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posted
Sorry for the length, but it is my life story. I have some questions at the end that I hope you guys can help me with.

My name is Jacques Gerhard Rothmann, and this is my story.
I was born in South Africa in 1980 lived over seas for a while and moved back to South Africa permanently when I was 7 years old. My primary school (Gr 1-7) days were pretty normal and I attended Sunday school at Westview Methodist church and was basically a healthy happy child. When it came time to go to high school (Gr 8-12) however, things began to change. Std. 6 (grade 8) saw a great decay in my life as I had experienced it up until that point. My parents got divorced and at the same time my circle of friends from primary school all formed new friendships in high school and left me with a feeling of abandonment and brokenness. I was a rather small child and therefore got bullied. My early teen years were spent getting used to two homes and adjusting to verbal and physical abuse at high school. My only comfort, the one thing I loved with all my heart was Tae Kwon Do, it was at the dojo that I found friendship, �family�, love and respect, all the things I wished I could find at school and at home (it was also here that my journey to hell began).

At round about the same time between Std. 7 and 8 I started asking questions about God, who He was and what that meant to me, whether or not Christianity was the only way to know God and whether or not other religions were true ways of experiencing Him? One thing I never denied was the existence of God. I also developed a great interest in the unknown; I read books about contact with the spirit world and began practising the techniques I read about. I stopped going to Sunday school because the same kids who were mean to me at school attended my church and I just didn�t feel comfortable around them. Still I couldn�t help feeling that God existed and that his existence called for some kind of a response from my side. I resolved to find God on my own, apart from church, and that when I found him I would serve him with all my heart.

It wasn�t too long and my Dojo, like all the other things in my life went through a break-up. My instructor who I loved and respected with all my heart (Father figure) had done something wrong and the dojo was sold to someone else. The sale brought students from the new instructor�s previous dojo, one of them was an older boy named Shaun. Shaun was also a student at my High School, he was part of the �in crowd� and I really wanted to be his friend. Some time past, I was in Std. 8 and Shaun was in Matric (Gr 12), we had kind of become friends. When I found out later that year that Shaun and his friends smoke weed I asked if I could try it. One Friday he came to my house and I had my first taste of Marijuana.

It was also at this time that I learned about Chi energy , it fascinated me and I started experimenting with meditation to try to strengthen this power inside me. I learned of people who had done amazing things using Chi, to kill and to heal.

Meanwhile my newfound Marijuana habit was growing rapidly and by the end of the second term of Std. 9 (grade 11) I was smoking weed almost everyday. I had also gone to a rave club with Shaun and his friends and taken LSD. I was drinking alcohol on a regular basis , sniffing glue and experimenting with everything from sleeping tablets to benzene. But weed was my first love and the more I smoked it the more I wanted to smoke it, it made me feel alive. I would smoke weed and laugh for hours, life was fun again and I was making friends left right and centre.

My love of weed and my quest for God naturally brought me to the faith of Rastafarianism. My discovery of marijuana as a form of meditation opened up many doors for me and I began studying all about it, I read about what weed and other drugs do to you physically, mentally and spiritually and how people over the years have used drugs to nurture spiritual experiences. I no longer smoked weed just to get stoned, but rather I would smoke weed and read the bible, I would pray to G/god while stoned and write poems about life and G/god and all that I was learning. Most of my Matric year was spent stoned in the Library at college researching Rastafarianism and reading the Bible. I also started taking ever-increasing amounts of LSD.

By the time I finished Matric (Gr 12) I was smoking weed everyday starting early in the morning before I left the house (before I even got out of bed) and continuing until I went to bed, I could not go a day without getting stoned. Without the daily routine of school my time was spent consumed in my study of drugs and the paranormal/spiritual. I read everything I could get my hands on and developed interests in all sorts of eastern mysticism (eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and the New Age Movement). I started to feel more and more like I was discovering God and that he had a special interest in my life. It was also during this time that I was introduced to ecstasy.

