PDA

View Full Version : Have you changed your belief system 3 or more times? Post here!


John DiFool
05-08-2010, 03:58 PM
We've had a virtual overload of threads, past and present, where people get to describe how they have become atheists, or (more rarely) how after much doubting they came to belief/knowledge of a higher/inner power. I'm interested in those of you who did such radical paradigm shifts at least twice (meaning 3+ different metaphysical belief systems). [Please disregard the exact wordings here, instead minding the spirit of the inquiry]

For example, I went from growing up Catholic, doing the whole 1st Communion and then Confirmation thing, almost immediately followed by agnosticism (and a concomitant depressive episode), to where I am now, a quasi-Taoist/Buddhist.

I know I can't be the only one here... Feel free to describe other people you know who have also done it.

figure9
05-08-2010, 05:08 PM
First - Strict Catholic.
Second - Belief that each religion held a small piece of "The Truth", but no one religion had the entire truth.
Third - Atheist.

emcee2k
05-08-2010, 05:15 PM
First - Strict Catholic.
Second - Belief that each religion held a small piece of "The Truth", but no one religion had the entire truth.
Third - Atheist.

It seems like step two here is a common transitional phase.

Weedy
05-08-2010, 07:12 PM
I was raised Catholic but it never made sense to me. I was a god-hating theist in my teens. In my twenties, I discovered the whole New Age movement, and added many bits and pieces of that to my thinking. The amount of BS eventually turned me away but from there I discovered Buddhism. Now I'm a not very devout Western Zen Buddhist. I like Zen, because it is both mystical and rigorous.

AHunter3
05-08-2010, 07:19 PM
Phase I (Childhood): Thought of myself as Christian but thought that Christians considered it to be absolutely appalling that Jesus had been crucified. Did not understand the whole life after death or trinity thing but underestimated the importance attributed to it by Christians in general.

Phase II (Adolescence / Early Adulthood): Agnostic in general, with a strong overlay of "no, THAT'S not it" towards Christianity once I had a better sense of what is considered central to Christianity

Phase III: Got my own answers / my own religion (divine revelation direct from God, the whole nine yards).

Zsofia
05-08-2010, 10:10 PM
I was raised Catholic but it never made sense to me. I was a god-hating theist in my teens. In my twenties, I discovered the whole New Age movement, and added many bits and pieces of that to my thinking. The amount of BS eventually turned me away but from there I discovered Buddhism. Now I'm a not very devout Western Zen Buddhist. I like Zen, because it is both mystical and rigorous.
Would you mind me hijacking a little bit and ask in what way is Zen both mystical and rigorous? As opposed to regular old "um, I'm a Buddhist" Buddhism? I hit the Wikipedia page but it has the serious drawbacks of all those Wiki pages on similar subjects - it won't just give me the skinny.

Spice Weasel
05-08-2010, 10:20 PM
Early childhood -- nebulous and undefined belief in ''God''
6th grade -- ''born again'' Pentecostal Christian, obsessed probably to the point of pathology
9th grade -- moderate Baptist
12th grade -- major crisis of faith
freshman year of college -- still in crisis -- the best way to explain where I was in terms of my spiritual life would be ''straying through an infinite nothing'' to borrow Nietzsche's turn of phrase.
sophomore year of college -- Zen Buddhist hoping to reclaim faith in some higher power

Now, at age 27, still a Buddhist, and this is the first year I've been able to definitively describe myself as an atheist

Would you mind me hijacking a little bit and ask in what way is Zen both mystical and rigorous?
Zen is definitely rigorous assuming you're practicing daily sitting meditation, it is highly ritualized and often boring and sometimes painful; however, I wouldn't call it mystical, not by a long shot. I would argue that Zen is the opposite of mystical -- it reduces everything to direct experience, no higher meaning, just what is.

On the other hand, if you can get into those spaces, those little glimpses of real reality, not the narrative reality we're always placating and torturing ourselves with, but the direct experience of the thing in all its unified and forever-changing glory, well, it can be quite trippy. I guess some people might describe it as mystical; I prefer to think of it as a radical paradigm shift.

KRC
05-08-2010, 11:42 PM
Came from respecible Protestant parents who were quite lapsed. They did send me to a Presbyterian Sunday School, where we did strange things like pretending we were zealots and we needed to use kitchen knives to take out the teachers, who were Romans.

During my teen years I lost interest in any form of Christianity. This was during the rise of the Moral Majority and I guess I got sick of being told I'd become a Satan Worshipper and burn forever because I listened to Led Zeppelin. I became an atheist.

A short time later I had a black out and all I can remember was that the Ozzy Osbourne song "Mr. Crowley" was on the radio and a broken alarm clock was involved. The blackout was not caused by drugs or alcohol but the end result was that I thought there was some sort of higher power. This was followed in Latin class by me wondering "What is God, really?" and then everything going dark and me feeling like I was about to be overwhelmed by some awesome power that would destroy me. I snapped out of it just in time.

Which all vaguely translates into I think there might be something up there but at this point I don't care to meet it, and yes, it's possible I need to talk to a neurologist.