Thursday, April 22, 2010

wrong turns

It has happened several times now in the past week: While driving, my mind wanders (there's a lot for it to wander around in right now). Thinking through circumstances, wondering about actions made and decisions coming up...
When suddenly...
I realize I've taken a wrong turn. I'm on a street or highway I hadn't planned on being on (and am not sure how I got there.)

I used to be the sort of suspicious individual who would see all sorts of signs and messages from the universe in this sort of thing.

Now a days, I just think I need to start paying more attention while I'm driving. Leave off pondering for when I am not behind the wheel.

very dirty windshield.jpg


Craig said...

It's fascinating how differently I perceive the world and my experiences now that I no longer attribute anything to the supernatural.
Mormonism is quite rife with magical thinking, from the different types of blessings and prayer to the belief that the "Holy Ghost" is telling you what to do. Once I realised there was no practical difference between a belief in the priesthood and a belief in magic, that a blessing was just another type of spell, I realised how ridiculous it was to believe in anything supernatural.

It's quite a relief to not have to wonder whether I'm "on the right path" or whether I'm "in-tune" with "the spirit" anymore. I can just live my life, and make choices based on what I want or on what logically makes sense, rather than worrying about the supernatural consequences of my actions or inactions.

G said...

Very much a relief.
Trying to de-code all those perceived signs and messages is quite exhausting and nerve-wracking.

Craig said...

Yeah, it was. Especially as they constantly contradict, and you have to discern which messages are from god, which from you, and which from satan. I never figured out how you were ever supposed to tell the difference, or how anyone ever thought they did. Actually that was, besides my being gay, the main thing that drove me to question everything - there was just no way to know when/if god was talking to you.

G said...


what I finally realized was that the rhetoric of seeking answers to prayers was double speak for "we know you'll find the answers we tell you to find. (And you will know that if your answer differs from the answer we tell you to find, it is because there is a problem with you.)"

Craig said...

Yep. Though it took me a while to figure that one out. I actually did believe for a while (right when I came out) that god told me though prayer that the church was wrong about homosexuality - which was the thing that made me reject the authority of the church.

But almost all of my life, when I prayed, I never felt that I ever got an answer, because I never could tell the difference between an "answer" and just my own feelings. Finally I realised there wasn't any difference, it was all coming from me.

G said...

me as well (re: believing that god had answered my prayer and that the church was wrong).

and also, that initial questioning of authority answers, which lead finally to questioning the whole organization.

(which is why questioning is so closely guarded/controlled in the church; significant use of Fear Language whenever anyone discusses "questioning")

Craig said...

OMG yes. As soon as you give yourself licence to question, you open a door that can never be closed. This is common to all authoritarian organisations, whether religious or political, and that is why authoritarianism is both so powerful and so evil. Without the power to question and criticise, anything can be and is justified.

C. L. Hanson said...

Very interesting!

I don't normally make unfamiliar wrong turns, but -- when driving -- if there's a turn that leads home (or to some other familiar location), I'll take it without thinking. It's like the lower part of my brain says "When we get to this intersection, we turn left -- no need to consult the conscious about it!"

It's a problem if I don't happen to be going to the said familiar location... ;)

Hazel Motes said...

I hear ya Craig and G. Part of my beef with the Holy Ghost surfaced as I gained experience (in my own body or through others' experiences) with mental illness. Was that the spirit telling me I made a bad decision, or was it an anxiety attack? Is this me giving in to Satan's discouragement or is it the level of serotonin in my brain?

And it's true about the opening a door that cannot be closed. Now that I have begun to question everything, it's very difficult for me to imagine having any kind of religious faith anymore.