Saturday, August 01, 2015

By far the most pernicious piece of baggage collected from my decades as a religious fundamentalist was a form of cynicism that saw everything in exclusionary terms. Anything new or unfamiliar was to be distrusted. A continuous subconscious evaluation took place of what fell inside the perimeter of orthodoxy and what belonged outside in the fallen and doomed world, which would burn soon enough. It made for a stifling and insular and monochromatic life of binaries, preoccupied with sin management and purity maintenance and fear of divine retribution. This bleak worldview was instilled and reinforced via sermon and song and study and social pressure until it permeated my being; like a fish who can't see the water because it is immersed in the water. Ironically, the toxins were delivered in the name of the one who said "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." 

The healing and deprogramming from that way of being was slow and gradual, but steady once I removed myself from environments which reinforced it. Still, the ghosts reappear every now and then, momentarily obscuring my vision with their dingy translucence and familiar calls. But I see through them now and it takes less than a moment to consider how much happier and at peace I am--with myself, with God, with all the other beloved occupants in this big and beautiful and blessed and borderless world.



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