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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Faith Healing or Recovering from Religion

We all know that if a tragedy befalls a person or a group of people, the way to deal with this is to strengthen our beliefs and to do some great deal of introspection. In the old day you would either fast or flog yourself, nowadays your Rabbi will advise you to give tzedakah.

In other words, we ate taught to always see the fault within oneself and never in God. And if we didn't commit any sins, perhaps it was our lack of simcha in learning Torh and doing mitzvos.

A similar way of thinking is the survival strategy of little children that are abused or who have parents that fight a lot. "Perhaps it was my fault?" "Maybe I caused my parents to be upset?" "I must have deserved this punishment. Somehow."

This has crushed many children's souls and stripped them of their self-esteem. And it may take decades to recover from these guilt feelings.

Don't you think it is odd that if things are bad we are to blame ourselves, but if things are going well we suddenly turn the tables and thank Hashem for his abundant blessings and mercy?

When the Jews went down to Egypt, Abraham was supposedly to blame because of his lack of faith. And that must have been a heinous crime because hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were enslaved and tortured because of it. But as soon as we are released from bondage, we thank the same Deity that put us there in the first place. How is that for Stockholm syndrome!

The only way to mature is to hold those authorities accountable for their own deeds, expose their true nature and change our childish thinking.

And then, only then we may experience true faith healing: freedom from religion.

14 comments:

  1. There's an old tale about a man who comes into a shul on Yom Kippur during Neilah and stands next to an old man who is davening fervently. He listens to the old man and hears him praying: I forgive you for the sin of anger, I forgive you for the sin of jealousy... "

    After the service, he asks the man: "what were you praying? Who were you forgiving?" The old man says: "God... with all the misery , pain and suffering He causes in the world, the least He can do is ask for my forgiveness before demanding my repentance."

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  2. Blaming yourself for problems that befall you is NOT productive. I am so happy I am past all that...

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  3. I said something similar to someone when they recently asked me if i was going to a seudat hodah* for someone who was in a horrific car accident and "miraculously" lived through medical challenges from all sides and is now out of the hospital after 13 months.

    He now has a life ahead of him that will be filled with issues . . . he lost part of his sight, his comprehension is that of a child (he is 24), he is at fault for an accident that killed 2 people along with other issues.

    Did God spare his life or did he royally screw him over?

    I guess it is a matter of perspective, but I just can't go to that seudat hodah and listen to the BS and they praise God for his recovery and his new lease on life when it is God that put him in this predicament.

    * = seudat hodah is a festive meal that people make on the anniversary of an event for which they thank God. e.g. recovery from an illness, saved from a natural disaster etc.

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  4. Have you read "Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain? It's a short and easy read and available online. I highly recommend it.

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  5. SY: Good story :)

    Tesyaa: Wonna share your story with us?

    Rich: Powerful!

    e: I found it here, will read, thanks for the link!
    http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/twainlfe.htm

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  6. Also worth reading is: Twain's 'Mysterious Stranger"
    http://www.shsu.edu/~eng_wpf/authors/Twain/Mysterious-Stranger.htm

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  7. Darn. With all the books I am reading at the moment and the free eBooks on my droid, some books in the mail and these links on the web, the question pops up: Eimosai?! :)

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  8. Atheism is also a religion. It's a false cult of death.

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  9. UK: A point that might be worth consideration is the contention that religion is perhaps best defined as dogma. Truthfully, any system that is doctrinal, inflexible and at least to some degree, intolerant of any dissent or variation is a "religion" IMO this applies to faiths, politics, science, alternative science, an so on. Whenever we are subjected to an authoritarian system, without our permission and revocable consent, we are risking oppression.

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  10. JP: Did I mention Atheism with one word?

    SY: True!

    FGS: Welcome on mine, yours is a 'page turner' (wrong wording, but you know what I mean!)

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  11. http://truth-saves.com/

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  12. How very pathetic.
    Dealing with lots of people as I do, I can tell you with great assurance that people who blame themselves for their problems and then change their lives in order to eliminate them are usually the most successful in life. The people who sit around and blame everyone else for what's wrong with them - "the man", "the system", God - they spend years missing out on everything they could be because hey, since they're not at fault they don't have to make any changes. And years later they're still miserable and blaming everyone else.
    The guy in the accident? Maybe he doesn't see it the way Rich sees it. I had a friend who was out biking one day when she was hit by a Mac truck. Wound up in the local ICU, wasn't expected to live, somehow did but lost most of her right leg in doing so. And she was an avid competitive biker and ina trade that required a lot of standing and walking. She got her artificial leg, got a special bike with a pedal built for it, and resumed every aspect of her life she had before. She could have sat back in a wheelchair and blamed God. How easy. How pathetic. Instead she said "My problems are my problem and now I'll deal with them".
    Yes, kids blame themselves for things they have no control over but that doesn't mean you never have problems that are of your own devising.

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