Cracked Head Memoirs

What I Believe

with 8 comments

Sometimes I have a hard time differentiating what I believe and what I think. This is probably just a matter of semantics. One thing I have learned is that almost nobody gives much of a damn what I think. Why should they, especially with my track-record? Occasionally someone does concern themself with what I believe. I’ll try and clear that up, should you be curious.

Today, first and foremost, I believe that psychoactive chemicals are bad for me. I believe they always will be, and probably always were. I believe that if I ingest any such chemicals, there’s no real telling what will happen, other than I’ll ingest more chemicals until I wreck a car, get my ass whipped, or go to jail. Passing out and overdosing are also possibilities. I also tend to believe that the only protection I have from my addiction comes from a Higher Power. It’s not an original idea but one expressed in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It has proven true in my life.

Second, I believe that I tend to live in a state of low physical energy and negative emotional energy. This affects all aspects of my life, including my substance abuse. Like my substance abuse, it doesn’t seem to be something I can control through an exercise of my will. I believe I’m largely at the mercy of my brain’s chemistry. I believe we all are. The neurons, neurotransmitters, and electrical goings on make up our mind, both conscious and unconscious. While I tend to think there’s a certain amount of freewill, I believe that who and what we are is largely beyond our control. We are what our brains allow us to be.

I was brought up in a hellfire and brimstone Southern Baptist Church. My indoctrination into that belief system will be with me always to one degree or another. I was taught that there’s a heaven and hell, a God the Father and a devil, and that the only way to avoid one and get to the other is to believe in God’s only begotten son, Jesus, and to trust in him to save me from my sins. I think that the vast majority of that is patently absurd, distasteful, harmful to me emotionally, ignorant, etc. Nevertheless, I’ll always be somewhat susceptible to that message. I think the quickest way to get someone to question their fundamentalist beliefs, if they have any sense at all, is to encourage them to read the Bible. (I’m not certain that freeing someone from their fundamentalist shackles is actually doing them a favor.) How they, the fundamentalist, got to where they are today based on the Bible is unfathomable. I think a quick reading of the four gospels, just the words in red, will confirm to anyone concerned that the evangelicals have veered way off course. Still, when the chips are down, a part of me will always believe their version of Christianity. (I also believe that that belief system serves a practical purpose. Were it not for the Baptist churches and others of that ilk, we’d have to build a lot more prisons to house the rudderless simpletons loosed on the populace.)

I tend to believe in the Big Bang and evolution. There’s no reason I can think of that precludes God from having used physics and biology to accomplish his works. That said, my lack of scientific training means that I actually believe these things, inasmuch as I’m probably largely incapable of grasping much of the minutia of science and math. It’s a brain thing, or lack of brains thing if you will. To me, on an intellectual level, our descending from apes or primitive proto-humans is no more far fetched than the virgin birth, the great flood, or my favorite, the imminent rapture of the faithful. (As far as I know, the term rapture doesn’t doesn’t appear in any sacred text. How the bible-thumpers latched onto that notion is beyond me.) I tend to believe I’m somewhat intellectual. Evidence indicates, and therefore I think, I’m actually an ignoramus.

I want to believe in some benevolent Higher Power. I believe there’s some evidence of it. I like believing I’ll see my friends and family in the next life. When I’m depressed, though, it’s very hard to believe in God. In these times I tend to think that if there is a god, that he hates me, and not necessarily for anything I’ve done, but that I’ve been predestined to be a loser, perhaps as an example for the good people to point at and say “there’s how not to do it”.


Written by Greybeard

February 24, 2008 at 9:49 am

8 Responses

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  1. Honest piece, nicely done.
    My take on evolutions, and why I don’t believe it is, why after so many millions of years, do I, as a higher mammal, have to wipe my ass? This event should of been taken care of years ago….and with that bit of humour my friend, I say,


    February 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm

  2. Never thought about the ass-wiping thing. With that in mind, maybe we’re really not the pinnacle. My dogs certainly don’t bother to wipe theirs. Sometimes they scoot around on the grass, but only in an emergency.

