True.Thoughtful wrote: ↑Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:04 pmChange is a process, not an event. And, no one changes unless conditions are right for it to occur. Perhaps for some (many) it's psychotropics, or cognitive restructuring. For a few it might be church.Mad Jax wrote: ↑Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:50 amI have said almost nothing about this since returning and maybe it's time. So here's a thought on that.
I've very recently concluded a six month therapy course in order to treat a pretty severe mental illness (schizophreniform disorder). I hope my silence on that subject isn't seen as dishonesty. Having undergone it in no way makes me an expert on psychiatry, psychology, or neuroscience nor am I claiming it does. Nevertheless I've experienced how antipsychotic medication (loxapine) combined with real therapeutic self examination and cognitive recognition techniques can effectively build healthy neurological pathways and diminish the unhealthy ones.
Without delving too much into the details of the process (which is fascinating, but would divert too much) the trouble is that it takes such brutal honesty and unpleasant realization of where you are psychologically and in my case, a painfully obvious lack of maturity and ownership of past mistakes. Of recognizing sources of distress and trauma in the past and, rather than bury them, letting your mind pass through them and over them and learning to immunize yourself against the mind viruses of that which wounds us. All of these are much more difficult than the escapism of indulgent griping, or tantric sexual encounters, or chemically inducing a stupor, or cathartic violence.
So change is very hard, or at least is for me, but I believe it is possible if one possesses:
1. The desire to do so above one's desire to maintain their ego.
2. The correct path and principles that will guide the change.
I think number two is more malleable, as what may work for one may not work for another. I think you are correct that few religions offer this in the right way. Certainly the differences between the church (You have committed sins, and they have removed you from God, but may find atonement at the hands of a mediator) are not the same as that of therapy (There is no such thing as sin, but mistakes do have consequences, and there is no atonement but what you make). I can say that the former doesn't work for me and that's all I can say about it. It may work for others.
Few people will change and I agree that few will change because of the church. But I hold to the belief that redemption is possible for almost anybody if they really desire it, even the most unlikely of people.
I hate the quote by Packer that studying the gospel changes people faster than psychology does. Nothing changes anyone without the environment (including sometimes genes, neurotransmitters, hormones) being able to change.
All of this.
My sister is a recovering alcoholic and has been for thirty years.
Yes, it took her hitting rock bottom.
Yes, it's a daily struggle for her.
I admire her, immensely.