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Will-o' the Wisp

Old 08-02-2006, 02:17 PM
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Will-o' the Wisp

The last discussion, of sorts, my mother and I had about religion she begged, "Why would you choose to believe any religion other than the one you were raised to believe? Who are you to think you know better than your father, your grandfather (a Lutheran minister), and all the generations before you? Why would you want to go find your own way when the clear answers have been given to you in the Bible; the path is clear, all you need to do is believe."

She's speaking what she KNOWS to be the truth. Absolutism. Here is what you must do to be saved. The one true faith. There are no alternatives.

Ignes fatui. Will-o' the Wisp. "to mislead the mind or judgment of; deceive."

The rest of my family, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, all, follow the Christian faith, Lutherans all. They're all married, with kids, with "normal" homes and "normal" jobs and attend church regularly. It's said that we're a product of our environment, our genetics, our upbringing, our education, our beliefs. We are our programming. These are the things that set the course for who we can become. I could have chosen to follow that faith, but I did not. I could not! I'm also the only one without kids, or anything at all resembling a "normal" home/ work/ lifestyle, and (as far as I know) the only one with a drug problem.

There are no absolutes, nor should there be. Why can't people allow opposites to co-exist simultaneously. What's to fear in allowing different points of view, different ways of living, different interests, different pursuits. Why is that such a threat?
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:21 PM
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This is the willo the wisp we know and love in the UK!!! He was star of a kids cartoon around 20/25 years ago!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:23 PM
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I wish that I could believe in some religion....it'd make things easier.....I just am not that kind of person, just like you. I don't think it is a choice for people like us, you can't fit a square peg in a round hole, just like you can't choose to have faith in something you don't have faith in.

Everyone has a touch of spiritual elitism. "my way is the right way".... which is true for each person for themselves, just some people feel the need to push their views on the unwilling simply b/c thats what they are told is "good" and they truly believe they are helping.

Just my $.02...
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:38 PM
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Whooaaa...Willo the wisp! I'm an unaware American. Curious now, was this character deceptive, misleading, deceiving? Looks like something dwelling in the recesses of my brain that comes visiting once in awhile.

Blake, what you write makes me wonder, if that absolutism of my upbringing is still in force today, if I don't have a choice but to seek answers (in religion/ drugs/ philosophy/ various '-isms'.) We can't escape our programming, not unless or until we can see it for what it is, so to see through it, see past it, think around it....
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by aloneagainor
It's said that we're a product of our environment, our genetics, our upbringing, our education, our beliefs. We are our programming. These are the things that set the course for who we can become.


Why can't people allow opposites to co-exist simultaneously. What's to fear in allowing different points of view, different ways of living, different interests, different pursuits. Why is that such a threat?
Maybe...it is in the programming you mentioned. Some people might be unable to change their programming and furthermore, quite unsettled when confronted with something that opposes it.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:06 AM
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I don't really talk about my religious beliefs with my parents. Mum said something that I did was sacreligous (?S) sometime ago and I thought to leave her be and not challenge her belief system, not at the age of 70 anyway. And I guess it is easy for me just to have mine because my parents are not zealots and really don't often talk about their beliefs, we have just always shared catholic mass (very ocassionally now as we are all older), baptisms, religious funerals and weddings. I participate to be part of the whole thing and can't really see the harm in other people holding onto their beliefs. And there is a certain comfort I still feel in a church, a certain goodness and joining of human spirit.

I must admit that I do not like to threaten another person's belief system unless they are genuinely interested in my thoughts. I always sought answers and looked for alternatives, surely other people can do the same if they want to, if not then I am happy with my beliefs anyway.

peace and love,
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:15 PM
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I'd rather not talk about religion with anyone in my family and we're almost at a point that we know better than to try. There are those (and a LOT of them around the world) who do believe that everyone must believe in a certain way, the one right way (their way) to know God and so to gain eternal life, and everyone else is the reason for all evil on this planet and will be spending eternity in hell in the life hereafter. My folks don't want me to go to hell but their religion tells them that because of my beliefs that's where I'm going. That makes THEM feel like they've failed in life. I'd rather not discuss the subject at all, and wouldn't, but for their persistence that in time I'll come back to believing and be saved. They'll hold out hope until the end. It's pretty much miserable. We don't talk anymore, except when it's time for Easter or Christmas and church is involved. Or when someone is ill, they call and ask me to pray for the sick.

See how corrosive expectations and exclusivity of beliefs can be. I see this as a primary source of conflict around the world. Certainly so in the so-called "Holy Land". Perhaps it's just human nature to be that way. Programming. People CAN think their way around it, but most don't bother to try.
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