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Scared To Die - Lost My Faith

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I used to be so spiritual. I loved that side of myself. And then, IDK what happened, but I just can't believe in Heaven/God anymore. I feel like it's just a big lie, a trick we play on ourselves to make us feel better about the fact that, yes, we WILL die someday.

I love the idea of a Goddess/Mother Earth, etc, but that just doesn't fit in with what I know of the universe and how things ARE. I mean, what reality is there, what chance is there, REALLY, that there's some benevolent being out there, watching over us, guiding our footsteps.

In the Celestine Prophecy, the author speaks of a 'higher power' that's all about love, and reaching a higher vibration (reaching nirvana, being sucked up to heaven by angels, whatever). Maybe that's the answer, but if so, WHERE do we go? Do we see our families again? Our loved ones?

I think this is so front and center right now because I am just so in love with my DD, who is almost 18 months old. I can't bear the thought of dying and leaving her someday

I can't bear to think of HER dying someday. Or my DS, DH, etc, etc.

I feel like I'm losing it. Has anyone else BTDT? Anyone have any advice? ANY advice is welcome. Hugs are, too

Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 34
Would it be useful to revise your idea of what God is? It kind of sounds like it is the "big guy in the sky" kind of conception, or big girl in the sky in your case. But that isn't really what religion teaches, except as an image. God is the ground of all being, the is-ness of the universe.

If we are thinking of God as the answer to a question, the question isn't "how did we, and the universe, get to be here." The question is "why is there anything at all?'

Imagine science working to discover all the laws that move the universe, and we imagine they actually did, and resolved them in one big equation that describes the universe. Even if that happened, there would be questions. A string of numbers does not explain how anything exists. What makes that equation so compelling that the universe actually exists? What makes it, in some sense, alive?

Philosophy and theology are the attempts to answer those question, and religion is the attempt to relate our own existence to the answers.
post #3 of 34
I don't have answers for you but I'm sending you a hug.

It sounds as if we are in a similar place right now, I feel lost in the "spiritual jungle" as well.
post #4 of 34
Sorry your struggling so much.
Here is something to consider when deciding if there is a creator. Things that are here on earth are here because somebody or bodies created it. Houses, chairs, computers, movies etc. have all been created by a creator. Things don't just come into being by themselves. When two people come together they can make a baby. A baby cannot just come into existence by itself.

To me, this is proof enough that there is a creator. My logic might be too simple and maybe someone can punch holes in it, but it works for me.

However, the journey to figure out WHO is the creator was the toughest journey for me.
post #5 of 34
If you haven't already, read "the shack". Sometimes we can't believe that we are cared for because we have no earthly framework to compare it to.
post #6 of 34
BabyMae.

I'm with Bluegoat (Bluegoat, you are awesome!). She very articulately summed up what I also feel to be true about the universe/God.

I think that the idea of Mother Earth also fits into an idea of "God as the ground of all being." Earth is the physical generator of our existence, and She is alive in the same way that we are alive. Think of how she works. She feeds you (and all living creatures, including plants) her body. We are ultimately part of her body, and return to her body when we die.

Nature is infinitely generous - generous unto death. And you are part of nature too. It's about the ultimate self-giving. In return for sustaining us (all living creatures) uncomplainingly with her body, she expects nothing but our own self-giving, our gift of our life in order to nourish others. If you think about it, when we die we decay, and feed the worms, who create soil, which is nothing short of the base of all terrestrial life! The world around us is alive in the most amazing of ways. And every little bit, every worm, bacteria, tree, human, counts. Death is a very necessary part of the life process. I know you know that already, but what makes it more real and, oddly, comforting for me is getting to know the natural world. Watch nature films, read books about ecological niches (so incredibly complex!), learn about the intricacies of basic life processes, go outside and walk or sit quietly. You don't even have to think about any higher power - it's all there in the concreteness of the natural world, in the microcosm of a single patch of living soil ("dirt"). There is death, there is strife, there is life, struggle, love, generosity, sacrifice in that patch of dirt - and it is all meaningful and good.

This is not to say that I don't think there is a "higher power" (whatever that might mean) but that you don't need to think about it as such if the thought seems untrue or distressing at the time. You can still find meaning and solace in the smallest thing - that's the wonder of God being "the is-ness of the universe"! Everywhere you look, there God is!