On the night of May 16, 1999 my life took a terrible turn. I had spent the weekend taking ecstasy and thinz (diet tablets that contain a drug called ephedrine) and smoking a lot of weed. All of a sudden I started feeling strange, my body started to shake and I felt like I was going to die. I got up and went to the bathroom, I tried drinking water but nothing worked, I felt more and more like my life was about to end. I fell down on the bathroom floor and started to pray I told G/god that if taking drugs was wrong then I would stop, I told him that I wasn�t sure about Jesus, but I would serve the God who created this world if only he would reveal himself to me and tell me who he is. Then the most amazing thing happened, I had the most incredible spiritual experience, I was speaking to �god� and he was telling me about my life, explaining things to me that I always prayed about and thought about, he told me about my purpose here on earth, to spread his message to all the people, he told me about my past lives and said that I had been used throughout history to share his messages with the world. He told me that it was okay to do drugs and that he would continue to reveal himself to me through them. The experience seemed to last for hours but when it ended it had only been about an hour. As only time would tell, I did not speak to God that night but rather with some sort of demon acting as God. I went away from it however with the belief that I had had an encounter with God and that he had given me a mandate to spread his message of love and enlightenment to the world, and I couldn�t wait to start. Little did I know that I was sinking further and further into Satan�s hands.

I immediately began to preach in the name of god, I would go to parties, get high and tell them that god is everything and that we all had to serve him. My god however was not the God of the Bible, but rather he was the pantheistic god of the New Age. I felt that a table was as much god as you are) and so I developed in myself and in anyone who would listen the beliefs and practices of the new age movement and of Hinduism and Buddhism. I continued to read books on spirituality and grew further and further from my Christian roots and from the real God. I began to practice yoga and I was meditating regularly, I would also spend whole days reciting mantras (like: love, love, love�. Or: The Lord Rebuke you Satan, The Lord Rebuke you Satan��.Or: no negativity, no negativity, no negativity�..).

During 1999 I also became friends with a boy named Tyrone, he took drugs with us and could always organize the best weed to smoke Tyrone was also very interested in drugs and spirituality, he was very involved in the new age movement and also had connections with the occult. Tyrone had also taken courses in Reiki. He also meditated and knew a lot about drugs and spirituality. A whole group of us used to go to DNA, a rave club in Pretoria, on Friday and Saturday nights and stay there until 10 or 11 o�clock the next morning. There I met many people who were involved in occultic practices and we would sit and discuss spirituality and religion.

One night at DNA I had another strange encounter with �god� that threw me totally over the edge. I was sitting with Tyrone and we were trying to do telepathy, when all of a sudden it worked and I was sharing thoughts with him. It was amazing and I started walking around the club controlling things with my mind (telekinesis) and having many strange E.S.P. experiences (Extra Sensory Perception � seeing and experiencing things in the spiritual realm). It was the one of the weirdest nights of my life, �god� started speaking to me and telling me to do things. When the night ended I spent the morning smoking weed and meditating. I started slipping further and further into a world of psychedelic experiences and strange visions and grew more and more out of touch with reality. I believed I was John of the Revelation and that I had eaten the little scroll ( I thought the scroll was LSD) and it made me see visions of God.

My mind was a mess, I had concocted a religious salad of Christianity, Rastafarianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Spiritism, the New Age Movement and the Occult and it was causing me to lose my mind. I would see demons in all the people I would meet and I was paranoid and delusional. Unfortunately Satan knew what he was doing and he kept me blinded to what was really happening. He would always cause me to retain my belief that what I was doing was right. He would let me meet just the right people and show me all the right signs and wonders to keep me deeply immersed in my dream world. At some point during each day �god� who I now know was Satan would ask me to make a choice to follow him completely (sell my soul kind of thing), but what I know now was the Holy Spirit kept telling me that what I was doing was wrong, unable to make up my mind I would avoid the challenge and it would pass on to the next day. But on the 11 of February 2000 my life would change forever.

It was a Friday night just like many Fridays before that, the evening started with a party at a friends house where I drank a dozen or so alcoholic ciders. I had not planned to go to DNA that night, but when everyone started getting ready to go at 9:00pm they convinced me to go with. I only had enough money for entrance and half an acid, but Satan saw to it that I got some more. I scored another quarter of an acid from my friend and half an ecstasy tablet from another friend. It wasn�t much compared to a usual night but it was enough to get me high (a usual night was anything from 2 acids and 1 ecstasy tablet to 2 acids and 3 or 4 ecstasy tablets). The night seemed pretty �normal� (normal was never quite normal as I know it today though) and a few joints of weed later I was feeling great.

All of a sudden things got weird and I went to go sit in my car, again I was challenged to choose, but every time I got to the edge of saying yes I just couldn�t, and the challenge would start all over again. I decided to take the problem to Tyrone�s house as he had already left the club. When I arrived I was still feeling very strange and decided to smoke a bong to calm me down.

It had been over six hours since I started tripping and I was supposed to have been coming down but something weird was going on and I was still as high as a kite. On a usual night with all the drugs I took I was say 75% high on a scale from 0 � 100 but that night with the small amount of acid and ecstasy I was 1000% high.

