Friday, November 25, 2011

Well Here I Am Again

Well, here I am again. I'm still trying to process what happened to me. And I'm not quite sure what to make of it all. But first, let me take care of a few other matters.

This blog died.

I didn't.

(Don't worry; I didn't have a brush with death or anything like that).

I thought about giving up blogging forever, but I've decided not to do that after all. But before, I blogged for mostly the wrong reasons. I expected results. I didn't have any fun. I was a small fish in the small corner of a really large pond, and I know it, and I hated it. I still do, truth be told, but that no longer concerns me as much as it used to. I don't know that anyone will read this, much less care, but obviously I hope so. But again, that should not be my prime objective, though it often is in my mind. I will have to work on that.

Speaking of "work on that," my new motivation to resume (very infrequent, very casual, almost zero commitment) blogging, is of a therapeutic nature. I was advised by a friend that blogging would help me to not only focus my thoughts, but process my feelings and objectives and analyze many situations and occurrences in my life and better react to them. Well, not in so many words, but this friend hinted at the possibility of such. I agreed.

I really, really, really want to write about what happened to me in the last couple of years. How I was a fervent, devout Christian, what happened, what happened after that (and some things that happened as a result of that), what I am now, and what my plans are for the future (this is never a good question to ask me before I have had my first cup of coffee for the day), whatever they may be, whatever the future may be for me. But not tonight, I think, and I look at the clock, and it's actually early in the morning, 1:01 A.M. Central Time to be exact, on Friday, November 25th, 2011. I'm too tired. And that's too bad, because I have many thoughts in my head, which I would like to write to simply "download" them off my brain and perhaps make room for other thoughts. Part of what I wanted to do is journal my life since I lost Christianity, and part of me simply wants a virtual lectern from which I can wax eloquent (or not) about all the things I find important, useful, fascinating, irritating, dreadful, or any combination thereof, and be able to keep these writings for future reference.

I just let the cat out of the bag, though, because I admitted the entire summary purpose of my resumed blogging activity by confessing I have lost the faith of Christianity and joined the ranks of apostasy. There will be no heaven for me. This, most Christians would probably agree on. But there will be no hell for me either. Perhaps there is no afterlife at all. I hope that a God of some kind exists, and that there is a decent, worthy afterlife, and happiness in that next world. But truthfully, though I do not deny the possibility of the existence of such things, I truly cannot say I believe in them, much less with any conviction such as I used to claim. I do not know the true nature of our reality in much detail, if any, and if a God exists, or Gods exist, then I see no evidence for him/her/it/them and believe the existence of God/Gods are doubtful at best (perhaps not the Deistic god, as I tend to favor that view in my personal fantasies, but in my ordinary life I operate out of practical necessity as if no gods existed, because naturalistic explanations with a strictly materialist universe seem to adequately explain all my experiences and hopes of achievement). So this leaves me pondering exactly who, and what, I am. I have solved part of this already in my mind.

I am human.

I want to be special, but I am not. I stoop down to peer at lowly ants, and I recognize a certain kinship with them in this family of life and fruitful existence by our shared evolutionary tree as the origin of our existence. The lowly ant has crawled on the Earth before I was born, before my parents, and their parents, and before any human feet, as we now know them, walked on the dry earth. I feel very small, very insignificant, and that I have been a rather arrogant Johnny-come-lately. More on this later, as I did not intend to delve so deeply into a blog post tonight (this morning!). But I suppose I need to clear up a few things first, before I can write more about my perspectives on existence and purpose and destiny (if I can even still use such a word), as I just did above. There are a few things I need to say first.

