Despite being no longer Christian, I eventually got the point of just allowing people to believe what they want. Once the zeal of this new knowledge got kind of old. I realized that winning a debate did not necessarily win people over or make them question their beliefs.
One weird thing happened to me once though while I was agnostic and studying occult and psychology. I took my family to a Pentecostal church for a friend’s son’s Christening. That day, they decided to do the communion. I had done communion dozens if not hundreds of times in my life and was debating on doing it just because “when in Rome”…
As we stood there and they began telling the story of the it’s significance, I began to get extremely light headed and started sweating like a slave. I had heard this story many times and read it in the bible, so it was nothing new. But this time, I started feeling really hot. I was holding my son as we were all standing and he wanted to see. I had to put him down. The idea of drinking it (even though I knew it was just grape juice) made me nauseaus. My heart started beating fast and I felt like I had to pass out. In fact, I thought I was going to pass out and had to excuse myself to the restroom. Traditionally, you don’t leave the room at that time, even if you don’t participate, but I had leave because I felt myself beginning to lose consciousness. I sat down on the toilet and it took me a few minutes to recover.
Of course I googled it when I got home and couldn’t find any explanation other than people passing out due to a sudden change of blood pressure from standing for so long. I was holding my 4 year old son, but I was also in the best shape of my life at the time. I still can’t explain it to this day. I wanted to go back to church to see if it happened again, but never did. I will say though, that last year, another opportunity arose for me to take communion and I didn’t feel as sick even though I decided not to take it. But a few months ago, after deciding to return to the faith, it didn’t affect me, even though I feared that it might. There was something about drinking the “blood” of Jesus that made me feel very sick. I still can’t explain it. Even though I knew it was just juice, something just made me feel weird.
I felt that way one other time, after I decided to come back to the faith. This was while listening to a Paloumaembe (offshoot of Vodun) ritual on a youtube video. They were speaking Spanish, but there was something about the drum pattern and the chanting that made me feel sick on the inside. Though not as bad as the 1st communion incident, it could have easily gotten that bad if I didn’t turn it off.
I didn’t come back to the faith for a few years after the church incident. 1 other thing stands out to me about that time. I was trying to learn how to self hypnotize myself into an orgasm because sex was getting less frequent with my wife. Whenever i’d put myself into a trance and begin visualizing. She’d begin to get very restless and start moving around in her sleep. It almost seemed to happen on queue. I thought I was coincidence at first, but the more I did it, there seemed to be some sort of connection to me doing it and her becoming restless. I wasn’t praying to God at the time and I wonder if I did something as she isn’t saved yet. Did I open her up to be attacked be a spirit or something? Maybe that’s why she started acting so evil a few months later.
Either way, there’s something about tragedy that causes you to come running back to God. They say that there are no atheists in foxholes. Dunno how true that is. I didn’t immediately start back praying after Dday. I just didn’t believe enough.
Ironically one of the things that got me believing again was Pickup. I was learning game and about the concept of “inner game”. It parallels the idea of biblical faith so closely. It essentially says that what you “believe” about yourself will manifest itself into your interactions with women. It states that belief comes first and manifestation comes later. Basically failure is losing confidence. In the bible, it says in Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of what you hope for, the evidence of things unseen. I’ll write an article explaining it in more detail. Basically though, this faith is being applied to yourself as opposed to God.
Another thing that got me to return is the idea of reality vs Actuality. I wrote about it in another post. It basically says that Reality is only our interpretation of Actuality. It is colored by our beliefs and we can only approximate Actuality. Our view of it is skewed by our beliefs so we cannot accurately say what is the “real” nature or what isn’t. We’re are stuck in subjectivity and cannot get out of it. Because of that fact, we are somewhat free (or cursed) depending on how you look at it, to shape our reality through our beliefs… at least more free than we think.
The final thing for me is that true love is similar to faith in God. It is a choice. We are compelled to believe things because they seem true to us. This is similar to being in love vs true love. Being in love compels us to do nice things for others. We don’t really choose who we fall in love with. We do choose who we stand in love with though. It’s why it’s important to guard your heart, especially while married.
Being in love is a physiological response to a chemical condition. It compels people to come together for mating. It is biology and genetics. It encourages us to get along and accept a person for long enough to reproduce and raise kids old enough to survive physically. It does feel good, but under it’s influence, we don’t really have the choice of whether or not we love that person. This is why people who can be totally incompatible with one another can still “fall in love.” People who are “in love” are drawn to one another as by some force and will do whatever to be with one another.
Being in love is an addiction and it explains how later, once the chemicals wear off, people who were once so in love, begin to hate or become apathetic to each other. They expect for the “in love feeling” to always last without putting in any work. And when it doesn’t they feel that they’ve grown apart or things just aren’t working. In this model, the feeling comes first, the action follows. Just as In science, the evidence (the feeling) comes first, the belief (actions) follows.
Standing in love is a choice. The romantic chemicals no longer compel you to see that person in a glowing light. You see them for who they really are. The highs you once experienced are no longer as high. You no longer feel as motivated to look out for “them first.” Naturally, you want to move on and fulfill your biological desire for gene diversification.
But you can choose to Love that person. That is, show love first, even if you aren’t feeling it at the moment. You choose to see the good in that person even though the bad is shining at the moment. You choose to give even if you don’t want to. Once you begin to invest and choose to love, you will begin to accept it and feel “in love” again. But you cannot rely on autopilot. You have to make the choice to act and desire to feel it. You will, and I think that it is an exercise on how we can take control to shape our reality. Staying committed to our vows is the way through and I believe that if done correctly, the satisfaction of making to that level is far more satisfying than the temporary but intense “In love” feelings.
True love is a choice. Being in love isn’t. Standing in love requires action before feelings. While being in love your feelings compel you to action. I see it the same as with Faith. I choose to believe in God, not because I’m compelled to from science or History. But because I choose to. And now that I choose to, I see the evidence all around me. I feel the Love of Christ Jesus and it’s important to me. I now know that I can never debate an atheist using logic because it just won’t work. I know it sounds ridiculous, and I get it, I was once there.
Understanding the significance of Jesus as a concept might help, but without the physical evidence, I don’t know if they even care enough to really think about it. But they have to conclude that choosing to believe in God is worth it. I can’t make that choice for them. They want to be compelled to believe in God and I think He wants us to choose it before we see the evidence.
Just as standing in love dictates choosing it first(act) and then you’ll see (feel) the evidence. In both Christianity and True Love, you walk by faith and not by sight. But you will eventually “see” the light.
This is why when it comes to marriage, “following your heart” is a horrible idea that destroys families and breaks apart homes. Maybe I’ll write post detailing that later. I just wish my wife understood that.