Do you miss yourself?

Sent in by Claire

Do you miss yourself?

When I hear a question such as this, I recoil in disappointment; I sigh with disgust. It is posed in such a way as if to assume that the person being asked about is no longer authentic, real, or are somehow empty.

It's condescending, presumptuous and I find it downright rude.

"Do you miss yourself?" has been asked of me in various forms since my journey outside the realm of religion and faith began, just over a year ago. Due to my lack of certainty (and the lack of evidence), I have officially de-converted from Christianity. Since then, questions have been raised about the validity of my reasoning and in turn, my very self.

Don't you miss who you used to be?

I am not surprised by these questions, knowing full well the world in which I used to live is constructed of persons who are taught to hold each other accountable for a myriad of things: actions, tastes in music, emotions, sexual preferences, interpretations of scripture... and doubts.

While I understand the questioners intent (after all I was guilty of the same), what I find so unappealing is the question itself, (don't even get me started on "Ex-Christians, how can there be such a thing?"). These really aren't genuine questions after all, for a genuine question is not asked with the answer already implied.

All that said, I have decided to respond to this rhetorical nonsense in hopes of demonstrating how “myself” is really much better off having left it's delusions behind and how I really don't miss "that self" at all.

Do you miss that self?

No, I do not miss "that self."

I do not miss the mind numbingly absurd reality “that self” lived in, the plateau at which that self's intelligence was set, the circular condemnation and double think “that self” endured on a daily basis.

No, I do not miss that self.

I do not miss feeling like that self was something bad and that that self could do no good without a supreme deity to guide the way, I do not miss that self second guessing every action, every relationship, every idea,

I do not miss that self.

No, I do not miss that self's lack of responsibility for the earth, that self’s desire for the world to be destroyed and for its people to be condemned, that self’s superiority, naivety and idealism.

I do not miss that self.

I do not miss that self’s conversations with the ceiling, that self’s weight of the worlds salvation, that self’s conscious dismissal of science, that self’s ala cart projection of the Bible, that self’s silver platter consumption of truth from the pulpit.

No, I do not miss that self.

My self rejoices in reality and embraces humanity.

“That self” can go fuck itself.

24 comments:

Shawn McBee said...

Well said!
The arrogance behind such questions seems to be lost on those doing the asking. Like Ted Haggard talking to Richard Dawkins, managing to be more arrogant than anyone I've ever seen as he said "Don't be arrogant."
Anyway, good post. Way to put 'em in their place!

freedy said...

Former fundy self,judgemental,hypocritical,homophobic,paronoid,delusional,superstious,& intellectually asleep asshole.

Free present self,authentic,tolerant,opened-minded,enviromentalist,realist,rational and intellectually awake asshole.

Trancelation said...

Ahh, that question. One of the many emotionally-loaded, assumption-riddled questions that believers like to ask. "What are you so afraid of?" and "Why do you hate God?" fit very easily into that pantheon. Christians just love to define the rules of the conversation for you, condemning you to a negative answer no matter what you say. It's like asking someone "Have you ever tasted a better dick than mine?" If you say yes or no, you're screwed.

When Christians ask emotionally-loaded, assumption-riddled questions, they are looking for answers with the same quality. The best thing to do is to poke logic-holes in their childish polemics until it collapses. "Yes" or "No" will not suffice. It gives them the answer they are looking for, either way. When posed with this question, the first thing I ask of my friendly neighborhood Christian is to define the "self." What is the "self," and and how can one come to lose it, thereby coming to MISS IT? This usually sends them running, or simpering back into their dim caves of delusion. If that doesn't work, you can always mess with their heads, provided it won't come back to bite you in the ass.

When I was on a jog recently, a Jehovah's Witness stopped me and asked me if I knew what Jesus Christ had done for me. I kept trying to resume my jog and he kept getting in my way and repeating the question, so I responded with, "Yeah, I know what I did for you. And you know what I did after I came back? I f*cked your mom!" And then I HAULED ass. It was hilarious.

Shaggy Maniac said...

One might say in defense of religious experience that one has a special sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation of the sublime as a matter of faith, with the implication that, in the absence of faith, these qualities of life experience would be lacking.

From my own experience, abandoning my religious faith has in fact broadened and enriched my sense of the above and it is all the more precious to me in that it is based in a humble posture toward reality, rather than an imagined spiritual realm.

