Here is my story about how I became a Christian, what I went through later and how I finally got through and transcended my beliefs. I have shared a lot of personal things in this that I've never shared with anyone before. Originally I had not meant for it to be this long, so I apologize for that. But while I was writing it, I felt like I was reliving all those suppressed memories again and so lots of details came out of my mind that I had to write. Several times I had to stop and pause for a moment because those memories brought back a lot of overwhelming emotions and I felt on the verge of tears. But I'm glad that I finally wrote it all out cause I have been meaning to for a long time. It also felt therapeutic to me to write this all out too. I stayed up almost all night for 2 nights writing this. I hope maybe you the reader may be able to get some kind of lesson out of it, whatever it may be.
My Rise to Christianity and Transcendence from It
By Winston Wu
all started when I was 9
years old at a Christian Summer daycare school called Fremont
I became a Christian there when I was a 10 year old boy by receiving
during the Chapel session. I liked the Christian teachings
made me feel good and I liked knowing that Christ would always be with
that I had eternal life to look forward to. I didn't know it
time, but it gave me a sense of power that I never had.
Having Jesus in
my heart was like having a supernatural power that I could call on at
kind of like how Clark
By the end of my first year in high school, summer started, and a big tide was about to turn. During that Summer, two bad things happened which later turned out to be signs of even worse to come.
That summer we went
The second thing happened
in the latter half of the summer. I went on a Christian
summer camp near
you see, both those events
during that Summer made
me feel depressed and hurt and
confused. I didn't know how to handle it all. I was
too so things affected me more deeply and intensely than most
Anyway, I was not emotionally ready to start school because of those
issues, but I had to anyway. So start it I did. And
when I went back to school it was a different world. Most of
both Christian and non-Christian either left or had changed so much
couldn't really be friends anymore. My new friends weren't
that great and
they didn't even really care about me. I didn't like any of
my classes either because they were
overwhelming and I wasn't
interested in studying because of those two events during the summer
that I was
still emotionally attached to. And on top of all that, I felt
isolated too because all my friends were either gone or had
couldn't believe how one summer changed everything! :( For
the whole year
nothing changed no matter how hard I tried to change them or how many
prayed. I wanted get back the joy I had last year but nothing
helped. I soon realized that I also seemed to have lost my
passion for the Lord. I tried to get that back too because
maybe if I
did, my life would turn around again and be fulfilling. But
no matter how
hard I tried to jump start my passion and fire for the Lord, it just
It was like trying to start a car with a dead battery. It
felt like God
had left me or something. When I prayed, I didn't even feel
that he was
listening anymore. I was wondering if maybe all this was my
for not being able to convert all my relatives in
(Things get even much worse than you can imagine! Read on if you dare.)
Then during that same year in October, on Halloween, a very bad and scary thing happened that was a sign of what was further to come. That afternoon, I found that when I got home from school, I couldn't get around the house or do normal things without performing rituals to cancel out bad thoughts over and over again. It was weird and I didn't want to do it, but if I didn't I would feel a lot of anxiety and panic like something was very wrong. I kept having to enter and re-enter through the front door. This was really weird and I had never done that before. Then just to move into the living room took and put my backpack down took a lot of effort as well. What was going on here I thought!?!?!?!?!? I couldn't believe this was happening. It was so bizarre. I ended up spending about 3 or 4 hours in the bathroom because I couldn't get out of there because every time I tried to do the perfect ritual, my body would itch or something else would go wrong and I had to redo the rituals over again. After a few hours, I wanted to get out of there bad, I felt like a prisoner in my own bathroom! What could be stupider than that? The trick or treaters came by since it was Halloween and while they came I was stuck there in the bathroom trying to get out!!!!!! Afterwards I was so exhausted and drained, and I hoped that that would be the only day I would have to do those rituals. I thought tomorrow I'd be back to normal again. But I was very very wrong. It went on each day the same way. I had to fight hard to not do them, but I had to do them. It cost me a few hours each day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. My grades plummeted too as you might expect. I got a lot of D's and F's on my report card. I didn't tell anyone beside my parents because no one would understand and I was ashamed of this too. On some nights when the rituals were costing me too much time, I would yell at myself saying "Come on you @#$%, let me go!!!!!!!"
