Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life...

Life is hilarious. I had just posted my last entry when my msn started blinking. It is a wonderful woman who used to be one of my ESL students many years ago. I met her because one of the women in my former Jehovah's Witness congregation ran a student home for international students. I ended up teaching this woman English and then she expressed an interest in learning about the Bible from me, so I taught her the jw version of things and she was quite interested. When I left the jw's, I had a conversation with her about my leaving and did my fear-based warning thing along with telling her about shunning and how the jw community was now treating me. That was 3 years ago and we've barely spoken much since.

So I see my msn blinking and see this young woman, my former ESL student and jw Bible student, saying hello. And then this:

"Guess what?" she says.

"What?"

"I'm studying Bible."

"Wow...with who?"

"A friend."

She asks me why I stopped believing in the Bible. And I said, "I did research on the history and saw it to be a book of stories...some beautiful stories but still stories. I don't believe that there is any god outside of the god that you already are."

I try to ask if she's studying any particular religion's view of the Bible and she evades the question. Finally, I ask...

"Is your friend a Jehovah's Witness?"

"Yes, she is."

And I smile. I saw this coming. And there was no angst. There was just love. There was this complete acceptance of her journey. She said she wants answers to her questions. I said, "well I would invite you to do some research on both the origins of the bible and the origins of the jehovah's witness movement...not from their books though...the history is not accurate...other than that I wish you well."

And that was it. We moved along to other things.

I find this interesting for a few reasons.

1. The primary charge around all the jw stuff has dissipated greatly for me. I no longer feel responsible for saving anyone from them. This woman is an adult. It is her life. She is free to choose.

2. I think people gravitate towards religion for so many different reasons. This woman wants "answers to her questions". My mother was the same. And it seems that regardless of what I say to her, she wants to find those answers within the particular box of the jw view. So be it.

3. I often wonder whether people become enamored with the person that first contacts them with a religion/cult. That family connection thing. I remember studying the Bible as a jw with a young girl, around 9 years old, and she said she wanted to be just like me when she grew up. She said she wanted to be a jw, but I think she really meant she wanted to be like me, wanted to give people the feeling I gave her, which had little to do with my being a jw. But, at her age, she could not know that. I hope she can differentiate it later in life.

I think too of my father who converted many years after my mother because of the difference he thought the religion was making in my mother's personality. Frankly, it could've been therapy or the new friends or a medication that made the difference and he probably wouldn't have jumped into those things, but somehow he thought the religion was making the difference and devoted himself to it as a result. In hindsight, I think he would admit that my mother's personality isn't all that different after all, that the religion just gave her some tools to suppress things ever deeper, and appear happier than she really was. But I digress. That's my judgment, not his.

Hahaha....this woman just popped back online saying that she's going to start studying English again too. She said, "and when I study English, I usually think about you because we had a good time when we studied English together." Wasn't that the point I was just making? Sometimes we confuse the message and messenger and accept one because we accept the other.

All very funny. Life living itself. And so it is.

tall penguin

8 comments:

Tim said...

The transition to not feeling as though you have to save everyone from jw must have been long and difficult.

To allow others the space to make the same "mistakes" you made is commendable.

My opinion of organized religion has shifted from ambivalence to abhorrence. I'm still working on being able to effectively broach this conversation without sounding like a raving maniac.

Peace!

matt said...

Life does seem to run in parallel patterns; it's very interesting to see perhaps, what is really going on during a "study". In fact, I never actually officiated one myself, but I had gone to many others' studies. It's just that environment; here we are supposedly teaching someone great inspiring truths that saves lives. You share a (conditional albeit) love for them that costs nothing but time. From their perspective, it's that personal connection you create with them, a trusting aura. How could this person be wrong? He/She's taking so much time helping me along. He/She really cares about my life. The only evidence otherwise is authored by Satanic works! That's one of the main reasons why this religion perpetuates.

It's interesting to talk to the past from the present. :)

I find your thoughts on your mother, and why, perhaps, your father converted to be true; not just of your parents, but of many of the parents we heard at conventions and assemblies -- these "great example of holy spirit". Haha.

tall penguin said...

Peace back to you tim! I was just writing about mistakes when your comment came in. Funny.

Yes, it's been a long road, but not as long as I thought it would be. At a certain point along the way I just started making a conscious choice to love and accept and let go. And allow others to be as they are as I want to be allowed to be as I am, recognizing that there really is no separation between you and I...we're all humans having a human experience. It is evolution in process. We must take a wider range view of what is happening here.

Whenever I find an agenda creeping into my heart, I remind myself to let go. It's a constant practice. Some days easier than others. :)

tall penguin said...

"It's interesting to talk to the past from the present."

