Friday, February 10, 2006

Who owns my experience?

When you are a Christian your spiritual experiences come from God. When you don't believe in a god anymore who owns them? I get told by many that if I cease to be a Christian then all those experiences were a lie. How can that be? Like many things Christian fuzzy thinking obscures what has occurred and gives the credit for our personal life to an imaginary friend out there somewhere.

I first came across this when I becamne friends (at 18) with a Moslem. We spoke about our experiences of God and what God meant to us. It shocked me, being the true believer that his experiences were identical to mine. Reading William James The Varieties of Religious Experience helped convinced me that what I had thought were God given spiritual experinces were perfectly normal human experiences.

It seems Christianity comes in and tries to replace the human with the divine. What it actually does is rename everything as divine and negates everything that is human. So I guess my response about my spiritual experiences now is they have not changed, lost or forsaken. In fact my spiritual life is richer now for removing an obscuring layer that prevented me from seeing myself as I actually am.

As for being a sinner from birth. Fuck that, Augustine and his buddies were wrong. Adam and Eve is a story, a myth. Can't condemn the whole human race on the basis of a myth. Seems to me we live in a mixed up world without any evidence of anything other than continually striving to be better. Sounds a lot like an evolutionary process, what a surprise.

Next time someone tries to give the credit for your achievements to God, might be worth saying a little something like " Leave God out of it right, where she was when I did all this!"

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