After a few months of enduring this inner hell, my parents took me to a psychiatrist. I didn't know how to describe what was happening. My communication skills were bad and I was too shy too and I was ashamed to admit this weird disorder. From what he had to go on, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with schizophrenia and gave me Prozac. Schizophrenia I thought?! Now I'm really done for! How could I ever be a good witness for Christ now? Would a crazy deluded schizophrenic who was unable to control his own thoughts be a good representative for Christ? Of course not! I would give him a bad name if I told people I was a Christian now! My witnessing life was over I guess. My dreams of becoming a Missionary and Evangelist and converting many people to Christ were shattered. What would I do now? Since I heard there was no cure for Schizophrenia and I might have it for the rest of my life, this means I might never be able to even live a normal life again! I might as well forget about any other dreams in general as well.
Anyway, I tried the Prozac, but all it did was increase my anxiety to the point where every minute felt like an hour and I felt like a Mexican jumping bean! I couldn't even sit through an hour of class under Prozac, so I had to discontinue it. That psychiatrist moved, so I was referred to another one. This one diagnosed me as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He prescribed another drug called Mellaril or something. It didn't have bad side effects and I wasn't sure if it worked or not, hard to tell. Anyway, he was cold and uncaring even though I liked his assistant, who was a talking therapist. So for some reason I don't remember, we went to a third psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with both disorders, Schizophrenia and OCD! Oh great! That whole year I went to church and my youth group every week and for Wednesday Bible study too, but it was never the same. Everyone I liked at the church moved away. I kept praying and hoping God would do something to make my life better and especially take away my Schizophrenia/OCD or whatever. Nothing happened. Nothing changed. In fact, it got worse and worse as the year went on. I didn't understand why God, who has absolute control over every atom and molecule in the universe, didn't do anything about this. By the end of the year, I felt so helpless, powerless and confused that I became depressed too. Then summer came and I was glad to get away from school at least so I wouldn't have to deal with the pressures there and my disorder at the same time. But I still had no idea why my whole life changed just after one bad summer. I didn't understand why God let this happen. It didn't make sense! I mean I know about the story of Job, but come on! Dealing with the outer world is hard enough, but when you're mentally ill you can't even deal with your INNER WORLD, how does God expect me to deal with the outer world! How would I ever be a good witness for Christ in the state I'm in? How would I even live for Christ for that matter?
After Summer, school started again and I was a junior now. I was hoping this would be a better year, but instead this turned out to be the ABSOLUTE WORST HORRIFIC period of my life! I have labeled this period as the "Holocaust" of my life. I'm serious! My mind has blanked out this period so much from my memory that I don't even acknowledge that it existed. When I went back to school, I found that I was completely overwhelmed and didn't even have the will or interest in going to school or doing any homework. School felt threatening to me now. For some reason I could not cope with anything in life now. I even lost the desire to go to church because I didn't feel important to anyone there and the sermons didn't connect with anything I was going through. They were boring, repetitious and empty. Plus my prayers were never answered anymore and I had lost my fire for the Lord. I was too depressed and had no motivation to get up in the morning. Why get up when there was nothing but pain, loneliness, and schizophrenia rituals to look forward to everyday? I couldn't face all that and concentrate on tons of boring homework loads everyday. This also happened to be the most academically challenging school year in high school as well. Do you think I was in shape to deal with that? Yeah right. I had to stop going to school because it was pointless, lonely, and if I continued I would get all F's in every class.
As I stayed home on school days not knowing what to do, I felt hopeless and sank further and further into depression. I felt like my life was over. There was nothing but doom, gloom and hopelessness. I lost even the ability to enjoy very simple things. I tell you, you've never known what true depression is like until you experienced what I experienced at that time. It's like you're so depressed that you can't even muster the energy to raise a finger simply because there's no point to. All the happy and fun times I ever had seemed like a false illusion now. There was no logical solution to my life. I saw no way out. Not only was I depressed and hopeless, but since my Schizophrenic symptoms hadn't lessened after a whole year, it looked like it would be with me forever. There was no way I could ever live a normal life if I had to spend hours each day in rituals and had trouble with even simple things like getting around the house. And there was no cure for Schizophrenia either. This means that not only will I never be able to live a normal life, have dreams, hold a job, get married or have children, but that I would also eventually have to spend the rest of my life in a mental hospital and be looked upon by society as a pitiful thing to be sorry for. There was no point to that kind of existence. I felt like the only escape was suicide. But I didn't even have the guts to do that. So all I could do was lay around feeling too depressed to even move and I tried to sleep as many hours as possible to escape all this. All I felt 24 hours a day during that time was doom and gloom. Even when the big San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 struck, I was lying down on the couch at my uncle's house too depressed to move. I felt the house shake and just thought "An earthquake? Big deal. Go ahead and kill me. Make the roof fall down. Then I won't have to endure this anymore." I still can't believe I said that even today. Anyway, what I experienced during those 6 months that year will never be forgotten, and I shudder even today when I think about it. What I experienced is not describable with words. It's like your soul and life are being sucked dry to death and you are completely helpless to do anything about it. It's very very very difficult to conceive that I went through this and at the same time conceive of a God that exists.
