Are You Ready for a Spiritual Awakening?

I have a granddaughter who has a very difficult time understanding/accepting that I no longer believe in the Christian god. She recently made the comment: “It really bothers me that you doubt him after raising your own children in a Christian home.” I suppose if I were her, it would be pretty hard for me to understand as well. Unfortunately, we live many miles apart so the opportunity to sit down and explain my many reasons is pretty much impossible.

I have often said to myself … if she would only read my book, a lot of her questions and concerns would be answered. But of course, she never will. Even though (as some Amazon reviewers have said), the book was not written to condemn or attack Christians, it does question many of the central doctrines of the Christian faith. And this is what raises the red flag.

Believers have been taught the same story for hundreds and hundreds of years by pastors, preachers, bishops, etc. who are simply repeating what they themselves have been taught by their pastors, preachers, bishops, etc., who have been taught by … and the cycle continues. To look beyond these teachings is discouraged, if not outright forbidden by some fundamentalist churches (it’s all from “Satan!”).

Yet many who have ventured beyond these restrictions have experienced a spiritual awakening. Not all turn away from the church, but many see their god in a new, and sometimes exciting, way. Others find that spirituality is not defined by attending church or following the teachings of a book written by people who lived in another time under vastly different circumstances. Still others begin to see life from a more “humanistic” perspective; that is, they believe humanity’s capacity for fulfillment comes through reason and scientific method rather than religion.

As for me, here is a quote from my book:

Once I opened my mental doorways and began thinking for myself instead of relying on the teachings of others, I began an exciting and rewarding personal journey with what I now call the “Universal Presence.”

In other words, my personal spiritual awakening resulted in a connection with something far beyond anything that we can know or comprehend.

An Indian philosopher (Jiddu Krishnamurti) once wrote: As long as you ask questions you are breaking through, but the moment you begin to accept, you are psychologically dead. So right through life don’t accept a thing, but inquire, investigate. 

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8 thoughts on “Are You Ready for a Spiritual Awakening?

  1. I’m sure conversations like that with your granddaughter are difficult. I feel very lucky that my wife and I went through our deconversion while our children were young. We briefly thought about continuing to go just to keep things good with our parents and siblings, but we decided it was more important to keep our kids from being indoctrinated. We worried what might happen if they grew up to believe it, even though we didn’t. Of course, that could still happen, but it will be their choice and not because they were raised in it.

    Here’s hoping you get to one day tell her your full story.

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  2. Great Post Nan! Lately when people ask me what I would call myself I sometimes tell them I am an atheist with spirituality, and then I get a “huh, I don’t see how that can be”. And I also know that some atheists don’t like this kind of language because they think it confuses what atheism means. But for me atheism simply means that I don’t believe in gods. I can see where the word “spiritual” can be confusing though because some people take it to mean “believing in spirit beings”, but the word really is used for so much more nowadays. Awe and wonder is very often described as spiritual. I also view my own desire to know and understand a deeper explanation to reality that does seem to be out of reach as a bit of spirituality. I don’t view this as proof of gods because I know that there are many others who don’t share my desires. I’m also aware that there may very well be deeper explanations that go beyond current understandings yet do not include gods. And of course my agnosticism allows even for the possibility of some kind of disembodied conscious beings that exist even though I don’t think it likely right now.

    I hope your granddaughter grows to be more understanding of your views as she learns more about life.

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  3. I think as long as you live your life true to yourself while being accepting of her choices that she will eventually evaluate why you chose a different path. When it starts with her own curiosity she will be much more likely to explore the “why” behind your choices, and probably at that time read your book in an attempt to understand you.
    I have told my children and grandchildren to follow their own intuition and inner guide to know what is true, and that merely adopting my opinion or that of any one else, including family and preachers, does them great injustice. Since they are like me in questioning crazy doctrines I think they will find their way.

    I like your description, “Universal Presence”. It is difficult to use the word God without be judged as being religious. Since it can apply to a Supernatural presence as well as a collective consciousness, I think I may want to borrow your description sometime.

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  4. I also like “Universal Presence.” I don’t wish to indoctrinate my children, either, although it started out that way. I think we all need to know why we believe what we believe.

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    • Hi Alice,

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I visited your blog and read a little bit of your story … and I’m definitely going back to read some more! You have a very down-to-earth way of writing that pulls the reader in.

      I totally agree that we need to know why we believe what we believe. In fact, at the beginning of my book, I have this quote: “If you’re going to put all your faith into something, you need to thoroughly examine it to make sure your faith is justified.” I wrote it down several years ago when I first started writing so I don’t know the author. But for me, it pretty much says it all.

      Hope you’ll stop by again.

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  5. You wrote that “spirituality is not defined by attending church or following the teachings of a book written by people who lived in another time under vastly different circumstances.”

    This very astute observation can be applied to the secular/political world as well. All one has to do is substitute the word “document” for “book,” where “document” refers to the Constitution of the United States. Those who interpret the U.S. Constitution in the strictest sense (e.g., Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Second Amendment fanatics, and probably most Republicans in Congress) can’t seem to accept it as something that was “written by people who lived in another time under vastly different circumstances.” Shouldn’t the Constitution be viewed as a “living, breathing” document that should be interpreted in the context to the world we live in today, not one that existed 300 years ago?

    Well, at least, for the most part, few people believe the Constitution to be the true word of god. Except, of course, those who keep referring to the “god-given rights” conferred upon Americans by the Constitution.

    Sorry to digress from the bible to the U.S. Constitution, but I think there is, hmm, what some might call a parable to be considered.

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    • You make some good points.

      While the Constitution does “set the standard” for America, I agree that some fail to see it as a document written for a different time and a different people. Instead, they “reinterpret” certain aspects to fit their personal agendas (e.g., Second Amendment).

      But then, this is pretty much what Christians do with the bible, isn’t it?

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  6. If you’re going to put all your faith into something, you need to thoroughly examine it to make sure your faith is justified.

    That is just what I did and I never expected the outcome!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate your kind words.

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