Let's Talk About #2: Religion and My Life [Might Be A TL;DR]

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by The_WitchDoctor, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    Let's talk religion. I am going to write a little bit about my own experience with religion, as it stands.

    The first thing I am going to tell you, and where I am going to start, almost like a short auto-bio which has the real question at the end. So if you don't give a fuck about me and my story, just go ahead and skip down to the bottom, where it says in bold and big letters "My Realization":

    Humble Beginnings

    I was about 11. Maybe 12. I'm sitting in Church with my grandmother or whatever, me and my dad just moved to Albuquerque from Vegas (one of the worst fucking mistakes my Dad ever did. I'm sorry, I love this man, but still - the worst fucking mistake he's ever made in my eyes. It fucked me and him over for a long time trying to survive out here, and it is fucking me over even still) and they're putting us up, shes super religious, we gotta do the Church thing because she wants us to. My father was Christian (he's dead now, RIP), not super fanatic Christian, but your average "Yeah I believe in Jesus and this and that, now where can I get a beer?" Christian.

    Anyways, we're sitting up in Church, and here this pastor is going on and on. I was kinda listening, but I must have not been listening that well because I don't remember a damn thing he's said that day (it's also been ten years and many bags of weed in between, but still). Except one thing, which went something like this "People come up to me and ask, hey - they aren't in our religion, but they still believe in one God, and love, and brotherhood, and almost everything that we based our religion off too! Is it or shouldn't it be the same God? Well, NO! It's not the same God, because the only God is the Christian God and blah blah Jesus save us blah blah. I kind of snapped to attention to that little "rant" and even as a ten or eleven year old kid that didn't give a shit about anything except kid stuff, I was like "What the fuck? That's bullshit!". I didn't know HOW it was bullshit because I had absolutely NO experience with religion outside Christianity. But I KNEW it was bullshit, I just knew somehow.

    THE DIVERGENCE FROM CHRISTIANITY

    So after that little rant, I'm just like "fuck that pastor, fuck that Church" that's not what I believe. I'm a Christian goddamn it but that's not what I believe. So then me and my Dad visit another church (you gotta remember, he's still a Christian somehow) after I absolutely refused to go. I got threatened to get my ass beat for just flat out refusing to go to church, but I just straight up was like "no. Fuck no I'm not going to that church" (keep in mind, I'm still a little ass kid at this point int he story. So if I use "fuck" or something, it was most likely "frick" or something you'd hear a kid say. I really didn't start cussing until I was like 14 years old). So eventually, they stop trying. Eventually a year later down the road we move out of Grandma's house and start our lives over in Albuquerque. We started going to other Churches, only for me to find out that they are all exactly the fucking same as that last Church. So then I just basically realize, "fuck Christianity, it's not for me. I'm still going to believe in God, I'm still going to believe in Jesus, but fuck Christianity, I'm not a Christian.

    WHO CARES ABOUT RELIGION? I'M 15 YEARS OLD....

    Eventually we would end up moving again. This time closer to my school. Throughout middle-school, I was a scrub (well I'm a scrub still, can't deny that. But I'm a different kinda scrub..... kinda). I wasn't that kid that was constantly being fucked with by other kids (although something would happen in 8th grade that would get me arrested and expelled because of some other basketball playing douche bags, but that's a story for another time), but I was still that kid who was
    in the back of the class, that nobody talked to and nobody tried to hang around with. I didn't have any brothers around me or anything. "I'm guess I'm just a ghost, because everybody walks through me. If I died in class, they'd probably say they knew me. Or they wouldn't care, they would even think. A dead body rotting in the of the room, for weeks and months, stinking up the class - until somebody noticed and then they threw me in the trash. I could chop my arms off and run around the class, I doubt they'd even notice, but I'd be dying fast - Joseph Bruce, Mr. Johnson's Head).

    I was just like "this sucks. But what am I going to do? If I'm a scrub then I'm a scrub. And if I'm a scrub then I'm going to embrace it". I had kids I would hang around, but these were also all the other motherfuckers nobody wanted to hang around also. So I was always either hanging around with: a nerdy kid (my first friend at that school was a nerd). Scrubby kids just like me that went to school in $10 shoes and kept food stamps (when they were STILL stamps) folded up in their sock. Assholes or dickheads that nobody liked. And finally - stoners. Mainly stoner scrubs - because even the regular stoners weren't completely looked down upon. This here is where my best friend, evens still to this day comes in. This is where I meet David.

    David was a stoner and a scrub. Hanging around David was awesome, because I felt like out of all those other kids, I feel like I finally got somebody who I can trust to watch my back. David eventually introduced me to weed. I started smoking weed everyday, and stayed high ALL day. Me and David would just sit in my room at my house, and just smoke fucking weed all day. I still went to school because I was still getting good grades (from my father's encouraging. My Dad was always cool. He was like "I know weed isn't a "REAL" drug. I know it's not a hardcore drug or anything seriously addictive. Hell, I used to be a stoner myself. So I'll tell you what - keep getting good grades and you can smoke all the weed you want, I could give a fuck. And so I did. I stayed in school and got good grades. Where was I? Oh right - David. Me and David were tighter than a noose. (I never knew that I could depend, that I could have some friends thats down till the very end. - Jamie Madrox of Twiztid. Song: 'Homies').

    We were just those scrubs always hanging out at the farthest edge of the field (away from prying eyes) every day. Nobody bothered us, nobody fucked with us. I liked it that way. I had my homie in school, and that's all I'd need. And then things changed. I eventually started talking to some of these popular chicks, turns out - their stoners too. The basketball team clique fuck heads didn't like that though. They jumped one of my other "friends" (wasn't really a friend) right in front of me and made me watch. I said fuck that, I'm not going to live in fear. I packed a steel pipe, went to school one day and one the yard at lunch, pulled it out of my back pack and beat his ass in front of all his friends. I went to jail and got expelled for the rest of 8th grade for that (my grades were so fucking good though, that I'd still end up passing that grade. I was Honor Roll every week). What does all this have to do with anything? Nothing - well not really. It just leads to the events of what happen next.

