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The Goal: Deprogramming Myself


SallySang
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I want to get to the point where I never even think about religion or religious people.  Or, when I do, I feel nothing whatsoever in relation to them.  This is because I want to stop feeling sad/angry/depressed etc. which are the feelings I am currently feeling when I think of religion or religious people. 

 

So, I've just been just wondering why I keep thinking about them when I don't want to think about them - because thinking about them creates mental and emotional turbulence, which I do not want.

 

On reflection, I realise that I've thought of little other than religion for 2.5 years, it was practically an obsession, so a major factor in the problem of thinking about religion is probably habit.  I just thought it so much it became a habitual thought. I think that will diminish with time, as I remove myself from the triggers and engage with unrelated projects.

 

Perhaps another reason why I think about it is because I think religion and religious people are important?  So, if I think instead, "They're not important", this might be a way to reprogram my thoughts in a more productive direction?  This thought, when applied to religious people I was once involved with, seems to help quite a lot in cutting attachments to them.  It seems to remove the emotional charge.  It was only emotionally charged because I thought they were important.  If I think "they're not important", I feel nothing when I think about them, which is what I want.

 

So, I am basically trying to retrain my mental and emotional habits so that I no longer suffer in relation to thoughts and feelings about religion and religious people.  I am trying to work out how to do this.

 

Any insights/suggestions/advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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I think that you have the right idea, SallySang.  You won't be able to get rid of other people's religion, so it's best not to worry about it.  But for yourself, religious thoughts and experiences need to be replaced with something else.  We will never be able to completely escape them, since so many people are religious, but our reactions to them eventually subside if we form new habits unrelated to religion.  Try something new: hobbies, fitness activities, charity work, taking classes, work.  If there are people in your life whom you react negatively toward, try to avoid them for a while. If it's something that you are reading or listening to, take a break from it. That could be atheist youtube videos, this site, atheist books...

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I think I understand where you're coming from. Many people on this site should be able to relate.

 

Now that I now it isn't real, that fact has preoccupied my mind for a year and a half. If it were not so, I probably would not frequent this website. I listen to back episodes of the "Reasonable Doubts" podcast in the car while commuting. I have completely let go of the idea that anything to do with Christianity, or any other religion, could possibly be real, but I have a compulsive tendency to dwell on that fact.

 

I do long for the day when it seems like no big deal, when I don't think about it daily, weekly, or ever.

 

I suppose never thinking about it is unrealistic, because believers on gods are all around us, so if nothing else I would find myself just shaking my head in disbelief or even pity on a fairly regular basis. But I really want to get past the desire to keep reading about it, and be able to mostly ignore it whenever the idea of a god crosses my path.

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Perhaps studying several of the world's past and current religions, you'll get some perspective. Then immerse yourself in something of interest to you that is not at all religion oriented.

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"I think that you have the right idea, SallySang.  You won't be able to get rid of other people's religion, so it's best not to worry about it.  But for yourself, religious thoughts and experiences need to be replaced with something else.  We will never be able to completely escape them, since so many people are religious, but our reactions to them eventually subside if we form new habits unrelated to religion.  Try something new: hobbies, fitness activities, charity work, taking classes, work.  If there are people in your life whom you react negatively toward, try to avoid them for a while. If it's something that you are reading or listening to, take a break from it. That could be atheist youtube videos, this site, atheist books..."

 
Thanks. I agree with all of this. smile.png

 

 

And yes, actually, on reflection, what I want to do is this:

 

  1. Remove Emotionality
  2. Attain Calm Mind and Intelligence

  3. Understand Things

  4. Use this Understanding to guide my actions in order to benefit myself and others.

     

     

     

     

     
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Deprogramming is a process not an event. It takes time to work through all the stuff that has been ingrained in us. And sometimes it takes a lot of time. 

Unfortunately, I am unequally yoked so Christianity continues to be part of my life and that isn’t likely to change.

 

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Yes, I agree with everything everyone has said.

 

"I do long for the day when it seems like no big deal, when I don't think about it daily, weekly, or ever."  

 

- Indeed.  When weeks have gone by, and I haven't thought about religion once. smile.png 

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Sounds like a good plan to me.   As a religion major in college, I thought about religion all the time.  It seemed like I was always trying to figure everything out.  The obsession ended when I went on to get another degree.  I think time will similarly take care of some of your issues as well.  If you must explore things, the history of religion and/or psychology is a good place to start.  Instead of just telling yourself religion isn't important, do a little investigating as to why and how it isn't important.  I think a phrase like "useful for me" would work better for me because religion is indeed very important in a lot of ways, but as long as you keep your own personal perspective on it, you'll be fine. :)  I'd advise you to not get too caught up in it all.  Get yourself a hobby that has nothing to do with religion and just live life!  

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Yes smile.png smile.png smile.png  Forget religion, and just live life!

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When thinking about former church people, I go one step further than just thinking they are not important: I feel pity and disgust. I add my positive spin too, which counters the negative: They are so stuck, and I am so free! So much free time... no longer wasting 5 hours on Sunday (doing music at both services), 2 hours on Wednesday night services, 1.5 hours on Thursday nights (driving to and from choir practice), 1.5 hours on Monday nights (driving to and from praise band practice), 4 hours every first Saturday night of the month with small group dinner and Bible study, several hours every month with the children's ministry... and on and on. I pity the poor schmucks who are still stuck in that rat race! I am disgusted by the monopoly they place on other people's time and talents. I am so free that I sometimes have to stop and figure out which day it is, since my life is no longer dictated by the calendar of weekly church events.

 

Added bonus: I am so free from the "poor miserable sinner" nonsense. Free to stop worrying about every little sin, or whether or not it even is a sin, whether or not I have confessed properly, whether or not the church people will judge me for my sins, whether or not God loves me enough and I love him enough, and on and on. I pity the poor schmucks still stuck in that mind fuck. I am disgusted by the mental manipulation they force on people.

 

I admit that my pendulum swung a little far in the opposite direction for a while... I was temporarily obsessed with these new opposite feelings of pity and disgust. But that pendulum is coming back to center now, and a lot of the noise in my head is dissipating on both ends of the spectrum. You will get there, too. I believe you are on the right road.

 

Peace to you on your journey out.

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Thank you, RenaissanceWoman, I am very delighted to hear your words.

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