Ask a Former JW: Quest for Meaning, Former Wife Still JW

Ask a Former JW: Quest for Meaning, Former Wife Still JW

Thank you for making the effort and having the ability to put your site together. It shows a lot of compassion and I appreciate it.

My name is G (deleted) I am 28, I live in (deleted). I was a Witness from age 8 till about 3 years ago (I am ‘fallen away’ I think, I had public reproof not disfellowshipping) my friends/family have not had anything to do with me since, this is though, in this case, ok because I was unfaithful to my wife.

You believe in a creator?
You believe the bible is part inspired or not at all?
Is there life after death?
Where / how?
What are the entry requirements?

If for arguments sake there is no creator / god is our ‘purpose’ to learn and experience and love each other?

I struggle with finding joy and meaning, sorry I know its common and perhaps more a subject for counselling, but what ‘is it all about’ in your opinion? We have babies we love them we grow old and die and so do they, it’s very sad. What is the human race doing? What are we working for? All these generations striving, building, hoping, hurting, creating, what does it achieve we have washing machines instead of buckets we radiators instead of logs but why what does it achieve? What does the human race hope to accomplish? What are goals? Distractions? From what? If there is nothing else?

I believe I only ask these questions because I am unhappy, a happy person will not sit and agonise over ‘what is happiness’, ‘what is the point’ etc coz they are too busy having fun!

I made bad decisions and lost my wife and my baby. She is still a witness and very unhappy because she has done things that she wished she hadn’t and her conscience is screwing her up, this my fault. She stayed with me this Christmas and we slept together twice, we are separated for 2.5yrs divorced for nearly 6 months. This was just a few days ago.

Anyway wishing you lots of love, you look like a lovely family and I’m very proud of you for doing this site, you have got past the destructive negativity and bothered to turn around to those behind and open your arms wide, bless you, you are a lovely lady. G”

My Response:

You don’t ask easy questions! My responses are not meant as a guide for you, since I believe that asking the fundamentally religious questions is part of a lifelong path. But since you ask…

You believe in a creator? No, not really, not in the sense that people talk about it.
You believe the bible is part inspired or not at all? The idea of divine inspiration came rather late in the game – I think that to some extent all great written works are inspired since the divine is within us.

Is there life after death? Have no idea. Possibly we build our own afterlife in our imaginations since mindspirit is the basic energy of the cosmos. It is difficult for me to believe that we could have self-consciousness after the loss of the biological brain, but all things are possible. Personally, I hope that our mindforce returns to the universe to be redistributed again.

What are the entry requirements? How could there be any? Either there is or there is not. One of our greatest mysteries. Perhaps we just believe there is because we cannot imagine there is not.

If for arguments sake there is no creator / god is our ‘purpose’ to learn and experience and love each other?
What is the purpose of an ant? A monkey? Our purpose is what we construct as our purpose. My life has more meaning and dignity when it is open to love and compassion and discernment and wisdom. It is less meaningful when it is not. I’m not sure we exist for a “purpose” – as in a design, an intention. But we do learn and grow, and we thrive best in environments that encourage care and paying attention and learning and curiosity. Other that that, who can say? It could be that our purpose is to contribute plastic to the universe. (grin)

You don’t want to hear this, but I believe that acknowldgement of the need for the struggle over these questions means that you are ultimately concerned with them – ie, that you are religiously involved with religious questions. Believe it or not – that is the beginning of an authentic spiritual path. Listen to your own heart – honor those that you respect. Bits of wisdom will come to you if you pay attention. If you want all the answers right now, you will either settle for untruth or you will have to reject all self-knowledge. That is part of the damage done by the Witnesses – the idea that we can own or possess all the answers, to claim that we know the truth. Even the great heros of the bible only understood small bits. That is why, I think, that humility is a virtue – the humility of the knowledge of our limitations while striving for better. Practice love and forgiveness (not self-abasement, but really compassion for the experience of others and for yourself as well) and your perceptions will increase.

We have babies we love them we grow old and die and so do they, it’s very sad. What is the human race doing? What are we working for? All these generations striving, building, hoping, hurting, creating, what does it achieve we have washing machines instead of buckets we radiators instead of logs but why what does it achieve? What does the human race hope to accomplish? What are goals? Distractions? From what? If there is nothing else?

It achieves only environmental changes for generations – we all die in the end. What matters is how you navigate your life – what you model for others – what you contribute with your own special gifts – how caring you are…all these things plant seeds. Ultimately, so much happens at once, all across the world – and then across all our cultures and histories – we don’t have the overarching perspective although we yearn for one.

I believe I only ask these questions because I am unhappy, a happy person will not sit and agonise over ‘what is happiness’, ‘what is the point’ etc coz they are too busy having fun!

Not sure I agree. Sometimes happy people get that way from having experienced unhappiness – then you have something to compare it to! Kierkegaard said that anxiety and despair were the starting points of true religion. On the other hand, some people are happy because they don’t know any better (that is half-joking, but there is an element of “ignorance is bliss” impossible to ignore).

You are a spiritual person and everyone makes mistakes. All you can do, all anyone can do, is look at the destructive power of those mistakes and learn from them. One more note – I would be careful about compounding your mistake with your ex-wife. If she is still a witness, you are complicit in her self-destructiveness if you sleep with her now. She either has to take you back or not – this is her decision, of course, and not yours. However – if you still care about her, I would be careful about encouraging her to do anything that she would consider to be wrong.

Thank you so very much for your kind comments. I am only doing what I so needed someone to do for me. It is one of my “purposes” – one of my “gifts” – we all have many. Find yours! Find something small to do for someone else – not to become a martyr – but to open up your soul again. The god of your spirit will succor you – whatever or whoever that force is – it’s real. Perhaps there is a dark version, but I don’t think so. I think the darkness comes simply from lack of that inner light.

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