So I echo your sentiments. Not only do I not "miss my self" in the absence of religious faith; on the contrary I am enriched by a fuller discovery of myself and my place in reality.

Cheers

Nina said...

I am so happy in my little world that I am always in shock when a fundy actually has the nerve to look me in the eye and ask me about God. I am taken back every time. I just forget that people think that way until my mouth drops and my eyes get big and I can not help but negatively respond. It is so obvious that thinkers do just that and think.

Now my predicament has hit home. I have a Christian partner and I NEVER thought this would happen to me. She is totally taken with the delusion and she covers her ears and complains I am giving her a head ache if I mention religion. I mean just mention! Well now we do not ever talk about it. I am afraid it will some day be our end.
Anyway, I love my self and I can say I am the same self I was when I pretended to believe. I pretended most of my life and gave up the charade about ten solid years ago. It was third grade that I really decided it was bull. I never looked back.
Fundies worry me with that look inn their eyes like they are wild or hullucinating or something.
Good post about the questions.
Marty

Ayyyypostate said...

I do miss "that self" sometimes.

I think you should be honest with yourselves. There's something to be said for pure, blissful delusion. Once you're on this side it's hard to JUSTIFY wishing that you were back in the cozy, down-filled folds of blind faith, but nevertheless, there is an undeniable appeal. In fact, research has shown that religious people have a better sense of subjective well-being, are healthier and live longer. I agree with your list of justifications you list above, but methinks he doth protest too much.

"You know, I know what you're thinking, because right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here. Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?"

Mamushka said...

In response to ayyyypostate,
claire here...
I agree with you in terms of the happy-go-lucky feelings and emotions religion can bring a person...in that respect i do miss those moments, much like a former drug addict misses the high...but i would never go back to the abuse.

Ayyyypostate said...

mamushka,

your drug analogy is apt, indeed.

I'm glad you wouldn't go back, neither would I. In fact, I'd say it's impossible to go back, except that while encased in that paradigm of superstition I would've said the same thing about how I see the world now. So, like a scientist, I'll never say never (but I will say gawd I hope not).

btw, I totally understand the implicit anger in his post, too. One year after having the veil lifted I felt the same way, myself..and for years after that. Now I don't feel anger as much as pity, and an uneasy sympathy.

Ayyyypostate said...

oh, not "his post", your post. Sorry, didn't make the connection.

stronger now said...

No. Not even a little bit.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Nina wrote:
Fundies worry me with that look inn their eyes like they are wild or hullucinating or something
---
Nina,
I know exactly what you mean about their eye's !!

It's not just the xtian fundies either.
I've seen that same look in other non-fundie religious sects as well.

In fact, when I was a teen, I could spot a 'moonie' in a public group quite easily.
I was never sure if it was that they were on drugs, or greatly sleep deprived, but they sure looked/behaved more like androids, rather than anything human with a living thinking brain.

I guess when god implants his holy ghostie in a person, it results in a robot, yet a robot that supposedly has free will. If you ask me, they traded their "free will" for two hours of much needed sleep.


ATF (Who always wanted to look deeply into their eye's and ask..."Is anyone IN THERE?)

freedy said...

No one's eyes are more dazed and confused than xtians.The lack of a bright light dims their face to a point of dullness that I've never seen before.

It's creepy,uncomfortable and mechanical,...scary stuff man.

Bill said...

Oh the eyes !!!!! When one of my best friends became totally sucked into religious brain washing he just had this glazed over zombified look in his eyes that was fucking creepy as hell.

ayyyy said,

"In fact, research has shown that religious people have a better sense of subjective well-being, are healthier and live longer"

I personally never had the pleasure of the religious bliss, but I must admit I do get a little bummed out whenever I see 100 year olds claiming one of their secrets to happy longevity is a strong faith in Gawd. It always seems to be a common denominator of the centenarians. Just once I want to see someone who's 105 proclaim his atheism !!!!!!!

xrayman

sconnor said...

Check out Kirk Cameron's kooky-crazy christian eyes,
http://www.freelancefarm.com/ordinaryaura/archives/kirk%20cameron%20witnessing.jpg

--S.

Cousin Ricky said...

Ayyyypostate wrote: “In fact, research has shown that religious people have a better sense of subjective well-being, are healthier and live longer.”

