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Old 04-23-2013, 05:05 AM
 
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From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?

I've been through scary times. There are times when I get night mares from my life experiences and the only thing I can do is stay awake and reflect on my memories and my uncertainty.

I had a traumatic childhood. I can't really trust anyone close to me and I can't trust myself in the matters of religion and the uncertainty.

Is there any agnostic out there that has freed themselves from fear and uncertainty?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:19 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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death: I identify with things that don't die before myself. I see death as what I had before life.
religion: I criticize my own and others' ideas. I stand up against oppression.
after life: I think about Buddhist ideas of liberation (Nirvana). I learn about various ubber-life ideas.
deception: I study psychology and learn my possible weaknesses. I try to confirm all believes and disbelieves.

I am certain of my uncertainty. As there are gods, demons, and angels who should learn to be certain of theirs.
Yourself is the only thing you have to trust, because everything and every idea comes through the prism of yourself. Trusting others means you trust yourself enough to know when and how to trust them. To obliterate fear and uncertainty is to free one's self from a great ability and a certain realistic truth.

You might have to read that twice or three times over, and really concentrate and meditate upon some of the specific sentences and ideas. You are welcome to ask more, and I hope you receive great and joyous answers.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 12,252,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?


Is there any agnostic out there that has freed themselves from fear and uncertainty?
Why would you fear religion and an afterlife? What's to fear?

As for freeing myself... I don't fear them because what will be will be and worrying about it wont change a thing.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,879 posts, read 7,432,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?
I don't really fear death, I fear a painful death and dying too young. I don't fear an afterlife because I don't believe there is one. I think death is the end. I will cease to exist. That's it.

Man's deception? Well, that is a whole 'nother thing. But really, I don't fear any supernatural things. The things I do fear are more earthbound and cultural like cancer, failing in my career, losing my home, my husband, my child, financial ruin etc. But I don't live in fear of these things regularly.

In general, I am currently at peace with a lot of things.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Don't worry about death, you'll be good at it, we all will. Think of all the practice you had at not existing before you were born. You are well rehearsed.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:19 AM
 
Location: NY
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I know it is common for people to tie fear of death with spirituality and religion. Some of it is the fear of the unknown and losing what we know to be right now. Sometimes, i think it is just based on religious conditioning, which basically everyone is exposed to at some level in their lives through our culture.

Some seek religion to comfort themselves. They need to feel the comfort of a guaranteed afterlife, a place where their mind, consciousness, or whatever lives in eternity. People have a sense fo self preservation, and since death is inevitable, having a belief in more after death comforts their sense of self preservation.

I suppose everyone's comfort is different. Some turn to the comfort of a savior, and some just take comfort in knowing death is inevitable and worrying about it will change nothing except their quality of life while they are alive.

Everyone copes a different way with the question of afterlife. I like to believe that what matters right now is this present life. I will work with the afterlife when I get there.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:23 AM
 
35,107 posts, read 41,641,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?

I've been through scary times. There are times when I get night mares from my life experiences and the only thing I can do is stay awake and reflect on my memories and my uncertainty.

I had a traumatic childhood. I can't really trust anyone close to me and I can't trust myself in the matters of religion and the uncertainty.

Is there any agnostic out there that has freed themselves from fear and uncertainty?

Why would you fear something that cannot be changed? Death is a reality of life and as far as nightmares from "your past" that one is on you for allowing someone else's actions when you were a child to control your present life. My childhood was also quite traumatic however, I chose to NOT allow any of that to control how I live my life. Some things do still creep in from time to time but I put all of that in check and move forward with my life. It is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination but it can be done and the past can be kept in the past for the most part.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,269 posts, read 9,389,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?

I've been through scary times. There are times when I get night mares from my life experiences and the only thing I can do is stay awake and reflect on my memories and my uncertainty.

I had a traumatic childhood. I can't really trust anyone close to me and I can't trust myself in the matters of religion and the uncertainty.

Is there any agnostic out there that has freed themselves from fear and uncertainty?
There is no one answer to your questions, alas.

I was fortunate to grow up with loving parents and a stable and intact family. As such, I seldom doubt myself or fret about much, at least not about possibilities; I stick to fretting over things that have actually happened and actually turned out to BE horrible. I find that more than enough to occupy me without worrying about things that may or may not happen. Things seldom are as bad as you anticipate.

