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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)  (Read 1353 times)

pehirstxwadan97

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I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« on: February 23, 2018, 12:19:40 pm »
The title says it all.

I feel robbed. I feel angry. I know i can't change much.
I am angry at monotheism, and i don't like that i am angry at it, i know that i don't have to like it, or agree with it. But to carry around the resentment i have for it isn't helpful, for me or for anyone else.
I have been angry at it before to the point where it has robbed me of sleep - i know for certain that's not good.

I could rant on about all the things that i think are screwed up about monotheism, and about the negative affects it has had on the world, but i won't. The root of my issue with monotheism is simple, i believe it has exacerbated the instincts to protect ourselves and those we love, an instinct that we have as human beings, an ability to defend ourselves when needed, and has turned that instinct into a desire to shun, belittle or even attack others. In short, i believe it has robbed the world of acceptance of difference and nuance.

If it was only in strictly religious circles it wouldnt be so bad. But i have seen this kind of mentality even in secular circles, even in the subtle things.

I am a disabled person, if i were to describe myself, i would describe myself as such. But in the last few years i have notice more non-disabled people saying that i should describe myself as "person with a disability" and others should describe me as such. To be honest, it's not the way it's worded itself which is offensive, but the idea behind it.  The idea behind it is that saying "person with a disability" makes it easier to remember that the disabled person is a person. To some that sounds fine, but to me thats not acceptance, that's erasure. Because if the only way someone can remember that im a human being is to constantly remind themselves, i think they have the issue, not me.

thats one small example but it demonstrates the point im trying to get at. Secular society still isn't ok with difference, there's always talk that "we're all the same on the inside" No, no we're not. There's some absolute monsters out there.

That brings me on to another thing.
There's a difference between respecting difference, and accepting abuse.

This is something that really hits home for me, after i left home, and particularly after i left Islam. A lot of people have told me that they couldnt get involved in my case because a lot of it had to do with religion and culture, and they felt they had to respect that. 
Respecting someones right to believe a certain thing or pray a certain way is one thing, it is not respect to allow them to force those beliefs on others and treat them accordingly.

I just feel that so often, people seem to think they are living in a black and white world, or perhaps a world with black, white, and shades of grey, but thats not true. There's red, yellow, purple, blue, pink and green.
I don't know if im explaining this in a clear enough way, but sometimes i wonder what the world would be like if monotheism had never existed.

It wouldnt be fair to blame it all on monotheism, of course, humans are the biggest players in this. But monotheism, due to its nature of oneness, and many times it's prohibition of idols and ideas of heaven and hell (even though i am well aware those things dont always go together) is far more restrictive in how it can be interpreted. Many ancient religions focused more on orthopraxy (correct practice) rather than orthodoxy (correct belief) and i cant help but wonder how the world would have turned out if the ideas of heaven and hell and one divine,usually male source (or in the case of the islamic perception of God, technically genderless but if you tried to refer to god as "she" there'd be quite a few people mad at you.)  And sometimes i wonder how the world would be now if those ideas had never come to prominence, and it makes feel sad.

I know now that there is nothing that i can do, i can only be kind to others myself. But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?
I think its important to share my feelings, but in a constructive way.
What do you think?

( btw i didnt put this in inter-faith discussions because its kinda negative and i didnt think itd be right there, but feel free to move this to wherever is best.)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 09:55:16 am by SunflowerP »

ehbowen

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 12:57:50 pm »
I could rant on about all the things that i think are screwed up about monotheism, and about the negative affects it has had on the world, but i won't. The root of my issue with monotheism is simple, i believe it has exacerbated the instincts to protect ourselves and those we love, an instinct that we have as human beings, an ability to defend ourselves when needed, and has turned that instinct into a desire to shun, belittle or even attack others. In short, i believe it has robbed the world of acceptance of difference and nuance.

If you think that monotheists have a monopoly on this, I suggest you take an ancient history course or two.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

pehirstxwadan97

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 10:15:05 pm »
i didnt say i believed monotheists had a monopoly on this, in fact i tried pretty hard to emphasise that i don't believe that.

Waldhexe

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 08:39:55 am »

I was brought up Catholic and don't have a good history with it. A ritual helped me to let go of my past with that religion and move on to the next page. Maybe something like that could be a way for you too?

There are many different ways to create a ritual of letting go, if you look in the internet or in books you'll find some suggestions...

