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A Short But Dangerous Trip


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I was born of two parents who werebiased against Christianity. Mom had grown up poor and even thoughher family was on welfare and her father had run off, at some pointthere was a minister that came around wanting them to tithe or makedonations and god would somehow help them. This was during thedepression in the 1930s. This didn't sit well with mom and as far asI know she must have been an atheist her whole life, or elseagnostic. Dad was forced to go to church until he was 15 at which time he was allowed to make the choice of not going. He quit at thatpoint and called himself agnostic.

 

So growing up, I was notindoctrinated into Christianity by my parents/family and I only wentto church a couple times with friends. Mom told me to say I wasProtestant to keep away the evangelists.

 

Then I got marriedinto a Christian family. After a while I found myself to be aChristian (perhaps easily persuaded back then) and the struggle to'do right', 'be right' followed. Being a logical thinker didnt helpmuch either. Being more interested (passionate) in Buddhism more thanChristianity also didn't help much. I was baptized and did notexperience any transformation really, however I did pray and if Ikept up prayer long enough I felt this peaceful feeling and all myworries disappeared momentarily. After being a Christian a whilethough I was unable to reproduce this wonderful feeling. I've sinceattributed this to what psychologists call "transcendencehallucination" which I assume is similiar to runner's high, achemical response to certain activity. Marijuana, incidently hasproduced a whole lot better transcendence hallucination than prayer,imho so I dont think I can really attribute the prayer experience togod.

 

After a decade I found I was a god fearing guiltyfeeling Christian. Like someone else on this website, I felt weirdtrying to evangelize people. I was not a salesman so I didntevangelize and of course that added to the guilt. We went to afundamentalist church where the bible was taken pretty literally andalthough we were told to read our bibles everyday, they didnt reallywant you to read those bad parts in there, especially old testamentstuff (see evilbible.com to see what you've missed out on). Iremember asking the pastor about something that sounded quiteBuddhist to me in John 14:15. He didn't answer it but directed meaway to some other scripture. I wasn't impressed with his dismissingmy curiosity.

 

Ten years as a Christian and then I got divored.My sister-in-law said "God will forgive you." Well whetherhe did or not, I wasn't going to remain married and really I wasn'tconcerned about his forgiveness anyway. :) It seems that in some wayswhile I think I did love god, more often it was the battle of wills.I wanted to do this and that but the bible said it was a sin. And Idont mean immoral stuff like harming people but other sins likechecking out girls' butts, reading up on mysticism, Easternphilosophy, maybe telling white lies now and then (as people do).

 

The divorce was the turning point for my Christian belief. Istopped going to that church where the ex-wife attended. Theembarrassment would be too much to bear, the ex would be there andbesides I liked to sleep in on Sunday. I met an open minded lady andwas no longer surrounded by this church group so the belief startedto melt away. If god was real and wanted me to believe in him thenhow could my belief just dry up like that?

 

I remembered a notable saying from anew age book I'd read prior to becoming a Christian. It saidsomething like 'if you feel guilty doing something then either stopdoing it or stop feeling guilty about doing it.' So I believe I toldgod one day I was going to do some things that he may not approve andwell, tough shit.

 

Since then I have delved back intobuddhism, mysticism, magick and paganism (fear free and guilt freebelief systems for me). The last decade for me has been an analysisof what Christianity truly is, which imho is a system of mind controlvia fear, guilt and self doubt. I also have come to the conclusionthat face value meaning of scripture vs interpretation is completelyarbitrary and in the hands of the minister or adversarialcongregation member. :)

 

I've read that the human brain is wiredfor 'belief in god' even though we may know logically that he doesn'treally exist. This wiring lends itself nicely to fear and guilt andunfortunately getting sucked into Christianity.

 

So after 20 years I am still thinkingabout Christianity, though not as a believer but as a disbelieverstill shedding myself of years of lies and falsehoods that I gobbledup like candy for a while. Recently I've wondered why I still thinkabout it and why I have an intense distaste for it. A Christian mighttell me that is god calling me back. I'm not buying it. LoL. But thenafter coming to this website I've felt perhaps the energy is therebecause I ought to help others escape from the mind prison ofChristianity for that is truly what it is.

 

I am really enjoying myself in life nowafter removing the mental chains of Christianity/bible/god/jesus.I've discovered that I have a creative flair in spirituality and havecreated my own spiritual 'system' that does not require worship, doesnot include guilt, or fear or hell. My self-made spirits are myfriends and help me and don't ask for anything in return because …...(whispers) these spirits are really just thoughts in my head (justlike Jesus was). :)

 

 

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Glad to hear your tale. I thought i was the only one who personified parts of their "god". I think of "god" as two things.

one is the title given to invisible athority, religion, etc. and the other an internal image a guiding ideal....(or when talking with yourself actaully works things out like prayer is supposed to) perhaps the total idea of what god might be, is beyond even that.

 

To the point where arguing about the big what if is meaningless. Just one bit of advice...

 

dont start beliveing "their" Alter ego crap, no clinging....meglomania is the oldst trick.

 

ummm.... and i like this mantra... "things you say, things you think" any time i try to "share" it just sounds ....

 

well... i think a good practice is observation and not to go inviting others into your buddhaland...let them find their own.

 

 

*slips back under the rug....*

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Glad to hear your tale. I thought i was the only one who personified parts of their "god". I think of "god" as two things.

one is the title given to invisible athority, religion, etc. and the other an internal image a guiding ideal....(or when talking with yourself actaully works things out like prayer is supposed to) perhaps the total idea of what god might be, is beyond even that.

 

To the point where arguing about the big what if is meaningless. Just one bit of advice...

 

dont start beliveing "their" Alter ego crap, no clinging....meglomania is the oldst trick.

 

ummm.... and i like this mantra... "things you say, things you think" any time i try to "share" it just sounds ....

 

well... i think a good practice is observation and not to go inviting others into your buddhaland...let them find their own.

 

 

*slips back under the rug....*

 

 

Well, if I tried to convert people to my own personal system of belief I'd be just as bad as the Christians. Everyone needs to find their own way and I really don't think I care that much about anyone else's religious life that I would try to convert them. It's not that important and making converts wasn't really a big deal when I was Christian either. I'm guessing a large percentage of people just put a religious label on themselves then forget about religion after that. But there are also people like me and possibly others on this site who have a fascination for religion or spirituality in general but are not particularly religious.

 

 

I'll try to keep my megalomania to a minimum, but I make no promises! LOL.

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  • 3 weeks later...

'if you feel guilty doing something then either stop doing it or stop feeling guilty about doing it.'

 

Thanks for sharing! I do remember a point in my Christian life where I realized that, if God really wanted my sincerity, then he would forgive me. My prayers and "quiet times" were completely meaningless, and I decided that he would rather me spend that time doing something useful rather than whining to him. So I slowly stopped doing those things, and once I got over my guilt, the reward was quite high. I felt free. Fear of hell is a great motivating factor, but the guilt-complex that Christianity gives you is just too much to bear. I'm glad you got out of it!

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Interesting story, thanks for sharing.

 

I do remember a point in my Christian life where I realized that, if God really wanted my sincerity, then he would forgive me. My prayers and "quiet times" were completely meaningless, and I decided that he would rather me spend that time doing something useful rather than whining to him.

That's the exact thing I thought too. Even if he did exist, he doesn't seem to miss my "quiet times", and neither do I.

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