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  • Category Archives Faith
  • 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



  • Church Week

    Every week after I attend a church service I tend to have an extra measure of depression.  I’m not sure if it’s beamed directly from God or it’s something more mundane.  This time it was a Catholic church where we were ignored and they spent 12 minutes asking for money.  Their economic model is such that there is very little extra outlay for each additional attending member so what they should be doing is reaching out to the community.  Even if the people they get give little or no money to the roles they won’t have lost anything.  People tend to view every economic model like your relationship to the government (where you are either a net gain paying more taxes then you take or a net drain taking more).  They extrapolate this on situations where the economic model doesn’t work this way (like at a church) and do a lot of harm.  Just because you are a net drain on society doesn’t mean you are a net drain to the church but people generally don’t do the math in their heads to get this.



  • Bible for Millennials

    I was messing around with the ESV API and tried to produce an online Bible that reflected the way our generation actually reads.  It still has some bugs in it but you can see it here.  Today it’s going really slow for some reason I think my IP is being throttled by the API.