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 09:10:59 pm »
The title says it all.

I feel robbed. I feel angry. I know i can't change much.
I am angry at monotheism, and i don't like that i am angry at it, i know that i don't have to like it, or agree with it. But to carry around the resentment i have for it isn't helpful, for me or for anyone else.
I have been angry at it before to the point where it has robbed me of sleep - i know for certain that's not good.

I could rant on about all the things that i think are screwed up about monotheism, and about the negative affects it has had on the world, but i won't. The root of my issue with monotheism is simple, i believe it has exacerbated the instincts to protect ourselves and those we love, an instinct that we have as human beings, an ability to defend ourselves when needed, and has turned that instinct into a desire to shun, belittle or even attack others. In short, i believe it has robbed the world of acceptance of difference and nuance.
If it was only in strictly religious circles it wouldnt be so bad. But i have seen this kind of mentality even in secular circles, even in the subtle things.
I am a disabled person, if i were to describe myself, i would describe myself as such. But in the last few years i have notice more non-disabled people saying that i should describe myself as "person with a disability" and others should describe me as such. To be honest, it's not the way it's worded itself which is offensive, but the idea behind it.  The idea behind it is that saying "person with a disability" makes it easier to remember that the disabled person is a person. To some that sounds fine, but to me thats not acceptance, that's erasure. Because if the only way someone can remember that im a human being is to constantly remind themselves, i think they have the issue, not me.
thats one small example but it demonstrates the point im trying to get at. Secular society still isn't ok with difference, there's always talk that "we're all the same on the inside" No, no we're not. There's some absolute monsters out there.
That brings me on to another thing.
There's a difference between respecting difference, and accepting abuse.
This is something that really hits home for me, after i left home, and particularly after i left Islam. A lot of people have told me that they couldnt get involved in my case because a lot of it had to do with religion and culture, and they felt they had to respect that. 
Respecting someones right to believe a certain thing or pray a certain way is one thing, it is not respect to allow them to force those beliefs on others and treat them accordingly.
I just feel that so often, people seem to think they are living in a black and white world, or perhaps a world with black, white, and shades of grey, but thats not true. There's red, yellow, purple, blue, pink and green.
I don't know if im explaining this in a clear enough way, but sometimes i wonder what the world would be like if monotheism had never existed.
It wouldnt be fair to blame it all on monotheism, of course, humans are the biggest players in this. But monotheism, due to its nature of oneness, and many times it's prohibition of idols and ideas of heaven and hell (even though i am well aware those things dont always go together) is far more restrictive in how it can be interpreted. Many ancient religions focused more on orthopraxy (correct practice) rather than orthodoxy (correct belief) and i cant help but wonder how the world would have turned out if the ideas of heaven and hell and one divine,usually male source (or in the case of the islamic perception of God, technically genderless but if you tried to refer to god as "she" there'd be quite a few people mad at you.)  And sometimes i wonder how the world would be now if those ideas had never come to prominence, and it makes feel sad.
I know now that there is nothing that i can do, i can only be kind to others myself. But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?
I think its important to share my feelings, but in a constructive way.
What do you think?
( btw i didnt put this in inter-faith discussions because its kinda negative and i didnt think itd be right there, but feel free to move this to wherever is best.)

You might try journaling your thoughts and emotions at set periods over a period of time as long as you need to.  Say, once a week every Monday in the morning or whatever time best suits you -- adapt as necessary.

When reviewing your entries over a period of time you may notice gradual changes in your thought processes and emotions, and that can help spur the healing process.  Just keep it up as long as necessary.

Best wishes.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

rous54

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 07:34:54 am »
The title says it all.

I feel robbed. I feel angry. I know i can't change much.
I am angry at monotheism, and i don't like that i am angry at it, i know that i don't have to like it, or agree with it. But to carry around the resentment i have for it isn't helpful, for me or for anyone else.
I have been angry at it before to the point where it has robbed me of sleep - i know for certain that's not good.

You seem very passionate about this subject since it is affecting your sleep and I really appreciate that.

Most of us were brought up in monotheistic religions (for me it's Catholicism) but I do not hold a grudge against monotheism.  I definitely believe that polytheism makes much more sense than monotheism, however I identify as panentheism.  It literally translates to "all in the Goddess" where I believe that the Goddess is in us and we are in the Goddess however that She also transcends us a little bit.  It is in contrast to pantheism which is "all is the Goddess" which is the that we are 1 to 1 with the Goddess and that She does not transcend us.

