Have You Found Your Place in the World?
Rainbow - "Birds of a feather..............."
You are caring and have standards and principles. There must be some groups/organizations in your area which attract people with such qualities and ideals. Test the waters and see what you find.
The "worldwide brotherhood" has all the weaknesses and faults you'll find in "the world", so use your experience to help you choose your new associates. All the best.
Rainbow_Troll I think the WTBTS influence is still a part of your life or your living in a terrible crime and drug ridden neighborhood. Sorry about that.......... a change of scenery may lift your outlook.
The WT influence is best explained by Eric Hoffer in his book The True Believer and here's the strange part he wasn't even talking about the JW's.
Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable - it deliberately makes it so. It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral.
That's the WT Society's outlook on living in this world. Carry that forward into the world and it's a miserable place.
Get away from that kind of thinking....understand that you are free to live, learn and experience the better things in this world and your potential for a good and decent life becomes possible.
So a lot of us have to rethink what we learned as a JW. We have to relearn some of the basic life choices that are available to us and allow ourselves to emotionally heal.
Here, as elsewhere, the technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure.
The cure is actually living a worth while life.
This being said; everything is trivialised by death. In 100 years time none of this will matter to us...we'll be long gone. Oblivion.
Nihilism rules, huh?
It will matter to the following generations though - just as the decisions and learnings of earlier generations have impacted on us!
There is a world of difference in language between saying "everything is trivialised in death" to "death helps us keep our lives in perspective", especially how much we are guided by our values.
Unfortunately, JW literature posits two extremes: A life of meaningful purpose, serving "Jehovah" under the guidance of "His" organization (please note the inverted commas) VERSUS a vain, purposeless life. Such starkly fundamentalist black-and-white programming means that many who leave the organization never make the transition to a wider, more values-guided perspective on life - and trivialise human efforts even whilst benefiting from those efforts.
The world is a mixed bag, just like the Kingdom hall is. good and Bad. Kind and cruel. Beautiful and ugly.
I don't find the world to be a hateful place, but a hopeful one, and I like it. The WT's world is a false construct so its just an illusion at its best in any case. Real hope and optimism and work towards improvements is better than false hopes, false promises and thinking if we are just patient enough, God will fix everything thats ailing us.
I may not be all that I had hoped, but that is because real life dictates, other people actually DO inform my decisions and my opportunity and my responses. Which means that I don't knock on doors that will never open, stubbornly, all the while knowing they won't open, but sometimes the doors I knock on don't open and that is disappointing, but there is actually some reason to think that the next door will open. JWs just keep banging on closed doors out of pure stubbornness. That's gotta be frustrating. Sales is frustrating enough when you can have a measurable way to track your progress. JWs can only track the time they wasted and the (purchased) sales material that they give away for nothing at their own expense.No one is buying their crap and they know it.
My place in the world is mine, and not dependent on elders or an organization to accept me or my work. I am satisfied.
PunkofNice, even if there is no life after death everything we do matters because the consequences of what we do today will ripple forth into eternity. If I hurt somebody and they carry that with them for the rest of their life, they will most likely take out their pain on others who will start the cycle anew ad infinitum. This is what Buddha meant when he said that there is the deed, but no doer; we die, but our deed (our karma) lives on for eternity, life after life. But, if I resist the urge to take out my pain on others then that bad karma ends with me and the future will be a little better than the past. BTW, our sun will not go nova for a few billion years yet, plenty of time for humans to get off the planet and find a new sun.
Giordana, that quote from 'The True Believer' really hit home; I see a lot of myself in it. I read that book years ago, but I guess I better read it again. There is definitely an inner fanatic, an imperious puritan in me that sees all pleasure as trivial at best and not worth indulging in. It doesn't help that most of things that normal people take pleasure in (drugs, music, sex, shopping) do little or nothing for me. Maybe I need to learn to enjoy myself in whatever way I can.
As if reality were responding to my last comment about women, I saw a cute girl today with a black bob who was neither overweight or, apparently, a tweaker.
Interesting question. Yes, I think I have found my place in this cosmos. Good job, good food, good friends, and most important - good wine. I hope to keep this up for another 50 years.
RT that's an interesting description of karma. I've never thought of it as a concept of 'pass it on' but in a negative way. I do value people who try hard to refrain from taking out their pain on others and I try to follow this principle myself with mixed success. I have noticed perhaps in the last year how even the passing comments we make can affect others, not always negatively either, but I am starting to see how important we all are to the peace, or lack of it, each in our little bit of the world.
Regarding your inability to take pleasure in life, I get this and I battled with it too. It's something to do with having such a goal driven upbringing where every form of pleasure was trivialised in favour of 'theocratic' service. A woman from the children of God cult I heard speak at a seminar said exactly the same thing. After leaving she said it was very difficult to find meaning in life because everything seemed trivial compared to the great and magnificent purpose she had in the cult. Don't know if that helps I just thought you might like to know. I really enjoyed your thoughts on karma.
I feel the same, Punkofnice! when i'm doing the dishes i think, what is the freakin point, they will just get dirty again, it is useless! People never stay fed, I have to do it all again the next day. Same for the laundry, each garment has been washed 100 times, it never gets over with. No work I do is meaningful, or lasting. So I try not to think about it, LOL.
rainy - PunkofNice, even if there is no life after death everything we do matters because the consequences of what we do today will ripple forth into eternity. If I hurt somebody and they carry that with them for the rest of their life, they will most likely take out their pain on others who will start the cycle anew ad infinitum.
I understand your point. I'll resist punching someone up the hooter today.
Iown - We are on the same page. I feel like I'm hurtling through time so fast that I'm about to hit something. I think it might be death's door.
feel like I'm hurtling through time so fast that I'm about to hit something. I think it might be death's door.
I think that is a sign of your active. creative mind punk.
(psst, that would make a good line in a song - just saying)