Where do you go from here?

by still looking 54 Replies latest jw experiences

  • poppers

    Why do you have to go somewhere else? Can't you see that that is just substituting one set of beliefs for another?

    That is what I am coming to understand. Trading one dictator for another, neither of which might be correct.

    That's right, and there's no way of knowing for certain whether any belief system is "correct".

    Do you equal beliefs with truth?

    Relatively speaking, yes. If what you believe in is a lie, what good is it?

    All it will do is keep you imprisoned in a set of ideas and trapped in delusion. But there is something deeper than "relative" truth, and that is the truth of what you are. People seek truth outside themselves, thinking that they are separate from everything and everyone, and that is the source of their discontent because it leaves them feeling isolated and and less than whole. Efforts to remedy that are usually in the arena of beliefs systems, philosophies, and religions, but as you are suspecting there is no certainty about any of them.

    What I am suggesting is that the deeper truth of what you are is not separate from anything else, and knowing that truth directly resolves feelings of isolation, lack peace, and wholeness. As long as one clings to a belief system, however, the truth of what you are will continue to be overlooked. People may take some mental comfort in being with like minded people with their shared beliefs, but they are still left within conceptual frameworks that mask the deeper truth of what they are; they are still stuck in a dualistic world of "me" and "other", of "me" and "God".

    People want to know "God", but without knowing what one is in the first place that desire will just take them in circles, hopping from one belief system to another if questions and doubts arise. Or they will remain fixated on their particular belief system and refuse to even admit the possibility that they could be wrong. Doesn't it make sense that people should know who/what they are first before seeking to know anything else, especially something practically guaranteed to create uncertainty like the concept of God? The problem is that beliefs systems and religions TELL you what you are, and people swallow that message without even questioning it. So the root problem is not how to "find God" but in discovering the deeper truth of what you are. Do that first and then see what happens to ideas and beliefs about God.

    If that's the case then you must also look into beliefs other than Christianity. When I say that, notice your initial reaction - that will tell you something about how beliefs have already put a fence around you.

    If I don't believe that Christ is my saviour, and his father is God, then where does it go from there. Worshipping trees, rocks? Then it starts to go into paganism or atheisim.

    Had you been born in another culture it's likely that what you believe would be entirely different and you'd be revering a different holy book and set of "prophets". And also consider the possibility that whatever God truly is he/she/it doesn't require or demand "worship". People worshipping trees and rocks are also trapped in their own belief system. And let me be clear about this: not holding a belief in God is not the same as atheism. I am suggesting letting go of beliefs and non-beliefs entirely - that lets you be totally open and receptive to what is actually appearing before you right now. Without any beliefs getting in the way of seeing the world find out for yourself what happens.

    Perhaps the "answer" to truth is not found in beliefs at all; have you considered this?

    I don't know how to reply to that.

    I still believe the bible is the book of God, it's translations and it's preachers can skew things, but the overall message is there. I think it is the conduit that brings us to God and Jesus, without that, how would we even know about them?

    It's still only a belief, and even if one clings to the notion of the Bible as being "God's word" who knows how far off translations actually are. Additionally, Christianity isn't the sole provence of ideas about God.

    Going to any religion to me is kind of like the saying, those who don't stand for something, will fall for anything. Jim Jones, David Koresh, the militant Muslims all come to mind.

    I'm absolutely not saying that if you don't stand for "something" that you will fall for anything. Most people, however, remain under the delusion that they MUST follow some kind of belief system, and it's those people who will fall for anything. It's those people who will do anything, including murder, to advance their particular belief system over another. So I am suggesting that every belief be questioned by getting to the root of "who" it is that holds a belief. People carry around certain unexamined beliefs about "who" or "what" they are, and those beliefs dictate how they act in and view the world. I am suggesting that it's time to examine those beliefs about "me" that have been unexamined all their lives and seeing whether or not they are based in reality or are only concepts held in the mind, concepts that weave together a false idea that covers up the truth of what you actually are.