If you don't mind me commenting that maybe you don't fully reject monotheism since you have such strong feelings towards it.  I think that monotheism is bad however I do not revolt so strongly against it.  I revolt against the teachings of the church which I think caused so much harm in the world but not to the point of not being able to sleep.

Have you explored all the expressions of the God/Goddess that you relate to?  There are so many expressions such as the ones mentioned above, henotheism, atheism, agnosticism... etc.

Here is what henotheism is about, which touch upon some points in your post:

Quote
Heno means one. Henotheism is the worship of a single god without actively denying the existence of other gods.

Henotheists, for various reasons, felt a specific connection with a single deity to whom they owe some sort of loyalty. Ancient Hebrews appear to have been henotheists: they recognized there were other gods in existence, but their god was the god of the Hebrew people, and thus, they owed loyalty to him alone.  Hebrew scripture tells of multiple events that were visited upon the Hebrews as punishment for worshiping foreign gods.

https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-theism-95709

What are your thoughts?

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 09:55:37 am »


A Reminder:
Hi, pehirstxwadan97,

We don't mind long posts here, but to avoid having a hard-to-read wall-o'-text, hitting "enter" twice every few lines adds some white space and makes it easier to follow - I've edited yours to add those breaks, but it's a really good habit to get into yourself.

They don't have to be the "proper" place for paragraph breaks (we're interested in readability more than technicalities), or a complete change of thought - some thoughts take a lot of lines and need to be broken up into sub-thoughts - as long as they're there.

Also, regarding your second post in the thread, please remember to quote, even if you're just replying to the first message in the thread.  It makes the discussion easier to follow, and it's required by our rules. (If you're using tapatalk on a phone, please hold your finger down on the message you wish to reply to until the quote function pops up.)

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder. No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

Thanks!
Sunflower
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SunflowerP

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 12:07:17 pm »
I am a disabled person, if i were to describe myself, i would describe myself as such. But in the last few years i have notice more non-disabled people saying that i should describe myself as "person with a disability" and others should describe me as such. To be honest, it's not the way it's worded itself which is offensive, but the idea behind it.  The idea behind it is that saying "person with a disability" makes it easier to remember that the disabled person is a person. To some that sounds fine, but to me thats not acceptance, that's erasure. Because if the only way someone can remember that im a human being is to constantly remind themselves, i think they have the issue, not me.

thats one small example but it demonstrates the point im trying to get at. Secular society still isn't ok with difference, there's always talk that "we're all the same on the inside" No, no we're not. There's some absolute monsters out there.

That brings me on to another thing.
There's a difference between respecting difference, and accepting abuse.

This is something that really hits home for me, after i left home, and particularly after i left Islam. A lot of people have told me that they couldnt get involved in my case because a lot of it had to do with religion and culture, and they felt they had to respect that. 
Respecting someones right to believe a certain thing or pray a certain way is one thing, it is not respect to allow them to force those beliefs on others and treat them accordingly.

I agree with you about both of those things. I'd class them both as privsplaining, condesplainining, or splaining - when someone in a position of relative privilege attempts to explain to a person who is more marginalized or oppressed what their marginalization/oppression is like or how they should deal with it.

Many people with disabilities do prefer person-first language, because the (dis)ableism of mainstream culture does lead to them being dehumanized. But many others prefer identity-first language, as you do - in particular, the autism community/autistic people very strongly prefer identity-first language.

In looking up a bit more about the history of person-first language, I came across a blog post proposing the concept of person-centred language - that is, to centre the language you use on the person you're speaking about, by asking them what language they use to describe themselves, and what language they prefer others to use when describing them. I haven't yet read the post in detail, just skimmed it, so there might be things in it that I disagree with but haven't yet noticed, but it looks very good and I'm quite excited to have found it.

In particular, I very strongly agree that finding out what the person themselves prefers and using that is far more genuinely respectful than telling them what they 'ought' to prefer. The whole point of person-first language is lost, when the person's own preference is ignored or rejected - that's just the same old (dis)ableist dehumanization of assuming that the disabled person cannot have meaningful agency.

