The Black & White Thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses---Are You Still Affected?

by minimus 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • under74

    Carmel's right about going to did knock the black and white right out of me. Sometimes though I get the feeling that it would be nice if things were more black and white to me now (even if I know that's not reality) I usually only feel this way when I have to make a big decision about something. I think that (decision making) is something that's been a struggle for me to deal with. I'm doing pretty well but when you've had pretty much all your life decisions made according to JW teachings it can be difficult sometimes. But that's life, right?

  • Granny Linda
    Granny Linda

    That's too funny.

    Well, it did take many years to sort through that one...dispite the fact my BIL years ago told me I thought only in terms of black/white. What could he possibly know being Catholic.

    I would like to think that I'm not as prone to the attitude of this way or that...but have instead taught myself how to reconize unhealthy thinking before it gets the better of me. {being human does have it's ups/downs} Thank goodness for recovery.

    If what my son asked me the other day is any indicator of slow recovery in some areas, whereas other areas of my person seemingly have healed faster...his comment gave me pause;

    "Just how screwed up did that religion make you!"

    Yipes. Guess it's not so much how screwed up I was/can be, as much as it is knowing that I don't have to stay that way. So it's one day at a time, one foot in front of the other..doda doda.

    GL, of the "don't preach religion to my grandchildren", class.

  • Mulan

    I was terrible in the "black and white department", a real Pharisee.

    I fight it all the time, and believe I am winning that one. I am much more liberal in my thinking now than I was before. I am sure that's why the Republican ideals are so abhorrent to me. They sound so much like JW rhetoric, the very thing I am trying to put behind me.

  • Leolaia

    President Bush thinks in b & W terms, just to remind y'all....

  • minimus

    I know many JWs that enjoy being told what to do. It makes them feel safe. They don't have to worry about doing the right or wrong thing---since it's already been decided for them.

  • Markfromcali

    What's probably more important to recognize is that black and white thinking is a simple and not-too-intelligent state of consciousness, it just so happens that came with the JW belief system package for many of us. The content, the specific beliefs aren't so important, you can encourage this kind of thinking with anything. Even the idea of identifying JWs with this isn't completely true, I mean we all know there are liberal JWs and those that just do not take a lot of what the FD&S say seriously and behave accordingly.

    Perhaps most significant is do you think in terms of black and white as to whether you're still affected or not? Sure sometimes it may show up more distinctly, but is that a matter of black and white? And to put it in perspective, a lot of other people (non-JW) in the world has some degree of this - so even if there is some trace of it it doesn't mean you are particularly more messed up than others.

  • minimus

    A former JW could be more affected by B&W thinking since it is a part of longtime conditionig. Obviously, the world is filled with such ones. Regarding "liberal" JWs , I guess an argument can be made that they are not black and white. Still, the "typical JW" is imo, trained to see things as either right or wrong, black or white. When some exes go in the real world, I think they carry this mentality with them.

  • Markfromcali

    Yes, but the conditioning of B&W thinking is not to be confused with JW beliefs. The B&W thinking is a more fundamental structure that the JW beliefs sit in, so it is more significant. This is why I am not inclined to associate the two together, because in order to get at the basic B&W structure you have to first distinguish that from the belief content, and then if you can just dismantle that then the beliefs naturally fall right after it. But on the other hand, if you only work on beliefs but continue to acquire new ones that fit in the B&W framework, then of course you're still in that mindset.

  • minimus

    B&W thinking is more fundamental than JW belief. But when a JW is in a "cult", he develops B&W thinking.

  • Markfromcali

    Yes, but to get out and certainly stay out of cultic influence that tendancy toward B&W thinking needs to be addressed doesn't it? After all as individuals in the world we will be exposed to it, prevalent as it is to different degrees.

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