In retrospect it’s always fun to see how things have changed. All things. I guess that’s also why people write their biographies. Or not.
Currently as I look back I can divide my life in worldview aspect into 3 parts:
- Post-Christian (now)
Pre-Christian period was from birth till 2001, when I joined a church and became a devout christian. Then I was doing what a regular guys do. Going to school, working, dealing with hobbies etc. During that period I didn’t think much about the life in general – meaning of if, why’s, how’s etc. It wasn’t until few years before joining the church that I became interested in yoga philosophy, reading Carlos Castaneda books, stuff about astral projection etc. I guess I can call that period ‘becoming interested’.
Christian period. I guess the prior learning about different spiritual stuff made me more receptive and when the time was right I was invited to church. About that period now I can say that I had kinda elitist attitude about people who were not in a church. I really believed that I had found the truth, light and life and everyone who didn’t subscribe to the same worldview was… well… it was stupid _not_ to believe in what I did. And everyone who wasn’t in the saved flock was not going to be saved. I met many great people in the church and still interact with many. And from my side I can say there are no hard feelings about anyone in the church. I still think people in the church (at least in that particular one where I was) act in what they believe is the best way. I have written about the leaving process before, so I won’t do it again. I think I left also when the time was right. Now I wish it were a little earlier, but what’s done is done
Post-Christian period, the now. I can say that I am truly happy that I did leave the church. If you’re inside of something and totally immersed in it, it’s hard to see the world in a different way. Not being in any certain movement gives me the freedom to explore the things that were not really well looked at in a church. When there is a problem that is not really well explained by Bible, or any other religious book/movement that I might happen to be in, then I don’t have to force myself to jump through the hoops and do all the needed mental gymnastics to find a solution for the problem. I can look at other explanations and find solutions from other people than the apologists of that particular movement.
For example the concept of hell / eternal damnation / burning in a lake of fire / perishing of a soul. Try as you may, but there isn’t a decent explanation of why an all loving god would allow such thing, or create the hell in the first place. Follow me or die thing. Seems kind of heartless and cruel, doesn’t it?
But now, when I don’t have to explain everything by the Bible, I honestly think this is bollocks :). Same thing for the salvation / going to heaven thing. I think there isn’t anything I need to be saved from, but thanks for offering anyway.
I like what Thomas Campbell, the author of ‘My big TOE‘, said in one of his lectures: “There are many perceptions of objective reality”. Basically all religions, schools of thought, philosophies ‘get’ only a part of the reality as it is. Christianity is only partly right, just as atheism, agnosticism, Hinduism etc. So when you’re in one of these schools, you just can’t understand the whole reality as it is. You need to be free of all this stuff to actually move towards understanding the world as it is.
So as of now I see very-very little chance to become a part of any religious movement of whatsoever. You can always invite, just as I can always decline :).
The more time I spend being as freethinker vs. religious guy, the happier I am. When I was a Christian I prided myself of knowing the answers to all those ‘hard’ questions of life. Is there a God? Why are we here? How we came to be? On and on.
Then came the hard questions. Is there hell? Why is there hell? If God is all powerful, then why do illogical things happen. Why was it OK for Old Testament guys to kill, rape and loot all they wanted? Sure, as a Christian you can throw at me several hundred books and the same amount of answers to all those questions.
But, now listen carefully. The thing is – these answers are good and satisfactory only as long as you are a Christian. To non-christian these are pure nonsense and playing mental games to figure out why you still possess the truth monopoly, why still your way is the right one.
Maybe I don’t need God to kill himself and then resurrect himself on 3rd day 2000 years ago, so that I can be saved from my horrid sins. Maybe sin is just human concept. Maybe God is just human concept.
Try as we may, we can’t explain all things and to me God is not an answer to those either.
I like unknown.
You should try it too.
“How to become happy?”
That was the question one US student asked famous Russian movie director A. Tarkovski.
