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  1. #11
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I would think about this decision for a long while. there are many, many ways for you to find community, and especially to be of service to others.
    I wouldn't worry about being called a martyr (who would call someone that? It's such an extreme external judgement to lay on another person). THE FACT IS that the world needs compassionate people, so follow your heart.

  2. #12
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    No, martyr is a label that doesn't suit me. I consider myself a spiritually minded person, and I do have... ascetic tendencies.. but I've always had a fighter mentality. Not to say I'm a contentious person. I just don't take suffering well, like a martyr does. And I don't take other people's suffering well without looking for someone or something to blame for it. And then trying to create solutions with that in mind.. that there is something that needs to be stopped. Not something I need to suffer through myself. It's just how my mind works. If we're talking Catholics, my "patron" saint is Joan of Arc, if anyone. If I had to choose, I'd rather be burned at the stake for raising my voice rather than be someone like Father Damien who died quietly and tragically, serving a leper colony and then contracting the disease himself. Stories of real martyr types kind of frustrate and confound me, even just reading about them.

  3. #13
    Senor Membrane
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    Oh, I am pretty far from being a martyr... Well, it depends, actually.

    From my point of view I am definitely not a martyr because I enjoy living by my principles and sacrificing some things along the way. From other people's point of view I might be seen a martyr because I can give up a lot in order to live according to the principles. The enjoyment part is the key here. If you call yourself a martyr and live a deprived life (from your POV), the martyr image will keep you warm for a year or two. But if you enjoy what you get by giving up the things, then you are not a martyr, and will most likely live a happier life than most people since you followed your heart.

    For me, the archetype that seems to pop up often is the sage, but I have never thought of actually becoming a monk or such. It seems like monks are more about the church "showing off" these "specialists" they have on the way to becoming saints or something, than about the individual evolving in his own direction. In other words, I don't think that I would do myself any good by tying myself to an institution. Besides, it's not like I buy the mainstream religion anyways. But I do think that the ideal of sage is an important part of me. I think it just represents a search of different kind of wisdom, and different standard of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by lapalm View Post
    In order to gain true life, we must die unto ourselves.
    To me, that doesn't mean sacrificing myself. It means that if anyone manages to "kill" their ego, they will be enlightened. If I sacrifice myself, the thing commanding the sacrificial will be my ego, so the sacrifice is not really about getting rid of the ego, instead it makes the ego stronger, and will make you more likely to pride your fake spiritual success. In other words, you cannot die to yourself by deciding to do so. It is impossible for the ego to make a suicide. That's why they talk about grace.

    Quote Originally Posted by lapalm View Post
    Basically, I have a "feeling" or "sense" (I don't know the difference these days) that I am going to become a nun eventually. Religious life is starting to look more appealing as I realize it would be nice to live in a community that would value who I am and that I can help people and live for something I am 100% faithful in. Also, the more I think about a relationship with someone, the more I feel like a freak who lives better on my own. I honestly don't know if I will be emotionally able to be happy in a marriage. Am I always idealizing that feeling of happiness? Maybe. All of this paired with my tendency to obsess over things and my desire to know what I'm doing with my life. Bad combo.
    To me this sounds a little bit like you are having trouble justifying your style of life to other people, and feel it would be easier to do so if you were a nun. Am I right?

  4. #14
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    I think being a martyr is more of an INFP 1 or 2 sx/so thing. it certainly wouldn't appeal to a self preservation person of any type. INFP 9s, 5s and 7s probably wouldn't find much appeal in it either.

  5. #15
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    So much to reply to! Let me gather my thoughts.

    First off:

    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    *looks at thread title*

    lol
    hahah i know i know. What I meant to say was "LISTEN UP, I own this place...tell me your thoughts. NOW"

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't think that there are hierarchies of faith. Everyone in the body of Christ has different roles, but are essentially equal in that they all have Christ. Just as the three persons of the trinity have different roles requiring them to submit to one another, but each is still God.

    Just because one is devoted to their faith doesn't mean they should enter into ministry. I believe the alternate view buys into the myth of a world that is divided into the secular and religious or spiritual and material. A believer should be able to be devoted to God and have their faith influence all of their life whether they are a janitor, doctor, teacher, or a nun. I completely believe somebody can die unto themselves and be an accountant.

