Tag Archive: Agnosticism


Who am I?  I’m terrified to let people really see me for me.

 

In fact, I’m quite certain that a few of my friends know more about me than my parents do.  But in reality, I’m certain that I barely know who I am myself.  I can put all sorts of labels on myself to make myself feel comfortable, but in the end they all really mean nothing.  The label of “agnostic” means absolutely nothing.  The label of “therian” means absolutely nothing.  They’re very good for finding people to relate to…sometimes.  Though I consider myself agnostic, I really don’t relate to many agnostics since I lean towards Christianity and most other agnostics lean towards Atheism.  And though I consider myself a therianthrope, I’m not the best at fitting in with the online community.  And it’s difficult not knowing anyone in person that is like me in that respect.  Because then at least I’d know one person that could understand what I go through.
While I understand this idea of not being afraid to be yourself, there’s a part of me that believes that only works in theory.  Now I’m not afraid of people knowing what I’m interested in.  I’ll happily admit that I’m a furry and an otaku.  Though some people might see those things as embarrassing, the fandoms are fun for me and a good escape from the troubles of reality.  And good outlets for my interests in different facets of art.  But when it comes to me as a person, I’m no good at fully being myself.  I’m constantly holding back on, suppressing, ignoring, or denying aspects of myself because not even I want to face all of them.  And I wouldn’t like other people knowing them either.  So even if I’m not at my happiest, I’ve gotten use to putting on a smile so I don’t have to burden anyone else with my thoughts.  ‘Cause it really isn’t anyone else’s business.

 

But there are things that bother me on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.  Right now it’s my therianthropy.  Generally I’m fine with it.  I’m fine with not telling people and I’m fine with hiding that.  Well…not really fine with it, but it’s just something I have to do to get by.  Although normality doesn’t exist, there are some things that can and will send people to a mental hospital and I’m sure therianthropy is one of them.  Because what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel human.  Specifically, there’s a part of me that feels like a dog.  And not only do I feel like one, but tend to express it through random behaviors and vocalizations like barking, growling, and howling and have some strange urges like chewing and digging and scent tracking.  Though it’s a big part of myself, I do have to suppress and hide it a lot.  Let’s face it, a person acting like a dog in public would grant a lot of weird looks at the least.  And I was at the very least okay with it.  Because there’s very few people in the world who could ever fully understand it.  And other therians just accept it as something that needs to be done.  And I suppose it does.  Because I’m sure I’d be ridiculed quite a bit if I didn’t.

 

But it’s one of the most uncomfortable things to work against my natural feelings.  Which I have to do on a daily basis.  Because I only have about…3 friends that know this about me and one that I’ve really talked to about it in person.  But even so, I’m not going to behave like a dog in front of them.  Or at least I do my best not to display any of my dog like behaviors in front of people.  It get’s harder when I’m being pestered and annoyed.  If I can think about my reaction before I act on it, then I won’t act on it.  But sometimes the reaction is much quicker than the thought.  Not to mention it’s much easier to growl at someone as a warning rather than say “Stop doing that”.  My family probably can hear me when I’m in one of my doggie moods.  I know my brother can hear me howling and barking at all times of the night.  But I have to reserve those behaviors for nighttime.  I’ve had days before when I’ve gone through an entire day in a dog like mindset and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was frustrating and uncomfortable.  I had no choice but to keep it all locked up inside.  I wish I didn’t have to keep it all to myself really…And I wish I could explain it better.  But I can’t explain how I feel…it’s a near impossibility when I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I wish I had some other ways to express this side of myself.  Some people say that running and exercise helps.  Or going out camping so they’re just out in nature away from other people.  Or dancing…or really anything else that they can think of.  I just haven’t found anything that helps for me.  Exercise is a chore and painful as I’ve got quite a bit of weight to lose.  I suppose I’d like to go camping one day…But for now, I need to find something else to channel this energy into.  Because I just can’t keep suppressing it all.

 

And for spirituality, I feel a bit like the odd woman out with most people I know.  My family’s all Christian.  My friends for the most part are all Christian as well (or at the least very spiritual) aside from one friend who’s Atheist.  And it’s not that they’re spiritual that really makes me feel like the odd woman out.  It’s the fact that they’re really comfortable with the decision they’ve made.  You know when I was little I didn’t really think about it too much.  I was Christian because I went to church and because my family was.  But then I grew up…and with growing up came more questioning of things.  And of course a non-answer to my prayer of what was “wrong with me” (AKA, my issue I mentioned above about therianthropy) sort of helped me move from being Christian to Agnostic.  I really don’t consider myself spiritual at all.  And I’ve tried to be.  I’ve looked at animal totemism and Shamanism because I thought it would be a help with my therianthropy.  At the very least I could learn how to spiritually shapeshift at will rather than doing so sporadically and at inopportune moments.  But after reading more about it, I just lost the interest that I previously had.  Not to mention reading about magic sort of turned me off to it.  I have nothing against magic.  I just don’t believe in it.

