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Author Topic: Crisis of faith  (Read 5155 times)

outlaw393

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 02:55:44 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;44784
And if Odin materialized in front of you and hung around 24/7, it wouldn't cure your depression. Your depression, in fact, would probably color your perceptions of it.


Religion won't cure anything. And your last sentence is exactly my point.

Quote from: Juniperberry;44784
Do you see where I'm going with this? Changing gods or giving up or whatever isn't necessarily going to fix everything.


Not looking for a fix for everything, just for a fix for my crisis of faith. Which right now, pretty sure if I change my tactics, I can start to get results.
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SkySamuelle

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2012, 06:48:21 am »
Quote from: outlaw393;44786
Religion won't cure anything. And your last sentence is exactly my point.



Not looking for a fix for everything, just for a fix for my crisis of faith. Which right now, pretty sure if I change my tactics, I can start to get results.

 
I feel like the best thing I can do to contribute to this discussion is pointing to you this blog post:
http://satsekhem.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/it-is-well-to-lie-fallow-for-a-while/
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HeartShadow

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2012, 09:24:41 am »
Quote from: outlaw393;44780
Try clinical depression.

 
From personal experience - depression blocks gods.  I don't know why or how or any of the details.  I just know that depression blocks them somehow, or blocks us FROM them.  It's one of the cruelest jokes OF depression - when you need faith most, it makes it hardest.

SatSekhem

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2012, 12:07:28 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44611
This time I'm alone, and I have nowhere to go, and no one to talk to about having a crisis of faith.

:(

 
I wrote a blog entry a while back about what I call "The Fallow Times." I'm posting the link to it in case you'd care to read it. You can comment on the blog or comment here with anything you so desire. I hope it helps.
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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2012, 02:37:50 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44781
Again, perhaps. But I relate their experiences in relation to how I'd see that experience if it happened to me. If said experience happened to me, it would be profound. The ritual was not profound at all. I felt a presence. That was it. Anyone can feel a presence if they set their mind to it.

I guess the solution here is to turn to my other gods for encouragement and solace. Struggling with depression and now a crisis of faith, times are not good.

Thanks all for your replies. :)

First, I would like to address the assumption that -anyone- can feel a presence if they set their mind to it. No, no, anyone cannot. Some people will legitimately feel them, and some people will create them in their heads, but some of us simply do not 'feel a presence'--no matter how much we would like to.

Second, in response to the thread: Odin is not a hands-on type of deity, and is known for being deceptive and shapeshifting in addition to being a patron of war and battle. No matter what your previous experience, consider that He either expects you to handle your own problems, or that He is showing up in a different guise in order to teach you something new.

Juniperberry presents a valid point. If Odin were to show up right now, and hang around, it wouldn't do anything to fix your depression. He is a god of wisdom, and may share some of that wisdom with you, but I find it hard to believe that He would show up to hold your hand and work you through it. Consider also that your crisis of faith may be pushing Him away.

Take from this what you will, but that's my $0.02.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 02:39:30 pm by Ember »
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SatSekhem

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2012, 04:10:55 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;44824
I feel like the best thing I can do to contribute to this discussion is pointing to you this blog post:
http://satsekhem.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/it-is-well-to-lie-fallow-for-a-while/

 
Thanks, Sky! I didn't even realize someone had linked to that post before I did. :)
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SatSekhem

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2012, 04:18:40 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44786
Religion won't cure anything.

 
I'd like to say that this sticks with me. I find the statement interesting, but it's what I want to address, specifically.

It isn't that religion will fix the problem you have going on here. There isn't a quick-fix cure for depression. A lot of people on this board suffer from it in some way or another. (I did notice that Shadow mentioned that depression tends to block and I've found that as true, as well.) We've all had moments where we're just so depressed that getting up out of bed isn't worth it. We've all had moments where we've decided that practicing our faith wasn't really what was necessary or even worth it at the moment because we were feeling so badly at the time.

The help in fixing your depression, I've found, tends to be just simply having faith. When you're depressed, having faith is so fucking difficult that you pretty much just want to punch people who have it in the face. (I know. I have, too.) You're sitting there and reading or watching these people who believe in something so strongly and you're just kind of like, "Why in the hell can't I have that? They must be faking it. They must be lying." When you get over this hump, though, it comes back.

It's a slow, long, hard, difficult, painful process.

Shit. I'm rambling here. Let me put it you this way.

