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Internal debate on own religion/spirituality

(16 Posts)
PixiNanny Tue 29-Sep-09 18:40:24

Figured I'd just voice it out loud (on MN lol) than keep thinking about it.

For a while now I've been feeling as though there is something missing in myself, and feel that it's something spiritual. I'm not particularily religious, I went through phases as a teen (wicca and christianity mostly) but feel now that christianity, and many of the major religions just aren't me. Mainly because I just don't believe in just one God, if there was a deity then there would need to be more imo, and in hard times I do 'pray' in a sense to them.

I'm just really wondering if you can share ideas with me as to how I find my spiritual sense really, find a way to work out if I am suited to a particular religion. I'm trying to meditate and do yoga as a form of improving myself in this sense, but I still feel as though there is something missing.

I must admit that wicca did appeal to me as a child and as a young adult it still does, but I would like to see if there may be anything else that does make me think "Yes, that's what I am looking for!" as I've never researched anything but Christianity properly.

So how did you find your religion, so to speak?

Mouette Tue 29-Sep-09 19:18:11

Dear Pixinanny
I was brought up an atheist/agnostic, but my parents gave me the Bible to read as part of my general education. When I read the Gospels it was clear to me that Jesus made sense. I looked at other religions but I think I always wanted to follow Him, He seemed always to be the one who made sense, and spoke the truth: ie "this is the right way to live".
I heartily recommend Karen Armstrong's book "The Case for God". It is not a hard sell for any particular religion, I think you will find it very interesting and it will help you find the way that is right for you. Also religion is mostly about living a good, ethical life - try to do that, and you will be well on the way.
Also: God speaks to us - if you ask Him for guidance, He will send it, I believe. xx

Mouette Tue 29-Sep-09 19:18:46

By the way, I quite like Wicca - if I wasn't a Christian I'd probably be a Wiccan!

Snowtiger Tue 29-Sep-09 19:33:22

At the risk of being called a spiritual tourist, I don't think you necessarily have to choose a particular religion or path as such - maybe bits and pieces of different paths make sense to you. I was brought up church of England, was always interested in the occult and wicca from early teens, and am also very interested in Buddhism. I would still loosely consider myself something on the pagan / wiccan spectrum, (with a Buddhist flavour!) but wouldn't say either was necessarily my 'religion'.

I read a lot (past tense - 2 year old and now pregnancy tiredness put paid to that) about Buddhism, Wicca, Christianity etc. and all sorts of other books that simply appealed to me in the Mind Body Spirit section of bookshops.

From that I've kind of got my own set of beliefs that concur with some religions but not others, and also probably change a bit depending on what's happened to me in my life. My beliefs are my own, and I don't expect anyone else to share them wholesale, but they make sense to me and make my life make sense, IYSWIM.

Incidentally, there's a great book by the amazing Vietnamese Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh called 'Going Home, Jesus & Buddha as Brothers' which is all about the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism. Definitely worth reading - he is so utterly inspiring. An amazing man.

PixiNanny Wed 30-Sep-09 11:39:42

Thank you for the recommendations

Snowtiger, that spiritual tourist sounds somewhat like me at the moment, my beliefs are made up of a variety of things I know and feel comfrotable with from a range of religions, though they are things that are quite universal (such as the morals and whatnot that make up the basis of religions).

Right now I feel that there must be more, and that I am being tested right now in order to hep me find myself, if that makes any sense?

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Sep-09 11:53:56

I'd say (and often do...) have a look at the BeliefOMatic It sounds like a naff magazine quiz, but it actually takes you through lots of questions about what you think about God/gods/etc. Even if the match it comes up with doesn't seem right, just thinking about the questions and what you think about them and whether you even think they are useful questions can help you to focus on what you do or don't believe.

Then you can read about the various belief systems which you match and think about whether you'd like to look into them further.

It covers all sorts of things, from traditional religions to more general attitudes like atheism and humanism.

Mouette Wed 30-Sep-09 12:09:58

Hey, I did the BeliefOMatic quiz and I think it's very good. Does make you think. I end up as "Christian Liberal Protestant" which is a relief as it's what I thought I was.