    Whatever you do make sure that your decision is based on what will bring you joy and not on avoiding what you are afraid of.
    I agree with you 100%. Dying to yourself and living for your faith doesn't mean you have to give up your old life and live as a dainty little religious person. In fact, the more I study my faith, the more I understand that it's about surrendering right now in the moment, as opposed to assuming that we need to change our circumstances in order to follow God. Thanks for the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    While it seems like I will have to stay single forever anyway lol, I know already what it means to fall in love to someone, and I wouldn't want to give away the possibility to once found a family. I don't know if I will ever get into a relationship, I don't know if I will be able to lead a successfull relationship, but I know I want to try at least.
    Just wanted to say I know how you feel

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    please dont make yourself a living sacrifice, it makes no sense. i mean (lets assume that the god in your religion exists) god gave you a gift of life, so wouldnt the greatest appreciation to him about this gift of life that he gave you, be that you use and enjoy it as much as you can and do some good with it? as a nun you might feel that you do good things to other by serving their religious needs, but if you live like that, you live for other peoples lives, but waste your gift of life. if you want to put your life in a good use, better way to do that would be something like doing volunteer work for starving kids in africa or saving the rain forests, i may be bit pessimistic, but prayers dont seem to do much good about real sufferings of people. also by doing volunteer work, you wouldnt have to be a living sacrifice, but you could be a person who uses her gift of life as god intended and help earthly needs of others to help them to live happier life also.

    i suggest looking at jungs view on religions, it might give you quite different view on your religion and help you find god even using your own religious believes, but you must not judge other views about god either. jung said this thing about god late in his life; "i used to believe, now i know". find out what he meant with it, and you will know too.
    Definitely definitely not judging. In fact, I believe there are other religions and churches because people are different and we understand God in different ways. Huge generalization of the world, but I never bash other religions and always try to understand their history and why they do things. As long as they're worshipping God and not the religion/church...just using it as a means to practice their belief (er, knowing) in God. Which of course isn't always happening.

    Also (replying to the quote below also), it is important to take care of the physical needs of the world. Very important. However, supporting people in their faith journeys is also. It's like nourishing spirits/souls/minds. In doing this, we may be allowing someone to realize that they are not living up to their full potential which could be to start an organization serving kids in Africa, or something of the like. Know what I mean? Maybe sounds like a lot of work, and why don't people just do that right now, but as we all know things might not work that smoothly, and sometimes people could use some insight from outside themselves to understand their gifts.

    I'll check out jungs explanation. I would like to understand what he means by that.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    yep, but the service is mostly religious or aimed mostly to people who go to your church or need to be converted. i dont really think that this is as necessary as getting food to starving children in africa or saving the rain forests. imo its pretty stupid to help people who already are in a position where they can survive and helping someone to make them agree you with something is pure evil. helping people with their religious problems is just helping someone who already got everything he needs to live even more comfortable, so it is pretty unnecessary compared to helping people from suffering or dying.
    I said my thoughts on this for the previous quote.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    To me, that doesn't mean sacrificing myself. It means that if anyone manages to "kill" their ego, they will be enlightened. If I sacrifice myself, the thing commanding the sacrificial will be my ego, so the sacrifice is not really about getting rid of the ego, instead it makes the ego stronger, and will make you more likely to pride your fake spiritual success. In other words, you cannot die to yourself by deciding to do so. It is impossible for the ego to make a suicide. That's why they talk about grace.


    To me this sounds a little bit like you are having trouble justifying your style of life to other people, and feel it would be easier to do so if you were a nun. Am I right?
    Agree with the "kill" your ego and be enlightened comment. When I was first discerning, I talked to a campus minister and said "being a nun sounds like the ultimate sacrifice you can make to God. And I just feel like if I know that it is there, I have to do it" and she said "well, God wants you to be happy, he doesn't 'need' you to do anything to make him happy, but to live the life he intended for you." And...a few months ago I read the bible verse "For I desire love, not sacrifice" which really spoke to me. It showed me that
    1. God doesn't want my victim attitude for the sacrifice
    2. Whatever I do, I need to do it out of complete love and joy, not because I think it will make me look good

    To answer your question, no. Not really, at all. I think I am having more trouble justifying my style of life to myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    No, martyr is a label that doesn't suit me. I consider myself a spiritually minded person, and I do have... ascetic tendencies.. but I've always had a fighter mentality. Not to say I'm a contentious person. I just don't take suffering well, like a martyr does. And I don't take other people's suffering well without looking for someone or something to blame for it. And then trying to create solutions with that in mind.. that there is something that needs to be stopped. Not something I need to suffer through myself. It's just how my mind works. If we're talking Catholics, my "patron" saint is Joan of Arc, if anyone. If I had to choose, I'd rather be burned at the stake for raising my voice rather than be someone like Father Damien who died quietly and tragically, serving a leper colony and then contracting the disease himself. Stories of real martyr types kind of frustrate and confound me, even just reading about them.
    I see where you're coming from. And I guess I will say (at the very end of my post...) that maybe the martyr title for this post wasn't a good idea. I think people (myself included) put nuns in a box and think they will be living in a small community and serving the nice little people around them and then going to church to pray about it. But there are lots of communities that do lots of different things, not just "standing in solidarity". I more identify with that too, actually - doing something to stop the pain as opposed to just enduring it for pain's sake. That sounds ridiculous. Although I don't look down on Fr. Damien as much. I think it was courageous him - and most likely showed the secluded lepers that they were people, after all. I guess that is the beauty of saints, there are many to look up to and be inspired by.