The whole room began to melt and I found myself standing on what looked like a 3D board game, Tyrone and two other people were also there and they had all melted together and were forming the body and head of a purple Hindu �god�/demon. They were feeding off the demonic energy that was being generated by the other people in the room who had taken drugs. The truth hit me like a bomb, I had been deceived, Satan had tricked me. They told me that I now knew the truth and that I had to choose immediately, they wanted me to join with them. I told Tyrone that I didn�t like what was happening and that I wanted to come down off the trip which was know reaching its 7th or 8th hour. The room changed back to normal and Tyrone took me to the kitchen, suddenly a huge demon approached Tyrone from behind, as it entered him all the hair on my arm closest to him stood up, his whole face and body changed form and I ran out of the room.

I walked outside and tried to gather my thoughts, Tyrone also came outside he looked normal, but he started throwing up from the trauma of the experience, everything I believed was a lie, Satan had deceived me and now I was high and in big trouble. My friend Gareth came outside, he was purple from head to toe and started mumbling something about the discussions we had had on a previous acid trip. I told him that I wanted nothing more to do with any of it and that it was all a lie and a deception. He proceeded to ask me a question �you know how normally when things turn bad you talk to god?� �yes� I replied. � Well you can�t now, you�re high so he won�t hear you�. My head felt like it burst open and I had no defence against Satan and his attack, he could sense my fear and read my thoughts and I couldn�t do a thing. I looked around me and the whole world looked as if it were melting in a huge fire. As Gareth was walking into the house he yelled back at me � don�t worry though, God will tell you what to do�, I didn�t know what he meant then, but I now know Jesus was with me the whole time.

I quickly jumped into my car and spun out of the driveway. Tyrone�s house was in the same neighbourhood as my own and I decided to go home. Five minutes later I was approaching the driveway to my mothers complex, but decided I was in no condition to see her, so I drove past and turned right at the stop street. I was still very high and my mind was confused and full of unanswered questions, �how did this happen to me, I was so sure I was doing the right things, how could Satan have deceived me like this? My mind was trying to come up with a logical explanation for what had happened, but all I could think was �this is the end of the world and I didn�t know God�. I knew that if I died now I would go straight to hell. I turned right at the next stop street and proceeded round the block. I looked at my car�s clock and the numbers looked as though they were counting up to 6:66. �This is it,� I thought to myself, �you�re going to hell, it�s all over�. I decided the only thing I could do was to tell God I was sorry and ask Him not to send me to hell. I closed my eyes (with my car still moving) and started to pray. The next thing I knew my car was going over a bump and I crashed into a tree. I sat there for a while with my eyes closed, hoping it was all over, but it wasn�t.

I climbed out of the car and started walking home as everything around me got stranger and stranger. Satan kept trying to pull me back into my previous delusions, but I kept fighting it, telling myself that it had all been a lie. I sat down and tried to pray, but it felt as if my prayers were just disappearing into nothingness. I finally got up and decided the only thing I could do was go home, I would be in trouble, but at least I would be safe � or so I thought. I buzzed the intercom and when my mom answered I decided that this was no time to be lying, I told her that I had taken drugs the previous evening and that I had crashed my car. She buzzed me in and I walked to the front door feeling a little better about the fact that I was home and away from Tyron and the rest of my friends. But when my mom answered the door she was also purple from head to toe and her eyes looked cross-eyed as if she wasn�t even looking at me. She was screaming at me and every time I started to pray in my head she would start hitting me. I told her that things were really weird and that I needed to see a priest, but she wouldn�t let me, saying that no priest would want to see me in my condition. I walked out of the house and tried to find a church but I had to go past Tyrone�s house to get to one. I sat down on the corner in absolute fear and tried to decide what I was going to do. The next thing I knew my mom was next to me in her car. She picked me up and took me home and I went upstairs to my room. I tried to read my Bible, but the words on the pages just kept melting into each other. I lay on my bed and tried to pray, the whole time it felt as if demons were trying to put the mark of the beast on my right hand and on my forehead, sealing me to Satan and condemning me to hell. Eventually I phoned my mom�s friend, Glynis, who I knew was a Christian and went to church. I told her what had happened to me, and she came and picked me up. She took me to a Christian friend of hers who is a counsellor. I told them what had happened and they said that they would take me to see her priest the next day at church.

