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My God has been dying

For some reason I felt a need to write this here. I suppose I feel pretty alone these days. It seems that no matter what friends I'm around, the complexity of relationships and the difference between myself and others prevents me from feeling close or intimate. I graze the news and comments here every day. Sometimes I find no people I agree with on a comment thread, but I can usually identify with where they're coming from even in those cases. I hope to at least find others that feel this way toward me as they read this.

I'm not really sure where to start with my story, either. I suppose it doesn't matter, though.

I was raised Christian. I was very involved in the youth group at church in high school. I interned at my high school youth group when I was in college. I was very judgmental toward people with certain habits, but I had my own habit I was ashamed of. This habit and difficulty in my marriage found me participating in 12-step programs and rehab. At a marriage seminar a few years ago (actually a year before rehab), I experienced the closest feelings to God I'd ever had in my life. I felt like I had a completely new understanding of God. I did have a completely new understanding. Shame was gone and I could breathe for the first time. It was honestly the first time I felt joy in my life. Laughter and fun I had experienced, but never joy. After several months, I went back to my habit. Went to rehab. Several months later, went back to my habit again. A few months later, I wound up divorced.

I've been divorced for about a year and a half. I suppose I mark my separation as when my God started to die. Sounds like an emotional reaction to a devastating event, I know. Truth is, I wasn't that devastated by my divorce. I've wondered if somewhere deep under the surface, I really am devastated by it, and that's why I have these feelings today, but I don't think that's it. The further I get from my divorce, the more I realize how broken the marriage was and how I wasn't the only one with a problem in the relationship. I was treated poorly, in ways no one deserves. I barely cried about the divorce. I've cried much harder about two other girls I've seen since the divorce. I feel bad about that in a way considering my ex wife invested herself in the marriage, but that is the truth.

As soon as my ex wife and I separated, I stopped going to 12-step meetings. I stopped going to religious-based meetings as well. I stopped going to church. I felt like there's no reason to bother fighting this habit all the time. It takes too much energy and there's no lasting result. I continued with my habit and tried to control it to where it wasn't problematic. I'm having reasonable success with that today, and less shame than I've had about it in the past, aside from during/after the marriage seminar I mentioned earlier. Not being involved in all the meetings has releived a good deal of anxiety.

On the other hand, losing my faith has been increasing my anxiety. By losing my faith, I don't mean not going to church. I mean I no longer have an affirmative belief that God is God, that Jesus is God and died for my sins and brings me alive, etc. I do still have a real fondness for Jesus. My belief in him brought me joy. Who he was to me at one time in my life is moving. I feel the belief system I had was beautiful. But it was flawed. It was contradictory. I had to gloss over parts of the Bible while enhancing others. Looking back on my life, I feel I've always had to do that. I've always had to look the other way when it came to certain things in the Bible. And if I cut out portions of it, how can I believe others? Perhaps there is a way, but I haven't found it.

Moreover, throughout my life when I would hear or read debates between atheists and Christians, I always felt like the atheists really had good arguments, and the Christians often looked foolish. Sometimes I could come up with arguments to improve the Christian side, but I always felt I identified with the atheist's arguments just as much, if not more, than the Christian's. When I was a Christian, I would tell myself that if I were an atheist, I would have to be a nihilist, because there would be no point in anything.

I'm getting to that point today. When I stop and think about things, I can't find a purpose. It happens occasionally. It seems to depend on how distracted I am by whatever activity I'm involved in. But sometimes I'll be working, or playing a game, or talking to someone, and all of a sudden my mind hops out of the moment and wonders whether this means anything at all. The origin of the universe might come to mind--where did we come from, and what could we possibly mean among the vastness of the universe and the expanse of time? In a billion years, none of what occurs today will matter or be remembered, and a billion years is nothing against infinite time.

And then I hop back into the moment and resume what I'm doing. Like I always thought I'd believe as an atheist when I was a Christian, it seems whatever I do is just something to do to distract me from depression and hopelessness. And I can't understand how atheists are okay with it. How they can get on in life and find it worthwhile to do anything.

