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whereismymind
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08 May 2014, 9:03 am

I hear it is common for many people on the spectrum to struggle with religion and the existence of a higher power. I was a faithful Christian for about 5 years and, became disillusioned after a series of hypocritical people tried to tell me what I should and should not do, even though I had felt that in my heart it was the right thing to do. I also experienced vivid visions in prayer that I took as communicating with god and, then later found out that I was autistic and had a mild case of synesthesia. I know now hat I am hard wired to easily visualize pictures and, even see sound. So now I had been living a pretty secular life for the past 2 years and, my life is alright. However, I can't help but feel that there is something missing in my life. I feel very lost on this matter. Has anyone else been down this road and came out on the other side?



lifelover94
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08 May 2014, 9:35 am

I personally believe in God, but I have my own feelings on what is right and wrong. I have been down a road like you speak of, when I was younger, I was never a terribly religious person, sometimes bordering on agnosticism. But now I thank God for every day that I am alive. Do what you feel is right, that is what I try to do.



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08 May 2014, 9:40 am

I used to believe in God; but as I learned more about science and the real world (e.g. evolution is a fact and creation Adam & Eve etc is mythology) I finally reached the conclusion that there is no god. I'm now an atheist Zen Buddhist. The "spiritual" aspects and needs of my existence and life are fully met with Zen philosophy + science.


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zer0netgain
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08 May 2014, 11:58 pm

I believe in God. I take the Bible on faith (it's not an instruction manual to the whole universe).

Still, it's been tough. I've seen God work in my life. God has "told" me things that indeed came to happen that I have no rational way to explain I could have "known" beforehand.

On the other hand, it seems I'm only given enough to see me through today. If I listed what's going wrong and what's going right, I can see that I'm blessed. What hurts is that I feel like a failure because I don't see my place in this world nor understand my purpose. It really sucks to see others (believers and non-believers) doing better than myself...sometimes after making a lot less effort.

I tell people that what defines a Christian is not so much of "righteous" or "pious" they live or how otherwise perfect a walk they have with God....instead I think it is the Christian STRUGGLE that defines the individual Christian. How you deal with doubt, pain, loss, adversity. I'm not doing a Mother Teresa and saying there is something to make you desire to suffer, but it's easy to live for God when everything wonderful comes your way. It's what you do when things ARE NOT going your way that really says what kind of faith you live.

I know a few spiritual "giants" who have done great things that openly admit that they've gone through their pains and sufferings...all of which don't get the attention as their notable successes receive. I try and take comfort that we can't always appreciate the pain we go through until we see how it looks from the other side.

When things are going rough, I don't so much need God to explain why things are going rough...but I really could use assurance that everything is going to be okay...especially on the prolonged dry spells where it seems I just can't get a break.



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09 May 2014, 3:57 am

whereismymind wrote:
I hear it is common for many people on the spectrum to struggle with religion and the existence of a higher power. I was a faithful Christian for about 5 years and, became disillusioned after a series of hypocritical people tried to tell me what I should and should not do, even though I had felt that in my heart it was the right thing to do. I also experienced vivid visions in prayer that I took as communicating with god and, then later found out that I was autistic and had a mild case of synesthesia. I know now hat I am hard wired to easily visualize pictures and, even see sound. So now I had been living a pretty secular life for the past 2 years and, my life is alright. However, I can't help but feel that there is something missing in my life. I feel very lost on this matter. Has anyone else been down this road and came out on the other side?


I'm not sure what you mean by lost. Do you mean confused about the existence of god? It's not something that you can ever be certain of in the negative, but you don't need to be certain about the existence of god to realise that christians pull their god beliefs out of their ass. Belief in a thing should always be contingent on there being evidence for it. The absence of evidence tells us nothing about a thing.

I would recommend The Atheist experience. It is a is a weekly atheist call-in show from Austin Texas, and will give you a philosophical foundation for a lot of these issues.

This clip points out why evidence should be our threshold for belief.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zFJ8FyfZtc[/youtube]



Danimal
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09 May 2014, 10:23 pm

I know what you mean. For me church was a trying experience. Methodists are an unusually chatty bunch. I'm not. The amount of stimuli present during church left me drained and so tired. It usually took me two to three days to recover from two hours of church. I could listen to a sermon and not understand any of it. I was constantly accused of pride, selfishness, and not having "a servant's heart", whatever that is. The pressure to conform to the group caused such anxiety that my therapist wondered if I needed medication. Once I quit church my anxiety began to vanish. I don't really care what other people believe as long as they don't try to force it upon me.



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09 May 2014, 10:43 pm

whereismymind wrote:
I...became disillusioned after a series of hypocritical people tried to tell me...even though I had felt that in my heart...
I also experienced vivid visions in prayer...[and] know now that I am hard wired to easily visualize pictures and, even see sound.
I can't help but feel that there is something missing in my life. I feel very lost on this matter. Has anyone else been down this road and came out on the other side?

I have never been a doubter or even a skeptic concerning the existence of our Sovereign Creator, but I have certainly been through and experienced the things you have mentioned...and today, that "something missing" is completely gone and it matters not to me that people laugh, scoff, mock me or whatever. The real deal begins at a point of complete brokenness where one does not even try to get through the gate on his/her own and while keeping in mind that our own logic and thinking need to be completely re-aligned with His. I have difficulties with allegories, but you might be blessed by this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinds'_Feet_on_High_Places


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RunningFox
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09 May 2014, 10:50 pm

Allowing other people to influence your personal beliefs like this is ALWAYS a bad idea. It doesnt matter if its faith or something else. If you believe that your god might exsist, look in ward and turn to him for the answer, be receptive.