I went back to her house with her and tried to sleep but I was still too high (it had now been almost 24hrs after I had taken the drugs). She gave me a sleeping pill but I was too afraid to take it. Later that night I took one of her Christian CDs and put it into the CD player on repeat. I took the sleeping tablet and finally fell asleep at around 2:00am with music playing in the background.

The next day I went to church and while I was speaking to the priest I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. He asked me to repeat after him that I accepted Jesus as my savior, (apparently he also did this to make sure I was not demon possessed) and that I wanted to put my old life behind me and start living for Jesus. That Friday was the last time I ever touched drugs and I thank Jesus for helping me to do that. It wasn�t an easy thing to do and I had bad hallucinations and recurring nightmares for many months after that day and am still not sure what kind of damage the years of drugs has done to me physically not to mention mentally. What I do know however is that Jesus Christ has been with me through it all and He will continue to be with me everyday until eternity. He has forgiven me for every sin I have ever committed and continues to forgive me on a daily basis; He loves me unconditionally and always makes sure that I have everything I need. He is my comforter and my counsellor and my very best friend. He has given me a new life and made me into a new creation and I want to use this new life to bring him honour and glory. Best of all, one day when I die, I will spend eternity with Him.

My current problem is that through Shalomplace, I have had to question some of my old assumptions regarding other religions, energies, satan etc. It seems too easy and incomplete to blame all the negative stuff on the drugs, there was a lot more to it. I struggle to assimilate my current feeling that Christ can extend grace through other religions, with my past deception by those philosophies. I struggle with a desire to work with energies as part of my spiritual practice as a Christian and my past experience of those energies as demonic and deceptive. I struggle with how to sift satanic and demonic activity in non-christian religions and philosophies. Any comments or questions would be much appreciated.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
posted
Jacques:

It sounds like you are asking some hard questions of yourself, especially regarding attachments that are causing pain. I'm not sure a lot of advice will help, but the exchanges you'll get here might encourage you to take some small concrete steps in finding support.

My first thought is to suggest psychotherapy in order to gently shift your addictive tendencies toward healthier attachment relationships; along with this, perhaps a 12 Step program, although sometimes these provoke the toxic shame that can be lurking when addictions arise from poor early childhood attachment relationships. So perhaps individual counseling would be best in the beginning, although the challenge there is to find a good therapist, or to even understand what that might mean.

My experience is that long-standing addictions are typically rooted in childhood attachment disorders, where we are attempting to compensate for deep loneliness and living from a false self system that keeps us protected from the vulnerability needed to give and receive genuine love. You might look at the thread "Healing the false self" for some resources. Psychotherapy that focuses on the present moment relationship, or how the client feels to let the therapist "in" can begin to heal some of these distortions so that we aren't as dependent upon mood altering substances when the yearnings of the old loneliness arises - giving those yearnings a healthy container that is nourishing to the heart.

As for exposure to evil . . . I wouldn't make this the primary focus, other than to limit or eliminate the behaviors and people that are making you energetically vulnerable to evil. We can't go from unhealthy addictive attachments to aescetical spiritual withdrawal all at once, but need people in our lives that are trustworthy and supportive, which might include a therapist who helps us get real and open to being loved in the places that hurt.

Part of addiction is that we end up complicating things, or becoming overly sophisticated or intellectual, in order to avoid a genuine relational opening that is so vulnerable and threatening. So trying to find a spirituality that isn't directly dealing with apparent, deeper attachment traumas will probably only feed the false tendencies. As such, I'd recommend the therapeutic relationship before getting more involved in spiritual matters, since the latter has already taken on so much pain and confusion in your life.
 
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Jacques,

Most of the time, when a person has been exposed to darker occult energies, with or without drugs, these energies don't simply go away when the person gives himself to Christ. They hang about,looking for chinks in the armour,waiting for opportunities to relaunch their assault. But God is gracious, he'll keep you and protect you.

Getting involved with energy work increases the risk of exposure to these darker energies. I went for an aromatherapy massage recently. Pretty harmless for most folk. The woman who administered it was a new agey type - crystals, reiki, the lot - but worked in the cancer ward of the local hospital, which gave it a kind of seal of approval. That night I had a pretty severe demonic attack. I fought the demon with Christ's name but was forced to finally acknowledged that, for me, someone who has been exposed to the occult through drugs like yourself, there is a gaping wound that demons will exploit if I give myself over to any energy work that doesn't involve Christ as Lord.

Now I've got to balance this all out with an activated Kundalini, which also draws me into the demonic at times, but not because it's unclean of itself, more because I'm broken. Why would you want to do energy work anyway when you're in this relationship with Christ as Lord?