    Maybe you can explain it in a different way I could understand, it's probably going over my head.

    First see if you can find "you", the you you believe yourself to be. Actually look for that individual. Take your time with this and let me know what you find. Then re-read what I've written above and then take some time to sit quietly (eyes closed may be helpful) and ponder the question, "Who/what am I really?" And just a hint about this deeper reality: whatever answer your mind comes up with will be based on some idea or image; those are themselves just more beliefs. The deeper reality of what you are is not contained in any idea or image, but that doesn't mean it's not present and discoverable. What you actually are is fully present and available to you at every moment, it's just a matter of "seeing" it. When the distorting lens of beliefs systems drop away what you actually are is there to be seen. Finding that is like returning home again after a long journey.

  • Lozhasleft

    Still looking hello and welcome. You've written some lovely posts on here ...well thought out and fair. I'm sorry I dont know what EBV is but I myself battled with CFS for 18 years in the JWs and the pressure to keep going when I couldnt and shouldnt made everything worse.

    You sound very balanced and you've had a lot of advice here already so I wont add any of mine...but take your time...keep reading and keep posting. I look forward to hearing more from you. The vast majority on here are lovely people and very supportive. Sending love...

    Loz x

  • AGuest

    Dearest Inkie... the greatest of love and peace to you! I could not see where Galatian 3:24 included the word "until". May I ask, what Bible version did you get that from? Personally, I prefer the NWT when relating to those who had some association with the WTBTS (as I believe dear Still may have had - again, peace to you!). You know, that old "if I can show you from your own road map" premise. I realize that there are a plethora of Bible versions out there, more than 30 or so, and I have found that one of the benefits is that each tend to contain something that debunks the false teachings of its publisher(s). Not saying it debunks belief in God and Christ, but what people believe about them... as taught by those who tout a certain Bible version. I digress.

    I looked up Galatians 3:24 in the NWT and what that verse does speak to what you've stated; however, I think the entire chapter merits some attention. To the Galatians who, unlike himself, actually saw our Lord impaled, Paul wrote:

    "O senseless Ga·la´tians, who is it that brought YOU under evil influence, YOU before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed impaled? This alone I want to learn from YOU : Did YOU receive the spirit due to works of law or due to a hearing by faith? Are YOU so senseless? After starting in spirit are YOU now being completed in flesh? Did YOU undergo so many sufferings to no purpose? If it really was to no purpose. He, therefore, who supplies YOU the spirit and performs powerful works among YOU , does he do it owing to works of law or owing to a hearing by faith? Just as Abraham “put faith in JAHVeH, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

    Surely YOU know that those who adhere to faith are the ones who are sons of Abraham. Now the Scripture (which tells us that this letter is NOT "scripture"), seeing in advance that God would declare people of the nations righteous due to faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, namely: “By means of you all the nations will be blessed.” Consequently those who adhere to faith (notice, to "faith"... and not to "the faith")... are being blessed together with faithful Abraham.

    For all those who depend upon works of law are under a curse; for it is written: “Cursed is every one that does not continue in all the things written in the scroll of the Law in order to do them.” Moreover, that by law no one is declared righteous with God is evident, because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” Now the Law does not adhere to faith, but “he that does them shall live by means of them.” Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake.” The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham might come to be by means of [Jesus] Christ for the nations, that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.

    Brothers, I speak with a human illustration: A validated covenant, though it is a man’s, no one sets aside or attaches additions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It says, not: “And to seeds,” as in the case of many such, but as in the case of one: “And to your seed,” who is Christ. Further, I say this: As to the covenant previously validated by God, the Law that has come into being four hundred and thirty years later does not invalidate it, so as to abolish the promise. For if the inheritance is due to law, it is no longer due to promise; whereas God has kindly given it to Abraham through a promise.

