Spiritual paradise or proverbial straitjacket?
NoAs a current or past Jehovah's Witness, do you / or did you feel part of a spiritual paradise with full liberty in Christ as the Watchtower society/organisation describes?
or do you / did you feel you were wearing a proverbial straitjacket in the sense you feel / felt restricted and controlled by the Watchtower society / organisation?
I actually remember my very first thought that came to my mind the very moment when I decided to leave. It was the Spanish language equivalent of "Spiritual paradise my ass!" Then, "I don't see any spiritual paradise among this bunch of weirdos. In fact, reflecting in my entire life at that point, I never saw truly happy people, never had a real friend, never had the love and support of anyone, including my own family.
The straight jacket analogy is a good one.
When I talked to my father about my reasons for leaving I remember I told him that I don't think that it's going to be paradise if I have to spend eternity with the JWs I know.
Spiritual paradise is only for a selective few, about the same as pyramid scam. GB is in earthly paradise the rest are in straitjackets......
I would say that as I had understood how the spiritual paradise was defined I felt that I was in the spiritual paradise when I was a JW.
I understand that the word paradise originates from a word meaning walled enclosure and as such I believe I would be somewhat restricted, I felt restricted.
Being restricted I felt was for my best interest when I was a JW.
You know, UnshackleTheChains, that is a good question.... One I wish I had asked myself years agol
In fact, unless the GB or WT or "The Society" had told me I was in a spiritual paradise, I never would have described it that way. I would not be sitting on the back porch dreaming "ahhhh, I am in a spiritual paradise"
I was a child in the 50's, going to looooooong meetings three times a week, going door to door, no holidays, long drives (8 hours?) to long conventions (8 days) that lasted from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, sitting in rain, fog, and hot sun (getting hives from it)
Paradise? no Spiritual paradise? Give me a break, just read some of those long winded WT's and "Book Study Books" with literal/ and type/anti-type explanations. Ahhhh!
Friends? nope, not too many. Mostly "March, march march." It was very difficult during high school to keep up with the meeting regime and homework.
Did I have fun? hmmm!? Sometimes, but mostly "Watch what you wear, don't wear too much make up, don't wear your hear like that, don't run into the convention, make sure you....... "
Yep..... it definitely was a straight jacket. Not really a 'spiritual paradise' at all.
I never did understand that phrase. It conjures up visions of a happy people in a warm, embracing glow of brotherhood, certainty, and freedom from anxiety, with benevolent Jehovah and Jesus smiling down upon them.
Instead, I saw many fearful people, afraid to enjoy life. Only those with money, and the occasional truly saint-like ones seemed happy.
I wouldn't call it a straight-jacket so much as a bubble. I was raised in my little bubble and told it was a paradise and no world worth seeing existed outside of it, and in fact, this bubble was in place for my on protection. As I aged I began to notice that parts of the things that existed in the bubble were pretty awful, but instead of doing anything to fix those awful parts I was taught to simply shrug my shoulders and say, "ah well, things outside the bubble are so much worse." I even managed to catch sight of things going on outside the bubble that seemed quite nice, but always managed to convince it couldn't have been so.
All of this changed however when I was forcibly ejected from the bubble, and instead of just sitting quietly outside the bubble I decided to take this as an opportunity to actually explore whether or not things out were as bad out here as I had been led to believe. I realized, of course, that they aren't. I mean it's far from perfect, but then again things inside the bubble were never perfect either, not for me anyway.