As the author of our current poll, which asked what philosophical skeletons we have in our closets, I thought it only proper that I weigh in with my own story. The poll, more than anything, is about our individual journeys and the wars (cultural and otherwise) we had to fight to get here. So here are my unadulterated thoughts from that initial post ... my reminiscences of the past, and the vision that the poll itself elicited. (Read more...)
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It was a heartful and meaningful examination and revelation. Thank you for sharing that aspect of your life with us.
The story does have an underpinning of religiousity: "I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see." That certainly puts you in a crowded field here on SOLO. Those who have epiphanies of any kind share a common <something> that others lack, some kind of "gene you do not inherit." I do not know what else to call it.
I try each day to live my life as a glass raised to what man is capable of, rather than as a downward glance cast at the false premise of futility.
That was great article that I am sure many of us can relate to. I grew up Baptist, but we weren't big church goers, fortunately. I didn't really question the existence of God In my late teens, I started considering myself an agnostic, rather than an atheist..... just in case. Would I go to hell for not believing in hell? My attitude was... I don't care what happens to me after I'm dead. I will be dead. Why live to die? That is totally screwed up. Live to live.
I didn't start calling myself an atheist until a few years ago when I went back to school and took a basic philosophy class. I did the research and read the various arguments for the existence of God and also read Atheism: the Case Against God and Why I am not a Christian. The fog finally lifted.
I discovered Ayn Rand about a year later. Ayn Rand has not significantly changed my core thinking, but has put a much sharper perspective on many things. Objectivism takes concepts such as morality away from religion and gives a complete and integrated philosophy for living on this earth.
I have never been very radical and did not do the flip flop from bible thumper or communist to rational Objectivist overnight like many people have. It is more of a slow process for me. I am learning and integrating the philosophy into my life over time. People are all born to be rational, but adopting reason as a way of life is an individual choice. A Choice to Live.
There is so much that is charming about this article I almost don't know where to begin. Let me cherry pick a few delicious quotes from it:
I was sure I was going to hell, precisely because I did not believe in hell.
I began lamenting that life was without meaning. I had no heaven to look forward to, and what I failed to see at the time was that the reason for my reflective despair was that my life was heaven.
These are are the things I remember. I can hardly remember the plot of Nausea, The Stranger, or Fear and Trembling. What was destructive to my spirit was ephemeral; what was significant, I still remember.
I would now shudder at the thought of spending my time in a Parisian coffeehouse with Sartre.
At my present age of 33, I try each day to live my life as a glass raised to what man is capable of, rather than as a downward glance cast at the false premise of futility.
... the dead stink up the place, so letís remove them.
LOLOLOLOL... (laughing at this last one). You have a wonderful soul and it is a pleasure to know you, sir. You even inspired this little gem out of Kitten:
People are all born rational, but adopting reason as a way of life is an individual choice. A choice to Live.
Congratulations on one hell of a first article on Solo.
Michael M - You seem to criticize the "I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see" feeling as something inherently bad or superficial. Often it is, but do you believe it is so even when it is sincere?
How would you express such an emotion then? Or would you simply ignore it and let religion continue with its monopoly on religious-type experiences?
Call me superficial, but I for one can relate. I read Atlas Shrugged in 2 days the first time. It was like falling into an oasis after years in the desert (and I almost drowned, actually, but that's another story).
Persons are born with the capacity and necessity of being rational - but they have to learn how to be so - we are not robots, where this is an automatic - and this is the rub, as it were, since teaching how to use one's reasoning powers is so haphazardly done, where most seem to use it only to the extent where deemed of necessity, a 'necessary evil of sorts',and then discarded until another 'necessary' time - with the results of being very unintegrated beings...
Thank you all for the comments. Most of you who have commented here have written those very high quality articles that made it intimidating for me as a first time submitter. There is a long history of one scribe blowing sunshine up the ass of another, but if I can count on any group to avoid that sin of untruth, it would be this one. That is why your comments are truly appreciated, because I know they are honest. And now I intend to work on some articles with philosophical hard-ons.