    Why, then, the Law? It was added to make transgressions manifest, until the seed should arrive to whom the promise had been made; and it was transmitted through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now there is no mediator where only one person is concerned, but God is only one. Is the Law, therefore, against the promises of God? May that never happen! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, righteousness would actually have been by means of law. But the Scripture delivered up all things together to the custody of sin, that the promise resulting from faith toward Jesus Christ might be given to those exercising faith.

    However, before the faith arrived, we were being guarded under law, being delivered up together into custody, looking to the faith that was destined to be revealed. Consequently the Law has become our tutor leading to Christ, that we might be declared righteous due to faith. But now that the faith has arrived, we are no longer under a tutor.

    Y OU are all, in fact, sons of God through YOUR faith in Christ [Jesus]. For all of YOU who were baptized into Christhave put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for YOU are all one [person] in union with Christ [Jesus]. Moreover, if YOU belong to Christ, YOU are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise."

    I have posted it because there is a wonderful "sacred secret" contained in this chapter, which Paul was not allowed to explain... because he was not "in spirit" at the time he wrote it. What he wrote here is, on the surface, elementary: the Galatians began their "walk" by doing so in faith... but for some reason had turned to trying to "complete" it by works... of the flesh: meaning, adhering to and trying to compel others to adhere to the Law. The cursed state (deserving of death) from which they had been set free by the impaling of Christ, they were now risking returning to. He was impaled for OUR sins... not his own. So, rather than us being "cursed"... he was. By being hung on a pole (he could just have easily been tossed into the sea with a millstone around his neck... or beheaded, as was John the Baptist).

    This truth can be discerned, however, if one turns to Christ and allow him, the Holy Spirit, to explain it to them. By listening to HIM. He has not granted me to share it here, but only to exhort any who wish it revealed to go to him and ask... and HE will reveal it. Because he is the Leader of such heirs... and the One whose voice such ones should be listening to... by means of faith... and not mine. Just as John went "decreasing"... so must I.

    I bid you peace!

    Your servant and a slave of Christ,

    SA, who asks forgivness from dear Still for temporarily "hijacking" her thread. I truly beg your pardon, dear one!

  • warmasasunned

    just breath................................live your life....................stopping banging your head agaisnt a brick wall.

    its not a secret, this is the truth, it may shock you, and alot of people deny it.


    let it go, be who you are and dont look back.


  • Nickolas

    Nine years old and attending a latin mass. You have been searching for a long time.

    I could never be an athiest.

    Never is an even longer time. I recommend you do what I did - that already tells you my perspective is biased. Read the Bible on your own. Form your own conclusions where you can and search out the interpretations of others where you cannot. Test the interpretations of others against your core values. Be honest with yourself and be courageous. There is neither virtue nor redemption in fear and nowhere in the Bible are you commanded to follow any of man's organizations, including that particular Society of older gentlemen in Brooklyn. Ultimately, come to your own conclusions and you will know the truth.

  • still looking
    still looking


    EBV is Epstein Barr Virus. It's also been called the Yuppie Flu. It is one cause of CFS, so I can't imagine you pushing yourself for 18 years, my gosh. I loved that the JW's had pamphlets talking about CFS and said not to bother or upset those in the congregation that had it. If they needed to be left alone than do so. But they never did.

    I hope you are feeling better now, that you aren't pushing yourself. I know that not only physical, but mental stress can really wreak havoc on your energy level.

    The one thing I found that helped a lot was going low carb. The carbs would trigger me to be more tired, and also in bad moods. I hope they find a cure one day, and we can get back to a more normal life.

    Inkie and Aguest,

    I worry about not having some sort of check device (in this case the bible) and going off on my own feelings and emotions. I have quite a few friends who say they have the holy spirit, and I have to tell you, I can't see it by their actions. There is a lot of in-fighting in the Apostlic , I think it's called, faith. One says she can speak in tongues whenever she wants and the other says it's not possible. One is pretty out there, saying demons are talking out of her belly and pro-abortion.