Has the reason for the correlation (if it’s indeed real) been established? Could it be that people who are healthier and have a better sense of subjective well-being, and therefore live longer, are less likely to question what they’ve been taught?

Ayyyypostate said...

yep, for sure the ol' "correlation doesn't prove causation" is entirely applicable here. There's only speculation as to why this occurs. Personally, my thought is it's a similar phenom to the married=live longer thing. We're social animals, big time, probably more than we realize, religion offers 1) church community and 2) an imaginary friend that is with you all the time. Beyond that I don't know if correlations with things like risk-taking behavior, life-style choices (drinking smoking etc), intellectual curiosity, etc were partialed out in these studies, and I just can't bring myself to look it up right now. Sunday is a day of rest, afterall :)

twincats said...

Thank goodness no one has ever asked me that question!

Honestly, these people need to stop projecting the multiple personality disordered thinking of their triune god on other people!

sconnor said...

“In fact, research has shown that religious people have a better sense of subjective well-being, are healthier and live longer.”

Reference?

--S.

Anonymous said...

Just a fussy little grammatical note: When using "X" for Christ, it's not neccessary to put a "t" after the X, "Xtians." Just "Xians" suffices. You would not spell "Xmas,"Xtmas."

Sorry, just a little pet peeve of mine.

Anonymous said...

I was asked this question recently and responded with a post on my blog.

My initial, knee-jerk reaction was, "No. I don't miss anything about the theist me." After a bit more thought, I realized that I do sometimes miss, just a tad, my previous idealism. The problem, of course, is that many of the Christian ideals I held (sacrifice, humility, etc.) were warped and were actually the tools that religious leaders use to keep believers in the fold. Still, there was something appealing about believing that I was a part of something BIG.

Would I go back to theism? Absolutely not. Moreover, I am far happier with myself than I was before my de-conversion. But it would be a lie to assert that my old life was completely bereft of value.

AtheistToothFairy said...

chuckyjesus wrote:
When using "X" for Christ, it's not neccessary to put a "t" after the X, "Xtians." Just "Xians" suffices
---
Chucky',

While what you say does make sense, it seems you have lost the popularity contest in this regard.
Doing a goggle search reveals it's far more common to spell it Xtian, rather than Xian.

I guess it's like we were taught that "Ain't" ain't a word, in English class, yet society insisted by popular usage, that it was okay to use and so it gets used.

Because spelling it Xtian seems far more popular, it might be confusing to now change it to Xian, not to mention, we now would have to search on both abbreviations.

Looking at our own site here, it seems Xtian wins hands down in usage.

Also, looking up Xian on the web, I found a place in China by that name.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Xian

So while you may be right in your pet peeve, it looks like you're a bit late to get the world to change their already established habit.

Sorry Chucky, but I doubt you'll win this one [g]


ATF (Who say's, there "Ain't" any god in either Xtian or Xian)

Nina said...

Ayyypostate
While it may be true, that many miss the blissful delusion, I just gave it up so young that I do not ever think I was "sold" on the ideas of catholisism.
I actually felt like I had a secret and the other kids would never believe me so I never shared. Twelve years of cath school and I kept my mouth shut for the duration, but the minute I graduated, I never pretended again.
It was confusing, but not blissful.
Nina

Nina said...

Xrayman
My grandmother was 102 1/2 when she died and she was an athiest. She got so angry when everyone talked about God to her when her husband died. She never told anyone but me and my sister that she never believed iin God since she was a teen.
She also was a great pretender. In her time you had to follow the family if you want to be accepted. She did that and went to church religiously. She followed for my grandfather who was catholic.
When she died I accidently told my father she did not believe in God and felt so bad about it. He did not believe me anyway.
She really hated religious hypocrisy.
There ya go, a centurien athiest.
nina

Anonymous said...

I often miss the "good times" of being a Christian, namely the cameraderie of fellow believers and the atmosphere of church. The worship music, the inner joy from knowing I was a child of the most powerful entity in the universe, and the all-around feeling of peace I had... at least in the beginnings.

Then it became ugly. All I eventually knew was fear, mostly of hell and backsliding from my faith.

So in that context, I must say that I don't miss it one bit. I find it strange, the idea that one's religion determines one's identity. I'm still as much "me" as I've always been, just a little older and a little smarter.

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