I'm not atheist, I don't think. I suppose I'm agnostic today. But I still haven't found purpose, and don't know how to. Everything I hear that others find meaning in, I find to be unsubstantiated if it's spiritual, and only temporary and ultimately meaningless if it's something like finding meaning in relationships. I am truly happy for people who can find meaning and purpose in those things or in any faith, whether just something made up on their own or based in some scripture. It seems like a much more fulfilling way to look at things. I would not take that away from anyone, and I find beauty in it.

I do not have suicidal thoughts. I feel I should mention that. I don't see how that would ever help anything, and I don't consider it at all. I hope to find meaning somehow, someday. I hope that if I never find it in my lifetime on Earth, I find it after death. Death will come soon enough--no need to hasten the day.

I would like to hear from others if you have thoughts of your own, especially if you are agnostic or atheist and somehow have managed to find meaning and purpose in life in spite of the things I've said here. Thanks for reading.



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N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) - Strongly suggest reseaching it

I was in the prescience of a mother goddess figure and she was just as real as you or I. I'm serious. She told me that all there is is love. There is nothing else. She configured me to be the embodiment of love; to express love towards all.

There is no experience like it on Earth. Only in other realms. DMT takes you to these other realms.

Submission of consciousness to the supremely divine transcendence is the most enlightening experience one can retain memory of (albeit, not much).

The most vivid words cannot accurately describe the experience. Reading hundreds of "trip" reports only gives an extremely abstracted summery. It is something one must subject themselves to to at all comprehend.

My advice is if you decide to try it, do it alone and do it in a good mood.

If you'd like any further information I would be more than glad to discuss with you via email.

I've read about DMT and I've

I've read about DMT and I've watched that documentary about it, I think it's called the god particle or something? To be honest, I think it would be a terrible experience for me. I'm afraid of it and probably will never try it, especially in this state of mind I've been in off and on recently.

Understandable; it is definitly not for everyone.

Note though that the drinkable form called Ayahuasca is known to cure people of hard drug addiction and depression. I have not experienced ayahuasca yet but plan to in the future; I only have experience with synthesized dmt, and judging from the short experience in the other realms it gives you, I imagine that ayahuasca would be a great tool for spiritual healing, as is reported.

I'll try DMT when I get access

:-)

Before anyone tries any drug you should read up on it on erowid.org first

Pure DMT trips last only a few minutes, which can be seen as an advantage. What I heard over and over again is that such trips are best done with sitters/friends at a quiet place preferably in a natural setting (for example while camping or hiking). That makes sense from my own experience.

Like you said, it can't be put into words. From my experience such experiences aren't a cure-all though, you barely keep a memory, your view on life changes, you may get more optimistic, more loving etc. etc. But you aren't enlightened for the rest of your life, you can still go down bad paths like everyone else. DMT and the like are tools to increase your understanding, not a magic bullet.

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

I would suggest you go back and re-read your history

"On the other hand, losing my faith has been increasing my anxiety. By losing my faith, I don't mean not going to church. I mean I no longer have an affirmative belief that God is God, that Jesus is God and died for my sins and brings me alive, etc. I do still have a real fondness for Jesus. My belief in him brought me joy. Who he was to me at one time in my life is moving. I feel the belief system I had was beautiful. But it was flawed. It was contradictory. "

The historical record on the matter is more sound than that of any other ancient person, I would suggest you go back and read it. There really is no reason to historically accept it as false unless you want to be a dishonest person. Once you realize that Jesus existence is most certainly historically accurate, the rest follows, it is your choice if you are going to live with the Truth or evade it after that.

I hope a Mormon can help you

That is, if you'd want a Mormon's help. You might not, since we're not atheistic or agnostic, as you had asked. But I want you to feel joy and happiness, enough so that I resubscribed after being a lurker for months and months, so I'll speak up.

I want you to know that you have a purpose here on earth. You came here to get a body and to learn and grow through your own experience, to distinguish good from evil, light from dark, up from down. You came to earth so you could exercise your free will and choose your own path, whether it be to follow God's commandments or not.

