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Everything posted by Samuel

  1. I’ll have to check out the biofeedback session. That’s fascinating.
  2. Gosh I hate that space in the deconversion process. It was a long long long space for me. I remember through out my youth being taught to ask forgiveness for things all day long through out the day as soon as you perceived that you had done something wrong. We believed that asking Jesus for his “precious blood” for... not just things we thought or did that might be “bad”, but also just things that weren’t according to “god’s” will. So maybe you bought the wrong groceries and that wasn’t according to God’s will... which you determined cause you had a stomach ache or maybe you just had depression in the evening or any number of the virtually infinite things that could make you believe you were not following Gods will... well then you’d say Jesus forgive me for x,y, and z and not following your will and demanding that Jesus’s blood be involved... It’s almost impossible to put these nonsense practice in context of the many many even more nonsense beliefs and how these practices and beliefs just ruined people’s lives. And yet they taught these beliefs with pride literally calling them god’s up to date teachings on earth. These beliefs are as close to madness as I hope to ever come in my life. I just can’t get over the kind of harm it is to be taught to figure out gods will by meditating on your feelings, and wait for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. My father also believed that it wasn’t right to do anything the Holy Spirit didn’t tell him to do and there was really no moderating the moods of a bipolar temper prone and deeply insecure man. I know that my family still is doing these and many other practices.
  3. Yeah, I’ve considered paganism. But I couldn’t get over all the nonesense. It was helpful in leaving Christianity to put time into examining another tradition though. I actually have never considered that maybe building my own philosophy and traditions around modern life wasn’t the way. Going to the movies is as much ceremony as I need in my life. Ceremony was always the part of religion that I found the most unnecessary. I dont know if I will change at some point once I have some distance and say yeah ceremony would be fun... and start.... knighting people? 🛡Cause yey ceremony. .... I guess people do civil war reinactments And LARPING
  4. “Bowling leagues and birding are sure to be taken over by the religious here... and that is exactly the issue... there is no place that people in Texas do not feel like it's ok to want to put you on their prayer chain when you have a cold, if they don't want to just lay hands on you right there and claim your healing in Jesus name.“ I’d recommend picking up a vice. Something other people don’t do. Something that’s sure to scare off the religious. Have you tried coming out as gay? Worked for me.
  5. I’ve been mulling over the organizational strength of religion and thinking about what that means for a person confronted on the street by people intent on converting them to their religion. In a lot of ways we see different levels of power as problematic in relationships and I just wonder what other people think of this idea of what it means for a person to have to respond to and or fend of the imposition of a prying religion that proselytizes.
  6. Thanks for the tips, turned 30 this year... still not there.
  7. Sounds interesting, I’m going to check it out thanks
  8. It’s a little out of my depth on the whole, but I think I pick up a lot of smaller pieces.
  9. The age of atheists: how we have sought to live since the death of god. by Peter Watson
  10. It’s funny I’ve come to appreciate how a growing number of gay guys aren’t letting Christians determine the religious narrative. This surprised me. I think there are a lot of gay guys like myself who had deeply emotional religious experiences. I just think of how many gay men must have been the writers of the Bible. Leviticus I attribute to the heterosexual men. Psalms, and so called prophetic books to the gays guys. Ive even come to appreciate that my way of interpreting the Bible heaven and hell and all else was not religious after and it took a lot of time to see that what I was experiencing was my brains amazing ability to translate meaning using the language of religious text that I had available (aka that was forced on me). As I’ve gained coping mechanisms, life experience, grown up etc... and actively taken an interest where I needed to push myself, I’ve been able to see the superstitious mythology that shrouded my sense of self and reality fall away. The only thing I regret is not having had a real parent or someone who offers you guidance through life. I’ve experienced a lot of things before I had the coping mechanisms and psychological framework and endurance to hold the weight of the tasks that life and my brain were being forced to confront. Deconversion is an extraordinary weight. When my brain can carry certain things it mythologizes them or redirects attention, among other things. This is a lot of pain, pain which forces me sometimes to abridge my aspirations while I focus on smaller things that I often don’t see as important or fulfilling, or that I sometimes see as beneath me. This makes me sad, frustrated at having been robbed by religion. It also makes me impatient sometimes.
  11. Ok, so I don’t know where this is going or why this was important to me, but it provoked some questions... I was deliverying for postmates (a part time job which sucks, and do not recommend it) and I had a delivery of alcohol. The lady who I was delivering it to texted me and asked me put it in a bag because she didn’t want her kid or kids to see. It made me curious about modeling behaviors of parents and children. I know for all sorts of reasons as a gay man kids won’t happen unless my life is really extremely well put together. So I more or less take myself out of the equation when it comes to this question at this point in my life. However since this is something that’s not on my mind often, I don’t ask myself the question of how I would behave in that circumstance. To further complicate the situation, having become an atheist allows me to step out of religious and social norms. So I was trying to put myself in the shoes of this lady and I was just blown away by how complicated such a circumstance would be for me. This idea of being one thing and then modeling other behaviors to your children was hard for me to grasp. I have questions ladies, men. Does modeling behaviors impinge on your personal development? Does modeling socially acceptable behaviors lead you to wonder why the fuck am I modeling this shit? Especially if you are surrounded by religious sorts of people. Also the lady getting the alcohol made me feel like I was supposed to be in a position to judge her and model some sort of shame or acceptance (which was by far the least desireable thing to me because it made me feel complicit in things which I don’t care about or at least havent figured out what I care about, and which I don’t want to take responsibility for —like hundreds of situations in life do at the moment—)
