Part of the series God: From Magic to Motivation
Evid3nc3 has documented a deeply personal spiritual journey on youtube. He also has a blog site where the conversation can get pretty intense.
If you haven’t yet take the time, I would urge you to explore his videos. He has put so much effort and time into his series hoping to connect in particular with Christians. Although he is no longer religious, he wanted to demonstrate his sincerity through the videos, and express just how deep his beliefs once were. His journey could be useful for others, too.
Since my main interest is in nontheistic gods, I thought I would use the chapter from Evid3nce’s story entitled Nontheistic Gods.
On reading the story Jonathan Livingston Seagull (I particularly like some of his wording in his narration):
“… My mind mapped my own experiences and the entities in my own life to the stories’ symbols…”
“… The church [at the time] was still the only organization through which I felt I could dependably further my philosophical identity and the philosophical identities of other people, despite being an atheist…”
“… I’d learned my lesson with Theism, and I did not cling to any of these hypotheses too strongly…”
(This particular video doesn’t directly address my personal interest in nontheistic gods – the psychological process of embodying personal (or social) motivations, then granting them authority or agency, and then wrestling with them. But, that’s the story I’m working on, and it isn’t Evid3nc3′s story.)
Inspired by the three quotes above, I have three questions for you readers. You don’t have to answer all three, but please play with them.
1. Have you ever read a story that you felt ‘mapped out’ your own personal experiences or situations symbolically in the way that Evid3nc3 describes? What was the story? Do you still feel the same way?
2. At the time, Evid3nc3 felt his personal identity was wrapped up in the group he was a part of. In a sense, they defined who he was, and he didn’t have any alternatives to go to. Is this still the case for de-converting members? Are there other places to go, groups to be a part of?
3. Evid3nc3 was able to explore ideas without adopting them as his truth. It sounds like he wants to sing, “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Once the spell of a defining story is broken, do you think such a level of trust could ever be adopted again? And could the act of breaking the spell ever be a part of the stories we live by? (yes, I’m trying to link ideas to a past post)