I know that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. I know He loves you, He knows exactly what you are going through.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

An attempt at describing my experience

I became an atheist before I hit puberty. I felt superior to people that believed in god, because they didn't make much sense and it seemed to me that being religious is a way of staying childish even though you're grown up. Religions were obviously used to control populations throughout history, and there were plenty of other reasons that I had for being an atheist.
The bible wasn't written by god, it was written by people. But today I'm not an atheist anymore. I really was an atheist because I do not like to "believe" or "have faith", I always wanted to get to the bottom of things. In my tweens I was in depression a lot, and then I began to read spiritual books (for example books composed of osho speeches), when reading these books it hit me that there was deep truth in those words. The fascinating thing was that according to buddhist/zen/enlightenment teachings every person can experience truth first hand by reaching deep states of meditation due to sitting meditation or yoga or runners high for example. So I explored meditation for years, and out of thousands of hours that I meditated, only a couple of minutes I really reached a high meditational state (almost by accident), these states were very wierd, they seemed to open up pathways in my brain, sometimes the normal sensual world around would turn into a different dimension for splitseconds. I still didn't know what I should think of it, but I became convinced that there is more to existence than can be experienced in the "normal waking state" we're all living in. Later I experimented with several psychodelic drugs. They showed me that the idea that there "is no god", or that there is "nothing beyond what science can measure (today)" or that "spirituality is stupid" is not based in experience. I can imagine that the people that wrote spiritual/biblical/religous texts throughout the ages had deep spiritual insights through meditation, life experiences, dreams, drugs (humans always had access to psychodelic plants) and so forth. Nobody knows what exactly consciousness is, where it comes from, how it works. During my deepest drug trip I was on "the other side", it was amazing, mysterious, unfortunately you can't really capture it and keep the experience in memory. It seems like the human mind is like a tool designed for the world it is born into. But consciousness doesn't seem to be limited to human experiences. I think throughout the ages wise men and women shared their insights with their families and village and their children and their neighbours children kept those insights alive through rituals and traditions. Thus religions were formed and especially those that were successful were eventually codified in the form of "gospels", "songs", "stories", "rituals", "laws" and so forth. An atheist is a person that is rightfully skeptic of religions, because they all seem to have an agenda and religions are in competition with each other. But then we all have lifes, so I wouldn't recommend to anyone to do what I did and to waste countless hours with meditation or to take psychodelic drugs (it shakes you/your ego/brain up incredibly, so that your life can get worse, not all humans are really ready for the hugeness of the spiritual universe, including me, I sometimes regret that I went down that path). Mushrooms are the safest/easiest way you can try, it's the only one that I can recommend. You don't need to try that twice, one good dose is plenty enough.
Today I know for a fact that the spiritual world isn't an invention by crazy people or a scam that religious gurus are trying to convince us of for their own gain. But that doesn't mean that religions or spiritual gurus should have a monopoly on what the meaning of life is, or what the teachings of spiritual worlds are, or what the truth is. There are no special human beings, everyone can have exactly the same experiences as the next one. I like the current pope, although I never was catholic, and I'm not Christian, and I don't agree with all of the Catholic or Christian doctrines, but as a person he seems nice. And this "being nice" is the only thing that we as humans can do for ourselves and other humans. I don't need to read a bible, koran or any other spiritual text to know that being nice to others is good and not being nice is bad. Now you'll meet people that aren't nice to you, and you yourself won't always be nice, because you're only human. Bad