 

Plus I guess I still felt Christianity had something to offer me.  If it didn’t, I probably still wouldn’t be researching it and hanging around Christian websites (granted it’s a Christian furry and a Christian therianthropy page but still…).  But yet I still feel like I’m held back from really making a decision one way or another.  Because I care too much about what people think about me.  And it bothers me that people think that people are less intelligent just because they decide to believe in God.  But then again, I suppose I play into that a bit.  And as much as it pains me to say it I suppose deep down a part of me must believe that to a degree.  Even though I know it’s not true at all.  Because I’ll defend my friend (or anyone’s) right to believe as they wish and not be ridiculed for it.  Because being an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean that you are smarter.  Many atheists just parrot points just as much as many Christians do without doing the necessary research.

 

In all honesty, I can intellectually accept the idea of God.  And intellectually accept that God exists.  I just don’t place my faith in him or make any vast leaps to convert to Christianity.  Because 1) it still calls for me to give up a lot and 2) it’s not a leap I feel I’m ready to make.  But I honestly envy religious believers more than non-believers.  It’s much more beautiful and eloquent to believe and see that there’s more to the world, universe, and life than what’s visible to the eyes.  I suppose that Atheists have a point as well.  It’s beautiful to see the world for what we can see in front of us.  But that also seems quite limiting.  Though I suppose I’m just not comfortable with the idea that I’m here and don’t have a purpose and that what’s in front of us is it.  And how am I suppose to be okay with it?  Why wasn’t I born just a regular person instead of this weirdo who has dog-like tendencies?  Why can I draw but not really do anything else right?  Sure we can go with the age old answer of “genetics”…but I’ll never really know my full genetic make up as I’m adopted.  Perhaps my real parents are artistic and that would explain why I am too.  But for therianthropy…there are many therians that don’t have therian parents.  Actually very few have therian parents.  There’s really no explanation for it as of yet.  And if in the end I’ll just die and turn to dust, why the deuce am I wasting my time with school and earning a degree and money!?  There’s no point for it right?  I can just do what I want to do…or rather should…

 

I barely know who or what I am.  I spend all this time fretting over what I want to do in life or how to please other people while trying to please myself and please this entity known as the “world”.  And really they all can’t be done.  Only two can be done at a time…but just barely.  If you ask my parents, they’ll say that I’m really childish and that I refuse to grow up.  And in a way that’s true.  Growing up just…sucks.  And no one can convince me that it’s any good for you.  And I don’t want to.  If I were still little, everything would be so easy.  I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being dog like ’cause people would just think I’m playing pretend like any other little kid.  And religion…I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now.  Only difference is that kids aren’t suppose to understand it.  And kids are always thought of as innocent anyways.  And no jobs or money to worry about…

 

Now I’m just getting utterly depressing.  But yes…yet another thing that bothers me is the whole thought of getting older.  But enough of that.  Unfortunately I’ve got to deal with all these things.  Really it all boils down to I just need to stop caring what people think of me.  Which is such an impossible and difficult thing to do.  Because you have to present your way to the world in some way that is thought of as “normal”.  But I don’t fit in this mold called “normal”.  Well not all the time.  And I just don’t want to fit myself into the world at least in the way the world wants me to fit in.  With the 9-5 job, white picket fence and family with at least 2 kids.  It’s not what I want.  The ultimate goal in my life is to just be happy.  The secondary one is to find a way to really be me.  And lastly is the job/monetary goal which is to work solely for myself (possibly with friends) doing illustration and craft type work.  If I can find a way to do all three by time I die, then I suppose I would’ve achieved all my goals in life.  But how can I even begin to do it?  I just don’t know how…

 

I envy people who know what they want to do, know who they are, what they are, and have everything put together.  I can pretend to be completely stable all I want to…but that doesn’t make it true.  On the outside I can smile all I want.  On the inside, I’m sure I’m just falling apart.  And I’m sure I can’t put up with it much longer…there’s no way that I can…

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A not-so-new realization…

It’s new for me to say it (either aloud or through writing) but here it is:

I don’t think I could be an atheist.

