Blindsided

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Well, this is a surprise.  For the past few days, I’ve been more irritable than usual which is usually the first sign of depression for me.  Last night, I realized I felt sad.  I don’t know why it takes me a while to figure this out, but it kind of sneaks up on me when I’m not looking, you know?

So this morning [this afternoon, actually] I was pissed off for no reason.  It was bad.  I felt the same rage I do when I’m on steroids, which is white hot in intensity.

I’ve been wanting to run away again.  This has happened before, and it scared the hell out of me the first time, let me tell you.  I’ve made a commitment to my husband and kids to be here until the end of time, so wanting to run away and start a new life can be, um, disconcerting at the least.

I don’t really want to find a new family [been there, done that, you know?] but I want to run away and start over by myself.  Minus the pressure, I guess?  Only being responsible for and to myself sounds like a dream.  It would be for a week or two, maybe a month or two, but then I’d want to come back to my family.

I think I need to get away for a while, and I don’t really see any way to accomplish it, you know?

I’m having a lot of anxiety about these damn scholarship applications for nursing school.  I’ve been out of the workforce for over ten years, so letters of recommendation have to come from friends, ’cause that’s all I have.  Also, I’ve only got until July 2nd to get the forms mailed out to people and get them back, which makes me nervous, too.

I was excited about actually having a career and being a ‘professional’ and making a decent wage only a week ago.  Now I’m scared as hell and just want to be an artist.  Maybe writing and art are my fallback dreams when real life gets too difficult? Fuck if I know what the deal is.

Depression also makes me want to write.  Not being depressed makes me want to get out and live.  It looks like I can’t have it both ways, doesn’t it?  I’m just sad and confused about life.  My religion [well Christianity] is pretty much gone.  I still believe in God, but I think I’m more agnostic than Christian now.  I guess I’m just not wired up to be closed-minded.

I should have known it was a bad fit 13 years ago, but I loved Steve and figured since I didn’t really have a religion of my own, I’d try his.  It seemed to work for a while, as long as I didn’t ask any of the hard questions, as long as I just accepted on faith that the Bible was true, that it was God breathed.  Well, maybe it was God inspired, but men wrote it, and in my experience, men [and women] are a pretty fucked up lot and their heart issues tend to run over into other areas.

So I think some of those men had preconceived ideas about right and wrong and stuck them in there, thinking they must have come from God.  I think most people have a picture of God in their minds that is really a big mirror.  As I’ve gotten less judgmental and more loving, ‘God’ has begun to care less about a person’s religion and more about their hearts.

It just makes sense to me that if an Atheist is a great humanitarian and does a lot to help out the human race, then they’d be a helluva lot better in God’s eyes than a lot of Christians I know.  That totally takes Jesus out of the picture, and that’s what would get me into trouble with Christians, but somehow I think Jesus himself would approve.

He was all about ripping the religious leaders a new one by telling the general population that they could all come to God and didn’t need to be great followers of the law.  And yet, many of the Christians of today have begun to make the faith all about obeying the laws.  Even making it so that no one who doesn’t accept Christ as savior gets to heaven is following a ‘law.’

In my eyes, it’s just as evil as the people who said you must be circumcised to become one of God’s people [interestingly, the Jewish faith acknowledges that non-Jews can go to heaven, and they have fewer rules to follow than Jews do.  How the fuck did Christians get so backward?  Jesus came to show that anyone could come to God, and we’ve made it that no one can, except the ‘few,’ which of course doesn’t include any other faiths.]

It’s been at least a month since I went to church.  I had to go to a ladies’ Bible study a couple of Thursdays ago, and it was difficult.  I’m not angry at Jesus or God, ’cause I know that they didn’t cause their followers to become stupid shits.  Like I said, a person’s religion is just a mirror of their own hearts, and if their hearts are judgmental, closed-minded, or vengeance oriented, then their religion becomes that, too.

That’s why some people of all religions [even atheists] ‘get it.’ They believe the same basic things because their hearts are true.  The names they give their ‘creator’ or higher power are irrelevant because at the heart, the beliefs are the same.  And some people of all religions are idiots, and their religions follow suit.

The sad thing is, there are a lot of sincere Christians [like I was] who believe the crap they’ve been taught and embrace the ugliness of another person’s heart, accepting it as Truth, when it’s just a pitiful lie.  They try to make it fit, but end up like I did: depressed, miserable, and desperately thinking/praying, “There’s got to be more than this.”