The best thing you can do would be to keep things simply Christian. Read scipture, pray with scripture, by all means seek the Lord in silence. But don't get involved in anything too mantra like, or deeply meditative. Even some forms of prayer have exposed me to the darker energies because the method involved has been incompatibale with my weaknesses and my history. Pray simply, with short phrases, using Christ's name, open yourself to God's grace without opening yourself to demonic energies.

Be free, Jacques, but be careful too!
 
Posts: 464 | Location: UK | Registered: 28 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi W.C. and Stephen,

Thank you for your replies!

W.C. I am currently seeing a Christian counselor. He was one of my lecturers at my Theological College but left there to pursue his passion and calling as a Christian counselor and spiritual director. I have seen him on and off for the last five years and am currently seeing him for spiritual direction 1-2 times a month.

We do discuss many things and the process is wonderful and helpful. The reason I posted here was to perhaps get some other feedback on my situation. My struggle at the moment is really about how to bridge the gap between what I feel spiritually and theologically with what has happened in my past.

Stephen, I can't help but feel that if our metaphysical makeup can be explained by the chakra system and it's energies, then working directly on that system with it's energies would be helpful to my spiritual, psychological and physical development.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Why not let Christ work on it for you? He created it after all.
 
Posts: 464 | Location: UK | Registered: 28 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jacques!
I'm deeply touched by your experience. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

You are returned back home and I must say congratulation. You are now fully protected by Jesus Christ. Your experience shows how Satan is deceitful and Christ is the lord of Lord. Indeed Christ's love is immeasurable and he is the only one we can rightly call him a Lord of Lord.

Using your God given free will you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. This choice is pivotal. As you pointed out correctly through Christ all sin is forgiven. However, the choice to turn away from Christ is one that must be allowed to play out because in making that choice, Christ is unable to override your free will and intervene in your behalf. We must experience the consequences of our actions, even after accepting Christ. That may be is the reason why you had bad hallucinations and recurring nightmares for many months after you accepted Christ. After we accept Christ attack from Satan is inevitable. Ironically this attack helping us to strengthen our faith on God. This seems to apply mostly to those who continued to follow or associate with the impure energies after they had awareness of them, thus, turning away from Christ by giving their focus to the impure energy.

My feedback to you is simple: focus on Christ through reading the bible, listening Christian based music, attend frequently Church and participate in the communion of Eucharist. One thing is assured. The battle has been waged and won by Christ and you are saved for eternity. In your current life if you feel uncomfortable and even feel sometime pain leave everything to Christ. Don't try to fix it by yourself. Christ is always with you and he heals you miraculously. Just trust him fully. Re. chakras there is no problem with the Chakras as long as you view them in the context of Christianity. You don't need to focus on them particularly. As Stephen pointed out let Christ work on it for you. I'm sure the Spirit leads you rightly.

Much love to you
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello Jacques,
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I would agree with what Grace and Steve have advised you regarding your Christain practice, and encourage you to try to be patient as Christ transforms you, which He surely is doing.
You didn't ask us to pray for you, but rest assured, the prayers of the faith community are powerful and healing. We will be holding you in God's light.
Peace,
Revkah
 
Posts: 82 | Location: wisconsin | Registered: 13 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I struggle with how to sift satanic and demonic activity in non-christian religions and philosophies. Any comments or questions would be much appreciated. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Hi Jacques,

I like a well-told story of recovery. Thanks for your sharing.

As for your question above, I have a few comments.

Before doing inter-religious dialogue, get grounded in your own religious tradition and faith. I have done some dialogue with Buddhists in Thailand, and I found it helpful to keep coming back to my own Christian faith, speaking as an open, unabashed Christian. I don't claim to understand Buddhism; rather, I went into the dialogue to better understand my own faith.

Before doing mystical practice and theology, get ground in the basics of right practice and thought for ordinary life. That takes a while, especially when you have taken big detours from right thought and practice. I tried to put the mystical stuff on the back burner until I was over forty and I'm glad I did.

Don't go to other religions looking for a way out of the hard teachings of your own religion. I suspect I've done a little of that with Kundalini-talk I've been doing on this forum. I don't really understand the notion of Kundalini with a firm grounding of the cultural and religious traditions from which it came. Lately, I've been leaning toward calling "it" "sexual energy" and focusing primarily on integrating my experience with the teachings of my own Christian tradition.

