Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Woodsy

The Journey, So Far....

Recommended Posts

I think it's the fear of being called a nihilist, i.e. "believing in nothing," or an atheist, that drives so many people to feel like they must "believe" in some higher power or deity or guru. But you shouldn't be afraid of words. People use them like weapons, but as long as we don't recognize them as weapons, they bounce off your chest. 

 

You actually don't need to "believe" in anything except yourself and your own self-confidence. Not in a selfish way, but in Rene Descarte "I think therefore I am" way. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Came back to this post to just muse a bit.  I'm in the midst of my deconversion and I know it will be a long process. But I keep trying to do something I've been told not to:  try to believe in something else.  I am virtually running around and seeking out books and stuff to try and find a new belief system.  For some reason it seems that I need to have something solid to stand on and believe,  I need to have all the right beliefs to make life work.  I guess that's a throw back to my christianity.  Today I came to the realization that there may not be any new belief. It's like coming to the end of a rope and trying to find that knot to hold on to and there is none.  I am enjoying some freedom from all the religious hang ups I had, but some are still there.  This deconverting is hard.

 

Woodsy, I hope you don't mind that I copied and pasted this response which I just gave to someone else a few days ago. I'm a very slow, two finger typer..... If you choose to keep searching, here is what conclusion I came to. If you need to keep searching...go ahead, we'll still love you!! 

 

....................................................... My response to someone else..........

 

Quote: ''I hope I'm not a downer to you today cause I know how hard this is. I just stopped searching a few months ago for 'a personal god' (the last 3 years) that I could make my very own. The one thing that held me back from every new age concept out there was the fact that none of their answers on human suffering made any sense to me. Not reincarnation.....nothing. Why would I choose to come back in one life and get my head chopped off? What lesson was I meant to learn from a very painful death? I'm just using that as an example. The last thing that did it for me was just recently in a province next to mine, in which 2 children died together, having the breath sucked out of the 2 brothers by a extremely large snake. I still, months later cannot get that fucking image out of my mind. Where is the 'personal god' in this?

 

I'm so sorry you are going through this. It is so damn heartbreaking I could scream for all of us!! Wendybanghead.gif

If you are searching and you do find 'something' that can answer this question of suffering for me, please come back and let me know.''

..................................................

 

We're right here for you on this journey to help you get to an acceptance stage. I give you the biggest hug today my friend.

 

Thank you, sweetie, for your response and I don't mind the copy and paste....I do it all the time!  Your words always find a home in my heart and mind. You know just what I need.....I probably will keep searching for awhile.  I'm anal and this is what I do.  But I may just come to the end of it all and find nothing.  That's when I will have to learn to accept it, right?  Hugs to you, my friend.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Came back to this post to just muse a bit.  I'm in the midst of my deconversion and I know it will be a long process. But I keep trying to do something I've been told not to:  try to believe in something else.  I am virtually running around and seeking out books and stuff to try and find a new belief system.  For some reason it seems that I need to have something solid to stand on and believe,  I need to have all the right beliefs to make life work.  I guess that's a throw back to my christianity.  Today I came to the realization that there may not be any new belief. It's like coming to the end of a rope and trying to find that knot to hold on to and there is none.  I am enjoying some freedom from all the religious hang ups I had, but some are still there.  This deconverting is hard.

I went through this same thing very early in my deconversion.  I don't think it is an uncommon position for the newly deconverted.  I decided to be a deist at first and try to work things out from there.  That worked for me for a couple of months until I finally came to the position that I didn't want to believe anything that could not be proven.  It was at this point that I started to come to terms with what works for me.  I started by simply believing in the universe--it is as real as anything that can be proven.  The stars are there; the moon and sun are real.  The universe is a force greater than myself, a higher power.  The universe contains both harmony and chaos; so do I.  I am part of the universe and it is part of me.  This led me to explore Descartes cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore, I am).  Being a rational conscience, I exist in some form and my life has meaning (to myself, if to no one else).  What meaning should my life have?  This was the next question I had to answer.  In short form, my life would have whatever meaning I gave it.

 

All of that philosophical gobbledygook brought me to the one realization that sealed my deconversion: The only thing I need to believe in is myself.  That's it; nothing more.  This is my life and my meaning will be given it.  In order to give this existence the meaning I wish it to have, I have to believe in myself: that I am capable of producing the results I want.  There are no "correct" beliefs, for me.  There are only actions motivated by a strong belief in myself.  I guess you could say I've become a strong "me-ist".