It's much the same sort of pseudo-respect, when (usually-)white Anglo-Westerners ignore/reject your personal perspective and lived experience, or subordinate it to the standards of your birth culture - under the guise of respecting your birth culture, what they're actually doing is saying that, because you were born into that culture, you aren't entitled to the same human rights as people born into Anglo-Western culture, and that you cannot have the meaningful agency to reject any part of your birth culture.

I hope none of that came across as, well, splaining - I'm guessing that not very much, if any, of what I said is new to you, but I hope that hearing someone else say it is supportive to you.

Quote
It wouldnt be fair to blame it all on monotheism, of course, humans are the biggest players in this. But monotheism, due to its nature of oneness, and many times it's prohibition of idols and ideas of heaven and hell (even though i am well aware those things dont always go together) is far more restrictive in how it can be interpreted. Many ancient religions focused more on orthopraxy (correct practice) rather than orthodoxy (correct belief) and i cant help but wonder how the world would have turned out if the ideas of heaven and hell and one divine,usually male source (or in the case of the islamic perception of God, technically genderless but if you tried to refer to god as "she" there'd be quite a few people mad at you.)  And sometimes i wonder how the world would be now if those ideas had never come to prominence, and it makes feel sad.

Judaism, though monotheistic, is orthopraxic, and in many other respects doesn't fit the description above. And, as has already been mentioned, including by you, polytheisms aren't inherently exempt from the failings you describe. So I'm doubtful, myself, that monotheism is the cause of those ways of thinking.

That said, I think a strong case could be made that monotheism provides more internal justification to those who want to be exclusionary jerks.

Quote
I know now that there is nothing that i can do, i can only be kind to others myself. But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?
I think its important to share my feelings, but in a constructive way.
What do you think?

I don't have anything particular to offer here, except maybe, 'find and associate with other people who share your values.'

Quote
( btw i didnt put this in inter-faith discussions because its kinda negative and i didnt think itd be right there, but feel free to move this to wherever is best.)

It's topical enough in this forum that I don't think it needs to be moved, but it would have been fine in Interfaith Discussions, too - TC's rules forbid blanket condemnations of religions, but it takes a lot more than just 'kinda negative' to come anywhere near violating that. Unlike many pagan forums, we don't place a high value on 'avoiding negativity'; we're a discussion and debate forum, and that sometimes means people will make posts that are 'kinda negative'.

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Yei

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 04:15:58 pm »
You seem very passionate about this subject since it is affecting your sleep and I really appreciate that.

Most of us were brought up in monotheistic religions (for me it's Catholicism) but I do not hold a grudge against monotheism.  I definitely believe that polytheism makes much more sense than monotheism, however I identify as panentheism.  It literally translates to "all in the Goddess" where I believe that the Goddess is in us and we are in the Goddess however that She also transcends us a little bit.  It is in contrast to pantheism which is "all is the Goddess" which is the that we are 1 to 1 with the Goddess and that She does not transcend us.

If you don't mind me commenting that maybe you don't fully reject monotheism since you have such strong feelings towards it.  I think that monotheism is bad however I do not revolt so strongly against it.  I revolt against the teachings of the church which I think caused so much harm in the world but not to the point of not being able to sleep.

Have you explored all the expressions of the God/Goddess that you relate to?  There are so many expressions such as the ones mentioned above, henotheism, atheism, agnosticism... etc.

I wonder if people coming from, say a strict Christian background, have a different preference for polytheistic religions than those who are coming from a more agnostic/atheist/moderate background?

I suspect that refugees would prefer Wicca, Eclecticism, and Pantheism, while those from different backgrounds would prefer reconstructionism and hard polytheism (in comparison refugees). Not that I have any real evidence.

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 10:28:35 pm »
That said, I think a strong case could be made that monotheism provides more internal justification to those who want to be exclusionary jerks.

I resemble that remark!
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 11:16:06 am »
I know now that there is nothing that i can do, i can only be kind to others myself. But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?
I think its important to share my feelings, but in a constructive way.
What do you think?

I have not much advice, just some personal experience that may or may not be useful.

I was raised Roman Catholic in an Italian-American family. I converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church in my early 20s and was content with that for about 8-10 years. I drifted away and became deist. Further pushing me away from Christianity (though I think Jesus said some pretty cool things, even though they were not original as I've come to learn) was accepting that I am gay. There was too much cognitive dissonance between trying to practice Christianity and being gay. I wanted to be Christian, I was happy with (most of) the beliefs and rituals of the EOC, but there was that knowledge that the EOC doesn't want me. As a gay man I could not receive Communion unless I took a vow of celibacy (small parishes tend to know everyone's business). If I approached, the priest would most likely flat out deny me... so why embarrass myself that way? I was angry that I should be denied the love and company of another person because the other person has the same boy parts I have. But it was all for the best because I realized the theology really didn't work for me.