Good luck, mama!!!
post #7 of 34
I'm sorry this has made you fearful. It is a huge question.
I agree with Bluegoat as well, whole-heartedly. But, I propose to begin from the point... if there is nothing, then when I die I go nowhere. I just cease to be. It isn't painful. It isn't anything. Yes, for a conscious being that can be scary. You don't necessarily want to cease being. So, then the question becomes what is consciousness?
Are there levels of consciousness other than conscious (knowing/awareness) and subconscious? Can higher states of consciousness be reached? What has brought humanity to the point of this questioning?
Then, think of as Bluegoat suggested. What is God exactly?
For me, my spirituality has been nutured so much by having a yoga practice. It has helped me to explore what I am... who I am. Kundalini yoga is so exhilarating in this regard.
I am mystic Christian in faith, so I really enjoy how the writings of Joel S. Goldsmith explore these types of questions you are asking. You can read a lot of his work at www.theunofficialinfiniteway.com It is a totally different take on things than what I was used to, but made immense sense to me, and has helped me reconcile a lot of questions.
Both yoga and TIW is accessible to those of varying faiths as well.

HTH!
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Here is something to consider when deciding if there is a creator. Things that are here on earth are here because somebody or bodies created it. Houses, chairs, computers, movies etc. have all been created by a creator. Things don't just come into being by themselves.
The problem with that mindset is that it doesn't take into account how God came to be. If things can't come into being by themselves, then who or what created God? You can read more about the First Cause Argument here, if you're interested.

Anyway, to the OP...I don't believe in gods and never have, so I've never dealt with losing faith in the supernatural. I figure that after I die will be quite similar to before I was born. I wasn't conscious then, won't be conscious after death, and it won't matter to me at that point.

That doesn't mean the thought of dying and leaving my family (or the thought of them dying and leaving me) isn't painful. But I believe that pain is connected to my consciousness, which I believe will cease to exist after I die. I believe that whatever energy that makes up my being will just transfer back to the collective energy that makes up the universe. I don't believe in souls or afterlives.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
The problem with that mindset is that it doesn't take into account how God came to be. If things can't come into being by themselves, then who or what created God? You can read more about the First Cause Argument here, if you're interested.
It doesn't really. Back in the days before scientists thought the universe was expanding and had a beginning, most non-religious types thought the universe existed eternally and in a more or less static way, and that it was the principle of being itself - a kind of reduced pantheistic view. I say reduced because most weren't religious pantheists (which is really a kind of monotheism) but were people who believed in an eternal material-only principle.

Now, I would say that even with an eternal static universe, that is still inadequate, but with a universe that has a beginning in time, that is an even harder position to maintain. That is actually why scientists resisted the Big Bang theory - they thought it was too religious.

A pretty basic concept as far as God goes is that it is uncreated, it is its own principle of being. If you want to deny god, fine, but you then have to give that characteristic to the universe itself, and there are complications to that even in an eternal material universe.

I'd also add that the Wiki argument is a pretty poor rendition of the actual philosophic understanding of the first cause argument. It doesn't even address the philosophical problems that gave rise to the separation of a non-material principle from the material reality.
post #10 of 34
What causes us finite, mortal beings to even consider an afterlife? Or God/gods? or eternity?

I mean, why is eternity even in our vocabulary? What caused humankind to even think of worshipping anything at all? I imagine that the original humans were the ultimate existentialists(I'm not a philosopher and not sure if I am using that word correctly), so why would they evolve into worshiping probably first, creation and then, a creator. (Of course I have my own reason, but I'd like to hear from others if anyone wants to go here, and if it's not off topic)

And the other thing that used to perplex me is why are we so different than animals in this area. Animals cannot contemplate eternity or creation, but we can and why is this? What is the purpose of our intellect?

Sorry, too many questions. Just throwing this out there and I hope the responses help the OP in some way.

2xy, thanks for putting a name for what I believe and the link. I had never heard of first cause argument.
post #11 of 34
OP, I think your fear is extremely common and is what drives lots of people to cling to religion.

I'm an atheist, and like a pp, believe that since I don't spend a great deal of time worrying about what things were like before I was sentient, why should I worry about what happens when I am no longer?

