Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture Day Confessions

Well, now that everyone is full aware that the supposed Rapture was a load of bull, we can get back to the real world. We laughed around the office about the ridiculousness of the whole thing. I was mildly surprised that there were a few of my coworkers who were completely unaware of what the Rapture hype was all about, of even what the Rapture is. Being in and for the most part from the Midwest, it is mildly surprising to me when I meet people completely foreign to even the basics of Abrahamic mythos (Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Solomon, etc). Perhaps I take for granted my education, but I would think that being inundated with literature and other cultural references to those stories is nearly unavoidable in the culture in which I live. To me, knowing the Judeo-Christian myths is just as important to understanding many themes in the arts (art, literature, film) as being familiar with Greek or even Norse myths. But like I said, I feel that my feelings on that are in large part due to my privilege.

The Rapture nonsense was (and sorta still is) an odd experience for me. Those who know me know my stalwart convictions against superstition of any kind and my religious background with my family. I have been separated from my Christian beliefs since roughly my sophomore year of high school (I went through a long "spiritual" phase until a couple years into college), and yet from time to time I feel those familiar twinges nagging at me. This Rapture craziness made them more apparent to me than normal. While I recognized the guy who came up with this scheme was delusional at best and a con man at worst, some deep dark part of my mind reverted back to my childhood fears; what if the Rapture does happen? What if the Beast does arise from the sea? And so on.

I fully realize the absurdity of these thoughts and banish them as soon as they arise. But years of living in an environment in which we left birthday presents for Jesus on the Christmas tree and Satan was a very real threat in my mind to my wellbeing have left their mark. I remember being made to say my prayers every night, and they scared the living daylights out of me: "As I lay me down to sleep/ I pray the Lord my Soul to keep/ And if I die before I wake/ I pray the Lord my Soul to take." There was more than one occasion of me waking up in the middle of the night in tears, terrified of dying in my sleep and God not taking my Soul to heaven, and my grandmother having to calm me enough to get me back to bed. That sort of shit leaves its mark. So every once in a while, the familiar thoughts and fears from years of habit return to the forefront of my mind.

No worries though, I have no intention of ever returning to that fear-mongering faith, or any other. While those old habits die hard, I realize that they are exactly that- habits of thought. I do not believe them or put any stock in them. Knee-jerk reactions from a long ago held set of beliefs do not equate to thinking any of this nonsense is real. I know better than that.

1 comment:

  1. I do think it's important for us to be aware of all thoughts- even the absurd ones- and be comfortable sharing or admitting them (even if only to ourselves).

    Thanks for not being "too cool" and sharing your honest thoughts.