How is losing my faith a good thing? To find out the answer, we must understand the difference between faith and confidence and delve into the cultural folklore behind the word faith. Are you ready for this adventure?
The Best Thing That Could Happen
Being freed from the delusion of religious “magical thinking” will put your life on solid ground. Losing that which confines and binds the mind is a good thing. It all starts with understanding how culture twists our confidence into something it can control.
How Confidence and Faith Differ
Confidence is the “high degree of certainty” that something will occur. It is something that we can test. For instance, there is a high probability that the sun will rise and set. We build this degree of confidence in the evidence of sunrises and sunsets.
Faith is the belief in things that have no proof. Faith is a term that the cultural narrative assigns to those who hold religion above reason. The belief in religion is a slippery slope. It often includes imaginary friends and enemies or Gods and Devils. So, why is losing my faith in these fictional entities so important?
The Slippery Slope of Faith
Faith begins with the acceptance of the existence of imaginary friends and enemies. It seems innocent enough on the surface. But, this is also the door that makes the mind susceptible to other baseless ideas. If you can accept that the imaginary friend exists, it becomes easy to believe in an imaginary enemy’s existence. It’s the basic concept of the black and white fallacy underlying dualism.
Dualism is an oversimplified way to categorize perception. It acts like blinders. It makes it possible to ignore or reject any information that doesn’t fit within the worldview. It also supports the idea that religious prejudice is not only acceptable; it is preferable.
Mitigated dualism is the basis of the Abrahamic or Semitic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It’s where one imaginary entity is superior to a second imaginary friend or enemy. They didn’t create this contradictory doctrine; they adopted it along with the superstition and mythology of those who made these systems. The Semitic religions are the rebranding of the Assyrian, Persian, and Babylonian mystery religions.
This flawed philosophy contains many contradictions and illogical premises. And, it’s why these religions need interpreters, priests, and teachers. They need to explain away the problems inherent in the system. They use groupthink manipulation tactics to present mythology as fact.
So, if someone doesn’t believe in the same imaginary friend, they are not acceptable. And the slippery slope continues downward. Once they are accepted, then it justifies discrimination, prejudice, and bias of all kinds. It justifies harmful actions like genocide, racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination. But these negative beliefs are okay because their belief system says it is acceptable to their imaginary friend. And, this is why losing your faith is the best thing that could happen. It is healthy for you and the world.
The Benefits of Losing Your Faith
Faith and belief are boundaries. The fewer limitations you have, the more clearly you can think. When you see the bias and prejudice that underlies your thinking, then you can change it. Clarifying your thinking is beneficial to you and everyone in your circle of influence.
1) Become a Freethinker
You can become a freethinker. Leo Tolstoy is the first to use the term and define it.
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking..”. ― Leo Tolstoy
A freethinker is someone who sees through the programming of the cultural narrative. More importantly, they can remove this negative programming from their minds. They cultivate the use of logical reasoning and common sense. They develop keen observational skills and learn how to harness the power of their intuitions. It’s a combination of right and left brain skills that result in a greater level of intuitive and analytical reasoning.
The dominant cultural narrative skews the definition of reason and common sense. When we are under the influence of cultural folklore, we reflect its bias and prejudice. It makes us more susceptible to accept other things that are not true or factual. They produce value judgments on a sliding scale that overrides our common sense.
For instance, ask a group of people if they are law-abiding citizens. 100% will answer yes. But then ask them if they went over the speed limit in the last week? Most people break some human-made law at least once a day.
2) Return to our Original State of Innocence
We are born without beliefs, without the belief in gods. It makes us all natural-born atheists. In this original state, we live in happiness and joy. When we lose our faith in mythology, we can return to our original state of innocence. To do this, we must overcome the fears that maintain our beliefs.
The best thing that you can do for your psyche is to regain your innocence. If you are curious, there are three ways to approach the subject of God; faith, experience, and reason. Some people choose one, and many use all three.
“Newborn children represent perfection and the state of being to which each of us is duty-bound to return. In the instant after you were born, you were fearless, pure love, innocent, infinitely wise, of boundless potential and beautifully connected with the unseen hand that created the universe. Most of us on the planet today have lost this connection to our authentic selves, this original state of being in which we were unafraid to walk toward possibility and reach for the stars. We have forgotten who we are.” ― Robin S. Sharma
3) Become a Kind Person
Once you return to your natural state of being, several doors open. The virtues of the spirit lead us on the path of kindness. You can go almost everywhere when you are on this path. Most people will accept those who are kind and considerate.
Yes, some will reject and scorn you for developing a conscience. Sadly, some greedy, prejudiced, and biased people find their way into positions of power. Don’t let this deter you from making the world a better place. Become a kind person. It is a legacy that touches the lives of many people. It will result in a more humanist-centered mindset. Cultivating a humanist mindset is the best thing you can do for the world.