    Anyways, my cousin Junior (for Eddie Junior, we just call him Junior or just J to be lazy) and his Dad eventually came to Albuquerque from Vegas to and moved in with us. Now you gotta understand something - before David, there was Junior. As kids in Vegas, we stuck together ALWAYS. We were brothers. He was much better than my REAL brother (not my Dad's son, but my crazy ass mom's other son), who was a fucking jackass as a kid. I'm serious bro. I mean one time, I'm like eight or nine years old right? My mom couldn't pick me up from school that day so my brother does. This motherfucker. Let me tell you about this motherfucker: He picks me up on his bike, he's about 13 years old. We go, and in the trailer park where my mom and brother used to live, and I stayed during the day till my Dad could pick me up from work at night, there are these huge fucking bumps. So I'm on the pegs and he knows this. At one of the bumps he hits that fucking thing at a high speed and get's air, sending me flying off the pegs. Call it instinct, but I grabbed on to the pegs as I hit the ground. We hit the ground, and I'm still holding the pegs. He looks around and notices this, and is just like "Hah!" and keeps trying to drive the bike until my body weight forced him to stop.

    So my real brother was a fucking dick, but I had Junior. We stuck together through everything. And then my Dad moved us away (worst fucking mistake) from Vegas, and Junior wasn't in my life anymore. Until now. Me and Junior live together now, and Junior has met David, and now all three of us are best friends. Where there was once two, there is now three. When David leaves our house and goes home, me and Junior continue talking and blazing. We talk about many, many topics. Science, history, cybernetics, technology, future technologies, anatomy of mankind, the Illuminati and other crazy conspiracies, more science (he loves science), etc. etc. But one thing we would often talk about, is religion. Let me break it down for you like this: where I would go on to study the major religions, he would go on to study New Age kind of shit. But us talking religion, high out of our minds, got me thinking. "What if I'm wrong". Then, thinking came to feeling. "I'm wrong, I know it. I know Christianity isn't the answer. Fuck it, I'm not Christian anymore, this isn't the right path/the right way". Then, feeling became wonder. "Well, if Christianity isn't the right path, what is? I have to find it!", but this all happened over a very long time. Like a three year time span. And it all stemmed from the religious topics we would sit and talk about, stoned out of minds. Junior loved life. Nothing could EVER get him down, EVER. He has always had such an awesome way of looking at life, and every time I am around him I just feel so good. I don't feel like life fucking sucks anymore. He's moved from Albuquerque back to Vegas these days, which blows, but that's another story and I don't feel like talking about it. He'd never hear me say this (since we're both to fucking prideful - we're both Leos), but I kinda idolize him. If there is anybody I wish I could be like, it's him. Everybody loves him, and he just attracts people right to him. Whereas me, I just attract people's fucked up looks. I'm sooner to attract some girls spit or the palm side of her hand toward my face than I am sooner to attract their love. But again, that's another, fucked up, story. I'm a scrub, what can you do about it?

    I often, often reminisce back on those times, when me and junior and David would be together ALL the time. He would often fall asleep stoned at our house so many times he basically lived there, and Junior DID live there. So now I have to two people that I love like brothers, side by side, and my Dad who I've went through life with at his side, experiencing my own problems and good memories along with his. Life was fucking awesome. I didn't ever want it to change.

    And than it did.

    Living With Satan & the Quest for Truth

    My Dad met a girl, named Annie. Annie worked with my Dad. She was actually a fairly pretty lady, thin and good shaped, and somewhat good looking. When is more than enough for most men to jump all over. But she got together with my Dad. The problem, she was (and still is) married. Eventually, my Dad moves us (me, him, and her) out of the apartment in order to move in to a new apartment (Junior's Dad was pissed. He felt that we brought them out to Albuquerque, only to abandon them a year later. And he was pretty much right. Another fucked up mistake my Dad made, but we've all made stupid mistakes). I pretty much loose all contact with David and Junior, and would very, very rarely see them over the next like three years. That sucked. That fucking crushed me. That straight up fucking crushed me. I was depressed more than ever. I was in High School now. I had "friends" even though I was a scrub, but our friendship (if you can call it that. More like acquaintances) only extended to school. Meaning the only time I ever saw them from during school, never before, never after. I was pretty much depressed as fuck. And my dad was so blinded by his new found "love" that he couldn't notice it, not right away, anyways. I slowed down smoking weed a little bit - and I just went to school, came home and did it again everyday. That's it. Annie, our new addition to the "family" who would later reveal herself as my future step mother and Satan in disguise, was cool as fuck. She was bringing me food all the time, and even bags of weed! Eventually, she told me and my Dad she wanted a family, and wanted me to be a family. She said she wanted to be like a mother toward me. I don't know if it was because I was depressed and needed something to break that, or if I was just stoned out of my mind, but I was actually like "alright. Great!" Yeah, just fucking great.

