Religious memes and my life...

john grigg (
Mon, 06 Sep 1999 15:27:11 PDT

Hello everyone,

This post by Greg Burch commenting on what Robert Bradbury wrote really hit me hard as I explain below in detail.

>Subject: Re: understanding neuroscience

>In a message dated 99-09-01 14:51:58 EDT,
>.>(Robert J.Bradbury) wrote:

>Its fascinating to me to observe what happens in my mind when
> I enter a church. All kinds of old feelings, beliefs, memories
> come bubbling up from the basement of my mind. I normally
> rarely think about these things, but I have no doubt that
> many of my early beliefs (Catholic) are still part of my
> programming. As the years go by, probably because I don't
> think about them much, the memories do seem to fade.

The same sort of thing will happen to me from my own Catholic upbringing, especially if I encounter the full blown "Magic Show" (as I used to call the Mass when I was an altar boy); it's almost like some kind of weird drug rush.

(I attend the mormon church and though despite some doubt I do believe. I found myself hit with a wave of powerful emotions as a young and attractive woman teaching a lesson on the eternal nature of the family gave her personal testimony that those things were true and very important to her. I actually thought to myself how she was the woman I should go after and marry despite the fact she is only nineteen. Later I thought how despite my feelings and possible courtship she would probably wind up not with me even after much gentle effort. But stirring courtships are the stuff of legend and I have been told these by various places affecting my life. I rushed out afterwards telling her how touched I was by her remarks. Partly to impress her yes but also because I was.)

Interestingly, the memories don't fade for many people, but just go into a dormant state. I think a big part of the resurgence in religious fervor in America now can be attributed to the reactivation of religious memes implanted in childhood among the Boomers by life situations they're just now encountering: Parenting and middle age career and physiological stress. A whole panoply of programming was implanted in them, just waiting to be activated by these predictable events in the stages of a typical human life

(As I get older I feel a stronger and stronger tug to fully go back to my mormon roots. I have some problems with various matters of history and doctrine and yet overall I love the people(my tribe) and the binding social concept of eternal families. I can understand about the reactivation of religious memes! We had a lesson in one class on to be honest not just living a balanced life but "not shaking the boat" and the indirect message bothered me. I looked around wondering how many others felt the same way. And yet as the speaker had tears in his eyes expressing his love for us all and God which was throughout his lesson I felt choked up and very affected. And yet a part of me was detached and wondered how much of what I felt was truly the spirit of God and how much was simply human emotion. I know the speaker was sincere in his motives at least.)

(I need so badly the love and support of my group and yet I want to still think critically. I feel torn inside sometimes so badly you could not imagine. Being around extropian memes have affected me somewhat but these thoughts arose before I even knew of this movement. I have few doubts about the existance of God or an afterlife but human institutions can be troublesome even when I believe they are inspired of God. I have heard some of my top church leaders; especially some of the younger ones try to address this issue and in some ways have done well in my view. My church in the sociological perspective has evolved over the years in adapting to the society around it.)

(I have studied in college the sociology of religion and can see things in that context. And even then I see how at least for some like myself belonging to their religious group is so important. It is an extended family that can nurture and provide in so many ways. I do not feel a hypocrite for wanting to stay in my church for I do believe in it overall despite some misgivings.)

(I have not yet signed for cryonic suspension but probably will down the road. Even with belief in an afterlife this is what I know right here and I did not get the life I wanted though many people could say the same. Clinical depression, a.d.d., and learning disabilities along with poverty and an absent father did not make for the life I wanted. My learning disabilities have so far even stopped me from getting a driver's license to my great shame. My local voc rehab is not even willing to help me to the extent I need to get a license.)

(I know there is much here and now I can do to improve things and yet I want to see "over the horizon" and partake of the wonderful future we may have. But the human lifespan is just too short so cryonics will get me where I want to go. Some have said I am hedging my bets and I suppose I am. If the fundamentalist view of Bibical prophecy is correct though we are all in for it!! My suspended body would not last through all of that! The singularity will come in the form of an armageddon with the very technologies we discuss; but time will tell.)

(I suppose if I felt my "needs were met" I would not post here. I feel somewhat ashamed admitting my doubt and torment. Much of it stems from not having a mate and so not being "happily locked into" my faith. Perhaps I should not have posted this but I felt the need. I want to look back a hundred years from now and have a feeling of contentment that I made it through my youthful trials in one form or another. I thank you all for bearing with me.)


John Grigg

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