    So how do you know for sure? Shouldn't it change your behaviour, to be more kind and thoughtful of others, as Jesus was? Shouldn't there be some transformation both inside and outwardly? How do you know you just aren't believing your own ego?

    I do believe that the holy spirit is needed, but in the bible, people had tongues of fire on their heads, or the holy spirit casted out demons. Is there anything that you can tell me that might help?


    The trinity thing, in John, I think, you will read things, and I'm paraphrasing, "the Father is greater than I am", "I come to do not my will, but the will of my Father." That to me, and I've read this in more than just the JW's bible, sure seems like they aren't co-equal and also the mention of the holy spirit isn't in there.

    The one that is really something is 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. In 28 it states: But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.

    That sure sounds to me like at the very end will be as in the beginning where mankind is directly working under God again.


    I think you are still too existential for me. I don't get it.

  • Lozhasleft

    Ah yes I've heard of Epstein Barr ...right yes there's a connection for sure...thank you for your tip about the carbs I may give it a try ...but to be fair I am much better than I was these days....what brings me low the most are stressful situations for sure...but despite my grief at losing my adult kids to the WTBS...I live a happy life nowadays with a wonderful husband ...unconditional love and no judging...so that makes a big difference I'm sure...I hope as things settle down for you and you find peace, your health improves as well..

    Loz x

  • AGuest
    I worry about not having some sort of check device (in this case the bible) and going off on my own feelings and emotions.

    Totally understandable, dear Still (again, peace to you!). One can succeed, however, by taking one's own emotions, feelings... and thoughts... out of the matter. May I share a recent experience that helped me "see" a little better about that? I had received something from my Lord a little while ago and shared it with a couple of Body members. While I'm sure they didn't want to doubt what I had said my Lord, Christ, the Holy Spirit had said, they felt they needed to look it up. No problem... by all means, please, do so. But for some reason I felt very... well, the only way to describe it was "bad." Almost sick like. Queasy. I didn't know what it was or why. I felt like I used to when I passed the bread and wine at the Memorial: very ashamed. If I had pale skin, I am sure it appeared to be "burning." That is the only way I can describe how I felt.

    One of them returned to me and showed where, in the Bible, something different was said. Let me tell you, I was GREATLY distressed after that! Oh my goodness, here it was, in black and white. This was one of those times where the Bible "said" something different than what my Lord said. As you can guess, I don't necessarily relish those times!

    It is the FIRST time, however, that my Lord returned to me and asked me, "Is it some book that validates what I tell you, child? Should you check there to see if what I say to you is true? Or should you check with me to see if what IT says is true?" Needless to say, I was startled... and now even more ashamed. Of course, I should check with HIM as to the truth of what is "written"... given that he said of the scriptures... "these are the ones that bear witness about ME." ALL should check with him, especially those who believe the Bible to be "inspired" and thus, infallible, because HIS mouth utters truth itself and out of it comes NOTHING crooked. We often forget that, though, don't we?

    So, I went back to the two I had shared with and told them what my Lord had said. And we looked it up again. But guess what? My Lord directed us to ANOTHER place "in the Bible"... which turned out to be verses that stated EXACTLY what he had said to me and I had shared with them!! So, as with many other items in the Bible, there appeared to be a contradiction.

    How, then, are we know which is TRUE? For me... it is the Holy Spirit... and no one else. Since I can trust no one else... particularly the "scribes... I personally cannot take ANYTHING over what he tells me... even if it's written "in the Bible." And so, that was the LAST time I allowed myself to question him (although it really wasn't me, but the others)... even in the least tiny bit... versus questioning what I read "in the Bible."

    I have quite a few friends who say they have the holy spirit, and I have to tell you, I can't see it by their actions.

    There are many who will say "Lord, Lord... didn't we" such and so. Including "perform many powerful works in your name." Doesn't mean he knows them... or they him. A good start to help YOU know if they do, however, is by their "fruits." If their works are borne by the fruits of the holy spirit (i.e., love, joy, peace, faith, kindness, mildness, goodness, long-suffering/patience, self-control... mercy, forgiveness, justice...) and things like these, then you really have no reason to doubt the spirit in them.

