This was never meant to be a manifesto or really anything of real importance. I saw someone post on Reddit and thought I’d do the same here.
I attended private Catholic school from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Around seventh or eighth grade, I started entertaining the idea that all the things they were forcing down our throats was bullshit. I told my mother, which resulted in several fights, warnings not to tell my grandmother, disappointment, and finally “you’ll go to church every Sunday until you’re 16.” I asked if I could please go to a different school–stop paying all this money–but she touted “discipline,” “better education,” and “social image.” She asked if I could stand just going and telling them what they wanted to hear for the next 4 more years. She tried to tell me I’d never survive in public school. She was never even particularly that religious, but her mother was still a “fear of God” type lady who’d pray for you every night and Gramma was deeply embedded in our daily lives.
I’ve been involved in three sacraments; baptism, first communion, and confirmation. My mother begged me to be confirmed in case I wanted to be married in a church. I told her this wouldn’t be an issue and explained how being forced into it was really missing the point, but I ended up doing it anyway–for Gramma. (I ended up getting married in Vegas, so I was right.)
Fear of mothers, fear of God, fear of image, fear of nothingness.
Now I’m agnostic and reading every religious text, thinking I have to fill a hole, find a new religion, a new outlook, a new set of beliefs.
I went to college for Psychology, a Science. I believe in Science. I believe in myself as my god. I believe in biology. I believe that religion and an afterlife is a way to appease those who can’t handle the idea that we just die and there’s nothing else. We don’t see our family or friends who’ve gone before us. That’s all. For some reason, we have to trick ourselves into treating each other well with the promise of some reward–it can’t be just because.
I would love love LOVE if there were ghosts and I wish I had a guardian angel–that would kick ass. I hope I am wrong and there’s a heaven and a hell or something, but I just know there’s not.
I watched my Gramma die. I felt her go. The human body shuts down, with hearing going last, while the brain releases massive amounts of DMT. The chemical being released into the brain may make it seem like an eternity or a reincarnation or an afterlife with stored memories of loved ones and subconscious ramblings, but it’s all in your head.
I don’t feel I need to mention all the bad things that happen to people in the world. Or why two of my old friends killed themselves because of their own traumatic sadnesses. Who would do these things to people? This is not a test; it’s torture.
So I made up my own set of beliefs taking only the good parts found in every religion (which all start to sound very similar). I do believe in the soul, but that it’s more of a personality, self-actualized part of yourself, your moral compass, your core beliefs. I can get into a religious debate with you–I have the knowledge and the experience–I’d just really rather not make you look like an asshole. I’ll be good and nice to people and not rape babies or eat puppies AND it’s not because someone specifically told me to. It’s because I’m not a fucking monster and I have common sense and a natural empathy for my fellow man. I just no longer need a set of rules to make me behave.
I’m an adult now.
I do still expect Christmas presents though–I don’t give a shit.