Do belief and logic have to be enemies?

by new light 44 Replies latest jw experiences

  • new light
    new light

    After much, much soul searching this past weekend I was once again confronted with the possibility of what can be called the Divine. It was not exactly a pleasant experience, as I have been denying, even ridiculing the idea of God basically since exiting the JWs (guess I was more traumatized than I thought). During this last year I have been convinced that I must have been crazy for believing in God. Now I'm not so sure. Things all came to a head this weekend and I was faced with a distinct choice: follow the "God" consciousness or follow my comfortable little self that has been constructed over a lifetime with a little remodeling this past year. I took the easy way out, followed the ego. There is no denying of the presence of the other side, though, the side of me that wants to transcend old habits and glow with unconditional love and maybe, just maybe, have a relationship with a Higher Power that I am not sure even exists, although at one point not too long ago that One's existence was a deep seated truth that I experienced personally.

    Was I wrong for believing in the Divine? Am I hurting myself now by denying Its presence? Has anyone hear successfully integrated their highest beliefs with their skepticism/logic? I know, these questions are kind of vague, but they are hopefully a beginning to enlightening discussion.

  • LittleToe

    There's a gulf of a difference between believing something because you've been told it and actually experiencing something.

    I don't see how even the most skeptical of folks can ignore an experience, just because it doesn't fit with how they'd like the world to be. That statement, of course, cuts both ways...

  • new light
    new light

    First of all, thank you, Ross, for answering. Ignoring "it" is exactly what I did. A few years ago, I had, in my belief, glimpsed the Divine, the Eternal Grace, and followed it unabashedly. At the time, my interpretation was "I need to get reinstated, because the JWs are the only true religion." Obviously, that was a foolish interpretation.

    So, I'm given a chance to follow it again this weekend, but instead of bliss I'm flooded with fear of the unknown and cling to my ego with white knuckles...a very unpleasant experience. That glimpse, though, is undeniable. I suppose my main fear is losing my girlfriend whom I love dearly but is decidedly "left-brained". There is also the fear of getting sucked into some all-consuming belief only to be proven wrong with time. I wanted answers and only came out with more questions. Boo-hoo.

  • Sunnygal41
    I suppose my main fear is losing my girlfriend whom I love dearly but is decidedly "left-brained".

    Hi, NL. I know there is a "Divine" energy that manifests in wondrous ways, yet, I am, I think able to reason logically. The statement above concerns me. Have you sat down with said GF and discussed this fear of yours with her? You need to, sooner or later. We can never compromise what our true self is for anyone else, otherwise we will remain miserable the rest of our lives. There IS a deep spiritual hunger inside each of us that has convinced me that we are meant to be both spiritual and logical..........balanced with both sides of the Universe...........the material and the non-material. Hope this helps........ Terri

  • new light
    new light

    Thanks for the good advice, Terri. I guess "losing" is a bit of an exaggeration, as I know she does not ask me to be something I'm not. But I don't want to go off on some mystical tangent only to regret it later. Balance is everything.

  • Sunnygal41

    Absolutely, NL, balance is the key! And, as you've said before, you ARE a Gemini. Gemini's struggle with being balanced, I think, more than others......except maybe Pisces.........they also have that dualistic thing going on......... Terri

  • under74

    Well......I guess I understand what you're saying. There was a time where I ridiculed others often for believing but I came to understand that some people need to belive in something that will explain things.

    For me, I'd say that it was somewhat liberating to realize that there isn't a god. To realize that I don't have to aline myself and base decisions on what I think god would want me to do. Also, to realize that all the accidents that happened in order for us to be here -thinking the way we do, living the way we do, is special and unique and it can't be duplicated. But know that just because I don't belive doesn't mean it involves egotism. Ego can be applied to religous experience as well.

    i'm not trying to discourage you from looking into this opportunity. But be careful.

  • Narkissos

    He he, just my kind of topic...

    From a different perspective I think I deeply agree with Sunnygal but would put it my way:

    Don't fool yourself into thinking you can choose.

  • AlmostAtheist

    My wife, Gina, is a believer. She came out of JW's, but she's never lost her faith in God. A good chunk of her belief that something must be there is based on personal experience. I don't trust my own experiences, much less anyone else's, so I can't say the same evidence would convince me, but it convinced her. Perhaps that is what you're facing.

    When I start to lay down for sleep at night, I'm often struck with a desire to pray. I've even tried to sort of "fake it" by talking with myself about what I want to have happen in my life, what I'm doing to make those things happen, what I can't control and how I'm affected by it. But it isn't satisfying in the way that real prayer was when I was a JW.

    I also believe that we have an innate desire for spirituality, but I wonder if it is an emergent behavior based on protection of a population. If most people have a common source to look to for determining right and wrong, I have to believe that would lead to all of them living longer, at least long enough to reproduce. That's exactly the sort of behavior that would be passed along to offspring, and so it would spread. I take some comfort from this belief (and I admit that's exactly what it is -- a belief) because it allows me to believe there's no god (satisfying my many 'but if there's a god, then why does...'-type questions) while also explaining why I have a desire to take part in spiritual things.

    So long as it doesn't wind up turning you into a cog in some church-machine, there's nothing at all wrong with spirituality. Your logical girlfriend may well not care whether you're a believer or not. Gina has far more difficulty with my lack of belief than I do with her belief.


  • Greenpalmtreestillmine

    New Light,

    Don't worry about it. Do what brings you peace. Listen to music that brings you peace. Go to places that bring you peace.

    Love to you,


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