I do not intend to blog simply to bash Christianity. I have Christian friends. I interact with Christian people. I live in a mostly Christian society here in Southeast Texas. Or at least I thought I did. There are many religious people here, but there is also a strong undercurrent of independent spiritual thought as well. Be that as it may, that is a topic for another blog post, if I have the interest. I plan in the meantime to write some posts expressing and analyzing my journey both into Christianity and out of it again, some posts critical of Christianity, and many posts, perhaps the majority, on my favorite subjects of all, currently computers, especially software development, games, science fiction, and fantasy. I still want to study religion, primarily Christianity, from a critical perspective as opposed to my former devotional one, for which I had another blog entirely called Isaiah 8:16 which I shut down or allowed to shrivel on the vine and die after my own Christian faith withered on the vine and died. I am still interested in Christianity, and religion, and probably always will be.

It's just the world is so much larger, grander, and more wondrous than anything I could find in Christianity as a means of expression for it. Christianity was stifling, oppressive, and often counter-productive, even harmful, but not always, and not in everything. Certain aspects of it were wonderful, and I have many positive memories of my time as a believer. I learned a lot. I believe I am a better person now for my experiences, perhaps even for my former Christian faith. This has been both a very difficult, very trying time, and a very rewarding, very positive time of great personal growth.

I no longer have all the answers. At one time, I did. I did not just think that I did, but I actually did, and I write that with complete honesty. What I mean is, all the answers I possessed formed a very small set of answers consisting of all the available solutions and revelations my personal religion of Christianity could provide, at least to me personally. Questions for which there are no answers were not proper questions, or at least, could not and would not be answered in this world, as they belonged to the domain of God alone. The Bible provided all the needed knowledge, every important and available answer, to the mysteries of life, and rest were reserved to the operation of the Spirit of God and Divine Purpose, hidden in mystical secrecy from mortal minds. That was sufficient.

But it is not.

I now have very few answers, many more questions than answers, and I lack the imagination and insight to even conceive of all the good questions, much less acquire and understand the answers for them. I have a little knowledge, much mystery, and a great sense of awe about the world (on a good day, after my second cup of coffee usually, as before that, I am not friendly, social, or particularly inquisitive). It is exhilarating, fun, and even a little bit dangerous. Or perhaps I am simply in a good mood this morning. Or I am too sleepy to care. More on this on a later blog post, I suppose.

That's enough for now.


Walter said...

Welcome back.

Pete Hoge said...

Hope you keep writing.

Your perspective is interesting.

Being such a deep Christian
and now a freethinker you can
offer another human being
your story of transitioning
from one place to another.


Byron said...

Thanks, Walter. :)

Byron said...

Pete Hoge, I would really like to do that. But I walked a path of a minority religious viewpoint (Baptist Calvinist theology) for the last several years I was a believer. I started off as Arminian Dispensationalist oddly enough. I hope to be able to write something both helpful to myself and hopefully entertain and/or useful to read for others. Thanks!

Pete Hoge said...

Yes I think you can be helpful
to another person...even just
a plain old Reformed Christian
who in general is descended
from Calvin or Luther.

Time will tell!

ce ga said...

You have such such a wonderfully, well thought out perspective on where you are right now. I love the way you infuse humor with truth, even if you left out the cheetoh addiction. Please keep on writing. I feel that I am only now getting to know my little Brother. And I am so proud of who he is.

Anonymous said...


You were just getting to the good part.

I'll stay tuned.

Debi said...

I stumbled on your post from another site (and messaged you on Facebook about Linux). Your insights reminds me of something I have often wondered: There are at least some people in history who have gone against the tide of what is publicly accepted at the time--slavery, religion/dark ages, oppression of women, did they become such freethinkers? As we look back on those times in history with the clarity of hindsight, it seems clear the majority were so misguided, and while I understand the power of "group think," I am fascinated as to how those few individuals seem to rise above and see through the fog. I would definitely like to read more about your similar journey.

Writer Jobs said...

This was a great post! Thanks for sharing. See you around.

Byron said...

Thank you Debi and Writer Jobs! I haven't blogged in awhile (obviously). I need to continue this series, because I do have some thoughts I want to express. Thanks so much!

zilch said...

Nice place you've got here, Byron.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Byron Smith said...

Thank you, Zilch!