Corpus Christi, TX, USA
I have to say that I’m still shocked (yet strangely pleased) by the demise of the WCG. I grew up in "the church" (literally born into it in 1962) and was baptized into CGI at the age of 18. My post-baptismal stint with CGI lasted about a month. I quit and began a long period of searching and drifting through the maze of Christian denominations, Eastern religions and various other belief systems. The more I learned… the more I experienced… the more convinced I became that there were no ‘mystical’ answers to the deeper and more profound questions of our existence. I began to educate myself… turning to science with an open mind. I learned to think rationally and critically. I learned to base my concepts of reality on factual evidence rather than blind ‘faith’. I found, much to my surprise, that "scientific curiosity"… was the key to looking for the REAL answers to questions regarding human-kind… and that the "religious urge" was nothing more than that healthy human curiosity in its ‘misdirected’ or ‘dysfunctional’ form. The answers that science provides may not be ‘profound’, ‘earth-shattering’, or able to pet our egos nor satiate our instinctive fear of death. But, they are answers based on factual evidence and not on myth, legend or fantasy. I’ve never felt more ‘free’ or more in control of my own actions and destiny than I do now. Still, I was shocked by the demise of WCG. I am sure that at a subconscious level that shock was a result of watching that massive, powerful monument that was "the church" crumble into so much impotent dust. "The Church" had been an immovable and eternal symbol (an unpleasant and unwanted symbol at that) which had impressed itself upon my mind and held influence over many aspects of my activities and thoughts. When it collapsed, what little influence it had within my mind collapsed along with it. I’m damn glad it is gone… (a bit inexplicably shaken by that knowledge or not). Its collapse only reinforces my final position on religion in general and spurs me forward to continue to absorb as much genuine knowledge that one can gain through the exploration of the sciences. I’ve seen what the WCG (and all its splinter groups) belief system can do to its adherents and it is never a pretty picture. I urge any of its former adherents to give rational thought a chance… to just pretend for a moment that religion is myth and dig for awhile into the vast compilations of human scientific knowledge. A little bit of a wise warning… I have found that "the truth" is often simple and mundane. The meaning of life in its ‘real’ rather than ‘mystical and mythical’ form may not comfort and soothe our psyche. The ‘truth’ might be as simple as this "We are here because of evolution through the mechanisms of natural selection and genetic drift. Our purpose is to survive (as individuals and as a species)… to survive and reproduce. Where we are going will be determined as a direct result of those same evolutionary mechanisms." Pretty simple. Pretty mundane. But, like I said… ‘the truth’ is often like that. Be wary of the hype and glitter of fantasy. It can be devastating and the effects long lasting… as I’m sure most former WCG’rs of our bent can attest.
I consider myself to be an atheist/agnostic because I simply see no evidence of the existence of a "God or Gods" as defined by the established religions of human-kind. I keep an open mind regarding evidence of the existence of some sentient force in the universe. But, so far, the ‘evidence’ has not been the least bit persuasive.
Well ta-ta for now. Enjoy your continuing searches for the ‘truth’.
Mark J. Brock