Divided

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Divided

Postby Zeke365 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:51 am

Sometimes I Divided from my like of anime and my christian faith. It sounds strange but I think I have the grass is greener on the outside effect.

Though I do limit my anime time, Japanese culture which I m getting into, and few Christan manga, and it not like I don't the read the bible everyday, or pray, or go to church, I do all that.

My question is sometimes when I go to church I feel I need to give up all anime and get back to reality, yet at the same same I like anime and I know some Christians are in the anime business.

So how do you balance the two together and why am I feeling so divided from the two?
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Re: Divided

Postby Kraavdran » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:44 pm

Hey!

Balancing anime and christianity? I've observed that this is a common feeling for a lot of people. It is a rather complex thing and I hesitate to say anything definitive because I am afraid to encourage one way or another. So, that said, please critically read what I say... I wouldn't want to encourage something that might be wrong for you personally... but I also don't want to discourage something that is fun or good.

I guess, mostly, I would ask you some questions so that you can better understand the "why am I feeling so divided from the two?" I know very little about your situation, life, or environment. But I could see it one of three ways (or, perhaps, a combination of the two). I guess my primary question is this: which of these feel like they are close to the truth?

First, and perhaps the most stereotypical, I could see a scenario where you go to a more traditional church that looks down on things that they don't understand (anime, Dungeons and Dragons, video games, etc). I actually grew up in a church that gave me a weird look for liking these things. This can make you see a division that doesn't necessarily need to exist. Does this feel familar?

Second, and perhaps stereotypical on the other side, I could see a scenario where anime does actually have a negative impact on you. This could look different based on your experiences. For example, I've had friends who had trouble with anime because the portrayal of magic discourages them. Or the fanservice or tone in an anime encourages unhealthy thoughts. Or the violence in some anime that have equally unhealthy affects on cognitions about life or God. Or, perhaps, anime has become a different type of problem in your life.

Third, I could see a scenario where you feel guilty about enjoying stuff that is fun. Surprisingly, the concept of Asceticism in Christianity has steadily made it "not ok" to have stuff that you enjoy. I was actually just listening to a podcast about this last week. I think that the fear is something along the lines that: "If I enjoy something, does it become more important to me than God." Or, "It it really ok to enjoy stuff when my real goal is to do good for God?". Or something along those lines. Very common belief pattern in this modern culture in the west.

I'm sure there are plenty of different scenarios. But these are ones that I have observed in others and/or myself. Ultimately, I don't think that we can tell you what to do. When it comes to deciding what is good in your life when it isn't terribly clear-cut, I think that reflection and prayer is best. I would encourage further prayer and, perhaps most importantly, reflection on why the feelings of division are coming up. Perhaps that could offer some insights?
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Re: Divided

Postby Rusty Claymore » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:51 pm

Well said, Kraavdran.

Zeke, I've felt the same about abandoning anime/manga/Japanese in order to "get back to reality" or "focus on God more". I don't believe these thoughts were correct for me personally for these reasons: First, events in my life are clear that God has connected me to Japan for some reason. Anime/manga had a huge role in that, and if I were to get to Japan, being familiar with and not opposed to such things would help me build relationships. Second, those thoughts made me bitter against everyone else who, from my point of view, got to keep their personal favorites. Why is ending church early for a football game okay, but reading Yotsuba&! isn't? The deviousness in that scenario didn't seem like the usual way God operates.
Again, that was for me, and you need to put effort into finding why for you. It's gonna take some time, 'cause these things always do. But keep asking and you'll get your answer.
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Re: Divided

Postby Zeke365 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:55 am

Yes Kraavdran the feeling is actually combination of 1 & 2 that part of the reason is trying to balance anime and stuff without getting to over obsessed about it, so it kind hard to know when to draw the line but at the same time it feels like I living two different lifestyles, one where I m in tuned with God, the other is my interest in anime and it culture. Yes I believe gave me interest in the culture for reason, as what that reason is beyond me because I know Vic mignogna actor in anime but is a Christian in anime as well.

