Religious Insomnia

Feb 24, 2007
At nearly two in the morning, in the middle of a blizzard, after reading some very challenging things entirely too late in the evening, I think I've managed my very first round of religious-anxiety-induced-insomnia.

Questions keep chasing themselves around in my brain. Am I for real? Do I really believe all this? Am I the only one; is my religion really horribly passe and everyone else has moved past it into something more "mature"? Am I really just a fluffy bunny at heart (and is that just a word we use when we're too attatched to our scientific viewpoint to give it up) (and who am I to be dismissing a scientific viewpoint, anyway)? Am I turning into some kind of mad Pagan fundamentalist who other people look at with a combination of awe and surprise and oh-my-god-sane-people-aren't-like-that-are-they?

Does it really matter what anybody else thinks? (Of course it does. And of course it doesn't.) Am I really just doing this to watch what other people do? Do I really believe any of it myself even, or is this all some kind of grand wish-fulfillment that comes of reading too many fantasy novels as a preteen? And what's so wrong with that, anyway? Why do we all have to take ourselves so seriously all the time?

Rinse. Cycle. Repeat.

I read somewhere once that skepticism and self-doubt are a sign you're doing magic right, that it's just your empirical training kicking in in self-defense, which seems a little pat to me. And I read somewhere else once -- it was Harlan Ellison, I'm sure -- that you never like the people who make you ask real questions. Which is true. I don't like anything about this right now.


Kay said...

These same questions come and go for me as well. I go from feeling that I'm being entirely too serious about religion to feeling that I'm not being serious enough.

I've decided I'm just going to follow my heart.

Sojourner said...

Like you and Kay, I am going through an immense period of retrospect regarding my beliefs and feel almost as if my world view is shifting. There is almost a feeling of confusion as I am now taking into consideration something that I have not looked at before.

It is difficult to find myself contemplating a belief in a philosophy that not many around me identify with. It is also quite a surprise that I am feeling the sense of connection that I have not found before.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but I am sensing that you are feeling some similar confusion. However, just through your posts, I would say that you are very practical person. You have had questions in the past that you have been able work through and come to the conclusion regarding how you will approach that answer. I think that is very admirable.

No matter what religion, people question their beliefs from time to time. It is only natural. And when I have heard people talking about these periods in their lives, I've noticed that they come out on the other side stronger; either in their beliefs or that they have made the right choice to move on.

You mentioned that you feel that people are moving on to "more mature" forms of religion. Maybe what you are sensing is that people are becoming more comfortable with their religious choices as they mature. In other words, they are starting view their religion from a viewpoint that comes from being in a different period of their life.

On a different note, I don't know how you feel about it, but I sure am glad to (finally!) see the snow! :)

Jenavira said...

Kay -- you're right, of course. If only I could figure out what my heart wanted...

Sojourner -- Thanks for the empathy. :) I know I'll be able to work through this, as I have done before and will probably do in the future, but it's a struggle sometimes to remember that I'm not alone.

As for the snow -- I was so snowed in this morning I couldn't get out to work! I feel like a schoolkid playing hooky, but you're right, it is lovely to see. I think it's making up for December...