I can't seem to stop spewing. I had a lovely day with a co-worker who is a friend, and a christian in a broad sense3, as she is not of any denomination, and I don't think she's actually read the bible (buy-bull) cover to cover, and she also hols some weird ideas about karma and destiny.
She knows where I stand on things. We agree to disagree, for the most part, but we are becoming closer, and I do call her my friend.
I like to say we are of the same age, even though she has a couple of decades on me (I'm 46) but neither of us look or act what I suppose society expects of women our ages.
It's an angsty time for women of our years, what with women's worth still being measured in your looks, how fat/slim you are, who you're married to, your children/grandchildren, and lastly what you're doing with your life.
She lives alone, and I did, until last Feburary. We like living alone; I sometimes miss it, even though I do love my man.
Pam (not her real name) is driving, and we are talking real heart-to-heart about our lives. she feels that she has a Destiny, that she is meant for greater things, and i can relate, because I thought the same about myself, but now i know the only destiny you get is the one you create, and that can get fucked too. She thinks she's earned bad Karma - that her fascination with the plight of the jews in the Holocaust might stem from a past life as a Nazi, not one suffering in the camps.
I am sitting in the passenger seat, and I am so dismayed and angry that this kind of thinking is poisoning my friend. I did an assload of past life regressions, and they tend to be very convincing, because our brains want to make us happy (for lack of better terminology - I am sure someone on Pharangyla can spell it out better).
I want to shake her, I really do, because she is a good person without the jesus crap, without the basic misunderstanding of karma, without the guilt (and she isn't even catholic!) without all the bullshit her so-called 'comforting' beliefs are piling on her.
"Your were born, and you are here. So Happy Birthday." Laurie Anderson (to my best recollection).
She knows I am non theist (and the more I use that phrase the more I like it) and she keeps asking me stuff; "So you don't think there is an afterlife?" "You don't think you were made for a particular future?"
And more. Yes, I wanted to be special. I had magical thinking (in the psychiatric sense) really bad. I thought I would be a Media Witch (TM) or a rock star - pity I can't play or sing for shit, but I trusted the universe, and it gave me exactly what I put in.
I say it over and over - it's the hardest thing to let go of, the feeling that an imaginary friend loves you for what you are. That christian bumpersticker, "I'm not perfect, just saved". No jerk, you're not perfect, which is obvious, because you just cut me off, and you're not saved - how 'bout that?
Pam asked me about the afterlife. Once I would have said I would go to the summerland, and learn from the gods there, then be reborn into earthly life, until i didn't need to do the wheel anymore, and i had the hubris to think that this was my last life, and I would go into bliss when I died. typical nerdy response from someone (me) who doesn't fit in with most of society and my only insulation from a cold world I don't fit into is that I am somehow BETTER. Solace for an outsider, and Pam is feeling it hard.
It's a nice thought, that this is my 'shit life' and I will die and go somewhere good where I will finally be loved and appreciated.
My particular brand of existentialism gives me the only option of feeding the earth with my remains, or science, because they will have a field day of 'what-not-to-do-to-your-body' for their students. I think Pam is almost there. She is feeling cheated by the universe, and almost ready to realise that shit happens, whether you're good or bad, and that no good deed goes punished or rewarded, and assholes can get rich and suffer no consequences, and that there is no fate nor destiny.
We were both meant for great things, but neither of us knew what we wanted to be when we grew up, and that we're still standing is a damn good achievement in my eyes.
I'm not really into converting people, but I think Pam would be a happier person without the weight of her god and her woo on her shoulders, and I will be happy to help her lose that sack of bricks she is carrying.