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  • Category Archives Faith
  • Jesus

    People (at least Christians) say Jesus being God is good.  All I say is when you claim to be God you own all the baggage associated with him.  Why would you want that.  So I’m supposed to believe Jesus told me all the crazy shit God did.  I know Christians go out of their way to present other parts of the trinity as softer and more loving than God but if you are claiming they’re God then they inherit all the baggage God is associated with.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.



  • Christianity takes…

    Intuition: What is this intuition you speak of?  My intuition is as good as the foam package it came in.  Over and over trusting people, including good friends and just getting my head handed to me.  And of course in social situations being awkward as heck.  I don’t think a lot of people on the spectrum have intuition, I think intuition is largely an NT thing.  Intuition being the ability to size up a situation at a moment’s notice.  I don’t think the autistic brain works that way, at least mine doesn’t.  Christianity takes intuition because so much of “God’s guidance” is just what non religious people would call trusting your gut.  If you are like me and “trusting your gut” has gotten you no where then your faith is going to suffer (as mine did).

    Imagination: Atheists say God is imaginary.  They have a point.  Engaging a god takes a robust imagination which modern life with all its instant entertainment screens works against.  The way church services are designed is to point to a world beyond the one we see here, but without imagination all one sees are the props.  Loss of make believe makes one worse off faith wise than almost any other loss.  Additionally the loss of prophetic imagination leaves one unable to picture a world better than the one one finds them self in.  A lot of the good in Christianity has come about by people imagining a better world and fighting toward that end.  Without imagination it’s harder to fight because the reward is not in front of your face (like how the rest of modern life works).

    Patience: I always thought that if Jesus could make things go faster, the church would be packed with millennials.  Fast is expected of us and we need a higher power that can make things go faster.  In modern life waiting is almost always a negative and a sign that you are on the wrong side of an imbalance of power (for example waiting for someone late at a party).  There is also the issue that often things come either instantly or not at all because there is not much trust in the system.  Wait implies hope and trust.  Christianity asks one to trust and wait on God.  These things are counter cultural. People (including church people) are looking for results in your life right now, not in “the fullness of time”.

    Attention: We are distracted by all our screens and other things.  But Christianity is like a hard to read book, it demands our full attention.  But often we don’t have full attention to give to anyone or anything.  Additionally faith is communal property and authentic relationships require people paying their full bandwidth of attention to each other.  That means putting the smart phone down and being present in conversations and tasks.

    Social Skills: The same social skills needed to navigate through life are needed to conduct conversations with a deity.  This puts people on the spectrum at a severe disadvantage because often talking to God is just seen as talking to ourselves (which a lot of us do).  Also to get accepted in a church one needs a certain amount of social skills, sometimes even more so than the secular world.



  • God, one or three

    If you want to know me you should read this article on a programmer that believes God is instructing him on how to build and operating system.

    The article rings true because I fit the profile pretty well.  Someone who is a programmer, is mentally ill, and has had a psychotic break where I have transcribed what I believed was direct communication from God to a web page.

    The experience of receiving a direct communication from God is entropic.  You have a few options:

    1. You can choose to believe it and keep believing successive communications from God (while staying psychotic) like this man in the article
    2. You can attempt to write off the communications and try to re establish communication with God while sane.  The problem with this is once the revelations you had from God while psychotic are found to be frauds you have to actually have a kind of apostasy where your that world of revelations is blown to bits.  There is also the problem that compared to the way people say God’s revelations come (a “still small voice”) your direct revelations from God while psychotic seem so much more real.  There is also the problem that mental illness messes with your intuition, your mind is so loud the “still small voice” no longer is even audible.
    3. You can believe all communications with God are just going on in people’s heads.  The more I see inside myself and the world the more I realize the whole concept of a god that communicates with people is a lie.  There may be a god but he doesn’t communicate directly with people the way religious people claim he does.  Communication with God is heavily mediated by the brain so naturally if one is mentally ill the communications with God are going to be destructive.  It’s a no no in religious circles to say things like, “your mind is what the brain does” but my and many other’s lived experience bares this out.

    Which brings me full circle, after a psychotic break you can only choose option 1 or option 3.  Technically you can try to choose option two like I did but as your brain gets worse at doing the leg work of simulating interaction with a personal god you will drift off into option one or three.



  • faith hope tv

    I think the switch over from analog to digital TV over the air signals is a good analogy for the way different people operate in relation to faith.  Some people can have an incomplete percentage of faith in God and still derive some hope out of it.  Others, like me, can not.  This is similar to how in the analog days one could, with a decent fractional percentage of signal, get a serviceable though imperfect picture.  In the digital days, not so much, it’s either 100% or nothing.



