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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.
     
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  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
  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 Moderation Resource 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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  8. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    As I posted elsewhere in support of freethinking, you might like the tenets of this organization as supportive and reassuring: FFRF.ORF. Give it a look if you’re a free thinker.

    The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion. In modern times the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women's right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery, not to mention the recent late Stephen Hawkings and his contributions to the understanding of the workings of the universe.
     
  9. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I am not sure if I can respond but I will. I am just seeing what sushi is writing and the rules so I am not sure if I am allowed to answer this.

    My dad was catholic, my mom was presbyterian and I grew up not really connecting to the Bible. It just wasn't for me. I didn't believe Jesus would rise up from the ashes for one. I could go on about this but won't.

    My dad refused to pay the money to have me baptized catholic so when I turned 16, he told me that if I didn't become baptized anything....anything, I would not go to heaven, I would go to hell. This scared me and also made me hate religion as I was 16 years old and a good kid. I didn't get it. I was a peer counselor for students in school, an honor student and just an all around grounded kid. So, I told him...."I will never be baptized because I will not believe in a religion or a God who thinks that way."

    Well, I believe in God. I believe in Angels and I believe that the devil is here on earth. He's my brother...joke! :D

    I am agnostic. I talk to and ask for guidance from a higher power and that helps me. I believe in doing good.

    I also love the Jewish religion. My roommates from college and when I lived in San Fran and NYC were jewish. I love Shabbat and have spent shabbat at my friends and love it. No computers, or phone or tv. I think it's a beautiful religion. I could embrace it. I sometimes feel that judaism is more my cup of tea than most religions.

    I also like Buddhist practices. I don't know enough about buddhism though, but it's very spiritual and I like that.

    I think whatever floats your boat as long as you don't push it onto others.

    If I could find a church that was more spiritual and community based, I would go. If it was a non denominational church.

    For me, its important to believe in a higher power to know I am not alone. Plus, who created those beautiful sunsets and the sky? I believe some "thing" made it all happen. For whatever reason, this comforts me.

    Also, there have been things that have happened that I feel are true blessings and not to sound corny, but I believe God put those things in front of me and I knew right away that what they were a gift and it was going to work out.

    For example, my jewelry business. I had never made jewelry in my life. I went to a gem show with a friend, made jewelry and knew instantly it was a hit. Everything and I do mean everything was in perfect alignment and it all fell into place and most things in my life don't. It all came together like one big symphony and within a few months I was in a store in Philadelphia and then two years later, my stuff was on Philadelphia's main weather girl on TV. Now, I had been sick for years and unable to work and now my stuff was on TV and I could not keep up with it. I was doing so well. Seriously...think about it. I never made jewelry til age 34. God put it in my path for me to make it happen and I did. Thank you, God!
     
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  10. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Thanks for deleting them. Did delete mine now too.
     
  11. iwillwin1day

    iwillwin1day Senior Member

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    I am Muslim. What keeps me going is these words of God Allah " These dunya is temporary and aakhirah( after death life ) is forever. Keep doing good deeds and be patient in tough times. As those who are patient for them is heaven forever..."
     
  12. Judee

    Judee Senior Member

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    Let's face it, life is a stinker for everyone; even for those we see who look like they have it easier. So in trying to keep with site guidelines I will just say that I have found so much wisdom and comfort in God's Word. So yes, for me, my faith in Him has been my greatest help in all of this.
     
  13. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    Try prof Richard Dawkins bestseller, circa 2005. It might open more avenues to explore.
     

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