yunea

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I guess this is the appropriate forum. Just thought I'd share something that matters quite a bit to me. 

 

I no longer get huge anxiety reactions from religious art and buildings. I'm able to enjoy very old churches and cathedrals for the architecture and the artworks inside, just this summer I've visited a few already outside service times and I am looking forward to more. I even attended a boring Lutheran service, and it was tolerable. I still won't subject myself to anything like Pentecostalism, no point in that for now. Plus they don't have nice buildings, not here at least.

 

Also, it no longer makes me feel ill to know people pray, or maybe explore other religions, do tarot or astrology or whatever to enrich their lives a bit. I do still wish people didn't look for gurus to solve their life problems, but I don't have a problem with people who take responsibility of their own lives and don't trust religious experiences to affect their decision making.

 

I find I can very well be atheist, in the sense that I don't believe any gods with actual personalities exist, but I can still feel an intense, beautiful connection with everything around me that lives. People, nature, trees, animals, near and far. I can imagine myself tapping into a some kind of "life energy" (for lack of a better word) that is in living beings and meditate on it, and feel it move through me and bring calmness and peace. Purely imaginary or not, I find it beneficial. 

 

In a way it feels close to how I felt as a theist, but it's very different in the sense that I don't expect, or really even want, anyone to walk in on me and be like "btw god told me this about your future" (which was one of my biggest continuous wishes as a believer). It's me and the other living things, here and now, doesn't need to be anything more. No seeing the future, no new strange explanations of the past. Just a feeling of being connected with the bigger picture and maybe, just maybe, finding new points of view to what is right now. 

 

After all the drama around my deconversion I was very scared to even think of anything spiritual, but slowly, with time, it seemed the invitation to get back to it came from the nature around me. My pet giant snails, funny as it is, were the first creatures to invite me to re-think my stance. That was maybe two years ago. I'd describe what happened but it seems a little ridiculous... but if anyone is curious I will elaborate when asked to. At the time I posted a couple posts here saying I'm drawn to "a bit of woo", not wanting to be serious about it, not sure what I was thinking and feeling, just carefully seeing if the experience would return. And it did, repeatedly. 

 

In conclusion, I suppose I've spent enough time in the extremes, both in religion and also a really stiff version of atheism that denies everything and pretty much thinks that something that is pure emotion is dangerous for its potential for mind control and bad decisions. I guess I needed to live through all of that. I do still have regrets about the religious extreme end, but I don't regret the stiff atheism even though it was kind of dull. I needed to throw away everything for a while and then slowly start carefully choosing what I really, really, really wanted to keep and what felt right, instead of the crazy headfirst dives into "EVERYTHING jesusy here for me!! I have no brakes at all WHEEEE! Tell me what my truth should be!!! it's all safe because jesus!!!" that I used to do.

 

I'm not one to say anything about what anyone else should be, but I'm finding a ground that isn't extreme and makes my life a bit more beautiful and comforting.

 

I took a long time to not feel stupid about it, but I'm now accepting that I can't live without beauty and nature, I need them around me and I must make choices that lead me closer to them. I can also very well celebrate my imagination and my busy mind, and use it to my own benefit instead of being afraid of it. 

 

And, very importantly, I'm learning to live a life that is my very own. A life where I'm the person who respects and loves me the most, who is the one to stand up for me, who doesn't need divine intervention.

 

I'm learning that disagreement in itself is not a threat to my existence or a sign that I'm somehow worse than the next person. I'm learning that mutual respect means I can have a conversation with someone who disagrees with me, and we can debate, share our very differing thoughts, etc, and still no one gets furious or calls names, and everyone gets new food for thought.

 

I'm finding me, slowly. And I'm not so bad after all. 

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8 hours ago, yunea said:

I guess this is the appropriate forum. Just thought I'd share something that matters quite a bit to me. 

 

I no longer get huge anxiety reactions from religious art and buildings. I'm able to enjoy very old churches and cathedrals for the architecture and the artworks inside, just this summer I've visited a few already outside service times and I am looking forward to more. I even attended a boring Lutheran service, and it was tolerable. I still won't subject myself to anything like Pentecostalism, no point in that for now. Plus they don't have nice buildings, not here at least.

