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Hi to the community...

Discussion in 'START HERE: Registration & Introductions' started by Anni66, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    Just joined the community yesterday.

    Wanted to share my experience with you after Micheal's cd3.

    After my second meditation session was over, as you know, you are given the opportunity to visualise and give thanks. On taking this opportunity, I had an overwhelming sense of closeness with God/Universal Spiritual Source. My mind took me back to times I was in desperate need and called on him to help me and found that whatever negative situation I was in was eased, corrected or removed, without question. Then my mind took me to all the times that I thought I didn't need his help and I forgot all about him, he didn't even enter my mind. Next thing I know I was in floods of tears, I mean seriously crying I couldn't stop for a while. I became acutely aware that he has always been here for me and has never left me, especially when I was lost and has now forgiven me for being so fekking selfish.

    The weird part is my tears were not of guilt but of pure unconditional mutal love and respect. It was beautiful, one of the most amazing experiences of my life and one I will never forget and I know now that I will give thanks 'daily' for the gifts I have been given through his grace and the universal connection with our world.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

    God Bless

    Peace xx
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  2. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Hi Anni,
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience. The ability to feel gratitude is such a gift. I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Take care. --Keith :)
     
  3. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    welcome anni66; welcome!!

    gus
     
  4. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    Montata & Gus

    Thank you both for your comments and welcoming me to the commnity.

    Been reading you threads throughout the forum and was touched by your stories. May I ask what religion you were both brought up with? If you don't mind me asking?

    A
     
  5. ian0204

    ian0204 Member

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    hi

    hi anni and welcome to this wonderful site.I am pretty new here also and really enjoy the positive comments and genuine kindness you find here.I have also experienced times in my past when i needed help and had the feeling someone was watching out for me.I was raised christian and I am continually battling with the whole religion thing.I believe that someone or something watches out for us but do not believe all that we are taught.Still I think we all need something to believe in whether it is God or the universe or whatever your believes are.All the best in your journey and enjoy your time here,p.s Merry Christmas and Great New Year
     
  6. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    Thank you Ian for you warm welcome to the community. I hear you sweeti, when you speak of your battle with our limited choices in organised religion today. I too also believe we have been misled in some of the things that the Bible teaches. I believe the fundamentals but truly feel that Chinese whispers and man-made modifications and/or manipulations to our belief system to suit others selfish or small-minded purposes has tainted our faith. Until the time when TRUTH is revealed I will believe in God, faith and myself, by myself...or with like-minded people like yourself and other people within this community. I look forward to our true future and hope you do too. :) ' Save your Soul, Save yourself '.

    May you have the best Christmas EVER!!!!!

    Peace
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  7. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    anni,
    I consciously make the choice not to talk of the religion I used to be for this reason:

    I've nothing against anything or anyone involved in this religion. In fact, as far as religions go it is probably as true to the human spirit as any religion can be, I just came to a point in my life where it no longer served my needs and I could no longer serve the church in any capacity that was acceptable for either of us.

    My wife and children still go to this church and I actually still attend much of the time. I participate as much as I'm able. I seem to be accepted just the way I come.

    I think it is important to support my family in their quest for a meaningful life. When they have questions I answer them. When they are celebrating milestones; I experience that milestone with them.

    We all have our own path. My family is well aware of my beliefs and we talk about theirs and mine together. I think it gives them a well rounded idea of what their options in life are.

    Someday . . . they too, may have ideas that do not fit within the boundaries of a church. What would they think about what I believe, if I did not support them in their quest for meaning?

    I'm going to wager a guess that Keith feels much the same way I do on this issue. Excepting maybe with a few more words. ;)

    gus
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  8. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    That's fair enough Gus. Thanks for your honesty.

    But I just wanted to explain my feelings about organised religion as I have above and find out if your opinions were similar to mine in anyway.

    Just looking for kindred spirits my new friend.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year Gus.

    God Bless and take care of you and ur's.