Yes, very much so matt. It seems that this woman needs to go down this road with the jw's and learn what she needs to learn and that it has nothing to do with me at all. I'm finding nothing really does. A nice realization.

"I find your thoughts on your mother, and why, perhaps, your father converted to be true; not just of your parents, but of many of the parents we heard at conventions and assemblies -- these "great example of holy spirit". Haha."

We all see things through our particular lens of the world. We see things how we want them to be. It is so very difficult to see what is. What is real. What is true.

I think the best we can do for anyone is keep guiding them back to their own wisdom, to the quiet spot in their soul that knows all, that place that is the same for all of us. Call it god or source or your higher self or whatever you want, just know that it's there and gives you more than anything outside you ever will.

Anonymous said...

I also want to commend you for your Life and sharing it with others. I too WAS a JW for 24 years, Yet my youth had a bit of Training in the Religion/Cult too.

I think of when I was 9 years old and studying out of the said, "Truth Book" I have now realized that the PENDING END as was told then coming in 1975 of this system of things in which ONLY Jehovah's Witnesses would survive and all others will be Slain by Jehovah. This can be noted on all their publications of The Happy Faced JW being lead away and all the Others having their EYE'S Picked out by Birds etc.

I put my life on hold which all JW's do. They are told NOT to go to Higher education and all Witnesses wind up as Window Washers or Janitors with no education to fall back on as the End is Moved further away and further away. (New Light Syndrome.)

The latest info for all those wanting to learn the Bible and taking up the offer for a FREE Bible Study but yet, Witnesses DON'T study the Bible, No rather they Study a Book that steers them to an Organization. After all No One alive today will find salvation UNLESS through the (Mother) Organization of God.

Witnesses are told to READ the Bible, YET... They are NOT allowed to Interpret the Scriptures for themselves. Doing so leads to "Independent thinking" which of course is a Disfellowshipping offence.

If you think I am kidding I invite you to read the Following :LINK:, http://aycu33.webshots.com/image/21912/2001532577224620787_rs.jpg

Here the Society says that to meet and study the Bible and compare the Translation of the NWT Bible with Greek or Hebrew is a great way to get your ASS thrown out of the Organization. They in FACT, RULE with an Iron Hand! Studying the Bible will cost you your Family. Yes, Because as you dig deeper into the scriptures you will see that the CHRIST is the ONLY WAY to get to GOD. ("No Man came come to the Father unless through Me") No where in the Bible does it say that we have to go through an Organization. In fact it further goes on to say that Jesus is the Mediator between GOD and Mankind. I was naturally SHOCKED when I hear that this applies ONLY to the 8,000+ Anointed in their MINDS. The remaining 7 Billion on Earth MUST FIND the Organization to be able to have God. I have to refrain from laughing here.
For years I wondered why the Society Charged Interest to those getting a new Hall or Rebuilding an Old Hall. They Finally just changed that. But the killer was you Borrow the Money to get the GOODIES to Build and then Pay them Back and in the End, THEY OWN IT?

All the New York Properties just being sold for Millions and Millions of Dollars never flows back to those that Drive Their cars and use their Gas their time and resources, Then the 5 Meetings a week. So all a JW does is GIVE GIVE GIVE to support the Organization and they the Organization has not ONE, NOT ONE Charity. So much for having a Brother in Need and doing nothing.

I think though, What bothered me most out of anything in 24 years was how the Organization applied by Proxy for the FUNDS in the Swiss Bank for those Holocaust Victims. The JW's that worked as Slave Labor for the German SS and the FUNDS in the Swiss Bank was to repay them. However they or most of the JW's of that Era are Dead. But, To be PAID for the LABOR that the JW Attorney clearly said of how they the JW's HELPED the SS Build these 40+ Concentration Camps to me would be like a Person that LOADED the GUN for a person that Kills. Accessory to MURDER, Murder of Jew's But of their OWN fellow Witnesses and Homosexuals.
The Attorney makes it sound as if the JW's had a Great Working Relationship working in Concert with the German SS as these Camp's were being Built with their Slave Labor. Slave Labor that Killed 6 Million +++ HUMANS.

Then the Latest Gripe I will say is why they Don't Want a Witness to accompany you in a Judicial Meeting. You'd be a 3rd Party Witness to what is said and then the Clergy Rights to keep the Meeting's (Minutes) from the Federal Government or Law Enforcement is now waved and they are forced to submit in the Courts what the Pervert did or confessed to. They like to keep all congregation Matters out of the Publics view.
If they had to Freely disclose what was said in these meetings they would show in fact that Witnesses are not in a (Spiritual Paradise) Today. The many Court cases now being paid by the Society is also evidence of that. So it's bad enough as a Window Washer barely making it by in life and trying to keep a certain amount of Hours in Service, That your Now Donated Monies is now being PAID OUT not to Advance the GOOD NEWS but to Pay HUSH MONIES to the Children/Families that were Raped or Abused and Committed by Congregation Elders and so on.

