Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
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23-08-2013, 10:48 PM
Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
Hey, I'm new here. And I joined because I feel so alone and depressed. I come out of a non-denominational, sort of Pentecostal-type Christianity. I believed that my being was split into separate parts (soul, spirit, flesh), and that the Holy Spirit was also in me, along with Jesus, and God... and possibly Santa Clause. Now, after being an atheist for two years, I still feel compelled to speak in tongues when I am extremely anxious. And I also feel a strange comfort with referring to myself and thinking of myself as "we" or "us" in times like that. I had no idea that these weird ideas had become such a part of my mind. It find this praying in tongues compulsion to be very strange, because normal praying is impossible for me to do. It feels so ridiculous to speak to someone who I know isn't there. But speaking in tongues is more of a stress-ball thing that calms me down. Still, it disturbs me and I wonder if it's unhealthy...

Another thing that has been a growing problem for me, is the "God shaped hole". I wish with all of my wishing powers that I had never been a believer. But I was. And I was balls deep in Jesus. So now, there is this huge void in me that I can't seem to fill with anything! I have a child, and friends, loved ones, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing out on a deeper purpose or something that binds everything else together. I don't know wtf to do about this. Can anyone help me? I try writing and exercise and stuff but I'm afraid it's only covering up the problem and not solving it. Has anyone made it through this successfully? Is there a key?
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23-08-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
No key, but there is a door. Welcome aboard. Hang out a bit, I can't promise you'll find what you're looking for, but you might gain some insight somewhere.

not from me, I'm just a decoration around here Tongue

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24-08-2013, 08:33 AM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2013 08:39 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
Hello!
Firstly, your need, your god-shaped hole is real and requires attention. Just because Christianity is fake, doesn't mean your need is fake. Your need is very real, because most atheists are happy to be free from dogma, free to think, do and speak their mind and they don't seem to have such a problem.
I can assure you, what Christians call Jesus is not some bearded carpenter guy, it's a feeling that has no external reference, it can only be found inside. Christians just slap their label on it.

Try meditation, at least an hour at a time. If this "Jesus" thing is real and somewhere in your brain, it should eventually manifest by itself if you calm down your thoughts and float peacefully in your inner darkness. If it's real, you don't need to believe in it.

Also, you can learn basics of Greek philosophy and contemplate on the world of ideas. This stuff worked for me, it works for the more intellectual types to become more than intellectual.
Learn about skepticism, skepticism means believing nothing and considering all possibilities equally... possible, because some of them must be real. You don't know what is or isn't real, or if you call it the right name, but you should be able to try things out without judging them. Don't judge your need as fake, unreal or unjustified, just because you're an atheist. Atheism is your nature, you were born that way, but that "Jesus" feeling may be also a part of your nature. I feel it and I'm not a Christian.

Many atheists find transcendental greatness and unity in staring at the abyss of cosmos and Hubble telescope pictures. Try also watching some documents about space.

I can't recommend taking a drug, but if you do, choose a natural one, a mild dose, under a supervision of an experienced psychonaut. Ultimately, you don't need drugs to have the experience.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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24-08-2013, 06:37 PM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
Luminon, that's a great way to think about things. I didn't realize how afraid I had been of that emptiness until I read your post. Now I see that it's ok to acknowledge that Jesus represented something essential in my life, even if it wasn't exactly Jesus. I have been losing hope in ever resolving this issue. Maybe I just need to find Jesus again in my own way, so to speak.
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24-08-2013, 07:24 PM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
(23-08-2013 10:48 PM)demondice Wrote:  Hey, I'm new here. And I joined because I feel so alone and depressed. I come out of a non-denominational, sort of Pentecostal-type Christianity. I believed that my being was split into separate parts (soul, spirit, flesh), and that the Holy Spirit was also in me, along with Jesus, and God... and possibly Santa Clause. Now, after being an atheist for two years, I still feel compelled to speak in tongues when I am extremely anxious. And I also feel a strange comfort with referring to myself and thinking of myself as "we" or "us" in times like that. I had no idea that these weird ideas had become such a part of my mind. It find this praying in tongues compulsion to be very strange, because normal praying is impossible for me to do. It feels so ridiculous to speak to someone who I know isn't there. But speaking in tongues is more of a stress-ball thing that calms me down. Still, it disturbs me and I wonder if it's unhealthy...

Another thing that has been a growing problem for me, is the "God shaped hole". I wish with all of my wishing powers that I had never been a believer. But I was. And I was balls deep in Jesus. So now, there is this huge void in me that I can't seem to fill with anything! I have a child, and friends, loved ones, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing out on a deeper purpose or something that binds everything else together. I don't know wtf to do about this. Can anyone help me? I try writing and exercise and stuff but I'm afraid it's only covering up the problem and not solving it. Has anyone made it through this successfully? Is there a key?

Normal, Normal, Normal. Especially if reconverting is relatively recent. Changing your brain's behaviour takes time and doesn't happen over night or even in days, weeks or months. Though, through some tricks and practice you will progress and be on the road to feeling better.

The compulsion of tongues is very understandable, it is a type of method to 'get high'. The meditation suggested is a really great idea, it's what I've resorted to. Working out, yoga or other 'practices' could fit you, try some different stuff on. The science behind meditating (or even praying for that matter) and it's positive influences on the brain is quite spectacular.

