Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist

The Profound Moments Of Life.


There is scarcely a day that goes by when I don’t analyze everything in my world. One thing I have often been accused of is being over analytical. If I am, then it shows how I am not satiated with the mundane and perhaps trivial parts of life. I am not one to indulge in Real TV or drivel which I see as washing the mind of intellect. I never have been. My mind often wanders to the case of humanity, the nature of its existence, how it is like a unrehearsed ballet. We all seem to be dancing at our own pace, some of us unaware that the world is dancing around them, and some of us watching from the seats inclined to study the behavior of those around us.

It often comes to my mind, dauntingly at times, that I am nothing more above any other human, just a different twist on an old attempt at a litterary artisan. I scarcely believe my self more than able to put words, sometimes eloquently, on a page and help the world see life through my eyes. What I see is sometimes quite morose, profound, and perplexing. When you fist realize these billions of other human lives factor into yours only during intervals of short interaction, and then a fleeting moment later escape to never be seen again, it is one of those times.

Discovering my analytical nature, my sexual nature, and more finding what makes me, me as defined by others have all been some of the most profound and startling moments. But discovering the me behind the mask has been of all moments in life a steady journey, as well as the most profound. I often look at my behavior, seeking to further understand what drives me, what defines me. Recently reading Sex and God I realized, part of me may have been nothing more than a shuffle of the dice. The random genetic shuffle that defined who I would ultimately become. Though I know where those genetics come from, or presume to know, I am often shocked by what i discover in the difference in the providers of those genes and myself.

My mother had all of the makings of being a writer, something I found had been hidden for many years. She had boxes and boxes of typed out papers, and to this day I have no clue what all is on them. She kept them from us in the attic of our home. It was only on cleaning did I discover this secret. This was long after I had been inspired to write poetry, thoughts and sometimes take to journaling. Much of what I wrote was cryptic, in case it was discovered. Some of it was more intimate than most people will ever become with me in my lifetime. This is one of the few attributes I share in common with this woman who gave me life. Though it may be one that would leave you shaking your head, it was a discovery I had to make by error, not by sharing details. My mother and I have had few heart to heart discussions to this day, and I doubt that in her latter years she will begin, but whom can say for sure.

My father gave me his love for nature, and his curiosity for dinosaurs. Beyond that I am my own person. We have had many deep discussions, many of them my drilling inquiries into what my father believed and why. My mother on the other hand was not open to questioning, without it likely turning into something where a smack in the mouth was assured. So I never questioned her. But my father let me think, and explore content to see his daughter had thoughts bigger than herself. I was content to have someone to reverberate my thoughts upon. My sisters didn’t spend their time this deep in thought, and mostly I bothered them, or just bored them practically to tears, as I still do.

My two sisters, which was all I had to grow up with, were anything but like me. My oldest was three years elder than I, and I often seemed to pester her. She was brutal to a point that enraged me. I was her play thing, and so were tiny animals, and she was far from gentle and kind with them. Her disposition with them and I often left us not speaking, or worse fighting. She was mischievous and often liked to lay the blame squarely on me, resulting in yet another beating at the hands of my mother. I don’t believe beatings did me any good, because the more she did it the more I hid from her, and eluded her knowing what I was up to. It led to my mother and I having shared a home, but not shared anything nurturing.

My youngest sister was the baby of the family, and I can’t say I treated her well always, but I didn’t beat on her as my oldest sister did to me, and more importantly I would protect her, as I often did. Make no mistake I was a bit misbehaved with her. Often joking about animal innards at the dinner table, or telling her that we had been abandoned by our mother and she was not returning. As we got older though, I left being so torturous to her, and became an older sister. Though my mother once remarked that we were like complete opposites, we got on well.

For years though I thought something in me was especially broken. I am often bored with life, and dream of tales. I have tried and done very well at creative writing. It is one area where I can succeed without ever trying. It seems I am more complex than my sisters. I would not give it any other term. They are content not having hobbies, being stirred by traveling, life and exploration. I differ vastly there, and often find myself longing for some new adventure. While they are content with knowing what they know, I am never sure of anything.

This is where discovering who I am comes into play. Something at the core of my being won’t let me relent to sit idly by as life passes me. I don’t feel the need to stay with a man, just because. I feel more caged being married than if I were in an actual cage, and jealousy is to me absolutely repulsive. I am driven to challenge myself and my life. Even my behavior, speaking patterns, and desires vastly differ. I could scarcely believe that I was part of this family had I not all the memories of being there with them.