    At first things go along fine, then she gets pregnant. Things still go along fine. We're a family all happy and giddy and white picket fences and a full blown cover screen of bullshit. She has her son with my Dad, whom is named Kalob, and she just completely flips her fucking lid. She went bi-polar like crazy. Things went to "love you, son!" to "no wonder your real mom didn't want you - fucker!" and "you're not my son, don't call me Mom motherfucker!" She started popping my dad's percocets (which he got from a doctor and used for back pain) like m&m's. If she's not working or spitting in my face (literally), she's passed the fuck out on pain killers. So me and my Dad raise my so-called "mom's" baby together, double-teaming his parenting while this bitch sleeps away on drugs. Here's a common day at the house: She wakes up, yells and fights with me over absolutely nothing. Leaves to work with a wave and a "hate you, fucker!" and is gone for awhile. Comes back - pops some pills, and then argues with me (one time she actually fucking punched me in my face. But what the fuck was I going to do, punch her back? Not only would straight knock her skinny ass out (which would be kind of fucked up), but I'd spend the next three nights in jail for domestic violence. Fuck that!), and then after her pills kick in she stops fighting with me and goes to sleep. The next day comes - Ding! Ding! Round 2330942398, let's go again!

    I ended up hating this bitch, but more than so I ended up getting right the fuck depressed again. I was about 17. My father just lost his job (he'd get another soon), and in the meantime, he was depressed as fuck. So on one side I'm dealing with the shit the bitch throws at me daily, but on the other I'm dealing with my dad who hates his life right now because he's out of a job, and spends a lot of time either sleeping, looking for a job, or just being down generally. I eventually get hit by a truck. This fucks me up pretty badly, even giving me a brain hemorrhage (which thankfully, the bleeding stopped before they were going to prep me for brain surgery to open up my skull and let the swelling brain expand, and try to stop the bleeding). I can't walk for the first two weeks, so while I'm stuck in bed, I'm thinking about a lot of shit. Most importantly, I'm thinking about religion.

    (By the way, I'm leaving my ex-fiance Kate out of this story ((and how I ended up getting stuck on the pills to doctors would give me for pain)). I still love that woman and I'd just rather not talk about what happened).

    Walking A Never-Ending Path
    Things change, my Dad leaves Annie, we move away from her and my life looks up again. I start focusing on religion. Like all the time, it's searching for answers on my mind. I'm going to share three general key points to this story which lasted for such a long time in my life (until I was like - 19).

    Buddha Who?

    A friend (or "associate") at school ends up encouraging me to study Buddhism. I eventually study it on the internet, and in a hastily fashion, adopted it as my new religion. I believed in God - but I believed that Buddhism was the only true path - and the way to get to God was through Buddhism. I believed that we are all put here on a cycle of reincarnation until we realize spiritual enlightenment. Then, when we die, instead of reincarnating, we go to Nirvana. Nirvana to me, was going to re-join with God. Now, God and your "afterlife" if you want to call it that, to me here (and even now) was NOTHING like the Christian God/Heaven concepts. I didn't believe God looked like us/we were "made in his image", I didn't even thing he held a shape or body! I believe(d) that he is a formless, sentient being which created the universe through "igniting - if you will" the big bang, and is omniscient, omnipresent, and all of that, and benevolent. And I believed when we died, we would "return to him". This doesn't mean being reborn in a new, beautiful land with gold everywhere and diamonds raining through the sky and this and that. That means, we will be in a realm in a bodiless aspect. And what we will do is rest eternally. We will be reunited with God, and we will rest/dream in an eternal peace/slumber, one with God. So basically, we'll still exist after death, but no, there wasn't much of an "after death" except for an eternal slumber of the soul, provided you've reached enlightenment that is. And I believed Buddhism was the path to reach enlightenment. Then, I met a Muslim kid...

    Temple of Fear!

    This Muslim kid did everything he possibly could to stray me from my beliefs. I never converted to Islam, but Islam did confuse the fuck out of me and made me again wonder, a second time, if what I thought I believed in was indeed the true and correct path? I went to a mosque and watched how they prayed, even talked to an Imam. Eventually I slightly discarded the whole Buddhist is the correct and only answer belief, kept my general beliefs, but didn't exactly incorporate Islam either. I did read through the Quran, and did incorporate a lot of their beliefs though - such as praying five times a day and fasting. I took on a, once again, much more monothesitic take at worship, but kept several Buddhist/East Religious aspects such as what I posted above about God. Only I went back to believing that there is indeed a "Heaven". Eventually, I started reading the Quran all the time. I was pretty close to just dropping all of my current non-Islamic beliefs and then converting to the "true religion!" I was about 17 at the time. And I was still very confused. So here I am, heavily considering becoming a Muslim. And then something stopped me: I kept reading the Quran. And I started seeing what layer over layer of fear. God hates these people (non-believers!), and will only ever love and forgive them if they convert. But alas, he can and will forgive, he is benevolent! Then I'd be like; "Wait, God hates people? God is supposed to be ever-benevolent, loving people who are even lost on their path. God doesn't fucking HATE people". Then I'd hear my Muslim friend describe Hell which wounded much worse and much more detailed that when Christians described it, and then I'd read the Quran, and I swear to God, in several parts it would say "And THESE people are going to Hell. And THESE people are going to Hell. And THESE people are going to hell. And it is Allah's will because these people failed to convert in their life". I would then be like "wait, if God loves us all so much, and is so loving he wouldn't ever even think of anything violent, why the FUCK would he go make a place like Hell? What the fuck? How is that benevolent and loving, sending off people who didn't believe in you when there's no physical proof on Earth that you exist to an eternity of the worst, most painful, fucked up torture that only a human mind could imagine". Then I was told "Yeah, God wrote that Quran. He told Muhammed ever word and Muhammed wrote it down. I was then at that point pretty much like "bullshit......." I didn't put his religion down, I just stopped talking to that kid about religion all together, stopped going to watch at mosques, stopped all and every connection I had with Islam.

    The Marvelous Missing Link!


