Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
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08-04-2015, 12:37 PM
Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
For almost all of middle school and high school, I was pagan/spiritual. I used to try to "sense" spirits and communicate with them. I have a friend who told me he could see them, and I believed him especially when I eventually tested him by asking "Who is standing over there?" and he said the same name as I was thinking over five times before I stopped asking (which to this day I am still wondering how that happened)

Because of our little "adventures" I firmly believed that just about every deity existed, and that this world was connected to the astral dimension where all deities and spirits existed, and the "veil" between the dimensions was the reason they had little to no influence on this world. I thought they were working to whittle away at the veil and save this world eventually. Despite being angry at my mom all the time, dealing with horrible anxiety, and being scared of any violent or voyeurish spirits, I was pretty happy with my life during high school. I wasn't lonely because I had some school friends I actually told about the spirits, and even though I really hated (and still do hate) humanity I thought before long, all of the tyrants, bigots, and other violent humans would be vanquished by the deities once the veil was gone.

During senior year, I slowly stopped believing in all of this. I started noticing a lot of inconsistencies in what my friend who "saw" the spirits was saying. I began to realize that humanity is alone on this rock, and nobody is going to come and stop all of the atrocities all over the world. It's been four years since I graduated high school, and I'm still sad as a result of no longer believing in spirits or deities. Some of them, I thought were real friends. I thought I would get to meet them eventually. I also just hate realizing there is no hope for humanity except for the few logical, compassionate, and socially/community engaged humans. Other than those few people, we really are alone.

It's been hard to address what I believe/don't believe. I'm still confused and consider myself agnostic/spiritual atheist if that's a thing. I don't really believe in deities but I think maybe there could be something, some sort of afterlife maybe. I still get paranoid about spirits, this time it's mostly just about ghosts of the dead. I really wish that would stop, but I can't stop getting paranoid and thinking they're there...

I wonder if any ex- christians, pagans, etc... on here can relate to that feeling, when you lose your religion. Did you also get sad, or confused and not sure what to believe?
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08-04-2015, 12:45 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
When you spend so long believing something, it is hard for it not to have a lasting impression in some sense. I mean, there are characters that I know are fictional, but I still have a strong emotional reaction when I reread or rewatch their stories, so there is something about the connection with those characters that feels real enough or I identify enough with to still invoke an emotional response.

We also have to learn to start growing up and maturing as we get older, which has a lot to do with taking on more responsibilities, but we also want to minimize the problems and stress. And a seemingly easy way to minimize stress is to reduce the responsibilities we have, and that would be easy to accomplish if some other being or beings were in control of part of our lives or futures. I think that is why the idea of destiny is so appealing, because there are no failures, only avenues that you were not meant to go down. And that absolves us from the responsibility of making mistakes. It isn't true, but it would be nice if no matter what we did, we were still doing the "right" thing.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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08-04-2015, 12:56 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
There's a reason why shamans got themselves smashed on peyote to commune with the "spirits." Without the peyote, there were no "spirits."

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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08-04-2015, 01:53 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
The rational mind can quickly adapt, accept new information and move on with no further issues....

The irrational mind? Where strong emotion resides? Where panic rules and you're thrilled and scared shitless by stuff that goes bump in the night???

That murky depth takes much longer to clear.....

It's why religions exist.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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08-04-2015, 02:22 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
(08-04-2015 12:37 PM)Philanthropic Misanthrope Wrote:  I don't really believe in deities but I think maybe there could be something, some sort of afterlife maybe.

Considering how everything relevant seems to be stored in our brain, including memories and our personality, even if there's some sort of abstract afterlife of an immortal soul, it's not going to be you in any meaningful sense.

Quantum Physics: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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08-04-2015, 02:38 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
(08-04-2015 02:22 PM)Alex K Wrote:  
(08-04-2015 12:37 PM)Philanthropic Misanthrope Wrote:  I don't really believe in deities but I think maybe there could be something, some sort of afterlife maybe.

Considering how everything relevant seems to be stored in our brain, including memories and our personality, even if there's some sort of abstract afterlife of an immortal soul, it's not going to be you in any meaningful sense.