I’m remembering touching base on this somewhere (whether it was here or on another site I don’t remember).  Basically it took me some time to get myself to admit that.  I did spend some time considering being atheist.  I spent time being rather upset at Christianity and Christians and wanted nothing to do with the religion.  I don’t care what other people believe, but I didn’t want to be a part of the religion.  Because of my personal experiences with Christianity, my belief of devout Christians were that they were prudish and ignorant.  For non-devout Christians (IE those who believe in God but don’t particularly worship Him or believe the bible), I found them hypocritical, but miles more tolerable than those who spouted fire and brimstone or ridiculed others for not subscribing to their religion.

So for some time I wanted away from Christianity.  I stared reading up on Shamanism.  I believed (and still believe to a degree) in totem animals, spirit guides, and the like.  I wanted to find my totem animal and perhaps “learn” from it.  That was a short lived idea.  I lost interest in it rather quickly.  If I do have a spirit animal, I don’t really care to find it.  Being that I’m not much of a spiritual person, stuff about magic, energy manipulation, etc. doesn’t strike me as that interesting.  It’s not something that I care to learn how to do, though I do find the subject rather interesting.

At one point I visited a Pagan/Spiritual message board and asked for advice about breaking away from Christianity.  I hated going to church.  I really didn’t like the congregation or the pastor.  I didn’t like that stereotypical style of preaching where preachers just yell at you because somehow yelling equates to passion.  Not to mention there was no diversity in my church.  On a rare occasion you’d see one white person in there because they were married to a black woman or because they were guests of someone (in case you’re wondering, I went to an all black church).

But after about two years I’ve come nearly full circle.  Instead of avoiding Christianity or allowing negative ideas to develop about it, I decided to learn about it and engage people in discussion.  When I really didn’t like Christianity, I would easily agree with everything that non-theists would have to say about the religion.  If they said the bible endorsed rape, I believed it.  Or that the bible was against women…I believed that too.  In fact I really did tell myself before that I wanted God to leave me alone.  I was tired of thinking about Him, being riddled with thoughts and questions about him, and guilt about “wrong” things that I was doing.  I wanted it all gone.  But instead of just trying to suppress them all, I started questioning and exploring Christianity.  Now I’m quite certain that when I joined Christian related sites or talked to Christian individuals, I came across as very snappy because I was still rather angry towards the religion.  I parroted factoids that I knew nothing about because the non-theists who seemed knowledgeable to me said them.

But when faced with the reality of things, I was just parroting factoids.  Not facts.  But just blurbs.  The reality is that no matter what the position, everyone’s going to have a bias.  Non-theists aren’t going to believe the evidence that theist put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  Theists aren’t going to support evidence that non-theists put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  There’s points where both groups view the same evidence so differently.  There’s no winning either way.  And there’s really no help for someone like me in the middle of things.  I’ve just got to weigh both sides and see which one has the stronger arguments.  And to me, I suppose Christians do.  Really it all boils down to the creation of the universe.  I don’t buy the creation of something from nothing without some force being their to create it.  I don’t buy the redefinition of nothing.  I already touched base on that and I don’t plan on covering that again.  That and I can’t help but see something…intriguing…about this world despite my rather negative world view.

So yes…I’m an agnostic that leans more towards Christianity than Atheism.  I acknowledge the existence of God, but I don’t place faith in Him.  I don’t pray and haven’t prayed since I was 14 (at least not willingly and seriously).  I’m very much stuck as to what I should to spiritually.  A part of me wants to take a huge leap of faith and trust in something that may or may not exist.  Another part of me doesn’t for multiple reasons.

One thing I know is what I’ve been doing on my own doesn’t work.  So why should doing and believing the same thing continue to work?

Why am I agnostic?

More specifically why am I Christian leaning agnostic?  Why not leaning towards the atheism end of the spectrum?  And why wouldn’t I want to keep the label of “agnostic” forever?

 

I believe I touched base on my history with Christianity in one of my earliest posts here.  I started out claiming Christianity and over time grew strong animosity towards the religion due to my own misconceptions of the religion.  Most of which I read from other people who had even stronger animosity towards the religion than I did.

 

I need to be more comfortable with what I believe.  And what I believe is this:

 

The label of “agnostic” is a cop-out.  It’s saying that  “I don’t know”.  Or rather that’s the guise.  In actuality the position’s more of an “I don’t know so I’m not going to try to learn”.  I’m not even claiming that one can know absolutely what is or isn’t true regarding the workings of the universe, life, afterlife, etc.  What I’m saying though is there is a “more likely than not” situation that can help a person figure out which way to go.  Either towards a theist path or an atheist path.  People can go through agnostic phases, but when one ceases to continue learning about the world, or even attempt to learn about the world, using the term “agnostic” is rather useless and meaningless.