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10 May 2014, 12:53 pm

whereismymind-

I also fancy myself a Christian, of the Lutheran variety. I might suggest, if the church you used to attend hadn't lived up to your standards of honesty, or if they had been too judgmental, perhaps looking for a new church till you find one that fits you better would be the answer.


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10 May 2014, 1:22 pm

Make sure you have some kind of social outlets before you get dragged back into a church environment just for the company. There are plenty of groups to join and social outlets in the world that don't require you to check your common sense at the door. There are also many former Christians over at Pantheos who discuss leaving their faith behind. If the bible interests you I would suggest you read it from cover to cover and note what you like and what you don't like. Believers like to gloss over the troubling parts when they are selling you on their religion.

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived" --Isaac Asimov



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11 May 2014, 3:12 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
I believe in God. I take the Bible on faith (it's not an instruction manual to the whole universe).

Still, it's been tough. I've seen God work in my life. God has "told" me things that indeed came to happen that I have no rational way to explain I could have "known" beforehand.

On the other hand, it seems I'm only given enough to see me through today. If I listed what's going wrong and what's going right, I can see that I'm blessed. What hurts is that I feel like a failure because I don't see my place in this world nor understand my purpose. It really sucks to see others (believers and non-believers) doing better than myself...sometimes after making a lot less effort.

I tell people that what defines a Christian is not so much of "righteous" or "pious" they live or how otherwise perfect a walk they have with God....instead I think it is the Christian STRUGGLE that defines the individual Christian. How you deal with doubt, pain, loss, adversity. I'm not doing a Mother Teresa and saying there is something to make you desire to suffer, but it's easy to live for God when everything wonderful comes your way. It's what you do when things ARE NOT going your way that really says what kind of faith you live.

I know a few spiritual "giants" who have done great things that openly admit that they've gone through their pains and sufferings...all of which don't get the attention as their notable successes receive. I try and take comfort that we can't always appreciate the pain we go through until we see how it looks from the other side.

When things are going rough, I don't so much need God to explain why things are going rough...but I really could use assurance that everything is going to be okay...especially on the prolonged dry spells where it seems I just can't get a break.


If goD is omnipotent why would she 'work' in your life?
'Work' implies effort, process, sequence, goals, steps, etc....
Would not every aspect of an omnipotent beings will simply be....reality....without a process/effort, and so on?



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13 May 2014, 2:21 am

I struggled when I became an adult and learned more about my childhood religion. I found that I could not believe in it. I couldn't be a part of the Christian club. It was a long-term grieving process in which I looked for a substitute. One thing that helped me was looking at different religions. I was introduced to Taoism at this time, which is radically different than Abrahamic religions. Later I learned about Buddhism. I saw that the way I viewed religion (Christian or heathen) was way too limited. There were other ways to view spirituality.

Today I have a spiritual life. I even pray and believe in something you could call "God". I am not devoted to any religion, but I use the suggested daily actions of Taoism and Buddhism to guide my behavior (specifically, meditation, mindfulness, and good will toward others). It's been a long journey but I am grateful to have my spirituality.

In my life, I have had much more success in living spirituality rather than defining it. What I mean by that is I accept there are unseen spiritual forces that I do not understand. I do not try to understand these forces, just use them in my daily life for my benefit. I leave the big questions for others to speculate over.

When I look for organized religious groups to join, my first choice is the UU church (Universalist Unitarians). They encourage a spiritual search and you can learn about different spiritual paths. I want to get involved in a meditation group with some Buddhists. Meditation is so important to me. I want to better use this tool. Mostly my spirituality is personal though. It doesn't involve other people because no one around me believes as I do. I have been forced to go inward on my journey.

Beliefnet is a good place to learn about different religions and different Christian denominations. It has a test you can take to see which group best fits you. It has helped me to clarify what I do and do not believe.



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13 May 2014, 6:12 am

em_tsuj wrote:
Beliefnet is a good place to learn about different religions and different Christian denominations. It has a test you can take to see which group best fits you. It has helped me to clarify what I do and do not believe.


I was a member there briefly a few years ago; but didn't like the orthodoxy / dogma that was pushed by some overly outspoken members. Regarding "beliefs" I found the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti very helpful and showed me that a better way than finding a "religion" that fits one's beliefs is to question one's beliefs themselves. Where do one's beliefs come from? Is there any validity to them or have they been absorbed without thought or verification through one's culture, family or peers? Do the beliefs stand up in light of scientific discoveries (neurology, evolution, geology, cosmology etc)? I'm drawn to find out the truth of matters and if that means dropping any existing beliefs then fine; the truth is more important.


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HarmonySeptember
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13 May 2014, 11:00 am

This lost feeling means that God is missing in you'r heart. Atheists always have this feeling, but they usually try to ignore it. You are not, and that is a step towards the right direction.

Just remember that God loves you unconditionally. He loves you so much that he sent his son Jesus who took the penalty for YOUR sins from the past, present and future. This is a gift of love, and all that you need to do is except it.

Try to comprehend this: Us human beings are dirty sinners, and God is perfect. He chooses to love us as we see in the complexity of this world that maintains our lives. If you give your heart to him, he will erase all of your wrongdoings so that you can spend eternity with him.



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13 May 2014, 11:01 am

HarmonySeptember wrote:
This lost feeling means that God is missing in you'r heart. Atheists always have this feeling, but they usually try to ignore it.


You are talking rubbish.

HarmonySeptember wrote:
Us human beings are dirty sinners


Speak for yourself! :lol:

No such thing as gods.


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Danimal
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13 May 2014, 11:27 am

I agree. It's rubbish. Atheists have no longing for any gods. The dirty sinner label is simply silly. Gods are nothing but human constructs. Christianity is losing over 200,000 members EVERY FREAKING YEAR!