Now that you don't practise any kind of religion anymore, do you feel a certain emptyness as far as your spirituality is concerned?
Have we become like animals, without any spirituality?
No. There was little, if anything about being a jw, that was spiritual. Anything that might have been was labelled demonic.
I don't practice any religion now, or even know where to begin in what to believe anymore.
But I know that I personally am not without spirituality , just because I can't put a name to what I am feeling and what I believe. So I think I have that in me, something I guess animals don't , but who knows what they think,,,,,,,,right??
I do feel a void if I try to pin myself down to fitting in a certain kind of spiritual catogory, belief system or religion. But if I look closely within myself, I see that I am still the same spiritual person I was as a JW, even more so. I still think of God several times a day, I think of the creation and I thank him I am alive. I am still working on my faith, and prayer..........it is hard to learn how to do it all on your own without the meetings and the WT to tell you how to do it. But the steps I am making that are taking me further and further away from the WT ,,,,,,,,, are taking me closer and closer to my own spirituality. I like my own spirituality, I like not having to explain what I believe and that I can change my mind about things, the freedom of experiencing all the feelings I have, and knowing that even if I am not praying to God, as much as I should , He knows what I feel and accepts me for what I am.
Yes, I do feel an emptyness. By the sound of your comments, You also feel an emptyness. Any suggestions? Have you tried any other churches that worked for you? I have tried several, But the tower is so different from most others, That anything else is a shock.
I feel empty too.
I used to be worried in case I was making a big mistake in leaving the organisation. Now I feel empty because I don't know what to believe anymore. I thought I had all the answers - eg. why we are here, why there is so much suffering, what happens when we die, what our future holds etc etc. Now I don't know anything anymore - I even doubt the Bible which I never did before. I've been thinking about looking into other religions but I don't have the energy for all that - being a JW sapped all my energy.
When I learned of the history behind the bible....I was lost for awhile. No answers were left for me.
Now......it doesn't bug me. It will pass. Whatever happens when we die will happen.....wheather you believe or you don't.
Great Questions, JH, and I think LyinEyes hit the bullseye with
the steps I am making that are taking me further and further away from the WT ,,,,,,,,, are taking me closer and closer to my own spirituality.
I wondered about "Where else is there to go?" - but only fleetingly. I went out into my garden, admired the the 150 trees I planted coming into bud, watched the frogs mating in the pond I built and was enchanted by the birds feeding from the feeders I'd put out for them. This isn't about "I", it's about what each of us can contribute to our spirituality.
I don't know who or what our Creator is - or, indeed, if we even have one. I don't believe in evolution - never! - but I feel that the Spirit, whatever it is, permeates everything. Going out into one's garden or into a park when it is quiet, or atop a green hill that overlooks a valley, all these things help us get closer to the spirit - and as LyinEyes mentioned, this takes us further and further away from the WT and closer to our own spirituality. We learn that we are not dependent on collective thought anymore, we are free to follow our innermost feelings - that gut feeling that tells us what is really best for ourselves.
Look around at the untouched beauty of our planet; listen to the wonderful souls who pour out their feelings on this forum, those of a kindred spirit. Love IS all around - and so is the spirituality we seek; we can tap into it like putting a plug into an electric socket and turning the power on.
JH, don't try too hard - but imbibe the spirit that is around you, that which the native peoples associated with the land. I believe western civilisations lost the spirit for awhile, but many are now finding it again. Being stifled by the WT takes some getting over, but I believe when one accepts one is really free from the Org. - that it really is a condition of the mind, though pain can come with it - then we can truly experience our spirituality.
If there is a Creator he will see the good in us. He knows that we are striving to find him, but things have gotten in the way and we have to remove the dross. And if there's no Creator - then reach for Nirvana; that higher plain of consciousness one reaches after experiencing true enlightenment (anybody got there yet? I'm still trying - taken me a lifetime).
The important thing is not to worry, but to keep on doing good and emanating love in the world. If each one of us did this on a daily basis then it would spread out like the ripples in a pond and affect other individuals who could then do likewise. That is GOOD spirituality.
Look at it as a journey, JH. You're definitely not alone.
It's my opinion that belief, in it's purest sense, is different than pure spirituality.
\Spir`it*u*al"i*ty\, n.; pl. Spiritualities. [L. spiritualitas: cf. F. spiritualit['e].] 1. The quality or state of being spiritual; incorporeality; heavenly-mindedness.
It can very easily exclude beliefs, even more so a system of beliefs (systematic theology). There are many practices that work towards awakening the latent spirit that we all have.
It's true that loss of belief leaves an emptiness that we would like to fill w another belief, and most people do, even if the new belief happens to be secularism or atheism. The mind is a strange organ.
be·lief ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b
- The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
- Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
- Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.
You know, it's funny that people talk about emptiness as if it's something, when of course it is nothing. Of course I understand we're talking about a feeling of emptiness, but then that's not really empty is it? If we just go by the simple definition of nothing for emptiness, then there isn't even that feeling. Nothing is just nothing. One might also call this peace.
This understanding is not limited to eastern traditions. I remember when I was still a JW I was delivering phone books one summer, and I came across a church with open doors and there was a priest praying inside - total silence. This freaked me out, because I had this same mindset of spirituality having to be something full - being an experience junkie you might say. But really, I think this is what the bible calls peace beyond understanding, or 'peace of God that excels all thought' if you go by the NWT. It's nothing but a thought that interprets emptiness as a bad thing - but the ironic thing is there's no need to be concerned about emptiness when you have this thought, and not only that but emptiness is actually no-thing in the first place so how can it be a bad thing?
The heart sutra says 'form is emptiness and emptiness is form', but understanding the logic of this statement won't make you realize it. Just stop seeking and identifying with things. If it's always there and everywhere, you can look where you are right now.
Dansk, mentioned nature, and how that makes you feel, watching Creation.
Yesterday, I was sitting at the computer and had the window opened, it was a nice warm day,breeze blowing and the birds were singing.
I heard a strange sound outside the window, something unusual, I got this strange feeling because what I heard was not something that I knew well.
I went to look out the window and there were hundreds of black birds all over the back yard on the ground. Before I had this up close view of these black birds, I thought they were just that, all black, but they weren't ,,,,,,, they had the most beautiful saffire blue on the tops of their heads and their wing tips,subltle but I could see it up this close.
Once they sensed that they were being watched.. a few flew away, then all of them did, and it made the coolest sound as they all went up. It seemed like they made a breeze with the flapping of their wings.
I actually opened my mouth in awe, and said wow,,,,,,,,,,and smiled. Just a moment in time, but what it did to me..........I felt such a connection , appreciation for those simple, yet beautiful birds. It did make me think of the scripture talking about how God feed even the birds, and how he loved us even more.
So just looking at nature made me feel closer to God, life and made me feel happy.
My family are Native American Indian, but they did lose alot of the indian beliefs , they are all Catholic now , but my grandparents always trusted the earth. They depended on it for their exsistance and they could read the weather, even the animals. I wonder if most people, the great majority if not all, have this love of nature and respect for it, in us naturally? I wonder if it is like instinct, or if it is God given?