 

I hope you will be able to come to the same realization as I did, Woodsy.  I certainly believe in you; and you should too.

 

Thanks, Professor.  I tried Deism for awhile, right after I left Xtianity.  But something wasn't right. To believe in a creator god who made the universe and man and then walked away from it all to fend for itself just didn't make sense. I like to say that my past believing life was built on a fantasy world that just went "poof" one day.  Thanks for your encouraging words.....you give me hope.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's the fear of being called a nihilist, i.e. "believing in nothing," or an atheist, that drives so many people to feel like they must "believe" in some higher power or deity or guru. But you shouldn't be afraid of words. People use them like weapons, but as long as we don't recognize them as weapons, they bounce off your chest. 

 

You actually don't need to "believe" in anything except yourself and your own self-confidence. Not in a selfish way, but in Rene Descarte "I think therefore I am" way. 

I wonder why we have to put labels on everything.  Yet, I think that is what I want....for someone to stick a label on me and I'll be fine. Thanks, Blood, I hope one day that I can believe in myself.  That's a hard one because all my life I was told not to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woodsy, it might be helpful to watch some of Derren Brown's demonstrations on people's susceptibility to agentism and religious thinking.

 

In his Fear and Faith special (part 2) he gives an atheist a religious experience, while also explaining all the components of the mind that make it so. It will help you to introspect a little on your feelings and desires.

 

Scott M. Peck's book, the road less travelled is also helpful too (if you haven't read it).

 

Another book that might help is Goals by Brian Tracy, as it gets you thinking about what YOU want. Christianity (and many cults) like to turn you into volunteers to provide free labour to support their cause. Witnessing is really sales. So witnessers are freely volunteering their time to sell the message of the Christianity corporation.

 

When someone has their own ideas they begin to discern the shape of christianity and what is really going on, plus they have less time to volunteer.

 

You could say that you goal at the time was perhaps eternal life (or maybe love or hope), and to achieve that you were working your ass off doing chores for the almighty, only now you've realised that corporation is insolvent and unable to pay up. So now you're left with your GOAL (whatever it is), only you might need to introspect about your goal and rethink it. What exactly were your goals and objectives in your dealings with christianity? Sometimes it is as simple as entering heaven, or just loving others. You might even find that your reason was to connect with reality, in which case you have the best goal ever, because you can achieve that is so many glorious ways, such as reading, studying, and meeting new people :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woodsy, it might be helpful to watch some of Derren Brown's demonstrations on people's susceptibility to agentism and religious thinking.

 

In his Fear and Faith special (part 2) he gives an atheist a religious experience, while also explaining all the components of the mind that make it so. It will help you to introspect a little on your feelings and desires.

 

Scott M. Peck's book, the road less travelled is also helpful too (if you haven't read it).

 

Another book that might help is Goals by Brian Tracy, as it gets you thinking about what YOU want. Christianity (and many cults) like to turn you into volunteers to provide free labour to support their cause. Witnessing is really sales. So witnessers are freely volunteering their time to sell the message of the Christianity corporation.

 

When someone has their own ideas they begin to discern the shape of christianity and what is really going on, plus they have less time to volunteer.

 

You could say that you goal at the time was perhaps eternal life (or maybe love or hope), and to achieve that you were working your ass off doing chores for the almighty, only now you've realised that corporation is insolvent and unable to pay up. So now you're left with your GOAL (whatever it is), only you might need to introspect about your goal and rethink it. What exactly were your goals and objectives in your dealings with christianity? Sometimes it is as simple as entering heaven, or just loving others. You might even find that your reason was to connect with reality, in which case you have the best goal ever, because you can achieve that is so many glorious ways, such as reading, studying, and meeting new people smile.png

I remember trying to read Scott Beck' s book many years ago but my xtian conscience would not let me.  I think I will try again.  Thanks, falemon, for caring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've been reading alot on this site and am amazed at all the stories of people who have suffered like I did over the years. I'm thankful to have found that I am not alone. I have run the gamut of emotions from sheer joy to sheer panic at having given up on christianity.  And right now I am numb.  I remember Margee saying that she tried to find another god/religion to believe in right after she left the faith.  I think that's what I'm doing now. I need to find something that fills that gaping hole inside.  But, other than all of you here, there is nothing.  And, like I said, I feel numb.  I go over the last 7 months and am amazed at what all has happened. I keep thinking that, at 65, I have made life changing decisions that have literally rocked my world. And I think how stupid I've been for believing that way I did for so long.  My indoctrination as a child into Roman Catholicism has left irreparable scars. I still suffer from a mindset of being an insignificant little person who cannot think for herself.  I cannot make my own decisions, I always have to ask someone else what they think.  I always need the acceptance of others just to be able to breathe and function.  Maybe, at this stage of my life, I cannot change.  Maybe the brain washing has worked so good in me, that this is as good as it gets.  