  12. Not cool to damn their children and friends to the same hell they create for themselves :(( But yeah.
  13. I picked up a book at the library. One of the things that always interests me is the chronology of when our species began deciding and understanding broadly that god is dead. This book is helping me to piece some of that history together. The religion I was raised in actively magligned and tried to whitewash the chronology of scientific and philosophical progress. This for me was very tough because my brain depends on a well ordered understanding of when things transpired. So much of leaving religion just depended on getting the facts straight: The Who said what when. Its important to me because all of the philosophical things eventually become denuded of their time stamp and then slipped into a regurgitation of religion as if the Holy Spirit was speaking or whatever. For children like myself being being raised in religion is like being raised in a distopia like 1984 where the information is wrongly sorted and categorized. I first noticed this in some of the passages in the Bible written by Paul. They made a lot more sense once I studied the philosophy of the time. This helped to de-mystify what I was being told were mysterious speakings and revelations from god and I was able to see, oh this dude was basically just rehashing his philosophical education and then saying “because Jesus” at the end of it. Not that sorting out chronology is everything, but for me it has been important in leaving religion and something I’ve been able to slowly appreciate. The good in religion mostly comes from social and philosophical advancements. Theres no no way to say that the teachings in the way that they are given in religion aren’t basically well crafted lies, lies which are often delivered ignorantly, but none the less very frustrating to people who were lied to. A real mind fuck. The frustrating part comes from the people who will continue to tell those lies even after they read and understand the epistemology of the beliefs. There must still be a naive part of me that believes of people just got the chronology correct they would reject religion. Ugh... people are always stranger than I give them credit for.
  14. Oh that’s cool! I’m in that area so I’ll have to check it out!! Thanks for the post
  15. I don’t know if anyone else has the experience of being very used to the customs and norms of religious employers. Maybe it’s cause I just grew up around religious people and haven’t completely become accustomed to non-religious. I’ve got my BA in business and I’ve done all the billing for a small IT company using quickbooks etc... but I feel somehow I just gravitate towards the religious employers kinda like a codependent relationship. If it’s just me that’s ok, weird me.
  16. Wow, that’s crazy. That’s can’t be legal lol. But Newport, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, that’s my area right now. I’ve been thinking about moving to Nor-Cal though.
  17. I’ve been finding it hard to re-evaluate my insterests and job search criteria post religion. I was wondering if anyone out there had to reconsider their interest in the work world after or while deconverting.
  18. Honestly for me it was more about being self centered and not realizing it. Closing my mind to the outside world as if it didn’t exist.
  19. Thanks everyone, sometimes you know it’s the right way forward but it still sucks.
  20. One of the reasons that I feel deconversion is so hard is that there is no road map. I didnt find a perfect psychologist to answers my questions. You might, some others might, I didn’t. I didn’t find perfect family and community right away to ease the hardships. Others might. (I didn’t have a good enough understanding of my own needs and psychology to make choices that would have saved me a lot of pain.) I didn’t have the resources either to make for a painless journey. Others might. I wonder all the time whether people have found easier ways, or whether I could have found easier ways. I don’t think so myself, and in fact trying to find the strength to break unhealthy ties is so hard, in and of itself, that I don’t think I had that luxury. The times I stopped because I was sad were often opportunities for family just to tell me how wrong I was to make me feel bad and to gaslight me (make me feel as if it was all in my head) about my reasons for breaking free. No one gaslights like a parent. I mourn all the time. Some of the scar of breaking free has become me as much as the real freedom to be and learn who I am and who I want to be.
  21. Yeah, the church/org I was apart of was based on some pretty retro thinking by some Chinese guys in the early 20th century. One of them wrote a book called “the breaking of the outer man the release of the spirit”. It’s been a while since I looked at anything that I once read or had to read but there is some real lonacy here. And honestly I’m embarrassed to even share some of the religious material. I once told people these things were real and held the deepest truths. My family still does. When I look back I am struck by how specific the loonacy got. That’s what is uncanny for me. I don’t like thinking that people can come up with such specific shit about supposed mythical explanations for things. It kind of scares me to realize how convinced people can get and as kids indoctrinated you don’t have any frame of reference. You don’t know that it’s somewhat normal for human minds to create this array of conviction about things. Society broadly accepts nonsense for centuries.
  22. Hi Honeybib, Glad you’re here with us. I’m going through some depression as well. Right now it’s a combination of breaking out of the world view that my family and community put me in and learning the personal skills I need to be the human being that I want to be every day.
  23. Gosh, I was a true believer so I didn’t feel weird, but I was fucking weird. I was also pretty insecure so thinking there was a god behind everything gave me a kind of courage that I hadn’t really earned and which I am stilling trying to grow into. Nothing like the false religious shit to make people who have no reason to be confident speak as if all the mysteries of life and the universe were known to them alone. I mostly feel ashamed of the people I feel I gaslighted into believing there was something supernatural beyond, which they were either too ignorant or incapable of understanding. I feel the pain of this now still as I deconvert and find my “real”.
  24. Yeah, this seems to be the perennial advice from religious leaders. Basically what they were saying to me now that I have persepective was we don’t know but don’t fuck up our religion because you have real world problems.
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