The part of your post where you feel a 'hole' is part of the result of religion stripping you down to build you up. It's a common and necessary tactic for cult use and a type of brainwashing ('you don't have all you need, so you need us'). For me, I became passionate about other things and that (slowly but completely) helped me. I became obsessed with history, space, biology, arts, physical capabilities, music, and so on. I find living life to its fullest and embracing the fact that we are conscious of the fragility and uniqueness of this human experience more than enough to full fill me. Create your own purpose instead of letting 'God' provide it. You get to shape that now, and if you ask me that is sooo much better than waiting for a destiny from someone who is an invisible zombie who never shows up. Smile
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25-08-2013, 05:18 PM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
(24-08-2013 06:37 PM)demondice Wrote:  Luminon, that's a great way to think about things. I didn't realize how afraid I had been of that emptiness until I read your post. Now I see that it's ok to acknowledge that Jesus represented something essential in my life, even if it wasn't exactly Jesus. I have been losing hope in ever resolving this issue. Maybe I just need to find Jesus again in my own way, so to speak.
I'm glad to be of help to you. Just please, don't think that I'm a Christian in disguise, or some other religious guy. I have a hobby of watching and studying these feelings and strange experiences. They seem to appear in all religions and interestingly, even in some common, worldly people. So I just observe what I feel and then I search for descriptions of it on the internet. Turns out lots of esoteric literature and religious imagery is based on describing such experiences, but it's difficult to separate from the sheer amount of dogma and New Agey nonsense.

I have a book that describes experiences like that, and many of them are just 20th century secular people, no believers. I have put together some examples for you, people who got a mystical experience at a painting gallery, or cathedral, barber's shop or on a public transport. Like me, actually.

If I had a spontaneous mystical experience back in medieval ages, I would open Bible and try to find some Biblical precedent for it, so I wouldn't be called a heretic and burned at stake. If I spoke about it, then only in such a way that people without this experience would think I just quote Bible. So there are even branches of Christian mysticism, that describes exactly the same neurological stuff that yogis and swamis in India pass on in their sutras. Mostly it deals with weird feelings in brain, spine, major endocrine glands and major nerve plexi near these glands. If I feel like my head is full of sweet glow, a Christian would say, "the Holy Spirit anointed me" and a yogi would say, "the crown lotus is opening". A Catholic monk would shave his head top to let the spirit out, an eastern monk would shave all his head. And then all others would start doing so, just out of tradition.

I went to Sunday school as a kid with other Lutheran children, but my parents didn't have me baptisted. And I always found this idea of original sin absurd. I did nothing to make Jesus angry. If Jesus out there somewhere forgives me, what does that mean? I have no business with him. If I do something wrong, it's my problem and I need to forgive myself, which is not easy at all. These Christian folks made it look easy, like I had no conscience and Jesus had it all. I said nothing, but it felt wrong to me. One of things that drove me away from Christianity.

Fast forward about 15 years.
It's weird, but I experienced it all, that the religious folks say. One day I felt it in meditation. The feeling that something, someone is loving me, impersonally, unconditionally. Over the next months and years this feeling sometimes appeared for a longer time. But gradually it shifted perspective and then it was me, the source of love. And the love went to all around, everything, everyone, and nothing in particular. It was a strange phenomenon and it changed me a lot. It did not make me a nice guy or anything like that, when it passed I was normal again, but it had some influence on my attitude to life.
It certainly made me do meditation more regularly, if stuff like that happens in it, then it's worth the time.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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25-08-2013, 07:03 PM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
(24-08-2013 06:37 PM)demondice Wrote:  Luminon, that's a great way to think about things. I didn't realize how afraid I had been of that emptiness until I read your post. Now I see that it's ok to acknowledge that Jesus represented something essential in my life, even if it wasn't exactly Jesus. I have been losing hope in ever resolving this issue. Maybe I just need to find Jesus again in my own way, so to speak.

No, you don't.

You need to find meaning, purpose, joy, humanity, sadness, hope, and the rest of the human experience.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-08-2013, 04:53 AM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
(25-08-2013 07:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-08-2013 06:37 PM)demondice Wrote:  Luminon, that's a great way to think about things. I didn't realize how afraid I had been of that emptiness until I read your post. Now I see that it's ok to acknowledge that Jesus represented something essential in my life, even if it wasn't exactly Jesus. I have been losing hope in ever resolving this issue. Maybe I just need to find Jesus again in my own way, so to speak.

No, you don't.

You need to find meaning, purpose, joy, humanity, sadness, hope, and the rest of the human experience.
That's right, actually. Most of this meditation stuff is technical, like exercise. If you do it right, it will help you to find these things (and withstand them) but it is not these things. If I was content in meditation, I wouldn't study public administration. I personally don't give shit about laws and offices, but something needs to be done about them.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
The Venus Project
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08-09-2013, 08:24 AM
RE: Still compelled to speak in tongues, and other weirdness...
I came from a Pentecostal background as well and I can completely understand both the urge to speak in tongues as well as the hole. These groups tend to monopoloze your life while you are a member. It is one of the aspects that so many from less extreme sects don't really understand. The doctrine requires that every aspect of your life be vetted through the faith. For years I still fought with an emptiness at night when I lay down. My brain knew that is was bogus but faith becomes like muscle memory. It dies hard.

It takes time but you will get past it. In time you will fill your life with other things and that space that took up so much of you will slowly fill with other things. The urge to speak in tongues will remain for years. It is a little entertaining. Do some research on Glossalalia and it will make more sense.

I don't know how long you were a Christian but the longer it was the longer the road out. You are in the process of reinventing the most intimate parts of who and why you are and that takes some doing.
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