 

If you have asked God what you should do next, you were really relying on yourself. God is yourself in disguise. And even though you ask others opinions its still you being the final decider of what you actually do. I used to not have any confidence. I thought confident people made more correct choices because of their inherent confidence. Then I saw confident people making mistakes and discovered confidence is just a state of mind. You just make a decision to do something and do it. Most of the time the decisions we make aren't that terribly life changing if things don't work out. The other part of decision making is realizing you don't have control of all the variables of a situation so your decision may only influence something slightly, or not at all. :-)

 

Regarding the hole. Embrace the hole, it is an amazing area of potential. You could fill the hole with many different things. I keep telling my wife we should join the bowling league but to no avail. :-) There are many different things that could fill the hole. Think about different passions you may have and begin to fill your life with them.

 

 

I was going to say essentially this. Asking others what to do? What you've done was ask for advice. That's a normal way to get through life. But what you decided to do with that advice was always your making your own decision.

 

I just saw what you say your interests are: Reading everything, enjoying retirement with my husband in our little house in the woods, loving my three adult children.

 

 

Sounds like that should be plenty to fill up any hole that realizing there are no gods may have left. Since God was never real in the first place, this is a chance for you to fill that hole with very real things. I'm not trying to minimize what you feel: A whole lot of us went through the same thing.

 

I've heard it said that believing in an afterlife cheapens this life. Based on your interests, you seem to have made this life very rich. Now that there's a hole where religion used to be, you can make this life even a little bit richer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I've been reading alot on this site and am amazed at all the stories of people who have suffered like I did over the years. I'm thankful to have found that I am not alone. I have run the gamut of emotions from sheer joy to sheer panic at having given up on christianity.  And right now I am numb.  I remember Margee saying that she tried to find another god/religion to believe in right after she left the faith.  I think that's what I'm doing now. I need to find something that fills that gaping hole inside.  But, other than all of you here, there is nothing.  And, like I said, I feel numb.  I go over the last 7 months and am amazed at what all has happened. I keep thinking that, at 65, I have made life changing decisions that have literally rocked my world. And I think how stupid I've been for believing that way I did for so long.  My indoctrination as a child into Roman Catholicism has left irreparable scars. I still suffer from a mindset of being an insignificant little person who cannot think for herself.  I cannot make my own decisions, I always have to ask someone else what they think.  I always need the acceptance of others just to be able to breathe and function.  Maybe, at this stage of my life, I cannot change.  Maybe the brain washing has worked so good in me, that this is as good as it gets.  

 

If you have asked God what you should do next, you were really relying on yourself. God is yourself in disguise. And even though you ask others opinions its still you being the final decider of what you actually do. I used to not have any confidence. I thought confident people made more correct choices because of their inherent confidence. Then I saw confident people making mistakes and discovered confidence is just a state of mind. You just make a decision to do something and do it. Most of the time the decisions we make aren't that terribly life changing if things don't work out. The other part of decision making is realizing you don't have control of all the variables of a situation so your decision may only influence something slightly, or not at all. :-)

 

Regarding the hole. Embrace the hole, it is an amazing area of potential. You could fill the hole with many different things. I keep telling my wife we should join the bowling league but to no avail. :-) There are many different things that could fill the hole. Think about different passions you may have and begin to fill your life with them.

 

 

I was going to say essentially this. Asking others what to do? What you've done was ask for advice. That's a normal way to get through life. But what you decided to do with that advice was always your making your own decision.

 

I just saw what you say your interests are: Reading everything, enjoying retirement with my husband in our little house in the woods, loving my three adult children.

 

 

Sounds like that should be plenty to fill up any hole that realizing there are no gods may have left. Since God was never real in the first place, this is a chance for you to fill that hole with very real things. I'm not trying to minimize what you feel: A whole lot of us went through the same thing.