My parents were at a loss as to what to do, so they sent me to a mental rehabilitation center. I was scared at first, but the staff turned out to be very supportive and I enjoyed the environment. Unlike the negative connotation of mental institutions portrayed in movies, it became a great getaway and I enjoyed the aerobics, swimming pool, volleyball, and arts and crafts activities. For the first time in a while I felt able to enjoy things again. I didn't feel the pressures I had in my school and home life. I even played a lot of chess there and beat all the staff and other patients :) After a month or two I was discharged from the rehabilitation center. I was reluctant to leave though, which was funny because I was dragged kicking and screaming in there but now I felt sad to go and leave such a nice and supportive place. Since I didn't want to deal with that snobby school I hated again though (by the way this was the same school Kristi Yamaguchi the world famous ice skater graduated from just to let you know), they decided to send me to a different high school for just a few classes because they didn't want to risk me being overwhelmed again. So I only took 2 classes at the new school and did the rest on home schooling. This worked out and I felt refreshed and at peace for once in a long time.
the school year, I
decided I wanted to take a big break from all that I went through and
that year when my mom
came to visit me in
When I came back after a year, I felt confident, energized, optimistic and ready to tackle anything. I started my senior year in that new high school that I went to before I left. I didn't make that many friends there because it was hard for me to break into the already formed cliques, but at least everyone was nice to me and respected me which I wasn't used to. It was a boring year, but at least I had peace of mind everyday and I easily faced each day with confidence and drive. Homework was easy because I could select classes that were easy or interesting so I finally started getting good grades. I found that I could think and concentrate clearly too, so I had a lot of control over my thoughts and emotions for the first time. Maybe it was because the vegetarianism helped clear my conscience? I don't know. But either way, I found it easy to read and write and to be excited by even the little things. Amazingly, some cognitive abilities and talents I never knew I had appeared out of nowhere! I suddenly felt like I had mastery over organizing my thoughts and words so that I could communicate any thought or idea I wanted. No thought or idea was too difficult to put into words, and I could do it all in a very organized coherent way too! I never was good at writing until then. My speech and writing became very articulate. Wow! I could write school papers and essays easily and could summon lots of creative thoughts and insights at will. It all became second nature to me. In addition, I found that my depth of understanding had greatly increased, and I could also see things from a lot more angles than I ever could before. This of course, made all my essays and school papers even better. It was like my cognitive, intuitive, insight and awareness jumped up a level by itself!
Later that year, I felt that it would be a good time for me to get back into Christianity again. I missed having the sense of purpose it gave me. I started reading the Bible and other Christian books again, and remembered all the intellectual arguments I used to support the Christian faith. I started looking for a church to go to again. I found a Christian Club on campus too, which I attended. Then I started going to a church referred to me by some of the people in the Club. Anyway, I started being on fire for the Lord again and started witnessing to people again too. I even came close to getting into trouble with some Muslim Afghan students at the school, because they were insulted at me trying to convert them to Christianity. They said that if I was in their country, a mob would kill me for attempting to convert people! lol But I didn't care and I was willing to take a few beatings for the truth of the Gospel of Christ because the true living God was working behind it, so I had nothing to fear. One day, I even went to my Art History teacher after class and asked him why after a week of teaching us about Christian Medieval Art he never once mentioned about what Christ did for us on the cross and the Gospel he preached. I left him a Gospel tract and said that he could learn about what Christianity was about in it. He just said that he wasn't the right person to be sharing this with and that I should be sharing it with fellow students instead. After I graduated from high school, for some reason I never again regained interest in Christianity. This had always been a mystery to me until now. Only recently have I realized that the likely reason was that I had probably used Christianity as a crutch to get through life and give it meaning. After high school my childhood problems were gone and I needed no more crutches. It was then that I could finally take an honest look at Christianity and deal with the negative irreconcilable aspects of it, which I always knew were there but didn't want to face it for fear of blasphemy and because I needed the sense of purpose it gave me. Soon, my doubts starting creeping in.