things will continue to happen, there will always be people doing bad things. I can't control other people and I don't want to, I can only try to "be nice" as often as possible. I screamed at a friend a few weeks ago, because I was angry. I feel bad about that now and I'll try to stay calm the next time and to be a better teacher. I set a bad example inspite of knowing better. I bet there are many people out there that know better, but that fail to live to their standards because they are only human. Keep that in mind the next time someone hurts you, or behaves badly. There are definitely evil things happening on a personal level and on a world political level and we can't always change that. I'm trying not to get angry as much as I can, because I feel that this is the way that "evil" wins, by making the whole world around it mad.
Stop worrying about the afterlife, stop worrying about why you're here, stop worrying about what you're supposed to be, stop worrying wether or not you're living up to expectations, stop worrying about wether or not you're breaking religious rules (when you don't break Christian rules/guidelines, you'll (probably) break muslim rules and vice versa, it's madness), stop trying to fix your past, stop worrying about the future. Instead try to do something nice for yourself and others now. Pay the bills. Help a friend. Enjoy life with the people around you. Be an example for others. Offer advice to people that want it. Don't be judgy towards others (unless they're doing something unquestionably evil (which means: it hurts others), then DO JUDGE them). Be involved in your community. Have sex. Share. Give. Take. Learn. Experience. Be creative/inventive. Conquer your fears.
If you get strength from your belief system or from your religious/church community, then that's good and I'd encourage you to keep it that way, because there's really nothing wrong with any religion as long as that religion doesn't encourage you to discrimate (discrimating people that hurt other people is okay though) or hurt other people. Whatever floats your boat. People that never have a spiritual crisis are lucky, although I think that almost everyone at least thinks about those things at least once in life. If you had depression, you almost certainly thought to yourself "why the fuck am I here, everything sucks, I want to get out of this, existence is painful". I went down this path. This path can lead to overthinking, overanalyzing, worrying, anger, mental breakdown. You can leave this bad path through living your life. Do sports, meet people, have fun, work, etc. I don't know what the meaning of life is, and I'm sure know human being truly understands it. I think you have to experience your own life, which is the closest way to "god". I use the word "god" as a bridge here, try LSD once and I'll experience that you have a "godhead", people that literally mean that they are god, or that they have become god, or that they are one with god. What they mean is that the border between you and existence is dissolved. There is a border between the writer of this text and the reader of this text. Unless the reader is enlightened or the reader is on psychedelics, then the reader will experience this text as if he had always known it, as if there was no mystery to it. Life and the universe are great mysteries to human beings, many people try to fill that void, and many people try to influence others through that void. Do not trust other people that fill that void, you can't fill that void, nobody can fill that void. That void is the a great mystery. It wouldn't be a mystery, if you could just hit a switch in your head to remove that void. When you start living your life, when you start making good choices, when you feel better, when you experience your life through your own eyes, when you shape your destiny with action, when you accept what you can't change, and so forth, this void will disappear itsself. You'll simply forget that there is a void. The great mystery is the heart, emotions can't simply be explained away with "flight or fight" like explanations. We're emotional being first. Thus we're spiritual beings first. Thus death is everything, but it's never what you think it is. This is what I think. Take it with a grain of salt. I can't tell you the truth. I can't use words to describe a single experience that I had in my life, when you are reading it, it's never going to be exactly what I experienced/meant. You'll never exactly understand what life is like for me. I'll never exactly understand what life is like for you.
We can be friendly, we can be nice to each other. Let's do it!