    A x
     
  9. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Some Personal Experiences of "Organized Religion"

    Hi Anni,
    I've been reading your posts here. I am touched by the things you write. I'm so glad you asked about my religious background. So few people ever bother to ask. I will answer your question, but first I want to say that I admire your courage at this trying time for you. As human beings there are certain relationships that just seem to be closer to one's heart. Examples of these “defining” types of relationships are: a) husband and wife—or long-term committed partnership relationships, b) parent and child relationships, and c) sibling relationships. Since you just experienced a change in a committed relationship of over eight years, my heart goes out to you. I admire how you are choosing to reach out and respond to this experience in such a healthy way by practicing mediation and contributing to this forum.

    Now to respond to your question about my religious background: Rather than just assuming, I wish others would ask too. I don't know if you have read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, but the third agreement states:

    "Don’t Make Assumptions"
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

    So to answer your question, I was raised in the Mormon faith, or as it is formally known "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." My family on both my mother’s and father’s side have been members of this religion since the mid 1850s. They were early pioneers who crossed the plains in wagon trains and helped to settle the West. I want to say at the outset that I have friends who remain active in the Mormon faith who have never perceived things as I once did. However, it is my opinion that the majority of "active Mormons" still perceive things the way I use to. Basically, I use to believe that the Mormon Church was the only "true and living church upon the face of the whole earth," and that it was my duty to convert all other people to my religion so they could be as happy as I was. I no longer believe this way. I am finding that it works better for me at this stage of my life to no longer be active in the Mormon faith. For many people, this is a path that continues to work very well for them, and I honor their journey.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 27 years. We have been blessed with two beautiful children--a son age 24 and a daughter age 21. When they were younger I tried to do everything our religion prescribed in our home and in their upbringing. But "organized religion"--or at least the brand I tried to raise them in, just didn't take in either of their lives. Around 14-16 years, they both pretty much lost interest in church. Being my son was the oldest child, there was a time that I "loving" informed him that as long as he lived at home, he would go to church. At the time, I really thought I "knew" what was best for him. Needless to say, this type of energy did nothing to enhance our relationship at the time. Of course, this type of thinking that one "knows" what is best for others--whether our own children or infidels who don't know Jesus Christ--has been quite common throughout history.

    Life is so interesting. We all have so many wonderful, funny, sad, etc. life experiences. A problem comes when we begin identifying ourselves with these life experiences rather than as the "observer" of them. A while back I was pondering my own life experiences. I wrote the following:

    "A More Beneficial Question to Ask"
    Rather than worrying about or getting into fruitless discussions over questions about what is the “best,” the “one and only,” the “truest” way to do or accomplish something, I think it would be more beneficial to all concerned to ask: “What have I come to realize about myself in relationship with _____ through experiencing ______?

    To give a few examples of what these _____s may be I offer a few examples.
    ●What have I come to realize about myself in relationship with “animals” through experiencing “vegetarianism?”
    ●What have I come to realize about myself in relationship with “people of different religious faiths” through experiencing “Mormonism?”
    ●What have I come to realize about myself in relationship with “my children” through experiencing “parenthood?”
    ●What have I come to realize about myself in relationship with “people of different nationalities” through experiencing “being a fifth-generation American of Northern European descent?”


    (Keith Jensen, Sunday, June 10, 2007)

    I use to be so "cock-fired sure" that I KNEW so much. Now, the things I THOUGHT I knew, I no longer feel so confident about. The "thing" that seems pretty sensible to me is Christ's teaching of: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." When I think of this before I act, I find myself thinking:

    "Now Keith, would you really like this to be thought, said, or done unto you?"

    You see, I just DON'T KNOW what anyone is feeling or thinking. I DO NOT KNOW the paradigm they are coming from. I DO KNOW that when I am truly heard without judgment or fear or condemnation or shunning because of what I think and feel, then, I can more clearly figure my way through this often confusing maze of life.