On the other hand many people close to me have great anxiety, either because of the sort of childhood you describe, full of chaos and emotional abandonment and/or abuse; or simply because a parent or grandparent had passed that kind of thinking and gene expression down to them. The ones who cope the best are the ones who are dogged and persistent in finding their way around the endless loops in their thinking. One has gone from intermittently catatonic and dependent on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, to drug-free and engaged with life, by a combination of personal growth, trying over and over until they found a therapist that they could connect with and trust, and just general persistence and determination.

Another one is slowly working through issues with their father and siblings, pushing themselves to be immersed in work and volunteer efforts so they have less time to stew and brood, and making better choices in friends. Sometimes, actions which are either purely symbolic or which have no obvious real world benefit are helpful to the doer. For example, writing a letter to someone who has deeply wronged you and getting your honest feelings down on paper can be releasing even if you don't actually send it, or if the person receiving it has little or no chance of actually hearing you but you have at least, for once, called them on their perfidy.

It is really very personal and individual, and never easy. This is true whether or not you're religious. What works or not for you doesn't change because you are, or are not, a member of some particular faith. Religion can (co)incidentally help sometimes, or it can be a great hinderance. Much depends on the exact ideology, how it is (mis)applied, and the level of empathy you get from teachers and counselors. My impression after all these years is that you have to be relentlessly willing to eject what doesn't work and embrace what does work, and also, expect that what does or doesn't work changes, and also, that YOU change. In other words, the most important thing is keeping on keeping on.

Because of this need for flexibility, being part of a rigid dogma or creed is generally unhelpful. If you need a supportive community, arguably finding a Buddhist community that you resonate with, is worth looking into, provided you avoid the corrupt guru system and anyone who demands obedience. Or perhaps look into Unitarianism. But to me, you're better off on your own. It teaches you to trust yourself.

You: the only person who will never knowingly hurt you. ;-)
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
42,537 posts, read 12,115,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?

I've been through scary times. There are times when I get night mares from my life experiences and the only thing I can do is stay awake and reflect on my memories and my uncertainty.

I had a traumatic childhood. I can't really trust anyone close to me and I can't trust myself in the matters of religion and the uncertainty.

Is there any agnostic out there that has freed themselves from fear and uncertainty?
I suppose I technically qualify as an agnostic, since agnosticism is the basis of atheism.

I might suggests that death itself is nothing to be afraid of. I won't say that dying an untimely or painful death might be something to be afraid of but just the 'Long Lie -in' itself is nothing to be feared.

While residual hell-threat is not easily shaken off, I'd suggest considering that many religions exist all promising salvation to those who believe and missing out on it for those who don't. They can't all be right, and who knows which is true?

Any god who deserved the epithets, 'good, 'just, merciful' knows that as well as we do and is not going to bar you at the door because you were not born in the right country let alone the right century to be taught the true religion, and of course couldn't beam down to appear of a thousand chat -shows simultaneously to explain just what was wanted from us in the way of belief, because that abrogate our free will and would turn us all into mindless robots.

That's the worst case scenario nad the best case is that there isn't a god of that type and an afterlife is a natural thing for everyone no matter what they believe or even what they've done.

The more probable scenario is that there is no afterlife because I have a list of standing invitations to a number of deceased believers to come back and tell me what it's like and so far none have shown up.

So bottom line, death and the threats of religion are nothing to be afraid of. easy to say, harder to buy into, but it may help.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:54 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 5,418,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
From fear of death, religion, the after life, and man's deception?
I do not fear death at all, so much as a I fear dying. I have never had to "free myself" from the fear of death itself as I have never had this fear. I have an inate desire to keep living and so I endeavour to keep doing so. I know eventually I will fail at this someday but for now I am content to continue the endeavour.

I do not fear religion either so much as I "fear" people who do things in it's name or using it as a basis. Fear is probably not the right word. I am a concerned citizen of our society and am concerned with it more than I "fear" it. However the way I confront THAT fear/concern is to become active in societies and groups resisting it.

I do not fear an afterlife as I have not once in my life been shown an iota of evidence, argument, data or reasoning to even begin to lend credence to the idea there even is one. Why fear something you have no reason to think exists. Do you fear the monster under the bed too? Or the yeti?

As for mans deception: Mans inhumanity to man is a concern for all of us, religious and non-religious alike. As with religion above all we can do is highlight it, resist it and combat it.
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