Hope some of this might be of use. Again, thanks for sharing.
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe in fallen rebellous angels who are here to pervert and destroy the good, the true and the beautiful and twist it toward destructiveness.

I found some good Carmelite direction on the subject this morning:

"May what I have said help the true servant of God to make little account of these horrors, which the devils present us with in order to make us afraid.
Let him realize that, every time we pay little heed to them, they lose much of their power and
and the soul gains much more control over them. We always derive great benefit from these experiences...
The fact is, I realize so clearly now how little power the devils have, if I am not fighting against God, that I am hardly afraid of them at all: for their strength is nothing unless they find souls surrendering to them and growing cowardly, in which case they do indeed show their power." -Theresa of Avila

They are hanging around waiting for the opportunity to stir up mischief. I know about them in the back of my mind, but without my cooperation what can they accomplish? Smiler

caritas, mm <*)))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey All,
Thanks for sharing.

I feel like perhaps I need to add something to bring everybody up to date. The story I shared ends six years ago, I shared it because some of the themes are asking further exploration from me today, but haven't for much of the time in between. Of course much has happened since then.

After coming back to Jesus I felt an intense desire to enter into full time ministry. 10 months later I was enrolled at the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa.

My first taste of real Christianity a few weeks after my conversion was not good, but very fundamentalist. The group my mother sent me to to help me get over the drugs was extremely anti-catholic, anti-charasmatic, anti-everything except themselves. From there I attended various churches including: Reformed Baptist, Non-Reformed Baptist, Charasmatic, Anglican, And currently I am at a Vineyard church.

My faith journey has been both wonderful and challenging. Continually asking me to put aside fear and predudice and open to more and more in love.

At Theological college i was introduced to the mystics and mystical theology. I fell in love! While I love systematic theology, I cannot practice it without Mystical theology close at hand.

I have been off drugs for 6 years, though i have struggled on and off with over-indulgence of alcohol.

I am currently married (3 years last January) and have a son (8 Months Old).

Much Love in the Lord Jesus!
Jacques
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jacques:
[qb] ...perhaps I need to add something to bring everybody up to date. [/qb]
Thanks Jacques for bringing us up to date. Sounds like you've grown a lot in one night, I mean six years. Wink

My wife and I, were unable to have a child. That freed me up to explore mystical theology with a life situation somewhat like a monk (the no child part). Your situation is different.

I'm glad to hear that your love for mystical theology is in conversation with systematic theology. My blessings to you in your life and work.
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
posted
"At Theological college i was introduced to the mystics and mystical theology. I fell in love! While I love systematic theology, I cannot practice it without Mystical theology close at hand."

Sounds good!! I can relate to that discovery, i.e, going from a fear/shame-based fundamentalist camp to discoverying such genuine nourishment.


"I am currently married (3 years last January) and have a son (8 Months Old)."


Congradulations. The care of a child must be a powerful experience. And if you're navigating marital intimacy with some success, and can be an attentive dad, then perhaps the developmental issues I mentioned aren't an issue for you.
 
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It's really great to see our little community interacting on this topic. Thanks for your sharing, Jacques. I think you've received some excellent feedback so far.

My own view has been the same as others -- that with regard to K it's best to focus first on developing one's relationship with God through prayer, contemplation, study, the practice of virtue, etc. Giving too much attention to practices that attempt to "manage" the energy process can be dangerous, as this is, ultimately, a shifting of attention to self. Considering the principle that "energy follows attention," you can see how and why this shift in focus can be costly.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Everybody,

Thank you so much for your continued interaction.

I re-read the posts and have some questions and comments:

W.C. you said that I should seek therapy to
quote:
gently shift your addictive tendencies toward healthier attachment relationships
I am sorry, but I am not very familiar with psychological language. What are attachment relationships?

quote:
Part of addiction is that we end up complicating things, or becoming overly sophisticated or intellectual, in order to avoid a genuine relational opening that is so vulnerable and threatening.
I can certainly see myself in that one! I can be highly complicated and intellectual, but truly struggle with relationship. Being an introvert with low self esteem makes it even worse. While I agree with your later statement that I have grown a lot since the time of my drug addictions, I still have deeply addictive tendancies (as well as many other issues) that I have to constantly check. So, your comments are still greatly appreciated.

