many become and remain witnesses because of the hope of living in a paradise earth. For those who have left how did you cope with the loss of this hope? Or do you still have this hope?
how important was the hope of the paradise to you? and what do you hope in now?
I am having a good time right now. If I die at Armaggedon so be it. I haven't been a wicked person in my opinion. I didn't go out to harm others etc. I am not out killing others. IF the witness teachings are true then we will all be killed by Jah. I don't want to be in paradise if the witnesses are correct. IT would be slavery.
I never became a witness because of the Paradise and just parroted what they wanted to hear. I didn't have a heavenly hope either, well not the reigning with Christ type. I wanted to be in space and this was my secret hope, that we would get to go and see other planets.
The main reason for me going d2d so enthusiastically was to tell people not to blame God for all the problems in the world but Satan. Looking back now it was probably because as a child I was always held resposnsible for my younger brother's misdemeanors and got double punishment for not looking after him properly! (The smashed basement window punishment still grates even now. He lost 1 months pocketmoney but I lost 2 because I shouldn't have been letting him throw the marbles in the first place!).
One of the biggest challenges I had during my awakening to the truth about the organization and their teachings was getting past the presupposition that if the JW's do not have the truth, then who does? I mean, the WTBTS pretty much took away all other options by virtue of their teachings and doctrines that discredited the hopes and beliefs of all other religions. If there is no paradise on earth to look forward to, if there is no heavenly place waiting for me when I die, then what is there?
I have found a great place of peace and zen in accepting that there is nothing, there never was anything, and there will never be anything for me once I take my last breath on this planet. I simply will not exist anymore.
That which cannot be proven to exist, does not exist, includeing God, therefore why should I worry, or wonder, or have anxiety over trying to find one lie to replace another?
I enjoy living in the hear and now. The past is history, the future a mystery, today is a gift, that is why it is called the present.
thank you all for your replies.
botzwanna I'm glad you are having a good time now. Thoughtful point about the witness paradise being like slavery. But in my own case I did not look that far ahead. Having just returned from a brisk morning walk with my spouse I have managed to crystallise what it is that I love most of all. It is that feeling of being on the threshold of something momentous. JWs gave me this feeling in spades. it is what kept me going.
amelia ashton - yes I too was very zealous about telling people not to blame God for the wickedness but to blame satan.
Your secret hope of exploring other planets defintely resonates with me and for the same reason above - that of anticipating something momentous and huge.
I mean, the WTBTS pretty much took away all other options by virtue of their teachings and doctrines that discredited the hopes and beliefs of all other religions. If there is no paradise on earth to look forward to, if there is no heavenly place waiting for me when I die, then what is there?
I have come to see this as a literary, rhetorical device for carving out identity by painting everything other as rubbish and deathdealing. Hidden in the rubbish are the pearls waiting to be found one by one.
But I think there is a paradox at the heart of Zen - I wonder if the nothing of Zen is actually multifaceted potential. Is this how you understand the nothing you speak of
blonde, yes indeed - a present!!!!
guys and gals keep it coming I want to hear more. And also does anyone agree with the feeling of anticipation of something momentous that JWs gave you? (I don't mind being made fun of either)
At first the idea of a Paradise sounded like a good idea. One day I had an epiphany about it.
Matthew 16:25-" For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
If I truly loved God, then I shouldn't be doing his service with the idea of gaining a reward at the end. I thought of the whole 1975 fiasco and although I could understand why many people left, I had a serious problem with it. They were serving God with a time limit in mind. If things didn't happen within a certain amount of time, then they ended up leaving God. The thing is, this wasn't God's fault, but the WTS' fault for putting the idea in people's mind in the first place. Jesus himself said that no one knew the date for his return (except God) and so having some sort of time limit in mind was a waste of time and not done out of a sincere heart.
I realized that my worship shouldn't be based upon a reward at the end, but that just following the principles in the Bible, my life could be better now. In my opinion, to serve God with the idea of getting something from Him would prove Satan correct (the whole issue with Job comes to mind in that Job only served God because of how blessed he was, take those blessings away and see what happened). I didn't want to feel like a camel being rode across the desert with some yahoo hanging a carrot from a stick in front of my face.
My reasons for serving God shouldn't be the idea of a reward at the end, but it should be something based upon love. So that's how I started to practice my faith and still do to this day. Personally I don't care about a heavenly or earthly paradise. I care about what's going on now. There's too much unknown stuff concerning the Paradise for me to worry overmuch about it.
Many little kids try to be good in the Autumn so that Santa Claus will recognize their goodness and bring them toys.
They outgrow that and some of the magic of Christmas is gone.
It's silly to try to preserve such a lie in a child approaching the age of 8 to 10. They figure it out and most parents let it go right away or after one or two attempts to delay their realization of the real truth of the matter.
I view the paradise hope the same way. Adults eventually outgrow it and it's silly to try to preserve such a lie. Some of the magic of belief is gone.
But hey, kids still enjoy Christmas in some ways and former JW's still enjoy living with different hopes.
I live in the here-and-now as others have mentioned. I hope to enjoy the rest of my life, but I make sure to enjoy NOW in case some things change.
It was everything when I was a child."The goal'! Now,I hope to laugh,love,be loved and her great music,eat great food,and have great friends.Guess what? I have it all!So,I guess I win! And its a tangible win in the "here and now",now a vague 'someday' thing.
None of us know what the paradise would be like, at first it all sounds wonderful, Wat illustrations make it look fairy-tale-ish. But though, if true, perfect health, plentiful food...etc what not to like? But in reality I don't believe in fairy tales. I believe there would be much hard work to do, industry, farming, fixing and repairing tools and buildings and equipment as time and wear takes it's toll. I don't believe petting a lion and playing with a cobra is literal. In the wild food chain will still be there. Then we'll have to learn "new scrolls". KH every night. Worship every day. Suits and ties again. Here we go again.