Hello Graham! I appreciate you being so open and honest with yourself and for sharing your story, it helps me to straighten out some of my thoughts and experiences. I'm encouraged to read that you've done so much research and have come to a reasonable conclusion that God doesn't exist. I've been on the fence for several years, terrified of making the wrong decision, and it's becoming unbearable.
I was raised in a pretty conservative church and harsh parentals, nothing special, and I'm also very sensitive and at the time was pathetically impressionable. I mal-adapted an overriding sense of blood-demanding shame and complete self-loathing since I can remember, which can't help but stir up serious depression and anxiety that are not sustainable. Choice point has arrived and I need to divorce [my version of] God for my own mental health. I just found your blog today, I'll keep perusing to see if you've written on this present-day miracles as this is usually what holds me back. I appreciate this open community. Thanks.
Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you found my article helpful. I relate to a lot of your story, and I'm wondering if you'd like to elaborate on how "present-day miracles" hold you back?
Part of my own healing journey has been to offer emotional healing to help other people who have had similar life journeys to myself, so if you'd like to chat about whether I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.
While there are many things in The Bible I no longer believe, one that does still resonate with me is "The truth will set you free". Good luck on your continuing search!
The world is full of arseholes. Don't let 'em drag you down.
Um - WOW! These series of events are ... sad.
I keep telling myself, "be the change you wish to see in the world" - it's the only hope we've got. Take care.
Right on both counts I reckon. Thanks for your support! Cheers, Graham
Or else, the joke's on me... teehee.
If there is a "they" that you think is an asshole, honey, you'd better review the LMForum.
Great post, Graham. Your self-analysis is thorough and very honest, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to read your process.
Thanks Jani! I'm curious about your experience?
I am Korean American, my family being super conservative Christians, both parents being elders at Church, it took me so much to give up Christianity and went thru a tremendous guilty period of time, or felt betraying my family and all that. Leaving Christianity for me, as you had felt, I do not no longer feel shameful and guilty about myself all the time. If God was there really, I questioned myself would he really made me so shameful, guilty, and so painful all the time. My parents literally cursed me for not believing in the System anymore. I do not respect nor un-respect Christians, I just feel neutral nowadays, but after leaving Christianity I feel really confident in a way that, I no longer feel so shamed about myself. Thank you for sharing your story Graham,, really enjoyed your personal and intimate story.
Thanks Peter. I'm happy to hear the you've also made the break and no longer feel shameful and guilty. Awesome!
Totally agree with you !!
I am trying to rid myself of guilt which I wouldn't have felt If I wan't a Christian.
It's a big shame that religious belief make people feel guilty of doing what is absolutely normal from a scientific angle. (ex. Eating certain food, feeling sexual desire)
All the best, Graham.
Yes, the guilt thing can sure be a challenge. I'm curious what you're finding helpful for dealing with it?
What a quick response!
First of all, I kept myself away from all Christianity-related materials (ex. listening to sermons, reading bible & religious books).
Then I tried to behave as freely as I can within the legal boundaries.
Soon, I realized that nothing bad happens to my life even if I do things that the bible defines as sins and not just me but all human beings have lived, live and will live this ordinary life.
It was my thought which makes myself suffer from a guilt complex. I simply let the thoughts go and an inward peace was restored.
This took time but turned out to be definitely worthy. Even now a lot of people are consumed with guilt for what they've read in the bible.
If they still feel uncomfortable trying what I have done in order to release themselves from feeling a sense of guilt just because they do not want to displease God, I strongly suggest them to personally ask God through prayer whether what they are about to do would make him unpleasant or not as God himself urges us to do so(James 1:5). What if God does not response? then that they find a perfect reason not to feel guilty =)
For me, I realized that all animals, and humans are a breed of animal, make mistakes. I'm not faulty because I make mistakes. I stopped listening to that bs.
Great to hear Rebecca. I think one of the complicating factors is in the definition of a "mistake". Often it's just normal animal/human nature that's been labelled as bad, evil or wrong by some self-important quasi-authority figure on an ego trip, who we've been taught to take seriously. No wonder religion causes so much inner conflict! I'm glad you've stopped listening to the BS.
Can you tell me more about this, "Expressing anger cleanly and using it's energy to get your needs met is the way to stop drinking the poison and truly forgive." ?
Sure: the idea is to turn your anger into assertiveness, so that you get your needs met. Once the anger and other associated emotions like grief/sadness are expressed assertively and you get your needs met, you won't feel angry any more. It can be a challenging journey though, which is why we often hang onto resentment for a long time. I'm curious about your experience with forgiveness?
Thanks for the reply.
I am just starting to look into forgiveness so I don't have any experience yet.
I was the typical nice guy most of my life like you described in your video and posts. I had an angry father and vowed not to be like him, and also decided that anger was bad.
Without the weapon of anger I walked through the world full of anxiety and felt powerless to everyone.
After dealing with that by claiming my anger back, I noticed that I had lots more anger that was repressed. Rage really, at my parents for putting me through the experience they did. It wasn't horrific or newspaper worthy but was mildly traumatic nonetheless.
As an adult I am not under their power anymore as I am as, or more powerful than they are and my inner child wants justice! I have spoken to them and they both said sorry but weren't really engaged and weren't willing to really hear everything and/or pay a price (i.e. feeling badly, owning their mistakes, saying that what they did was wrong, etc...). They are too immature and partially willfully blind. They hope to say a quick 'sorry' and scoop it under the rug and live happily ever after. They are nice to me now but that's because I won't let them be anything else. I never said anything to them but the power shift caused it to happen naturally.
So I sit here with all this internal rage and am not sure what to do with it. It is eating me up inside and what I really want is for some sort of justice/processing/ which i won't get.
So I was looking at forgiveness to look for ways to let go of this anger. They or anyone else won't be able to do what they did to me again, but it drives me nuts that they are 'getting away with it'.
Thanks for the clarification; I relate to what you've said a lot.
Firstly, congratulations on the progress you've made so far! It sounds as though you've learned to access your anger to break the nice guy pattern and transform your relationship with your parents. That's a huge achievement in itself, so I hope you're feeling proud of yourself.