    If Islam and Christianity weren't the answers, which I know in my heart not to be the "one, true, only" answer - then what is? Maybe I had it right before? No, if I was right, I wouldn't have strayed from my path so easily. Maybe no religion is right? Well... I figured the only possible way I could ever even get close to knowing the "truth", was to research religion. Not just religion as a whole topic, I mean each individual major world religion (while my cousin would go on to start researching New Age spirituality just as much as I researched major religions, and I researched them a fucking lot). I went through every religion, pouring over every topic back and forth, back and forth during any free time I had. I spent a shitload of money from my job on more books about religion. I also heavily researched philosophy. I did nothing but work and research, research, research. You're probably saying - yeah, we've all done that. I've researched like that too, when I was in school/college. Well, - no you didn't. In college, you no doubt took breaks. I never did. If I wasn't working or sleeping, my nose was in a fucking book. And that's how it was ALL the time. Let me give you an example. After many months at one library, I ended up reading EVERYTHING in their religion/spirituality sections, and I mean EVERYTHING. It was a total of about 50 books (the library wasn't big, but still). I read those motherfuckers from cover to cover. After that, I started buying books from the extra cash I got from my job (like I said above). After a while, I bought a pen and several thick notebooks, and I started writing down EVERYTHING I thought was of any importance in any of those books. I study Christianity (most major sects), Judaism, Islam (the two major sects), Buddhism (the three major sects), Sikhism, Mohism, Legalism, Confucianism, Shinto, Hinduism (two of the major sects), Taoism (both the philosophical and religious sects), Shamanism, Native American religion, Mythology of the world's greatest ancient civilizations (Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, Toltecs, Greeks, Egyptians, Norse, Ancient Chinese, Persia, Carthage, Babylon, Sumerian, Celts, Romans, Ancient Huns, and finally Ancient-Medieval Japanese), Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and a three part 800 page book on many major philosophy subjects. I studied my fucking ass on, and I always kept a notepad nearby and wrote down what I thought was of importance.

    Now eventually I studied enough (for about 2 years straight) to have about five notebooks full of my own notes. It looked like about two or three years of college notes on one subject worth. So one day I'm reading over my notes, trying to decipher what might be along the lines of "spiritual truth", in a fashion I was actually more like "meditating on my notes", and it hit me. Out of absolutely nowhere, all this sudden knowledge hit me.

    The Realization

    Here's a small glimpse of what I gleaned, learned, and still believe by that sudden wave of knowledge all getting crammed into my brain at once. It was like someone put a ton of knowledge in a pill somehow, and then I swallowed that pill and all that knowledge just somehow hit me, all right at once. Another way to explain it is, it's like taking 10 college courses all at once, all based on the same subject, yet each course being about a different part of that subject, and you sat through all ten of those course at once, and took them and finished all of the courses in it's entirety in like ten seconds time, each second of that time each course imparted a tiny books worth of knowledge to you, and are still able to remember absolutely EVERYTHING you ever learned during any part of any of those ten courses. Here, this is the best way I can put it:

    The Partial Truth As I Interpreted My "Vision"; "My Truth"


    God is absolute. God is the only reality. God is formless, IT (I say it because IT has no gender; but from now on to make this easily understandable, I will call IT, "he") is all intelligent, benevolent, and all powerful. This and the fact that he exists and knows us as individuals are the only things we need to know. He has no shape, he has no form. He has "personality" in a way that a human could ever think of or understand. His very being and existence is something we as human beings cannot interpret, even those who are fully enlightened get a glimpse of the whole truth which will not, nor will it, ever come - even in Death. We as humans, have souls. Our souls are not actually bound to our bodies, they are bound to this world. Our body is merely a way that it is being held bound. We are bound here because our souls, in their ignorance, refuse to leave. Only by knowing the truth of this world as far as our minds can understand it can we possibly leave this world. Until then our souls will be stuck in a cycle of reincarnation. When we find the truth, we become enlightened. Our soul knows the truth, and is no longer stuck on this world. When we die in that life that we find this truth our souls will leave this world and rejoin with God. We will not be given a paradise, we will not hold form, we will not be given anything. Anything except more knowledge and understanding on the truth and knowledge to the universe, as far as our celestial minds will be able to understand it so. We will be rejoined with God, as we sleep in eternal peace, in an endless slumber, resting for eternity in an "Endless Dream". This dream varies for every soul, but it is never negative, and feels, - is in it's own way, - real. The actual soul however, formless, is rejoined with God in a sleep of eternal peace and slumber.

    Humanity is not the only thing that hold a spirit/soul however. Many other things, including the Earth itself holds a spirit. Many of these spirits are eternally (until they are somehow, relinquished, or "destroyed" if you will, though they will exist forever, some of them will quit existing on this Earth for some reason or another which caused that). There are spirits in animals, the elements, and the Earth itself (which is it's own singular spirit). These spirits remain on Earth. Some of them can be guardian spirits, some of them can be peaceful spirits, some of them can be wise spirits, and some of them can have malicious intent. Some of them can interact with human souls in their own way, if they wish. Even our Ancestors in their "Eternal Dream", can, through their rest and through their dream state, can manifest themselves such a way here on Earth to guide us when we need it (though no spirit can influence or effect a man's life. A man's life is left entirely up to the choices of that man and what happens physically around him/her). Note that this is largely a Native American belief also. I am, yes, Native American.

    For religion, the majority of the major religions were all simply different paths to the same enlightenment/truth. The reason they never stuck or felt right with me, is because my spirit/soul simply never aligned with any of those paths, and would rather have chosen to seek the "real truth". They were laid down by their founders and are in their own way prophets and seers of spirituality. However, every human is prone to mistakes, and not everything any religion teaches is not 100% truth. There are many different paths to enlightenment, and the rituals and ways we choose to achieve it matter none.

