A crisis of non-faith

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bellalou, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    You hear about religious people having a crisis of faith when they begin to doubt the existence of God. So I guess for a long-time atheist like myself, it must be a crisis of non-faith when I begin to doubt the non-existence.

    Yeah, I'm going there. And no one is more surprised than me.

    I was strongly on the fence even as a kid. We were a moderately religious family, went to church regularly (Episcopal), did Sunday school, said bedtime and mealtime prayers. But I was always skeptical and by the time I was a teenager, I was firmly in the agnostic camp. By my mid-20s I was an avowed atheist and that has never wavered. Until now.

    Like most of the atheists I know, I studied religion a lot. I went to various houses of worship with friends or alone, to experience what they had to offer. I took classes. I read. I wanted to deeply explore what it was that people were finding. Other than a brief flirtation with nature-based spirituality, which appealed to my sense that true peace and tranquility come from nature, none of it resonated with me. I could see the beauty and comfort of ritual and community, but the actual belief eluded me.

    And then I reconnected with the boy I loved as a teenager, the boy I'd always loved, the one who I'd held in my heart for 40 years. And I have to say that I am seeing and feeling the hand of God in all of it.

    It's not that I believe that some white-haired guy in a robe is looking down benevolently on me and saying, "bellalou, I'm going to specifically direct the events of your life." But it does feel like the entire universe has moved in profound ways since the day we reconnected. Ways that feel entirely out of my control but also feel like a path is being deliberately spread before me.

    I have been looking for public defender jobs in California since before I graduated law school (2016). I have NEVER seen so many listings as I have since I got back from my visit back east. It's not just a few - it's over a dozen. That's one thing. And they all want to interview me, or at least a lot of them do.

    But it's all kinds of things. The timing - if this had happened a few years ago, I would have still been in school and it would have been a terrible time to even think about a relationship, a move, all of it. If it had happened a few years later, I'd be settled into my career (and far enough away from taking the bar that taking another one would be incredibly daunting) and relocating would be a lot harder in terms of disengaging.

    You could (and I would have not too long ago) put all these things down as coincidence, or the result of me working toward them, or luck, or chance, or whatever. But there's also the stuff I can't even put into words, like the feeling I had when I was out there with him that we were - and I have no other way of putting it - being gently held in a pair of hands, together. And even though I'm now 3000 miles away, I still have that uncanny feeling.

    So yeah. I haven't yet reached the tipping point of absolute belief. And I may not. I may tip back to absolute non-belief. And I seriously doubt that any belief on my part will translate to an adherence to any specific branch of religious belief, be it Christian or otherwise.

    But I'm starting to think there might be something out there after all, something that puts the balance in the world and sees that those things that are meant to be come to be.

    Crazy, huh? :ROFLMAO:
     
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  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Nope, not crazy.

    The older I get, the more I look at some things and just wonder a bit not so much with experiences like you are finding, but with other stuff.
     
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  3. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    I know many with experiences like you, myself included. As a scientist I get asked a LOT "How can you believe in God when you see science?" and my answer is "How can you not?" Just looking at how literally everything is interconnected puts me in awe. My church had a really good sermon on it, talking about how if you changed just one little thing we wouldn't exist. I feel it a lot in my mental health too. Just the other day I was in a mood, but I couldn't really explain why. Then not one, but 3 of my friends from Kansas called out of the blue (I'm in Iowa now). My mood instantly improved. Turns out I was lonely and missing my friends. *I* didn't even realize what I was feeling, but God fixed it.

    For me, my journey was a complete lack of autonomy (ie being a child and being a Christian because I was told to be a Christian), to a crisis of faith, where I realized I had autonomy where I didn't need to be a Christian, I could choose. Then as I grew and developed as a person, I learned a lot about me, a lot about the world, and that is what turned me back to religion. It's almost like my awareness grew so much that I realized that I couldn't possibly be the one responsible for everything happening to me, let alone in the world.
     
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  4. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    You can't help how you feel. Religion after all is "just" a way to explain and guide us through life.
     
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  5. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Faith and religion are completely different things to me. You can have faith without adhering to the "rules" of any one religion.
    I guess my doubts stem mostly from the oroblems I have with the catholic religion and how it was taught here.
    But I am open to there being a higher power. Not God or any other deity as they are described by the various religions. But something more than just us. And I find it incredibly soothing to think that maybe a part of us goes on after we die...
     
  6. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    The problem is, most organised "belief religiosity" is such a mockery of "what exists beyond matter" and collection of odd superstitions that if you start thinking about these doctrins you can't help but renounce them.

    But the fact that you come to the conclusion that Catholic, Methodist, shia Muslim etc theological doctrin seems nonsensical doesn't mean that there can not be a truth beyond matter.

    And yes, I personally would never call that "god" because in my opinion even the word implies the wrong connotations. There is the exoteric, the belief in something and the esoteric, the direct experience of something
     
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  7. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    No, not crazy yet. Jk. I'm not religious, but definitely have faith.
     
  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    It's Karma, not Kryst.
     
  9. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    MANES!!!! I should have known that if I found god you’d reappear. :cheerleader:
     
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Oh, you found him, huh?

    Let's see...:rolleyes:


    :rofl:
     
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