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Author Topic: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?  (Read 5484 times)

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pencils

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My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« on: January 25, 2011, 10:57:12 AM »

Hi all,

I have had a major spiritual upheaval, and was hoping some of you could give your thoughts on where it is I have found myself.

The short version: my Christianity has collapsed, and I think I match Wicca.  Or something.  I'm not sure.

The long version:

A short description of me: I am a married man old enough for children in high school, but have none.  I am trained in (mostly) natural sciences and engineering; that is my life outside of my marriage.

Last year I began to feel my faith (protestant Christian) weakening.  My social/political beliefs (conservative) had fallen a away earlier.  I had been studying global warming in some detail, and had become greatly saddened by that situation.  As a result of that study, aside from difficult realizations about our future, I have been coming to terms with often uncomfortable concepts relating to human belief systems and our place in nature.

At the end of last year I was in the darkest part of my life and my Christianity was hanging by a thread.  A discussion about something else led me to research a point about biblical translations several days ago.  The thread snapped and my Christianity collapsed completely.

Given my science background, I had expected to end up an atheist.

However that is not what happened.

Upon admitting to myself that I did not believe the Christian mythology anymore, I took stock of what remained.

Studying science has always been a de facto worship activity for me.  There are those who feel that the observable is the extent of what is, but I have never felt that way.  While science needs to be rigorous and disciplined about unsupported speculation, it is obvious that much more is there than is understood.  For me, study of science and the natural world in particular is an activity of wonderment.

Nature is, to me, infinitely complex and exquisitely beautiful.  I see a flowing, living, constantly changing set of interconnected systems that affect one another as an all-encompassing supersystem in a never-ending dance of dynamic equilibrium.

At times when I have been in the natural word, for rigorous study or simple recreation, I have had the feeling of the natural world seeping into me, as though to absorb me into it.  I frequently feel as though I am tapping into a deep and primitive thing with nature: chills and shivers and exhilaration and peace and all of those strong feelings, but also subtle ones.

So I figured at least I still had my study of science and nature, and I would be alright in time.  In fact I told myself that I would just "worship" nature.

Returning to my computer I found the web page still up from my Bible research.  I clicked on a link at the bottom of the page about Wicca.  I had no idea what it was.  It frightened me: within an hour I had an oh-my-god-I'm-a-pagan moment.

I have spent the last week trying to sort this out.  Aside from my feelings about nature more or less being "deity," there are other things about sexuality/nudity, one's deeds returning magnified, etc.  I do feel a need to ritually honor a connection with nature. 

Not sure how I feel bout magick.  I am a technical professional, trained in austere black-and-white-ism.  However, I have experienced firsthand (and strongly!) energy flows induced by another (a healer) within my body.  I am open to the idea that people are differently perceptive to forces in nature, many of which are not understood.    I am even open to the idea of manipulating these things.  (If one can receive, then why could one not also send?)

Ham radio operators know that there is a pervasive electromagnetic field which passes invisible and otherwise undetectable disturbances, i.e., radio waves.  Different antennas are receptive to different disturbances, and can broadcast disturbances themselves when properly energized.  I feel people could very well be like that: different people will be differently receptive and able with different kinds of disturbances.

I feel vulnerable and adrift and spiritually worn out, not a good condition for making any major decisions.  For the moment I will let things settle, but still I would like some input.
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aloe

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 11:19:27 AM »

I've been where you are, and I think you're on the right path.  Recognizing the power of nature and the energy that flows through it is a good step always IMO. 

I wouldn't be in a big hurry to label yourself, and it doesn't sound like you are. :)  When something as big as a lifelong belief system collapses and new truths must be sorted out and applied, it takes a lot of time.  It's been 11 years since I totally gave up the christian beliefs I was raised with, and 7 years since I started down the magical path and I am still working this out.
 
Nice to "meet" you and I hope your path is enlightening.
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edens garden

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 11:39:04 AM »

Welcome, it is wonderful to have you with us. As a scientist I hope you will take time an explore all the possibilities, look at all the wonderful paths out there before you commit to one.
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Hjolmaer

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 11:40:39 AM »

Welcome aboard.

Two things stuck out to me in your post:

1:

about sexuality/nudity,

Where?s this one come from?

2:

Hi all,

I have had a major spiritual upheaval, and was hoping some of you could give your thoughts on where it is I have found myself.

The short version: my Christianity has collapsed, and I think I match Wicca.  Or something.  I'm not sure.
 

So, here?s the question that spurns from this one:

Do you match Wicca?  All of Wicca?

Or is it, in fact, ?something else??

And a better question yet still: does whatever ?it? is truly require a name?

As Aloe said, don?t be in a rush to label yourself.  Not even Pagan.

You might find the label doesn?t quite fit.  Or that a label at all just isn?t going to cut it for you.

And there?s nothing wrong with that.

Welcome to the forums.  Check out the stickied threads (push-pin symbol next to the thread name) in the Wicca Q&A, Pagan Q&A, and Newbies.  A lot of beginning resources  can be found there, and it?s a good jumping off point.