 

We have a really cool Episcopal church with a fantastic pipe organ. I went to a service once. Was interesting. Different from the Pentecostals. Across the river from this church is a Methodist church from the 1860s. Really neat architecture. And then around the corner a couple blocks away is a Catholic church in a fancy old building built in 1906. Never been inside the last two. Would be interesting to see what's inside...not getting up early on Sunday to find out , though. :)

 

8 hours ago, yunea said:

I find I can very well be atheist, in the sense that I don't believe any gods with actual personalities exist, but I can still feel an intense, beautiful connection with everything around me that lives. People, nature, trees, animals, near and far. I can imagine myself tapping into a some kind of "life energy" (for lack of a better word) that is in living beings and meditate on it, and feel it move through me and bring calmness and peace. Purely imaginary or not, I find it beneficial. 

 

I like that concept, "Purely imaginary or not, I find it beneficial." If you enjoy communing with nature , then do it. There's no rules. :)

 

8 hours ago, yunea said:

I'm not one to say anything about what anyone else should be, but I'm finding a ground that isn't extreme and makes my life a bit more beautiful and comforting.

 

A balanced perspective is good to have, imo.

 

8 hours ago, yunea said:

 

I took a long time to not feel stupid about it, but I'm now accepting that I can't live without beauty and nature, I need them around me and I must make choices that lead me closer to them. I can also very well celebrate my imagination and my busy mind, and use it to my own benefit instead of being afraid of it. 

 

Imagination is there to be used.

 

 

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Congratulations yunea!  This makes me very happy to read.  You’ve gone through the hard parts of the deconversion process and now you’re reaping the rewards.  I would love to see every ex-Christian make it to where you are.  I shared your post just now in a thread I started last year about the importance of ”full deconversion”, since you are a good example of somebody who has made this kind of satisfying progress.  Your post above is sure to be encouraging to others starting down the road we have traveled.  Thanks for sharing it with us!

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Beautifully written. What has helped me the most through my deconversion, is being out in the natural world, and really taking it all in, and feeling connected to that. It has largely replaced my feeling connected to a god, although even as a Christian, I didn't feel any strong connection to a god anyway, nor did I draw a lot of comfort from the fact that "he was looking out for me", as the evidence certainly didn't support that. Instead, I have been able to gradually throw away my anger at this imaginary being, and adopt a much kinder and more accepting worldview, and truly begun to explore and accept who I really am. I am so glad you have come full circle and are at peace with yourself today.

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But seriously: pet giant snails?  

Did I read that right?

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1 minute ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

But seriously: pet giant snails?  

Did I read that right?

Yes, you did! :)

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6 hours ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

But seriously: pet giant snails?  

Did I read that right?

 

Get on Discord, ask nicely and you'll get pics of them :) 

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On 6/12/2018 at 7:42 AM, yunea said:

I find I can very well be atheist, in the sense that I don't believe any gods with actual personalities exist, but I can still feel an intense, beautiful connection with everything around me that lives. People, nature, trees, animals, near and far. I can imagine myself tapping into a some kind of "life energy" (for lack of a better word) that is in living beings and meditate on it, and feel it move through me and bring calmness and peace. Purely imaginary or not, I find it beneficial. 

 

Yes, you can be all of it. It's probably much more well rounded and fulfilling to be all of it. I'm not shy to explore the mystical and esoteric and in fact, when exploring these things, you'll find that it's not uncommon to come across those who don't particularly believe in spiritual realms or gods, literally. And yet they remain very mystical about consciousness, meditation, nature, the universe and all of that.

 

I think it boils down to who feels naturally inclined to that sort of thinking and attitude. And the main thing to be careful of is not insisting that those who are not naturally inclined to those spiritual feelings, should have to develop those feelings. Because a lot of people just aren't naturally inclined to spiritual thinking.That's where a lot of tensions can arise between atheists and spiritual minded people. And also, the non spiritual minded people have no better footing when it comes to insisting that spiritual minded people need to stop and change their perspective. Both ways only result in conflict, unnecessary conflict at that. And balance between the two views seems a better alternative in my opinion, if you're some who's inclined to think in those terms. You sound like you're on the road to balancing out your own life and I'm proud to hear it. 

 

Thanks for posting. 

 

 

 

 

 

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