    There is a lot of in-fighting in the Apostlic , I think it's called, faith.

    Well, either they're grieving the Holy Spirit... or they don't really have the spirit that they claim. Neither is good. The reason for the in-fighting, however, is the need for leadership, control, pushing personal beliefs and doctrines, following man, wanting to BE followed, jealousies, adulteries, envies, and things like these. It manifests because they are following man... including one another... and not the Lamb. God cannot dwell in such "vessels" dear one, which is why you do not see Him manifest IN them.

    One says she can speak in tongues whenever she wants and the other says it's not possible.

    Well, it is possible... but it isn't loving. Like all of the gifts of the Spirit... tongues are for the building UP of the Body. Not tearing down. If then, one is insisting on using one's gift for one's own glory, then that is not a proper use. On the other hand, if others are trying to control such one's gift... yet, such one is speaking BY the Spirit... then it is they who are not walking in love but trying to put another under their yoke (vs. Christ's). BOTH should stop worrying about their way... and concede to the other... and let God, through Christ, the Holy Spirit, work the matter out. Unfortunately, doesn't sound like either are putting the Body... or even God... first, but themselves.

    One is pretty out there, saying demons are talking out of her belly and pro-abortion.

    Yeah, that's pretty far out there. Never heard of such a thing and I personally would be quite skeptical. Demons aren't... ummmm... any "stranger" than "strange" humans. I mean, if they're gonna talk... it would be out of a person's mouth. As for what they might or might not say... that's a unknown. They will acknowledge Christ, however, if called upon. If you speak to her again (though, I can see why you might not want to), you might ask her why she is ALLOWING a demon to be IN her... and speak THROUGH her... at all? I mean, if she really IS joined to Christ (and I have my serious doubts, but who am I to judge?)... then the demons have no "authority" over her. If they're IN her... who allowed it? Had to be her. Why did she allow it? I would start with that the next time she "said" such things to me.

    So how do you know for sure?

    I have only one answer: ask. And then listen. And then put faith in what you hear.

    Shouldn't it change your behaviour, to be more kind and thoughtful of others, as Jesus was?

    Not necessarily, dear one. I mean, yes, it SHOULD... but for some it takes time. A LOT of time. Even then, the requirement is not being kind or thoughtful. It is being FAITHFUL.

    Shouldn't there be some transformation both inside and outwardly?

    There WILL be inwardly... at some point (for me, it's taken, what, close to 15 years to just learn to be long-suffering toward others. And there are at least 8-11 more "fruits" to go!!). Outwardly... ummmmm... noooooo... I mean, not unless one has been physically healed... or resurrected... or something like that...

    How do you know you just aren't believing your own ego?

    Because, when one is TRULY joined to Christ, by means of holy spirit... so that God and Christ come and dwell IN such one... because THEY have "cleansed" the "inside" of that "vessel"... by means of the BLOOD of Christ... such one no longer has much of an ego. Since they've given themselves entire over TO God and Christ, very little of their own ego remains to be seen. If any of it. They become not much more than a "empty" vessel, which God and Christ fill... with THEIR egos. Their own still exists... but it is "covered"... overshadowed... by the "persons" of God and Christ, the Holy Spirit, IN them.

    I do believe that the holy spirit is needed, but in the bible, people had tongues of fire on their heads, or the holy spirit casted out demons. Is there anything that you can tell me that might help?

    Not really, dear one. I mean, if you're looking for a physical sign, then you most probably won't receive any more than those who received the sign of Jonah. If, however, you exercise faith... you put yourself in line to receive MUCH more than those did. Put faith is the ASSURED EXPECTATION of the thing hoped for. And it is a gift of God's holy spirit... as well as a fruit of that spirit. Perhaps, then, you can do like the man who cried, "I HAVE faith; help me out where I NEED faith." A little thing to do, IMHO.

