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About SherpaJones

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  • Location
    BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Sports, music, architecture, motorcycles.
  • More About Me
    I have been an atheist for about 7 years now, and still learning about all the christian things I still do. It's taking me a while to get my life going again.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Truth, reason, skepticism and compassion.
  1. Right & wrong

    Right and wrong are values that are deeply entrenched in religion. I'm of the personal conviction that "right" and "wrong" or "good and evil", as descriptive qualifiers, don't have any value when it comes to more natural human interaction. As said before, we simply evaluate our actions and their outcomes. If something you did causes harm, learn from that. Calling it "bad" or "wrong" or "evil" invites moralistic judgment that can pile on unnecessary shame and guilt, and that is the domain of religion. Instead, allow yourself to feel sad, hurt, remorseful, regretful, uncomfortable, etc. Those feelings are more true to what has actually happened. Then identify concretely how what you did has effected other people. Say things like "I'm sad that I did that; the other person needs respect." Bring the other person's humanity into focus by attempting to understand their inner life, and how your actions might have interfered with their happiness and well being. And careful not to say things like "I didn't respect them, they didn't respect me." Respect is difficult to observe, much like hunger. I can say I am hungry or I am full. If someone hasn't given me food I can't say they make me hungry, now that would be silly. I'm hungry because I need food. Respect, as an example of many, many things we need as humans, is a vacancy to be filled, and in any given moment, actions and words can fill it. But a person's character or attitude, or any sort of vague or general demand or request, such as "I want you to respect me," cannot fill it, and such requests are often impossible to fill because they cannot be concretely demonstrated or observed. A few other pointers; Observe the world around you as people making choices as best as they can to fill what they need. See that a lot of people and even yourself are stuck in patterns of thinking that lead to unnecessary conflict, and feel compassion for them and yourself. A lot of what we do actually gets in the way of getting what we want, because we create enemies that aren't there. We do this by judging, evaluating, criticizing or blaming ourselves or others for things that happen that we don't like. When addressing a problem, be as objective as you can. Translate "you are always mean to me!" into, "today when you came home and spoke to me that way, I felt very upset and detached." Don't ever take responsibility for another person's feelings, or give them responsibility for yours. That is a dangerous trap. Our feelings are generated by the state of our life. Much like knowing that hunger is generated by our need for food, knowing how your feelings connect to your life will help you identify what you need and to help other people see that. When they see that how you feel is about your life and not theirs, they may become eager to help you. "I felt upset and detached because I need understanding and fairness." Don't ever think that only one person can get you what you need, or that you are the only person who can get someone else what they need. That is also a trap. The things we need in life can be met by various means and a variety of people. We often have strong preferences of who will help us and who we want to help, and others might have that of us. But if we trap ourselves into thinking I or They are the only one, it becomes a desperate situation where the person giving often feels resentment. The only person in the world who can truly get you what you need is you. And once you figure that out, there are about 7 billion other people who could be elated to help you, knowing that you don't rely on them but they are free to give. "It would help me get the understanding and fairness I need if I could really hear what is real to you right now. Can you tell me how you feel and what you need in a way that could help me to understand you better?" Don't ever think that saying no to someone, or hearing no from them, is unacceptable. Don't ever think that making demands is the only way to get what you want. People respond resentfully to demands, and you don't want people helping you that way. Always speak and hear requests, placing the exchange in the context of the last 3 points. If someone says no (even you), then hear them saying that to do what was requested would get in the way of filling what they need. "No, I don't want to talk about it, I just want you to do what I told you to do and quit complaining!" "I'm not willing to do as you have asked, because it is difficult for me right now. I'm guessing that you may be feeling impatient and want some help. I want to help you but only if I can see how that really matters to you, and to find a way we can work together that makes us both feeling satisfied and connected." If you can integrate these 4 points into a set of values, but more than that, an empathic, compassionate consciousness of the complexity of everyone's life and living states, moment to moment, then the words you speak won't matter so much because the intent of your care will come through them. There are some ways of speaking that I would discourage, but that is too much to cover here in what I started out as a simple response. But I would be happy to carry on a discussion if anyone is interested in what I said. This is my take on the teachings of Nonviolent Communication as developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, link to a video below.
  2. Christian music crush

    Oh man, the early Deliriou5 still tugs at me, but I don't listen to it at all. But yeah, it is all just tailored to pull at your heart strings.
  3. Hello

    Life in general. But he touches on a core value of human needs, that I found shifted my own attention away from the fear of hell (right or wrong) and into the present moment.
  4. Sh** christians have said to you

    lol yeah, the Flanders. That's why I love posting on these stupid memes. They just expect an orgy of amens, and then you make them think. It's hard for some of them. But this is how it ended:
  5. Sh** christians have said to you

    Well, he conceded my point.
  6. Hello

    I'm linking here some teachings that completely obliterated my fear of hell. I encourage you to gander a listen. The long and short of it: The concept of heaven and hell are part of a domination culture, intended for ruling over other people to get them to do what you want. It is more natural for us to interact through giving and receiving, compassion and empathy. Marshal uncovers the dynamics underneath this; core human needs. I saw very quickly that the god of the bible didn't understand humans at all, and the domination model taught in the bible was in contradiction to human nature.
  7. Sh** christians have said to you

