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Discussion Starter #1
For the religious and/or spiritual members of this community:

Have you ever had a crisis of faith?
How did it come about?
How did you deal with it?
What were the consequences for your faith?

My reason for asking....

I was a very spiritual person until recently, but recent life events make me question my faith. The beliefs I held so strongly have slipped through my fingers. They lie shattered on the floor. Now I am not sure which ones are true anymore.....which ones I can and want to pick up & glue back together again.

Your input is much appreciated.
 

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@yippy nr 2 My friend, I would say that is an infinitely better (if more uncomfortable) position to be in than "having it all figured out." Spiritual complacency often masquerades as faith. And spiritual complacency is a terrible ailment of the soul.

"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16

Let your doubts be hot. Let your doubts be cold. Pound on Heaven's door, or turn the freeze on God, but don't be lukewarm and shrug your shoulders and walk away.

I love this quote from St John of the Cross:

"Souls must go to God by not comprehending rather than by comprehending, and they must exchange the mutable and comprehensible for the Immutable and Incomprehensible."

We are not tasked with figuring out God. We are tasked with accepting His love. And that's it.
 

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Have you ever had a crisis of faith?
Twice.

How did it come about?
Hell.

How did you deal with it?
I'm trying to.

What were the consequences for your faith?
Trivial behavior change.

The beliefs I held so strongly have slipped through my fingers. They lie shattered on the floor. Now I am not sure which ones are true anymore.....which ones I can and want to pick up & glue back together again.
Just recently I had the same experience. I realized I can't find "the truth" no matter what therefore decided to accept every opinion is BS and just live my life. I really see no point in sharing my opinion anymore if it won't improve my language skills and/or help me to just waste time and/or have fun. This decision makes me feel like I'm falling but perhaps it's how it should be. At least I'm not afraid of falling and I'm not fooling myself by believing this time I'm holding onto something stronger therefore I'll never fall again anymore.
 

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This is why one shouldn't lock themselves into just one thing allowing for natural change and overall progress towards another step in one's spiritual journey. Those with lives of sweet delight having effortless ease speaking sweet and smooth nothings like what most can see in most spiritual circles only set people up for disappointment and even failure.
 

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I've had this problem as well and there's no easy answer. I do think it's important to allow literal interpretations to shift to symbolic interpretations, to see what aspects of the faith help with life and which hurt it, to remember what made you believe in the first place, and to know that sometimes when you look backwards on things from a long time in the future it will make more sense than it makes now.
 

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Have you ever had a crisis of faith?
How did it come about?
I don't consider myself a religious person. But I do feel intensely that I know the position you describe as a crisis of faith.

I think many people put their faith in some variation of God, but I had always put my faith in People. I directed this faith to believe that People were fundamentally kind, fundamentally good at heart. No matter how many examples of pettiness or casual cruelty I had come across, I always viewed them as exceptions, as the result of terrible environmental circumstances or playing out suffering that they had received and been unable to make sense of without passing it along to others to justify and normalize it.

The trouble is, as I continued to believe this, I closed my eyes to some very real ugly aspects of people and put myself in a very weak position of "ignorance is bliss" by not acknowledging that just as there are people who genuinely care and act kindly towards others, there are people who genuinely desire the opposite, or even don't care and will gladly pursue their own power heedless of how it affects others.

When you want very badly to believe something, it's a good indicator that it makes you feel safe and comforted. For me at least, it made me feel comforted to believe that people don't have a direct lust for evil or hurting others, that it's only a reaction or defense to their own pain. I was confronted with this "crisis of faith" when I visited a concentration camp for the first time. I felt the ugliness of humanity, listened to the terrible stories, saw the artifacts of torture, read about the circumstances. But mostly I felt it. I felt the conflict between the ideals of my faith in people and the cold reality of what people had done to each other, that was ripping apart this hopeful veil that I was accustomed to cast on things.