Yet from an early age, even as a practicing Christian I believed in the Hindu gods and was drawn to them. From said early age I've been an Indophile. I think I was Indian and Hindu in a past life, or many lives. To that end I fully embraced Hinduism about 8-10 years ago, having coasted in Deism for about 20 years. I hate to admit it but for a long time I had a bitterness towards Christianity. What I've come to realize however, is that the trick is to more fully embrace my current beliefs and worship, and let go of any bitterness towards my previous beliefs and its baggage. I am Hindu, not Christian... Christianity has no hold on me.

Tl;dr: If you're happy with the new path you are following, look forwards to it, not backwards to what you left behind.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 12:51:09 pm »
The idea behind it is that saying "person with a disability" makes it easier to remember that the disabled person is a person. To some that sounds fine, but to me thats not acceptance, that's erasure. Because if the only way someone can remember that im a human being is to constantly remind themselves, i think they have the issue, not me.

In addition to Sunflower's comments about some of the background, I've had conversations with older people in various disability communities and with various disabilities (people who are now in their 60s or early 70s) who remember how awesome it was to be sometimes "Jane who is blind" (if that was necessary and relevant to the conversation) and other times "Jane who loves going on birding hikes" or "Jane who loves reading all kinds of books" or "Jane who plays flute"  and that one of those things was sometimes relevant, and sometimes the other.

Before people-first language came in, they were often stuck as "Blind Jane" or "The blind woman" or something similar, and people forgot they might have other interests or goals. (Sometimes also dehumanised, but even with people who weren't doing that, there was often an assumption that that one thing was the big important thing in their life.)

Person-first language did a lot to remind people that people who deal with a disability or impairment or health issues also have a lot of other interests and things they want to talk about that are not the disability or impairment or health issue. (This is the same way that a lot of people will try to avoid identifying people by skin colour or ethnicity or religion, these days, because we're all more than those things.) 

And this movement to person-first language also syncs up with a lot of movement toward greater accessibility options, people with disabilities attending their local public schools more easily, etc. and it's a bit hard to figure out what affected what directly, but I seem to remember there's some research linking the two.

(And also, it's probably worth mentioning that language around disability is somewhat different in the US from the UK, and from other places - so if you're talking to people from other parts of the world, they may have a different take on what the current advised approaches than you do. Naomi J, a long time poster here and an academic who focuses on disability and religion, has had some great comments on that in the past.)

But Sunflower's right that asking people what they prefer is often best, but recognising that it's going to vary a lot. Because for some people, that community or identification is so key to who they are and what they care about and how they interact with the world.

(The Deaf community is another one where people tend to prefer community-centered language over person-first, but I also know a number of people who have hearing impairments, but consider themselves outside the Deaf community for a variety of reasons, and do not want Deaf applied to them, thanks.)

There are also lots of times when you can't ask someone directly: like talking about people in a larger setting or historically, which is a situation I hit a lot at work for various reasons. Anyway.

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And sometimes i wonder how the world would be now if those ideas had never come to prominence, and it makes feel sad.

As others have noted, this isn't exclusive to monotheism (or orthodoxic religions).

It's something that communities I've hung out in have sometimes called One True Wayism - the idea that there is only one right way to do things. It's possible to apply that to a whole lot of different settings (the place I first came across it was in the polyamory community, which pretty clearly was not mono-anything.)

I definitely agree that it's dangerous and pernicious - but I think it's working on a different direction than monotheism or polytheism, or mono-whatever and poly-whatever.

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But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?

A lot of people who explore the modern Pagan communities start from somewhere like this.

I agree with the other comments that a lot of people have found benefit in doing some sort of formal actions to come to grips with their past religious lives. Some people find journalling helpful. Some people find a ritual action helpful (such as boxing up older religious items, ritually making a separation, etc.)

Some people find therapy helpful (it can be tricky to find someone who can help with the religious aspects well, but sometimes people have success with therapy focused on dealing with specific issues in their family or life.)