That said, I get that you're still feeling a lot of rage and you're not sure what to do with it. It sounds as if you've realized that you're never really going to get a sense of justice from your parents because they are too immature and partially willfully blind. So the next step is to channel that rage into real-world action that builds the life that you want for yourself. Letting go of wanting justice for our past suffering is a process that takes time, but it happens a lot faster when the rest of our world starts falling into place.
As Joseph Campbell, the "follow your bliss" guy said, "Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain". I'd be happy to talk more 1-on-1 about how to do this, if you'd like.
Thanks for the reply Graham.
I am a full time and dad with a full time job and barely have time for much but thanks for the offer.
You're not the first one I've heard talk about building the life one wants as a method to overcome the negative feelings that cling to us and nag us endlessly. Interesting.
It's interesting also that you mentioned Joseph Campbell as I read one of his books on Mythology a long time ago. Maybe if I have time I'll pick it up again, or read more of his books.
When I do have more free time (less than a year's time) then I might take you up on the 1-on-1 offer.
You're welcome; sounds like you're flat out at the moment. No problem; drop me a line any time. Cheers, Graham
Thanks Graham for your article - that was really helpful. I am thinking about doing the PoL in India in January, as it has been recommended to me by a friend. I also suffer from chronic fatigue, which is now already much better, through lifestye changes, yoga and meditation, luckily, but still way to go. It was great to read about your expreience and that you could manage pretty much most of the program. All the best to you, Namaste. Ang
Thanks Ang. You might enjoy my blog about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome too. I'd love to hear how POL goes for you! My suggestion would be to take it easy during morning dynamic so you don't exhaust yourself. Drop me a line if you'd like to chat via Skype sometime. Cheers, Graham
I'm sitting on the fence - and your story is so remarkably similar to mine.. For a while I thought you were writing my story - as many troubled and doubtful Christians feel the same away. I wonder about all the hocus pocus. But then how do we justify prophecies.. How does science explain someone telling your past when you haven't uttered a word about it?
Thanks for your comment!
Our brains are wired to match patterns, and they do it unconsciously. Being able to quickly notice coincidences in order to recognize potential danger is an evolutionary survival strategy. We notice and remember seemingly significant matches, like being told accurately about our past; yet we don't notice and easily forget the things that don't match, like all the times people have said something that didn't match our past. Our unconscious also loves to make up stories and connections between things. Biblical prophecies are always vague, such as the old testament prophecies about Jesus which fail to mention basic information like his name. Our brains (or the brains of theologians and preachers) love to invent retrospective connections that aren't real. When survival is at stake, it doesn't matter that the pattern matching mechanism throws up a few false positives; that's better than missing a potential threat that would have killed our evolutionary ancestors. This all operates on an unconscious level, so it's important to remember that the feelings we get when someone seems to know things about us that they can't possibly know is an illusion.
Aside from the baseless historical claims that christianity declares absolute certainty about, its greatest poison is that its followers are obliged to think all humanity deserves eternal damnation.
What damage must it cause a child who internalises that this is what their ‘loving christian’ parents think of them?
Yes, the whole idea that humanity is flawed and in need of salvation is, dare I say, evil. I created The Confident Man Project to help undo at least some of that damage. Cheers, Graham
Great article!! - I can't believe you didn't get more responses from it.
Maybe people are still afraid of making a mistake in their comments...
I am an atheist working in a christian company, and the way they integrate their church teachings and practices in the office makes me uncomfortable and unmotivated everyday. The thing I fear about is losing my job if I confess or be judged according to what I believe. As an introvert, it was a big struggle for me to cope up with what they do and what they teach. Im planning to leave but still I have a project to handle for at least 4-6 months or so, and also to support my family is my number 1 priority. I have been handled with respect by the company and I have nothing against them. It is just that I might broke their trust on me if I told them who I really am. I am in a messed up position to decide what to do. I hope I can get a few advice from you.
I appreciate that you're torn between supporting your family by keeping your job, and being authentic about your beliefs. Given that your work environment seems reasonably supportive aside from the impact of your colleage's religious differences, my suggestion would be to recognise the child-like vulnerability in your christian colleagues. Remember that a lot of religious belief is based in fear, especially the fear of death which we often prefer to avoid confronting. See if you can recognise the vulnerable inner child in your co-workers: In the same way that adults don't like to spoil children's beliefs in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and fairies, try not to spoil your colleagues' belief in God and Jesus. They'll grow out of it when they're ready. In the mean time remind yourself that you don't need their approval for your beliefs. I think a lot of religious proselytizing (by both theists and atheists alike) is about insecure people wanting to shore up their own belief systems. The more security you can build in yourself and your own beliefs, the less messed up you will feel about being surrounded by people who see the world very differently, and perhaps have an unspoken agenda to convert you.
If you want to talk more about this, please drop me a line.
That moment you talked about, the fear of this life being it? I'm there. Im still sitting on the fence, I guess. Torn between the fear of going to hell and the fear of wasting my life. I thought I could live sitting on the fence indefinitely, but now I'm laying in bed next to a toddler whose spiritual future is in my hands. Now, I go to hell, he goes to hell. It's up to me to decide what my son believes. And honestly, if there IS a God, I'm pissed off that he put my beautiful, perfect sons eternal life I'm MY stupid hands. That's so unfair!
I know I can't expect anyone else to have all the answers, but if there is anything you can tell me, I'd really appreciate it.
Hi Rachael. I hear that you're afraid of getting this choice wrong; and while that was scary enough when it came to your own destiny, the thought that you could adversely impact your son's eternal future is really freaking you out. Recognising the absurdity of the idea that a loving God could consign someone to hell for all eternity for getting this choice wrong was one of the final straws that helped me to break free of the whole charade. The truth is that it's up to your son to decide what he believes, not you. I appreciate that the fear of judgement about being right or wrong is intense right now, but I believe that once you work through it you'll come to much richer experience of life than you can possibly get from fairy tales based on an afterlife. Then you'll be in a much more confident place to guide your son to the truth. I believe you're on the right track, and would be happy to talk to you in person about it if you'd like to drop me a line. Cheers, Graham
Hello Graham, I so enjoyed reading your PoL experience and am trusting that all is well in your world; I have just completed my PoL in the Hunter, and support all that you so eloquently described - my early steps have been wildly and delightfully challenging, confronting, gentle, freeing and astounding - the effort I have put in to hide 'me' is astounding, and I'm so grateful to all the Path is, to all who are the Path!
