OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 22, 2014, 04:38:36 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is this God talking or the torments of the demons? Related to my writing  (Read 182 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.
Rhinosaur
Homo Vivius
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic (Orthodox Inquirer)
Posts: 169



« on: Today at 12:12:02 AM »

One of my big passions is writing, creative writing to be more specific.  I generally prefer a mix of fantasy and science fiction.  However, as I've gone deeper into my Orthodox catechumenate, I'm having some problems.  Let me be more specific;

As many who have converted to Orthodoxy know, when you are beginning, the Devil often tries to discourage you through all sorts of means.  For me personally, it was a combination of trying to make me doubt Orthodoxy, trying to make me think that venerating icons was bad, trying to force me into a super-strict prayer routine to tire me about, afflicting me with physical ailments, and making me think that I was too sinful for Orthodoxy.  A while ago, it would feel like my brain was on fire when I went to venerate an icon of Christ.

Getting to my writing, when this stuff was at its peak, whenever I went to write, I would get this feeling telling me that I was insulting Christ with my work, and that I was disobeying God's plan for me by trying to write my stories.  These feelings were harsh, brutal, and cruel, and gave me the same sense of misery and hopelessness as the Devil's other attacks against me; I got very little feeling of God's love.  As these attacks have worn down, I went back and finished and submitted a story for publication.  But as I went back to write some more, I was afflicted again.  As soon as I went to write, I would get these sensations telling me that I should listen to music, go for a walk, even go visit certain harmful websites; anything except do my writing.  I know full well that God does not torture people like this, but there's more to it.

My mother was and still is a big pacifist, and when I was young, she tried to shield me from a great deal of media that she felt to be too violent.  Maybe it was a big excessive on her part, but she instilled good values in me.  As I grew older, I began to play more violent games and watch violent movies (I'm a big fan of the Aliens, Predator, and Terminator series').  I never became a violent person (there is a dark side in me, but it's been there since I was little) and I still continued to value pacifism, at least in a theoretical sense.

Flash forward to today; while my stories don't revel in gore and violence just for the sake of it, they are violent on the level of maybe Star Wars, possibly The Terminator.  More and more, I had this attack of conscience that simply writing stories with violence in them was promoting evil in the world and bad values, regardless of the context of the violence.  I do not know if this is God talking to me, my own conscience talking to me, or just some of my inbuilt neuroses manifesting themselves.  I talked to my priest about this and he said that negative topics such as violence and sex are all in how you use them.  If you revel in nihilism and destruction, that's bad, but if you portray violence as negative, then it's alright.  I mentioned to him how Tolkien, a devout Christian, had a great deal of violence in his books, and my priest seemed to see nothing wrong in those books.  Still, these feelings have continued. 

Back when I was suffering from my own form of demonic oppression, I did not know that they were demons but thought that it was God who was bearing down on me so harshly.  My priest later told me that that is not how God works; God is a God of peace, not oppression and fear.  He lets us follow Him or not, He doesn't drag us along unwillingly.  Yet, at the time, I did not know that.  It was probably the whole Catholic guilt thing that at least partially made me think that the oppressive spirit that wanted to punish me for every little thing that I did wrong (or at least that the spirit thought was wrong) was actually God, but regardless, on at least one occasion, I lashed back and essentially said in my mind "Leave me alone God!  I'm not following your oppressive path regardless of what you want!"  Now, since that wasn't actually God, I didn't really directly reject Him, but now I feel like I've found myself in a spiritual Catch 22.  I know that rejecting what a demon wants you to do is right and proper, but at the time, I explicitly aimed my vitriol at God.  Now, I feel that if I do writing, I'm implicitly going against God because of what I said/thought.  I spat in God's face and showed that I was willing to defy Him, thus playing directly into Satan's hands.  I don't know what to do.

Tonight, I went to try to write and it was like a swarm of bats came into my head, trying to get me to do something else.  Again, I know that this is not how God operates.  But while talking to my priest, he said that if one rejects God's Will, they are letting in a negative spirit.  I am wondering; am I being defiant in continuing to write and thus letting the Devil into my life, or is Satan trying to dissuade me from writing by assaulting me to try to make me miserable?  This whole thing has made me sad and confused and has hurt my spiritual growth.

