Paradigm Shifting

I feel the need to chronicle some major shifts in thinking that have really only occurred in the last few weeks, resulting in recent blog posts, a return to contributing to the de-conversion.com blog, and a move away from spiritual seeking.

After deferring the first year of my psychology degree last year (a decision made largely from the perspective of depression), I decided to return this year.  Just in the first week of lectures my continued open-mindedness to the belief in God and supernatural phenomena came under serious question.  Only a week prior to this, I had attended a meditation course that taught a variety of New-Agey practices and theories.  I had anticipated attending this course for many months, and then afterwards I felt quite disillusioned.  The more I considered the course in light of my increasing scientific awareness, the more suspicious I became of its authenticity.

Even prior to the course, I had attended a counselling session that affected me profoundly, in that my attachment to self-help books was made clear to be a pathology rather than beneficial to wellbeing.  I rearranged my library, got rid of some of my self-help materials, and began to focus on things other than trying to fix my problems.  Spirituality was still under the radar, and still appeared to be something that I would hold of interest.  And then, the more lectures I attended, and the more sections of textbooks I read, the more reason prevailed over my interests.

Emotionally, having such sudden paradigm shifts is very challenging.  On the one hand, there is a relief that chasing one particular direction is no longer necessary.  On the other, there is a sense of loss, a sudden grief that something held dear has passed away.  Even today a book I’d read almost to the end was filed away in my library, not to be accessed again for a long time, due to its speculative psychoanalysis.

The one thing that is most important about my new-found scientific perspective is simplicity.  Instead of moving through a multitude of speculations regarding why I feel this way or that, why I experience particular emotions, or the revelance of spiritual experiences, I can rest simply and profoundly on experiences that are proven to be true.  Many bright sparks have gone before me to shine the way in just about every area of importance.  Even where the light is still dim, there is just enough light to see far enough ahead to forge new discoveries.  On my paradigm-shifting journey, I do not go alone; I stand in a great company of other courageous souls.

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