How did you deal with it?
Not well. I sort of walked around in a stupor for several days, unable to move beyond the enormity of it. Everyday things did not seem to matter any more. Eventually I got to a point where I could cry about it, but that did not help. It did not change what I had learned nor restore any faith in people. What helped was talking about it with other people and asking them questions about their views on what had happened, and why, and could it happen again, and what could be done to stop it. It helped to be around others who also felt the horror viscerally. I felt a lot of bitterness and betrayal because I could see that people were capable of creating systems of destruction and forcing others to perpetuate and cooperate within those systems in ways that caused them to lose all sense of right and wrong and all perception of their fellow beings as real and able to suffer. But I was also able to experience still that there were systems of construction in the world, networks of people trying to improve conditions for their fellow human beings. I spent some time feeling very jaded and distrusting, and closed even to kindnesses because I didn't know if they had any meaning any longer. I withdrew and did a lot of aimless walking in places without having a plan of where I was going or anything to do. I decided after several weeks that I could choose only what I would do and believe, and not trust large groups of people, keep some distrust as protection from reality, but that if I wanted to live in the type of world that did not declare these actions acceptable, I would have to do my own best to choose their opposites. So I decided that my new faith was not to be in people either, but in doing my best not to be this way or support others in this way of being. To try to be kind and see people as human even when we disagree about how to live the best life. But also to recognize that sometimes people are cruel for the delight of it or the power of it and not to normalize it by saying things like "all suffering not transformed is transmitted" or "all people are good at heart" because some people are doing more than just perpetuating what they have received. I decided that things like vengeance and "bringing people to justice" do not make sense. There is no justice large enough for a person who has directed the murder of thousands of other humans. The best option is to disable their ability to continue such acts and cut off their ability to spread hurtful ideologies. All that can be done is to neutralize their power and recognize the face of it when we come across it in its nascent form, to try to stop it before it happens again. And part of that, or what I see as my part of that, is to try to be patient and kind in the small sphere of people I do interact with, and work in the networks of construction rather than destruction. It can be very hard sometimes to differentiate the two, and there are ironic odd overlaps at times that make me feel intense moral frustration. But I guess my evolution of faith is to see that moral frustration as part of the human condition as well, and better to feel it than feel nothing. So trying to seek and support what helps, but not turn a blind eye to what is frightening. See it and look carefully and unblinkingly because refusing to see it does not make it go away.

Now I am not sure which ones are true anymore.....which ones I can and want to pick up & glue back together again.
I am sorry that you're in that place. I don't have any religious light or wisdom to shine to it. As Anne said though, just being in a place of questioning and uncertainty is more "workable" than being in a place of apathy. It doesn't feel comfortable though :( I did once take a class that I very much enjoyed that was called Philosophy of Religion, and the professor was addicted to the idea that "God's love is inescapable" and his thesis was that any god that created humans and claimed to love them must be invested in their progress and would be loath to torture any of them with such a concept as hell simply for making mistakes that he put in their path to help them grow, therefore regardless of all human experiences and whether you believe in god, that god believes/sees/loves you as an individual. To me his logic was interesting but ultimately unpersuasive. If god believes in you whether or not you believe... where is the incentive to believe? Just live your life as best you can, and if there is a god, he/she/it/they will understand. And if not... you have done what you must to sleep at night on terms with your own conscience. I hope some of this is helpful in some way, but if not, I send you a virtual hug and best wishes that something good will come of this crisis of faith, something bright in this search. :hug:

Also if there was an emoticon for purification by fire, I would send that too :wink:
 

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Also if there was an emoticon for purification by fire, I would send that too :wink:
Somebody needs to get on that!!!
 
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I don't see it as crisis of faith, I see it as you're starting to think for yourself. I was raised religious until I questioned it. If one raised in Vietnam for instance one generally Buddhist. If one raised in Saudi Arabia one generally a Sunni Muslim. I thought after sometime religion had more to do with conditioning and geography than faith. Whatever you decide all the best
 
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Everything gone
- no idea what is up or down -
so many times...

I feel another coming.
 
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Going back thru journals to find things which might help. This was a particularly wonderful breakthru I made:

journal.jpg

Also, a quote from my meditation book, A Course in Miracles:

"I have no question. I forgot what to decide."

I use that more than anything to silence my mind, especially about spiritual matters. I firmly believe that all that matters faith-wise is a quiet and vigilant mind. The sine qua non.
 
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I haven't exactly had a faith crisis, but definitely a substantial shift in my faith over probable the past 4-ish years.

