Monday, June 2, 2008

Lost in the Shuffle...

Perhaps my point in some of my posts today got lost in the shuffle of my overwhelming emotion around the subject (another reason why I shouldn't write THE BOOK now?). What I really want to say on the subject of women and religion and the abandonment of traditional concepts of God in general, is to have some empathy for those of whom you're asking this enormous feat. Be mindful that it's not just enough to banter on discussion boards as to why a person's belief in God is irrational. It's not useful to call them names or make them feel inferior. And it's definitely not helpful to burst anyone's delusional bubble without a supportive framework for processing their world without religion. Frankly, it's the main reason I don't attempt to "de-convert" my mother. I don't have the emotional fortitude to deal with what would happen to her mental state once the house of cards falls apart. I can barely keep my own head above water.

tall penguin

8 comments:

falterer said...

Ohhh, now I get it!

Nicely said. I sympathize.

zensim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zensim said...

I just read this. Whilst not a personal believer in reincarnation, there is a way in which we are constantly re-birthing ourselves in this life and it speaks to the same in my mind:

"For we are all travellers on the wheel of life.
We halt, we pause and take new births.
Take comfort, then, you beings wandering in weary Samsara,
And hear in every footfall the sound of blissful compassion.

For compassion is the tree that shelters all beings.
It is the universal bridge
That dispels the misty ignorance of the world
And leads the weary traveller out of Samsara into Nirvana."

Adapted from the 8th-century writings of Shantideva

zensim said...

And I would like to know why I can't edit my comments if I make typos? Instead I have to delete and repost?

Tammie said...

I completely agree with everything you've said in this post, and the previous posts for that matter.

It does no good to criticize or question someones beliefs about God. This has to be done by the individual, if/when they are ready.

It takes strength, courage, and an open mind to question a belief system you've known most of your life. I personally believe that some people I'm close to may never be ready for this. I can only hope to be a good support system for them if they ever are ready.

tall penguin said...

"For compassion is the tree that shelters all beings.
It is the universal bridge
That dispels the misty ignorance of the world"

If we do not gain compassion from our suffering in this life, what's the point? What are we here for if not to learn to love each other and shelter each other with compassion?

Thanks Sim for that.

tall penguin said...

"And I would like to know why I can't edit my comments if I make typos? Instead I have to delete and repost?"

Ya, you do. That's the way it's set up unfortunately. Maybe they'll fix that at some point.

tall penguin said...

"It does no good to criticize or question someones beliefs about God. This has to be done by the individual, if/when they are ready."

It's a dance. There is the possibility of floating out questions to someone that they may be able to ponder. And they may come back to them when they're ready. But trying to make someone see your point of view? Debating endlessly? Never seen it work. Not as a jw, not as an ex-jw.

When people make decisions from a place of fear, you need to meet them where they are. If you try to liberate them from the fear when they're not ready for it, they'll often return to what they know in some form or fashion.

Having been dragged from the safety of my old beliefs basically kicking and screaming, it's a constant battle for me to assimilate this new worldview. I sometimes feel cheated that I wasn't allowed to come to it on my own. Oh well, I'm here now. It is what it is.

"I can only hope to be a good support system for them if they ever are ready."

Yes. This is my point about being the change we want to see in the world. As a parent, I'm sure you see this firsthand. Children learn much more from what you do than what you say. If you create a safe space for them, and model who you truly are, they will have the foundation to explore their world and ask the questions of life they need to ask.

Some may say we do not have the luxury of time, that we need to evolve right here, right now. But we cannot view compassion as a luxury either. It's striking the balance that is so very difficult.