    NOTE: I don't consider that knowledge coming to me as me receiving "full enlightenment", but I do consider it hitting me receiving a very small part of the enlightenment we need to free ourselves from this world, and I consider it being something to let me know I'm on the right path. As said before I believe almost every major religion is right in some way, and I do not discredit any of them. I don't tell people that "my way is right, all others are false". 1) Because this can screw up their spiritual alignment and own quest for enlightenment/the truth. And 2) Because this act is a negative act against another human being, which we must strive not to do. I still feel like I have so much more to learn, and I'm not even close to realizing the entire truth. That's why I said I don't believe I've reached "full enlightenment".

    So.... what's your religious preference. What do you believe? Again, sorry for that long story.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  2. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    I'll read the thing but It's late right now.

    Even for just opening up that much, and typing a novel, you get rads.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  3. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Good LOWARD! It's nice to see someone step up to the plate and deliver a lengthy descriptor! =D

    I will ALSO reserve a place for my reply once I read this (I am, ironically, a slow reader) but for the time being I'll just comment on my delight to see someone take the time to be descript. =)

    I'll reserve my rads for whether I agree or not, however. I'm not a charity. =P
     
  4. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Mine is kind of short.

    I grew up Catholic, started to find Religion silly when I was 13, slowly I transtioned into full on atheist during Uni, and that's where I am.

    TO ME, religion is a crutch to actual knowledge or real enligtment, I don't calim to know all the answers but I know the ones offered to me by most religions are simplistic and kind of disturbing. I think the idea of humans understanding the whole universe is kind of a futile vanity project, at least at our current point in development, Science afterall is a way for us to observe and interpret physical phenomenon and it's never static so people who use Science as a religion or as a dispenser of "facts" obviously don't actually get science.
     
  5. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    I liked the first part of the story more than the religious second half. Very sorry to say I'm not exactly interested in your religious beliefs, since I'm a rock solid atheist. I can summarize my own religious history in two sentences: I never thought about it, so I never believed anything. The very millisecond I did think about it, I actualized my atheism.

    The parents of both my parents were boring old christians, and my parents learned from them not to push one's beliefs on their children. So we were raised with zero religion in the house. Not even atheism or agnosticism, just zero talk about it ever. Christianity would come up once in a while but we never made any connection between any religion and personal belief, is what mean. My mother however, would at a later period become more spiritual. She's into alternative theism, adamant believer in the idea that we're here on earth to learn something, and that reincarnation is the divine tool to help you figure things out before you're ready to go to heaven.

    I don't want to sound like a dick or nothing, but the day she explained to me what she believes my opinion of her intelligence went down just a tad.

    Personally I just combined all of these facts, that religion inspired and was spread through violence, that different cultures created different religions, how god in his creation was humanized, how it was used to soothe the masses, how much of a psychological crutch it is, how much reason one has to believe in the christian god over zeus, or apollo, or ra, or etc. etc. . . and that's what belief is about for me, rejection of the concept, based on those facts.

    Loved reading a bit about yourself though, man. I had a long period in my life where I had a best friend who would come over every friday and we'd play games and eat pizza. We grew naturally apart, though. I've had basically no friends since then, which was I dunno, 5, 6, years ago?

    Nothing better in the whole world than a true best friend. I only have an internet best friend. ;_;

    Most of all I hope you don't feel bummed out by our responses, since it WAS great to read so much about you.

    And also, that I forgot to even mention the one true messiah. MUAD'DIB!

    Muad'Dib > Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  6. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    First, the bad: I HATED seeing all the open and unclosed quotes, the misuses of than in place of then, formatting errors... basically all the typos and grammatical errors and all that jazz. That was irritating.

    That being said, not much bad to say about it! That was a very delightful read. It had a very interesting feel to it, as though I were listening to you go on about your life in person, rather that in formally written text. It's not my chosen style of writing (obviously), but it worked for you. Unlike *COUGH* "some", I had no issues reading through the religious explanations, and I didn't favor reading about life influences over the other parts of the post. It was all really engaging and fascinating- again, it felt much like listening to someone tell about themselves, not like reading an actual story.

    Because of my reading difficulties, I originally skipped ahead (ironically, to the very spot you indicated people should skip to if they wanted to avoid TL;DR) and I was very impressed by your summary of your "truth". It's not entirely what I believe, but I can say much of it falls in line with my thoughts, as well. But I did the tale justice and read it through from top to bottom, and added context made it all the more intriguing. When I came into this topic knowing it would be "about religion" and I took note of a section titled "Living with Satan", I THOUGHT this would mean that, for a period of your life, you had taken up Satanism while trying to figure out what you believed. So it was quite amusing to find out it was referring to a woman. XD

    As much as I'd love to delve into my own beliefs, I keep much of the details about my life to myself. It's just my way, and also because some things that have transpired in my life were plain and simply horrifically fucked up, and not a good idea recounting to other people. But, more importantly, I just don't wish to share much about my personal life unless it's in a very trusting environment with ONLY the parties I know I'm willing to impart such information, and a public for is not that. ALSO also, I developed a philosophy, many years ago, of never specifying as much about myself in certain topics as much as possible, so when entering said topics, my bias or standpoint would not be a focal point of anyone to address; they would ONLY have their explanation and its veracity to fixate on, not my reaction to it. e.g. I wouldn't say I'm atheist so I could here what an atheist has to say. (Note: I am not atheist.) It's a method that I have found works quite well for me, if at the cost of leaving me somewhat disconnected from some peers. But, perhaps I can at least leave some comments on what formed my own beliefs...