PixiNanny Wed 30-Sep-09 12:55:46

Sounds a bit odd, but I'll give it a go and see what it says Thank you

TheMightyToosh Wed 30-Sep-09 13:05:10

I know what you mean, Pixi. I often think (and this may sound a bit 'flippant', but is not meant to be insulting to anyone) that it must be nice to fit neatly into one religion and have a sort of "rule book" to follow throughout your life, so you never have to face difficult decisions etc on your own without somewhere to look for guidance.

But, I don't really agree with organised religion as I think it can be responsible for as much bad as good, especially when some people are too sheep-like and blindly follow a religious order without really thinking for themselves, or when there are extremists, etc.

I'm probably more buddhist than anything, but even that is not 100% me.

I'm going to try the quiz and see what I come out as. If all else fails, I will have to adopt Lord of the Rings as my bible and live life according to what Frodo would do LOL joke

PixiNanny Wed 30-Sep-09 13:10:54

I done it and got this:
1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (99%)
3. Liberal Quakers (88%)
4. New Age (82%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (80%)
6. Reform Judaism (80%)
7. Secular Humanism (74%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (70%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (66%)
10. Taoism (58%)
11. Baha'i Faith (57%)
12. Jainism (57%)
13. New Thought (53%)
14. Sikhism (52%)
15. Orthodox Quaker (50%)
16. Nontheist (49%)
17. Orthodox Judaism (47%)
18. Scientology (44%)
19. Islam (37%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (35%)
21. Hinduism (34%)
22. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (34%)
23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (20%)
26. Roman Catholic (20%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (17%)

Most of the Christian-based faiths closer to the bottom which I'm surprised at! Not happy with scientology being so high up there but can see how it's affected my life. And I don't even know what half of them are! Some I've heard of, some I most definately haven't. Not surprised as such about buddhism and paganism being int he top ten, and not surprised with Islam being so far down the list either (my father depises it after being brought up in an Islamic country )

I can't help but think of things that have effected my (spiritual) life and the position of these religions now, it's quite amazing!

Snowtiger Wed 30-Sep-09 13:34:03

'Belief-O-Matic' that's hilarious!! Sounds like something Douglas Adams would have invented. Brilliant. Have just done it and I'm 100% 'Unitarian Universalist' which I'd never heard of before but actually really does sum me up. So there you go, I am part of a definable religious group.

Frighteningly American though, the questions. Should abortion and homosexuality be considered immoral?!? Excuse me?!? How effing dare you??!! Don't tell me Satan's responsible for them??? Aargh!!!!!

< Snowtiger stomps off to fume and kick things in the garden >

PixiNanny Wed 30-Sep-09 14:49:19

It is quite American really, but then they are issues that crop up in religious debate quite often!

Mouette Wed 30-Sep-09 16:43:25

What I found interesting is that I'm closer to the Neo Pagans than to the Roman Catholics (and like Pixi I'm 88% Liberal Quaker. Let's hear it for the Quakers!) Which seems to show that
- there is enormous variation between Christian groups and
- perhaps it's not what you believe in that matters, it's what you do with it.

Mouette Wed 30-Sep-09 16:44:33

There is a Unitarian church where I live, they're Christians basically but don't believe in the Trinity - ie they worship only one God and don't follow the "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" mystery.

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Sep-09 19:41:18

It's really good, isn't it? When you get the % list up, you can also click on each line to find out more about that group - I should have said that earlier blush.

I usually come up liberal Protestant (which I'd count myself as) but I also get high matches for Unitarian Universalist, Liberal Quakers, and Reform Judaism - none of which I knew much about but all of which I could see a lot of overlap with when I read about them.

None of it means you are in any of those religions, or ought to follow them, but it's interesting to see what groups have similar views, specially if you're wondering where to look further.

PixiNanny Wed 30-Sep-09 20:23:15

It's okay, I worked out that bit I do find it very interesting what I got, especially when I consider my experiences with some of the religions! I've always leaned towards wiccan beliefs, so it's made me think more about that, Quakers just didn't feel right as I read the description, same with the universalism thing either. I'm going to look into the top ten again tonight though, just to find out about their belief systems and whatot, and find some time for some meditation time over the next few weeks

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