MaddCat0

How do I de-program?

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I have been an ex-Christian since I was a teenager. I am going on 35 now, and I still have psychological issues related to having been raised in this culture. My family didn't even push church or the bible on me, and I am still affected! These days I actually have a genuine interest in Beelzebul as a god (he was originally a rival rain god), as well as other gods. My problem is, I still want to believe in a universal creator, but because of our Christian culture, I struggle to worship both a universal creator and the other gods. It feels like they are enemies, and I feel like I am caught in the middle. If only I'd been raised in a Hindu culture! They don't have this problem. They believe in many gods and a supreme universal force, and I envy them. So my question is, how do I completely erase Christianity from my psyche??

 

Thanks,

Erin

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It's different for each person, based on our own psychological makeup. For a while I was frequenting a crystal store's Wicca section because it felt like home for some reason. I have always liked studying the old gods of Greece and Rome, Egypt and Babylon, so it was interesting to talk with people that use those as archetypes for various parts of personality and introspection.

 

It sounds like you still really want there to be a "person" that you can settle on as the creator. I still find myself occasionally asking for some kind of help from someone out there, though honestly I haven't seen or heard a response that was reliable. That makes life feel a bit more raw and untamable, especially when I or someone I know is facing serious sickness and standard medicine isn't solving the problem, or I'm out in the wild and it gets a bit too wild for my tastes. I think that is probably why gods were first invented, people desperately desired some kind of edge on the odds of survival in a world filled with invisible sicknesses and animals with far better claws, noses, eyes, and ears that humans have. Humans instead have abstract thinking for making tools, languages, math, and strategy, and those helped us survive the odds. But we hoped for someone who might be in control that we could appeal to, or give blood and offerings to, who might then help us make it.

 

I still use the archetypes for introspection, trying to figure out more and more what my own motivations are about, and why I sometimes do or feel things that seem very out of character for me. I've always found that talking to myself as if I were more than one person helps me personify things and work through issues (or even computer programming problems where one argues one approach and other is adamant about another!)

 

It has taken years to get my mind away from the fears that Christianity instilled or enhanced in me. My personified dark-self would bring up vivid imagery in dreams to see what I'd do with it, react like a Christian or move beyond that programming. Fascinating stuff. I hope that you are able to make some kind of path for yourself that helps you feel more grounded even while you explore your inner-self and how you interpret the reality around you.

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1 hour ago, MaddCat0 said:

 

So my question is, how do I completely erase Christianity from my psyche??

 

 

For me, a very important step to my recovery was recognizing that this is not possible. Christianity had shaped who I am in irreversible ways.  It can't be undone.  But there is still time to move forward from here.

 

You are who you are, and your experiences won't go away. You can't make them. But what you can do is make sure that your new experiences are taking you in the direction that you want to go. Explore your interests.  If you struggle to explore them, then struggle, but still explore. Learn new things. Look in new directions.

 

If I read you right, you've been out for quite a while, and you're still finding that there's something in you that wants to believe in monotheism of a kind. I don't think there's anything wrong with this. Atheism is not for everyone,  nor should it be, necessarily. But it seems part of you wants a polytheistic view as well. I'd say,  just keep exploring these ideas. You might find that you're able to develop a worldview which satisfies both these desires to an extent, or your inclinations might change. A certain amount of uncertainty is normal,  and fine. If you're having trouble making up your mind, then don't. At the end of the day, "I'm not sure" may be the most intellectually honest and succinct conclusion that is possible.

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2 hours ago, MaddCat0 said:

My problem is, I still want to believe in a universal creator.....

Why? Sorry, but you should want to believe in things that have supporting evidence.

 

That observation aside, you've been out for a long time now. Perhaps professional deprogramming would help. Brainwashing can run very deep, some cults are more adept at it and some individuals are more susceptible. The very idea that you actually want to believe in a creator without evidence fueling such belief shows just how ingrained the programming is.

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3 hours ago, MaddCat0 said:

My problem is, I still want to believe in a universal creator....

 

You may want to explore deism. Leaving Christianity does not necessarily mean turning to atheism. 

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"...So my question is, how do I completely erase Christianity from my psyche??"

 

Interesting question. I'm afraid the answer may not be as easy as asking. It might be that you need to ask a few more questions as well. A complete brain swipe I personally don't see as possible or even needed. To me, retaining awareness of various things only helps in having some kind of understanding of the world around you. If you completely wipe your psyche of anything Christian, then I suspect you might become vulnerable in your ignorance all over again. Sort of like not learning from past mistakes maybe.

 

Might I suggest trying to ask more questions? I don't think you really need full answers to any one question before the next question. It's an ongoing process regardless of how you approach it. Belief comes in many forms and I don't see anything wrong with exploring the depths of what to believe. At least you are trying to be honest with yourself, which is very important. If you are willing to be bluntly honest with yourself, you will likely end up with a more honest answer to move forward with.

 

Maybe start with questioning why you feel that wanting to believe there is a universal creator is a problem. But be honest, and remember, any form of religion is mankind's attempt at offering up THEIR interpretations of what the truth is. It may be their beliefs, but it doesn't mean it must be your beliefs.

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You don't need to erase your memories. Just make sure to make friends with people who approach life from a non-christian perspective, read books dedicated to science and rationality, go to interesting movies, watch some good nonreligious documentaries. And try to have a hearty laugh or two every day! Don't take things too seriously, try to get some distance between your current self and your previous set of beliefs. Ya know, stuff like that......

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Another thing to consider is that you may have a chemical in-balance that is contributing to your obsession.   If the above suggestions don't help, talk to your doctor about it.

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