I think a lot of people wrongly begin to believe that following Jesus, or believing in God is evil.  It’s not the divine that is evil, it’s the heart of the person spewing the bullshit that is evil.

It’s funny, because Jesus said you have to be ‘born again’ in order to be able to see the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven is right here, and after you have the ‘epiphany,’ a point in your life where you embrace love over hate, you can see pieces of heaven everywhere.  Your heart has joy because you begin to be able to look upon even the unloveliest with love and compassion.

Jesus was a magnificent example of what that looks like.  He loved his enemies and accepted his fate, probably knowing that by dying his teachings would live on.  He probably hoped that as time continued, that more and more people would look at his example of love and see the truth in what he did.  He wanted others to experience the kingdom of God as much as he did.

The church of 400 or so CE wanted to control the people, so they distorted his message and used it to control people, the same way the Pharisees did in Jesus’s day.  Sad, but true.

Jesus was a son of God the same way that we all are sons and daughters of God.  He ‘got it’ more than we do, and that’s why he is such a great example to aspire to.  That’s it, though.  Any one of any religion can look at Jesus, or Buddha, or Gandhi, plus various other great souls, and find the truth.  If you follow Buddha, guess what?  You’re following what Jesus taught.  And if you follow Jesus, guess what?  You’re following what Buddha taught.

And I didn’t make that up, either.

What sucks, though, is as you can see, I don’t really fit in at church anymore, and that’s where my friends are.  So I’m alone again, and that makes me depressed.  I can’t go back to the way I was before, because I know better now.  But that leaves me floundering about because my husband is still a Christian [although a good one] and wouldn’t go into a different religion.

My kids ask about going to church, and I feel guilty because I don’t take them.  But hearing what they teach makes me angry, and I don’t think I can deal with it on a regular basis, you know?  I certainly don’t want my kids exposed to the negative side of Christianity, either.

I could go to a Unity Church if they had one here, but the nearest one is an hour and a half away.  I guess I could ‘attend’ an online church, but that doesn’t answer the need my kids have.

It’s funny how when I’m depressed, I always struggle with religion.  I know that I need some kind of faith/religion in my life.  I’m ‘spiritual’ I guess 😉 but Christianity in evangelical terms doesn’t fit me anymore.

I think I may be nearing a ‘coming out’ post/talk/e-mail or something to my friends.  I’ve broached the topic with one of my friends, but I lose the words in anger.  I still feel betrayed by the religion, I guess.  I’ve been trying to reconcile my beliefs with continuing to attend my church, but my church bases its entire faith on believing that Jesus is the only Son [capital S] of God, the Savior of the world, and the only way to heaven.

Is it even possible to reconcile myself to that?

Jeez.

Well, I’m still depressed, still confused, still angry, and still.  So I guess I’ll probably be blogging again until this lifts.

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One response »

  1. Love, let me be so bold as to interrupt on you, that is, to post a comment on your entry. I must say I’m doing this with trepidation, first, because although blogs are made for comments, it still often seems rude to interrupt into a personal blog which you haven’t read from the start but only happen to find accidentally, and second, because what i say i doubt will steer you in any direction because, well, because it would be bold of me to think otherwise. So, in a sense, I’m “beating wind”, but still, that exalting of your free will leaves me free from responsibility, and so i may lay my answer to your serious religious questions in a way i like more, fearing not of not being thorough enough.

    First, i would like to comment on your literary style, which is, well, pretty stylish for my taste. You write with sure and sharp strokes, which might be a touch of a true writer. I enjoyed reading your last entries. And not only because of the literary style, of course, but intricacies of why else are hard to put into words.

    But, apart from being just interesting entries, the last one laid some serious questions on which i would feel like neglecting if i don’t try to laid if but a opportunity of a path for answers.

    I would like to begin from the end, and answer your question of “Is it even possible to reconcile myself to that?”, that is, the question about the importance of godhood of Jesus Christ. Again, I’m not feeling important enough (in your personal existence) to convince you, that is why i hope I won’t try to argue with you, but will just lay some answers, in case you need them, and if I miss something, you can always inquire me further on any topic concerning Christianity.