Your best work to date!
I'm waking people up laughing....
Is this meditation a joke?? "You feel burdened by money, give me all of your money" with a paypal link??!!!!
Hey, let's not wreck it for everyone!
Amy didn't wreck it for everyone. This is the most deceptive hoax I've encountered. Give us a break! I was, however, tempted to drop a penny in the bucket...honestly.
Wait till you hear the truth about Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and God. 😉
I have had a very simular background. I grew up in care in the UK. I was brought up in the church and it became my life. Not only was I left with more questions than answers I always knew that what I'd grown up believing didn't feel right. Never did God speak to me through all my begging prayers asking to show me the truth. And the more I read the bible the more I thought wow! The contradictions where huge and plentyfull. One thing I can not get away from is how its prophecies of end times is happening now and can't be argued. However there is lots misinterpreted quotes and words that didn't exist in the days the Bible was so called written in it I'm thinking maybe it's not as old as we are really led to believe. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Claire. I think every generation who reads any end-times prophecies probably thinks "It's talking about the situation now!", as though that's remarkable. Until they realize that there have always been wars, famine, plagues etc etc. It was going on when the prophecies were written; that's where the prophet got the idea in the first place. Cheers, Graham
I understand that. I was thinking more of the waters and seas turning red. Spoken of in Revelation. That's only been going on a few years hasn't it?
Well, the meaning of prophecies is always open to interpretation. That's why they're always vague and non-specific. I believe water pollution has been around since long before the biblical prophecies about it. For example, Moses crossed The Red Sea a long time ago. Cheers, Graham
weather? ashes? wimbledon? greece? 69 shades of day? 7 shades of gay? 31 days in may? horses go nay? the world is your oyster card? tap on, tsp off. wipe on wipe off?
You're onto something.
Do you know a cult to join with sex involved.
Sure; get yourself to Poona and go visit the Osho ashram.
Hi graham. Thanks for sharing your story! I went through a similar process. It was long, painful, confusing and scared the crap out of me! As I live in a conservative town I feel as though it is easy to stumble upon religion and church but there is nowhere to look for a different story, or real answers to questions that aren't denying the real truth. I wish I had read this during my journey rather than after but I'm glad it is here because perhaps it can help other people along. Great job, cheers.
Thanks Carley. It wasn't an easy road for me, but I'm glad I took it, and thrilled that you found my story helpful. Cheers, Graham
Loving your writing Graham, keep it up sir!
I'm gradually getting my stand up material together. But unlike you I've not performed yet. I'll practise videoing myself first I think!
Thanks James, will do! I've done lots of videos and practiced at home with a microphone so I'd feel more comfortable before my first gig; it definitely helps. Let me know when your show is on. 🙂
What a great article! I am in agreement with what you have so clearly written. I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and am at a totally peaceful state of mind. I have been told that my state of mind is beyond description and I've been encouraged to explore Enlightenment, Transcendentalism and Entanglement which I have been doing. I'd be interested in communicating with you regarding what you'd think of what I've come up with.
Hey Ira. Wow, sounds awesome. Sure, I'm interested in hearing more. Drop me a line via my contacts page. Cheers, Graham
I am in the final stages of a 300 page manuscript with many, many pictures. I don't understand a lot of the words used to give instructions, so....I have the formatting done and it can be perfect, then when I try to send to a usb stick or export in pdf file, I end up with as few as 1 or 2 pictures out of sync with the format which ruins the whole thing. Is there a solution? (I have the pictures tied to paragraphs.) Thanks!
"You can't even so much as draw a red circle without having to resort to the fucking manual"
almost the exact search terms that landed me here.
Hi Graham, you made my day! Just great and so (bitterly) true.
Please don't let "Satan" change the way you were always taught. You are looking for things to be right here on this earth. Jesus never promised you that. He said He will go and prepare a place for you. I will be praying for you. It is not too late.
Muhammad offers an even better deal in the after-life. But these promises are empty because they never get fulfilled. This life right here on this earth is the only one you get. It is not too late for you to make the most of it. Cheers, Graham
Good parking spaces.
Very true.. I created a positive wealth blueprint through meditation and self hypnosis. Everyday for about a month I put myself into a light state of hypnosis until I'd completely reprogrammed my inner mind. Great post!
Did you listen to the meditation? 😉
I took up yoga in my late teens. I was going solely for the health benefits, I wasn't a creeper at all, but a *lot* of the women there couldn't resist initiating a fling with a young, fit male. I was still only going for the health reasons, but what 17 - 25 year old guy is going to turn down what amounts to free sex?
Women might say men are perverts for going to yoga for the female:male ratio, but almost all of the women there are just as perverted. If you're what they're looking for, they don't even have any tact about it.
Any moderately attractive young male that's reading this: Take up yoga. Now. You won't even have to try.
Hey nice article, meditation is a personal favourite thing to do, not necassairly when I am bored though. Usually I have to make time to do it, but it's well worth the time spent.
Lucky you to have Charles leave, for good. I dont know what to do with my rubbish body corporate manager.
This was not funny at all. Men who are going to read this are going to go to yoga as a means to stare at women's bodies, which is going to ruin everything. I know you think you're trying to be 'funny' but i can assure you this was perverted and a terrible play at comedy.
Glad you liked it. 🙂
Exactly. If there were ever software that resembled hard-ware it's GIMP. I actually stumbled upon this post trying to find out how to draw a freaking line for dog's sake.
Excuse me... but there IS "something more frustrating then GIMP" ant that is the the above referred GIMP "single window mode" :O
Sounds about right. I'm slightly surprised you didn't get a dig in against Emacs. Stallman had the devil work on that one too, or at least it seems that way unless you've a background as a piano player in a whorehouse. Just ask any Vi user.
And if the only server in the world running GNU/Hurd was torched, maybe it would work better. Its sort of like the Chinese proverb about the tree falling and noone being around to hear. If the only working instance of Hurd is lit up and noone cares, does it really happen?