God dammit!

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

"Life and the universe are

"Life and the universe are great mysteries to human beings, many people try to fill that void, and many people try to influence others through that void. Do not trust other people that fill that void, you can't fill that void, nobody can fill that void. That void is the a great mystery. It wouldn't be a mystery, if you could just hit a switch in your head to remove that void. When you start living your life, when you start making good choices, when you feel better, when you experience your life through your own eyes, when you shape your destiny with action, when you accept what you can't change, and so forth, this void will disappear itsself. You'll simply forget that there is a void."

I liked this part of what you wrote. Thanks.

@Mod: typos/errors

There are many errors towards the end of my post. Too bad you can't edit anymore, once somebody posts a reply.

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

You just describe what hindus

You just describe what hindus believe about reality. There is a lot more out there than human minds can comprehend. But there are ways through meditation and yoga that you can glimpse it. Marijuana is infact a revered plant in our culture that sages use to reach higher states of consciousness. Do I believe all this higher consciousness stuff myself? I don't know but I have an open mind about it.

Glimpse

Exactly. I think I was in a trap for a few years where I lived "for the glimpse". My life was in ruins, because I was nutty for "that glimpse". I've experience that glimpse at least once. I was deep in that glimpse. It was way more than just a glimpse. It was amazing. I was deeply emotionally and cried because of joy after "the glimpse" ended. But I couldn't take anything away from that "glimpse world", I feld energized the coming weeks and looked healthier than usual, but I couldn't remember a thing. It's not a normal part of human life. Then I tried to get back to that glimpse when my life fell apart again. But then I was in the trap. I didn't take care of my life, I hoped I would raise my consciousness by having more "glimpses". That doesn't work. You need to live your life. Stop worrying. Everything is okay. That is the main message I came away with from that one big glimpse I got. Everything is alright. We humans (and other beings) are just like babies, we don't understand everything, we can't understand everything, we don't need to understand everything, but we should learn one thing: we're okay.

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

I have never tried meditation

I have never tried meditation myself but am considering it seriously now. Waiting to find the right time and the right teacher.
I think I can see how you may have let go of things for the sake of the "glimpse". A lot of people in India give up worldly lives and live as ascetics/hermits to pursue higher levels of consciousness. And it is accepted as a perfectly valid life style. Basically Hinduism says that the nature of man requires him to pay attention to four spheres of life - artha (financial life), kama (fulfillment of desires, family life), dharma (upholding truth, not an exact translation though) and moksha (liberation from rebirth). People are free to balance these four in ways they see fit. So doing mundane day to day life is also considered as a part of our spiritual practice. Emphasis is on understanding yourself, your nature so that you are more at peace with yourself.

I've huge problems with my

I've huge problems with my artha and kama at the moment.

I never had a formal teacher in meditation, Osho's books on meditation were the best I had. I'm starting to do more yoga/fitness workouts, that really helps with my general energy level. As for "glimpses", those will be difficult to achieve through sitting meditation, in my experience that's the most difficult/unrewarding way to go about it. Unless your artha, kama, dharma are already taken care of, I wouldn't spent countless hours in meditation, it was a mistake that I did so. (Over 3 years I spent around 1-12 hours meditating each day (at least I tried, often I was just depressed/contemplating)) I do recommend mushrooms, especially with a good friend and someone who has experienced it. Compared to other psychedelics (even mary jane) mushrooms were very gentle (I didn't take a huge dose though) to me, and it speeds up your understanding process more than 1000 hours of meditation will. I view it as an investment, with pure sitting meditation you get more zen "street cred", but it's like digging a hole with a shovel, when you also can use an excavator. LSD I wouldn't recommend, because it's too strong and unpredictable and raises awareness to an almost unhealthy crazy level, it can also mess you up. You could also have a bad trip on mushrooms, but "bad trip" usually means that you'll see something wrong that you have done or feel bad about yourself because of "your character"/"your past" and can't let go. The best thing would be to meditate with a spiritual teacher on mushrooms, so that you can both experience consciousness at a higher level and have a guide on your side to help you let go. One great thing that you can do is to have a fresh flower/rose next to you when you're high, and then smell it. The smell can completely change your experience. I don't recommend weed, I believe that it can help some people, but for me it was a "big trap" and it made me function way worse in real life. I heard great things about DMT and ayahuasca, too, but those are recommended only for people that are ready to change their life completely and that have a calling for it. I had a calling for Iboga, which is life changing like DMT and ayahuasca are. That was when I had that amazing big glimpse into the glimpse world I was writing about. But Iboga also scared the hell out of me and also may have been a mistake overall in retrospect. It's very dangerous. I don't know. I did mushrooms only once by the way. I feel they're great tools for consciouness exploring, while still leaving you functional after they are wearing off, so that you can continue with life pretty much normally.
As you wrote, it's all about keeping a balance. I was going to extremes with meditation, I was going to extremes with drugs. I lost control over other parts of my life. To be honest I already had many problems before I even was going down the spiritual path, I guess I used meditation in the hope to find some magical relief, instead of dealing with my real problems. I also got some great insights, which possibly will lead me to a better life. Those insights aren't that world shaking. I need to work harder, I need to find love, I need to be nice, I need to have more courage, I need to let go. And so on. Make a wise investment.

