Frenchy - thanks for taking the time to write. I read your poems and writings very reminiscent of Byron or thereabouts I dig the over the top love angst direction of it all. A few questions regarding your post, how would you define this "dream" of yours you mentioned in your post? Granted that it’s not easy to walk away from the WTBTS so does that mean you never do? Is there a cut off point? I can tell you right now that there’s parts of the emotional me lost forever as a result of association with the WTBS that would really come in handy now if I still had them, so it goes. You said “Most people have a difficult time extracting themselves from the dream” from the dream or the reality? Finally in regard to your comments about Jesus and freedom, is freedom a synonym for happiness? I’m asking a lot of questions I know and in response to sevenofnines question on research, no I’m not I just like trying to get inside peoples headspace, see things their way more clearly.-SolidSender
Purgatory, Limbo or the Twilight Comfort Zone
Dear Solid: Thank you for the compliments, you flatter me greatly by your comparison to Byron. I don't think myself in his league.
The 'dream' that I wrote about in my post is the total conviction that I had of having found and being in God's arrangement of things and therefore in line with all the things God had in store for 'the righteous'. I felt that I 'belonged' there. I had a sense of 'being home' so to speak and that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I took great pleasure in helping others to 'see' what I saw and I put my heart and soul into every talk that I gave whether it was on the platform of the local congregation or in neighboring congregations or from the stage of Circuit and District conventions. I was told many times that I had a gift for being able to explain in simple terms what some of the Witnesses found difficult to understand. I don't know if that's true or not but I did enjoy it tremendously. I enjoyed the Bible studies that I conducted and of seeing those people 'come into the truth'. At least one study went on to become a M.S. and then later an Elder. It brought me great satisfaction to see that. The dream was that I was ever so grateful that Jehovah had seen fit to use someone as unworthy as myself to do a work as great as what was now being done. In short, I had found my purpose.
Granted that it’s not easy to walk away from the WTBTS so does that mean you never do? Is there a cut off point?
Obviously there is a cut off point and a time when you do have to walk away for many. But not all do. That is not to say that those who remain are to be criticized in any fashion. Their family and friends are still there and therefore they stay. They put that ahead of their own convictions and principles and remain for support of those they love. I admire them for that. I guess it's like a man I once knew that entered the nursing home with his wife that had alzheimer's. He certainly had his right mind but he suffered the indignities of the home to be with his wife. Sacrifice.
You said “Most people have a difficult time extracting themselves from the dream” from the dream or the reality?
For me, for a very long time it was very real. Now I see it as an illusion or dream. It is only after there is a realization that it is just an illusion that one can walk away from it. The residuals remain as you have noted.
Finally in regard to your comments about Jesus and freedom, is freedom a synonym for happiness?
No because there are many 'freedoms'. It's far too complex of a word and concept to associate it with happiness per se. I always associated the 'freedom' that Jesus spoke of with happiness, however. I viewed 'the truth' that he spoke of as being God's will for an individual. Knowing what God's will was for me gave me a freedom from bondage to ignorance and a satisfaction of knowing I was doing the right thing. I thought that this meant being a JW. Simply put, I thought I knew.
Eve gained a freedom when she rebelled. I don't think she enjoyed it very much. In her case, knowing the truth liberated her in a way she never expected. To coin a phrase: Freedom can be a bitch! -Pardon my French.
-Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it-
Freedom came for me in knowing that Jehovah loved me even if I wasn't putting in my quota of hours...even if my meeting attendance was not up to par.
Interesting conversation! I think the "dream" for me was closer to a "nightmare" and not at all difficult to walk away from without any tug to return. The claim that the Society was the only place to find true love and unity was a belief I quickly became dispossessed from. In fact at the tender age of 15, I had many more friends that were "of the world" than I had within the Society. Most of them were not living a life of hypocracy by expousing one thing and doing another.
For those who are in dispare as "where to go" I can only say that I spent nearly fifteen years searching and not until I "gave up" did I come to the realization that for me the search was equally an internal process as much as it was a search for all the answers externally. Life "outside" as I found it was more a projection of my own inner state, I could focus on all the darkness or I could look at what was good and pleasant. When I chose to focus on the latter, all kinds of good things began to happen. The process has not failed me for the past thirty years.
Carmel: Thank you for your thoughts on the "where to go" dilemma. I want to be certain that I'm not just looking to replace one grand illusion with another. The truth is, I'd like to take the time to reflect on just what it was I thought I had and
what it was about me that made me want it so desparately. One thing I have discovered in this short time is that Jehovah loves me and knows that
I'm sincere in my efforts to try and please him. 7
The one thought I had early on was that if God (Jehovah) was as forgiving as the bible indicates, He surely would be patient with me while I visited all the churches, a synagog and read about all the other religions. Isn't a searching heart a sincere one? The many years I was a professed agnostic were ones of absolute honesty about not knowing and not professing to know.
Your certitude about the love you feel from Him, is a healthy and fruitful place to start.
Good thread here. Frenchy, I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding my thoughts and feelings about what I got from the religion and what I wanted. It was a dream, and it was VERY hard to wake up from it and find it was pure illusion. Thanks for the good posts.
This is a very good group, thoughtful and kind. I like the way you can discuss things here and feel safe to do so.
On the where to go thought - I don't want to startle anyone here but ever considered christianity?
S2-Go back and reread the replies in this thread and show me where anyone has discussed abandoning christianity? The point I made to carmel was my dissatisfaction with organized religion in general. Didn't mean to startle you.
You had made a comment in another thread SS to the effect that we were all "wishy washy" or something like that. I'm glad you brought the subject up.
I doubt many here would say they are wishy washy despite neither DAing themselves nor being a faithful Witness. Like Frenchy said, for most its the family and friends who remind us who we were, and to some degree the person we always will be.
We all know there is no "middle ground" in the truth, but perhaps to "fade away" is the least controversial and burns the least bridges. It seems that this site is where we go, to neither hate, nor condemn, but just to be with those who share common roots and are dealing with the same challenges on the path to freedom.