Hi! I have met Nicholas and Susan a few years ago and did Passionately Alive last November. I really enjoyed the work, it helped me to free up some anger, to understand more about compassion, forgiveness and to feel even better at the work I do on the dayly basis. I have worked with Nicholas at an individual level and can only recommend him with his great insight, his deep understanding of what is going on, his compassion, love for truth and generosity. So Passionately Alive is worth the money and time spent out of your comfort zone to rekindle with who you are and want to be!
I have a neighbor a Doctor - She is so far up her own nose Education was a waste on her - She lives on floor below me - I complained to her and the Landlord about her dog fouling the common area - To this day I'm her mortal enemy - When we pass I get cutting remakes - Lately she has taken to whispers about that man above (me) - Peace of mind Peace to lives ones life shaken - I was considering moving but why should I - Of course I am not the only one she has complained about - She places notes on cars in Communal Car Park telling people that they have no right - She goes out with a brush sweeping the area shouting that she does all the work which is an insult to the Landlord's cleaners that come in weekly
The only lesson I have learned in all this is - Neighbors can be like their dogs foul the the atmosphere and leave a stink in relations
Very funny Graham. I counted at least three boys in my yoga class last night.
Witty and written with you usual flair, tongue in cheek.
A part of me (one of my Inner selves) felt unhappy that such a wonderful process (as the meetings were for me) should be the subject of satire, no matter how clever.
That part of me told me to write this comment, the rest of me laughed.
Warm wishes old friend.
I keep thinking about how I'd love if it were cancer. At least they seem to get some fucking support and treatment.
After 16 months in which I've seen two family members get diagnosed and treated for cancer, I'm getting a bit sick of concerned loved ones asking if I'm determined to be a loser for the rest of my life.
seems easy to use for me, also GIMP does have a single window mode.
This made me smile....although I'm not sure if it was for all the right reasons. You are inspiring me to consider setting up a blog (when I have time outside my quasi-PI investigations of people I don't like of course). Thanks for the giggle
Glad you feel inspired. 🙂
I never seen something more frustrating then GIMP.
Today I tried to use a good old tool "colorize" tnhatb used to work as expected. Not in version 2.8 no more, dear.
If I count the frustration, rage, even tears brought by the GIMP, it should sell on retail for at least a few bilions of peanuts.
Anyway, great post. If it could only be true... Burn them. Slowly. Using shift click meta key control w-k and selecting the right tool.
Do you have a list of good cults to join? A lot of the cults you mention are no longer active, and some of the others, like Mormonism, aren't cults the way I like which should offer a communal living experience. I find a lot of information online about why cults are bad, but no review sites that compare and contrast them.
Let me see what I can come up with... 😉
The only chance we have to enjoy, exist, and have knowledge of this Universe is through continued scientific discovery. We must live Star Trek, not watch it on TV. What is the meaning of life? It is to preserve it for the future of our species. If a Super Nova explodes in a galaxy, does any being observe it if the Human Race ceases to exist because of self destruction by wars? We are the only answer to Pascal's wager. Reality is just common sense, not a bunch of imaginary BS that lives beyond the Universe. Religion just gets in the way of the continued search for the truth. (P.S. There is a good chance that some beings from another Star system will enjoy the Universe).
Umm... yeah. Thanks for that.
Awesome. You've managed to offend everyone that follows a god. As for those of us who don't...
ROLF. Hmmm... let me see what I can come up with... 😉
Hello, thanks for the post. I'm Microsoft Word user, luckily got it for free at work. My concern is grammar and spelling checker built into word processor software. Looking at writing enhancement software on TopTenReviews (http://writing-enhancement-software-review.toptenreviews.com/), found Word and WordPerfect having good ratings. Not a word about OpenOffice though. It would be nice to see how OpenOffice compares with the others. Not sure if they review free software, but seeing OpenOffice there probably would make me switch from old good Word.
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Over 10 years of ME myself. I'm going to try to repost on my Facebook page & of course give you credit. You make me proud to share this illness with you.
Thanks Emily! By all means, repost away. I'll be even prouder to share a cure with you one day. 🙂
ha ha. really good stuff. my hats off to you
I found it funny, although you may have unintentionally created a few stalkers in the process.
I became a member of Grayson Freewill Baptist Church, and it wasn't long before "Brother Derrick" was leading the congregation in prayer before Sunday school services. I was pretty nervous the first couple times, because I don't like speaking in crowds. However, it did get easier, and I didn't mind hearing my name called out to lead the morning prayer. It was also my desire to one day become a Sunday school teacher, so I tried to learn as much as I could from my teacher. That dream would never come to pass.
Using cross-references instead of end notes might help.
When A goes to B, discusses x, y, and z; and learns about C, then set a cross-reference there. In chapter N + 4 where C becomes an issue, insert something like (xref XXX), where XX is the cross-reference you set earlier. After final edit, search for "(xref ???)" and replace with "".
I am having trouble with my religion right now.. and this didn't help me... I don't know what to believe and its annoying. You are brave though, and I love your story.
Hey Brandii, thanks for stopping by. In my experience, the most important thing is learning to develop and trust your intuition and what your feelings are telling you. Then you can let go of needing to be right about what you believe, and this will set you free. If you'd like to chat over Skype or email, let me know. Cheers, Graham
Interesting. I learned from this.
Great post. You've described it in terms everyone can understand. "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell is another great book related to this subject.
Thanks Ralph. Yes, I definitely recommend Blink. Great book! Cheers, Graham
Didn't end up going for it. We declined at the last minute. I am probably an extrovert, and my husband is 'busy'. As we live in a small, rural area, we figured it could cause long lasting damage if either of us was painted in an extreme of what we actually feel we are. I think it was the right decision for us.
