In bed the other night, I was thinking (as usual) about my search for God, or answers anyway. And I stumbled upon an idea that seemed like a mini epiphany. Before I get into the meat of it, this is a call to my followers and all who might happen up this post to perhaps help me answer a couple of questions and thus move myself further to finding my god.
My question is addressed to people who were raised in a secular or non-religious environment. However, if you feel you have something to add to the conversation that does not involve the usual rhetoric involved in discussing religion or random and lengthy bible quotes, by all means please comment.
The idea I had, and what I want to ask you gentle readers is sort of a two part question:
What is the source for the desire to search for God or a higher meaning?
If we are raised in a completely secular or atheistic environment where it is never suggested, inferred, or taught to us that we need or should have a god, do we still inherently feel a need to seek one?
Perhaps now you can see why I specified readers raised in secular environments. If as children, we are in any way introduced to the idea that religion should be a part of our lives, especially if the introduction comes by way our our parents, who have a heavy influence on our thoughts and feelings during our formative years, then that idea may always be a part of us, even if our intellect bucks it (like mine does.)
This is specifically my problem, by the way. My brain tells me there is no way there is someone “watching over” us; if there were, our world would not suck so much. Yet there is a part of me that likes the idea of a gentle father-figure who loves us unconditionally and keeps a place for us by his side.
Although I don’t relish the idea of him watching me while hubs and I have the “sexy time.”
I suppose this question could work in reverse, but I know the story of disillusionment and lack of faith on a more personal level.
I have long considered myself someone who is reverent of nature, and even dabbled in Wicca for a while, but in the end, even ideologically pleasing religions like Wicca, Hinduism, and Buddhism still incorporate deity worship, in many cases multiple deities. Moreover, embracing nature alone means embracing the idea that everything is essentially form and function, part of the circle of life, and there really is no higher meaning, aside from survival and continuation of the species.
So, as I said before, though this post may be another one of my introspective and theological ramblings, it is also a call for interaction. Please feel free to (respectfully) share your thoughts.
I’ve been interested in wicca for a long time with a friend, but stopped practicing it because I felt lost, and it was simply not the right moment.
I grew up in a family with no religion or belief. the parents of my mother and my father are both religious, but with the other one we prayed before dinner, and the other one didn’t.
I felt the need to find ‘my god’ when I felt lonely. I was sixteen — I think,? My ex was a jerk, I felt lonely, I was searching who I was, my identity. tho, I never talk to ‘my god’ anymore, actually, when I would talk about my god, I would think about a female instead. I don’t like the image of Jesus, who’s suffering because the humans are jerks. It just doesn’t seem right to me.
My parents were very open to it. Even though they are raised christian and catholic, they never raised me or my sister with a god, or a religious. My father always said “Believe in whatever you want, as long as you don’t turn in one of those christian jerks or ring my door on sunday morning”.
I don’t know if this answers your question! It sounds all vague to me, but I don’t know how else to explain it. 😦
So what is your belief now? And do you think you would have looked for God in your loneliness if you hadn’t learned from your grandparents that there might be a god to look for?
At my grandparents we never talked about god or religion. I honestly wouldn’t know, but I think I would have, as it feels to me that it wouldn’t make any difference.
Right now? I don’t have a specific belief. I believe that the world is created by the big bang or w/e, and not that one god or something created it. Yet, I TRY to embrace nature, and whatever, what I learned with Wicca, it kind of sticked with me, and it feels okay. Tho, I’m confusing myself too with this sometimes. I just think there is something out there, maybe watching over us, or judging us, or helping us out on moments we need it. I will see that ‘something’ as a goddess. I don’t know her name, or what she looks like. all I know is that it’s female, it’s friendly and good hearted.
Lol, I sound like a complete lunatic.
My lovely lunatic!
Only for you!
My mom was raised in such a strict church atmosphere, she rebelled and didn’t make or ask or force us to go to church. However in America it is EVERYWHERE and especially in the South. My friends invited me to church with them (how odd, in retrospect, we were between six and ten, why didn’t they want to go out and play?). So I was exposed, but never told by anyone that I respected that there really was a god. Eventually mom had second thoughts and found a ‘nice’ church that didn’t scare her. No fire & brimstone, nice & calm. I went. It was boooooriinngggg. I started singing in the choir, the only kid, and when they decided to make a children’s choir I left. Mom was totally cool with that. And dad never, ever, went. I prayed to god the same way I did to Santa, and gave it up just as easily. Does all that mean I was raised secular, or non?
Here’s the thing, though. I had big ideas as a child, and I remember the amazing thought I had one day clearly: what if my entire life is a dream someone else is having? I didn’t consider it was god, just another normal person. So even then I was looking for reasons, explanations, of why: why is everything? I think everyone does want to know. Everyone wonders. The problem is too many are satisfied with being told an answer, whatever answer that might be (pick any religion, Wiccan included), and include science, too. The reason I go with ‘no god’ is that science allows me to keep questioning and never ever to I have to take someone else’s word for it. Not the Big Bang, not virgin birth, not a benevolent earth mother. I can’t test the latter, but if I really want to, I can be involved in the first one. And the theories change all the time! It’s fascinating!