 

I've heard it said that believing in an afterlife cheapens this life. Based on your interests, you seem to have made this life very rich. Now that there's a hole where religion used to be, you can make this life even a little bit richer.

 

Oh wow, Mr.Two, you nailed it!  I always ask for advice because I'm not confident in making my own decisions.  That's something new I need to learn, I guess. But thank you for helping me to see how rich my life is now. I have overlooked this fact for so long and I intend to make it a priority now!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

Good morning my friend! I understand exactly what you are sayin' here. It has taken me 3 years on this board to feel pretty confident that  the god of the old testament does not exist and it is a bunch of tales and stories written by the ancients tribes of that day. If there  isn't any old testament god who cursed us to the ground and called us 'sinners' in the first 2 days that he created us.....then we do not have the need to have a 'savior' come and give himself as a living human sacrifice. Doesn't it sound a little 'tribal' now to you? Just a slight bit fucked up?  The more you read and post, the more comfortable you will get. Keep posting hon.

 

You and I have a lot in common. First...we're ole' dolls. Then we have the nerve at this age to question the Christian bible....... and third we both look after old people (mine's 92)....fun isn't it? yellow.gif  Lol   Gawd is soooooo good......Ridigwoopsie.gif

 

Big *hug* for you today

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

I’m just echoing what others have posted. Woodsy, de-conversion is a journey not an event. There are distinct and predicable stages that virtually every one taking this journey will experience. The analogies you have reference are a perfectly normal part of the process and it is not uncommon to experience grief.

 

There is, however, a point of no return. A point where you realize you simply cannot go back and be part of that community again, because the mystique has been replaced with knowledge obtained through evidence and facts.

 

The day will eventually come when you will no longer be comfortable in the presence of Christians and you will find their beliefs and rituals irrational and childish, but getting to that day will take time…a lot of time. I promise you there is light at the end of the dark tunnel you are passing through now.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

Let yourself mourn the things that you need to right now, Woodsy. You're experiencing a huge amount of emotional distress and change in a compressed time. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toward the end of my christianity, my "relationship" with god had gotten so one-sided and painful that leaving it behind was much like I would imagine a person would feel in leaving an abusive spouse.  There was some sadness and occasionally I could remember the good times; but for the most part, I felt the liberation that comes with knowing that person (or deity) can no longer hurt me.  I watched my sister go through the same thing when she finally left her drunk-ass, crack-addict husband and was amazed at the similarities between her experience and mine.

 

I hope you will keep pushing through this, Woodsy, as your experience seems so different from mine.  If I can help you in any way, please let me know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

Good morning my friend! I understand exactly what you are sayin' here. It has taken me 3 years on this board to feel pretty confident that  the god of the old testament does not exist and it is a bunch of tales and stories written by the ancients tribes of that day. If there  isn't any old testament god who cursed us to the ground and called us 'sinners' in the first 2 days that he created us.....then we do not have the need to have a 'savior' come and give himself as a living human sacrifice. Doesn't it sound a little 'tribal' now to you? Just a slight bit fucked up?  The more you read and post, the more comfortable you will get. Keep posting hon.

 

You and I have a lot in common. First...we're ole' dolls. Then we have the nerve at this age to question the Christian bible....... and third we both look after old people (mine's 92)....fun isn't it? yellow.gif  Lol   Gawd is soooooo good......Ridigwoopsie.gif

 

Big *hug* for you today

 

I like being an "ole doll" with you,  Margee!  It amazes me that I would have questioned the bible at my age....never saw that coming but it is a very good thing.  Hugs back at ya, sweetie!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

I’m just echoing what others have posted. Woodsy, de-conversion is a journey not an event. There are distinct and predicable stages that virtually every one taking this journey will experience. The analogies you have reference are a perfectly normal part of the process and it is not uncommon to experience grief.

 

There is, however, a point of no return. A point where you realize you simply cannot go back and be part of that community again, because the mystique has been replaced with knowledge obtained through evidence and facts.

 

The day will eventually come when you will no longer be comfortable in the presence of Christians and you will find their beliefs and rituals irrational and childish, but getting to that day will take time…a lot of time. I promise you there is light at the end of the dark tunnel you are passing through now.