  • life

    In a calculus proof the outcome is subject to the laws of mathematics.  Christianity is not like that.  Whether Christianity is true is itself incarnational.   The only way you show it to be true or false is the way you live your life.  This is why youth directors and even the Jars of Clay are dead on people listening to Nine Inch Nails.  Because Trent Reznor is such a powerful voice who earnestly sought God and found nothing.  This is why his first two albums are the ones Christians like the least.  Pretty Hate Machine in particular is all about apostasy.

    As for me I have earnestly sought God and found nothing.  And gotten handily rejected by the church.  And I am a pretty virtuous person.  People on the spectrum have much higher rates of non religiosity than the general population.  We don’t have the capacity to concoct God!  The fact that God could just be all in your head is an affront to Christians.  But if Christianity were really true wouldn’t the people who couldn’t concoct God be the ones that found him the most easily instead of the least easily?

    As I have gotten older I’ve lost the parts of myself I would need to exist to be faith filled.  That doesn’t mean God doesn’t talk to me, it’s just that the conversations normally revolve around wanting me to commit suicide.



  • Mental Advent

    A parody of advent, for people who the church wished didn’t exist.

    Week 1: The Empowerment Candle –  Hope is great but without power it usually just melts away.  For example if you are in an abusive or exploitative situation, having power is what counters these people and buys one hope.  Even being able to believe in religion is a form of power because you need to play cognitive tricks to pretend there is a god there that loves you and get the placebo response from these practices which sustain you.

    Week 2: The Ativan Candle – The times I felt the most peace were when I was on the anti anxiety drug Ativan.  People bemoan the fact that so many people are hooked on drugs and alcohol but there’s a reason for this.  They work!  Religion can work for some people but requires a lot of brain power, an acrobatic act of holding on and letting go, that is out of reach for a lot of people, especially those with mental illnesses.

    Week 3: The Mania Candle –  Joy is great too but is just a weasel word that, when pressed, Christians admit doesn’t mean anything even close to happiness or pleasure.  The only time I experienced the Holy Spirit moving was when I was manic so I think mania should get a better hearing.

    Week 4: The Significant Other Candle – Because the culture is so hyper individualistic often a significant other is your only true friend (this is particularly true if you are male).  Obviously love is harder to come by the less healthy you are but even bad relationships should be celebrated because people are reaching out and trying.  Of course this day you should celebrate looking good and making a lot of money because these are so important in finding love.

     



  • humility

    I tend to regularly rail against western religion here but I will give it credit where it is due.  It has a failure management mechanism that isn’t half bad.  Basically modern psychology tells people to double down on their pride after they fail.  But Judeo-Christian faith asks people to see these experiences as humbling us and calls us to embrace humility.

    I look at the Democratic party, defeat after defeat, and still thinking ignoring the most passionate half of their constituents is a good way to run a political party.  I get it that the young people have figured out you’re in the pocket of of the oligarchs and you don’t like it.  You’ll have to get over this.  The Republicans embraced their outsider and you spurned him, look who’s winning.



  • psychology

    If it weren’t for psychology America would be much less religious.  A lot of the millennials’ move away from Christianity can be seen as a result of them being resistant to strains of psychology that worked on the older generation.  We are in touch with our thought processes so when someone tries to get us all emotional about God it’s harder for us to believe there is an actual entity besides us involved.  “Your feelings are from you”, we’ve been told.  God just seems contrived to us, as if someone projected their fantasy upon an infinite slate.  But anything we make up is going to comprise our greatest fantasies as well as our worst fears.  But things that impose themselves violently on our senses are a lot more mundane and boring.



  • Song for the times: I’d Never Lie to You

    Perhaps my favorite Christian song ever written is Never Lie by Daniel Brindley (brother of Luke Brindley, who is a lyrical force in his own right).  I’m not actually sure if it was titled Never Lie or not because I got it from the artist himself when we roomed on the same floor my freshman year of Wheaton.  Just a ton of heart and talent and the lyrics have never been more relevant in the rule we seem to be under now.  You can listen to the song below or download it here.

    Lyrics:

    because I need to
    I will follow
    I will be there
    the sound of your all mighty voice
    I’ll be your servant by choice

    because I need to
    all my painting
    my creating
    I must surrender to you
    lies to be known what’s true

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    because I need to
    I will bow down
    make a pleasant sound
    to you who are all full of light
    sent out the call to arise, arise, arise, arise

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you



  • Last Night

    I tried my very best to hold it together for the kids this morning. They knew exactly why I was upset. I bit my lip, with a flush red face and held back my tears. I talked to them about the importance of being politically active as a grown ups in much more than just the presidential elections. But after I dropped them off at school, the flood hates opened. I cried from their school all the way to work. I’m shaking and trembling and sick to my stomach and don’t want to go inside. But I have to. I have to put my chin up and work. I have to go on. I have to go sell some trophies. Then I have to go home and continue to work and fight and write for freedom, for equality, for love. It has always been and maybe always will be an uphill battle. But it’s like last night the force of gravity got turned up. Today I pray, yup today I pray that we are not crushed.

    – Wayne’s Facebook Post