My death will be painful for my children no matter what. The daily reality of the death of my own mother was just as painful for my Christian siblings as it was for me. While they may find the thought of a supernatural existence somewhat comforting, it doesn't erase the fact that my mother isn't here in their lives. It is what it is.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
I am mystic Christian in faith, so I really enjoy how the writings of Joel S. Goldsmith explore these types of questions you are asking. You can read a lot of his work at www.theunofficialinfiniteway.com It is a totally different take on things than what I was used to, but made immense sense to me, and has helped me reconcile a lot of questions.
Both yoga and TIW is accessible to those of varying faiths as well.

HTH!
thank you for this.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
I used to be so spiritual. I loved that side of myself. And then, IDK what happened, but I just can't believe in Heaven/God anymore. I feel like it's just a big lie, a trick we play on ourselves to make us feel better about the fact that, yes, we WILL die someday.

I love the idea of a Goddess/Mother Earth, etc, but that just doesn't fit in with what I know of the universe and how things ARE. I mean, what reality is there, what chance is there, REALLY, that there's some benevolent being out there, watching over us, guiding our footsteps.

In the Celestine Prophecy, the author speaks of a 'higher power' that's all about love, and reaching a higher vibration (reaching nirvana, being sucked up to heaven by angels, whatever). Maybe that's the answer, but if so, WHERE do we go? Do we see our families again? Our loved ones?

I think this is so front and center right now because I am just so in love with my DD, who is almost 18 months old. I can't bear the thought of dying and leaving her someday

I can't bear to think of HER dying someday. Or my DS, DH, etc, etc.

I feel like I'm losing it. Has anyone else BTDT? Anyone have any advice? ANY advice is welcome. Hugs are, too

Thanks for listening.
post #14 of 34
i have a deep faith inside me that i have lately been getting in touch with. i am also a strict evolutionist and scientist. i don't think they are mutually exculsive.
i am definatly on the mystical end of hte spectrum, and my official religion has an original foundation out of christianity, but i don't think that christianity at the core of its beliefs and teachings is very different from pretty much any other religion.

Energy exists as matter and as waves. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed -only transformed. those are BASIC thermodynamics and physics.
humans, and all living things, are made up of energy. that is why when someone's heart fails, they try to shock them back to life. where does our energy go when we die? is this our life of matter, and when we die we transform to our elerctromagnetic waves life. i don't think we loose our connection to this life, but we are transformed and are on another plane of existence.
why does this happen? why did the universe begin?
there are some questions that we can't know, that are beyond us. we like a fish looking out of a fishbowl and wondering what else is there. we may never know cause it is beyond us. there are faiths/practices that help you get in touch with the peace that is in you that don't profess a specific idea or creator god.
i would also suggest reading some writings by scientists about faith: einstein wrote about this, as well as Carl Sagan. have you ever seen the movie Contact? that was a story written by Carl Sagan.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
It doesn't really.
I don't understand what this was referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
If you want to deny god, fine, but you then have to give that characteristic to the universe itself, and there are complications to that even in an eternal material universe.
Denying gods implies that gods exist for which to deny.

As for giving the characteristics of gods to the universe, I don't think that's necessary. The universe is a natural thing. Gods are supernatural. There is no reason, IMO, to attribute supernatural qualities to the universe. I'm perfectly fine with saying I don't know, or don't understand, how the universe came to be rather than inventing explanations for which there is no evidence. "God did it" halts scientific progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
I'd also add that the Wiki argument is a pretty poor rendition of the actual philosophic understanding of the first cause argument. It doesn't even address the philosophical problems that gave rise to the separation of a non-material principle from the material reality.
I was looking for a simple explanation to share here, since not everyone who reads these boards is a philosopher or a genius. Many of the websites that cover such topics use language or ideas that the average person would have trouble grasping. That's no offense to anyone here; I just work with the public and have a habit of trying to keep things simple.
post #16 of 34
From the Stars

Here is an free e-book you might want to read over. It has many of the answers you seek. It does a pretty good job of simply explaining things. Much better than the Celestine Prophecy.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I don't understand what this was referring to.



Denying gods implies that gods exist for which to deny.

