The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Religion?

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by OkRadLakPok, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. mango

    mango Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry that happened to you OkRadLakPok, it sounds horrible :(

    I've taken part in several very long, intense and even "extreme" Buddhist meditation retreats over the years. For me personally, it's been an amazing tool on so many different levels in my life. (Hasn't had any effect on ME or any of its symptoms, though!)

    However, I just wanted to echo what you said, that it's not at all uncommon that people totally freak out, have psychotic episodes, have very severe bodily reactions etc -- I've seen it happen to people around me several times. It's really powerful stuff.

    I believe that it's very important for everyone who practices meditation to be aware that this is something that can happen to anyone at any point in time. Not just to beginners or those considered to be "mentally unstable" -- it can happen to anyone, regardless.

    Meditation teachers have a really big responsibility. They need to inform their students and also be able to take care of them if something like this should happen.
     
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  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    My feeling on this is not so much that the person is any specific religion vs. that they have faith, love for their family, or a goal that motivates them to keep fighting. My belief is similar to that of Viktor Frankl's in "Man's search for Meaning" in which he explained how he survived in the concentration camps (vs. the above example is a POW in Vietnam) and for us it might be suffering through years of a debilitating illness, but I think they all apply.

    His belief is if you had something that gave meaning to your life (and it could be religion, the love/hope of your family, or a goal/project that you hope to complete some day) that this gave you the extra push that you needed to sustain yourself and keep fighting. Of course pure luck is also involved but if you have a goal that keeps you going, you do fight harder to live IMO (or at least I know that I do).

    But for me, the goal can be anything like I said. Right now I have a goal to see my daughter graduate high school in four years, in addition to my faith in God, and wanting to get well enough to do volunteer work and advocate for those who cannot. If I had none of these things, I think I would have already given up but having them gives me that extra push to spend four hours dealing with an insurance issue even though I'd rather not, etc. So I understand what the original poster meant but I would make it much broader than just one specific religion or one situation.
     
  3. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    Hi @David Jackson, I don't think there are stats on this. However, you could easily come to that conclusion by studying history and personal observation because since the very beginning, for Christianity that was the case.
    There's no other explanation for the growth and flourishing of a church that was cruelly persecuted, her leaders and followers systematically tortured and murdered. Unfortunately, that kind of treatment didn't stop then.
    I'm not an authority (my interest in the history of Christianity is only of a couple of years) but there's an endless number of personal cases through to our times.

    For e.g. the kgb could never break down Walter Ciszek (15ys in a gulag), the vietcongs weren't much successful either with card. Van Thuan (13ys in solitary confinement), at Auschwitz the nazis had to inject Maximilian Kolbe with acid, as starvation and dehydration weren't killing him fast enough...
    Even now, for e.g. a young woman called Asia Bibi, a mother of five sentenced to the death penalty on false accusations and her refusal to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ (even had to give birth with her ankled chained), has now spent the last six seven years of her life in a very small prison cells without windows, yet she has the strength to carry on despite not being able to see her family and facing death.
    Then if you look into what's happening in the middle east with young children for e.g., you'll see that the list goes on and on.

    Based on my personal experience as a Christian this explanation is incorrect. Christianity seems much misunderstood. It's not the power of faith, rather the power that comes from God in response to faith.
    It's a totally external (to the human body soul and spirit) power, an awsome power i.e. God's Spirit that comes into you and it changes everything in your life. It has absolutely nothing to do with either motivation, psychology, or human effort.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    These likely boil down to a combination of selective reporting and the placebo effect. Basically something random happens, it is attributed to a deity, and actual data between different belief systems (and a lack of belief systems) is never objectively compared.

    I have no doubt that prayer makes some people feel better. But it certainly doesn't make them physically healthier or stronger, or any less likely to die from health-related or other physical forces.
     
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I'm not sure how it would really be measured or compared b/c to me "faith" is something that you believe in the absence of proof. There is no science (IMO) that can "prove" that God exists anymore than there is science that can "prove" that God does not exist. Either stance, is taken on faith IMO. And for me, it is more something personal and not something I ever feel the need to debate. I just don't think it can be measured scientifically in the way you are stating.

    I agree that having faith can make you feel better (or it does for me at least) and I also agree that having faith is no guarantee that you will be healthy, stronger, or less likely to die (from illness, war, earthquake, etc). But for me it grounds me to know that there is something larger than myself and that there is a plan and that both myself and God are involved in this plan together and I am not in this world alone. I do not view prayer as magic or as a slot machine where I put something in and automatically get something back vs. an opportunity to ask God for help so I do not carry the burden alone, or to express gratitude, etc. My favorite kind of prayer is when I can pray on behalf of someone else vs. for myself and often feel selfish if I ask for something for myself even though I know that I shouldn't.
     
  6. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    This thread is skating close to the edge of Phoenix Rising's "No Relgion" rule.
    As a refresher please keep this rule in mind:

     
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  7. Anoirb

    Anoirb

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    Yes. Muslim here and the fact that I can still walk, eat and breathe (thank God) is a miracle with all the stuff ive been through. It keeps me motivated to survive but it's not like I'm superman or smth.....
     

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