I just want to stop feeling divided by the two.
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Re: Divided

Postby Kraavdran » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:25 pm

Thanks, Rusty Claymore. Well said yourself. Particularly about football vs anime.

Zeke, you say that you feel a combination of 1 (traditional views make you feel like anime is bad) and 2 (something about anime might be negatively influencing your life). Is this an accurate understanding? If so, what things in particular do you find bad about being interested in anime or culture? And, like Rusty Claymore said, what makes that different from really being interested in sports (or other fun things)? How might you understand these things considering the good things that you see in anime (interest and enjoyment)?

I see that you are really thinking about things and desire to do what is good. I want to commend you on that! Like Rusty Claymore said, if you keep asking and searching for answers, I think that you will find an answer. Of course, feel free to think/process here because that can help!
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Re: Divided

Postby Zeke365 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:28 pm

well it has to do with my past, if you remember pokemon in it heyday (90's before I was Christian) I had become overly obsessed over it, and now I fear the same trend is happening again that and thinking anime is realistic which I know it not but I have still I had put limits on myself not to own any anime stuff expect Christian stuff so the trend would not continue but now I have visual novels (which I like stories) similar to how the games came out with Pokemon, if you see the my predicament great.

when do I draw the line, I fear if I own manga or anime DVDs then obsession starts again. Praying helps it but nice to ask others for advice to on this subject thanks for all your answers and I think you will understand where I m coming from.
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Re: Divided

Postby Rusty Claymore » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:46 pm

It might help to identify what exactly is wrong about obsession. Why was/is your anime/manga obsession wrong? Then you can check yourself. Ask, "Am I currently at that point I specifically decided I don't want to be?" if yes, then take steps backwards. Sell merchandise you bought, or delete what weighs on your conscience.

One more point which may help and will probably make things more difficult. There is no "once and for all" answer. This problem won't go away. Life is like a garden: you have to weed it, tend it, water it. It takes work every day, and if you neglect it it will always end up worse.
I hate gardens. I hate constant busywork that doesn't seem to make any progress, just stave off inevitable ruin. But I also have met old people who love gardens. Their gardens are not self-gardening, in fact, an old person's garden takes way more effort to maintain than most young people's gardens. But even though it takes way more work, they love it. They learned how to properly tend their garden, and they learned the joy of doing so. The problem didn't go away, their gardens will still fall to ruin if they neglect them. But that isn't a problem to them anymore.

Balancing life and anime is a heavy problem for us now. But as we keep at it, we learn effective ways to handle it, and that balance becomes a pleasurable task. I don't think God wants a bunch of God-zombies who obsess over Him mindlessly. He wants sober-minded people who obsess over many different things, but know how to obsess over things in the right order.

Did that make any sense? (sorry it's kinda rough, I'm all of a sudden late for class. >_<)
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Re: Divided

Postby IPv4 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:19 pm

Rusty Claymore wrote:The problem didn't go away, their gardens will still fall to ruin if they neglect them. But that isn't a problem to them anymore.


This is why I think some people are insane.
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Re: Divided

Postby LecktheTech » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:31 pm

Rusty Claymore wrote:Balancing life and anime is a heavy problem for us now. But as we keep at it, we learn effective ways to handle it, and that balance becomes a pleasurable task. I don't think God wants a bunch of God-zombies who obsess over Him mindlessly. He wants sober-minded people who obsess over many different things, but know how to obsess over things in the right order.

Did that make any sense? (sorry it's kinda rough, I'm all of a sudden late for class. >_<)

My parents have put a limit on how many episodes I watch per week because I get really sucked if not managed. I've thought about how to balance it, and if there is a better way, but so far it's the best way.
IPv4 wrote:
Rusty Claymore wrote:The problem didn't go away, their gardens will still fall to ruin if they neglect them. But that isn't a problem to them anymore.


This is why I think some people are insane.

I love dealing with problems with computers. My dad, however, hates to deal with computer problems. Same sort of thing kinda.
♪The sword is sharp, the spear is long.