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

Wow, you seem to have to gone

Wow, you seem to have to gone deep into this stuff. I realize that I need to tread carefully into meditation. Thanks for describing your experience.

Converted from Atheist back to Hindu recently

I think I understand your sense of nihilism very well. I was an atheist until recently but have turned back to being a Hindu since I understood Hinduism properly. I think Hinduism is a libertarian religion because you are free to define, discover and understand god/reality on your own terms. Our texts (we dont have a singly holy book, we have an entire library) have recorded how others have found their path to understanding god/reality and you may learn from these. In fact our texts stress more on understanding reality rather than god. We believe that neither life nor death are permanent and that there are several, equally valid paths to understanding god/reality. I find this notion extremely liberating because there is no eternal heaven or hell or a strife to prove that my version of god is correct, there is only the state of knowledge or that of ignorance.

There are a lot more layers to hinduism, but I am going to stop my rant here :)

Interesting

By this definition every religion/spiritual teaching could be considered a part of the wider hindu library.

The opposite of what you're defining as hinduism here would be a religion that claims that someone else has experienced reality better/at a higher state than you ever could yourself (maybe at some earlier age), and that you therefore have to submit yourself to subsequent teachings and teachers of those teachings exclusively.

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

Yes, you are right. Unlike

Yes, you are right. Unlike Abrahamic religions, hinduism does not consider any path as supreme or invalid or excluded. It is like an open source religion. Several schools of thought that arose together or one after the other, merged and separate through the millennia. That is why there is so much diversity in the way hinduism is practiced.

On a different topic, buddhism which differs from hinduism in its definition of reality is very much like Ayn Rands objectivism. It believes that existence exists. But it deals with the consequence of this assumption in a much more nuanced way. Hinduism on the other hand believes that the whole cosmos is manifestation of god/consciousness. i.e. you and I and every living, non-living creature is manifestation of god but we experience separateness due to our current forms. Meditation and yoga were studied extensively for the sole purpose of reaching this higher consciousness or supreme reality.

I am still debating whether I am a hindu or a buddhist :)

Haha

I learned a lot from Zen/Osho/Buddhism/Joe Rogan/Duncan Trussell/Jesus/My Friends/My Enemies/My Parents/Teachers/Bad Examples/You/Myself etc. etc.

Stop picking sides. Having to pick sides drives you crazy, nuts, bonkers, I know what I'm talking about, it made me nuts. I'm a student that has many teachers, some teachers suck, some teachers have great insights, some I'm indifferent to. From sucky teachers you can learn how not to do something. The best, most direct teacher is your own experience.

I love you. We share a lot!

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k3JNRTVI0Q

Its ok to pick sides I think

Its ok to pick sides I think as long as you respect all sides equally. You just pick what you think suits you. This is another calming thing I learnt from my recent journey into dharmic religions (i.e. hinduism, buddhism and jainism). There is no "with us or against us" type of feeling. We all just are.

Love you too. After all you are me ;)

God is Bigger Than Your Feelings

I encourage you to check this out - it's an enjoyable talk about why the Bible is true in objective terms. Please take notes and cross-reference them with your doubts:

Voddie Baucham on Why I Choose to Believe the Bible is True

http://youtu.be/gWU12DzPTUo

The modern church you grew up in very lacking in discipleship - I would fault them with a lot of marriage breakups.

Buck up some courage - here's some 400 year old wisdom that always gets me--"the fearful march for Hell, the valiant take Heaven by force! Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit -- dare to be holy in spite of men and devils!" William Gurnall


http://youtu.be/N2VrqNgWqg0

I listened to the first

I listened to the first video. Can't say I've researched the history of the Bible as much as I probably ought to have as a Christian. The problem I have more than anything is contradicting ideas within the Bible. This was a problem throughout my "career", no matter what side I tried to take in the various debates that go on between different denominations and people.