Stephen you say
quote:
these energies don't simply go away when the person gives himself to Christ. They hang about,looking for chinks in the armour,waiting for opportunities to relaunch their assault.
Are you saying that the energies themselves have some sort of conciousness or that demons project these energies or are you saying something else?

quote:
Why not let Christ work on it for you? He created it after all.
Such a valuable statement Stephen. I realised today that just because the chakras exist doesn't mean I have to do anything about them. My lungs also exist but I don't have to do anything to make them work, they just do. By seeking to stimulate the chakras I am (to quote W.C.)
quote:
objectifying the body and its energies rather than opening beyond myself to others and to God.
My body exists to allow me to be in relationship with others, not to play metaphysical doctor doctor with myself. It is through right relationship with God and others that my Chakras will be aligned, not through techniques etc.

quote:
as this is, ultimately, a shifting of attention to self.
so right Phil!!!

W.C. I did check out that link for psychotherapy, I liked what I could understand, but some of the language and terms used went over my head. As i said i am not very familiar with psycho-jargon.

Regarding my relationship with my spiritual director. I have never been in intense therapy with him, only went to see him regarding specific issues at specific times, and they were usually resolved within a few sessions. My current relationship with him is for spiritual direction not really counselling, though imo (and I think in his too) the two work together. I don't really know how to judge what he does with what you are talking about, but I know that he is a man who I deeply love and trust as a friend and father figure and he mostly just listens to me and from time to time says something. He is not at all prescriptive, but simply allows me space to share, reflect and be.

quote:
Don't go to other religions looking for a way out of the hard teachings of your own religion
certainly not, only seeking to expand my mental library and find a place for all the expressions and experiences in the world in ways that fit within my Christian framework and worldview.

quote:
The care of a child must be a powerful experience. And if you're navigating marital intimacy with some success, and can be an attentive dad, then perhaps the developmental issues I mentioned aren't an issue for you.
Both relationships are so challenging and rewarding. I think I remember reading Phil somewhere as saying that he would never have grown as much living a celibate life (ie as a priest). I wholeheartedly agree. God is about relationships and these two certainly force me to grow.

Still, I am nowhere near perfect and so I have appreciated all of you comments W.C. (and everybody else).

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Much love in the Lord Jesus
Jacques
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One other question, Does evil always manifest as directly or obviously evil. Where does the deception come in. Is false teaching or doctrine or dogma not as bad as sinful action?
 
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<w.c.>
posted
Jacques:

Regarding the subtlety of evil, you might check out C.S. Lewis' book "The Screwtape Letters," which is also a good read.

As for defining attachment relationships in relation to spiritual growth and kundalini process . . . . sorry about the jargon, although it is inevitable to some extent. What I'm refering to is the enduring quality of the child's relationship with his or her parents, particularly the mother, especially during developmental periods when the nervous system is taking shape. When the mother is unable to soothe her own painful emotions without repressing or becoming overly intellectual, her responses to her infant's powerful emotional states will typically lack empathy; this leaves the infant disregulated, or unable to let the mother "in" as a source of soothing which the infant cannot provide alone. This learning experience, i.e, that mother isn't a source of soothing, is impossible for the infant and young child to accept, and so in order to preserve hope in the mother, the child adapts by becoming a false self, or one who doesn't have to feel his need for empathetic communication. Some children show their insecurity by becoming "avoidant," or seeming not to need the mother's comfort, although when measured for stress with ECG and EEG, they tend to show clear signs of distress even though it doesn't appear behaviorally. Other children become "ambivalent," showing their distress more obviously, caught between needing to trust the mother but knowing that she isn't empathetically available when they are feeling emotional pain.

And so in the place of the unavailable mother children look for other things, or soothing objects that can't reject them. As adults, addictions are some of the most powerful objects for this purpose, as they give us at least temporary soothing yet without demanding we be vulnerable to another human being.

The good news in all of this is that the adult nervous system is adaptable, or "plastic," or malleable, and that a certain kind of intimately engaged psychotherapy can access this capacity for change so that internal growth can begin again.

Let me know if I need to further clarify some area of this subject.
 
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I have read part of it, but never finished it. Perhaps I should pick it up again. Do you think Lewis deals with all the different ways that evil manifests or is he coming at it from a specific angle. Where could I get an analysis of evil that gets at the heart of it and then also examines the different ways this can manifest in life situations, philosophies, religions etc.

Regarding the definition of the therapy, thank you, that explains a lot. I think that my wife and I certainly try to remedy the negative effects of this process in each other's lives and I do think my spiritual director helps this process too.

Perhaps a similar explanation of the things your suggested therapy does with you that you feel is key to healthy growth away from the false self and addiction.

When you talk about the need for the nervous system to be changed, I get a little lost. Are you saying that change needs to be physical before it becomes psychological/emotional and spiritual?
 
