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Religion?

OkRadLakPok

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I think Hitchens said that he wouldn´t go around preaching his beliefs (or lack thereof) to people on their last legs, and hoped that religious people would afford him the same courtesy. I feel the same about preaching to people with chronic illnesses such as ME. Perhaps when we are all better (whether that is in this life or a theoretical ´next life´) we can have a no-holds barred discussion of religion and atheism (obviously it would be much simpler if it took place in a future life).

He was a very funny and brilliant man. I also agree......no one should preach to someone who is sick. They need practical help, comfort, and a way to move on
 

tinacarroll27

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So I get a lot of comfort here because you guys have been through it, too. And I will continue to try to connect the religion of my ancestors to give me comfort and maybe help another hurting soul some day. It makes me feel connected and safe and reminds me of the times I spent with my family, happy and secure. But I will stay away from people who judge, that is for sure. When you suffer, the judge-ers comes out of the woodwork for some reason!
Look after yourself that is very important! and yes keep away from people who judge you, they don't bring value to your life, we are too ill for that. I think society is very judgemental of this illness partially because of the name and the psychobabble associated with it but you are right suffering can create a lot of judgement from others and I am not sure why, because when we suffer we are in need of the most compassion not judgement. I think this illness has been a lesson in learning to value myself and respect myself! If I can't respect myself I won't be able to respect others either.
 
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I was raised Catholic for 15 years, then became pagan for 15 years, then loosely followed Buddhism for the last 8 but mainly for the meditation aspect that I love. The thought of being reincarnated on this planet over and over is something I can't bear thinking about.

I was going to say that I'm more atheist these days but thats not really true. I still believe in a conscious infinate source energy, just not structured religion. I feel completely free, now i can think whatever I want whenever I want with the freedom to question everything.

I wish i could believe in something and know in my heart it to be true but the older I get the more curious I get and I quite enjoy having questions that lead to infinite possibility which I also feel the source to be made up of.

No matter what teaching i've followed in my life, including being free of any set teaching right now, i've always found support and comfort in each, for different reasons that suited the different stages in my life at the time.
 
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Rachel....I too could not eat when I was young. My illness kicked in at 14 and was widespread, only one aspect being food, but they dxed me with anorexia!! I did not even have it. Were you dxed w anorexia? It was a false DX. And the treatment almost killed me. It was filled with so many toxic elements that i literally could almost not even walk when I I discharged...
I loved your story about the cat! I will remember that when I see a beautiful cat next time :)
That's terrible.
No they did not diagnose me with anorexia. They said it was "IBS" and it was all in my mind.
I'm sorry. I will pm you.
 

OkRadLakPok

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IThe thought of being reincarnated on this planet over and over is something I can't bear thinking about..
Oh dear. I feel the same. I also did Buddhist meditation. I loved the group and the people, but it was a group that did go into the doctrine which scared me so much. I tried to figure out why I was suffering so and what I had done to deserve what I was enduring.r my accident, I never went back because then it was even MORE devastation and MORE what had I done etc. I suppose without the doctrine I may have benefited from the meditation. But it really scared me, I am sad to say.
 

PatJ

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I loved the group and the people, but it was a group that did go into the doctrine which scared me so much. I tried to figure out why I was suffering so and what I had done to deserve what I was enduring.r my accident, I never went back because then it was even MORE devastation and MORE what had I done etc. I suppose without the doctrine I may have benefited from the meditation. But it really scared me, I am sad to say.
To clear up a misconception: there are certain Buddhist groups today who teach that all that happens to us is due to our past actions. This isn't what the Buddha taught, it's a misunderstanding and distortion of what he taught. He said that our past actions are only one possible reason for good, bad, or neutral things happening to us. Examples of other reasons he gave for poor health include eating foods that disagree with us (ie. developing gas from a certain food), being assaulted and suffering bodily harm, or even receiving a snake bite. Our past good or bad actions may have nothing to do with it.

To think that we're responsible for everything that happens to us is very self-centered and ignores the amazing complexity of the causes and effects in the universe.

Just because you have poor health doesn't mean that it's related to your past good or bad actions (in this life or a past life), it doesn't mean it has some cosmic significance, or that you deserve whatever bad (or good) conditions you're currently enduring.

Humans try to understand events by looking for meaning, usually self-centered meaning ('Why is this happening to me or someone I love?'). Sometimes we look too deeply and tie ourselves up in emotional knots looking for complex reasons for our current condition. For many of us with ME/CFS it might just be as simple as picking up a virus that overwhelmed our immune systems and now we're living with the after-effects.

Everyone has various ways of coping with events depending on their current knowledge and beliefs. The important thing is to find what works for you and allows you to cope in healthy ways in the present moment.
 

OkRadLakPok

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To clear up a misconception: there are certain Buddhist groups today who teach that all that happens to us is due to our past actions. This isn't what the Buddha taught, it's a misunderstanding and distortion of what he taught. He said that our past actions are only one possible reason for good, bad, or neutral things happening to us. Examples of other reasons he gave for poor health include eating foods that disagree with us (ie. developing gas from a certain food), being assaulted and suffering bodily harm, or even receiving a snake bite. Our past good or bad actions may have nothing to do with it.t.
Really?!! It would have helped a lot if I had known this before. Thank you PatJ! That really caused me a lot of stress for a period of time.
 

xrunner

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I I am just wondering if religion has helped anyone to feel like they can go on?
I am not a theologian or anything, ,but I suffer a lot. I don't need to know peoples' specific religion, but just wondering if it helping anyone to go on for years in this kind of suffering? I would like to know.
Religion no. God's love and grace yes. It did more than helping with suffering, pulled me out of the shadow of death and back to life.
 