If you really want to mess up your mind, look into quantum theory. THAT stuff is messed up. Multiple worlds splitting forever, just on if i decided to type an I here or a U there. I’d much rather think about those ideas than worry about a thinking mind being in charge. I scrolled back up to see if I answered or went off on a tangent: I think I answered the second question better than I did the first…
That idea that you’re some else’s dream, that sounds similar to Solipsism…basically that only one’s own mind can be sure to exist, and the external world and other minds can not be known. The problem with that is, how do you know if your reality (your mind) is the right one? (Think of what a schizophrenic’s mind/world would be like compared to the rest of us, for example.)
I just read a Dean Koontz book that mentioned a bit of quantum physics in it. These concepts are too big (or small, like Quantum foam) to conceive of for me. o.O
I was like…seven? when I came up with that. If adults have spent a lot of time trying to figure out if it’s true? well, again, I’d prefer something that can be tested 🙂 Koontz is very Christian, so I’m surprised he even tried to attempt to make quantum foam anything but potentially used for evil. Maybe he did, I read everything he writes but he bores me lately.
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about who am I and why am I here. I really, really don’t see any way I will ever know the answers, so I don’t fret. Its like being stuck in a traffic jam: nothing I can do about it, so I just chill out. I can’t imagine that anyone else has come up with the real reasons, or we’d have done something with that idea by now.
omg! The setting of the book is a monastery, and one of the monks used to be a very rich physicist in his life before the brotherhood. He creates a “machine” in the basement of the abbey that is capable of turning his “thought” into reality. (Basically. he claims that God’s thoughts are the the basis of reality…) So, in a nutshell, yeah…
Oh, yes, that one. With the monsters made of ice which wasn’t ice, isn’t that Brother Odd? I really used to like Koontz, Watchers and Midnight and Strangers. Course when I read those they were relatively new.
You might like Shermer’s book, why people believe weird things. It makes sense of a lot of the crazy reasons humans come up with to explain the world. http://www.michaelshermer.com/weird-things/
Awesome. I love topics like this. I’ll keep it short and to the point, only because I don’t really know what the hell I believe in anymore.
I was raised Catholic but stopped practicing. The whole thing felt so rehearsed to me. Since then I’ve been searching for “God”. To me, God is consciousness. It’s a sense of being a part of something bigger, yet also a sense of being as big as that bigger thing. (does that make sense?)
I think regardless of what belief system people are raised by/in, everyone has questions. To add, nobody really knows the answers. That’s what inspires people to begin to search for truths, or to continue to practice a belief. I think the religious are convinced that they’ve found an absolute answer to something that I feel is a continuous series of questions. Every day is a new experience with a new set of questions to ponder further. Belief in something means an end to questioning. That makes people uncomfortable. By nature, we like things that are definable and concrete.
To answer your questions, I believe 1.) We’re all looking for answers because its innate to ask questions. We’re here, but how did we get here? We evolved from something/somewhere, but what? 2.) God is interpreted differently by everyone. If you were raised secular, there’s no escaping the inevitable thought(s). See response #1
QUOTE> “I think the religious are convinced that they’ve found an absolute answer to something that I feel is a continuous series of questions.”
Maybe you are right in that everyone is searching for answers to questions, but I wonder if a secular person would be more comfortable accepting non-theological answers than a non secular-raised person. For instance…
When we die:
1) science leads us to believe our brain function stops. thus we cease to exist in this form
2) religion> Heaven, reincarnation, whatever…
Maybe some people choose God because they don’t LIKE the answers science gives. I never wanted to be THAT person.
Well, how can you argue with a “scientist”. Somebody that spends all day, every day carefully observing, hypothesizing, and testing everything around us?
Energy can be neither created nor destroyed? Interesting thought to think about…
I feel ya though…
That’s my point, sort of. Christians (not all, but quite a few) argue with scientists all the time when they speak of Creationism, as opposed to Darwinism or Evolution.
And energy may be eternal, but that does not mean our brains, or souls if you like, are. That’s what I meant when I said we cease to exist “in this form.” It sounds like we are disagreeing, but I don’t think we are. 😉
You should welcome a disagreement! We’re talking about the same ideas though (i think). Here’s one — if matter nothing more than condensed energy, and everything is made up of matter, it would be hard to deny that life energy(aka spirit) exists, right? That’s why I think it makes perfect when someone talks about getting a “bad vibe” from someone, or even to be moved by certain types of music. Its a vibrational clash or flow. I thought that was interesting. It’s like Frankenstein shit…
No, if I disagree too much, some people might say I’m difficult. 😉 But seriously… life energy does not necessarily equate with the idea of “soul” that most people want to believe.
I disagree, you’re out of line!! 🙂
I see no argument here! Where did the energy that runs my neurons come from? Where does it go when I cease to be a power source? If energy truly cannot be destroyed, surely someone is trying to answer these questions?
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