On the way out

sent in by J.S.

I have to say I made peace with my past, at this point. I was very angry with feelings of being deceived for the longest time. But now, I think I have come to believe error is truly human. And a genuine spirituality can and does exist. However, most people are not ready for that. And so, the masses tend to need a more directive, nurturing, organized, and infantile means of attaining partial spiritual awareness (ironically, a reality acknowledged by philosophical Hinduism).

By genuine spirituality I mean a non-theistic belief in transcendant value (though to be sure, I hold to some minimalist notion of a naturalistic "god," the Tao or essential nature, present throughout the cosmos). A belief that certain values and principles beyond our moment to moment existence should guide our lives. Thus for me, it is important to leave the world better than I found it, making a better for future generations. Thus, political activity, charitable work, and providing direction and education for coming generations are essential to my life.

Also, I find it is important to be true to myself and my path. And, to love those important to me as fully and deeply as I can. To support their enjoyment of life and the various contributions they make to our common existience as human beings, as well. The sad thing is, this view of spirituality was not present at all, or at least to the same degree, when I was a Christian.

Joined: 13
Left: 36
Was: Conservative Evangelical then Liberal Christian Pastor
Now: Process Philosopher incorporating secular Buddhism & Taoism
Converted because: Inspired by tradition and revivalism
De-converted because: Could no longer use experience, reason, or bible to validate faith


Lsettr said...

That's the rub. Around here, people seem to equate good moral values with Christianity. I have found a lighter presence in my life since realizing the difference in religion and spirituality. I don't need God to warn me of punishments in order to get my morals to work. I know that what I do can influence others and help or hinder a situation. I prefer to help, not hinder. It seems you have done the same, and I commend you for that.

Lsettr said...

By the way, your post is linked to the wrong posting on the main page. That is why you have no replies...I had to look you up. Perhaps the webmaster can help?

glad I found you, though.

Ian said...

Hi J.S.

I agree with you htat genuine spirituality does exist, and I also agree that many people are not ready for it. I can attest that it is a hard road to travel because there are no set rules, no guidelines to go by. You're completely on your own. Yet, if you stick with it, the results can be very empowering and can lead to a better, more enlightened life.

Though I am no longer a christian, I still believe in a God who is above human frailties and negative human emotions.

I think the big core of spirituality is love, especially love to others. The golden rule, "Do to others what you would want others to do to you" is also a big part of it. In fact, those two principles, love others and the golden rule, are the biggies that I try to live my life by. I find it a bit sad that when I was a christian, my only concern was my salvation and mine alone. Everyone else was unimportant. It was about ME and MY salvation. I regret that I once thought like that, but now I think differently.

I also agree with you that people need to be true to themselves. Some people out there do need christianity while others may be better suited to a path as an agonostic or atheist. There's something out there for everyone.

Steven Bently said...

Intellectual honesty with oneself, will lead to personal empowerment and triumph over ignorance and silly man made beliefs!

To Thine Own Self Be True, this statement applied daily will cause one to rise above Christanity.

Rise above Christianity??

Imagine That!!!

Christianity is for people that let others tell them how to think and live according to a book with words written by men for men to control men and to forgive men for their less than human trespasses against others when people unwisely move out of their human charactor, thusly when people revert or slip back to their animalistic charactor and do wrong unto others, there's this feeling of guilt, a signal from one's intellectual honesty, knowing full well what is right, thus instead of righting their wrong and admitting to their victim that they where wrong and seek immediate forgiveness or an immediate remedy, because of self-induced pride and ego.

Christians find it more convenient to turn to and pray to an imaginary forgiver to right their wrong so that they themselves may be looked upon favorably by this imaginary God, just by their ability to come forward and humble themselves to be deemed less than perfect and therefore can live peacefully with their wrongness.

To hide oneself in religion and christianity one will never be able to recognize their folly, because one's intellectual honesty is never exposed, nor is intellectual honesty recognized as a human virtue, by preferring to believe that the Bible as being the utmost authority on human moral charactor, prefering to seek the forgiveness from an imaginary God and by cowardly neglecting to right their wrongs they've done against their fellow man, either verbally or physically.