    Ok now that I'm done let me just say, my battle is more of an internal one. Where, I used to think I had to make this ultimate sacrifice. Once I realized I don't have to, I still feel a pull to that and think it might be in my cards. It scares me, and I would like to say that I know I am getting married, but I don't get that feeling. And I keep going in circles and it drives me crazy sometimes. I am going to a "discernment night" soon so...maybe that will help me make sense of the jungle of thoughts.

    Thanks everyone

  6. #16
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't look down on Father Damien either.. It's amazing really..I don't deny the courage it takes. It's just confusing to me, like I said. In his case, he had nothing to fight.. he's just casting his lot with lepers and then just...dying. It's hard for me to see it as productive. You make a good point though - maybe that was enough for those lepers, and it was productive.

  7. #17
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Yes. I've been this way before, trying to be a saint, sacrificing.

    Also, in work, I frequently take on more than is possible or safe, which is form of secular heroics akin to martyrdom.

    I'm not saying a infp cannot be a nun. That would be silly. But most of what I've seen of monasteries and convents has been about conformity. Many wear the same thing. It often about folding the bed, and keeping things neat and saying the same prayers over and over and over.

    I might like to do this for a short time, but I would go nuts eventually.

    Have you ever toured convents? I toured one in high school with a nun, and it was extremely neat and conforming. I've also visited a Trappist monastery (I think). Of course, it's very cool, but only on a temporary basis.

    That said, i do like reading about the saints. I do not like The Rule of St. Benedict or ANY rule. I can't stand the Spiritual exercises of Ignatius. Too "J". I can't force myself to do it. I do like the Little Flowers, and I've hung out with Franciscans behind the scenes. But still, that is tooooo conforming in many ways. I just couldn't do it. Perhaps I could be some kind of hermit who feeds the animals or something. But still, gravities of my nature being what they are, it would not last.

    For example, from the Little Flowers, St. Francis would deliberately make his food bland by mixing it water or trying to make it tasteless in order to avoid the "sin" of enjoying food. Oh, my, I'm too much of a hedonist!

    You ever read "My life for the poor" by Mother Teresa? I read that. I can see some vein in me that could do some of that. There is also a documentary about the sisters of charity. It is about serving and care-taking in many extreme situations. I cry and think, "Oh yes! I must pick maggots out of the poor peoples' wounds too."

    Ah, but I tried care-taking with the mentally retarded at l'Arche, and I was a dismal failure! Omg. I sucked. One retarded fellow there hated me. He wouldn't let me brush his teeth or give medications. After 5 months working there, omg, my dreams of being a care-taker of these people died, and I was fired. It's the only job I've ever been fired from. During my firing, they told me my domestic skills were not good, and I just couldn't develop a great relationships with everyone.

    The fact is, I didn't know how or what to clean well. Also, I burned the food cooking. Worse, although I was passionate, one particular retarded person hated me. Although, he needed care-taking, he did not want to be hugged, and I failed to build a relationship with him. That said, the head of the house was an INFP, and verifiable saint, someone reduced to pure love or something.

    I feel ashamed to think of my mixed motivations for being there. To be honest, part of the reason was to become friends with the smart people working there, some of them being cute. This is the moral equivalent of taking a puppy to the park in order to meet girls, except you are pushing a retarded person.

    I'm not unhappy I tried it, and there were some successes. I also learned some special things. However, I also learned that I'm NOT an SJ care-taker type person. My domestic skills, and my ability to cook and clean are not great.

    Thus, I'd definitely hang out with some monks, and volunteer (or work) in positions affiliated with the type of service you are interested in. It is not for everyone.

  8. #18
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    There's a certain romatictism to the idea of being a nun...I'm half way there. I have the sex thing down pat (not celibate by choice though), the religous aspects not so much. I also quite fancied being a pastor, alas I think I would bump into gender stereotypes there too....plus I have issues with christians, and I read tarot cards, so I have a tiny integrity issue as well.
    As for being a martyr for a cause....I have been so inclined when I'm all fired up, the older I get the less desire I have to be consumed by the fires of passion. Maybe I'm just getting cynical, and a little bitter (yes I know, a bitter INFP is a horrible thing to be hold), but there isn't much reward for sacrificing yourself.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #19
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    I definitely can. The prospect of throwing myself entirely into a cause or thing, and being consumed by it, and ultimately extinguished by it, is the kind of thing I'd fantasize about as a teenager. It's pretty egotistical.

    As far as I can tell, INFPs are quite attracted to the idea of spiritual purity and total sacrifice for something important, transcendent and beautiful (hence why all these INFPs are saying they'd like to be a nun or a monk or etc). But for me, at least, it's a prospect I think about in more philosophical terms, rather than simply 'losing myself' in a free spirited sort of way.

  10. #20
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    I think the more conventional definition is a S interpretation. N's are more open to the "living" interpretation where one doesn't need the building, lifestyle, or clothes to have the beliefs with them in their lives. It's like how Jesus was a priest? but needed none of the trappings that go with it to accomplish his ideals.

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