Transitioning from Religious Indoctrination into Consciousness

I’m going to attempt to do this as coherently as possible. Before I get into the topic I think I should give a little on my background as it relates to religion.

My grandparents were charter [founding] members of a church here in MN. The church has been in existence for over 55 years, and is still one of the city’s largest black baptist churches. My mother minored in comparative religion in college. My family is heavily engrained in church and the christian religion. I was born in church, was highly active as a young(er) person – actually really, honestly, enjoyed going to church.

Despite my enthusiasm for the traditions of the southern black baptist denomination I was always a questioning child. My grandmother often tells me that I asked questions constantly for an entire week before I got baptized.

It became worse as I grew older. I began questioning the tradition of the church – the things that were done that did not have a Biblical base. I began questioning the authenticity of the Bible being the unadulterated word of God. I began questioning the actions of so-called Christians; the hypocrisy. And for that I’ve been called Gnostic, Heretic, possessed, heathen…I’ve even had people try and ‘lay hands’ on me.

This is just the type of person I am. I’m inquisitive because I like to understand all that I can about a topic before I commit. Ultimately I realized that no one could truly answer all of my question in a real way.

Imagine my dismay when I began to really come into knowledge, and re-learn nearly everything that I had been taught in and at church was a fallacy. That the very religion I would have once died for was simply a tool to keep me sleep, obedient, complacent, and dependent. I broke from the church with deep seeded anger and confusion. I felt betrayed, used…ignorant.

Over and over I hear people in my newly found conscious world how ignorant those that attend church, and believe in the doctrine of christianity are.

I think that gaining freedom from that indoctrination is not as simple as some in the conscious world make it seem, particularly when that’s all that you knew; were born and raised into it. At least it has not been for me.

While it is easy to rebuke religion it takes time to alter thoughts, behaviors, habits, and practices. And, lets be real, there’s A LOT of guilt that has been engrained. I’m a realist – I know that transitioning takes more than screaming ‘fuck a rosary bead!’

It’s much harder [in my opinion] to un-learn something like a doctrine or behavior than it is to learn something new. Stepping into the unknown can be frightening, turning away from comfort can be nerve-racking.

That’s not to say – AT ALL – that it should not be done. But I think we need to be clear about what the true bondage is. I’m still exploring this for myself. I have much more studying to do.

I do not believe any institution can have a monopoly on God. God to me is infinite, and can manifest in whatever way she chooses – to limit God to a doctrine is to limit the reach of God. I also do not believe that God exists only externally. I believe that the greatest manifestation of God can be discovered within, and when you become one with the God in you; you can – be/do/accomplish – whatever you set your mind to and focus your energy on.

I’ma be all the way real and say that I still occasionally catch myself closing a prayer w/ ‘in the name of jesus’ – but I don’t kill myself over it. I think just the fact that I can catch myself is proof that I’m progressing. *shrugs*

I love my family, I love the people in my [previous] church family, I even love the ministers that are still there – 2 of which have continued to play a major role in my development as a young woman. And consistently make themselves available when I’m curious to know the churches position about something I read in the Bible.

So for those that are moving out of the religion; it is not an over-night process. It is something that you consciously and consistently need to work on. And actually being on the journey away from it made me study the bible/scripture more.

There’s much more for me to write on this topic. I’m 100% certain that as I continue this transition from religious indoctrination to consciousness that more will be revealed, my thoughts will be changed, and I’ll have more to share. This is just where I am at on the journey at this moment…I do know that I’m forever altered. I’ve learned too much to go back, I will continue to share.

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~ by RealmDeity on May 12, 2010.

5 Responses to “Transitioning from Religious Indoctrination into Consciousness”

  1. Amen and YES! I feel you on ALL of this. I’m going through it myself. I also come from a church family and background but, like you, have always been a rebel. I’ve always questioned, and I’ve always known that God was/is much bigger than the Church. I’ll write about my experience soon.

    I believe it is important for those in the Conscious crowd to have patience. I’ve heard the rantings of some in the Conscious crowd and some of their rantings can sound very harsh, very angry, very judgmental, just like the people whom they judge. I think whether Christian or Conscious, folks just have to be careful.

    I’ve gone from Christianity to a type of Buddhism although I will not convert. I’ll write about why soon, but lets just say that religion is religion is religion! To me there is no difference between Christianity and Buddhism or any other religion. As long as there is “humaness” to it, there will be flaws: judgment, control, manipulation. I’m also a fan of history, and I must say that while some feel that Christianity has been a tool to control and manipulate the “black” man, what people fail to realize is that Christianity was used to enslave and manipulate MANY different cultures an races. Hawaii had its gods/goddesses before the missionaries showed up. Let’s not forget the Crusades and the many Jews and Muslims who were killed in the name of Jesus and Christianity. And girl don’t get me started on my experience with Buddhism. Having sampled a few religions, I have seen that the issue is deeper than religion, which is why I am not bitter with Jesus, Buddha, or any of the others. God is beyond all of these.

    All of that to say, continue to do your research, and do not let anyone make you feel bad for still using the name of Jesus. LOL I do it out of habit as well BUT, as you said, at least you are catching it AND let’s be real, habits are hard to break. Also I’m sure there’s that part of you that is still wondering “but what if” and that is ok too. Freedom comes with time for some.

  2. Peace, I am speechless. Not so much by the content of the material but the succint and concise way in which it was conveyed. Being Muslim, I too do not believe in placing God within a box so that we can make sense of who he is or isn’t. My path is more universal and it is for that reason I will endeavor to continue learning and evolving from within.

  3. I want to thank you sis for sharing this because I thought I was going crazy. This May 22 would have made a year since I took my shahada, then a muslim sister on FaceBook directed my attention to a video she had watched, and I’ve been digging ever since.

  4. I love the clarity of your thought process. Thank you for sharing, as a fellow traveler… I share with you a search for Universal Truths that eradicate the fear and ignorance found in organized religion. I’m with you on the search for freedom.

  5. I’ve been around the world and back with this. Simultaneously embracing and despising my “consciousness” for putting me at odds with so many people I love and respect. It truly is an ongoing process. Enjoyed your words.

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