    In the religious tradition in which I was raised, I came to believe that there was “some thing” outside of myself that “knew” what was best for me. I was taught to look to this outside “some thing” for approval and guidance. This outside “some thing” be it: a) the “one and only true and living church,” or b) the “living prophet,” or whatever came to replace the true God which one only finds through silence and going within. For as Christ said:

    "The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21b)

    I am realizing that “God” will never be found in anyone or anything or any organization outside of ourselves. And yet growing up I was never taught this. My religious teachers never taught me to trust in my own inner knowing. Rather I heard over and over again that there was always “some thing” outside of myself that was wiser and “knew” what was best for me. In my opinion, this outside “some thing” is what many actively religious people worship, pay homage to, and sacrifice to like pagans. It is their “false God” that they live in fear of offending.

    In my particular case, the “perfect” Mormon Church" became God to me. It was the "perfect organization" which I could never question. It was back in June 2004 that I had a type of awakening. Following my dad's death from cancer in 2002, there had been a HUGE rift between some of my siblings and me. Fortunately our relationships are much better now than they were for the two to three years following our dad's death. It was much like the good old “Hatfield's and McCoy's” feud. Anyway, I had been wondering:

    "Why do my siblings and I relate to each other in such dysfunctional and harmful ways? Wherever did we learn to treat each other in these ways?"

    Around this same time I had been rereading the book: "Bradshaw: On the Family". In this book I discovered Bradshaw's "Dysfunctional Family Rules": Here they are:

    Dysfunctional Family Rules
    (As found in Bradshaw on: The Family, pp. 80-82)

    1. CONTROL – One must be in control of all interactions, feeling and personal behavior at all times. This is the cardinal rule of all dysfunctional shame-based family systems. Control is the major defensive strategy for shame. Once you control feelings, all spontaneity is lost. Control gives each member a sense of power, predictability and security. Control madness is a form of severe disability of the will since it tries to will away what cannot be willed away, viz, the fundamental insecurity and unpredictability of life.

    2. PERFECTIONISM – Always be “right” in everything you do. The tyranny of being right can be about any norms the multigenerational family system has preserved. The norm may be about intellectual achievements or moral self righteousness or being upper class and rich, etc. The perfectionistic rule always involves a measurement that is being imposed. There is a competitive aspect to this rule. There is a one-up, better-than-others aspect to this rule that covers the shame. The members in the system anxiously avoid what is bad, wrong or inferior. The fear and avoidance of the negative is the organizing principle of life. The members live according to an externalized image. They become self-image actualized. This amounts to a chronic life of dissociation from self. One is busy observing one’s own actions in a situation while internally self-monitoring, “Am I coming across okay?” “Am I getting it right?” One is constantly comparing self with an external norm in an attempt to measure up.

    No rule leads to hopelessness any more powerfully than this one. The ideal is a mental creation. The ideal is ideal, rather than real. The ideal is shameless since it disallows mistakes. . .Following the perfectionism rule leads to hopelessness.

    3. BLAME – Whenever things don’t turn out as planned, blame yourself or others. Blame is another defensive cover-up for shame. A person’s blaming behavior covers one’s shame or projects it onto others. Since a shame-based person cannot feel vulnerable or needy without being ashamed, blame becomes an automatic way to avoid one’s deepest feelings and true self. Blame maintains the balance in a dysfunctional system when control has broken down. Life’s spontaneity and unpredictability inevitably break down the control rule. Blame is habitually used to regain the illusion of control. Blame is how the shaming process continues to function. As each person feels the danger of vulnerability and exposure, he shames the other with blame.

    4. DENIAL OF THE FIVE FREEDOMS – Deny feelings, perceptions, thoughts, wants and imaginings, especially the negative ones like fear, loneliness, sadness, hurt, rejection and dependency needs. This follows the perfectionist rule. “You shouldn’t think, feel, desire, imagine, see things, hear things, the way you do. You should see, hear, feel, think, imagine, desire the way the Perfectionistic ideal demands.”

    5. NO-TALK RULE – Don’t talk openly about feelings, thoughts or experiences that focus on the pain and loneliness of the dysfunctionality. This rule is a corollary of rule number four. The denial of expression is a fundamental wound to humanness. Human beings are symbolic animals who speak and express ourselves in symbols. We create new life and new frontiers through the symbolic function of the imagination.