 

 

 

I love your posts, Geezer.  I've been reading alot of them recently and they make so much sense.  I thinke I am coming of that point of no return. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toward the end of my christianity, my "relationship" with god had gotten so one-sided and painful that leaving it behind was much like I would imagine a person would feel in leaving an abusive spouse.  There was some sadness and occasionally I could remember the good times; but for the most part, I felt the liberation that comes with knowing that person (or deity) can no longer hurt me.  I watched my sister go through the same thing when she finally left her drunk-ass, crack-addict husband and was amazed at the similarities between her experience and mine.

 

I hope you will keep pushing through this, Woodsy, as your experience seems so different from mine.  If I can help you in any way, please let me know.

Isn't it neat that everyone is different and everyone's experience is uniquely theirs?  That was one of the reasons I started doubting xianity last year: how can one religion be the true one and we all have to get in line.  Aren't we a created differently? Vive le difference!! Thanks, Professor, for being there for me.  Have a sip of the whiskey on me!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

In the past week, I've had an epiphany, of sorts. The definition of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, a realization.  For a brief moment, I wasn't angry anymore and the more I thought of it, the more it looked like grief.  With that came the realization that I would have to say goodbye to the god of my childhood, of my youth, and of my middle age.  It felt like saying a final goodbye to a parent.  This felt both comforting and frightening at the same time.  Since I am taking care of my 88 year old father right now, this is very real.  So, I am in a new phase of my deconversion and am wondering what will replace the god of my old age.  I'm hoping to have an epiphany (I like that word) on that, as well.  Today, some old fears are raising their ugly heads and I'm thinking, again, what if I'm wrong.  I have to push through this.  Thanks for listening, friends. 

 

I’m just echoing what others have posted. Woodsy, de-conversion is a journey not an event. There are distinct and predicable stages that virtually every one taking this journey will experience. The analogies you have reference are a perfectly normal part of the process and it is not uncommon to experience grief.

 

There is, however, a point of no return. A point where you realize you simply cannot go back and be part of that community again, because the mystique has been replaced with knowledge obtained through evidence and facts.

 

The day will eventually come when you will no longer be comfortable in the presence of Christians and you will find their beliefs and rituals irrational and childish, but getting to that day will take time…a lot of time. I promise you there is light at the end of the dark tunnel you are passing through now.

 

 

 

I love your posts, Geezer.  I've been reading alot of them recently and they make so much sense.  I thinke I am coming of that point of no return. Thanks for all your encouragement.

 

 

Thank you ever so much for your kind words Woodsy. This site is loaded with folks who have a lot of compassion and empathy 'cause we've been there and done that so we kind of known firsthand what to expect. Somebody, and probably lots of somebody’s, was there to help us. And someday it will be your turn to help someone navigate this journey.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^And at the same time, it's more universal and common than you'd think. While everyone's experiences are different, there are similar themes. That thought crossed my mind early on at the last church I visited. This was back when things were at least ok, when I was still under the radar. I wondered how one religion could be true and another one couldn't be, and how those of another religion could say the same thing about the other.

 

It really is no different from an abusive relationship. They convince you that you're nothing without them, that you need them in order to succeed (or exist), and that they're the be-all end-all. Leaving is the easy part. The tricky part is to stay gone from there. Once you're at the point of no return, that goes with the territory.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Toward the end of my christianity, my "relationship" with god had gotten so one-sided and painful that leaving it behind was much like I would imagine a person would feel in leaving an abusive spouse.  There was some sadness and occasionally I could remember the good times; but for the most part, I felt the liberation that comes with knowing that person (or deity) can no longer hurt me.  I watched my sister go through the same thing when she finally left her drunk-ass, crack-addict husband and was amazed at the similarities between her experience and mine.

 

I hope you will keep pushing through this, Woodsy, as your experience seems so different from mine.  If I can help you in any way, please let me know.

Isn't it neat that everyone is different and everyone's experience is uniquely theirs?  That was one of the reasons I started doubting xianity last year: how can one religion be the true one and we all have to get in line.  Aren't we a created differently? Vive le difference!! Thanks, Professor, for being there for me.  Have a sip of the whiskey on me!!

 

How did you know I was drinking tonight?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mentioned two things that I would like to address: looking for something else to believe in, and what if you're wrong. In the past two weeks I have been scouring every blog and youtube video by searching for "Jesus is not real." (A regular google search will give you the reading material, and you can also go directly to youtube and search -- several good ones that are at least an hour long.) I have also searched for "Jesus is myth", which gives some more.

 

My undergrad degree is in art history, so combined with my intimate knowledge of Bible god and my interest in comparative religions, this reading/viewing has been right up my alley. I think it will help you, too.

 

What have I learned? Many events of the Jesus story exactly mirror or lift from other religions (Horus = Egypt, Mithras = Roman, and I know there a few others, maybe Krishna?). Many were born of a virgin, visited by three kings, crucified (or otherwise killed) and rose again three days later, miraculous healings, walking on water, feeding 5000 (or similar), bread and wine communion... lots of eerily similar stuff. I realize there is no way I would worship Horus or Mithras, so why would I worship Jesus? They are all myths! Did Jesus the man really exist? Maybe -- there are plenty of good debates about that. But it has become apparent to me that the details of his life (if he even had a life here on earth) have been pieced together from other myths for various reasons, which makes sense since the gospels were apparently written 60-200 years after his supposed life. Easy to change the story after all that time, ya think?

 

Ever notice that Paul never talks about Jesus healing the sick, walking on water, virgin birth, all that stuff? He just blathers on about the concept of a Christ, all the while making up his own religion/cult as he went along. (Search for "St. Paul is a fraud," "St. Paul is antichrist," "St. Paul and cult" -- stuff like that. Even when I was still a church-going Christian, I knew something was wrong with him, and stopped reading any of his books in the bible. (Thomas Jefferson famously felt the same way.)

 

I think you are at a point now where you would be open to the idea that the Jesus myth is on shaky ground. I had to convince myself that yes, I am right not to think he was the son of god and my salvation ticket to heaven. I have confirmed for myself what not to believe in. This might help you too, with your doubts about "what if I'm wrong?"

 

I am currently trying to finish reading this very long post. It's kind of cerebral at times and hard to read in large chunks, but maybe you can glean some of what I'm talking about:

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

 

Regarding finding something else to believe in: Over all these centuries (millenia!), no one seems to have figured it out. All these gods have similar (human) traits, promise similar things, come in and out of fashion. On a personified "god" level, none can be right. So what else is there on the supernatural level? I don't know. But I'm at a point now where I don't care so much. I feel like if something comes along that sounds like the answer, at least I have picked up some cynicism and will be able to read and find out more, rather than swallow it hook, line, and sinker. For now, that is good enough for me. If there is something to find one day, I'm sure I'll find it. But if not, I don't mind so much any more.

 

Woodsy, I know this process is a pain in the neck for you right now, but personally I am enjoying your questions, epiphanies, and the discussions here that follow. One day (maybe even today!) some other struggling christian is going to stumble upon these discussions, and will say, "Aha! I'm not crazy! I am not alone! Look what I found!" You are helping us all work through our own thought processes, and hopefully this is helping you work through yours.

 

You're doing it, dear lady! You are making progress! You are freeing your mind and soul. You are on the path to discovery and recovery. Soldier on!

 

Reading your stuff is a joy for me. Stick around and feel welcome!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mentioned two things that I would like to address: looking for something else to believe in, and what if you're wrong. In the past two weeks I have been scouring every blog and youtube video by searching for "Jesus is not real." (A regular google search will give you the reading material, and you can also go directly to youtube and search -- several good ones that are at least an hour long.) I have also searched for "Jesus is myth", which gives some more.

 

My undergrad degree is in art history, so combined with my intimate knowledge of Bible god and my interest in comparative religions, this reading/viewing has been right up my alley. I think it will help you, too.

 

What have I learned? Many events of the Jesus story exactly mirror or lift from other religions (Horus = Egypt, Mithras = Roman, and I know there a few others, maybe Krishna?). Many were born of a virgin, visited by three kings, crucified (or otherwise killed) and rose again three days later, miraculous healings, walking on water, feeding 5000 (or similar), bread and wine communion... lots of eerily similar stuff. I realize there is no way I would worship Horus or Mithras, so why would I worship Jesus? They are all myths! Did Jesus the man really exist? Maybe -- there are plenty of good debates about that. But it has become apparent to me that the details of his life (if he even had a life here on earth) have been pieced together from other myths for various reasons, which makes sense since the gospels were apparently written 60-200 years after his supposed life. Easy to change the story after all that time, ya think?

 

Ever notice that Paul never talks about Jesus healing the sick, walking on water, virgin birth, all that stuff? He just blathers on about the concept of a Christ, all the while making up his own religion/cult as he went along. (Search for "St. Paul is a fraud," "St. Paul is antichrist," "St. Paul and cult" -- stuff like that. Even when I was still a church-going Christian, I knew something was wrong with him, and stopped reading any of his books in the bible. (Thomas Jefferson famously felt the same way.)

 

I think you are at a point now where you would be open to the idea that the Jesus myth is on shaky ground. I had to convince myself that yes, I am right not to think he was the son of god and my salvation ticket to heaven. I have confirmed for myself what not to believe in. This might help you too, with your doubts about "what if I'm wrong?"

 

I am currently trying to finish reading this very long post. It's kind of cerebral at times and hard to read in large chunks, but maybe you can glean some of what I'm talking about:

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

 

Regarding finding something else to believe in: Over all these centuries (millenia!), no one seems to have figured it out. All these gods have similar (human) traits, promise similar things, come in and out of fashion. On a personified "god" level, none can be right. So what else is there on the supernatural level? I don't know. But I'm at a point now where I don't care so much. I feel like if something comes along that sounds like the answer, at least I have picked up some cynicism and will be able to read and find out more, rather than swallow it hook, line, and sinker. For now, that is good enough for me. If there is something to find one day, I'm sure I'll find it. But if not, I don't mind so much any more.

 

Woodsy, I know this process is a pain in the neck for you right now, but personally I am enjoying your questions, epiphanies, and the discussions here that follow. One day (maybe even today!) some other struggling christian is going to stumble upon these discussions, and will say, "Aha! I'm not crazy! I am not alone! Look what I found!" You are helping us all work through our own thought processes, and hopefully this is helping you work through yours.

 

You're doing it, dear lady! You are making progress! You are freeing your mind and soul. You are on the path to discovery and recovery. Soldier on!

 

Reading your stuff is a joy for me. Stick around and feel welcome!

Thanks, sweetie....that was so kind.  And thanks for that post and youtube "look ups."  I'll check them out.  We are all in this together and that means everything.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^We are in this together. Since nobody from our old churches could be bothered to help us when it all unraveled, it's up to us to help each other. Then again, they couldn't be bothered either way. I'm not sure if you've stumbled across any of these, or if someone else in this thread gave you a link, but here are some others you might like to have a look at.

 

http://loudsignal.com/

http://godisimaginary.com/index.htm

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

http://jdstone.org/cr/index.html

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, milesaway. I'll be checking these out today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^We are in this together. Since nobody from our old churches could be bothered to help us when it all unraveled, it's up to us to help each other. Then again, they couldn't be bothered either way. I'm not sure if you've stumbled across any of these, or if someone else in this thread gave you a link, but here are some others you might like to have a look at.

 

http://loudsignal.com/

http://godisimaginary.com/index.htm

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

http://jdstone.org/cr/index.html

I agree about those from our old churches not being bothered to help.  When I left, it was total silence except for three people, one emailed me and apologized for anything she may have done.  It took me awhile to convince her that it wasn't her fault at all.  She said she wanted to go to the altar and beg god's forgiveness.  I felt so bad but that was me at one time. Another sent an email and another sent a nice card saying they missed us.  And not a word from the pastor.  I wasn't up for explaining that I was deconverting so I just said it was something personal.  Thanks so much, Milesaway, for these websites.  I love looking things up. I have found a better community right here with you all.  One which knows how I feel and how I struggle.  There is nothing better.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you talked to those people who reached out to you since then? What's stopping the ones who sent you a card from calling you up and asking you if you wanna hang out or go to a movie sometime? Could the one who apologized and beat herself up over any wrongdoing not have apologized if and when she messed up, otherwise why wait until you left? The whole point was to make you feel bad and it was probably a way to try to guilt trip you into going back. I got silence as well, except for the phone calls I mentioned elsewhere. I was nothing to these people until they scrambled around trying to win me back. I got the guilt trips, the whole bit, with one exception, and that one was too busy being selfish and trying to recruit me for some stupid choir.

 

You won't ever hear from that pastor. To the church leaders, we're nothing but numbers to boost their attendance records so they can have something to brag about. Short and simple explanations are best, whether it's with a former congregation member or a church leader. You get to decide who to share your deconversion journey with. It isn't your job to make them happy and keep them happy. You don't owe any of those people an explanation. You don't owe them anything else for that matter. They promised you everything, and sold you a false bill of goods.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.