I come from a very Conservative Evangelical Christian background, and the more I've studied the Bible, Christian history and just interacted with reality the more I've come to realize much what I'd been taught simply wasn't true, or at least questionable.

Don't worry too much about a faith crisis though, they're rarely a bad thing, and usually, work out for the best.
 

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First of all, thanks everyone for your input. It is greatly appreciated.
@Marvin the Dendroid You summarize my exact feelings into the first three sentences of your verse. What is up? What is down?

1. I've seen things.. heard things....felt....experienced things...things y'all cannot comprehend. But where they hallucinations? A product of a sick part of my mind? Because I've experienced that too......so what is what...which is...which?

2. I used to feel & know, not just believe, that Mother Earth.....the Universe....the Creator....my guides....where always there for me and that the Universe would bring me that which I needed most. Not what I wanted most, it doesn't work that way, but it brought me the things that were for my highest good. It also brought me lessons & blessings in disguise trough a lot of pain/shame etc. And. The universe helped me reached a state of abundance, actual blessings and happiness. I've seen it, felt it and known it.

But this I cannot.....

All the event of the past year.....I cannot see for the life of me why this has been for my highest good. Cannot see the silver lining. It doesn't mean it might not be there, but I cannot see it, feel it nor know it.

I do know that through hardship & pain we grow. I also know that by experiencing the opposite of happiness/abundance and such we get a deeper understanding & appreciation for happiness/abundance when we reach that state. It's a lesson.

Yet I've been there before. I've already been through trials & tribulations of loneliness, depression, despair, disconnection and much more. I was incredibly grateful for the abundance, the happiness, the love and the connections that I found, also because I had exprienced the opposite.

So why must I do this again? What is the point? Why is this for my highest good? Why were there the events that took my love, my hapiness and my abundance away?

It is the why I struggle with most. I am not a blind follower/believer. Parts of me have always been sceptical, critical and I questioned a lot in my mind. I am looking for an explanation! And I have the right to ask for one, don't I? Or does the universe wants me to be a blind follower that asks no questions and just nods yes all the time? Sorry, I cannot and shall not be like that.
@AnneM That is also my problem with the quote of St John of the Cross....

Don't figure it out, don't break your head over it, don't ask any questions.......just accept. I seriously cannot do that, I am to much of a scientist & philosopher for that. There is this part of me that wants to understand the divine, because it is also part of me. I want to get to know it, want to be better acquinted with it. How I can do this by not exploring, figuring out and asking questions?

That was quite a ramble that needed to get out...
@Samari

Thank you very much for your insightful post. I guess that my trust in Mother Earth & the Universe did make me feel safe. A feeling that there were bigger forces out there than me watching out over me. Now that feeling is gone....which feels similar to doubting that your mother & father still truly care for you and want what is best for you.

Thanks for sharing your story too. I can only imagine how walking through a concentration camp made you feel.....and how it made a lasting impact on your worldview & beliefs.
@DuCiel

You gave me a very helpful tip. Look back and reflect why I started to believe and trust in the first place. Thank you. Gonna do that.
 

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Umm, yeah. I am a Christian and spent some time reading the Bible, which I still think has some amazingly wise sayings. But beyond "this is interesting" there isn't much left.

Spent some time with the Luciferians, which is about humans gaining knowledge. Got a bit freaked out by blood magic spells and disturbed individuals. Then I got into the Book of Enoch, but doesn't add up if you consider evolution.

What probably comes closest to how I feel, is communities celebrating Archangel Michael. He exemplifies strength and wields the sword of Justice. I'm not sure where the story came from of him defeating Lucifer, but I like the bit in Revelation about a warrior dressed in fine linens. Could be Jesus, but I like to think it's Michael as he's in charge upstairs, so could make sense that the army follows him.
 

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@yippy nr 2
Don't figure it out, don't break your head over it, don't ask any questions.......just accept. I seriously cannot do that, I am to much of a scientist & philosopher for that. There is this part of me that wants to understand the divine, because it is also part of me. I want to get to know it, want to be better acquinted with it. How I can do this by not exploring, figuring out and asking questions?
The point is: you don't actually need to figure it out. Your soul already knows it all. Maybe the thing is to ask the questions joyfully, as a child would, and not like it actually matters all that much? Respect your desire to explore and understand and do it, but taking delight in it? Trying to understand the Divine is like trying to fit the ocean into a thimble. It cannot be done. Just swim in the Ocean.
 