On the quote you gave, for example. Here's a guy talking about a passage that mentions violence on Heaven, and he completely disagrees with the quote you stated (and I would have completely disagreed in my day as well). But I'm sure you can find passages to back up the idea of being manly and strong in order to take Heaven by force, as well.

http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp68.htm

I'd like to commend you on having integrity on your quest for tr

The history of the Bible is a fascinating subject that doesn't get covered on Churchianity.

As to the Gurnall quote, it is a metaphor for a Christian wearing the armor of God found on Ephesians 6. It comes from his monumental work: The Christian in Complete Armor, which is all about how Satan will attack us. The helmet of salvation implies Satan will attack your mind.

I don't know if you're familiar with Vox Day the Christian libertarian, but he's a lot of fun to read and breaks down the "contradictions" you are struggling with. He wrote a book The Irrational Atheist

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1933771364/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

Also, I've got another interesting film called Aquarius:Age of Evil, which is a really interesting expose on those who are actively working for the other team. No one ever taught me about that in Churchianity either!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4uDWMryZTU

The subjects examined helped me gain valuable perspective on what is really going on in the spiritual realm.

Don't stop searching!

+1 for Vox Day

Recently read 'The Return of the Great Depression'

His blog is entertaining, as well:
http://voxday.blogspot.com/

About the Author
Vox Day graduated in 1990 from Bucknell University with degrees in Economics and Asian Studies. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, the International Game Developers Association, and Mensa, and helped found the techno band Psykosonik. In addition to his weekly columns, he transmits contagious and controversial memes daily from the Vox Popoli blog.

where does meaning come from?

How does god or perhaps religion give you meaning? What is the meaning it gives you? Perhaps that meaning is available to you without the contradictions of religious teachings. Maybe you can find the truth inside of yourself and amongst nature. Observe nature.

When you feel lost go outside and take a walk. That is my friendly advice. And you are never alone because you are here with all of us. :-)

Maybe it is you that is dying, and not God.

Is that possible?

Faith is not a warm fuzzy, It is a commitment. And your breaking it!

I have done it myself. I sympathize.

Whatever you are holding onto... you need to let it go And that includes all this self flagellation. All your hand ringing is nothing but ego. There is no profundity. There are no great insights. Just whining.

I am giving you the exact same advice I give myself. Recommit! Because the direction you are heading in is as meaningless and futile as you perceive it to be.

Recommit! Stop judging the Lord God. Empty yourself.

You are a pretty useless guy. So am I. But in the Lord, we can do great things.

I wish you well my friend. There is a lot of you in me. I've had all these thought before. Emotion can only take us so far. Then it comes down to commitment. Say a few prayers that you don't want to say. Read a few chapters that you don't want to read. Keep on going and never give up.

Maybe you were raised in a faith that doesn't allow for doubt, or that presupposed that "real" Christians never feel like hell. But that is a facade. The Christian emotion junkie is not long a Christian.

Its very much like staying with a woman that you feel like you just don't love anymore. Are you going to walk out on her? Are you going to walk out for a younger, prettier one... one less demanding? Or, are you going to make it work? Are you going to keep your commitment? Are you going to learn to really love her?

Don't fall for the rationality trap. Strip all the intellectual pretense from an atheist and your just left with a super unpleasant person with a huge ego. Of course an atheist is not going to want to give up self. An atheist is too self centered... too opinionated.. to ever believe.

Don't go don't that path. Trust me, if you carry around that attitude of arrogance and hopelessness, then that is all you will attract. Atheists spread death. They are the disciples of death, without even realizing it. Which is pathetic.

Agnostics are just confused. They have lost their spiritual self. But at least they have the hope that humility brings. I was an agnostic for a long time. Through God's grace, I never descended into the madness of atheism. I have much sympathy for the agnostic.

Sure it's possible, and I

Sure it's possible, and I realize someone has had all these thoughts before me. You've brought up one of the problems I have with Christianity, though. There's plenty of evidence in the Bible for a Christian that needs to kick ass and take names, flexing his spiritual strength in order to commit themselves to the Lord, overcome sin, and win souls. And there are plenty of passages suggesting Christians are all obscenely weak and need Jesus in order to do anything at all. This is a problem for me.

