I loved Mitch Albrom's "Have a Little Faith" because it explores cooperation between different faiths from a Jewish viewpoint. I also enjoyed More Than Matter?" by Keith Ward, which was my first experience with philosophy.
What is Your Experience with Non-Christian Religions and Philosophy ONLY?
Thanks everyone who posted and thanks to those who sent private messages with interesting links!
Let the journey continue......
It is a great journey too ! I have travelled a long way since leaving the JW/WT in early 2008.
I have come to the conclusion that all religions are invented by men, and that there is no proof, that would stand scientific and forensic scrutiny, for the existence of a god or goddess or spirits etc etc.
I have decided that, after 58 years of believing bullshit, I will not be duped anymore, hence when I saw a book entitled "Believing Bullshit" I was drawn to it.
It is written by Stephen Law, a philosopher, and published by Prometheus Books N.Y, and is mainly about the methods used by various con artisits and misguided people to suck you in.
I recommend you read it before travelling too much further, it could save you a lot of time, as it has me, let alone heartache, which can come from going down too many blind alleys.
Enjoy the ride !
Gnosticism is pretty cool. It turns the whole Judeo-Christian myth on its head. As far as a personal philosophy, philosophical Taoism resonates with me the most. Taoism emphasizes a connection to nature, opposites (yin and yang), and being in the 'now'. It's very compatible with science, and with practical reality (no waiting around for heaven or some utopia). If you haven't read much philosophy, Nietzsche and the later existentialists are a good way to go.
Wow. This is me. Almost exactly.
My partner Mai is Bhuddist.
I find this religion very attractive as a philosophy, but I don't believe the re-incarnation or other fanciful mystic beliefs.
I think everyone likes it on earth, its all we know. I would not get too deep into religion per se. Man was not meant to know all the secrets of nature, which is fine by me. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die - in other words enjoy life and don't sweat the little things or unknowable, especially a deity who could care less (by his inaction) about his own creation. Gods come and go, but always seem to remain immortal in mans thoughts. After we die, no one will even know we existed 100 years from now. Sad but true... so live it up, explore spirtuality if thats your thing, but more importantly remain "free".
Sinis - Let me give ypu some insight as to why this thread is important to me at this moment.
I have been feeling somewhat lost since I left WT in January 2011 but was not sure why until I read some to the links I was sent privately.
For years I was so sure I had the "truth" because I spent a lot of time researching it before I committed. I am a 100% guy. If I am not going to do something 100% I won't do it at all. That's just the way I am. Once I committed to the WTS I was one of their leading zealots which is why I got so much responsibility at a relatively young age.
Even so, I stuggled internally with the altruistic approach to life. I just didn't buy sacrificing everything and leaving it to outside forces to take care of me. My father is 65 years old. He is an elder and is pioneering with his second wife. He is one of the unhappiest people in the world. He is poor, can barely afford his rent or food but refuses to get a job because he really believes that Jehovah will care for him. It drives me crazy to see him wasting away. I did want to turn out like him and that is one reason I left.
What I soon discovered though is without the Witness teachings as my foundation I did not know who I was, or even what I really believed. I no longer had any basis for making decisions, plans or goals. I have been struggling because I have been trying to start over, but subconsciously still clinging to my old values and principles which invariably make me feel guilty. I feel alone in a society that I have spent my whole life avoiding and cut off from one that had been my support system.
I am not necessarily looking for a religion as much as a way of life, a path, a basis for which to make decisions, set goals, dream dreams and work to accomplish them. I don't do random. While I do not want to be told what do any longer, I do need a center and that is why I have started this thread. I don't know if this makes sense or not.
BTW, I have received some really good information and I believe a path has manifested itself.
The journey continues...with a little more direction..
I have traveled abroad and done quite a bit of digging into some religions. I highly recommend that you travel and check out other religions first-hand. You can learn so much by visiting the people, and finding out yourself.
My next vacation will be to Cambodia and Myanmmar (which I am looking forward to very much) to check out Buddism. It is not exclusively why I travel, but does have a great deal to do with it. You can really see how most religions evolved into what they are today. And I do mean that literally.
But this board is not the forum I prefer to discuss these things, so I'll leave it at that. PM me if you want to discuss it.
I personally think you can not leave a leaf unturned when it comes to learning about yourself.
You have to discover what your vocation is(which could be one of many things) and build a life around that.
Don't exclude your JW family though they may exclude you. If you are not successful already you will be, and I'm pretty sure Pops will not turn down
assistance from you. Don't try to build instant friends.(I known all this stuff sounds rudimentary but I am working on these things myself)
Makes complete sense!! Took me about a year to ditch everything. I always felt guilty, confused, did not know what to do, etc. Then it dawned on me, live life. Make new friends, normalcy will come. Well ask yourself, what kind of life do you want? Do you want to go back to school? If so do it. Travel? Do it. Nothing is keeping you back. Goals in life? The sky is the limit when JW dogma is not holding you back. You have escaped Shawshank, made a clean break, now find your ocean front cabana. If you keep lingering you may in fact walk back into the wardens office asking for directions which will get you time (still a JW, at least mentally) or execution (DF'ing) - either way why return to the vomit? Stop thinking about the old way, limitations, etc. Sit down with a pad and a pencil and make a list of things you would like to do, that you never did before. Hell, maybe get a little daring and smoke that dominican cigar with a nice glass of brandy - can you feel the rush? Maybe go to that strip joint (assuming your not married or anything) and check it out? Can you feel it now? Now I'm not saying to become a complete heathen, but allow yourself to break the bonds of JWism that have held you back for years. Do a few "fun" but previously forbidden things and you will soon realize that their is more to life than trying to live by some invisible gods rules and insane old farts in a city most have never seen...