One question is to figure out what kind of not-alone you're looking for. If you're looking for connection with deities, that's not directly something you can control (though there are things you can do to encourage it), but you can choose to build a life that has the values you want in it. Lots of people - both those who have identified religions and those who don't - have different ways of sorting this out, and people could give more ideas if that's what you're looking for.

If you're hoping for not-alone involving people, it might be difficult to find people who share your exact beliefs or values, but finding people you can talk with (who don't share those specific things in their own lives or practices) but who are interested in talking about them may be more available as an option.

Lots of small Pagan groups include people who agree to come together to do things a certain way, but who have different practices at home, or people who do different things in different groups, or people who follow the same practices, but have different ideas about something like the nature of deity or what happens after we die, so diverse groups are definitely both possible and pretty common.

But they can take some getting used to if you're coming from a religious community that presumes everyone believes exactly the same things or does practices for the same reasons.
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Hamelden

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Re: I feel robbed - (letting go of anger for previous religion?)
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 07:05:28 pm »
The title says it all.

I feel robbed. I feel angry. I know i can't change much.
I am angry at monotheism, and i don't like that i am angry at it, i know that i don't have to like it, or agree with it. But to carry around the resentment i have for it isn't helpful, for me or for anyone else.
I have been angry at it before to the point where it has robbed me of sleep - i know for certain that's not good.

Why do you feel robbed, exactly? Haven't you simply been given another story to explore, (monotheism) in addition to polytheism? In this world full of countless religious and philosophical paths, I'm not sure if you can truly be robbed; quite the contrary, you have an over-abundance of diversity and variety to choose from.

Why are you angry? Do realize that anger is always a secondary emotion; something has to be felt before anger...often times it is fear. Sometimes it's shame, or guilt. Most often though, it's fear. So the proper question is this: ...What are you afraid of?  ???

Why don't you feel like you can do much, when truly you can do anything you can imagine? There doesn't seem to be much to do in regards to monotheism; by and large many have stopped committing atrocities in the name of it, and many monotheists live perfectly healthy, productive lives. Ah...but there are those who persecute your religion in the name of their own. That must be a confusing experience; how can an individual of one faith say that their faith has all the answers about a polytheists' faith that predates their own faith? It makes not much sense to me; I don't understand it...the common tendency of human beings is to FEAR that which they do not understand...the common tendency of males in Western Society is to turn that fear into anger; hatred even.

So your task should become clear: Conquer your fear. Cut it out of your life like a bad habit.


I could rant on about all the things that i think are screwed up about monotheism, and about the negative affects it has had on the world, but i won't. The root of my issue with monotheism is simple, i believe it has exacerbated the instincts to protect ourselves and those we love, an instinct that we have as human beings, an ability to defend ourselves when needed, and has turned that instinct into a desire to shun, belittle or even attack others. In short, i believe it has robbed the world of acceptance of difference and nuance.

Good; not ranting about everything terrible about something is the first step to seeing everything positive about something which is the first step for increasing positivity in your life, which will lead to numerous mental a physical health benefits.

Instead of seeing monotheism as exacerbating the instincts to protect "ourselves", try to replace the word with monotheists. By using the word "ourselves", you subconsciously group to entire world under the umbrella term of monotheism, which in turn makes it appear to you that it's more prevalent than it really is. There are many different kinds of theists in the world, from all different walks of life, with a wide range of customs; some we see as appropriate, and some which we don't see as appropriate.

The key as you mentioned, is for more people to resist their natural instinct to attack and belittle others for behaviors which they tend to not condone. Instead of attacking them for their customs, one should be encouraged to teach different, perhaps more effective customs instead. Human nature is hard to transform...but it can be transformed.

I am a disabled person, if i were to describe myself, i would describe myself as such. But in the last few years i have notice more non-disabled people saying that i should describe myself as "person with a disability" and others should describe me as such. To be honest, it's not the way it's worded itself which is offensive, but the idea behind it.  The idea behind it is that saying "person with a disability" makes it easier to remember that the disabled person is a person. To some that sounds fine, but to me thats not acceptance, that's erasure. Because if the only way someone can remember that im a human being is to constantly remind themselves, i think they have the issue, not me.

thats one small example but it demonstrates the point im trying to get at. Secular society still isn't ok with difference, there's always talk that "we're all the same on the inside" No, no we're not. There's some absolute monsters out there.