The arrow swift, the gate is strong

The heart is bold, that looks on gold

The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.♪
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Re: Divided

Postby Rusty Claymore » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:33 pm

IPv4 wrote:
Rusty Claymore wrote:The problem didn't go away, their gardens will still fall to ruin if they neglect them. But that isn't a problem to them anymore.


This is why I think some people are insane.

I can see that. >_< Let me clarify that conclusion a little.

When we are little, we had a problem called "having to pee". Learning how to address that problem was a rough process, many times resulting in a change of pants. Now that we've grown, that problem hasn't gone away. We still have to pee, but handling it isn't a problem for us anymore. It's hardly a conscious thought, we just automatically take care of it in a successful way. (usually. accidents happen)

So as time passes and we mature, our developing ability to self-discipline allows for a better balance in life and anime. In the mean time we're left to rely on our Anime Huggies.

LecktheTech wrote:My parents have put a limit on how many episodes I watch per week because I get really sucked if not managed. I've thought about how to balance it, and if there is a better way, but so far it's the best way.


I think it is also important to define what we are balancing anime with, and "life" isn't really an answer, it's just a placeholder like "X" in algebra. I'm balancing recreation (anime) with responsibilities(good grades). I know there is an imbalance when my recreation encroaches on my responsibilities. (Like how staying up late playing games encroaches on my ability to succeed in class) You might be balancing anime with a productive hobby, or appeasing your parents. (which is usually a good thing, and pays off in the long run in ways you can't imagine)

Another facet is when people tell us, "You're spending too much time on #####!" If that's what is getting to you, just use that exact phrase back on them, only substituting their pet pastime in the blank. Remember how they answer and use it the next time they try it on you. (NOTE: I don't recommend using this method on parents. Seriously, don't. Parents can manipulate the Laws of Logic at will. And they can ground you. >_<)
Last edited by Rusty Claymore on Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Divided

Postby Kraavdran » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:41 pm

Very well said, Rusty Claymore.

Zeke, I think that I better understand where you are coming from. I had a similar question as Rusty. Well, perhaps more of a clarification. I am having a bit of a difficulty understanding the extent of your predicament (or, for that matter, what your "obsessions" would look like). I think that this is mostly because I don't honestly know the difference between really enjoying something and obsession (outside of the extremes, of course). Could you describe the difference, as you see it? For example, what in your life is replaced by such an obsession?

I'm not certain if I could talk about drawing the line in terms of owning anime stuff. I tend to be a minimalist and don't like owning lots of manga/DVDs (or stuff in general). So that is outside my element of understanding. Rusty's description about "Anime Huggies" seemed to make lots of sense to me. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts (and experience) on being able to regulate hobbies with school/work/friends/etc. For example, how did you prioritize your time and energy (or, if you were obsessed, how did those things get ignored)? (An example from my life: I made a solid rule not to do much in the ways of pastime until my homework was finished... it worked well until I started rushing my homework so that I could do stuff I wanted to do... so I ended up focusing on doing a better job on my homework which ended up balancing well). If all that makes sense.

Also, with Rusty bringing up the concept of parents, I wanted to clarify something with you that I hadn't considered before: Are you having disagreements with your parents based on anime as a pastime? If so, that would involve another facet.
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Re: Divided

Postby K. Ayato » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:26 pm

Yeah. You haven't really shared enough to why you feel there is a divide, let alone why others would feel there SHOULD be one.
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Re: Divided

Postby Zeke365 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:41 am

well I think I have my answer and thank you all for sharing. I should not feel divided by the two and should enjoy it as Rusty said "liking football or sports."

As to answer your other question back in the 90's before I was Christian, I used to watch Pokemon in the heyday, then started owning the games, then the cards, then started owning other stuff. I got in alot of trouble with it but course I was between the ages 7 and 10 at the time. I just don't want to head down that road again, though similar because of that fear my prevent me from doing so.

Maybe latter I will write my testimony on how I came to Christ and that can answers some more questions.

Thanks again all.
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Re: Divided

Postby Kraavdran » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:04 pm

Zeke, I'm glad that you came to an answer that you found satisfying. All the best to you!
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