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Sun, Jul. 8th, 2012, 05:34 pm
tieran: Crisis of Faith

Hi everyone, I've been something of a lurker here, and I hope it's okay to just kind of... launch right into things. I have a question... or.. well a problem, and I'm seeking advice.

See, I've been going through a lot lately, (much of it involving health) and unfortunately it's begun to affect my faith. I hadn't thought about it a whole lot for a while, but these days... I feel like I want to reach out to it, but at the same time I'm not... sure there's something to reach out to?

My belief has generally been that there's something out there so grand and beyond the scope of anything we know that our minds can't really grasp it. Much the same way that an ant can't grasp that it's walking on the toe of a big ol' human, or something. It's just that big. But because that doesn't sit well with people, different cultures and groups gave this being different names, and applied different faces, aspects, and even personalities onto it.

It's kind of like looking at a gemstone. It has many different sides or faces, but it's all the same stone.

The problem with this is, it leaves my at a very odd place. Because it means that I don't know if prayers or rituals or anything really have any kind of effect. And in turn, if things like magic have any effect (magik? magick?).

I want to believe it can. I want to believe one can manipulate their aura, meditate, or possibly even astral project. Send out positive or healing energies through prayer or 'spells' or such. Ground themselves, etc.

But then, my scientific side says there's no proof of any such thing and any perceived effects are purely caused by the human mind being more that capable and willing to trick itself and makes us feel/see what we want.

But... if it makes me feel steadier, safer, more at peace to do these things, is it bad? Am I just lying to myself? Blinding myself? That's no good...

And what if it is real? Even to a small degree? Does that help me? hurt me? am I depriving myself of something by turning away from it? Blinding myself with extreme logic?

I don't know @_@

((cross-posted pretty much all over the place. Sorry if you see it a lot))

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)

I can only give you the Judea-Christian answer about prayer:

it doesn't hurt.

Having said that, I would be glad to add you to my prayers if that's okay with you.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)

I hope you don't mind if I am blunt. I don't know you well enough to know how to approach the subject more delicately so I hope you won't be upset if I just say things directly. Please try to understand that as I write in reply to your question.

Your first choice that you absolutely must make is to decide if you will believe things because you want to believe them (or because they are attractive, or because they feel right, or that sort of thing) or will you believe things because they are objectively true even if you don't necessarily like the results or the implications of that truth. If you want to believe things because you like them than there are plenty of other people who will pat you on the back and say nice words, and you are welcome to them. They will probably tell you to find something that feels good or to make something up by piecing together your own patchwork religion/system from whatever else you can find. But then the results of that will only be as real as the truth that you just happen to find through good luck or good instincts. That may be enough for you, it is for a lot of people, but a half-truth/lie is still not really "real" no matter how much power or good feelings you can manage to wrench from the thing by virtue of sheer force and luck.

If you want truth, truth that you can verify and know to be true by more than just your feelings or the words of someone else (even me), than I can help you. I don't believe in believing things out of blind faith or because of feelings or things like that; i see that way of doing things as being self-deceptive, self-destructive, selfish, restricting, handicapping, ingenue, and ultimately worthless.

Yes, there are things like magic (or magick or magik or however you want to spell it) but it isn't something that everyone should jump into. It can be both helpful and extremely dangerous. The answer to your final question is this: you are no worse off for not forcing yourself into contact with the more spiritual side of things so long as you seek truth and do right. If you do that than the spiritual will have it's influence, but at the level that it appropriate to what you need and where you are at. Of course, this is only as far as I understand things and I freely admit that I am sometimes wrong. Skepticism is only bad when it causes you to refuse the truth simply because some unreasonable expectation of proof has not been rendered, usually skepticism (especially when talking about these type of spiritual things) is a good thing because it insists that there must be /some/ proof for the claims that are so often made. Feel good philosophies are ultimately worthless as soon as you expect them to do anything more than give you comforting lies, but the truth that comes from "God" (or whatever you want to call the "great source") is far better than any lie that our feeble human brains could possibly come up with.

meh, I'll stop talking now. Let me know if I can help. Sorry for writing so much, I really need to work on being more concise.

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