David Jackson

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Hi there,

I have only just recently started checking this forum regularly, and just saw this thread the other day. I think I can make a small contribution:

1) Interesting point: I heard that Christian POWs in Vietnam (and possibly in other countries/wars) survived a lot longer than atheist POWs, as the power of their faith gave them hope, which had a sustaining effect on their lives/bodies. Note: I'm not a Christian myself. Also note: I don't know where this comes from, may not be correct.

2) I won't get into too many details, so I don't break the forum's religious rules, but the path I follow includes karma and reincarnation. What was most helpful and interesting for me, though, was getting this 'confirmed'. When I was really suffering with CFS that was getting close to severe about two years ago, I contacted an astrologer, giving him only my time place and date of birth. He was able to tell me exactly when I got sick, when I got worse, when I got worse still, and then accurately predicted when I would start improving, and each large step that my health would improve. And he was right, even down to the day. That really confirmed, in my mind at least, that I was just suffering the results of harm that I had caused in previous lives. To me, there was just no other way that astrologer could have known all that stuff; he lives on the other side of the world from me, and knows no one that I do.

Knowing that I was just getting bad karma, and then also seeing that my karma would change when the astrologer predicted that it would greatly helped me on a tolerance and acceptance level.

I know one member wrote above that this is not entirely how karma works... I am not a Buddhist, but I do respectfully disagree with what PatJ says. Let's take the example of eating food that is not good for you, which damages your health... in this instance, your karma did not allow you the best knowledge of nutrition; perhaps it meant you were born in a family where eating unhealthy food was commonplace and went without question. The result is that you get sick, thus receiving the suffering that you are allotted. Your karma may also be due to change at some point in your life, when you might receive better knowledge of how to eat, thus improving your health... this is my understanding of how karma works, though I'm not trying to start anything against PatJ by saying this. Like I said, I am not a Buddhist.

Anyway, I hope this is interesting.
 
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Valentijn

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1) Interesting fact: I heard that Christian POWs in Vietnam (and possibly in other countries/wars) survived a lot longer than atheist POWs, as the power of their faith gave them hope, which had a sustaining effect on their lives/bodies.
That's not "fact". That's ridiculous bullshit with no basis in reality.
 

David Jackson

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Yes, I have misused the word "fact" there, as I do not know where this has come from. My apologies there. I will adjust what I said. I did not see the statistic myself, and I do not know where my source got it or read it. Interestingly, my source is not a Christian, and I do not believe he would just make it up.

However, I don't think you have any call to use that kind of language. You could have said the same thing in a much nicer way, and I think it is unbecoming of someone who seems to have made so many posts on this forum to swear like that in an aggressive tone of writing.
 

OkRadLakPok

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That is interesting, David. My experience with Buddhism was very very scary. I have had a bad life and was very upset to think that I did something in a past life......if you added up all the things I went through, truly, I must have done something so very horrific. It made me hopeless because I don't know what it was and it is not me now. Further, there was not much compassion with the other Buddhists who felt I was just getting what I deserved.

Anyway, I had terrible things happen in meditation and did not realize this can happen till I read, "The Buddha Pill" which talks about people going psychotic in meditation. Stark, raving psychotic. One nurse took more than a decade to recover.

I had premonitions that came true which scared me and still do. I still don't understand how that happened and verified by a third party. To me that is not comforting. To me, that is scary. Almost every religion I approach ends up being catastrophic.

But i am getting onto meds and I hope that helps
 

David Jackson

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Wow, disturbing stuff @OkRadLakPok... I had never heard of the Buddha Pill before. But, then, I'm not a Buddhist. The goal of Buddhism is simply voidism, in my understanding... not something that I'm interested in. But, I will not say more as I'm not looking to start something over it. Here's hoping things work out for you.

I have thought the same thing regarding karma, and wondering what I could have done to suffer so considerably. Of course, I've caused a lot of harm, even in this lifetime, what to speak of previous lifetimes... it's not just harm to human life that counts, but all species of life, the latter of which I have been guilty.
 

OkRadLakPok

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Wow, disturbing stuff @OkRadLakPok... I had never heard of the Buddha Pill before. But, then, I'm not a Buddhist. The goal of Buddhism is simply voidism, in my understanding... not something that I'm interested in. But, I will not say more as I'm not looking to start something over it. Here's hoping things work out for you.

I have thought the same thing regarding karma, and wondering what I could have done to suffer so considerably. Of course, I've caused a lot of harm, even in this lifetime, what to speak of previous lifetimes... it's not just harm to human life that counts, but all species of life, the latter of which I have been guilty.
David, you care that you maybe hurt creatures and you know what? that means that you are ahead of the mass of people who stomp all over anything and mow down trees and squash any moving thing! Yeah, I am not Buddhist either, but I respect people who are because I k now some very kind Buddhists! In the end, I believe it is my brain that does not work well because otherwise something would work out. That is why I am hoping to get onto a good med. Peace!