In its way at least this is a rather funny true story. And I am thinking that some people anyway will enjoy this. Tho it isn't illuminating of any point or idea or anything.

All thru grade school I was raised Baptist. A big deal w Baptists is getting saved. As I understand Catholics, they become one of gods own upon being Baptized as babies. With Baptists tho, one has to actively make a conscious decision to "ask Jesus into ones heart". Another fairly big deal w Baptists is "being filled w the holy spirit."

I never have read any huge section of the bible other than maybe half of Genesis. I did tho repeatedly read the entire 10 volume set of illustrated bible stories for children. In it was a color drawing of Jesus's apostles being filled w the holy spirit. In the bible this happened after Jesus's ascension after the Gospels in Acts. In these illustrated children's stories it was depicted as lava from the sky filling them all.

Now I understood that this did not happen literally as being filled w lava for real would kill anyone. I was almost equally certain tho, that an occurrence of a transformation in the bible depicted thusly would be something that would change me profoundly somehow anyway. If it was like being filled w lava then at the very least I should feel it or feel something somehow anyway.

So at a few points,at least, I did the getting saved thing, starting in Jr. Hi and on for a few years. I was completely earnest in this everytime. Yet never, not once, despite my complete and unquestioning belief in all of this did I ever feel changed at all in any way. In fact, I did not feel anything other than frustration over not feeling anything. I was certain this couldn't be gods fault. So I was sure it had to be mine. I must not have done something quite right.I asked our pastor, but he was not of much help. He simply assured me that since I had "been saved" that I had nothing to worry about.

I went on w this dilemma for some time, doing boy scouts, choir, sometimes visitation and prayer meeting, and all manner of activities our church offered.

Then one day while singing w the youth choir I felt it -definitly, not quite hot lava, but a definet warm glow. I did not smoke, drink, or even curse at the time, but I can now best describe my reaction as "Finally this god Shit is paying off. Fanfuckingtabulouse."

Quickly I reasoned that all along I had been doing the entire being saved by belief thing wrong. That I then had figured out how to do it right.And that the trick was belief coupled w unbridled enthusiasm. So I sang even more enthusiasticly. And my glow became even warmer and I was just sublimly happy.

Besides how my glow, enthusiasm, and singing had all come to grow together ever higher, I had also resolved what had for me up to that point been my lifes biggest mystery. For someone who experiences life largely as a problem to be solved rather than events to be experienced or opportunities to be siezed, believing one has solved a quandary like this is quite a pinnacle.

This all happened w/in only a few minutes and our choirs' song set soon enuf finished. I continued my ethusiasm, but I stopped singing, and immediately my warm glow began to diminish and soon after basicly vanish completely.

Again, then, I didnot curse, but today I describe my reaction as "What is this Shit? God is supposed to be fucking eternal. Why did it leave me? I have it all figured out. I am stupidly enthusiastic. And I believe.So where the hell did my holy spirit go?"

This didn't take but a few minutes either for me to figure out that instead of having any type of experience w any holy spirit or god or anything even at all remotely religious, that I had hyperventalated and that it had been quite a bit for my pure young Baptist bodily system.

After that I continued to be a Christian for quite a few more years before becoming a vague deist, then an agnostic, then an atheist quite a few years back, after I read Dawkins explain how it doesn't require 100% certainty that there is no god to be an atheist. I did tho, immediately after this experience of "experiencing god's holy spirit" start singing a lot louder.

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I gotta tell you straight, your line "For someone who experiences life largely as a problem to be solved rather than events to be experienced or opportunities to be siezed . . ." was the point of becoming aware of what was really going on. I'm gonna have to write it down and memorize it.

 

Another good one, which, because it is about linguistics, is maybe a bit hard to catch at first, is: "The failure of the self to coincide with itself is the root of the nature of language." (If you want to do the Vygotskian thought/language wrap-up, that's cool. It makes a nice segue to explaining to someone how the voice they thought was the Lord tellin' 'em what to do was really their subconscious/intuitive cognitive neurology kicking in.)

 

But you also explained something else: Why did I get so much joy out of playing jazz saxophone that I thought it was better than church? Hell, Jasper, it was 'cause I was hyperventilating. In a room full of pot heads! Great!

 

Bird lives!

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