    6. MYTH-MAKING – Always look at the bright side. Reframe the hurt, pain and distress in such a way as to distract everyone from what is really happening. This is a way to keep the balance. The system remains closed and rigid. Anyone rocking the boat would upset the status quo.

    7. INCOMPLETION – Don’t complete transactions. Keep the same fights and disagreements going for years. This rule may be manifested two ways: One is through chronic fighting and conflict without any real resolution. The second is through enmeshment and confluence—agreeing never to disagree. The family has either conflict or confluence, but never contact. Members stay upset and confused all the time.

    8. UNRELIABILITY – Don’t expect reliability in relationships. Don’t trust anyone and you will never be disappointed. Since the parents never got their dependency needs met as children, they cover up this insatiability with fantasy bonded illusions of self-sufficiency. By acting either aloof and independent (walled boundaries) or needy and dependent (enmeshed boundaries), everyone feels emotionally cutoff and incomplete. No one gets their needs met in a functional manner.


    Back in June 2004, after rereading this list of "Dysfunctional Family Rules," it hit me like a ton of bricks that these were the very same rules that the "Church" taught through its actions when confronted with any issues it didn't want to deal with. I realized that some of the biggest factors in the development of my family of origin's dysfunctional behavior was the very culture of the Mormon church in which we were raised and of the “actions” of many of the leaders of this church. For my family, “organized religion” had become like a poisoned well that we kept going back to time and time again to drink from because we sincerely believed that it was "living water." And all the time we just became blinder and blinder and deafer and deafer. We had started to do things to one another that were so cruel and hateful all because we really thought we KNEW what was best for each other.

    I know that all organized religions or not this way. However, I would venture to say that nearly ALL dogmatic ones are—especially ones that preach that they are "perfect" organizations and that they are the: "only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." (D&C 1:30b)

    In my opinion, many people who associate themselves with dogmatic forms of religion that proclaim that they are the “one and only true church” or that “only those who have accepted Jesus Christ will be saved” are idolaters who have replaced the true and living God which is only found through the silent journey within with the dead and false "outside" God of a seemingly "perfect organization." And like ancient pagans they sacrifice loved ones to this altar. When I am experiencing hurt from them, it helps me to remember Christ's words on the cross:

    "Forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34b)

    You see they truly are unconscious.

    I like these words from one of my favorite writers the Trappist monk Thomas Merton:

    "Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him. . . The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone." (New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 38)

    My peace and love be with you and yours as you experience your journey this day.

    With love,

    --Keith :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  10. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    Firstly can I say funnily enough, I just recently had a or should I say ‘tried’ to have a discussion on the Book of Revelations, Spiritualism, Metapyschics and Telepathy with a minister from the church you mentioned via an online chatroom. I tried to get ‘her’ true opinion, feelings on subjects, but unfortunately her mind was so closed to any posibility that her religion, just might have got it wrong or rather just might not have explored or are open to all the evolutionary possiblities that exist within the human psyche, which saddened me. What shocked me more was she catagorically said that she "Does Not Believe in Telepathy". As I had just recently had an freaky telepathic experience with my eldest son a couple of weeks before which neither me or my son has ever experienced before or since and thought about telling her my experience but instead chose to question her answer with "You don’t believe in it??? When there are documented cases and scientific explorations into this phanominom"? she had no answer, her reply…which took a while was "I’m not ignoring you we are just busy tonite". Then changed the subject to something fekking ridiclous ??????

    So when you said "You see, I just DON'T KNOW what anyone is feeling or thinking. I DO NOT KNOW the paradigm they are coming from. I DO KNOW that when I am truly heard without judgment or fear or condemnation or shunning because of what I think and feel, then, I can more clearly figure my way through this often confusing maze of life". I can relate.

    And when you also said ""The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21b)

    "I am realizing that "God" will never be found in anyone or anything or any organization outside of ourselves. And yet growing up I was never taught this. My religious teachers never taught me to trust in my own inner knowing. Rather I heard over and over again that there was always "some thing" outside of myself that was wiser and "knew" what was best for me. In my opinion, this outside "some thing" is what many actively religious people worship, pay homage to, and sacrifice to like pagans. It is their "false God" that they live in fear of offending.". I relate.

