November 2017
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my one spiritual mentoring, its cruel end, and my inability to find another


icon: "spiritual (a photo of a snow leopard with (edited) violet eyes staring straight into the camera)"

Have you ever had a spiritual mentor? if so, what was the relationship like, and if you are no longer close or in contact, was there anything specific that caused the disconnect (aside from moving away from the religion/spiritual practice in general)? (from here)

I've never had a personal one, but I think that my ex-pastor was a spiritual mentor to me in that I admired, learned from, and engaged with them on spiritual issues. Our relationship was me listening to their sermons and going up after sometimes to mention a bit that was especially meaningful or ask a question about something that wasn't clear. I took notes, applied things to my life, and felt like I grew as a person through it. This was true for about 13 years.

Then they preached about 'witnessing' (xtian-speak for trying to convert people) and said it was the most important thing. This contradicts what Jesus said is the most important thing (loving God, others, and yourself), so I went up and asked how those things could be reconciled (thinking that I must have misunderstood something). This person then got very defensive and started attacking my life, saying I wasn't doing enough in this that and the other, and told me that they weren't my pastor. That was the end of that. (the whole story)

Since then I have tried to find people who seemed ahead of me in the direction I want to go, but I haven't had much luck. I have a unusual approach to spirituality in that I treat it as a practical balance of the pragmatic and ethereal, but a lot of people either don't put the pragmatic in their spirituality or they don't explore spiritually because they're focused on the pragmatic and don't hold the ethereal as a priority. To compound that, I reject hierarchy and gender but not the concept of deities -- yet I don't consider deities at all central to my beliefs. This is an extremely unusual spiritual attitude.

I meet people who are more advanced than me, but not people who are more advanced in the ways that I want to grow. They have to exist, I'm sure, but I have no idea how I might find one.

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Comments
wildrose ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
I 100% agree that it is disrespectful to try to convert people. I think it is a consent issue! Spirituality is as deeply personal as sexuality, and just like you shouldn't ever pressure someone to change their sexuality you shouldn't pressure them to change their spirituality.

I want to know more about your approach to spirituality!
wildrose ══╣╠══
grail76 ══╣╠══
I think the most effective way to convert people is to live in a way that gives them example of what their life might be like.
kehlen_crow ══╣╠══
Absolutely.
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
That is both most effective and the only decent way to go about it, in my opinion.
writing2exist ══╣╠══
From what I remember about Christianity, the most important thing for the individual is to have the love for God and to love others.

As a body, as a church as a whole, the best thing is to call people to Christ. The church is concerned with conversion. The individual should demonstrate the appeal to conversion by loving God and being a good person.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
yes, absolutely. That was the argument I made to the pastor: http://belenen.livejournal.com/268539.html#cutid2

I don't think conversion is at all appropriate for people to try to do to others. The only appropriate proselytizing is to be open about ones own experience and offer to share if people are interested. According to the bible, 'they will know you by your works' -- like you said, be a good person and let them be drawn if they wish, but never actually try to go grab them. You don't get in the water to chase fish -- you just lay bait and wait.
bobby1933 ══╣╠══
You outgrew him, and sometimes mentors are not above resenting that.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.