I do think I'm agnostic and not atheist at this point. You can definitely call me confused. And I agree I'm probably full of myself. Thanks for your comment.

It Is Finished!

BStep,

I saw this video a few minutes ago and wanted to share it with you.

Petra - It Is Finished - The Passion of the Christ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU97IpTGCt0&feature=share

Blessings to you! Tricia and Carlos

"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Matthew 12:25
http://www.needgod.com/
http://www.geniusthemovie.com/

I don't know what your "habit" is that is problematic

for you. If it produces negative vibes for you, don't force yourself to quit it, but rather add a new positive habit to your life, something that you can learn to enjoy, and something that generally has no learning limitation.
I believe when we do not express ourselves enough with our bodies we become bored, stressed, depressed, and search for meaning in life. I think peace of mind, happiness, and a feeling of one with the universe is simply a matter of using our bodies more. People who complain a lot are usually in poor physical health btw so that's a first.
Hands for typing and holding a book, yes, but hey, it's spring, get into the garden, at this writing it's time to plant lettuce and parsley seeds and before summer you will be eating that produce.
Add good habits, and try to commit to becoming proficient enough to be able to express yourself through this medium. It could be sculpting, painting, musical instrument, etc. Gardening is wonderful, brings out the kid in you; it's not just for women, it's actually a very manly thing, and to do well there are tons of information you must learn.
Use your feet, go for walks daily, commit to walking on a regular basis, walk to places that turn you on like a nearby mountain hike, or a long trail through a forest, etc. - do this in sunlight.
Maybe dancing is an undeveloped turn-on, develop it at least to extent where you can smile and enjoy yourself. Maybe dance exercises are for you, invent some, like yoga. That's what I do: exercises at the bathroom sink and living room floor, push ups, push offs, squats, stretches and a host of other creative moves I've invented to make me feel fit. Threadmills are for non-creatives.
Jogging or bike riding is great, how about a motorized bike, been thinking about getting one myself; they're good for 20 or so miles. How many people know 20 miles from their neighborhood in all directions?
Over-eating? Again, don't force yourself to "change the diet" but rather "add" new and beneficial nutritious super foods on a regular basis. I recovered from a debilitating sciatic condition by adding one super food at a time to a daily breakfast "smoothie" concoction until after three years I'm fit and happy, and continue making daily smoothies because I've learned to make them delicious and my body craves them because they make me feel really good immediately. It's simple: the more nutritious food I take the less garbage I eat.
I'm ranting, but my point is simple. Forget about God for now. Most important is to Love yourself by first Accepting yourself and all your frailties, but again, things that are problematic add new habits that eventually will be more preferable than these negative habits or if not you won't be doing the negative habits as often.

I know several people who are bored and miserable. While I had been friendly with them for months and tried to show them to enjoy themselves I had to leave their friendship to a seldom meeting because they refuse to move their arses and take stock.
So, if you are ready to be happy, it is so simple I can cry for joy about it: simply add new positive habits that will eventually be more enjoyable than the bad habits you now have.
I must say that once you find that you feel good, fit, are doing things in your spare time you truly enjoy then you will feel a oneness with the Universe, and that's about as Godly as we can get I believe. That's it, we're in these bodies that must express the Godness of Life that comes through all of us, agnostics and christians alike, we are all part of the Life Force of the Universe that we can call God, so we are in essence a very real part of the whole God thingy. Get fit and use hands, feet voice, anything that can lead to enjoyable self-expression, er, and God bless you my brother.
As far as the Bible God understanding, I recommend whole heartedly you read Zecharia Sitchin at an early convenience; the greatest book I've ever read in my life, bar none.

Thanks for the comment :).

Thanks for the comment :). Doing things I enjoy to do, and doing things that are good for me, definitely keeps my mind in a better place. I have been playing soccer for the last several weeks, got on 2 different teams so I have 2 games a week, and have been enjoying that.