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A70

Finding purpose?

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A70    0

     I was raised christian and completely lost my faith when I was 20.  I'm 24 now.  I fairly quickly reached the point of no return when it comes to ever believing in the bible again or any particular deity.  I thought I was past struggling with the idea of purpose outside of a grand design.  Recently, I realized I had merely tried to cover up my lack of purpose with something else.  When it fell through, it brought back all of the same issues at nearly the same intensity as when I first left Christianity.  My question is to those of you have struggled with this.  I have often heard the flippant response of those who have either not struggled with this after leaving their faith or were raised without a religion.  I need something deeper and more practical.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

 

     A side note - I was raised non-denominational with the idea of every day miracles, speaking in tongues, and mission work being common place and praised.  While I never could get behind speaking in tongues, I went half way around for an extended period of time to see if miracles and mission work were a legitimate part of reality.  That was a part of the long/short process of me losing my faith, obviously along with biblical fallacies, etc.

 

 

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Hi A70,

Welcome to Ex-C! Most of us have faced this in one form or another, some more intensely than others. I replied recently to someone else asking about this, and essentially I look at nature to see what the other animals are doing. Humans abstract everything to try and find patterns and meaning, which is what also gives us the ability to create languages and math, tools, etc. We also create religions and philosophies to try and help us figure out reality. Most other animals seem to do the basics every day and to not fret about a "why" for living, they are busy doing the living. That isn't meant to be at all flippant. Rather than having someone else define a meaning or purpose for us, it puts into our hands the ability to create whatever meaning we like out of our time here, and the only one to satisfy in that regard is self.

 

I find emotional "spiritual" connection in nature, sensing my part in the ecosystem of Earth. I find work and community in singing jazz with local musicians, which was a stretch for an introverted shy guy. But now it is a thriving hobby for me. I try to stay active on Ex-C to help hone my thoughts about having been an "on-fire" believer for 30 years. I try to be mindful, that is aware of my thoughts and emotions and what can trigger changes, and to let go of a lot of fluff that the culture tries to throw into my mind and emotions to create reactions. That could be news forums, tailgating idiots, annoying coworkers, political statements intended to inflame, Christian bumperstickers, and so on. I try to define how I want to be and what I would like to become, and then take active steps toward that continually. That seems to be yielding results for me in calmness and self-defined purpose as I live out my life. I spend a lot of time thinking back over my life and what I would do differently if I had the opportunity to go back (but retain my current knowledge and attitude). It helps create perspective and guide me in decisions I make today, and to figure out what I value and why. I find some value in flirting with pagan gods and godesses, and being around witchy sorts of people, but this is a sort of bowing to the imaginary part of my self that enjoys these things. I don't regard them as actual beings per se, but as concepts and "archetypes" that humanity has created over the millenia.

 

I hope that gives at least some perspective of one Ex-believer's approach to purpose.

 

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God    53

Why do you need me to give you a purpose? Do what you enjoy.

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