I used to think this was a flaw in me. That somehow I didn’t turn out right, and because something was wrong with me I had turned out so different. Now I can look back and see, that I was the girl I was and nothing could have corrected that. Especially my mothers volatile attempts to dissuade me from being wild and beyond her control. I was a genius at escaping her, hiding, and eluding her scorn for my behavior. My mother and father still look upon me with love, but a complete lack of understanding of the child they somehow reared to adulthood. I turned out as anti religious as my mother is religious. I am as rebellious as my father is sedate in his life. My sister finds me perplexing, and unsettled. My oldest sister doesn’t attempt to understand or interact with me.

In my frail biosphere where I often get to reach beyond my means and interact with others who seem a proportion more similar I find more strength. Were I left to nothing more than my family, I would surely be depressed and distressed, as I had been by religion. Which for me was nothing more than a mental chain. The feeling of guilt for not wanting to be the happy home making woman who felt her duty was cooking and cleaning, and being submissive to her man. Or owner and proprietor if you will. Instead I was rebellious to a flaw. Outraged by men who would hold me in contempt with their jealous nature. Headstrong and fiery, and longing for the road and travel. I was the fire no man could tame, and to this day remain blissfully so. A feminist who often ridiculed religion, and steadfastly mocked my own doctrine for telling me that I was to be virginal, and submissive, I also mocked other religions equally. Once going as far as to take a Mexican song about the Virgin Guadalupe, which was supposed to be Mary who appeared to Mexicans as the form of a brown Mexican woman. So they sing the song, “The Virgin of Guadalupe” where she is supposed to have appeared. After this they accepted Catholicism. I, being the mocker of religion, even as a religious girl sang, “The Virgin Of Guada-Rachel.” Which my boyfriend at the time found rather offensive. I found his offense rather hilarious.

Leaving religion has been a long daunting chore. It is a hard road to walk, and so I am thankful for the support from places like Recovering From Religion, American Atheists, Foundation Beyond Belief, American Humanist Association, and so many more. I have done much of the work of accepting that I can’t live a lie, no matter what part of my life it falls in, and mostly am repairing the damage done, both mentally and in my personal life.  It has been a bit tedious, and stressful to say the least, but I would be lying if I said that the love around me did not keep me strong. I have also had to accept that love as it is, and not as I wish it were. While I am rediscovering who I was before religion poisoned my life, it has been profound to discover that I am fine how I am. Though I am not perfect, I am not now, nor will I ever be anything like religion told me I should be. I am however, free to be myself, and love myself as I am. For what that is worth, if you are recovering from religion, I empathize with you. I know where you stand, I have stood there too. I know how you feel, I have probably had many of the same emotions. Most of all, for what it is worth, you are not alone. We are all here for you, and many people know what it is like to be recovering from religion, and that in itself is pretty profound too.


Author: Rachel Johnson

I am a writer about atheist issues. Separation of the church and state. Women and their right to choose, and sex. I talk about all of the "taboos" of modern life as well as evolution and science.

2 thoughts on “The Profound Moments Of Life.

  1. You say that you discovered that part of you “may have been nothing more than a shuffle of the dice.” Personally, I suspect you are right about this. As I see it, chance plays an important and fundamental role in the nature of reality. But you say this is a “part” of you – not the whole of you. I find it fascinating to contemplate the other parts – the parts that are not based on pure chance. What is there other than chance? One classic philosophical answer is “determinism” – that is to say, pure cause/effect. But notice that neither chance nor determinism leaves any role for what we commonly call “free will.” If part of you is a product of chance, and the rest of you is product of determinism, then any feeling you might have of “free will” must be an illusion. You really have no control over your life; you just have a false sensation of having control. Perhaps this is just the way things are. I suspect, however, that there might be a third alternative: something that philosophers call “agent causation.” This notion of agent causation does not require any sort of theism, but it does inject a profound sense of mystery into life. Of course, chance and determinism are profound too, but agent causality (if we can even make sense of the concept at all), would seemingly thrust us into something that is hard to separate from utter mysticism. Many atheist simply reject the notion of agent causality for this reason, but I would argue that this is not necessary. Belief in free will does not make us soft-headed or less skeptical; I would contend that it can, on the contrary, lead an atheist to think (and live) more deeply than ever before, without needing to adopt the God hypothesis. Or so it seems to me.

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