Sounds like the right call. I have no doubt that going on the show is a life-changing experience, but I sometimes wonder "What were they expecting would happen? Didn't they realise what they were in for?" 🙂 Cheers, Graham
I agree with everything you feel and I believe that you are probably on a journey inspired by God. But here's a thing, what about people who experience a lot at conversion. When I became a Christian I had personal one to one communication with a saviour who lowered himself to stand beside me and because of that vividity I cannot therefore every deny he exists. Now further to that I've had 2 divorces (both with christians), I came from a very broken home and 40 years later still trying to come to terms with the long term scarring. I have few friends, (mostly my fault), have been rejected by christians over and over again for being different - not fitting in. I am an open/sharing person and when I believe in something I don't shilly/shally. At the moment (I moved home a year ago, which I believe was God's will), I'm going through a v. difficult time finding a church that operates on an equal male-female basis and is warm and consistent. I have turned away from God many times because of hurts but when I have turned back he welcomes me home unreservedly. He is still dealing with me and I am still sinning but I believe this is part of the christian walk. People are always quoting text when they come up against a sinner to me there is no one rule. In my walk with God, he takes our whole personalities into perspective and moulds his theme around us. Good families do not give up on one another because of differences I would urge you to keep putting God to the test alongside your explorations, Furthermore, God is outside our dimensions. If the bible says he created the world in 6 days He did because he can do anything outside of time. We must see Him as the God of the Spirit which is not understood by natural mind. If I can still believe in Him after everything and if He can still care for me after all. I have put Him to the test so many times and experienced His love. I'm sorry I'm testing your'e patience her, and why? because one day (like me), you may desperately need help that cannot be found or you may be too helpless to find for yourself that help - if you are His then He will never let you go - you could say He waits, He is very patient but not forever.The Christian life is lonely - other christians often don't seem to care they all have their own agendas so God wants people like you and me to be there for others - that I suppose is the endgame.
For me, dramatic conversion experiences are a testament to the power of emotional healing and the creative imagination in our subconscious, which we are often out of touch with; especially after going through the western education system and given the pressures we often feel both as children and adults, to conform to a societal mold. The thought of a loving God who truly cares for us and "lowered himself" to our level is particularly compelling when we feel bad about who we are. Dreams, visions and sensory-based perceptions generated in our brains create our view of reality. The emotional healing we get from imagining feeling truly loved, perhaps for the first time, is undeniable. I believe this is why the Christian message of love and forgiveness is so compelling and popular even though I don't believe the God behind it exists. Love comes from within ourselves, and from other people. The authors of the Bible just didn't realise that. All the more reason why I agree with your suggested endgame: to be there and care for each other. Thanks for your comment.
Hello Graham, thanks for replying. It seems you have built up quite a fortress for yourself against any light that might come piercing through a chink. Yes one reads all that you have said the info which is found in many self-help books the world is littered with. I too have done a lot of therapy, studied psychology, laughed with philosophers it is all very interesting. The funny thing is that when God converted me my life was very very good I was not searching nor did I believe I had a need for anything else neither had anyone informed me that I needed to be saved Jesus came to be and put it all in my heart and I didn't wake up thinking how wonderful I woke up in torment knowing there was something wrong. I'm sure I cd have directed my subconsciousness more positively? I had tremendous friends then and a very satisfying life. I mentioned when I was converted it was an amazing experience I think I am entitled to say that that and other experiences I have are certainly not from my subconscious imagination. I have never in my life been moulded nor have I ever conformed. I had a very unusual childhood which allowed me great expression and my schooling was explorative. 'Being moulded for me would mean listening to the general opinion of the world. I am reminded by yr reply of that beautiful passage you will know it when Nicodemus goes to Jesus at night to talk to him secretly and Jesus explains that spiritual things belong to the spiritual. As a writer you must surely be open to the supernatural. I finish by saying that C.S Lewis before his conversion often wished that there was a God. Faith is God's gift but I daily have to practise it and God reveals Himself to me in unexpected ways that are always so out of the ordinary.Peace to you Graham
Hey Muriel. I don't question your experience; just your interpretation of it. We routinely underestimate the power of our subconscious, because we're not conscious of it. Have you ever felt an emotion without really knowing why? That's your subconscious; and it's just the tip of the iceberg. Without understanding this, spiritual people attribute many things to the supernatural; when really they're just a result of how our brains work. I appreciate that this idea is unpopular with believers with an emotional attachment to a God; this has been part of my story in the past too. But ultimately I like to think that the real truth is what sets us truly free. I'll finish with my favourite Douglas Adams quote: "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Hi Graham, fairies are way beyond my imagination but the question remains and I have to ask it what about your sin. Our moral conscience (as I'm sure you know) is Godly and by ourselves we have no power to deal with our sin we are defenceless against it. Before we have anything to do with God we are not very aware of it. Do you ever ask yourself if you are not being blinded now by another force which is more confortable as in conforming. Remember what the bible says about cleverness and God does not hold the wisdom of the world as something worth aiming for. Jeremiah 10 v12.to 14. In verse 23 he says it is not for man to direct his steps-our life is not our own. The greatest service I can do for someone is pray for them. Love comes only from God the creator of it. It is necessary to mention these things but painful to me as I can understand partly where you are - I too have a long history of living my own way it is less painful.
SIR ,THANK YOU VERY MUCH BECAUSE I REALLY NEED MOTIVATION WHICH I GOT FROM YOUR NOTES ON ''HOW TO WRITE A WINNING SPEECH''? AS I HAVE TO PARTIPATE IN STATE LEVEL SPEECH COMPETITION.....INSPIRE ME ALWAYS THANKS....
I have applied to go on the Australian version of this show. We have had several interviews etc. Looks like it might actually happen. Yours is the first positive thing I have found written on the show. I know the pros and cons, and I truly believe we can't possibly be painted in a horrible light... but you never know!
If there's one thing I learned in acting class, it's that audiences like drama, and drama involves conflict... so be prepared for plenty of that! The producers seem to recruit for extremes because that's what generates the most conflict. Audiences also like character growth and development. So be honest with yourself: which extreme are you currently at, and are you prepared to grow towards the center more? If yes, then go for it!
great article Graham.....thank you for stepping up and sharing your love and courage with the world. Wonderful.......sending you much love and appreciation
You're welcome Turiya; thanks for creating such a powerful experience.
Wow Graham...amazing review. I remebered you mentioed this film as your favorite and when I was looking for a plot or review I see your name; just thought it was amazing to not only find the movie review but to also read how the movie impacted you...just was crazy and awesome at the same time:)) And your review was easy to read and i LOVE how you incorporated the book with the review of the movie:)
This movie will definitely hit home with me also..we have more in common in the family dept.. seriously fantastic writing! I am amazed
Thanks Julie! 🙂
An awareness that has just come up.
I remember in my time in the Church as a minister, (Non conventional). when someone would say that they did not believe in god.