    So, well, why is it the Church always teaches about Christ, buzz about Christ and otherwise seems always to be obsessed with Him? Well, there’s a lot theology about this. A lot and a lot. Why so much? As G. K. Chesterton says (in Orthodoxy), our religion is complex because it answers the complexities of the world. In fact, one of catching points in that Chesterton’s work is that when he thought about world and found his answers, he *then* found that these answers was already all present in Christianity. So that complexity you see is all there because it answers the needs you might not have yet even encountered, or recognized.

    One of such complexities the Christianity is trying to answer, is personal relationship with God. In pagan religions god is often found in something close: like in sun, in earth, – and both in ancient and in modern times, in cosmos itself. You see how it works? The mind searches for god, and stops on a nearest acceptable thing. But Christianity, like you yourself said, is, from the roots, an inspired religion, and one of such early inspirations is found in the name of God – Jahveh. That name, in the greek translation of the Bible, which is the base of all our translations, was substituted by Jewish translators (I’m talking about Septuagint), since Jews in that time was secret about this sacred name. It was substituted with just “God” or “Lord”. So, the only place where this name is directly mentioned and translated in our Bible is Exodus 3:14: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you”. That Jewish name – Jahveh, indeed, translates as “I AM THAT I AM” (for a scientific research on the subject i would recommend “Tetragramma, ili Bozhestvennoe vetkhozavetnoe imia YHWH” by Feofan Bystrov), and purports the revelation that God have His own existence, independent of this world, unlike other “gods”. That world depends on God, not the other way around. This is in par with the Jewish word “barah” – “creation from nothing”, which is used in the Bible only twice or thrice – first time in the very first verse of the Bible and second time in the creation of a human being as a free person in the second chapter of Genesis. God, in the inspired religion, viewed as a being which existed before the world and exists independently from the world, and worlds depends in it’s existence solely on the will of that Creator. That is different from most of the other religions, including the Buddhism aforementioned by you. So, already, you see, “if you follow Buddha”, you’re not following Christ or the inspired religion which prophecized Him (just google for “Christ prophecies” to see what i mean, the Old Testament was very much about Christ, the book of Isaiah is even called the “First Gospel”). So, when you say that “Church of 400 CE distorted His message”, this statement, although very arguable, isn’t even relevant for the most of your questions, since inspired religion starts much-much earlier. (And if you think that Church has distorted something, then saying that it was 400 CE is a *very* weak point, as there is *a lot* of Christian literature left from before that period, so it is easy to prove that what we teach now is what, say, St. Ignatius of Antioch preached).

    So why the Old Testament is all about Christ? Well, let us mention *how* it is all about Christ. You see, when answering even momentary Jewish needs, the prophets of God were answering them in the large scale, so they often speak of the future “salvation” and future coming of the “savior”, even if only to console the Jews in their hardships. You see, prophets often emphasized the special relationship of Jewish people to the coming of the future Messiah, the Emmanuil (which translates “God is with us”). Hear Isaiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (9:6). Why? Because they saw (and rightly so), that all the earthly problems of the Jews were only a consequence of them turning to evil gods (Baruch 4:7). The true God, who sees to everything (Ps 93:9), is able to Providence about people who put themselves into His care, but if they don’t want to, He, out of respect for they free will, left them to which they are desire, which only leads to ruin, usually. In the life of Jews there was an additional pedagogical factor, as they were very inclined to idolatry (thus often they even brought sacrifices to the true God and to pagan gods at the same time, if not on the same altar), and still the inspired religion must’ve to survive since it was promised to Abraham that Jesus would come from his kin. But still, how it is all connected with Messiah? You see, invisible God is hard to follow. This is why Jews, when led successfully for a long time by Judges, which was the maximum freedom the nation may have, as Judges acquired their authority only when it was necessary, the Jews asked, still, against the God’s will, for a secular king, “like in other nations” (1 Sam 8). This is why in Christian ascetics there is a saying: “If you can’t listen to your elder, whom you see, how could you listen to the God, whom you neither see nor hear”. Therefore, the promised “salvation” (and if you know, the coming of Savior was first promised in Edem, directly after the Fall) not only was important because of its great consequences to all humanity, but also because it might have steered Jews from their repeating disruptions from their own faith. The prophets, you see, not only craved to see the Kingdom of God their self (Luke 10:24), but also hoped that such direct interfering of God, when He “shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men” (Baruch 3:37), would, at last, solve the permanent childish faith problems of the Jews.