    Rob N.

    February 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm

  3. This is a very honest post and kudos to you for putting your thoughts down. I think most religious people focus too much on the laws of their religion…and not the faith of Christianity.

    Myself, I believe in a loving God, who did send His son for me. I do not judge others for their beliefs or lack of, however…there have been too many miracles in my own life to deny my faith in God or His son. And I’m talking life and death miracles.

    I hope one day you’ll know and feel in your heart that God doesn’t hate you. I never truly understood His love for me until I had my own child. My child screws up and I discipline him to teach him, but I never ever stop deeply loving him. It’s like that with God too.

    Good luck on your journey…feel free to stop by my page anytime. Although today I ranted and vented some on my blog, for the most part it’s designed to be uplifting.


    March 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm

  4. blessed1 – Glad you stopped by. Your comments and ideas are always welcome here. Dialog is a good thing. And yes, I’ll visit your blog soon. Cheers.

    Rob N.

    March 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm

  5. Now, me, I believe in karma and reincarnation. What goes around comes around in time – maybe not this life, but some other, the shit that you put out will come back to bite you in the ass. Conversely, the good that you do will in time return to you as well. I know a lot of people misinterpret this sort of belief so as to avoid responsibility for their own actions, but in my mind, it puts the ultimate responsibility for the state of my life squarely in my hands. It all rests in the choice. If someone does me wrong, I can choose to retaliate, or I can choose to try to understand his motives and forgive. The more positive energy I put into my life and the lives of others, the more positive return I will receive later in this life, or in my next.

    There are themes that run through my life (lives?) and experiences that appear to be ongoing lessons. Rebellion, independence and martyrdom. both in the sense of self-sacrifice and self-destructiveness, seem to be some of them. So does dealing with dsability and isolation. For that matter, so does leadership whether I want it or not. Either these sorts of things are a path I have chosen, or things that I keep messing up and so, have to keep working on. They’re still here, in any event, and I’m still learning lessons about the up and the downside of all of them.

    It’s not about predestination, it’s about choosing your own life and making it happen. I think I latched onto this philosophy gradually as an antidote to my own depression – it makes it easier to fight off the demons if you understand that the global “They” are doing it to you, you’re somehow doing it to yourself. If you can’t blame, then you can either choose to live in hell or find some way that might lead you out in time.

    Needless to say, despite a strict Catholic upbringing, I’m not satisfied with conforming to anyone’s revealed wisdom. All I can say is, this works for me. Nothing else did, and trust me, I’ve tried everything from “Born Again” to Scientology.

    And yes, I do claim to have some memories of prior lives. No, I wasn’t Cleopatra, or anyone of any historic note. I lived, I died, and I learned lessons along the way. And I figure I’ll continue to do so until I chance to finally “get it right”.

    Philosophy 101, according to The Bardd.


    March 5, 2008 at 7:12 pm

  6. The Bardd – Always nice to hear from you. The whole reincarnation thing scares the shit out of me. As vile as I’ve been I might come back as a single celled organism, or even a virus! All kidding aside though, reincarnation is certainly no harder for me to believe, intellectually, than the virgin birth or the Big Bang. Ultimately I think most of us are all trying to get to the same place. The vehicle isn’t important, at least I hope not. If there’s really only one way, then picking it’s a shot in the dark at best.

    Rob N.

    March 5, 2008 at 9:10 pm

  7. I occasionally think that it might be nice to come back next time as a pampered house cat. But then again, there’s the problem of how you’d have to manage personal hygeine. Saves on toilet paper, yes, but ewwwww.


    March 11, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  8. Just to share with you Rob:

    I believe that *what you believe* changes who you are. What I’ve become or what you’ve become is just the result of what we have chosen to believe. And we can choose differently.

    In fact, I would go as far as to say that the only real power we have is belief.


    March 17, 2008 at 9:07 pm

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