It's been awhile since I have posted anything on here. Many of you have known me as sort of the resident theist during the time that I was very active in discussions, but now I think it's time to say that I can no longer call myself a Christian in any sort of traditional sense.
During my absence on here, I have spent a lot of time thinking and rethinking my position on things. Questioning, answering, and then questioning again over and over where my heart and head stood, and many a time things that were once a part of me gave way to something new and different - something far more liberating, and far more free than where I had ever been - and the birthing process was not an easy one. There were days, weeks, and months that every new thought and every new action spurred some sort of turmoil within myself, within my family, and within the family I grew up in. But somewhere along the way, I managed to keep things together, and my family (wife and children and the relationships involved) became a whole lot stronger for it. Thus, I think it is time to say that I have shed the husk of religion for something better, for something greater, and that something is simply me.
Religion, I think, is something we use as human beings to cover ourselves up in as a blanket of protection, but this blanket is unnecessary. It is a result of being told from a very young age that there is something wrong with us, when the reality is that there is nothing wrong with us. In fact, the only thing that is wrong is that we become sufferers of the mind - a mind prone to misinterpretation, egotistical hysteria, and misplaced emotions that are held onto for ungodly reasons. We are trained that acceptance comes from understanding, but I think the truth is that understanding comes from acceptance, and acceptance has to start by recognizing we are not always going to understand everything that comes our way in whatever form that this everything takes shape. Things are as they are and there is no reasoning behind it other than to learn in our present moment the how and the why. Or, maybe I am just full of shit right now.
Either way, religion, I believe is an evil in this world. For far too long, I have heard "Christianity isn't a religion, it's a personal relationship," and I have also been a user of this saying. Let me tell you though, anyone who says this is indeed full of shit, because if it was a personal relationship, there would be no need of emphasis within Christianity on "public confessions of faith" or baptisms. You would only need to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as a way to live your life and strive to live out those teachings without ever having the need for a worship service to give your ego a pat on the back in front of the mindless mass of men and women who blindly follow a God who isn't there: a god defined by a religion and not a relationship. If Jesus Christ is about a relationship and not a religion, there would be no need for a right way or a wrong way to follow him. There would only be your way, and your way would be defined purely in the subjective of which you alone live. Surely, you would have common threads of understanding between you and your neighbor who sees life differently, but the fact is, the life you lead would be your own and unrestrained from the archaic and corrosive control of those in self-asserted authority in all things considered the right way to live. You would simply be you, and it would be far easier to live out this chaotic existence that we, as human beings, insanely try over and over again to impose order.
But like I said, maybe I am just being full of shit right now. The fact remains, however, that I can no longer call myself a Christian. I don't want to, don't need to, and don't have to. My name is simply Barry Adamson: a man of the slightly insane type with tattoos, an opinion, and an occasional short temper. I am a human being, nothing more, and the ashes I came from will one day be ashes again. I will live until my name is forgotten, and then, like all others who came before me, fade away from the existence we call time and space. I will always hold the teachings of Jesus as something to strive for, and I will always use the law of love of my guide - at least, I will try to do so - but as for the mumbo jumbo that generally comes with the religion of Jesus, that, I reject. Call me a heretic, but if I am to live this life, which is indeed mine, I don't need a book to tell me what to do. I will live in the authentic reality of me. After all, there is nothing more than this. The me in this world is all that I will ever be, it is all that we will ever be, and the us that comes from it will only come when we will be willing to cast off our differences as divisions that create the "me versus you" and "us versus them" mindset in order to embrace the fact that our differences are what makes us human and what makes us one tribe instead of many. And there it is.
So yes, if you're going to describe my walk of life as anything, call me a humanist, call me a heretic, call me anything you like, but always remember: I own this life: no book, no god in the sky, and no other man. And, to be honest, if there is a divine power, I think this is what it would want us to discover about ourselves instead of squabbling over the table scraps of a world on fire.
In other words, I would be secular.
Nice to hear. Out of pure curiosity what kind of literature, cinema, arts are you interested in...or what hobbies and general interests do you have?
I enjoy most forms of art. I consume more cinema than literature, but do enjoy a good piece of fiction and philosophical book from time to time - then again, a book really has to grab me in order to keep my attention. I prefer to keep active when it comes to the arts so I draw a lot. My current modality is pastels, and you can see some of my art in the pictures on my profile here. I also really enjoy the martial arts, and practice Wing Chun Gung Fu (Kung Fu) of the CRCA (Close Range Combat Academy) lineage by Randy Williams. Other than that, I like to lift weights, primarily using kettlebells.
Barry - good to see you back, and what a fascinating story you have to tell - SO fascinating in fact, that I've taken the liberty of reposting it on another site where I participate in discussions. In fact, there are a couple of blogsites on which I would like to invite you to participate.
One such is Finding Truth (http://findingtruth.wordpress.com/), hosted by Nate Owens, and for the most part, populated with those, just like yourself, who have been Christians, been active - sometimes for many years - in service of the church, before they found their way out of the web.
Another is Jericho Brisance (http://jerichobrisance.com/) hosted by Matt Barsotti, a young married man such as yourself, with a beautiful family. The rather dramatic story of his deconversion can be found here - http://jerichobrisance.com/journey/ - you may have a particular interest in that.
In any case, it's good to know you're alive and well.
"Reply by archaeopteryx "
Interesting, I posted this several hours ago - apparently it has been flagged, examined, then released. Why do I feel like I'm in an airport boarding line --?
Maybe they are interested in giving you a virtual full-body cavity search...
There's one in particular that I've no doubt would enjoy that immensely.
As do Carmen and SaintPaulieGirrrll!:
October 20, 2014 at 9:26 am
What a wonderful letter! Full of passion, humanity, and decency. I already know I’d like him. Thanks for sharing, arch.
October 20, 2014 at 9:30 am
hurrah! you go Barry!