I seem to have a really big problem with religious trigger words. Especially of the bad variety. I've been coming on this site for a few months now and it's been really helpful. I've found a lot of rational arguments so that I am not as terrified as I was before. But it seems like scary religious words like devil and hell are all over the place. Anything from listening to music, to watching TV/Film, reading articles/newspapers, going on Facebook, or just simply having everyday conversations with people.
And the kicker is that most of the times these people aren't even referring to the christian devil or the christian concept of hell, they're just words in every day speak. Now they're allegorical or symbolic or whatever.
It just really bugs me that I can be doing really well and feeling safe and then I read an article that's not even about religion, but they'll compare someone to the devil and it sets me off again with my terror of the devil.
I've read different website articles and books to get rid of the fear. What-the-hell-is-hell is a good website to refute the concept of hell even from a christian perspective. And I've even read a site that says satan was just a tool of god, that god used, there is no evidence in the bible that satan is the devil or the serpent, etc. also that the name Lucifer wasn't referring to the devil.
I've found good sites that talk about how the concept of hell is BS, that the Hebrew word literally meant the grave Gehenna.
But because devils supposedly "exist" in other religions, not just Christianity, it's so hard for me to deal with this fear of the devil. If the Christians just incorporated the good vs. evil concept from Zoroastrianism, then how do we know Zoroastrianism is false?
Most religions I've ever read about all have some concept of evil forces, spirits, demons, devils, etc. It's so hard to let go of that fear that there is something evil in the world that can hurt me and punish me.
I've stopped believing in the supernatural. But then why am I still afraid of it? Why do I still get triggered? How can I still have the fear when I don't have the faith?
I think I know the answer, is that these religions are so insidious. They use fear because it is the most basic primal emotion, because self-preservation is the strongest drive of humans and other animals. We have an overactive fear, an overactive imagination, we are tormented by the things preached to us as real when we were so little.
But that doesn't help to kick the fear out of my brain. Leaving religion is like a supernatural horror story. A psychological thriller. It's not real, but it seems so real. I can't stand to watch that stuff, it really validates the fear of the supernatural.
I feel so lost, so helpless, so ashamed of myself for feeling this way, but I need to get better so I have to say it.
There is no devil.
There is no hell.
There is no punishment.
There is no retribution.
I don't have to believe in it. It isn't true anyway. I don't have to have faith. It isn't true anyway. I don't need to have fear. It isn't true anyway. I'm still a good person.
Anything in my head is just imagination, fed by religion, occult, spirituality, film, books, TV, and any bad things that have happened in my life. It's all rolled up into one big thing in my head. One big fear image. And when I hear those words, I think of the big fear image. And it feels threatening. But I need to know that it's not. Nothing can harm me. Nothing supernatural can harm me. It's made up. It's make believe. It's simply not real.
I can convince myself of this. I know I can do it. One day I will achieve freedom for real.
Grinning Cat, these are great sites. Thanks
My religious father used to (and probably still does) say, "Hell is hot, even if you don't believe in it." It's inaccurate, of course, but a darn clever word-weapon when you're battling a little person you've raised to believe as she's told. That got to me for years.
Then I realized that hell is as real as Marmalade, East Dakota. Somehow, substituting something equally silly takes all the venom right out of it. It takes time to repair years upon years of negative programming, but it can be done. Most of us have been through it.
I've had to remap a lot of my word associations. I can still courteously 'bless' someone when they sneeze... but it's now a personal wish of wellness for a person directly from me, not a plea to the empty skies to cram the person's ghostie back into their body :D
I've gotten this far, despite the fact that I still cringe at the thought of picking up a found penny that's tails-up; I promise that it does get better :)
What about "cold as hell?"
Here's a list of words and phrases that will set my teeth on edge and makes me want to pick up a baseball bat and go upside their heads.
3) He's got that anointing.
4) Just pray on it or is it prey on it?
5) God is good all of the time?.
#5 - if G-d is good all of the time, then why does he take things from people that they work for? I have been told that he will provide you with a home and job because it is his and he will take that away anytime he sees fit.
I have a major problem trying to figure that out.
Devil is another word. People blame the devil on everything gone wrong. Idiots give the devil too much credit for their bad decisions.