As I've become more Orthodox, I've given up some things like certain music, certain ways of thinking, and certain behaviors, and I think that little by little, I am being changed by God's grace.  I've come to learn that God is not the micro-manager that I thought of Him for years as, but someone who loves you and wants to gently and subtly guide you on the path to salvation.  But when it comes to my writing, I've hit a stumbling block.  If God wants me to give it up, then I'll do it.  But the way that it feels like I'm being pushed into giving it up does not seem like Christ's way at all, but more like the tactics that the demons used to keep me away from Orthodoxy.  Still, there's the addition of my conscience attack concerning violence.  Christ gave people a choice if they wanted to follow Him or not; He did not beat them over the head or drag them through the mud to make them follow Him.  Sometimes, even when I consider going to write, it's like a heavy blanket is placed over my brain to try to smother my creative energy.  My writing is something that I truly love to do, and the stories that I write have positive messages about perseverance and doing the right thing.  Indeed, I plan to incorporate both subtle and blatant Orthodox Christian elements (Orthodox science fiction; now that would be something new).  Is this God's Will, my own neuroses, or is Satan tormenting me?  I am praying about it, but it's really getting me down.
Logged
Minnesotan
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Raised evangelical, inquiring into Orthodoxy
Jurisdiction: Interested in becoming Antiochian
Posts: 74


From the Land of 10,000 Lakes


« Reply #1 on: Today at 01:18:33 AM »

7 O Lord, Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; Thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed. I am in derision daily; every one mocketh me.

8 For when I spoke, I cried out; I cried, “Violence and despoliation!” because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me and a derision daily.

9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name.” But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not hold back.


That's from Jeremiah 20. Even a prophet got angry with God. Please, please, don't beat yourself up about it. That's what the demons want you to do.

I for one would love to see some examples of your writing. Orthodox science fiction would be awesome, and I agree there aren't too many examples of it out there. (I suppose you could count the Space Trilogy as an example, if you believe--like Kallistos Ware does--that C. S. Lewis' faith was essentially Orthodox even if his church wasn't).

I have a classmate who writes fantasy and sci-fi. She (like me) comes from a broadly evangelical background, and she isn't Orthodox (at least not yet). But she's very "Orthophilic", and Fyodor Dostoyevsky is by far her favorite writer. She mentioned that in the stories she writes, the version of Christianity that exists in that world is a blend of different traditions of which Russian Orthodoxy is one. Perhaps she will one day make a similar journey to the one I'm currently undertaking.

I myself enjoy creative projects, too. My main interest is songwriting. Although I'm not Orthodox yet, its influence is already starting to show through in my work. Last year I wrote a lighthearted Christmas song describing traditions in countries that celebrate it in January. This year my Christmas song will be based on the 1985 Twilight Zone episode "The Star". I'm also working on a loose concept album, and one of the songs is about Lalibela (which is OO; while I'm heading towards EO, I do admire the Orientals a great deal).
« Last Edit: Today at 01:22:48 AM by Minnesotan » Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,300



« Reply #2 on: Today at 10:07:09 AM »

If any activity is really getting you down, give it a rest for awhile until your mind is clearer.

As far as God is concerned, He knows you inside and out and understands your struggles. He even wants to help you. Remember the Prodigal Son? Asking your father for your inheritance while he was still alive was unheard of in that time and culture, as well as a very hurtful and disrespectful thing to do - it was like saying, "I wish you were dead," to your father. Yet the father gave the son his inheritance (probably knowing the son would blow it all) and when the son returned, the father ran to him and rejoiced. Even so does God rejoice in us when we turn to Him - He wants us to love Him; He wants us to have the abundant life that He promises. He's always and forever waiting to love us and welcome us home.

Anything else is the devil's deception to trick you.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 8,081



« Reply #3 on: Today at 10:28:13 AM »

I can't really give any advice specific to your situation since I've never read any of your writings to know how you approach the subject of violence, but violence can really be used allegorically as a symbol for struggle. Like what you mentioned about Tolkien, sure there was violence in his books, but the overarching point was the struggle of good vs evil. Really, if you look at what you are going through, you are struggling with the concept of how to incorporate a hobby/passion into your newfound faith. Those two things do not need to be in friction with one another, indeed, they can complement each other, but you must fight through the struggles to figure out how to come to peace with it. I suspect it is not God or demons or even your own neurosis, it is your brain trying to figure out how to mesh these two things together in your life in a way that makes sense. Once you are able to do that, it will help your grow not only as a Christian, but as a writer as well.  May God bless you and your writings.  Smiley
Logged

Have you considered the possibility that your face is an ad hominem?
Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 13,456


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:25:24 PM »

It may help for you to go to Confession. Just a thought.
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
Rhinosaur
Homo Vivius
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic (Orthodox Inquirer)
Posts: 169



« Reply #5 on: Today at 12:41:00 PM »

It may help for you to go to Confession. Just a thought.

I'm not officially Orthodox, so I sadly can't do that.
Logged
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 13,456


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #6 on: Today at 12:55:27 PM »

It may help for you to go to Confession. Just a thought.

I'm not officially Orthodox, so I sadly can't do that.

Sorry.

Lord have mercy.
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.078 seconds with 34 queries.