I have a friend who is diagnosed bipolar. She's on this board, actually, or was until recently. Anyway, before we knew what was wrong with her we had to deal with all of the bipolar ups and downs that are just part and parcel to the disorder. It really sucks. There were points where I had to take away her debit card to keep her from going on a mania-fueled shopping spree that she couldn't afford. There were times when she was so low because of the depression of her disorder that she tried to kill herself. Even with these issues, the fact that she had faith and that she believed in something kept her on an even keel prior to her diagnosis. Yes, we had some big ups and downs: drinking heavily for self-medication, the trying to kill herself, the shopping, etc. These were issues to be contended with as they came, but what helped her was the knowledge that when she came out of the depression or mania stage was that her gods would be there for her.

True story.

So, what I'm trying to say here is that when you're in the middle of it... no, it really feels like there is nothing that will fix it. However, just having the knowledge (even in the back of your head) that there will be gods to hold your hand when you're out of it... sometimes that's all you need.
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outlaw393

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2012, 07:11:30 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;44880
I'd like to say that this sticks with me. I find the statement interesting, but it's what I want to address, specifically.

It isn't that religion will fix the problem you have going on here. There isn't a quick-fix cure for depression. A lot of people on this board suffer from it in some way or another. (I did notice that Shadow mentioned that depression tends to block and I've found that as true, as well.) We've all had moments where we're just so depressed that getting up out of bed isn't worth it. We've all had moments where we've decided that practicing our faith wasn't really what was necessary or even worth it at the moment because we were feeling so badly at the time.

The help in fixing your depression, I've found, tends to be just simply having faith. When you're depressed, having faith is so fucking difficult that you pretty much just want to punch people who have it in the face. (I know. I have, too.) You're sitting there and reading or watching these people who believe in something so strongly and you're just kind of like, "Why in the hell can't I have that? They must be faking it. They must be lying." When you get over this hump, though, it comes back.

It's a slow, long, hard, difficult, painful process.

Shit. I'm rambling here. Let me put it you this way.

I have a friend who is diagnosed bipolar. She's on this board, actually, or was until recently. Anyway, before we knew what was wrong with her we had to deal with all of the bipolar ups and downs that are just part and parcel to the disorder. It really sucks. There were points where I had to take away her debit card to keep her from going on a mania-fueled shopping spree that she couldn't afford. There were times when she was so low because of the depression of her disorder that she tried to kill herself. Even with these issues, the fact that she had faith and that she believed in something kept her on an even keel prior to her diagnosis. Yes, we had some big ups and downs: drinking heavily for self-medication, the trying to kill herself, the shopping, etc. These were issues to be contended with as they came, but what helped her was the knowledge that when she came out of the depression or mania stage was that her gods would be there for her.

True story.

So, what I'm trying to say here is that when you're in the middle of it... no, it really feels like there is nothing that will fix it. However, just having the knowledge (even in the back of your head) that there will be gods to hold your hand when you're out of it... sometimes that's all you need.

 
Thanks for your replies and the link. I'll take a look at it. :)
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outlaw393

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2012, 07:45:31 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44896
Thanks for your replies and the link. I'll take a look at it. :)

 
I read the blog page. I liked it. I know this thing is temporary, but it's always unknown how long it'll last. I've been through these things at least a few times.

Right now I'm feeling like maybe it's best for me to walk away from religion - and the gods - completely. Of course right now is the worst time to lose my faith, and my religion, again. But I'm sure it'll come back to me, in one form or another. It always does. I feel like they've forsaken me. To be clear, this didn't start with Odin, it started with The Goddess.

So I'm thinking I'm going to try something before I walk away, because walking away is my last resort. By contacting only one god and one goddess, I had severely limited my options. I have many more options than just that one god and goddess. I am optimistic that if one let me down and the other doesn't seem to care, that the others might and I might have more luck with them.

:ange:
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SkySamuelle

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2012, 02:21:25 am »
Quote from: outlaw393;44897
I read the blog page. I liked it. I know this thing is temporary, but it's always unknown how long it'll last. I've been through these things at least a few times.

Right now I'm feeling like maybe it's best for me to walk away from religion - and the gods - completely. Of course right now is the worst time to lose my faith, and my religion, again. But I'm sure it'll come back to me, in one form or another. It always does. I feel like they've forsaken me. To be clear, this didn't start with Odin, it started with The Goddess.

So I'm thinking I'm going to try something before I walk away, because walking away is my last resort. By contacting only one god and one goddess, I had severely limited my options. I have many more options than just that one god and goddess. I am optimistic that if one let me down and the other doesn't seem to care, that the others might and I might have more luck with them.

:ange:

 
From personal experience: when we are having 'issues' it's entirely possible that we feel so deep into them that our ability to 'hear' gods is muddled. I had stretches of time in past where Hekate was very quiet after being suddenly very 'present' or when I could not focus properly on the practice and I got scared that I was going tolose the connection.