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It helps me to stare at pictures of E8. I'm in there somewhere!

E8-rainbow.jpg
 
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I believe that in life matters on earth, feelings tempered with a good dose of rational thought provide a nice balance and even can sort of map your way through your days if you pay close attention to them. But I believe that as far as ultimate truths, and the God that I talk with go, the heart is the avenue in which to connect, not the mind. Could be different for different people but it seems to make sense.
As far as what you've seen...I believe context is important as well as how your life is being affected. In spiritual mode, if you will, seeing and hearing things without the body's eyes can be a gift.
Yes hallucinations are considered a bad thing in the world or mode of psychology; but if you are balanced in your life, the hallucinations do not interfere with your functioning, then there is no reason to consider yourself mentally ill because of it. People go to psychiatrists when something in their life is creating unease. If you have the unease and wish to talk to a doc about it, I recommend finding one in line with your spiritual or religious tendencies, so that that aspect is not completely ignored while you discuss your psychology in strictly body/mental/scientific terms. Not everyone in the world has the same beliefs. And if you identify as an intuitive, there is a lot of misinformation in the world that holds intuition negatively, since our societies highly revere rational thought and things we can touch and see. The unseen is met with high suspicion.
I picked up an amazing book recently called The Intuitive Child and it really helped me a lot, to heal stuff from my early years. Plus it has ten necessary skills for sensitives/intuitives/empaths. The author interestingly stated that much of the world is made for the comfort of sensors, and as an intuitive you have a little extra work you need to do to be comfortable in the world, it is what it is. Do the work and get comfortable.
 

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It's possible you'll never know WHY you went through something, but I often can see much more clearly the silver lining many years after the initial pain subsides. Doubt you'll get there if you're still hurting from it.
But I do think asking why can be futile, unhelpful. And I have heard others mention it, and I tend to agree: when you're going through something hard it's a lot nicer to have god there with you than without. Of all the times, that's a great one to really dive into your spirituality and renew your faith, when life is challenging. Let go of the why and the blaming, learn to accept it as something that just is, and go from there.
 

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I would be careful of comparing myself with others too...Just because someone's life looks easy, abundant, on the surface doesn't mean they have no problems, no worries, no illness, no sadness. We show others our good stuff mostly, and hide the bad stuff I think, depending on our relationship with them.
I lost a lot years back and when I get real truthful I can see that I'm living life exactly as I want it. In moments of envy where someone has this big beautiful home and mine's not, I remind myself how cozy it is in my home, and I don't have the responsibility to entertain, or to hire someone to mow the lawn and clean its many rooms. Everything's perfect, take a look around, after your pain subsides of course.
 

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Sorry for all the posts, I've had trouble going in and adding as an edit...

But to me an ultimate truth is that there is no separation between me and god. There is but there is also no separation, it exists in unison so that we may experience life as god and with god by our side. Not sure I'm explaining it right, but my spiritual practice is primarily meditation and prayer right now, and I look up to my higher self in silence but I also look within myself in those quiet times. That's where god shows up most often in my life: within me and a bit above me but still part of me, if that makes sense.
 

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I've lost faith in different things over time. I think they happen sometimes because I am changing and sometimes because I just wasn't being honest with who I was. I changed my thoughts or beliefs because I thought it would help me get somewhere or because I wanted to fit in. I think it is important to be honest with myself and be who I actually am. Not how I think I should be or how I think others think I should be. Once I realize it is happening, all I can do is go on. Just do what needs to be done each day. Simple things like shave; go to work and eat. I am generally happiest when I keep things simple and do what I want to do.

I've also noticed that as I get older my thinking seems to be reverting back to what it was as a teenager. It's kind of cruel joke because as I achieved what I set out to do, I realized it wasn't what I really wanted. But what I wanted as a teenager and a young adult, I realized I could never do because my personality and character wasn't set out for it. So, I guess I really don't know anything.

You seem like a good man Yippy. Try to trust in yourself and go about life without thinking about it too much. That would be my suggestion.
 
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