    I just hand this conversation on facebook. Thought it to be worth posting.
  8. Hello to all the faithless

    Hi everyone, I just got my account approved so I guess I should introduce myself. I've been an atheist for the last 6 or 7 years, and boy it's been fun. *sarcasm* I was raised by christian parents who were raised in the Catholic church. Before they met and married, a process that took all of 3 months, they both had a period of "falling away" before coming to the Penticostal flavor of crazy. To be specific, the Penticostal Assemblies of Canada. I remember going to church as early as 3 years old. In the summer of my 3rd year, my older sister of 2 years told me I needed to pray to Jesus to get saved, because I would go to hell. She said that she had prayed in the dirt in the garden because she was filthy before God and needed Jesus to save her. None of that felt right to me, and I told her "No." I guess she told my parents because for months they were very interested in whether I would accept Jesus. So were the pastors at church, and the deacons, and the elders, and the Sunday school teachers, and the little old ladies that pinch your cheeks. It was too much for me, so Christmas morning, a month before my 3rd birthday, I gave the sinners prayer through gritted teeth, angst and bitterness. I just wanted it to be over and have them leave me alone. They were so happy for me, and over time, I became so immersed that I had forgot that I didn't believe. Fast forward to Christmas eve 2010, and I was praying to god to give me some direction in my life. I was completely lost and feeling hopeless. Alone, tired, and depressed. As I was praying, the memory of that Christmas morning all those years ago came back like it was yesterday. I knew in that moment I was an atheist. It was hard to face, and I hid it from my family for a couple of years. I finally told my parents, and attempted to explain what it was like for me at 3. I felt like I had betrayed my own integrity and lived a lie, and I broke down crying in front of them. My mom was very supportive, my dad, silent. I got an email from my dad the next day saying he didn't appreciate me blaming them for choices I made when I was 3. The relationship went downhill from there. There are other problems. My parents covered up my sexual abuse at the hands of a baby sitter, at about the same age, between 3 and 4. They prayed to god and he told them to forgive her and let it go, and he would take care of everything. And when I was 17, my dad had left his job as a police officer due to PTSD, depression, and anxiety. He and I fought a lot, and my mom knew he was treating me unfairly. She often tried to step in and reason with him, and that enraged him. After one fight, he got in the car and drove away. No word on where, when, and if he'd be back. He was planning to not come back, but he prayed, and god told him to get my mom in line, as he was the head of the house and she was to submit to his rule. And I was to fall in line too. So he went home, took her aside in their room, and told her just that. Then they came out and talked with me. My mom looked terrified, and I could hear it in her voice. They told me that I was being selfish and manipulative, and was turning them against each other to get my own selfish way. My mom told me she would no longer stand up for me, and she would stand my my dad's decisions. I felt like I was falling into an abyss, like a black hole opened in my chest and consumed me entirely. I gave up on pursuing girls, career, hobbies and interests, ambition, all of it dissappered. I pondered running away, but decided to stay and finish school. I left home and largely wandered aimlessly in life, wanting god to show me the way. I found a career I am passionate about, and that I was very interested in back in high school. I had teachers and friends telling me to go be an architect, but I didn't believe in myself. I just wanted to get out of everyone's way and be left alone. It took me 10 years to find my career after that. Another 10 after that to recognize I was carrying guilt for what was actually my parent's marriage problems that had nothing to do with me. To recognize how angry I was with both my parents, but especially my mom. And hurt, and grieved. And that I've been projecting these feelings onto potential lovers for a long time. And I've only recently begun to recognize the damage of the sexual abuse and how worse it was because of the cover up. I recently spoke with my little sister about it, and explained why I no longer speak with my parents. She was supportive and understanding. I will soon speak with my older sister about it too. She saw it happen but was powerless to intervene. We have never discussed it after 30+ years. We spoke briefly about it, and she has been so sad for me, and wanting to open the dialogue but not knowing how. I realized after talking with her how much of a false closure my parents had placed over it. Back when I was 14, my sister had come out about being repeatedly raped by the neighbor/babysitter 5 or 6 years prior. My parents rushed her to the police to press charges and give testimony. I had to give testimony too because he had exposed himself to us. And they took her to doctors and to therapy. In the middle of all this, I came to remember what had happened to me, and asked my parents about it. They treated it as a minor issue, and said if I wanted therapy they would take me, and left it at that. Over the years we have discussed it more, and I've learned more about how they mishandled it. But they never seemed interested in how I was doing or helping me face the trauma. A couple of years ago I wrote them a detailed letter about the abuse, the after affects, my feelings of anger towards them about how they mishandled it, and said that our relationship was broken. I would only be willing to meet with them at a therapists office to begin to work through all the issues. Their response was brief: "We talked about it at length, we are very sorry, and we love you." I have yet to respond to that. I am very busy with my work right now, as a building designer and business owner of 10 years. I can afford to pay for my own therapy, and am going in every 2-3 weeks for the past 6 months. I am recovering my identity and my health; I've recently paid almost $2k at the dentist for fillings and extractions. I'm working with a personal trainer to get in shape and eat more healthy. I'm hiring a business consultant to help me propel my business forward. I'm doing well, but still stumbling on a lot of trust issues, self doubt, fear and anxiety, and poor planing and decision making. But I'm moving forward. I look forward to being part of this group and sharing more of myself and hearing from you all. Ciao!