to me'. If I acknowledged to myself it was a game that kind of broke the spell, so I also had to play a very strong game of 'lets pretend im not playing a game of lets pretend'. It was all such hard work, and I never knew if HE was listening or watching or not.

    Of course I could tell myself he was listening but then I was back to the game again...

  • stillAwitness

    Never and I still don't

    In my mind, God is this angry, bitter jeloous man with a sick sense of humor for creating roaches.

  • IP_SEC

    Relationship? Naw, I was just worried about getting destroyed for meditation, and masturbation.

  • Enigma One
    Enigma One

    Daystar...what the heck did Buddha ever do to you? Anger!'s a poison.

  • daystar

    enigma one

  • Enigma One
    Enigma One

    Ah! Daystar. I understand now. I misunderstood what you meant. I have a Buddha in the road to meet and kill. LOL

  • daystar

    I'm going to tell you all a little story (which I may or may not have presented here before) about one of the times when I did feel like I met something deep within my subconscious. A religious person might likely say it was God. I do not, per se.

    I found myself lying in bed with a girl I was dating. We were just watching the television, when she fell asleep. I stopped watching the television and started daydreaming, as I often do. The room effectively vanished for me as my imagination placed me outside of the room and then outside of the apartment building.

    My mind began to rise further and further above the earth as if I were levitating. I was fully fixated upon the earth's surface however. As I rose, I began to... envelope all that I saw within myself. This is difficult to explain, but I lost my individual sense of self and began to include all others as part of myself. There was still the core that was "me", but thoughts and emotions that were alien to myself and, I thought, belonged to other beings on the earth, began to satellite my own, within my mind.

    As I rose further and further, the scope broadened to include more and more of the earth. My perception included not only humans, but also other animals, as well as flora and fauna, and even lower intelligences such as rocks. (Odd, I know. Very little there, mostly a lot of "I am".) I began to push back further until a point where it included the entire earth. The cacophany was quite maddening, but "I" was still there.

    At this point, the speed with which I departed the realm of earth quickened. My perception began to include the solar planets and then beyond. Further and further I went, outside the galaxy and beyond, until there was a point where I thought that I was going quite mad and would not be able to make it back. To this day, I have never known such an intense sense of fear as I did at that time. I felt my mind cracking beneath the strain I felt.

    And then, something rather odd happened. I felt a presense behind me. It was warm, and kind, and fatherly... and also motherly. I didn't "see" this entity, but I sensed a soft, gentle smile... that's the best way I can explain it. There was a very loving, understanding, unspoken sentiment, like "I know. Now, go back..." And I felt a gentle push and sped back past all I'd encompassed, losing it all as I did. I snapped back to consciousness in the room.

    My body was in shock. My eyes were dilated (I was told) and I was shaking uncontrollably. The girl lying next to me awoke and asked me if I was okay. I could only shake my head in the negative and try to snuggle up against her, though I could hardly move.

    What was this? I don't know exactly. I have theories. Does it mean I met God? That is a hard question to answer and involves a whole set of qualifiers I don't care to get into here. There are metaphors some people might use to describe such an experience, none of which seem precisely suitable to me.

    One line of thought might suggest I met my Holy Guardian Angel, or Inner Self, or True Self. Perhaps it was nothing like that. The entity did seem to be part of me, but also very distinctly not-me.

    Really, though, none of that matters. What matters most was the experience I had leading up to that point.

    "Know thyself", all else will follow.

  • dorayakii

    When i was a child i always thought that a relationship with God was something i would develop when i "grew up". The reason was because i never had any answers to my prayers. I would empty my heart get on my knees but never got any kind of answers (or maybe i never percieved the answers). That still didnt convince me though, that God didnt answer prayers. I convinced myself that i wasn't praying in the right way or that i wasn't asking for something in accordance with His Will. So, i began to use "padding expressions" such as "if i'm praying in the wrong way or using a wrong form of address, please forgive me and let me know so that i can change it". In time, the only things i would ask for were for faith, and for him to take away this burden of being gay. At one point, I began to disown myself completely in my prayers by never asking for anything for myself, only praising and thanking God. Year after year, night after night i'd pour my heart out and occasionally get an insufficient answer from the platform, which i was supposed to take as one of the ways God answers our prayers. I began to feel like i was talking on the phone to nobody.

    I began to reason with myself: would a real friend construct a house, fully decorate and furnish it, author a book, leave it in the house and loack you in, expecting you to form a relationship with him? What kind of a friend is that? As FreeWilly so eloquently put it, can i form a relationship with Hemingway by reading one of his books? The very idea is ridiculous.

    Think about it this way: If you had a contact on MSN Messenger (or Yahoo!, AIM or Skype), could you really say that you had a relationship with them? What if they never sent replies to your messages? Would the fact that this person has a highly detailed MSN Space and a link to an equally detailed blog change the fact that you really don't have a relationship with them? What if this person merely sent you an MSN "nudge" from time to time? In fact what if you asked that contact for something and they delivered it the very next day to your front door, wrapped in a brown paper bag, would that at all change the stark reality of the situation?... No matter how much you think about this person and no matter how much you try to value their opinions as outlined in their blog and try to exercise those principles in your life, you can NOT have any type of relationship with that person unless they actually say something to you. I attach no value to a "relationship" which has one-way communication, or one in which communication takes place primarily in a "mysterious way" or one in which you have force an event to BE an answer to your communication.

    Even so, i still believed that somehow after getting baptised, i would be able to enter into a relationship with God. I couldn't see how the world could come about by chance, there must have been a God to create it. I looked to my own consciousness, surely that was something special that couldn't have just popped into existance?... I decided to take the plunge on the 16th of December 2001, at the age of 18. I really was desperate to recieve the comfort and support that i'd heard so many other brothers and sisters talk so vividly about. By the New Year, everything finally clicked for me. From then until now, i've been travelling on the road from belief in a personal God, to "Tetrapodism". I think i'm probably 90% along in that journey and i'm about to turn off into another distinctly different but related area of my life which needs much attention: RELATIONSHIPS.

    Just like FreeWilly, i realised that i was doing all the talking. I realized that the other caller isn't on the line, so i stopped rambling and said "Hello?... hello, are you there?"... then finally hung up the phone... then something strange happened... i picked the phone up again and dialled another number: my best friend. He answered and we talked and joked and wasted our phone bills. Halfway through the conversation he put down the phone and called me back, so we could share the bill. I went round his house and talked to him, we went for a drive and we talked for hours. We sat on a high hill, all wrapped up and we looked out at the scenery, we talked for hours, we stayed silent for hours and we cried on each other's shoulers for hours...

    I've recently begun to realise the importance of REAL friendships and personal relationships with REAL people. I've begun to value and cherish tactile contact and hugs, things which were completely missing from my childhood. I believe that because of that upbringing, i have become somewhat emotionally deficient. However i'm willing to put myself out to reach out to physical people, to get to know them and communicate with them, share experiences, share problems, cry on their shoulder and feel that they care... from the expression on their face, from the touch of their hand, from the beat of their heart.

    In a short answer to the question, no, i didn't have a relationship with God as a JW, i didn't think i had a relationship with God and i didn't even see the importance of having a relationship with God.

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