11/25/2010 | Share this article:By J.T. ~
Reality and truth are unkind to those hopelessly stuck in delusion. That is what I found out a long time ago. A large potent dose of truth that socked me in the gut so hard I cried as I watched my delusions crumble away until all that remained was the way things are.
The stark, alarming, blinding truth of existence. The feeling deep in my heart/mind/stomach...at the very center of who/what I am, that the universe in which we live exists independently of any 'intelligent' creator or author. The feeling that the universe is beyond any capability for me to ponder, without beginning or end, and yet uncaused and without error. I'll begin with this little rant about the universe and what I see it as. I think it is of at least some importance as it was this line of thinking that started my straying from religious thinking.
This feeling of "universal awareness" (since I have to call it something) wasn't some beautiful enlightening sense of oneness or any such thing as you might read about in new-age books. It was a sense in which I ceased believing in myths and superstition, and I wasn't really even that interested in science for that matter until later on. All I was interested in was reality, the real, the universe as a solitary entity and how it works. It is a crushing silence that destroys beliefs and replaces those beliefs with nothing comforting.
(The first time I felt this was as a kid. I used to try to imagine what it would be like if there was nothing in existence. I would get to where I only imagined a black space void of any objects, but once I became aware that even blackness was 'something' and I tried to get rid of that, I would get scared and quit thinking about it immediately.)
The sense that I had was that this universe unfolds as it has to, constantly and it does so perfectly without mistakes. What we call mistakes, or tragedy, or wrong is only our flawed and limited view of the way things are. In everything we see as being wrong or terrible, the universe is simply working/unfolding doing what it does, while weaving a much greater perfection that has nothing to do with our convenience and cares not one bit for our approval. Volcanoes erupt and destroy lives, homes and entire ecosystems. New life is created from the ashes of that 'tragedy'. Stars go supernova and destroy everything for millions of miles, and then a beautiful array of gases remain in the space for creatures on earth to observe with high powered telescopes and ponder the universe. Beautiful, and yet still, just an ordinary event occurring for no reason.
Okay, all that talk aside I joined ExChristian.net as it seemed an appropriate place for me to be a part of. While I don't refer to myself as an Exchristian or really any title, it is accurate to say that deconversion from Christianity is part of my story. I think all people in life are seeking to align themselves with the truth of their situation, or coming to know what the capital T "Truth" is.
I think everything else I can say was fairly well summed up in a memssage to a fellow exChristian seeking to know the "truth" recently. Besides, there isn't much to say about my life or my story because anyways. It's all pretty mundane stuff compared to other great stories I've read here on the site. Plus I'm sure our search for what is real and true is our common ground.
I know it may be hard to view it (what she called deconversion) this way, but your message was beautiful to me. It reflects what I experienced even for many years denying my own experience and telling myself that my faith was being tested. What was actually happening to me, and it sounds like what is happening to you, is that you are TRULY a seeker of truth. Going to places where people tell you what you want to believe, and they flatter you for believing and for playing along in the game of collectively enforcing one another's delusions is NOT THE TRUTH.
The truth cannot be known outright by anyone who is in delusion, or who is surrounded by an atmosphere steeped in myth, superstition and wrong-thinking. So, when in this atmosphere, since you can't know the truth (which I refer to truth in this manner as that notion that there is absolute correct perception). Many current Christians especially the Christians who are on shakey ground with their faith are so uncomfortable and shakey BECASE they can sense on some level that they are not part of this correct perception. If they are VERY intuitive, they may sense that the reason they aren't preceiving things clearly is because they have a filter through which they view the world. This filter was installed through indoctrination. Just suddenly deciding that you don't believe in Christianity anymore doesn't automatically remove this filter. Every aspect of ones thoughts and beliefs are intricately attached to it. One who has deconverted from Christianity may not necesarily be free from this filter, even though the filter is seen as the creation of a now defunct Christian worldview.
So what can a person do to get rid of the filter and start perceiving things without those intrusive judgements, thoughts and modes of operating? The only thing you can really do is back away from untruth and shun everything that smacks of lies, delusion, and prevarication. And that is what you are doing. Your swatting away a bunch of half-baked crazy talk about a God that people accept from second hand sources, and the ones who claim to know God from first hand experience are usually too crazy or too far gone to ever see anything outside of the hazy lense from which they filter reality.
At this stage in your search for truth (I won't call it deconversion necessarily although deconversion may certainly be an aspect of this search) I would say the best thing you can do is to try to become conscious, become very aware of all unchallenged beliefs as they arise. These are the little voices that come about when any situation prompts them. I often find the judgemental voice of my mother, or an old pastor come up still from time to time if there is a situation in which I know they would just go into a morality rant. When those used to come up, I mistakenly assumed that whatever those beliefs that came up were MY BELIEFS. But they are not, and never have been. They are just things I've picked up along the way from others who I saw as authority figures.
When your family asks you why you are so sensitive about the issues of God and Christianity if you no longer believe in them, they are basically saying that they don't really think you are a non-believer. Maybe that is their way of holding out hope that you will fall back into the fold. I can understand your own concern about this, but you need to recognize that you are very sensitive about issues relating to God/religion BECAUSE you are on the right track. It may seem that by being so sensitive to the subject that you are still interested in God, and you are still interested in holding onto Christianity, but really you are interested in the truth. Your sensitivity is there because you are deconstructing an old way of seeing the world and you are on guard against falling back into old patterns of seeing it. It is an intuitive sense that the old way brought a lot of needless suffering, but you resist it because part of you knows that people stick with it because they cannot conceive of the dishonor that would come with being seen as a nonbeliever. They aren't interested in truth, they are interested in saving face and saving their oily hides from what might happen if Christianity DOES turn out to be true (fear of Hell).
The only thing that will EVER keep you from realizing who you REALLY TRULY are and what you truly think, is unchallenged beliefs. All my best to you.
Filed Under: Rants