    I hope it is now obvious, then, if you trod carefully with me through some of the ancient history, that what our inspired religion is trying to answer, among other things, is the problem of direct communication with, of *knowing* God. The same very God, who is, in the same very religion, (and rightfully so) deemed to be fully outside and independent of our world, to be the “I AM THAT I AM”. You see, that very independence of the God from our world is treated by most philosophers “the both ways”. If God is Absolute, then they do not understand how we can communicate with Him. If God is an unreachable Absolute, then human being fails to reach it’s goal. Like Chesterton said, “The oriental deity is like a giant who should have lost his leg or hand and be always seeking to find it; but the Christian power is like some giant who in a strange generosity should cut off his right hand, so that it might of its own accord shake hands with him”, and if there is no connection between that Absolute God and a human being, then the hand was cut in vain.

    Now, you see, the importance of Christ, besides “salvation” (which is a topic in itself), is to allow for that direct communication between God and man. For, you see, His acquaintance with human *nature* makes all of us to be his relatives, and we can share a deeper communion with Him, as of Church being His Body, literary. That is apart from the fact that it is much easier to speak with Him because He is also a human person, not only an inconceivable Super Being. So, you see, the Incarnation of Christ is all about His care to provide us with a means of communication with Him, which, since the God is independent from the world, would not be possible if He didn’t Himself gave us a hand in this.

    The “salvation” itself, of which the Christians usually talk so much, is about restoring the possibility of that direct communion with God, which Adam lost when he Fell, although saint fathers say, that even if Adam wouldn’t fell, the Christ would’ve still Incarnated, to provide us with that level of communion with Him, which is also theologically sound, as Adam was created in the image of Christ, whose Incarnation was preordained in either way.

    The Trinitarian teachings are very important also. Take Muslims for example, their “Monarchic” God is seen as the source of both good and evil, his relationship with world is egoistic – the world created *for* God. All this comes from the conception that he is the only Absolute, one person, because if he is one person, and he was before world, that means he has no love in itself before the world was created. In Christianity, on the contrary, the love is inherent to the timeless existence of God in Three Persons. And that division brings also the possibility of us sharing in the internal life of Trinity, of which the saint Gregory Palamas explains at large, and which, in effect, is called theosis.

    All and all, the Christianity is a very unique religion, which offers personal relationships with God, while Buddhism, which you seem to see as a peer, although is wearing a lot of masks lately, but if you see to it’s roots, not only has not and never have a conception of a God at all, but is also about destroying your soul and reaching nothingness (which is what nirvana originally means).

    You say that what you’ve heard from some other Christians what you regret as a “pitiful lie”, falsely posed as Truth. That isn’t clean enough for me to understand what exactly it is it you say. But just in case, let me point out, that Church had many divisions, particularly because it is often hard for a human being to grasp the teaching of a Church as the whole. The very word “heresy” means “the choice”, that happens when one chooses a part of the Christian teachings, which one happens to understand more, over the whole teaching of the Church. Therefore, there are a lot of Christian denominations, which preserve only a part of the Church teaching, and, what’s worse, lack the continuation of that *inspirational* part of the Church, which is the basis of Church’s “Tradition” (of which Tradition the Holy Scripture is but a part) and the only sound way to its interpretation.
    I might point to some essential history:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Holy_Catholic_and_Apostolic_Church
    and to the only denomination i believe to fully keep that inspirational tradition which was the basis of Holy Scripture and should be the basis of Church’s teachings:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church

    You say: “That’s why some people of all religions [even atheists] ‘get it.’ They believe the same basic things because their hearts are true.”
    – That is the moral law of which apostle Paul (first century) and Kant (18th century) both wrote. To Kant it is “his” prove of the existence of God. To quote apostle Paul: “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” (Romans 2)
    So, when thou say that “if their hearts are judgmental, closed-minded, or vengeance oriented, then their religion becomes that, too”, i don’t think you’re speaking of Christianity. Perhaps that “ladies’ Bible study” of yours is then a point to prove that useful interpretation of the Bible comes only from within the inspirational Tradition of the Church. “It takes a prophet to understand a prophet”. See http://orthodoxwiki.org/Hermeneutics

    Hope this all wasn’t really boring to you. Yours.

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