An Identity Crisis

Far, far, far too much of religion resembles a gigantic shame-producing machine.

And now I feel like my identity has been shattered into a million pieces.  Life is a lot easier when you can rest in simple beliefs and stories.

Well, almost.

I tried to do that.  I tested the waters of faith, and found them to be icy cold.

I really, really hoped that much of my problems could be solved by trusting in God, by restoring my lost faith.

And all I found was disappointment, for I again felt out of place.

I think you can only fake it if your heart really is in the enterprise.  And my heart really was not fully there.

The constructs of good religion would be the opportunity to enjoy empowering friendship to start with, and then the impulse to be a more engaged planetary citizen, demonstrating the utmost care and concern for all.

Instead what you get is this insular movement that is concerned about its particular unique system of beliefs about the afterlife, which attempts to create as many adherents to its particular style of practice as possible.  By-and-large, these movements tend to attract a fairly similar demographic of personality styles (with the odd difference here and there), so in the end it is little more than a club of mutual interest.

One of my present contentions with faith in God is that far, far too much is asked of me, which really seems unfair – a God of infinite love and benevolence naturally would be the one to carry the weight of responsibility towards finite creatures.

If you frame this relationship in terms of the parents of a baby, then you see that there is little to no expectation on the child to do anything to receive the love of the parents.  There is not even a need of response for the parents simply pour out love to the child, who gladly receives it.

If I was aware of such love, like the child I would gladly receive it.  And it’s not like I turned away from the opportunity either, and it’s not like I’m doing so now.  I stand perplexed, neither believing nor disbelieving, really just disappointed that I couldn’t get what I wanted.

So now I don’t really have faith as a big part of my life, and neither do I have any real sense of the spiritual, and really just trying to work out what it is that I want for my life.

I guess this might just be another blog silence.

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5 responses to “An Identity Crisis

  • Mike aka MonolithTMA

    There are things in my life that seem spiritual, the connection I sometimes feel with others, the feeling I sometimes get when listening to a beautiful piece of music, the smell of a forest, the feel of the wind on my face as I kayak across a lake, yet in all these things I don’t see anything I identify as a god. I used to.

    My fiance and I have started going to a local church. They are affiliated with the UCC and they are very open, welcoming, and non-judgemental. The pastor knows I am an atheist, which I told him after the first day where his sermon was about how some days he felt closer to the atheists than he did to some of his fellow Christians.

    Am I experiencing God there? I don’t think so, unless God is the open and loving community of people that gather there. Some might say that is so.

  • Gary

    The choice to believe or disbelieve is relatively easy; you simply decide one way or the other. The middle way is difficult, for I’ve found myself pulled by one side or the other along the way. This middle way is really to cut through the spectre of belief or evidence, and just accept everything as it is. The path of least resistance, and quite possibly the most difficult option of all, as our minds are wired to seek clarity from ambiguity.

    • Mike aka MonolithTMA

      I’m the opposite, I can’t choose to believe in something that hasn’t tangibly presented itself to me. When I was a believer I could not fathom ever not believing, but it happened. Now, I know I couldn’t believe again without something drastically changing, but I know it is still possible. Regardless, I am happy and satisfied with my life and I accept the universe as I perceive it. Belief in God would not change the things I hold dear.

  • Gary

    I can see what you’re saying as it’s something I expressed in the blog – namely that the burden of proof and responsibility is on the divine, for we merely are hapless participants in the drama of life. Some people need God to enliven the drama, while others do not. Like yourself I’m now just trying to rest in being happy with life regardless.

    • Mike aka MonolithTMA

      If God taps me on the shoulder, I’m cool with that. 😉

      I keep thinking it’s odd that theists and non-theists can look at the same world, the same evidence, and see two completely different things. It’s not odd at all though, we human beings don’t even see colors the same way most of the time, let alone have the same ideas about life, the universe, and everything.

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