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Re-Introducing Myself


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It's been a long time since I've been here.

 

I didn't go back to church - I've been out 15 years and I have had no desire to go back - but I think I'm still discovering just how dysfunctional the Evangelical Cult made me.

 

Hi, I'm Mark...aka GraphicsGuy or Mark2.0 or whatever my username is now...and maybe I need to be here again for a while and try to deprogram again.

 

The Cult wasn't the problem this time, but it's certainly a residual issue. Maybe some of you here have experienced it - especially if you were ever part of the church "Inner Circle" and/or a pastor's kid like me.

 

How many of you were told - for most of your life - that you were "special", that "God has a PLAN for you" and that you were to "preach the WORD" and "bring the light to world"?

 

Yeah, that was my case. I was probably told something along those lines at least once a month for 20+ years. And being the son of a pastor and the grandson of pastors (yes, plural), the Burden of Purpose was upon me for decades and I think it still plagues me.

 

For the last 5 years I've run a podcast and YouTube channel that focused on non-religous spirituality and the Hero's Journey.

 

I loved it at first and now it's sucking my soul dry, so I'm taking a step away from it for a while.

 

And I don't know what to do with myself. The urge to "preach" is ingrained in my psyche and constantly fucking with my brain. The urge to be "special", the urge to "help", the urge to be something other than...normal.

 

So, at the moment I am practicing "normal". I'm coming around the circle and back to where I started my Journey.

 

Here.

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The Berlin Wall came down when I was 16.  I was told that if I didn't go and bring revival to Europe, then the blood of the nations would be on my hands.

 

It's a two-edged sword.  On the one hand, god has this great and mighty plan to make my life powerful, exciting... extra-ordinary.  On the other, any failure on my part would result in disaster, catastrophe... humiliation and debilitating guilt.

 

I've spent the majority of my life, post-deconversion included, looking for the "next big thing," while simultaneously racked with an overwhelming fear of failure to the point of self-sabotage and harpooning my own efforts to find success and happiness. 

 

Nearing the big 5-0, I'm only now starting to understand that just be-ing is enough.  I've striven so hard to be "something," that I never learned to just be.  There's a lot of wisdom in flower smelling, cloud watching, and long walks in the woods.

 

Your self-imposed exile may be the best choice you ever made.  From here, you may find the you you really are, instead of the you you think you should be.

 

Welcome back.

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The special plan is just another marketing scheme of the cult, along with placing blame on us or the devil if there is obvious failure. Constant shell game of god hiding, making demands with threats, promising all kinds of wonderful magic, then not delivering because deep mystery (well, he never really was there to begin with). Oh, and don't dare accuse him of wrongdoing... ooohh. Piss off the psycho narcissist (or his followers) and all of the ooga-boogas will be aimed at you. Some folks spend their entire lives being fleeced by the cult. I had at least three friends break mentally due to the pressure to be a "warrior for God". 

 

In the bell-curve of human ability, some of us can do quite a lot in the world but really have to work at it. There are the occasional talented ones that blaze a new trail, but most of us just get along in life. Either way, it wasn't the result of a god. I wrote a book when I deconverted because I had so much boiling inside that I had to express. I didn't publish for a variety of reasons, but it helped me to work through a lot of the programming I had from the cult. I've also learned during COVID time that me expressing something on YouTube or Facebook is just another opinion in a vast ocean of voices. I used to look for likes and comments, and would be frustrated when I was ignored. I then eventually realized that I need to focus on simply living and acquiring skills I enjoy, and forget about trying to impress and influence others. So much on YT is about making money by generating click bait, and I don't even want to be that. Being and becoming is far more significant to me now than before. 

 

It seems today that every jerk with an opinion thinks he or she will fix the world by tweeting or yelling. I'm sorely tempted to do that myself at times, and even catch myself halfway through a FB post that I think will sort it all out for everyone. Then I delete it because no one really even cares. They are all so wrapped up in their own world that I'm just another blip spouting my views. 

 

So it sounds like you are getting a good perspective on life and what you want to make of it. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, GraphicsGuy said:

 

and that you were to "preach the WORD" and "bring the light to world"?

 

That's me!  The early programming is hard to shake.  The "word" has changed, but the programming in early life is still hanging on at 80 years of age.  My message these days is in my signature at the bottom of this post.  But I did learn early in life to, on occasion, like the professor said, smell the flowers along the way.  Nature, the woods and back country, the mountains, etc have always fascinated me.  Especially seeing them on the saddle of an Enduro motorcycle.  HA! As a matter of fact my wife thinks I am crazy for still doing it at my age.  It is time to unload part of the world, and develop that part of you that is "you".  

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11 hours ago, GraphicsGuy said:

 

And I don't know what to do with myself.

 

While you are looking, don't think you are now too old to start something.  For 10 years after the kids all left home, I thought I was too old to resume riding motorcycles.  Then I saw 2 guys riding that were older than me.  I got back into it at 68 years of age.  Maybe I am bragging and stupid, but I ride sensibly and think some people need encouragement to do something different and exciting instead of being a couch potato.

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On 5/26/2022 at 1:53 AM, GraphicsGuy said:

For the last 5 years I've run a podcast and YouTube channel that focused on non-religous spirituality and the Hero's Journey.

 

I loved it at first and now it's sucking my soul dry, so I'm taking a step away from it for a while.

 

And I don't know what to do with myself. The urge to "preach" is ingrained in my psyche and constantly fucking with my brain. The urge to be "special", the urge to "help", the urge to be something other than...normal.

 

So, at the moment I am practicing "normal". I'm coming around the circle and back to where I started my Journey.

 

I can probably help you with this. Being that I'm probably the most learned about Joseph Campbells work around here. And have a strong understanding of Advaita Vedanta and the new 21st Analytic Idealism philosophy. All while sticking to my agnostic-atheist positioning. I'm open enough to entertain an idealist metaphysics as possible. And most importantly, absent theistic belief. Viewed in a naturalist setting. All is in Consciousness or menation doesn't equal mythology is literally true and god exists! It actually goes the other way. 

 

It's a tricky business, the mystical realization and enlightenment. It can be preached. But ultimately its up to people to wake up on their own and there's no forcing the issue. Plus, whether anyone ever wakes up or not, doesn't really seem to matter. It just is what it is. I see a lot of people in Buddhist circles, primarily, coming out of christianity and trying to bring that mentality over to Buddhism. 

 

What is the normal that you came back looking for? It's very different around now compared to 15 years ago. 

 

 

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You are indeed special, just like the rest of us.

 

Shoot for being enlightened af while not trying to make anyone else aware of it.

 

This, Grasshopper, is the greatest enlightenment.

 

Namaste, bitches.

 

😁

 

 

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3 hours ago, florduh said:

Namaste

Namaste: a verbal progression describing an intent to remain in place.

 

"Y'all fixin' ta 'vacuate afore the hurricane comes?"

 

"Namaste right chere."

 

 

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