    I'm the descendent of 2 Serbian Eastern Orthodox priests, so my grandparents on my mother's side of the family were religious, benevolent, interested in the well-being of others, and they made it a point to pass that down to their daughters. I'm not sure how much you studied about Orthodox Christianity, but when I met my best friend for 9 years for the first time and told him I was raised Orthodox, he surprised me by telling me he KNEW about it, and said (and I quote), "I didn't realize they still existed!" So I just go by the assumption that it's a branch of Christianity that falls under the radar. Suffice it to say, even in countries where Eastern Orthodoxy is based, it's not unpopular public opinion to feel that priests are just uneducated monks who know little about the world they're preaching about. The funny fact is that often-if-not-most times the complete opposite is the case! Orthodox priests tend to be scholars, political figureheads, community leaders. Very educated men (in contrast with their Western counterparts) with very worldly knowledge. The entire structure of the religion completely differs, in fact, in that priests MUST marry and have children (thus my ancestry) if they are to be ordained, so there is zero instance of pedophile priests or priests who just do not know what they are talking about when espousing the virtues of family. They KNOW it!

    That was the the basis for the religious household climate I was RAISED in, anyway...

    I was first exposed to atheism at the tender age of about 8 years old through my older sister. All anyone needs to know is that my sister and I are presently not on speaking terms- NOT because she's an atheist, no, but because of who she is. Think Annie, but sister, instead of step mother, and psychotic without the pills. One night, as we were oft like to, unable to sleep and just passing the time in the wee night hours talking, my sister shared with me her "revelations" that heaven wasn't real, and therefore God wasn't real, and that she didn't believe in what we were both raised to believe. This was the first time in my life I really gave any actual consideration to my own spirituality, as before this I would just go to church every Sunday because my mother made me, and I never liked going there. If I fiddled "when I wasn't supposed to" or made a scene, my mom would HURT ME to get me to stop, because we're in church, damnit! How DARE I? I was always bored listening to the priest drone on and on, and when it was over, we still had to put up with my mom staying for the luncheon and chatting politics with the others there. Because Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a VERY rare breed of Christian branch- especially in the States -this church was NOT local... It was well out of our way, a good hour drive each way, every Sunday, so if my mom wasn't leaving, we weren't leaving. So I never really cared for church, all things considered. Suddenly, listening to my sister tell me how "it doesn't exist" made me collapse into an introspective nightmare. I don't really remember how much time I spent ruminating on the consequences, or thinking about my faith, or asking scary questions, and falling into deep depression out of it all (did I mention I was just 8 years old?) but when I was finally done, and I reached my answers, I determined that I was a person of faith. I believed in God, but that was about it.

    My best friend of many years, whom I met much later, would very eloquently put into words my thoughts I hadn't yet found a way to communicate. Simply put, that all those people taking biblical texts literally are trying to look at the word of God from Man's perspective, and they're doing it all wrong. That Creationists have it all backwards, because "7 days" from God's perspective could be ANY amount of time, and easily millions of years. More importantly, I, too, developed an obsession with studying religions. I didn't devour libraries, but I keenly took notes wherever I could about different faiths. My focus, however, was on religious history. Looking up where things began and how they changed shape. In these, I learned of the many ways that the supposed "word of God" had been butchered over the generations, by successive translations and mistranslations. Forming all these ideas into a timeline helped me understand faith as a greater whole, and as a core component of humanity. When I'd hear hipsters bash religion as "the vehicle for the power-hungry to influence the uneducated masses", it would upset me, not because I felt insulted, but because I knew this person was simply uneducated about human history. When I'd hear an outspoken doesn't-matter-what talk about "this is how it is, because I know that's how it is", it would be rather depressing to me, because I'd recognize a person who couldn't distinguish fact from faith.

    Faith is, and always will be, belief in the absence of evidence.

    That's all there is to it. Facts do not influence nor do they contradict faith, because they have no interaction whatsoever. You can inform your own faith, but ultimately at the end of the day, it's the ABSENCE that leaves one faithful. The questions WITHOUT answers are what gives rise to your faith. Those without faith are the pretentious few who deem that they know everything. That they know there is no God and there is only this and there is only that. Those who cannot define the state of the universe and whether it's infinite or finite somehow have the all-encompassing wisdom to deem everything else about the universe and all things... It's a maniacal sort of hubris that I can't begin to comprehend. Ironically, faith is the more humble of philosophies: because you do not know, and you do not claim to know; you believe.

    In the end, what do I believe? Well I've shared enough that you can probably take a stab-in-the-dark guess. I have faith. But what do I have faith in? Well, does it really matter? I'm the only one who needs to know what I believe, because I'm the only person it will affect. I keep my faith to myself, and I wish others did as well, in most cases. (I enjoy sharing my philosophical explorations, and I have nothing against that, of course, but I don't PUSH them onto others. That being the key distinction.) All I can really say for certain is this: I'm sorry to learn that Akratus considers himself a "rock solid atheist". I liked him, but I've had a track record of never meeting an atheist I ever really liked. Not because I wanted it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but because (I suspected) the qualities that made them atheist would always manifest as qualities I could not tolerate. The aforementioned dead certainty and close mindedness, for instance. Really irritating attributes. But maybe he'll break that chain? Time will tell. I said the same about Catholics once, until I met my good friend ****, and we've been friends ever since, these past 8-9 years.

    I like hearing what other people have to say about faith, provided it's simply sharing ideas and stories, not thrusting them upon others. Perhaps, with any luck, we'll see more such stories and insights. =)
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  7. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    First thing guys, and this might not surprise you but I wrote this after smoking a spliff. That should explain my failure to notice typos and grammatical errors and whatnot. I didn't even think once to try to look over this before I posted it.

    Second thing is - I wanted it, like SnapSlav said to feel like something I would say to somebody if we we're talking, to write it out exactly as if I we're sitting here telling the story to someone. So that's what I did.

