Ever since I had admitted to myself that I'm an atheist my mind has been a whirlwind. Memories,
mini-epiphanies (as I call them) ,  concerns that I never thought I'd have and so much more floods my mind any spare moment I have to let my mind wander. I'll wake with a random thought popping in my head. Sometimes the thoughts are exciting and wonderful, sometimes they're depressing, some kind of scary but I can't help love every moment of it. When I was still in the phase of not wanting to admit being atheist yet I felt like I was being pulled towards atheist literature, videos, radio and TV. My mind was not functioning as much. I was almost mentally lethargic. I blamed it on not getting enough stimulus. But it seems that when I admitted to myself that I was an atheist it was like a wave of thoughts hit and I started seeing things in a whole different perspective.

I have heard about the wonderful feeling one can get after admitting it to themself. I was wondering if anyone went through something similar to what I am. I know everyone is a bit different but I'm curious



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Your experience is very common and much like my own. It is extremely liberating to recognize that we are responsible for our own lives. For our entire religious lives, we have had the feeling of someone watching our every move and judging us. It is not unlike believing there is a monster under your bed as a child. One day you realize, there is no monster under the bed, or in the closet or anywhere else. It is just your imagination. You sleep much better, with no fear of bed and closet monsters. Recognizing that there is no sky monster watching you and waiting to send you to hell, is an even bigger relief. Enjoy your new emotional and psychological freedom. Knowing you are the only one responsible for you life will make a lot of things more enjoyable and decisions less complicated. You don't have to ask "what would Jesus do" anymore. You can ask, what is the right thing for me and those I care about. Religion ties up a lot of our energy in the form of worry, shame and guilt. Shedding religion allows for a huge release of emotional and creative energy.

Enjoy your epiphanies.
Darrel Ray, founder of Recovering from Religion and author of The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture
Thanx
Darrel, what does Hitchens call it? Divine invigilation? Do holy people believe God observes them in the bathroom? To my mind, that makes God a peeping Tom.
I was a closet atheist from 1976 to early 2010. Once I found that my sons were both atheists, I came out of the closet. Since then, I have been reading voraciously and posting frequently for my 1100 atheist Facebook friends. I now finally feel that I am not confused any more. I was so conflicted in my secret atheist life that I could not think straight. Now I feel that I think more clearly. I am not so naive. I can detect when someone is telling a lie more easily. I feel more intelligent.
Yes, you very likely are using your intelligence more efficiently. Infection with a god virus drains emotion and intelligence from the victim. Its hard to see reality when so much of your life is dominated by an imaginary friend. I think Richard is right - it is called Divine invigilation. How do you look forward, when you are always looking over your shoulder? Welcome the the reality based world of Atheist Nexus.
BTW, I loved your book The God Virus. It gave me a very usable model with which to understand religion. I use the analogy of the virus in my postings frequently.
Right on, Rudy. Enjoy life and have fun. Religion perverts and diverts the purpose of life. I always liked the line of Niels Bohr. (Paraphrased) "The meaning of life is that it's meaningless." Look up at the stars in the night. What meaning can it have? It just is.

Here's a neat question for the faithful: Why did it take four billion years for intelligence to evolve on the planet?

Thanks,Darrel. I still use your line about the pope telling starving, impoverished Africans "they are spiritual advanced." What a con job!
I became an atheist about 5 or 6 years ago, but I am just now being open about it.
At first I was a little bit afraid; what if hell was real? But the more I researched it, the more religion didn't make sense. It's very freeing knowing I can make love to my boyfriend without having a ring on my finger, and not go to hell when I die.
yes, i had the same thing happen to me when i admitted i was an alchoholic. lol

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