My Best advice of an Honest person searching for God and the Love of Christ is to Examine your Religion. You are told that Before you become a Witness, But your not allowed to After you Join the Witnesses. So the Advice in Closing is to set up on GOOGLE.COM and Alert for (Jehovah's Witness) or (JW CULT) A person would be SHOCKED to hear of all the Negative stuff being Done by these Person's in their (Spiritual Paradise) today.

Jesus Saves, Not an Organization.

May you find the Truth if God so WILL'S.
Agape, Keith in Montana

tall penguin said...

Hey there Keith in Montana,

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate hearing your views. I'm unclear about your statements about the Holocaust victims and the Swiss Bank Funds. I would like some clarification on this.

As for your other statements, yes the jw organization does put a very slanted spin on the Bible and its contents. Having said that, I have yet to see followers of a "holy book" that don't insist on putting their own spin on it. Which is why organized anything is useless to me.

We will each see things through our own perceptions and attempting to persuade anyone to your view as the only right one is not an act of love but an act of aggression. You're entitled to your world-view as I am entitled to mine.

I bid you peace fellow traveler.

tall penguin said...

Came across this quote today and thought it apropos to this discussion:

“Paradoxically, a group of humans becomes healing and converting only after its members have learned to stop trying to heal and convert. Community is a safe place precisely because no one is attempting to heal or convert you, to fix you, to change you. Instead, the members accept you as you are. You are free to be you. And being so free, you are free to discard defenses, masks, disguises; free to seek your own psychological and spiritual health; free to become your whole and holy self.”

-- Scott Peck

Anonymous said...

Well I'm Back, It don't take long to find this information that I assume the Watchtower would like to keep quiet.

Remember, These' Jehovah's Witnesses are mostly DEAD. But the WTBTS was glad to do this by PROXY. Just like the Mormon's who Baptize Animals in Behalf of DEAD SOULS.

I will Past this from one URL and you can play ball with it. Personally it made me sick to find out about it. It was Probably One of the LAST things the Organization did before canceling their Membership with the UNITED NATION that they held for 10 Years. As a NGO you can become Privy to events in the world.

http://www.global-alliance.net/SFPT/MichaelBazylerHolocaustRestitutionComparedJune2001.htm

""One of the most striking elements about the Swiss settlement is that the class of recipients is not limited to Jews. Rather, it also contemplates that, in addition to Jewish victims, the following four groups persecuted by the Nazis are also VTNPs and, therefore, will receive a part of the $1.25 billion settlement: (1) homosexuals; (2) physically or mentally disabled or handicapped persons; (3) the Romani (Gypsy) peoples; and (4) Jehovah's Witnesses.[xix] This non-Jewish victim group included in the settlement, however, is small, and excludes the entire category of Slavic peoples–primarily Poles and Russians–forced to work as slave laborers for the Nazis. These victims of Nazi persecution will not receive anything from the Swiss settlement, but must await recovery from the slave labor settlement finalized with Germany (see discussion below).. ""

I can get you more, But I have to roll for now. But what I think is worse is the Female Lawyers remarks that BOASTS that the JW's Helped BUILD over 40 Camps. Then She goes on to BRAG about how the Witnesses had free run of these camps. Then Her tone changes to the LOST MONIES and how They the Witnesses Lost Everything doing this SLAVE LABOR.

To hear how FORD MOTOR Company Used Slave Labor to Build the Famous GERMAN HALF TRACK Trucks and the Story gets worse. Yet the Shimmer of Hope, a LIGHT is that by PROXY the WTBTS wants that MONEY for an Educational Program to keep the Memory of the Holocaust alive.

Reminds me of an AWAKE Magazine. Do you teach people about how Christ Died for Our Sins or do you have an Article about FRUIT or BATS or a Certain Flower. These may be Nice, YET that is not what WE were supposed to do. PREACH THE WORD (With Urgency)

From the Above URL if you continue your Search you will get so close you will wonder how the Society HID this. I firmly Believe that the WTBTS HATES the INTERNET.

Yes they WON 40+ Court decisions on the Freedom of speech, Yet You if a Witness, You cannot say a thing that is NOT in the Paragraph. Personally I know that the TRUTH will set you free.. My FAITH comes from Within MY HEART. My Faith is not Dictated to me to Walk, Think, and Talk like Everyone else and say My Faith in God Matters? We all will be Judged Separate Not as a Group.

If they are right, I offer them the chance to put a Skin on the Floor and see if it's Wet in the Morning.

I'll be Back.
Keith in Montana