    Third thing - I completely understand how it is going through life seeing a lot of fucked up shit. I've had my own share of experiences, like for example a couple of kids I used to hang around with in High School robbed a person at gunpoint, and somehow convinced me to stoll along with them. I have no idea where the fuck my mind was at that point. I also have memories of life that are more emotionally fucked up to me that, I choose not to go into detail about because it just agonizes and stresses me to no damn end. Such as the fact that I'm pretty much completely alone in this world, from a romantic stand point. Probably one of the reasons I hate romance movies, or even commercials - I'll change that in a minute. And also what happened between me and my beautiful ex-fiance, Kate whom was one of the most wonderful people in the world I'd ever met, and still care about so much. Waking up to find my father dead on the floor, with shit in his pants. I know exactly what you mean. And like you said, that's all I'm going to go into on those topics.

    Fourth thing - For Akratus, I'd figure the story concept would be better instead of just rambling on and on about my beliefs. I more so wanted to talk about a history of religion and the path our lives take because of it, if you know what I mean. But I still included a general, basic concept from a story teller's stand point.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  8. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    I didn't necessarily mean that I didn't want to relive terrible moments from my life, as much as I didn't want to share what those moments represented. Yes, I would RATHER avoid reliving the deaths of loved ones, but it's the other things I wanted to avoid, because the consequences of voicing just how dark ones mind can wander was something I'd rather not partake in by voicing. It's like saying you had a moment where you understood where the character the Joker is coming from because such and such happened to you. Even if it was just for a freak moment, and your better rational senses kicked back in, saying something like that you identified with a calculating mass-murdering sociopath is something you can't put away once you say it.

    As a disclaimer, that was JUST a hypothetical example, as I DO NOT "identify with the Joker" in any way, although I do think he's a really cool villain. I've never developed a poison that would cause someone to go into cardiac arrest after hysterically laughing. No, never did that. <.<
     
  9. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Furthest back I can remember, being a lil aspie boy, I saw the sky, and nothing else. Religion was a "something different" that did not affect me, untill I became old enough to more decisively make my mind up.
    By that time, my mother had gotten deep into "alternative" stuff, and that was what I learned from her, so for years to follow, I believed in human soul (as a real, separate entity, not just a phrase or idea), a second tier of energy - apart from energy, "not that energy - but the other energy", aka "magic", and all that dumb stuff. None of this rang very true to me, but I trusted my authorities, parents etc, and a lot of people seemed to agree about souls. Souls bring with them many secondary beliefs, such as ghosts and such, and one thing I did like, was the notion of ancestral souls whirling around me - but no matter how many souls, no matter the magic and energy, none of this was actually applicable in any way.
    If the world has souls to help you - and they don't - how is this any different from a world without souls? It's the same for God.
    If the world has a God who listens to your prayers, and then ignores them - isn't that the same as a world without a God at all?

    Little by little I grew more and more sceptical. I'm a practical guy, I test and assess.

    The bulk of this philosophy was gone by my early-mid teens, but ideas of a "inner self", a "soul", some "connection" persisted for a few years more, untill I went back to adhering solely and only to what I could know - versus what I would surmise based on a bunch of consensus (religion is typically a "so many people can't be wrong"-thing, in the minds of many)

    Since I decided to look at only certainty, and eliminate all else, I am left with what one can only refer to as ice cold atheism. Not even agnostic, because from what I know - from what I understand - having gathered the knowledge that I have - there is no manner - no way - that a humanoid Gawd-creature can just manifest itself out of molecules or whatever, it is a nonsensical proposition. Molecules wouldn't know what Gawd looks like, molecules don't actually *know* anything, that too is a nonsensical proposition.
    Most religions and spiritualisms build on a whole pyramid of nonsensical propositions. It's just a long, abstract poem, like an Escherian ladder-maze.
     
  10. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    You sound just like my sister. Arguing molecular and physical principles on concepts you don't actually understand. Like I said, the very nature of the universe isn't even REMOTELY understood. Is it infinite? How does that work, then? Is it finite? Then what lies beyond its finiteness? Is it objective? Is it driven by perception? There are TONS of different schools of thought, and these range from both within scientific communities AND without. The best things we have are theories and faith. Proof, and belief.

    Remember, the scientific process operates from taking what you know and forming a hypothesis, then using controls and variables to arrive to an observable conclusion. The whole premise of a hypothesis is guessing about what you do not know. Otherwise we'd be talking proofs. But the unknown IS a definitive wall. There's no getting past that. Like I said, saying you know "it can't" is an incomprehensibly maniacal form of hubris. It's just ludicrous.

    Faith doesn't mean you KNOW something is. It just means you believe it.
     
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  11. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    What I'm saying is - I do not intend to fill in any blanks.

    Molecules are known.

    God is blank filler

    Magic is a blank filler

    I am simply avoiding blank fillers - introduced blank-fillers, and my own blank-fillers. It's really not that complicated... Since this is about your "faith" (or mine), that is what I go by. Why should I allow "God" or "Magic" as an agnostic kind of possibility - inside of my own private mind? Who am I supposed to please, by being so open minded about it? Me? :D

    Some things simply are not possible, such as a pen spontaneously transforming to a strawberry - you'd think "No, but that is a silly example!" Is it? MORE silly than a person manifesting himself into thin air - not only that - but this person being the creator of all of space, aka God?
    No. To me, some things are absolutely impossible to ever occur. Ever!

    Either way, I intend to only go by what can be known, not surmised through imagination, because that is all it will be, no matter what we consider to be real. We all know that human souls have never been measured or observed, so that is what I go by. If we open up for "possibilities beyond the observable", then we venture into orbiting teacup territory, where things are "silly" or not silly, depending on your personal view.