As for giving the characteristics of gods to the universe, I don't think that's necessary. The universe is a natural thing. Gods are supernatural. There is no reason, IMO, to attribute supernatural qualities to the universe. I'm perfectly fine with saying I don't know, or don't understand, how the universe came to be rather than inventing explanations for which there is no evidence. "God did it" halts scientific progress.
If there is no god, who by definition is self-existent, then you must say the universe is self-existent. Unless you wish to remain really agnostic, but in that case you could not really argue that the universe did not come from god in some way.

I am not sure why you think belief in God halts scientific progress. If that were true, we'd have none. Science is not, as some believe, essentially materialist, though it is tied to the material because it depends on observations. It rests, however, on immaterial and immutable principles, which is where what you call the "super-natural" comes in. Though I have to say that super-natural is a confusing word to use in such discussions - I think people like Richard Dawkins like it because of its emotional baggage.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
If there is no god, who by definition is self-existent, then you must say the universe is self-existent.
I don't see why it can't be. If something has to be self-existent, a natural thing is much more believable to me than a supernatural thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
I am not sure why you think belief in God halts scientific progress.
I don't, and that's not what I said.

I just don't agree with giving up on hard questions and just saying that gods are responsible for things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat
Science is not, as some believe, essentially materialist, though it is tied to the material because it depends on observations. It rests, however, on immaterial and immutable principles, which is where what you call the "super-natural" comes in. Though I have to say that super-natural is a confusing word to use in such discussions - I think people like Richard Dawkins like it because of its emotional baggage.
The laws of nature are natural. There is nothing unnatural or abnormal about them.

When I talk about the supernatural, I'm talking about ghosts, souls, goblins, fairies, gods, devils, and whatever other characters people have invented to explain the unexplainable.

Personally, I am not concerned about Richard Dawkins and what he likes, in case you were assuming that I do.

Anyway, I have a job to get to, so I won't be around for the evening baiting. Have fun!
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I don't see why it can't be. If something has to be self-existent, a natural thing is much more believable to me than a supernatural thing.
Asa I said in the post, that is fine. Some people do believe that the universe is self-existant, but that also has implications and problems.


Quote:
I don't, and that's not what I said.

I just don't agree with giving up on hard questions and just saying that gods are responsible for things.
I've not seen any instances of this among serious theologians.


Quote:
The laws of nature are natural. There is nothing unnatural or abnormal about them.

When I talk about the supernatural, I'm talking about ghosts, souls, goblins, fairies, gods, devils, and whatever other characters people have invented to explain the unexplainable.

Personally, I am not concerned about Richard Dawkins and what he likes, in case you were assuming that I do.
Yes - this is why the term "super-natural" is not a good one - to most people it means silly fairy stories. It isn't helpful, and it reduces a work like Aristotle's Metaphysics to the level of a bad horror flick.

No one has said the laws of nature are unnatural. I said that the method of thinking scientifically depends on certain non-scientific presuppositions - that is, non-material rational principles.
post #20 of 34
I get a lot of thoughts regarding death for me or my loved ones and all I know to do is to reject it immediately. If I entertain it for one little bit I get overwhelmed with fear. I say to my self, 'just enjoy the moment' because that is what I know I have for sure, is the here and now. I feel like I literally push it out of my mind.

I have my own Christian perspective, and i am not sure it's the answer you were looking for??, but here goes. The Bible talks about the flaming darts of the evil one. Our adversary, the devil, would like you to be destroyed or paralyzed spiritually by your fear of death. I am not sure what you mean by you lost your faith. I think that once you have faith (read: believe in God/Jesus) you cannot lose it, but you can be deceived into thinking you have lost it. And I know people who have lost the joy of their salvation, but I do not believe you can lose your salvation. Once you receive God into your spirit you cannot get Him out. You can't be unborn of God just as you cannot be unborn of your mother.

I brought up salvation because you brought up heaven/ hell and where do you go after death, will we see our families?

According to my understanding, there is no hell in the Bible. There is a place called Hades with a pleasant side and an unpleasant side. And if you get filled with God's Spirit now, then you will be with/in God forever.

Do you believe in spiritual warfare? Here is a verse for you.

Ephesians 6:16

16 Besides all these, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
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