Welcome to the forums.
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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 11:50:51 AM »

explore all the possibilities, look at all the wonderful paths out there . . .

Thanks all for the welcomes.

I have eliminated a fair number of religions already.

The thing that struck me about my process was that, even though the man-made constructs of Christianity fell away, I found a very strong core of naked spirituality.  In fact it was (is) stronger than I had realized.  All of a sudden the cliche about being spiritual but not religious made sense.

My core spirituality is very deeply embedded in nature.  What makes the most sense to me is to find a ritual "dressing" to put on top of that, but not something which adds its own artificial constructs.

In the end the problem I had with Christianity was that (to me) it was mostly construct with relatively little spiritual content.  Sort of "follow the shoe" if you know what I mean.

I'm leery of constructs at this point.
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Hjolmaer

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 12:06:54 PM »

How are you defining "construct" in this sense?
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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 12:56:12 PM »

How are you defining "construct" in this sense?

I have no problem with a complex set of rituals, etc.  Those facilitate worship, and I find comfort in such things.  However I am not a fan of complex theology.

A construct would be something built up into a complex belief.  For example there are the Ten Commandments in Christianity, and the many laws of Judaism.  Compare this to the Wiccan Rede.

Another example is the complex system of God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost (and sort of also the Virgin Mary) in Christianity.  My understanding is that Wiccan God and Goddess are understood to be labels of convenience, representing the "polarities" of the power in nature.

Of course, being still raw from the utter collapse of a rather elaborate faith, I am automatically suspicious any complicated theology.  A salt shaker was mentioned in a stickied thread I saw here.  That applies to me as well.
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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 01:07:58 PM »

Welcome aboard.

Two things stuck out to me in your post:

1: [sexuality/nudity] . . .

Where?s this one come from?

I've spent a lot of time in the wilderness.  Backpacking, daily long walks, etc.  I've always been afraid to actually do it, but I have felt at times like meditating about the natural world around me while being nude.  Just a weird feeling I've often had.

Reading about being skyclad struck a chord with me.  I'm not sure I would feel very comfortable actually doing that, but it makes sense to me spiritually.

I have also felt some parts of sexuality were spiritual in nature, as though some energy was there beyond just base instincts.  That also made sense when I read about sex magick.

Quote
Do you match Wicca?  All of Wicca?

Or is it, in fact, ?something else??

And a better question yet still: does whatever ?it? is truly require a name? . . .

Dunno.  Wicca does fit a lot of things, but I don't know enough yet to say how well.
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Khara

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 02:23:25 PM »

Y'all wiccans git nekkid?

Damn.

Welcome Pencils.  I will refrain from giving any advice because as one of the bastard step kids of the board I don't want to lead you to the dark side  ;D
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Snake-Man

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 02:38:06 PM »

Y'all wiccans git nekkid?

Damn.

Welcome Pencils.  I will refrain from giving any advice because as one of the bastard step kids of the board I don't want to lead you to the dark side  ;D

What's wrong with leading him to the Dark Side??  It's cool in the dark, and we have 24-layer, "Death by Chocolate" Devil's Food cake.   ;D


Pencils--If I were you, I'd take a real long, hard look at Scientology as a religion.  Upon reading what you put, especially about how much you love science, I think you would be more suited to that than Wicca.
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MissTree

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 03:05:51 PM »

What's wrong with leading him to the Dark Side??  It's cool in the dark, and we have 24-layer, "Death by Chocolate" Devil's Food cake.   ;D


Pencils--If I were you, I'd take a real long, hard look at Scientology as a religion.  Upon reading what you put, especially about how much you love science, I think you would be more suited to that than Wicca.

Noo no no no, not scientology. Look at what it did to Tom Cruise.
So many other, better options than batshitcrazyology scientology.

Btw, Welcome Pencils. :-)

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pencils

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 03:08:04 PM »

Scientology as a religion.  Upon reading what you put, especially about how much you love science, I think you would be more suited to that than Wicca.

Too structured for me.

Before I had any idea what Wicca was my thought was to make myself into a (married!) monk of sorts, and devote my spiritual self to science and sustainability, especially agriculture.  I am a civil engineer by profession.
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aloe

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 03:08:18 PM »

Noo no no no, not scientology. Look at what it did to Tom Cruise.
So many other, better options than batshitcrazyology scientology.

Btw, Welcome Pencils. :-)



 ;D
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Snake-Man

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2011, 03:18:59 PM »

Too structured for me.

Before I had any idea what Wicca was my thought was to make myself into a (married!) monk of sorts, and devote my spiritual self to science and sustainability, especially agriculture.  I am a civil engineer by profession.

Anybody else think of John Kramer when reading this??

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Rhea Li

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Re: My Christianity Collapses, I Realize I'm . . . What?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2011, 03:22:52 PM »

I don't even know who that is...*blink blink*
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