Abandoning Spirituality

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Over the past few years, I’ve become averse to spirituality beyond what I learned in my former faith. Generic mystical claims – beliefs ranging from the thin veneer of relation to reality, all the way to grandiose beliefs about the reality of reality itself – are things which have made me uncomfortable. Not because I think there is something to them. Rather, because they sound like elaborations on things which I have discovered were lies.

I know I risk a good amount of condemnation from most people when I say this. My thoughts on the subject are antagonistic to even the smallest amount of spiritual belief. Much of this is because I cannot justify to myself why, if I was presented with two mutually exclusive spiritual claims, one should be held above the other. Such conflict is easily avoided by nodding and changing the subject.

To me, spirituality feels like standing over a dangerous cliff. There is an angry wind about it, and it is difficult to tell which way that wind will send a person once a leap is made. No guarantee can get made that once a belief is held that it will always be the same belief held into perpetuity. Nature has this way of changing things. Thoughts are not immune to this inexorable force.

I fear for people who take the leap. I fear the ledge. I fear the potential violence that can follow.

The worst thing is that I have nothing to offer in its place. People have this feeling that pulls them a certain way, and they have to call it something. It can’t be described, or quantified, or measured. So people talk about it without having a way to truly talk about it. I cannot know what people are thinking, so I can’t offer a different perspective other than it feels wrong.

And yes, people can live a fulfilling life hand in hand with spiritual beliefs. I do not have so much hubris as to try to claim to know the sum total of human experience. But, like an uncontrolled fall, spirituality puts a person at the whim of external forces. One can hope for a peaceful descent, but that peaceful descent cannot be promised.