When I was 15 years old I started wondering about the purpose of life. The first books I came across that addressed this matter were the Old and the New Testament in the bookcase of my parents. So I read the Old Testament and then the New Testament several times.
Enticed by the power of the words in those books, I decided I should become a Christian. I felt that I should completely ‘side with Jesus,’ live a life according to what the bible teaches and tell my friends that I had become a Christian.
During this period I had the following experience.
It was early in the morning and I was lying in my bed. I was just waking up from my sleep. It was the moment in between being asleep and being awake, when mental processes are not in full gear yet. While I was relaxing in this state, I became aware of a feeling that there was some pressing matter at hand.
This feeling crystallized into this thought: “There is something pressing going on in my life, but I can’t remember what it is exactly.” Then, as my mind shifted into higher gear, I suddenly remembered what the pressing matter was, and it came to me in the form of this exact thought: “OH, I HAVE TO BELIEVE AGAIN..!”
Because I went from a very relaxed natural state straight into the high gear mind–state of thinking I ‘had to believe,’ I became acutely aware of how conventional religious belief takes root in the mind.
In that moment I saw that conventional religious belief is a dictatorship of the mind. It is me, imposing a believe upon myself, so that I can deal with my own ignorance.
The second after this realization, I freed myself from Christianity. I threw off the chains of that self–imposed delusion.
That liberation had nothing to do with rejecting the person of Jesus. But it had everything to do with renouncing HOW THE MIND uses religious belief to cover up its existential despair.