Anonymous said...

As long as people are afraid of the dark and just as afraid of personal responsibility, need "parents" of some sort to tell them what to do, there will be religeon. But then, civilisation seems to thrive on believing fictions: the priest and polititian supply a cow flop for a very high price and call it a loaded pizza, anyone who denies it's goodness and worth is deemed a traitor/heretic and dealt with accordingly.

brigid said...

As I remember, the quote is from Bill Shakespeare:

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man"

It is from Hamlet, I think. I challenge and xian to dispute it.

brigid said...

Sorry, "I challenge ANY xian to dispute it"

Anonymous said...

I was raised up in the Southern Baptist Church, Latter in life I was a deacon in a non denominational church. It breaks my heart to see what has become of Christianity. I used to love going to church. Though now it's just this political lap dog used to prop up canadates. Used to persecute those who are less in #'s thus no real voting backlash threat. Used to start costly wars that kill and maim young men and women. Could someone please give me some suggestions of a truly loving and kinder God? I feel so emty inside.

Anonymous said...

RickCentralValley: "Could someone please give me some suggestions of a truly loving and kinder God? I feel so emty inside."

So, you need a god to make you a more whole person? I propose you will never be whole if you seek fulfillment and worth from an external source. The day you can call yourself "whole", without a codependent relationship, is the day you will no longer "need" a god, to make you whole. Thus, your question is misguided, in order to find yourself, you have to make that journey on your own, taking in as much information as possible, and examining that information in relation to how it applies to you. You can't apply a unknowable "god" to the experiences you have in life, but your experiences can create "you".

Anonymous said...

What really disturbs me is the words that come out of so called Christians mouths. As such " The reason for 9/11 was gays and feminist" Jerry Farwell. Suicide among gay youth up 200% Young men and women seeing no other alternative than death as they are forsaken by family, friends and their very own Government.
Thank God for countries like Canada that have outlawed hate speach from their airways. Perhaps America would do well to consider the few the meek the ones who have been used by politicians simply due to the fact that they are few in #'s of lack the resolve to fight back. As did African Americans, The Latin Americans and many other groups who were lesser in numbers, though didn't let themselves become whipping dogs. I'll admit for the first time in my life I no longer feel safe or as if I belong. I sought refuge in Canada though the imigration and naturalization board said that if I would obtain more education they could allow me in. As they have taken around 100,000 Americans that are of less than College educated right after the last election. You know I really should have finished college, Though I never dreamed it would be for this reason. To escape religious persecution! From a religion that I once called my own. If there really was a God and a son called Jesus I wonder what he would have to say to these blood thirsty people who have caused the death and or suffering of millions?
Until one is on the business end of the persecution stick they have no Idea what it feels like. Most of my family are not that religious. Though they've bought the Christians teachings of hate the gays! I not only lost my faith , I lost my family and my nation.

Anonymous said...

A person must remain whole, without a nation, its why there is the right to assembly, to bear arms, to speak out, etc. You're correct though, it comes down to economics, jobs and the food on the table. The poor rural fundies are asked to vote, and they show up and vote on a religious ticket, en masse, they don't really care what religion the official is, they know they will receive a kickback economically in faith based initiatives. Problem, with american politicians, is that they don't know how to rally a nation to a cause, because its a nation in the lead in so many facets, that creates its own issues. I mean, if the U.S. were being attacked a politician could rally around that for a core team builder, but that only lasts a short stint. So, what else do they have to rally a nation around? Who the smack knows, it sure isn't around taking care of "all" citizens in a nation equally. Like you said, bottom line is many people are still treated as second class citizens in the U.S. because a traditional carrot is still being used to keep the rabbit running, and from thinking. When that rabbit stops running, they have time to stop and look around, and see what the smack is really going on, and that isn't all that dandy for politicians, they don't like questions any more than clergy.

trudy said...

I believe in a kind, loving God. I believe that religion is man-made for their own agenda.

I have a self-therapitic line I say to myself when I am unsure of myself, and that is, "If I were God, what would I say to me?"

I believe we have been created in goodness and even our thoughts can bring goodness and encouragement to ourselves.

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