summer I was able to use
my new found insight and understanding to re-evaluate the Christian
had. While on a plane on a vacation to
very wrong with Christianity here. I've known this a long
time but was
always afraid to face it. But since I value integrity of
thought and a
clear conscience, I might as well be honest now and face it no matter
blasphemous it may be. Now, I know that according to
billions of people out there in the world are going to go to hell
sinners and don't even know it. But why is it their fault
when they don't
even know it and were born with it? Sin to the Bible is any
that we have, but since we were not born perfect no one can ever be
then why is it righteous to send them all to hell for an eternity for
they were born with? That's like sending Zebras to hell for
with stripes! It just doesn't make sense no matter how hard
you try to
justify it. Now let's put myself in the place of a
Suppose I was a boy in
At that time I knew that these thoughts I was having were blasphemous to the Christian faith, but since I was so SURE that there was something inherently wrong here, that certainty gave me the courage to continue to think these things through. That's when my search for truth, meaning and answers began.
Aftermath and the Spiritual Insights I Discovered:
But what about finding the answers about the truth of God and religion? I wasn't sure where to begin. I knew that each religion claimed to have the truth and that they disagreed with each other on many things, so they couldn't all be right could they? But how would I know which religion was true and which wasn't? I thought there was no way to really find out until after you die. So I just became an agnostic and left it at that for a while. But eventually, I believed that if there were answers out there, then there must be some way to find them. I wasn't satisfied with being an agnostic and dropping the issue for good, so I decided to search again. It was then that I found some New Age spirituality books that had caught my attention. I had remembered that a few years ago my Youth Pastor had warned of the dangers of the teachings of the New Age movement. I had no idea what it even was at that time, but now I was curious. Maybe it would show me something that the traditional organized religions didn't.
Fortunately, it did. Many of the concepts made so much sense to me and showed me the big picture. It was like it borrowed all the truths from each religion and put it into a giant wheel that represented the total sum of cosmic divine truth. That was it, I thought! Each religion represented a different aspect of the truth, and when you put them all together you get a better view of the whole picture! Bingo! This was the answer I was looking for. Now I understood what that secular adage meant that said that all religions are different interpretations of the same God. Before I thought that was just a cop out, now I understood how much sense it made. The reason that the great religions contradicted each other were due to the differences in man's interpretations of the divine, not the fault of the divine. In fact, the more I learned about each religion, the more parallels I could see between them. The same underlying themes seemed prevalent and all pointed in the same direction. I also learned that since religion was man's interpretation of God, that God didn't really fit into any organized religion, but was far beyond the limitations that they imposed on him.
For the next few years, little by little I gradually developed the courage to read books with ideas from other religions and New Age beliefs as well. For a while, each time I picked up one of these books, the words "Satan" and "blasphemy" would come to mind, but I as I learned more and became more confident in my new knowledge, those fears lessened and eventually diminished. One day, I found another profound answer to what I was looking for. I saw a quote in a book that said:
"The more and more you look at the universe, it appears less like a great machine and more like a great thought."
That's it I thought! We don't have to look for God out there in some abstract place. We are all a part of God. We are all like atoms and molecules in the large organism we call God. Like each atom and molecule in our body, we each serve a higher purpose that we aren't aware of yet. This made even more sense to me as I realized that everything in the universe seemed to be made up of something revolving around something else. For example, in an atom there are protons and electrons orbiting a nucleus. Likewise, on a planetary scale, moons revolve around planets. On a larger scale, planets revolve around suns. From an even larger scale, suns and stars revolve around the center of each galaxy. So if we are all made up of atoms which contain things orbiting around each other, then maybe suns, stars, and galaxies are also like atoms which make up a larger whole we call God! I envisioned that everything in the universe was like valuable parts of the inside of an intricate clock, each part was valuable, unique, and served its own purpose. We just don't always see or realize that purpose unless we reach higher states of being and consciousness. At the time, I thought I was the only one who came to the conclusion that God was the totality of everything. Soon though, I realized that I wasn't and that others searching for truth had discovered the same thing, and that this view of God in fact had two terms for it. One was "Pantheism" and the other was "Monism."