My response was, "There is a very good chance that I don't believe in the god that you don't believe in."
Always opened the door to see the myth that had been literalised.
I do like that answer; it's not just a matter of whether you believe in God or not; but in which one!?!?
I honour and acknowledge you for your willingness to journey through this area of faith, as well as Religious Belief.
I am not going to say too much except to question that you seem to have replaced one form of absolutism with another.
From my studies it appears to me that the original Christian ideal (which I don't have any issue with) has been clouded with much religious institutionalism which fairly early on became caught up in the absolutism I mentioned in the last response. (Over a long period of history, the human brain found that the more secure it made its position, the more power it had.
As the leaders saw their truth, they then became caught up in arguing their truth with other peoples version of it. The powerful ones won.
It is interesting to see that initially nothing was provable it was all experiential, subjective. That was taken and told as the one answer for all.
You could say atheism was now seen as evidence based, logical, analytical. The issue with that approach is that there is a growing awareness in the world that there are things that are beyond the explanation of a purely left brain cognitive.
Maybe it could be explained that just as christianity moved beyond the experiential and got caught up in absolutism, moving from this is my experience and its effect in my life to this is categorically what everyone must believe. Atheism got involved in rejecting the experiential claiming that it was not evidence based.
For my position both commit the same fallacious arguments. Both are attempting to define what is better called as mystery, in absolutist term of it does or does not exist.
To me it is as impossible by scientific academic processes to define the existence of a god than the non existence of one.
Both ism's are at the fault of attempting to affirm or deny an individuals intrinsic right to experience their experience as real for them and rather telling them how they ought to experience it, rather than attempting to assist them to come to a deeper awareness of the significance of that experience for them.
This is why coaching is so brilliant. The coach does not tell the client what their experience means, instead they assist the client to come to that deeper understanding for themselves, without judgement.
The spiritual journey is not a club/group/institutional thing. It is humanities individual search for his or her meaning and significance in this universe.
Sort of the heroes journey again where each individual goes out, comes to terms with their mythologies, questionable beliefs and experiences and returns a changed person, ready to go out again and redo the process learning and growing through the process.
Most institutions that work from a position of moralism and absolutism deny humanity it intrinsic right to find out for one's self.
Once again thanks Graham for challenging yourself and others to rethink the way we do life.
Thanks Austin. There are so many interesting points in your comment, I don't think I can do it justice right now. Perhaps I have gone from one extreme to another, but I didn't like being in that murky fence-sitting I-don't-know state of agnosticism. The appeal of the scientific approach for me is that it attempts to deal with our brain & senses' abilities to generate subjective nonsense and believe things whether real or not. Ironically I'm actually working on developing my right-brain creativity; but I wouldn't like to use what it comes up with as the basis of a belief system. I think I'll have to write more about this some other time though!
The interesting awareness is that it is hard to pin down just what the facts are your number 1. "Revealing the facts".
Moralism or absolutism, as mentioned in your review, has a belief that there is only one truth, this truth is usually defined by the people in power and they own the franchise.
The question, "what is truth", is challenging. A now retired Anglican Archbishop, Dr Keith Rayner, in a lecture to clergy commented when asked a question about the absolute truth that is connected to moralism stated that," I believe there is an absolute truth, I also believe that no one can know it. therefore I have to be open to the truth in the other person's error and also the error in my own truth."
In my coaching I spend a large amount of time assisting my clients to be totally honest with themselves as they search for the error in their perceived truth, (this definitely removes arrogance and moralistic crusades from the agenda.
Then we move to the other side and search for the truth in the other persons error. This enables them to see that there is good in everyone and that there is always something to learn from the other point of view.
In fact this combined awareness is the beginning of a form of leadership that will finally break down our present polarity/dualistic models. Models that do black & white, right & wrong, good & evil, win & lose.
Some of these are politics, religion, the law, the medical model, any system where the focus is on preservation rather than change.
Unfortunately those who champion these have a lot invested in their continued existence and much to lose if they change. Money, power, prestige just to mention a few.
Fortunately Brad and yourself, along with people like Ken Wilber, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Theory, Andrew Cohen, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Cohen_%28spiritual_teacher%29) are starting to have an influence on a growing group of people like us, who are questioning this old model.
It is so hard for humanity to face the reality of living at numbers 2 & 3 from your comments. In a position of vulnerability the brain is massively challenged, it wants security, it wants certainty, it works full on to cover our backside.
Until we are open to acknowledge this and take greater ownership for our brain then one form of control will replace another. There are also great steps being taken to encourage and empower us to do this.
The work of the Neuroleadership Institute is at the forefront of taking the latest awareness of the brain and moving it into conventional business usage. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleadership
Keep up the good work Graham, your ability to succinctly summarise an authors ideas
in your reviews is great.
Thanks for the comment Austin; I appreciate the wisdom you have to share from your own journey. The nature of truth is a bit of a philosophical can of worms, but I believe what Brad is talking about in Radical Honesty is revealing facts about ourselves which aren't really questionable; it's just that we hide actions we aren't proud of in our attempt to present a facade to the world which we think will be more acceptable than the real thing. In doing so, we perpetuate shame, neurosis, and low self-esteem. When we start being more honest with others, it forces us to be more honest with ourselves too; similar to your experience with your clients. Your other comments are interesting too; I rarely see anything as black-and-white, but some of my acting training has suggested that strong points of view help build (or at least project) confidence, which is a valuable asset. I'm leaning more towards taking a stand on things I'm not absolutely certain about, where in the past I've avoided doing so because deep down I was really just trying to avoid conflict and the risk of publicly getting something wrong, and feeling shame as a result. And yes, I do think the more we understand how our brains work and what their strengths and limitations are, the better we can use them and ultimately the happier we'll be.
What a confident , brave and enlightening discussion on your life's journey, Graham. The depth to your discussion is most impressive. You have stepped way out of your comfort zone to find where you feel you fit in. Not bowing to society's expectations and going along your path to discovery is amazing.
There are some questions you raise which could be debated. However, we are all different and we are all on paths to discovery and growth plus need different things for that development.
Your overview of your life's journey so far is so honest, open and engaging.
Thanks Adrienne, I appreciate the feedback!