    I also understand where you are coming from when you said "In my opinion, many people who associate themselves with dogmatic forms of religion that proclaim that they are the "one and only true church" or that "only those who have accepted Jesus Christ will be saved" are idolaters who have replaced the true and living God which is only found through the silent journey within with the dead and false "outside" God of a seemingly "perfect organization." And like ancient pagans they sacrifice loved ones to this altar. When I am experiencing hurt from them, it helps me to remember Christ's words on the cross:

    "Forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34b)

    You see they truly are unconscious.

    I like these words from one of my favorite writers the Trappist monk Thomas Merton:

    "Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him. . . The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone"

    By the way if anyone’s interested in my Telepathic moment with my 23 year old son here it is:

    We were sitting having a laugh, a wee drink too :) and we’re discussing and debating (as we do) all manner of things when I asked him "if a time machine was invented, where would you go?" his reply was "To the Faithless gig!" I laughed and said "you were just there two months ago" :) he said "I know, but that was one of the best times in my life!" I told him that’s fair enough :) :). He then turned the question onto me. And when faced with it I realised just how hard a question it was to answer. I thought for a while and noticed he was looking at me intently and then I said "this may sound cheesy but…I would love to go back to when I first gave birth to each of you (of which I have three, all boys) to look into their eye’s for the first time again" he jumped up, slamming the table with his hands and exclaimed "I told you to say that!!!!" he explained he was thinking that he would love to see me for the first time after being born. We both just looked at each other in utter astonishment and felt a closeness that we have not felt with each other in years, it was wonderful and a bit freaky :p.

    Has anyone here experienced anything like that?

    Oh and P.S thank you Keith for you kind words in relation to how I am dealing with lifes obsticles. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. I must be further on my correct path than I give myself credit for.

    Peace and love to you and your's kind sir. Have a fantastic Christmas and may all your 'heart-felt' wishes come true in 2009.

    A x
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  11. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    I stand corrected!:D

    gus
     
  12. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    :D:D:D You were right about one thing though Gus....he did use more words than you...lol

    A x
     
  13. ian0204

    ian0204 Member

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    wow

    whenever i feel like I may be a bit intelligent I read one of Keiths posts and am truly humbled. One day I would love to be able to hold a conversation with both him and Gus,and hold my own.Until then thank you for your posts I look forward to reading them and expanding my mind.All the best...Ian
     
  14. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Anni, when it comes to freaky things like you describe with your son, in our family these things happened quite a lot, never to me ( not sure if I want to say 'Sadly' or 'thankfully' ) but mostly to my mother and sister.

    My mother frequently told us her dreams she had experienced, especially the ones where she wasn't sure it was " just a dream ". A lot of them became reality within 2 days.
    The most freaky one was while we as a family were on holiday, I must have been around 16. That morning she told us she had a bad dream where our cat had died at home. He was on the floor near the stairs, dripping wet, not able to lift his head.
    That afternoon my mother decided to call my grandparents who looked after the cat and the house while we were away.
    They had just returned from the vet...
    They found the cat top of the stairs, dripping wet, not even strong enough to lift his head...

    My sister frequently had different experiences:
    We would sit in the livingroom, and out of the blue my sis would say " Pick up the phone, mom "
    "it's not ringing dea"........"RRRRRRRINNG"
    This happened about 10 times until she left the house at 25.

    One can believe in it or not, but it happened anyway ;)
     
  15. Anni66

    Anni66 Member

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    Hi Edwin

    That does sound kinda freaky :eek: :) dunno if I'd like to have that kind of gift or curse whichever way you want to look at it. Think I'll stick with my telepathic experience ;).

    One more thing.............I do believe you...why wouldn't I? You have no reason to lie...or do you? ;):):)

    Thanks for sharing have a fabulous Christmas and New Year Edwin

    A x
     
  16. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    That is awsome Edwin. My mother is kinda like that. My wife is kind of scary like that it happens so much.

    gus
     

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