I spent some time on Armstrong Delusion website this morning. One comment by a follower of the site struck me, and like many other things I happen upon, serves as the inspiration behind this blog.
The commenter referred to the time after departure from the cult as their "afterlife."
There was a time when all of us cultists looked forward to a supernatural afterlife. In our cases, we, somewhat like the Mormons, looked forward to becoming actual sons of god. Herbert Armstrong enlarged the very real original "Elohym" god family of pre-monotheist Israel and Canaan into a growing family that would include resurrected and immortal sons of God -- us. We were to become brothers of Jesus. Somehow, "daughters" didn't get included in the mix. All, including females, were to magically become sons, from my recollection. (Patriachy in overdrive.)
Of course, I no longer anticipate any such thing and am not even sure some essence of us will suvive our inevitable deaths. There is compelling "anecdotal" evidence that something may, but so far, no measurable scientific evidence. So, that is one of the "agnostic" parts of my atheist stance. I don't know, and I'm humbly honest enough to admit the fact. Anyone who objects to my unorthodox atheism at the moment is free to cast whatever stones they may have handy.
Back to the current subject. What has traspired in my life after 1974-75 can certainly be describe as an "afterlife." In fact, several afterlives.
Starting out, I was still hung up on the Bible and faith. I even attended a Divine Science church for a while and delved deeply into reincarnation. I supported Ernest Martin's Foundation. I got myself ordained by an interfaith group so I could legally do wedding ceremonies and subsequently got several online ordinations, including one from an atheist group. I've ventured into pan-theism. For years, I identified myself as an agnostic. Within the last decade, I became a devout atheist with agnostic overtones.
Is my evolution over? For the most part, I think so. Atheism seems to be the end of the line.
I will never quit questioning and growing in knowledge and understanding. I'm painfully cognizant of the fact that I don't know everything or understand all that is to be understood. Nevertheless, I no longer quail in fear of some nebulous spiritual somebody who is going to wrathfully condemn me for not falling in line with one of the thousands (maybe millions) of "faiths" out there. What makes the superstitions of some remote stone age tribe any more relevant or factual than those espoused by the vatican, a plethora of protestants, some muslim faction, hindus, etc.?
We insist on growing in science and tehnology, but much of the world has become ossified in its views of ultimate reality, especially here in the US where religion has hijacked one very old political party. We humanists and atheists are fighting valiantly to change that situation, and we're making progress. Getting much more involved in that struggle has become an increasing part of my "afterlife" of the the last year or so.