Belief - a key to Spiritual experience

by LittleToe 78 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • El blanko
    El blanko
    I don't know how to go about feeling that.


    I do understand how you feel and I have grappled for something 'real' to hold onto all of my life as far as faith is concerned. Maybe the point of faith is to not have anything in the objective world of reality, yet to walk with eyes pointing towards the invisible realities? But for me, I have never been able achieve that for any sustained period of time.

    It is only in recent years through a series of profound synchronicities and a surface study of the occult sciences that I have begun again to regain any trust in what we could loosely term as a 'spiritual belief' system. After walking away from the society all those years ago, I mostly cast the Bible and indeed any form of religion into the dumpster of my mind and got caught up in the world of drink/drugs/whatever and created my own material goals. My spirituality transformed into a power that drove me to despair through escapism. I had become in a way, a nihilist and I blame in part the JWs for this feeling of emptiness, due to their blanket stoning of any who falter and fall.

    I would suggest if you have the energy, to maybe glance at books by authors like Colin Wilson (his Occult series) - they really helped open my mind to other possibilities again. I also, believe it or not, read through a series of graphic novels by Alan Moore (whilst smoking dope I hasten to add - which I no longer do) called Promethea. Alan is a practising magician and I found his world very colourful and at the same time thought provoking through the medium of comic art.

    I still lean towards the Christian faith, as I believe when handled correctly it is truly universal and places a guide before us to treat ourselves and others with the respect we collectively deserve. Yet, I suppose I am a mystic as well in my adventures of the mind and retain an openness, mentally speaking, which I never had as a JW.

    I am also a depressive and struggle to balance the various facets that govern my reality when I go down into the pits of despair.

    My basic truth, is there is a God and that is all I really know. Beyond that, I study and keep my mind open.

  • Euphemism

    LT, very powerful poem... and thanks for sharing your experiences with us in this way.

    I agree with you that will is the foundation of spiritual experience--that is the fundamental concept behind the Christian idea of faith, but it applies equally well to the discipline required to clear one's mind in Buddhism, for example.

    The simple fact, IMHO, is that we receive the spiritual experiences that we choose to open ourselves to. If, due to conditioning or experience, we find ourselves open to a particular path, it only makes sense to take that path. For many Westerners, that conditioned path is a perceived interpersonal relationship with Jesus.

    Personally, however, I think that belief--in the sense of a satement about external reality--is only one of the possible forms of will, one of the ways of opening ourselves to spiritual experience. Since I recognize that this is actually a choice, I prefer choose a form that does not involve belief based on unempirical perception.

  • logansrun

    A very interesting thread indeed.

    I think it is very easy to identify certain cardinal attributes within a person; in the case of Jesus it was sacrificial love. I don't have any problem with that, or in calling oneself a follower of Jesus or Buddha, as long as we recognize that we are embarking on a train of thought which is not akin to our everyday, matter of fact way of thinking about things. Did Jesus really walk on water? Did he really give the Sermon on the Mount the way it is recorded in the Bible? To dogmatically state in the affirmative misses the whole point of spirituality, in my opinion. As long as we do not confuse metaphor with reality we are fine.

    Here's a more poetic way of putting it. The Christ is more than Jesus.


  • El blanko
    El blanko
    The simple fact, IMHO, is that we receive the spiritual experiences that we choose to open ourselves to.

    I believe that as well.

    It is difficult to discern what the external reality (if one chooses to believe) requires of each individual.

    I believe for instance that love is an entity that exists externally, not an entity in terms of a creature of course, but a physical law that is bound to the physical universe that each of us understands at a base level and that governs our perception of innate morality. That resonatating principle of love helps join and bind us together into communities that develop laws and principles to guides members towards unity.

    That at least I understand.

    When they say God is Love - I understand that statement as well.

  • onacruse

    Interesting perspectives (lot's of interesting stuff on the board today).

    The "real" is you, only you, and nothing but you.

