Monday, February 08, 2010

And Now to the Point

In my time hiding in my head I've found a lot of interesting relics floating around. Some become stories, others become keys to my story.

Before now, I've spent a lot of time figuring me out, routing a depressive state, establishing my footing as a mother and finding my delights. When I came to that road, I noticed there were straggling bits of me on the shoulders. Things like the absence of animals makes me just a little bit nutty, or knowing that my love of food borders on addiction. Not addiction for eating though, addiction for flavor. I just want one more bite of that spaghetti that turned out absolutely perfect this time. But this last bit I found, looms a bit more significant.

Let me start by giving you some back story. (Note, if this were a novel, I'd be showing not telling. But this is more memoir, so minus the lying that seems to be the mode of the day, I'll just tell what I need to say). In fact, I'll be short, two sentences short. I was raised religious believing in eternal life after death. I am now an atheist.

These two facts have largely been easy to reconcile given my disgust with organized religion and belief in science. However, I fixate on the fact that I will go away and cease to exist. It bugs me. I want it differently. Like any petulant child, I want my cake and eat it too. I want to remain in some form to watch my grandchildren, their children and all the subsequent children and family that stem from my children. I want to watch the world go on and see what happens.

Intellectually, I can grasp the idea of non-existence. I can accept it. But emotionally, no way. My heart clings like a desperate fish fighting the current to stay in the river. I just don't want to be swept out to sea. So I find myself on a journey of sorts, seeking answers.

To that end, I recently listened to an interview of Harold S. Kushner about his book Conquering Fear. And I was intrigued. So I'm planning to read his book. And hopefully others to help myself again find footing where the empty space gives way to a chasm in my road.

Here I am, an atheist seeking answers for life after death. Paradox I.


meno said...

It is the human paradox, and i believe the reason religion was invented, because we WANT it to be true.

I wish magic was in the world and that justice always won and that someday we silly humans will stop being so damned destructive of each other and the environment.

That doesn't mean it will ever happen, but i so want it to.

jaded said...

Desiring answers for the unanswered, means your inquisitive, and wanting more, means you're enjoying the journey.

It's okay to want more and seek meaning, just as long as you don't squander the present.

De said...

I'm not an atheist but I don't believe in a conscios life after death either.

Maggie said...

Meno, yup that sums me up.

Jaded, yes this not squandering the present I see as a vicarious balance with the seeking.

De, see I mentally don't believe in life after death but I emotionally want to believe it. So I seek the resolution within myself I guess.

gypsy said...

Maggie, I am in your boat precisely and was trying to explain this to my husband just the other day. I am PARALYZED by the idea (which pops into my head at the most inopportune moments) that one day I will be dead. Caput. That's it. no more me. No more consciousness. Nada. I HATE IT. But it won't make me adopt a religion, just to fake my way into feeling better. Because that would be a waste of the time that I DO have. Which is limited, and shall not be wasted on nonsense.