Losing My Faith ― Overcoming Fear
Our beliefs about reality come from the programming that we receive. Most of this programming takes place in our youth when we are most susceptible to programming. It usually comes from people we trust, our parents, and spiritual leaders.
If you don’t have faith or belief in God or an imaginary friend, you can skip this section. If you believe in religion, then losing your faith is probably very scary. Your faith is likely a large part of your identity, and this is their goal. It keeps you a customer. And it makes you an advocate for whatever agenda they want you to follow.
God is a powerful metaphor, and organized religions use this metaphor as a tool for recruitment and retention. It links your faith to your relationships and even your livelihood. It’s another tactic to keep you a customer. They use these social systems to cement you into their belief system and keep you from asking questions. Heaven forbid, pun intended, that you become a freethinker.
You can overcome these fears. You can take some practical steps to reduce anxiety and increase the joy in your life. Negative cultural programming comes from organized religion. They target two groups in the population, children and those in crisis.
The young are easy to brainwash. Unfortunately, this is a common practice. Immature minds are easy to program, especially those they trust. Children trust their parents and adults who appear to have their best interests in mind. These people teach them not to touch fire and be careful near places where they could fall. The adults they trust also immerse themselves in religion’s doctrine and dogma.
Children born into families with “deeply held” religious beliefs nearly always become converts. They receive instruction from an early age. There is no freedom of choice; it is a forced indoctrination. No other alternatives are available. Children do not have other options.
Children are less likely to distinguish fact from fantasy. So, it is easy for them to mistake mythology for reality. The people they trust would certainly only tell them the. Right? The need to believe becomes ingrained as part of individual identity, and it becomes a necessity, not a choice.
Some people believe that subjecting children to religious programming is child abuse. Richard Dawkins noted scientist is of this opinion. Others believe that as long as there is no apparent harm to the child, it is not child abuse. It is simply the structured indoctrination of established tradition.
People in Crisis
The other sizeable population susceptible to religious programming is those in crisis. People find religion when vulnerable because vulnerable are easier to brainwash. It doesn’t matter what the problem; it could be financial, emotional, or health. It doesn’t matter. Religion uses a crisis to make converts, and converts turn into paying customers. You pay with money and with conformity to the religious stereotypes they provide. Once they get a critical mass of the population, they can program any agenda.
Consequently, we see that the need to believe ― overcomes reason. Many people live in cultures dominated by these paradigms. So, appearing like you are a part of the crowd is not just a way of life. It’s a necessity.
How to Lose Your Religion
1) Test Your Path
The first thing we recommend you do is to prove your path. I test my path regularly. See if your spiritual direction will make you the person who leaves a positive mark on this world. Testing is how to find a just and verdant belief system. It is the only way to get where you want to go in your spiritual work.
We also recommend you use the practical strategy of using emotional checks. It’s a proven strategy to help you stay on track and keep you clear-headed. It is essential when you walk on the sacred ground of your worldview.
2) Question the Cultural Narrative
Next, become like a child. Learn to ask questions again. If you ask any pastor, preacher, or priest, they will tell you that young children ask the most challenging questions. Many a Sunday school teacher learns to lose their faith because of children’s insightful questions. If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t he just kill Satan? Why are there so many versions of our perfect religion? If God is love and forgives everyone, why did he create Hell?
So, learn to question the cultural narrative. If you are a victim of systematic indoctrination as a child, it is not your fault. However, as an adult, it is your responsibility to correct this negative programming. Otherwise, you will perpetuate negative prejudice and bias.
“Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But, there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.” — David G. Mcafee
3) Focus On Consciousness Development
The best thing that you can do is become a better person. The world needs people able to think and solve problems. It’s good for you and the world. So, focus on developing and developing your awareness. Find tools to enhance your ability to learn and to think critically. Find teachers that show ways to expand your awareness and investigate higher states. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a follower.
Create your path. All you need are tools, not faith and belief. You can have confidence in the time-tested tools of spiritual exploration.
The catalog of methods for developing and exploring consciousness is what we call Spiritual Technologies. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic. These tools improve observational skills and help us identify the roadblocks that get in the way.
We recommend you incorporate emotional checks in all of these processes. Keeping your feeling in check helps us think more clearly.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphones to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become helpful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse language to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the truth-seekers axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate personality profile. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will help you understand the source of our “personal power.”
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.
Meditation is a mind hack that often uses mantras, sutras, and affirmations as tools. These mental devices open doorways of consciousness. You could easily categorize them as awareness expansion tools, the same with Yoga since it contains a range of meditative processes.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Grounding exercises focus on our connection with nature, such as Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory (learning how to learn).
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
The best thing you can do for yourself and the world is to lose your prejudice and bias. The largest source of damaging bigotry and prejudice comes from organized religion. So, make losing my faith a goal. You can do it. Help make the world a better place to live.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia