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Mr. Grinch's Post


odintim
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Mr. Grinch's recent post left me pondering about old conversations with family members of mine. Though the subject of my deconversion is no longer discussed and they no longer even ask me questions, I have to wonder if I've left something unsaid.

 

Over a year ago, my mother wrote me this impossibly long letter (32 pages) in which she conveyed her worry and concern over me "turning towards atheism". I, of course, did my best to reassure her, giving her basic descriptions of my life and that religion or a belief in a god was not needed to have meaning or morality in one's life. It was then left at that. We no longer discussed it.

 

Several months afterwards my sister and I got into a discussion over the End Times and Hell. I gave her my reasons as to why I did not believe in a Hell, and why I thought that an existence of such a place was impossible. Again, this was left behind and no longer brought up.

 

Even so, there are little silences and "innuendos" during phone conversations that - even though concern me - I ignore. My wife says I should just leave it alone, since giving them details of my life - atheism, evidence of evolution, science, etc. - would be lengthy and would be seen as "preaching for atheism". Any letter I wrote them would only be skimmed and not really read, because they would only be thinking of their response, not listening to what I had to say.

 

My wife has a more innocent and peaceful look at this than I, since she grew up in an agnostic background, and lives her life this way. She did not have a religious background as I and many of you do. I understand her point of view, and even agree with it on most points, but as I said, perhaps cannot look at this objectively.

 

So, with this in mind, should I do as suggested and leave it to the wind, or should I explain even further to my family what led to my deconversion?

 

OT

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I would advise that you do what brings you the most peace.

 

It depends on what you understand to be the intent of thoses 'silences'.

 

I guess it would also depend on your ability to continue to leave those 'innuendo's' to the wind. If you are bottling these up and not really letting the wind take them - maybe saying something more is better sooner than later - but if you can let them go ...

 

And the other side - are your relatives 'bottling' up what they really want to say - or did your Mum get it all down in her 32 pages? Does she want to say more but is trying her best to let it go?

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"32-pages"?!? :eek: I haven't written that much in explaining my apostasy! Your mom had plenty on her chest, didn't she?

 

Odintim, you present an interesting situation. And, as with everything, how you respond will depend both on the situation and your personality.

 

In my case, I absolutely HATE to revisit issues I thought were a "done deal". Once I explain myself, once both parties agree to disagree and once the case is closed, I don't appreciate people re-opening the can of worms. I refuse to keep "apologizing" for what I don't believe. I'm more than happy to explain myself, ONCE. Keep coming after me though, and I get ugly.

 

I tend to side with your wife, and suggest to just let sleeping dogs lie. You've told them all they need to know. It sounds like now they just want to bait you in an effort to wear down your "rebellion" against "God". That would piss me off. Sounds very disrespectful.

 

I would ask them politely to drop the subject and never revisit it. Should they ignore you (Moms are GOOD at this ploy.) you just ignore them. Water off of a duck's back.

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I believe that the key to peace is the full, uninfluenced perception of the world around us and all the causes and effects of the mind with its various desires.

 

A lot of the pain I feel vanishes when I look at history, neurology and human nature and see how social systems led to certain religions, patterns of thought, cataclysms, etc. And how my family's religion is a direct consequence of that. I think the key is to not accept religion, or reject it, but to understand the significance of it and to intuitively *feel* your place in the history of the universe, with all of its pleasures and pains, as being just as it must be, conflicts and all.

 

I feel that everything, whether I like it or not, is an integral part of reality and an inevitable consequence of rules, environment and motion. But to see this required that I not only think about these things, but also about my thinking. And I think if all of these complex processes and networks can be pictured, without words or desires of any kind, there is a great peace in that.

 

And while I would like to argue things with my family sometimes, I realize that I am thereby strengthening my ego, and my own certainty of my own ideas and opinions...and that is the same process that they go through when they are causing *me* misery. And so I concluded that it is not the actual opinions themselves that hurts, but this process of making the (false) mental image we have of ourselves the center of our universe. And that, to me, is the source of my suffering.

 

So I finally just saw that my family's being christians and doing whatever is simply part of who "I" am. So I don't get to have as much pleasure as I can imagine having...oh well. It's either that or not being me. And Darn It, I Like Me!

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Indeed - 32 pages sure seems like the behavior of someone who's programmed to react to the rejection of Jesus like it's the worst crime on earth.

 

Like Grinch said, ask the politely to give it a rest. You're fine in your views and don't want to keep on grinding away at it. They will likely take little jabs of evangelization at you every so often (try to quote this verse or that, send you religious holiday cards or emails, etc) but don't give it much thought.

 

Mind over matter - you shouldn't mind because Xianity doesn't matter.

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All very well put - much better insight than I suppose I could claim. Damn it! This means I have to admit my lovely significant other is more wise than I! :HaHa:

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll do just that, although at times I think my ego will be a hard one to swallow. Perhaps my pookie will cut my ego into smaller pieces to allow easier swallowing....

 

OT

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