Both cases, my fears were unfouded. And now I accepted that She is going always be there, it's easier for me to see the signs She sends even when I am wrapped in my drama.

But this is something that comes from experience.

It's possible that, right now, your Odin is stepping back because you need something different that He can offer - maybe that sense of 'silent presence' you got is His way to say 'you have my attention, but it's not our time yet- go, learn, I'll be still here when you come back'.

Maybe more that walking away from your religion and gods, you need expanding your path to include others.

Analyze what you want and need right now that you are not getting from your practice - maybe experimenting with something new can be the breath of fresh air you need.

Just my two cents, of course.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2012, 02:47:07 am »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;44913
.. It's possible that, right now, your Odin is stepping back because you need something different that He can offer - maybe that sense of 'silent presence' you got is His way to say 'you have my attention, but it's not our time yet- go, learn, I'll be still here when you come back'..


Not directed at SkySamuelle but linked off her post as inspiration.

One thing that stands out to me here is the story of Odin and his sacrificng an eye as well as hanging upon Ysadasadril (sp) to gain wisdom and knowledge.   Sorry don't recall the specific Edda that speaks of it but I do recall he hung there for some time.

I can't help but wonder if your sense of loss is your hanging upon Ysadasadril (sp) and determining to what extent you shall go to obtain knowledge and wisdom.  In some ways even reminescent of the Berserkers of Odin and the altering of mind and realility they submitted themselves to in thier battle lust.  The battle here being one of the mind and self granted, but still a battle none the less.

I would say your given strength to beat your battle at birth but Odin is not going to hold your hand to do so.  One does not make it into Vahalla getting their hand held and guided but through rising to the challenege and being selected upon the field of battle by the Valkrie.

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2012, 12:36:27 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;44831
From personal experience - depression blocks gods.  I don't know why or how or any of the details.  I just know that depression blocks them somehow, or blocks us FROM them.  It's one of the cruelest jokes OF depression - when you need faith most, it makes it hardest.

That's strange that you find that, because for me it is the opposite. When I'm depressed I can feel that Thor is rather near, trying to cheer me up. Not that the Gods are usually explicitly present with me though, I seem to have a case of reverse-god-botheredness.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 12:36:59 pm by thorsvin »

outlaw393

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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2012, 01:08:12 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;44913
It's possible that, right now, your Odin is stepping back because you need something different that He can offer - maybe that sense of 'silent presence' you got is His way to say 'you have my attention, but it's not our time yet- go, learn, I'll be still here when you come back'.

Maybe more that walking away from your religion and gods, you need expanding your path to include others.

Analyze what you want and need right now that you are not getting from your practice - maybe experimenting with something new can be the breath of fresh air you need.

Just my two cents, of course.


I could be wrong about him being my patron, too. It's not the first time I was wrong about a god being my patron. Of course, if I'm wrong about Odin, that means I don't have a patron. I've been walking the Pagan path one way or another for six years, and I always thought that every Pagan had a patron god. Maybe I was wrong.

So now I'm going to step back and take a look at the other gods I follow too. I've thought about looking at their entire respective pantheons, but honestly I don't follow the rest of their respective pantheons.

Then the question becomes "What if your patron is actually one of those gods you don't follow?" How would I know? There's no way for me to know because none of those other gods has ever contacted me in any way, shape, or form. Hence why I don't deal with them.

And I spent years researching many other pantheons and I really don't want to do that again. My seeking stage is over. :)

But anyway, that's a possibility too.
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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2012, 03:33:03 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44949
I've been walking the Pagan path one way or another for six years, and I always thought that every Pagan had a patron god. Maybe I was wrong.

Yes, you were wrong.

Many of the pagan religions don't require that one have a patron, and for some pagan paths, the concept is pretty much meaningless to that path.

Many of those who do have patrons chose their patron(s), rather than being chosen - often this is because the deity's spheres of interest included something the practitioner does:  hir profession, f'ex.  They may never experience direct interaction; for many, the main way they know they haven't made a mistake in their choice is that the deity doesn't reject their attentions.

Very very few people get an actual thwap, where the deity chooses them.  There are quite a few of us here on TC, but that's unusual - and even then, I'm pretty sure there are more people here who haven't had that experience.  Even of those who have, many have direct interaction with their patrons only very occasionally.

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« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 03:35:34 pm by SunflowerP »
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Re: Crisis of faith
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2012, 03:40:51 pm »
Quote from: outlaw393;44949
My seeking stage is over. :)


If you really assume this, I think I might found the roots of your problems.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

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