A very interesting story and perspective. As someone with a similar background to you in white middle class Australia with a family with a similar backgound and disfunction to yours though quite a bit younger I am most interested in your journey. This is mainly because I am doing my journey in reverse. I am an atheist turning into a christian. I share similar doubt and feelings to you. I am learning to accept the comfort that religion gives me, though this is not something I share with others. Thank you for shedding light on many aspects of my own personal journey through your direct, honest and personal blog.
Ditto for most of that, as usual 🙂
Thanks for making the effort and having the guts to share some of your more difficult life experiences. I really enjojed the read.
Sadly, I fear it's an all too common story!
Onward and upward my friend!
Thanks Muz. Great to hear from you!
I have so many questions that I wish we had a phone conservation planned. Thank you for being brave enough to share this.
Why is it you say move on ladies nothing to see here. You do not think that some of what helps men be more confident can help women also? Sorry I just find that pretty sexiest.
I think you missed the humour there. Primarily, choosing to target only men allows me to be more specific and direct with my audience. Much of what I recommend would probably also work for women, but some of the material is gender specific because there are differences between the sexes. I can't claim to speak from personal experience what undermines a woman's self-confidence, because that hasn't been my journey.
Although no way got the highest vote, I still think the beard is fine. Congratulations that your team had raised money for a worthy and good cause. And I am glad that you like having no beard again.
Your blog was very well written and took alot of courage, I applaud you for this. I'll start off by saying I am a Christian, believe fully in God as creator, however, I do agree with you there is alot of things in the church that don't add up.
I'll share a few examples. I was attending a men's bible study for several weeks, (about 8 men), and at that time I lost my job. One night during the study I mentioned I was writing a book and public speaking, not one person asked a single question like "what is the book about, what do you speak about?", nothing, it was as if I spoke to an empty room.
I interviewed a pastor for inclusion in the book, he sent me his Master's thesis, I replied with compliments of his work, he never responded back. Not even a thank you for my compliments or anything about my book, I sum that up with one word, arrogance.
I see this time and time again, I get more love and sincerity from quote "non-christian" friends then those in the church, (I am 45). I could write pages of examples and these are the people that should be on the other side of the spectrum. The arrogance and "clique" mentality has be doubting as well.
There are stories in the bible I wrestle with too, like the men being struck dead simply because they stumbled when carrying the Ark of the Covenant, God favoring certain people (I thought we were all on a level playing field) so if the creator favors certain people, it reminds me of gym class where the weaklings like me were the last to be picked. Sorry I wasn't born in the royal lineage, so I guess I don't get the "favor" badge.
While these issues cause me to question, intuitvely I believe there is far to much complexity in nature for "mere chance" to have brought it to fruition, just watching the ultrasounds of my children prior to their births signifies that for me. That being said, I am not sure myself that the way things are presented in the bible really are practiced by "the church" and that in some respects, it all results in more questions then answers (i.e. it was ok for Solomon to have multiple sexual partners but then along the timeline it all changed, that one always baffles me).
Thanks again for your heartfelt blog, it struck a nerve, (in a good way!).
I can relate to your comments about arrogance. Underneath arrogance lies fear. It's frightening to question deeply held beliefs so many people don't want to listen when we start asking "Is this book really what people claim it to be?". Great to connect with you. Cheers, Graham
Thank you for sharing this Graham. I have been avoiding this subject for about 10 years now, one thing I do know , however , is that my life has been richer for having met you and I'm glad that your journey included youth group and that our paths crossed then and now. : )
Thanks Nikki, that really means a lot to me.
Really enjoyed reading this Graham!
You're a brave man n hats off to you.
Thanks Lou Lou! x
Great work G. X
I'm new here and appreciate your honesty Graham, so rare online. Well, I'm a copywriter (and author) so I don't usually read others blogs anyway. I've been to TGR before, so know of Mr Blackburn. I was looking for a money coach blog but hey it was an interesting side trip. Good luck with the public speaking - I've tried it and can get by at it but I like writing better.
As a lady who is also a full time professional psychic reader, healer, teacher, and writer, I want to validate that men are having a revolution, and it's a big one. I am seeing so many more male clients and students in my practice.
The old pictures about what it means to be a man, and what male energy is about, are going away. Men are freeing themselves - well, some of them are, anyway.
This doesn't mean that we women get off scot free. It's all about growth now, change, evolution, and a new set of pictures.
Good luck with your own work and your book! It's good timing. 🙂
Thank you for this, Graham. I just learned about OpenOffice today, after googling for word software to write my book on. Then googled writers who've used it and found you. I appreciate the information, it's very timely!
Great article Graham!
I loved the part about the broken window especially.
I'm still working on letting my anger flow more easily...
I find that standing by the side of my local freeway works well as I can make lots of noise without worrying about scaring anyone!
Thanks Dunstan. Yes, try not to scare small children...
advice i learned from you dear graham today is:
´´not everyone is going to like me. it isnt important for everyone to like me.´´
im also the person who wants everyone to like me and i want to be accepted ect. But you are so right about this thing.
In life their will always be people who isnt going to like us and we cant make them like us either...so perhaps we should let it be....
but well written...i liked this story....
have a great day GOD LUCKKK
Hey Graham, tks for the story and good writing!!! I also recently have some problems with a difficult person but I agree with you, not everyone is going to like me. At the end of the day, I don't expect a mean person to like me as I don't accept his/her way ;).
But I like the hot tea cup story :)). All the best!!!
Yes, this is a good lesson I keep reminding myself of. Thanks for your comment!
I found your book very helpful and think that the name change is very apt. Being better with women is just one of the many benefits that your is helpful with, not the only thing (which a lot of guys don't fully understand).
Sometimes difficulties with one aspect of live distracted from many other aspects where problems lie and you address this well.
You have helped me face up to serious issues that I have put of for way too long and have been a very helpful guide.
Thanks Peter... I'm really glad you found it helpful!
Get rid of the mo! x
The Read Text Extension provides text-to-speech/screen-reader integration for the OpenOffice.org application. You can get it for free at the official OpenOffice.org Extensions web site.
Thanks James! Awesome... I'll check it out next time I'm proofreading.
