Ah, the topics of religion and spirituality. Things that are never far from my mind. I separate the two because I don’t believe they are the same. So many questions, so many years of study and research to find answers to those questions only to come up with more questions more difficult than the previous ones. I equate religion with dogma, ecclesiasticism, and hierarchy. Spirituality, on the other hand, is personal, healing, sustaining, and free of dogmatism. At least that’s the way I define and view the two. Every religion, without exception, has rules or dogma. Even those more recent on the religious landscape that claim to be free of all dogma while ironically proscribing one thing or another. Spirituality, as previously mentioned, is (at least to my mind) something profoundly personal and there is no hierarchy, priests, priestesses, or anyone else to tell you how you should think and
I’ve been thinking a lot since that crazy doctor said the most moronic thing to me recently… you know, the one I wrote about telling me that my bipolar disorder was my fault because I hadn’t “accepted Jesus” (whatever that means). Since I’m here smack in the middle of what’s known as the Bible Belt and I’m constantly surrounded by religious zealots, I’ve been thinking of what it would take to convince me that there is some “higher power” or anything of the sort and I’ve come up with a short list.
What It Would Take
First, it would have to not only be able to communicate with me in a meaningful and helpful manner, it would have to actually do so. Reading a collection of books written by humans in ancient times doesn’t count as communication. That’s not real two-way communication. Plus, it’s written by human hands and a product of
Earlier today I read an interesting blog post regarding whether or not “paganism” is dying. My initial thought was, “who cares?”. If people decide they can no longer reconcile adopted beliefs with the mundane and objective reality of day to day life then they are freed in my opinion. I feel the same about any other religious belief. If an individual abandons beliefs that no longer serve them, and in some cases become detrimental, then more power to them I say. I admit I have become extremely jaded when it comes to any sort of religious claims. As I’ve written many, many times I simply have not seen or read anything that is in any way convincing to me that they are anything more than the subjective experiences or thoughts regarding things supernatural. The fact that I’ve never seen or read anything convincing to my mind perturbs me… it makes
Man, I’m really struggling here… I’ve got a million things on my mind and want to write about them all but every time I begin to type today I see what I’ve written and realize that it probably won’t make any sense at all to readers so I delete and start over. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve deleted and restarted on this post today. It’s extremely difficult to try to convey anything at all in a coherent manner when there are so many disparate topics running through my mind seemingly simultaneously. Religion, sleep, dreams, goals, loneliness: all of these things are on my mind today and I want to write about them all but I don’t want to bore you to tears or end up typing out a saga instead of a blog post. I’ll start with two at the same time since they are related anyway…
I’ve been busy lately finishing a book I began writing some time ago. It’s actually a short book so it wasn’t the word-count that took so long but rather the topic. It’s about an incident that changed me on some very fundamental levels. Changed the way I interact with strangers and left me seemingly with a complete inability to escape my hypervigilance for longer than a few consecutive moments. So while it isn’t a long book, it wasn’t particularly easy to write because of the memories it brought back and because it isn’t easy to write, for all the world to read, of a time when you were so utterly helpless and vulnerable. It’s called Exorcism of an Atheist and that’s exactly what it was… an exorcism of an atheist. That atheist was me.
Exorcisms Are Bullsh*t and Dangerous
Don’t get me wrong and think that I believe exorcisms do anything at