    I hope this helps and, again, I bid you and your household peace, dear Still.

    Your servant and a slave of Christ,


  • still looking
    still looking


    Thank you for replying. I have prayed for the holy spirit, but I have a fear, if I heard voices, of thinking I might have something that I don't. I guess I should explain, my uncle was nuts, thought he was Jesus Christ, and then ended up killing 7 people, including his parents. My grandmother, whom he killed, was like an Aunt Bee type person from the Andy Griffith show. I never knew a sweeter woman. She loved God, was always singing hyms, gave what little she had to others who needed it (they were dirt poor), worked hard as my grandfather didn't want to, (most likely he had some of the mental illness or was just lazy), and ended up dying a horrific death, knowing it was coming minutes before it happened. And had my uncle come 1 day prior back to my grandparents, I and my brother would have most likely ended with the same fate. That is a lot to bear for a 12 year old who had spent the weekend sleeping in her grandmothers bed, sharing a lot of fun with her the weekend prior, my brother and I were helping her with a garage sale. Then to see the bed we slept in covered in blood shortly after. (My grandfather had a stroke some years before and slept in the front room, he got it first, hence when my uncle walked up the stairs, she knew what was coming. She tried to hide herself under the mattress). Needless to say, I hated God for some years afterward.

    My uncle was a paranoid schizophrenic, and heard voices, PS's usually do. There is a heriditary component and although they say you usually get it by 37 and though I'm way past that, I would certainly get the heebie, jeebies if I started hearing something talking to me. I still don't feel comfortable when I'm around anyone who has mental illness or even retardation, (I forget what the PC word is for that). I am a lot better, but I think it's a survival response. But if someone told me they heard voices, you can bet, what I'd be thinking....RUN! I was thinking that being filled with the holy spirit would be more of a feeling, than a voice. I guess I come with a lot of baggage, and that is probably why I like to check and make sure of things, to be grounded somehow. I would hope God would take this into consideration.

  • AGuest

    Your experience is very sad, dear Still (peace to you, truly!) and your reaction to it absolutely understandable. I can only offer that it is one voice (John 10:27)... and he would never tell anyone to kill anyone. Even their enemy, actually. Small comfort, I know, but if a "voice" is telling someone to do harm to another, it's not Christ, dear one. Can't be, regardless of what others may tell you... or what is written [about God] "in the Bible."

    Can/will demons tell someone to kill his loved ones? I know a lot make that claim. But given man's history, I dunno. Not much is recorded in history of such conduct, whether by demons or just plain angry folks (although, it could be hidden by authorities). Conduct like that is relatively "modern", at least the prevalence of it as we see/hear of today (meaning, the last 100 or so years; I am sure it did happen in ancient times, on occasion, and then usually out anger... but today it's becoming almost common... and due primarily to a form of mental illness that seems somewhat unique to the "westernized" world. But who knows, maybe the eastern/tribal nations, too, and they just hide it real good, I don't know).

    That your uncle "thought" he was "Jesus Christ" is interesting. I won't go into why, but leave off here with saying that I totally understand your fear and trepidation, regardless. No one should have had to experience what you did, at any age. Certainly not as a child.

    And no one can make another have faith... or purposefully make them feel bad for not having [enough of] it. Since the "rule" is to do to others AS we want them to do to us, one should be concerned with that and nothing more. I, for one, would want someone to share the truth with me, yes, but also understand why I may not be able to exercise the same amount of faith as [I believe they do]... and perhaps keep me in their prayers, if they're the praying kind.

    No worries, dear Still. You are embarking on a journey. The least I could do was offer you a "cool drink" as you're on your way.

    Again, peace to you... not at the world gives it, but as my Lord, the Holy One of Israel and Holy Spirit, JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH, who is the Son and Christ of the MOST Holy One of Israel, JAH of Armies... gives it. In heart and mind.

    Your servant and a slave of Christ,


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