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Wellbeing: Keeping religion in check, when you are feeling unwell

Wellbeing Duck cartoon drawing

Holy Smokes! Where'd the Miracles Go?

Years ago I was going through a few wacky symptoms and my own unstable mindset, which, unexpectedly, directed me toward our church! Skipping on a little bit, and I found myself literally expecting armaggedon at any moment! At one point, I was convinced of my healing powers and I grew suspicious that I might be an actual incarnation of Jesus. Clearly, I wasn't balanced, and the preacher's never really helped. You see, religiosity and psychological moments of vulnerability, can, being honest here, be an unhealthy combination. Its not about gullability, but rather the strong mental states in which a person can find themselves. Here are a few points well worth consideration if you, or a friend, begin to go religiously unwell. 

Firstly, have you ever wondered why the Bible is chock-full of miraculous happenings, while these days . . . well, there's nothing? Let's dive into that holy world of ancient beliefs and stand firm, armed with logic to keep things fact based:

Back in the Day: Seeing Was Believing

Fair enough, that's respectable given the circumstances, isn't it? Try and imagine a time before science explained everything to us all—beliefs held validity. Ancient Israel was a hotbed of superstition, metaphoric story's were the go to choice for communicating history and wisdom. Today we scoff at burning bushes, talking donkeys, and invisible presences, it's all b******s for many of us today. However, with respect, it's no wonder miraculous signs and omens were once legit. 

Fast Forward: The Rise of Our (so-called) Reason

Nowadays, we have the merits of employing microscopes and whatnot. We have feasible theories, justified manners of investigating or respected explanations for most ancient mysteries. This new direction in scientific inquiry does make us a tougher crowd to convince; claims of an ark constructed to house two of every species on the planet becomes rain off a ducks back for many of us. It's fair to presume this is why miracles have been dropped these days? Personally, rationality helps to keep us grounded when that obsessive religious fervor awakens to dress your cognitive dissonance in finely woven interpretations and vague scholarly concensus. 

Mental Health: Not So Heavenly

It is important to remember that modern diagnosed psychiatric conditions did not exist back then. What a rabbi or a roman apothecary might have called demonic possession was most likely something resembling a familiar condition like an aggressive type of psychosis to medical science, for example—there's so much choice! We don't know if Moses had mood instabily or if Jesus was on the spectrum, we can never know; posthumous diagnosis is impossible, given that written sources about these events and characters were compiled years later! Imagine how easily superstition and mental ill-health may well have influenced the ancient paradigm and consequential scriptures and manuscripts. 

Angel complaining

Christianity the Actual Religion: A Double-Edged Sword

Let's be honest, Christianity's history misses all that love and forgiveness it preached. Persecution, anyone? There is quite a bit of bad stuff: castrati, witch-hunts, they burnt Joan of Arc, and a few others. We mustn't forget those horrible child cases, and that whole 'wealthy Catholic Church' thing? Google that and click the National Post article about the churches wealth. Yeah, not a great look.

Jesus: Man, Myth, or Messiah?

Let's drop the miracles for a sec and focus on the historical Jesus. Scholars and evangelicals alike will always debate the details, but most agree, Jesus was a real man, a human being, and he preached. I think he could've been a cult leader of sorts, I don't know. His ideas were a bit radical, somewhat nice sounding and early followers were enthused by his message of God's coming kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). They awaited this literal earthly reign, but it went unrealized. This fact is usually swept under the carpet, or apologists talk it down. Be that as it is, Jesus being the only son of God doesn't logically follow, even more so if he was initially some kind of sacrificial lamb for the chosen people. Why? Well, how'd that work for them?These people lost their holy land because of diaspora, and then they suffered two millenia of persecution from Christians and Muslims. It makes me think of what happened in the second world war. Why would an Almighty being need a spokesman, anyway? Appear in the sky or something! It is kind off weak isn't it? 

Early Church in Fighting & Drama

After Jesus suffered his dramatic tortuous death nailed to his cross, his brother James took control; he must have been mad! What a death wish! Later, James ran the Church of Jerusalem, inspiring different groups of early christians who sprouted into the fold. One of the earliest were the Ebionites, who often recognised Jesus as more human than a divine person, there were always new concepts of Jesus. Surprise, surprise! Well that had to change! The fancy Church Fathers disapproved of that and called the lot heretics! Like modern apologists. Holier than though, the lot of em! Then those nutty gnostics started to pop up all over the place with their own so-called improved brand of Jesus! The key thing is, does it make sense that the main emerging orthodox church of the era was mostly non-Jewish? The entire narrative is based in a Jewish culture but Christianity has no synagogues! What????? 

Angels goofing around on misile

Jesus: The Rebel with a Cause

From a different angle, maybe the miracles were just a metaphor, like I suggested earlier? It is quite respectable to think that Jesus' true power was directly challenging the status quo, the f*****g might of Rome and Israel. His sermons and epithets like 'Son of God' were a thorn in the side of power. I cannot think of a more gutsy move. However, scribes wrote it all down and the narrative was garnished, edited and touched up, and each church developed cultural ideas surrounding it all and bosh!! A new dogma! We influence ourselves with our own fiction. Meditation is healthier than scripture reading. Try Buddhism, well. . . be careful of that one, actually, Zen mindfulness or zasen is good. 

The Bottom Line

Miracles or mental issues? Actual history or edited hype? My answer would be to turn to the mundane, think real life, and visualise the likelihood of an angel appearing on the news after flying into a building Unlikely. We know that even the pope relies on medical science; faith healing hands are not required. This post is scratching the surface; hopefully it will encourage self-awareness so you don't relinquish too much to a strict religious worldview. 

Jesus cartoon on the cross


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