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Cognitive Religious Artifacts


Thalia
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I've considered myself an exChristian for awhile now. I haven't really prayed in years, I haven't been to church in more years, and though I consider myself agnostic, sometimes I wonder if that isn't because I'm just afraid to admit that there's nothing out there . . . just in case.

 

BUT. Sometimes I catch myself thinking in ways that must be throwbacks to the Christianity.

 

Some are obvious--a few weeks ago I had to drive on the interstate in and around Nashville, TN for the first time. I was TERRIFIED. And I caught myself thinking, "Okay, god, please don't let me die." Quickly followed by "WTF was that? Where did THAT come from?"

 

Some are more subtle, and I discovered one last night. I usually have trouble falling asleep, so I have a few mental exercises I do to help calm my brain and keep it from running in circles reminding me what I haven't done yet, when things are due, what an idiot I was when I was talking to that person three years ago, blah blah blah (sometimes my brain is an asshole). One of these exercises is examining what I might do differently, or how I might do it differently, were I able to go back to a certain point in my life with all the knowledge I have right now. Usually, I get stuck at a certain point in my timeline, because it seems like things "happened like they were supposed to" right around then, and if I changed other stuff, how would the stuff that was "supposed" to happen happen?

 

Then I realized that, no, things don't "happen like they're supposed to." If I don't believe in a god, or at least not one that has his/her/its fingers in my everyday life, then there IS no "one, true way." I could still be happy and meet my husband and all that stuff if certain things that happened in a 2-3 year span hadn't happened. It might even have been better, especially knowing what I know now.

 

All that was a really long way to say that, while I generally thought I'd completed the deconversion and was good to go on the agnostic train, occasionally old cognitive patterns and beliefs still pop up and make things odd. I suppose I should be happy that I'm able to recognize them and root them out where possible.

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Hi Thalia

 

I sense their is a trend with young deconverts. By that I mean folk that lose their faith in their late teens to 30's.

 

If I look back on my life, those times are the years our brains are really active and there are so many things we need to learn to become one of the pack so to speak.

 

I often wonder had I done stuff different would my life turned out different, it really does not matter. I believe we choose and control our destiny but we have the ability to reason and piece together events that led to a particular decision.

 

You find as you get older, your plans become more short term and do change.

 

It really boils down to the fact that you are following a less traveled path and it may seem lonely from time to time. However all I can say is hang in there and go for it. Make the most of what you can in this short life. Have no regrets. Life's a journey, enjoy the ride.

 

Hope that helps.

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It really boils down to the fact that you are following a less traveled path and it may seem lonely from time to time. However all I can say is hang in there and go for it. Make the most of what you can in this short life. Have no regrets. Life's a journey, enjoy the ride.

 

Interestingly, the realization that I am in control of my own destiny and there is no one true way laid down by some outside force--whether fate, god, the flying spaghetti monster, whatever--caused a lot of my regrets to suddenly go *poof.* Which also led to finally letting go of a person I'd known when I was younger and lost touch with after a fight and was never able to contact again. I realized that I don't need him in my life and had I never met him, my life might actually have been better, not worse. It was an interesting realization after hanging on to the whole thing for over 10 years.

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