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<w.c.>
posted
Jacques:

I'll get back to your post with more of a response later, but as for the nervous system, I was referring to how psychological change prompts optimal neurophysiological function. Just as overwhelming stress shapes the nervous system and impacts gene expression, learning to give and receive love actually enhances the total organism.
 
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One other question, Does evil always manifest as directly or obviously evil. Where does the deception come in. Is false teaching or doctrine or dogma not as bad as sinful action?

Jacques, you put very good question. I will try to address your question based on my experience.

Evil spirits are unseen entities by our physical eyes. They have very powerful energy which they can influence us. Nobody wants to do with evil spirits. This is why they decieve us through veil. They don't manifest directly unless we develop high spirit discerenment through Christ. Normally they blind us from the downward spiral activity we are engaged in or they veiled us by their dark energy. These things occurred always unnoticed in the life of ordinary human beings. The question is how they can enter in us without our awareness. As a result of Original sin humanity is living separated from God. This separation from God creates dense energy in our soul. By nature this dense energies attract other dense energies and other entities. In this way they can easily enter into our consciousness and we become addicted to the activity of False self. They exist in everything including in the realm of spirituality. The only area they can�t touch is Christ. This is why it is pivotal that we guard ourselves by the spirit of Jesus Christ. Christ bears the most pure energy in the universe. Once we accept Christ we are automatically guarded from the infiltration of dark entities. When we grow in Christ and his spirit developed enough in us we began to discern these entities. The more we trust Christ the more they try to attack us but through Christ we are guarded. So, once we develop discernment nothing will fool us. The Holy Spirit guides us rightly. Especially at the latter stage of soul�s advancement in Christ we can rightly guided through discernment. So, once you are able to discern spirits it will be easier to discern false teachings from true teachings. One thing I want to point out is regardless we are able to discern or not our acceptance and faith on Christ makes us fully guarded from these entities. This doesn't mean we are exempted from attack. All who carry the light of Christ are exposed to attack. Ironically this attack helpes us to strengthen our faith in Christ and to be more like him. The only thing we need to do is we show our faith through prayer and meditation the rest of the job is done by Christ.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Question out of the blue.

I sometimes feel a watery kind of pressure behind my eyes and forehead. Is this possibly energy/kundalini or not.

It usually occurs during times of intense spiritual type reading, sometimes during prayer. Though I have not thoroughly analysed the occurance. I bring it up now because it is happening now while I read various posts on Shalomplace.
 
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Hi Jacques,

I celebrate with you your freedom in and through Christ and give you and your family many blessings. Glad that you joined us here at S.P. Smiler

Your experiences under the influence of drugs where most frightening. In your testimony I see the workings of satan and demons in their entrancement of your slavery to drugs. It was by the very first enticement of your desire to use drugs that satan had influence in your control. It was God's power of love and your own desire to be free that gave you a new life in Him.

Now this is all behind you and peace and love surround you with countless blessings.

Enjoy your continued sharing with us.
 
Posts: 571 | Location: Oregon | Registered: 20 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jacques,

I've been reading some accounts of those who speak with angels, and what they say over and over again is that they are very sensitive, and cannot remain around anger. This may be why alot of my married freinds tell me that they call a "time-out" when tempers flare and return to work it out in a period of relative calm. Makes sense to me. I have seldom felt the divine presence during overwhelming stress or anger arising from fear,
the number one topic in twelve step groups.

caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Question out of the blue.

I sometimes feel a watery kind of pressure behind my eyes and forehead. Is this possibly energy/kundalini or not.

It usually occurs during times of intense spiritual type reading, sometimes during prayer. Though I have not thoroughly analysed the occurance. I bring it up now because it is happening now while I read various posts on Shalomplace.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jacques,

Yes, I know what you mean, many of our posts can move one to tears. Big Grin

Seriously, you are quite keen in your awareness of the workings within your body. During relaxation and spiritual states the energy flow is more pronounced in its upward flow, and this is what you may be experiencing. To pinpoint it as a definite energy/kundalini sign is questionable since this is the only symptom that you are describing.

If your eyes have been checked and there is no eye strain together with any other uncomfortableness, I would just relax and enjoy same as a spiritual lifting, and lets see what further develops.

Hopefully it happens as you are reading my warm and tender posts.



Smiler
 
Posts: 571 | Location: Oregon | Registered: 20 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jacques, last time I have told your story to my Christian friends and like me they also was touched by your story. Thanks again.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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