    Anyway, apples rarely fall far from the tree, and I bet you and your sister aren't that much in disagreement :V unless you're a total bible-thumper, but you don't strike me as one :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
  12. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I just know, that I know nothing.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  13. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Who are you, Jon Snow?

    *DIES LAUGHING*
     
  14. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I have never watched the show or read the books, so the joke is lost on me. Altho I AM technically Jhon.
     
  15. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
     
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  16. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    299
    Mar 5, 2013
    Religion has never been apart of my life, except for Scientology. I was a Scientologist until I was 14, but I don't consider that religion. It's business. I'm also not religious, but I do RESPECT religion.

    And I will defend religion. It's not a crutch, nor is faith- it's an incredibly valid and ancient way of looking at the universe. Anyone who dismisses it as a 'crutch' is seriously over-confident in their own worldview.

    Take, for example, Catholicism. The core idea of Catholic Christianity is that God represents all-encompassing love, compassion, and sympathy. He also represent the loss of ego, through the humiliation of His Son, Jesus Christ, and the loss of material wealth, through, for example, Jesus and the rich young man. Heaven is closeness to God, Hell is the furthest distance from him. (I say 'His', but I should mention the Hermetic doctrine of Christianity which stipulates God is simultaneously male and female).

    In a sense, Christian Perfection and closeness to God (Heaven) represents the loss of the errors of individuality and the acceptance of a more perfect design- it is a stunning parallel to Buddhist nirvana, which also represents the loss of individuality, the difference being Nirvana is all-encompassing and represents a loss of self as well. Moral philosophy.

    Christian perfection is closeness to God, compassion, mercy, and, in my opinion, social progressiveness. Jesus was a social radical who defended the poor and the downtrodden as those most worthy of God's love; he also proclaimed that wealth corrupted and prevented men from entrance to Heaven (ie, wealth substantiates ego and material existence). In my opinion, true Christianity is the spirit of progress. When you look at a purely historical and not religious perspective of Jesus Christ, he was an incredibly passionate and radical revolutionary that represented the people downtrodden by the Roman Empire, and also those who struggled under the dogmatic traditions of Judaism.

    The reality obviously is the Church has been, for most of its history, a political entity, it has needed to defend itself as political entities do. It is not above condemnation, on a political or pastoral level, it is, after all, a product of history and not divine in nature. However, a lot of criticism directed towards it nowadays it totally fallacious. New Atheism is a fucking curse on reasonable discourse, especially when you have shitheads like Richard Dawkins or armchair philosophers like the Oatmeal wandering around. Really- really- you are so confident in yourself you're willing to deny 3,000 years of tradition and philosophy? Shit, even if you disagree with the basic tenant of "God", Catholic Christianity is still a wide-reaching and thought-provoking philosophy on the universe, with roots going back to Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius. Christianity is a moral philosophy at it's purest, and a religion second.

    Aquinas didn't fucking live and die for some asshole like Dawkins to rant on Twitter, goddamnit. (Pun intended?)

    The fact is the concept of God cannot be disproved. Nothing about modern science explicitly disproved the idea of one, ultimate creator-being. It does disprove reasons for his/her existence, but the basic idea is ultimately irreducible.

    Here, some recommended reading. http://www.strangenotions.com/gods-philosophers/

    Also, WitchDoctor: your story is fucking fascinating. It would be an honor to smoke with you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
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  17. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Which has proven to be a very bad way of looking at things.

    When ever people reach a limit with their understanding it becomes the man in the sky.

    Neil deGrace Tysson talks about it sometimes.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
  18. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    The monster under the bed and the teddye bear protecting you from it is alo a way to look at the universe, same with thinking old women living alone where automatically Satan's concubines that cooked kids and made crops whiter, just because something is ancient doesn't mean it's valid or that it has any value beyond tradition, and as we know (and have seen with certain pieces of news) tradition is something to shed in favor of progress.

    I respect the fact that religion is just simply a part of people's lives and they can derive good and bad things from it, just like with any other philosophy, that doesn't mean I have to personally respect it in any way, I will not mock you for your religious beliefs until you stat flaunting them.
     
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  19. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Religion hase been the traffic law of the past. It's really that simple. When people come together to form communities they need rules and guideliness and legitimacy. Religion was a cornerstone of societies. Particularly in situations where the world around you was extremly unstable. Sickness, wars, weather changes and many other potentialy dangerous situations. A god or deity in the sky which is beyond our understanding of time gives safety.

    In such situations religion can be actually a decent guideline. When it comes to forming laws and rules for a society. It was used that way for milenias. And it got us so far.

    But, when it comes to explaining the world around us, it's doing a very very bad job. Why? Simple, because we are as humans extremly limited in our perception and sensors, for the lack of a better word. It is incredible how easily the mind and our body can be actually misslead or tricked. Just a look at the art from Escher shows how your eyes can lead you to believe in something that actually doesn't work like that in reality.

    Science is always there to explain the how. Though it can't explain the why. That is where for some religion might come in. And that actually isn't even directly in conflict with science.
     
  20. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    299
    Mar 5, 2013
    "Science is always there"

    Science is a way to explain phenomena. It is NOT an answer to social or moral problems, and never will be. Religion IS an answer to social and moral problems, and has functioned as such for thousands of years.

    Really, some basic tenants of Christianity: charity to the poor, selflessness, love for all men. Bad, outdated how?

    Certain portions are outdated, but again, Christianity is a moral philosophy and is still valid after 2000 years, because some basic social problems never go away (and civilizations are always prone to the same errors). Religion is a way to cope with basic human problems in agrarian civilization. Is it the perfect solution? No.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
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