No...people aren't monsters. Nobody's a monster, and nobody is truly evil. Likewise, nobody's an angel (metaphorically speaking, anyway), and nobody is truly good. We are all polarized and dynamic; we all do good things, and we have all done evil things. Good and Evil aren't something that somebody does; they are forces which take a person over. ...Like a virus. Even the best of us can become seemingly evil, but even the worst of us can become bastions of positivity....if we are shown the Way.

That brings me on to another thing.
There's a difference between respecting difference, and accepting abuse.

Indeed. Just remember that there's also a difference between not accepting abuse, and abusing others yourself. It's easy for us to feel justified in hurting others when we ourselves are being hurt by them, or in danger of being hurt by them. But violence is never necessary for self defense. I'd suggest taking up Aikido, and working towards mastering it, as well as The Art of Peace written by Morihei Ueshiba; the founder of Aikido.

This is something that really hits home for me, after i left home, and particularly after i left Islam. A lot of people have told me that they couldnt get involved in my case because a lot of it had to do with religion and culture, and they felt they had to respect that. 
Respecting someones right to believe a certain thing or pray a certain way is one thing, it is not respect to allow them to force those beliefs on others and treat them accordingly.

I just feel that so often, people seem to think they are living in a black and white world, or perhaps a world with black, white, and shades of grey, but thats not true. There's red, yellow, purple, blue, pink and green.
I don't know if im explaining this in a clear enough way, but sometimes i wonder what the world would be like if monotheism had never existed.

True; it isn't respectful to force one's beliefs onto others...but at the same time, can anybody TRULY force their beliefs onto you? Did monotheism prevent you from eventually seeking out answers in other religions? Has monotheism converted you away from whichever path you're more comfortable with? How can any person saying or protesting anything to you end up changing your whole belief system? Beliefs take a pretty long time to break down; but perhaps not quite as long to build up. A world without monotheism, would simply be a world with one less colorful flavor; in my opinion anyway.

It wouldnt be fair to blame it all on monotheism, of course, humans are the biggest players in this. But monotheism, due to its nature of oneness, and many times it's prohibition of idols and ideas of heaven and hell (even though i am well aware those things dont always go together) is far more restrictive in how it can be interpreted. Many ancient religions focused more on orthopraxy (correct practice) rather than orthodoxy (correct belief) and i cant help but wonder how the world would have turned out if the ideas of heaven and hell and one divine,usually male source (or in the case of the islamic perception of God, technically genderless but if you tried to refer to god as "she" there'd be quite a few people mad at you.)  And sometimes i wonder how the world would be now if those ideas had never come to prominence, and it makes feel sad.

Perhaps it wouldn't be fair to blame anyone at all; any ideology, theosophy or philosophy. Maybe it's none of their fault...maybe it's just always been meant to be; written in stone the moment the first space rock bounced into another space rock and gravity first manifested itself in the early Universe...if ever there was such a time...perhaps the Universe is infinite, and simply always has been, and always will be. ...Maybe everyone and everything is exactly how it should be at this time, and no one person or thing can be directly blamed for all the horrible and wonderful things that have happened........it sure feels a lot better to have someone to blame though.
 

I know now that there is nothing that i can do, i can only be kind to others myself. But how do i hold on to my morals, and keep my sanity ? is it a case of just pray to the Gods and feel their presence? Know that they are there and that im not alone?
I think its important to share my feelings, but in a constructive way.
What do you think?

( btw i didnt put this in inter-faith discussions because its kinda negative and i didnt think itd be right there, but feel free to move this to wherever is best.)

Again...quit telling yourself that there's nothing you can do; words have power; telling yourself there's nothing you can do only serves a self-fulfilling prophecy. YOU can do ANYTHING you can POSSIBLY imagine. Truly, YOU are a GOD. No one is ever really alone, so don't tell yourself that you are, otherwise you will feel alone. Your morals and sanity are entirely subjective; in the end, everyone will always do what they feel they have to do, for better or for worse, and they can either live with the consequences gracefully, or allow themselves to be consumed by what Fate had in store. ....You can't really blame Fate; it's simply a law of nature; possibly inexplicable/intangible, ever-present, and un-changing. ...Kind of like gravity. In the end, you can always rise above the baser instincts of the human condition; learn to master your mind, body, and spirit to the point where you can literally do anything; you'll always be able to find a peaceful, non-violent solution to any problem.
Stay true. Stay free. Stay safe.

--Hamelden

 

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