I also discovered that we could all find God and divinity in ourselves just by tapping into our higher selves and higher states of consciousness. It was like we were Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz who discovered that she had the power to return home the whole time because she had already been wearing those red magical shoes the whole time. Likewise, we could find God and the divinity within ourselves by just simply going within.
Finally, I discovered that many great mystics and seekers of truth throughout history and in our modern era have come to the same conclusions that I came to as well. This said to me that there must be something to my discoveries after all! From their books and books written about them, I discovered very similar themes. These themes reveal that we are all souls from higher levels which have decided to come down to Earth to learn lessons and grow. We do this by either continuously reincarnating here or in other worlds or other planes of existence until we learn the lessons we need. As we learn, grow and evolve, we reach higher levels of consciousness, which allow us to enter higher heavenly realms. Some call these higher realms Heaven. Others call them Nirvana, Astral Planes, or Re-unification with God. There are different levels of these higher heavenly realms, and between 7 and 10 are named. In addition, I learned that millions of people who have had Near Death Experiences (NDE's) and Out of Body Experiences (OBE's) have had these same higher truths and themes revealed to them during their experiences. All this told me that there must be something to these themes if people from all over the world had the same things revealed to them somehow.
Then I started reading books and articles that critiqued Christianity. I learned that the version of Christianity that I had believed in was called “Christian Fundamentalism.” I was amazed at how many arguments there were against it, and also at how many irreconcilable contradictions there were in it. Before, I thought there were no good arguments against it. Now I realized that there were as many arguments against it as there were crops in a field! Whoa! The more and more I researched, the more came out. Just when I thought that was all there was, more kept popping out! I was amazed.
Now I realized why most non-Christians were so turned off by Evangelistic preaching. As a Christian it used to baffle me why anyone would turn down the Gospel and reject free eternal life. It was like they were rejecting a million dollars offered them for free. Now I realized that it wasn't as free as I thought. To non-Christians, the Gospel asked them to adhere to extreme beliefs, took away freedom of thought, used fear of punishment to invoke compliance, and forced values onto people that they didn't agree with. As I Christian I never realized this because my beliefs put me in such a warped frame of mind as to not see this. Now I realized that while non-Christians couldn't really relate to the Christian perspective, it was also true that Christians had lost the ability to relate to the perspective of non-Christians. Since I became a Christian at 10 years old, I never really understood the non-Christian perspective until now.
There was another benefit to all this as well. Because of all these discoveries along with my new views of God and spirituality, I realized that my parents and relatives weren't going to hell after all! This lifted a huge burden off me and gave me peace of mind. In a way, I had saved my parents and relatives from going to hell just by realizing that they weren't going in the first place! My parents had been right all along that I didn't have to convert them or any of my relatives. All I had to do was appreciate where they are, because they were already where God wanted them to be. I now had peace of mind to move on and discover my own potential. I was free now to explore the limitless possibilities of life, knowledge, mind, philosophy, spirituality, etc. A whole new adventure was just beginning.
years later, I met the
most wonderful person in the world. I met her online and we
talked for a
year before meeting. When we finally met she turned out to be
I wanted. She was very beautiful both inside and
out. She was very
much like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Like Belle, she
adores and is
adored by children and animals. When we met, we knew we were
a match made
in heaven and the love between us was unconditional. I moved
I know that there will always be ups and downs in the cyclical nature of life, but my experiences have given me an inner strength that helps me to be in the “eye of the hurricane” through it all. And what better coping skill could there be than that? It’s also given me the ability to see a larger perspective which helps me to not be overwhelmed by every little thing, but instead remain detached and view life as a process with challenges that allow us to grow and learn so that we can ultimately achieve wholeness within ourselves and unity with God. Also, I gotta tell you that nothing is more scary than losing your own mind and sanity. It's a fate worse than physical pain or even death, and those who've been there know what I mean. However, once you've been there and recovered from it, you appreciate life more than you ever would have, and you are given the blessing of being able to appreciate the little wonders of life more richly and fully than ever before, which few people are able to do. In any case,
“The adventure is just beginning…………”
- To quote the ending of the movie “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” where a conscious machine had just been reborn and evolved to the next stage of its evolution.
Thank you for reading this, and may you all find your true bliss, true self, and ultimate destiny.
