Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shame, Bad Religion, and Freedom

     Shame and bad religion ring about as hard in the human ear as a bell clanging way too up close that finally stops. Shame gets the bell of bad religion going. Without the human capacity for shame, the inner sense of being defective, then bad religion would have no hold on the human psyche.
     For over thirty years I've been helping people take the deep plunge into the unconscious mind so as to find freedom from the dark side of religion. It doesn't always work. Sometimes people want quick fixes, a whole lot of help without much struggle. In my novel, The Unholy (Sunstone Press, August 2013), Claire comes face to face with feelings of being defective and not wanting to go on. The shame induced by bad religion cripples the soul, at least momentarily, and can cause us to want to give up, not go on with life.
     When a child is raised in bad religion, the mind's innocence and receptivity to natural and freeing spiritual experience is compromised. Bad religion induces shame, the sense of being defective way down to the core. Bad religion goes on to state that giving your soul over to it will insure you of salvation. Giving yourself over to something, to anything, outside of yourself and your own right mindedness inevitably compromises the psyche.
     "I was so into the cult of it all, that I thought it was right. I felt superior to everyone who wasn't following my religion. They were bad and I was good, they were shameful creatures, I was not." So said a man who underneath it all finally admitted his emptiness and unhappiness. "I was all right when I was with the religion. They did my thinking for me. But, when I was alone, I was with myself and what was left of my self eventually got through to me. I had to work hard to find and then to keep my own mind, my soul."
     A dream came to him one night. "I was walking out of the church, looked up and saw a giant turd fall on the church. I got the message, from above so to speak." This man found his way out of bad religion, the unholy, the clanging bell finally coming to a stop. Like Claire in The Unholy, he discovered that something other than himself had hold of his mind and he was the only one who could do something about it.

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