That's how I see it. The brain is like a journal of memory and algorithms for telling the body how to interact with the physical world. A spirit or soul has nowhere to store memories, and no way to interact with the world. Presumably, since they can't be seen, nor is there any reason to believe they interact with light in any way, there is probably no sense of sight. Even if some kind of energy/soul/spirit was at some point a part of someone you knew, it would likely not resemble them in any recognisable way... Nor would it remember you.
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08-04-2015, 02:40 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
Ohhhh, this thread SO resonates with me. ^_^

My reasons stem from losing my grandmother, started with her illness last year. During the course of 15 months, I've looked into Buddhism, Islam, and Deism...now...finding myself settling into atheism again, with a touch of agnosticism. lol

The good news is, we are more than what we believe or don't believe, when it comes to the existence of gods. We are meant to live life with joy and purpose, and it's kind of sad how much time we waste trying to find ourselves a place in the spiritual world, instead of concentrating on the here and now. :/

Be true to yourself. Heart
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08-04-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
Cut yourself some slack, deconversion involves changing habits and ways of thinking that you've held for many years. It is an ongoing process, more like climbing up a hill than jumping off a cliff. Be kind to yourself while you figure it all out.
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08-04-2015, 04:28 PM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
(08-04-2015 12:37 PM)Philanthropic Misanthrope Wrote:  For almost all of middle school and high school, I was pagan/spiritual. I used to try to "sense" spirits and communicate with them. I have a friend who told me he could see them, and I believed him especially when I eventually tested him by asking "Who is standing over there?" and he said the same name as I was thinking over five times before I stopped asking (which to this day I am still wondering how that happened)

Because of our little "adventures" I firmly believed that just about every deity existed, and that this world was connected to the astral dimension where all deities and spirits existed, and the "veil" between the dimensions was the reason they had little to no influence on this world. I thought they were working to whittle away at the veil and save this world eventually. Despite being angry at my mom all the time, dealing with horrible anxiety, and being scared of any violent or voyeurish spirits, I was pretty happy with my life during high school. I wasn't lonely because I had some school friends I actually told about the spirits, and even though I really hated (and still do hate) humanity I thought before long, all of the tyrants, bigots, and other violent humans would be vanquished by the deities once the veil was gone.

During senior year, I slowly stopped believing in all of this. I started noticing a lot of inconsistencies in what my friend who "saw" the spirits was saying. I began to realize that humanity is alone on this rock, and nobody is going to come and stop all of the atrocities all over the world. It's been four years since I graduated high school, and I'm still sad as a result of no longer believing in spirits or deities. Some of them, I thought were real friends. I thought I would get to meet them eventually. I also just hate realizing there is no hope for humanity except for the few logical, compassionate, and socially/community engaged humans. Other than those few people, we really are alone.

It's been hard to address what I believe/don't believe. I'm still confused and consider myself agnostic/spiritual atheist if that's a thing. I don't really believe in deities but I think maybe there could be something, some sort of afterlife maybe. I still get paranoid about spirits, this time it's mostly just about ghosts of the dead. I really wish that would stop, but I can't stop getting paranoid and thinking they're there...

I wonder if any ex- christians, pagans, etc... on here can relate to that feeling, when you lose your religion. Did you also get sad, or confused and not sure what to believe?

it is just like when you figured out as a child that Santa doesn't exist...crushed right? Times 100 magnitude at the adult level learning that what we were taught by parents, family, church, peers and a non stop wave of socially accepted dogma isn't real either.

It is a loss, and as a loss the levels of grief stages are prevalent.

Denial - no it just HAS to be true...you mean we really are here by chance and circumstance, not part of a magical divine plan for greatness????but...but...that..is scary....makes you feel kind of lost, isolated...alone...

Anger - This is BS! Why did everyone lie to me? Why do my parents believe this BS?

Bargaining - "please god if you are real, talk to me...give me a sign...I feel so helpless...hopeless, give me a sign and I promise to never doubt you again...hello....god?"

Depression - The sadness that the grand delusion of a caring world creator truly doesn't exist, that our lives do not have a divinely designed destiny, a plan by a caring god...a divine purpose....the loss of family and friends who still believe, and shake their heads sadly when they see you, the loss of fellowship, inclusion in the group.....

Acceptance - Holy shit, I can't believe I believed such absolute BS! *shakes it off* I am NOT wasting one more bit of emotion and thought on this ridiculous, childish, disingenuous nonsense. I will have new friends...REAL friends, who won't abandon me because I no longer believe in the adult version of santa claus...A new life, one free of the chains of faith, the blindfold of religion, the subjugation by guilt and fear for something I didn't do, to make me believe in something not real.

and thus the world opens to you, and you feel light in your step, a sense of purpose, a sense of superiority, a sense of knowledge...of enlightenment...of freedom.

Embrace it

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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19-04-2015, 02:52 AM
RE: Finding it hard to get over past spiritual beliefs...
Thanks everyone for your feedback and help!
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