Conclusion and My Own Theory About What Happened To Me:
Well there you have it. I'm sorry for making this so long. I had intended to write a much shorter version, but as I was writing all this, it was like I was reliving all the pain and joy of it again, so I was compelled to describe so many details about it. If that made it long and tedious to read this, then I apologize. But I hope that you will try to understand and appreciate the life story I just told you. In a way it was very therapeutic for me to write all this out. It had been hidden and repressed for so long. Many of these things I never wanted to tell anyone. Even today though, it's hard for me to make sense of it all really, there were so many ups and downs. I don't really understand why things went the way they did or if things went the way they were meant to.
But now I have a theory though. In summary here are the main events:
1. I was a passionate devout Christian on fire for the Lord and believed I had found ultimate truth.
2. A snowball of odd tragedies struck, which turned things around.
3. Along with that, Schizophrenia or OCD came and made my life an inner hell.
4. The powerlessness of not being able to cope with it all led to deep depression as well. I thought my life was truly over.
5. Things got better and with that my mental disorder symptoms subsided.
6. After recovering from all that, I attained a level of transcendence and awareness that I never had before. My cognitive, writing, speaking, communication, insight and understanding abilities suddenly reached a level on their own. It was then that I was able to understand higher spiritual truths.
So I was wondering then. Perhaps my soul or higher self wanted to evolve to a higher awareness level and when it was in the process of doing so, my physical brain had trouble adjusting to it, so it started misfiring and malfunctioning, which created those obsessions and behaviors. Perhaps that is the reason behind some mental illnesses. The reason I postulate this is because I recently read some articles about patients who recover from Schizophrenia and become better than before. They become smarter and more successful in life. I thought that my case was a fluke or a mystery, but when I learned that this happened in other cases too, it made me wonder whether going through a mental illness was in some way a path to transcendence of some form. What do you all think? In case you want to read the articles on the websites I mentioned, here they are:
Thank you for reading this, and I hope that you can get out of it whatever lesson you see in it.
Questions for Faith, Kathy, David and Barbara:
I do have a few questions for some of you though.
To David and Barbara: What do you make of my whole story here? How could a passionate devoted Christian on fire for the Lord who preached the Gospel to others be repaid with Schizophrenia and live with an inner indescribable hell for two years? How is that person supposed to be a good representative for Christ when he can't even control his own mind? Would you want a Schizophrenic depressed person who spends hours a day in rituals to represent Christ? How does God expect you to deal with the outer world when you can't even deal with the inner world anymore? David and Barbara, please keep something in mind. Don't see the mental illness I had, whatever it was, as just another disease. It is a very very scary thing to lose your mind, and unless you've experienced it, you cannot relate to it. It's not something you can intellectualize, it's a literal inner hell where you have no control over your mind, your actions, your inner world, etc. What would you two have done in my situation?
Also, after reading those last paragraphs in my life story in the aftermath where I described my incredible gradual spiritual transformation which not only awakened my insights and awareness but lifted a lot of burden off me, which freed me to discover my own potential, do you honestly still think that the right thing for me to do is to go back to Christianity? Look at all that I've come from before answering, please.
To Faith and Kathy: What do you make of my story? How should I make sense of all this? Were those horrific two years really necessary for my spiritual path? I thought high school was supposed to be fun, instead it was like a Holocaust for me. In fact, those two terrible years have been blanked out from my memory until now. How can I reconcile the concept of a loving God with what I went through? It's very difficult and unimaginable. There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish it could have all happened differently and in a lot better way. Why couldn't I have just had a typical teenager's life? I deeply regret not having one, and that regret has plagued my subconscious in one way or another every day since 1992. So what do you think? Was I supposed to have done anything different? Did I screw up in some way? Or was did everything happen the way it meant to?
By the way, in case you're all wondering if I still have that mental disorder or not. It's not 100 percent gone, but it's been minimized to where I only spend a few minutes a day dealing with my rituals now. So it's not really an issue anymore, except that I do spend a lot of time trying to organize things and events in my life to a point that I can control them. It maybe costs me about 10 or 15 minutes a day now, instead of hours. It can be very frustrating sometimes, but at least I don't have to repeat things in a ritual anymore. Thank you all so much for reading all this! It was very therapeutic to me to share this.
Update: My new article debunking Christian arguments
A few years after I made use of the knowledge I gained from the research I did on Christianity to understand it and give me the courage to leave it, to write a big treatise entitled Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentalists and Apologists. If you are interested in reading it, here is the link: https://www.debunkingskeptics.com/DebunkingChristians/Contents.htm So far it has received rave reviews such as the following:
“I work at a public library and thus have access to hundreds of books on religion and spirituality, yet very, very few are as helpful as the one article that you have written. There is even a book titled "Leaving the fold" that is for former fundamentalists leaving their religion, yet your article is arguably better and more useful then the entire book.”