That was a beautiful description of the experience, Thank you for putting POL into words! Wish you an awesome healing time!
love and light,
Thanks for a great article 🙂
I'm just starting to write a on book now, so that's perfect timing googleing your blog 😉
Now i just need to go to the Open Office "headquarter" to find out how to set things up the way you described 🙂
Youre a good man!
Graham - congratulations! I was privileged to be able to witness your journey and I am so happy that you got to where you are ... and what a poignant, precise and passionate testament to the work of the Path of Love. Way to go! I hope to see you staffing some time soon.
Thanks Maitreya; I appreciate you and the other staffers providing the unconditional love that makes the healing possible! Cheers, Graham
Oh so beautifully and honestly put graham! I constantly struggle to communicate my experience of POL to others, without giving too much away, and apart from saying it has been the most life changing experience thus far in my life!This was great to read. Love to you and i hope we cross paths again on this path xx
Strut your stuff with confidence and attitude. "Stayin' Alive" John Travolta.
Lol. It's still on my MP3 player, and I was doing this just yesterday! You make me laugh Rose. I like it. 😉
May love be with you!! x
Congratulations on your transformation. Look forward to seeing you at PoL again 😀 Keep walking the path and know that you can get back in contact with the feelings and energy whenever you wish 😀
I wonder if there's a workshop in Melbourne?
Thanks for sharing.
Great! The next Path of Love is scheduled for the Hunter Valley near Sydney, but it's worth travelling 1000km for. If that's impossible or you just can't wait till March 2011, Passionately Alive is on again in Melbourne in early December 2010.
I like your gutsy move Graham, its been proven that your physiology changes your psycology, therefore if you can throw your body around you would then be able to freely throw your words around. Tony Robbins is very clear on this.. Its sometimes hard to teach old dogs new tricks but new dogs love tricks. When teaching others, its important to be innovative adn put YOU into it otherwise a video would do.
Thanks Sharon, I appreciate the great feedback.
Fantastic critique Graham on The Happiness Trap. I'll be reading it!
I read all your posts Graham and enjoy them.On this one I agree with Dr. Harris re the trap of Happiness. Twenty years of working with people and with my self has made me aware that "accepting " ALL of our emotions is actually very healthy and I no longer pursue happiness as a goal.
Thanks for this...led me to some interesting thoughts and feelings. <3
Thanks Christina. Yes; it does seem that happiness is most easily experienced by living a rich emotionally aware life, focused on pursuits which are inherently rewarding; rather than focused on happiness as a goal in itself.
i want email address of mr. eckhart tolle
Try going via his website.
I got a lot out of this post.
Your writing style just gets better and better Graham.
Thanks John! I really appreciate the positive feedback. Cheers, Graham
Thanks for the rave review, and thanks for articulating some of the points of my book better than I did.
Thank you. It has been so hard for me the past couple of years. I've been trying so hard to find who I am. I've been trying so hard to see why some people hate me. However upon reading this I realize what I am neglecting as a friend is paying attention to those around me who love me very much. I sometimes find myself drenched in self pity because of these people who hate me. What did I do so wrong for them to hate me this much? I apologized and I feel terrible but at the end of the day there's is not much more I can do. What I didn't see before is that maybe sometimes what seems like life's biggest challenges are actually lessons in disguise to make me a better person. I still will feel that many things are my fault but a little self criticism never hurt anyone. So I thank you again for this amazing story. It means a lot to me because I know I'll need a lot of courage to begin my own journey in college.
Good info. I am hoping to start my book soon.
I'm working on my first novel and I've got the first draft done (120,000 words in 28 chapters linked to a master document). However, now comes the hard part - the edit. I know there are conversations happening twice, character traits that need changing and sub-plots that need reworking. Many of these take place in different places over several chapters and so what I need is a hyperlinked synopsis that I can refer to.
So far, I've done this with end-notes. Each chapter gets several end-notes eg:
A goes to place, meets B
A discusses x, y, z with B. Learns about C.
They are detailed enough so that I can spot duplication or missing information, hyperlinks let me examine the full text and the filename lets me go to the original file but they will have to be removed individually for the final draft.
Any suggestions as to a better way of doing it?
Sounds like a good way to handle the problem. I'm currently mid-way through a structural edit of my 450+ page manuscript, and facing similar problems. In my case the biggest issue is whether I've included the key stories I need, and how well they have been developed. I'm using a spreadsheet to track each story, with a weighting assigned to describe the story's emotional significance and another for current degree of development. Once the structural edit is done, this will give me a roadmap for the work still needed on the next draft. In my case I'm writing non-fiction so I don't have to worry about creating story elements at the same time, just describing them adequately. Unfortunately there's no hyper-linking in my spreadsheet as there is in your solution.
Wow! Sounds like something I need to be doing but unfortunately in England I'm likely to get locked up for smashing plates in a field 🙁
Do you think boxing would help much in getting anger out? Sometimes I, like you, want to smash up my house but then the logical me comes along and spoils my fun! Who wants to live in a skip!
Smile and be happy,
I was talking to a female friend of mine just the other day who swears by boxing as a great way of releasing anger. I have a punching bag and a baseball bat that work pretty well for me too. Give it a go, by all means!
Congratulations Graham on doing something that most people are too afraid to do. I acknowledge your efforts and can't wait to see the unleashed Graham. I know the world is a better place for it.
Chronic Fatigue. I share your journey, as I have been down that road! However, I will not have it any other way because I have learnt so much about myself and life! It was a hard and painful journey, but my destination was all worthwhile!
We own our emotions, we choose our emotions! We let it stays when we want it to and we release it if it does not serve us. The above does not come naturally, because we have been taught to not to "show" our emotions!
Remember, 99.9% of the population have the same issues. The more conscious you are, the more you will recognise them and you will go through the pain of learning and growing! No pain no gain! The gain definitely outweighs the pain!
All the best!
Hi there, I've just returned from a Passionately Alive workshop with Nicholas and Susan. I have been attending their workshops over the past 12 years and continue to learn more and live more well. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to live and love more fully. I have cleared many blockages that now frees my energy for the present. I am showing up fully in life and no longer financing the past. A good investment for yourself and the important people in your life.
Hi, interesting post. I had a similar incident at our own body corporate. Thanks for writing.
Thanks for this article - I found it very helpful and will probably use a lot of these points for my own work 🙂
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