In todays western culture context it seems very natural and logical question. After all everybody is talking about it. Read this book, if you apply these methods you’ll become happy, relaxed and whatnot. Come to our church, it’ll make you peaceful, happy and give your life a new meaning. Do this, do that, go there… then you’ll be happy-happy.
What was Tarkovsi’s response? First of all he didn’t understand at all what the guy meant. “What does he mean how to be happy? What does that guy want from me? You came into this life to do what you were meant to do, with a specific purpose. You do it. Whether happiness comes or not, is actually not an issue.”
What a strange and fascinating view to life. Very different to what I take for granted, what has been my social conditioning. I/we am/are always on a lookout for something… Something that makes is happy, content, that makes our life bearable, live-able. If I achieve this goal, if I get this thing, if I get a house, a car, a wife, a baby etc. etc, well then I’ll be content, then I’ll be happy. This is just a illusion. I have not lived on this Earth for very long time, but I’ve seen it already. There’s no need to chase some wild goals.
There’s no need to look very far, everything we need to live a fulfilling life we already possess. We don’t need any organizations or groups or books to tell us how to live. You know it already. Maybe some directions, yes. Some guidelines, definitely. But for Pete’s sake, don’t let anybody tell you that if you don’t do this or that, you’ll go to hell. This is just nonsense.
End of rant.
But on a brighter side – I decided to make a serious change in my life. Exchange my office job for something more interesting. I decided to become a male stripper.
Kiss Hank’s Ass. This piece was actually something I read during my ‘doubting time’ when I was still a good church-going Christian. Makes you think, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, then I think it should.
It is so good to be free. It is so good to live without thinking all the time whether my actions conform to some dogma or not. It’s good to know that there is no hell I need to be saved from. It’s good to choose what I believe and what not.
I think this kind of exercise of free will is good for absolutely everybody. Try it.
Author spent quite some time compiling this list and I think it’s quite good:
This is just for information for those who don’t know already. Some time ago I started a new blog about my progress of becoming a blacksmith. Although now it looks more like I’m becoming an engraver/knife maker.
Anyway, the ‘new’ blog is ‘Journey From Programmer to Blacksmith‘
16th of March at 11:36 o’clock is kind of historical moment for me. At that time I ‘officially’ announced that I’m no longer a programmer professionally. What becomes of me I don’t know yet, but decision is made and bridges burned, only way is forward, options are unlimited, possibilities endless. Beware exciting times ahead!
This photo is interesting in many ways. It was made in 1996. The girl on the backseat it my brothers girl-friend at the time, I’m the driver, of course. But the reason why I added this photo is really the motorcycle. It’s IZH-56, which belonged to my grandfather, then to my father, then to my brother and I took it over around 11-13 years ago. So it has quite an history. When I was in technical school I befriended with a guy who was also a fan of bikes (and we both liked trance music). I guess it was around 1998 when he and some of his friends gave this motorcycle a face lift. Painted it over, repaired some things etc. This picture is made before the restoration, just for your information. But at the time this bike still wasn’t completed fully, so I couldn’t register it and drive officially. Few days ago I thought I’d like to restore it fully, bring it back to life, so to speak, but for that I need new parts. Next logical step was to call my friend and ask his help. It would be nice to talk to him anyway, because it’s been quite a few years since we met last time. Now, here comes the fun part. When he called me back he said he does have some parts for this bike, but he’s currently in Dubai, working for Harley Davidson. Now this was real surprise for me. But then again, not really that big. He has always been very-very big fan of motorcycles and had loads of energy. So what happens when you concentrate lots of energy into one direction? You get great results. He drives 2006 year Harley Davidson and buys a Corvette for birthday, I drive loaned car and buy 2 books for my birthday. Quite a difference, but I believe this all comes down to what you appreciate in life. I enjoy my life very much, thank you, and don’t need much for happiness. But one motorcycle has always been part of my dreams…