“Congratulations on an excellent site. Your information on evangelical fundamentalist Christianity is the BEST site on the internet. It spells everything out. Try to get the search engines to bring it up near the top of searches.”
Update: My new theory on what happened to me
My Theory - Religions are essentially ways of channeling energy
Although each religion claim to be different from others in their beliefs, views, and doctrines, when you delve into the mystical qualities of each one, you find that they become more and more alike, with the ultimate goal of achieving "oneness" with all, and absolving one's ego and sense of separateness.
Even the most widely followed faith, Christianity, has mystical traditions in the Gnostics, for instance, which teach karma, reincarnation, oneness with all, etc. just like the Eastern mystical traditions.
Basically, I've come to realize that, despite the outer surface differences in beliefs and doctrines between the religions, what religions basically are in their essence are ways of CHANNELING ENERGY to grow, add to, and benefit oneself, getting in touch with a divine source.
Just as each individual is different, so each person has their own style of channeling spiritual energy that suits them best. And since each religion has a different style of channeling energy to its adherents, different religions work better for different people. There's no "one size fits all", for whether a religion or spiritual practice works for someone depends on how compatible their way of channeling energy is with it. And probably, the different religions, I believe, are all channeling spiritual/divine energy from the SAME source.
For instance, some people channel energy through the Christian faith very well, benefitting themselves, their lives, and their souls, so they stick with it and recommend it to others. Their feel fulfilled and their prayers get answered, so obviously it works for them. But others whose may get nothing out of it if their style of channeling spiritual energy is incompatible with the Christian faith. And this can be true even if they make a sincere honest effort to follow the Christian faith, for if it just doesn't resonate with their spiritual style and level, then it's not going to work, no matter how earnest they are about it. Instead, they may work better energy-wise with Buddhism, Islam, or other spiritual systems, deriving more spiritual benefit from them. Others may resonate better with more offshoot faiths such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, or even cult groups.
Still, some don't need any religion at all. They may simply channel good energy to them just by going out into nature or the wilderness setting. Or they may simply meditate and channel all the energy and spirituality they need.
This is why, I think, why some people hear a religious message or gospel, and instantly feel that they've discovered "the truth", or sense that God or the Holy Spirit is speaking to them, while others hear the same message and consider it rubbish, nonsensical, and could never take it seriously. Different religious/spiritual paths and ways of channeling energy click with some and not others.
It's like with anything in life - drugs, alcohol, roller coasters, skiing, etc.; they bring pleasure and stimulation to some, while to others they do nothing or cause only discomfort.
Also, as one evolves or changes their level of consciousness throughout life and their spiritual path, sometimes one may lose their resonance with the religion/spiritual path they channeled their life force energy through best, which leads them to seek out a different spiritual or religious path. There are plenty of religious devotees who at some point in life, grow out of their faith or spiritual practice, feel stinted by it, and transfer to another one. For instance, some Christians may lose resonance with their faith, feel it doesn't make sense anymore, and doesn't work for them anymore, becoming Buddhists or adopting Eastern paths. And vice versa, for there are Buddhists who become Christians and find more fulfillment there and closeness to God, as well.
I was one of those, for instance, who resonated with Evangelical Christianity early in life. It made sense to me, gave me a powerful feeling of purpose, made me happy, and I even got a lot of prayers answered through it. But when I outgrew it, I no longer felt any energy from it, didn't resonate with it, it no longer made sense to me mentally, and my prayers were no longer even being answered. I tried my best to re-establish my spiritual energy with it, for I thought it was the truth, but it was futile, like trying to jump start a dead horse. I didn't realize it at the time, but my journey and path to truth lied elsewhere, and eventually led me to the New Age/Eastern paths. Therefore, I began subconsciously looking for excuses to invalidate Christian teachings, so that I could find truth in other teachings, considering all but committing to none. I discovered that I am an eclectic who loves intellectual freedom too much to commit and limit my mind inside the box of any religion or belief system, though I may make use of, see truth in, or derive benefit from them.
Recommended reading on spirituality
The books and authors who best represent my new spiritual beliefs, which I strongly recommend you all to read, are: The Power of Now , Stillness Speaks and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, any book or audio by Wayne Dyer, The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, and Under the Tree by Greg Stone.