    If God showed up in your bedroom, maybe after you'd done a prayer and asked for a personal revelation (or whatever "spiritualizing procedure" you indulged in) could you be sure that what God said to you was nothing more than a psychological hypocampus-gland-induced illusion? And even if you were sure that it wasn't an illusion, then how could you possibly convince someone else that "I just had a spiritual interaction with God; here's what He said, trust me"? Shades of a million hucksters that have walked this planet.

    otoh, if we grant that "proving" such a spiritual encounter is impossible, then what does that say about our personal experience? Simply that it is valid, for us, and no one else. That's belief (or, faith).

    Again, very interesting thread.

    Ross, top-o-the-day to ya.


  • wednesday

    JWS taught me that man is drawn to God, and inclined to search for Him. I agree with that. I just feel happier after i have prayed, and feel a connection with God.

    Once a JWS sis was trying to sell me vitamins. She said intergal to them working was i must"believe" they will help me. It got me to thinking about God and if i just had a need to believe,and if i could get the same feelings from other sources. i did not buy the vitamins b/c i felt that whether i believed or not should not have a bearing on them working.

  • JamesThomas

    Dear brother Ross,

    In no way am I discounting what you are saying; for what you are describing sounds like the way of Bhakti, the way of devotion and love.

    Sometimes it is easier for us to see the truth and divinity in others than in ourselves, especially in the beginnings of a our spiritual journey. So, by placing an image of love before us, such as "Jesus", there can be created a catalyst and a focal point for the cultivation and growing intimacy with what we might think of as divine and unconditional love.

    However, the mechanism behind Bhakti is duality in that emphasis is placed on a lover dependent upon a Beloved. Thus it inherently supports and enhances duality and separation. Which is just the opposite of what we are ultimately after: Oneness.

    Ultimately, the discovery and realization of Truth is that there is no -- and never has been -- any separation between us and Love/God. Ultimately, what is seen is there is no "me", or entity separate from the infinite Source.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that the "Jesus Road" is at best a tool that must eventually be abandon in order to discover the ultimate Truth. It can be a helpful beginning -- which can easily turn into a trap.

    In the end, surrender must be complete and all must be let go. It is not easy to forsake our -- Beloved.

  • Satanus


    "I just had a spiritual interaction with God; here's what He said, trust me"?

    If one did have something like that, thinking that we should pass it on to others is the wrong angle to take, imo. Why not let each one see it for himself? Perhaps just telling those who want it how they might be able to, would be enough. Your god of your experience may be a different part than that of another. Consider the problems dolphman had when he just related his own experiences. Writing about them here proved very little, really.


    I see how an image like jesus of the gospels is useful in spiritual practice. However, if i understand right, you say that whether or not he actually existed, or exists at this moment is not that important, as far as this practice goes. If that is what you meant, and it may be true, then the spiritual practicer would be open the the idol charge. Not that that is necesarily bad, but the fact that the idol is likely nonexistent is something that would prevent me from any practice using it.

    Or, is it possible that jesus of the gospels represents a jungian flavored archetype? If that is more acurate, then would not the other archetypes serve the same purposes?

    El blanko brought up the internal/external experience subject. I would be interested in your take on that. Most of my spiritual stuff has been internal, but, to my surprise, every once in a while something external manifests. Take those aliens from the flying saucer, for instance. Joke, just kidding about the last thing


  • A Paduan
    A Paduan
    I see how an image like jesus of the gospels is useful in spiritual practice.

    There is no teacher as this teacher - bringing eternal to us - sets me free to be me

    Let your yes be yes and your no be no


    What I 'believe' is not what I think or perhaps even hope, but rather, it is a 'knowing' in heart (teminos).

    See Abraham - who would "believe against hope"

  • MegaDude
    Ultimately, the discovery and realization of Truth is that there is no -- and never has been -- any separation between us and Love/God. Ultimately, what is seen is there is no "me", or entity separate from the infinite Source.

    This is interesting. I've always considered a relationship a decision of two parties both wanting and participating in the relationship, person to person or person to God. However, those who say there is no separation and never has been a separation between God and man seem to gloss over the fact that a relationship is the choice of not one party, but two, even if one of the "people" in the relationship is God.

    If there is an all-wise God, he wouldn't force a relationship on anybody. And if a person chose to be separate from God, and if real free choice exists, then there is separation. History is full of people who thought the way of God, way of Jesus, way of love, whatever, was for saps.

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