 

Now I tend to look at things as if they were on a sliding scale.  So I’ll place Atheism on one end of the spectrum and Christianity on the other end.  From there’s it’s mainly a game of weighing odds, weighing the price, and weighing what each side has to offer me.  I’ll admittedly say that looking at what each side has to offer me is a rather selfish decision, but it’s one that needs to be there.  “Weighing the price” just means weighing what I’d have to “pay”.  What I’d have to give up in my life in order to follow said path.  And weighing the odds is rather self-explanatory so I won’t go into deeper detail.

 

So I’ll start with what each side has to offer me, the selfish decision.  I suppose I don’t know what Atheism has to offer me. “Reality” I guess.  Whatever reality is.  Though that’s not much of an incentive.  For a girl who desperately wants to escape from reality, offering me reality does nothing for me.  Knowledge?  Well you can gain knowledge outside of being an atheist.  Atheism doesn’t hold claim on intelligence (though many that I’ve come across behave as if it does).  As I don’t know Atheism well enough, I don’t know what it could ever offer me.  It has nothing to offer me because I don’t need to feel smart.  I know enough to get by in the world.  I don’t need to know everything or attempt to know everything.  I don’t need reality because reality is disheartening and stressful.  Sure there’s good things.   My friends, my hobbies, the subcultures I’m a part of.  But even the good doesn’t help with how stressful reality is.

 

I need the security of knowing that someone out there will always care about me no matter who I am (animator, student…), what I am (therian/otherkin, furry, “otaku”), what I believe, or what my interests are.  Whilst I don’t doubt my friends (not so much my family) can accept (or at the most general level tolerate) those deals, people change.  I don’t want that to come across as cruel because I know at least one of my friends reads some of the things I put up here so I hope that isn’t taken in a negative manner.  I need the security of knowing that I’m here for some reason.  I’m terrible at creating my own purpose.  And believe me I’m trying.  I’m rather fed up with animation as a career path.  I could do it, but I don’t think I’m at all good enough or have the passion enough for it.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  Do you know the list of things I would consider for a job?  Animator, illustrator, baker, pet groomer, freelance artist, fursuit maker, comic artist, writer…I want to do all of them, but can’t figure out which one would be a good job.  Not to mention I’d like to think I wasn’t some accident of nature.  Just being here just because.  It’s quite a depressing thought.

 

Now enough of that.  On to weighing the price.  Now we’re all aware that Christianity calls for you to give up a lot.  I suppose I’m not afraid to admit that I make a lot of mistakes that I’m not proud of and want to work to fix.  Well not fix what I’ve done, just fix myself I suppose.  And want forgiveness from the wrong things that I do (despite the fact that the only one in this equation who’d be able to forgive me of such things would be God).  I don’t just mean the obvious wrong things I do.  I also mean the things I do that I feel guilty about.  For some people guilt may go away easily.  For others, it doesn’t.  For everything that Christianity would call for me to give up, it would be things that would probably change my life for the better.  Whether or not I decide to completely give them up is on me though.  Whereas Atheism would call for me to give up something as well.  For when I call myself Agnostic, it’s not because I’m agnostic on the existence of God.  For me, the world wouldn’t make sense without some sort of Creator who at the least started everything off.  Sure I tried to understand the position of “something coming from nothing” in the “scientific” or rather Atheistic point of view.  And I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible with understanding such things.  But I do understand one thing.  The purposeful redefinition of “nothing” to suit the position that nothing can be created from something.  To speak rather frankly, that doesn’t “fly” with me.  But that isn’t the purpose of this post so I won’t go any further with that.  When I say that I’m agnostic, I mean I don’t know what way to turn, what God is like, or who’s closer to understanding Him/it.  That’s not saying that I know for sure that God exists either.  I just don’t frequently question whether or not God exists.  So to take an Atheistic point of view requires me to give up much more than Christianity.

 

I don’t believe I should get into weighing odds.  As I’m still in this process.  Nor am I any good with apologetics.  Nor am I any good at remembering what I read.  So that part is for another time and place.

 

So that’s my beliefs in a nutshell.  Take it or leave it.  I don’t feel like I have to keep hiding everything I feel, believe, etc.

Definition of “nothing”

Okay, this has been bugging me for quite a while and wasn’t on my mind until today.  I was talking with my friend (whom we share both similar and drastically different spiritual views) about what constitutes as “nothing”.  Yes…we were talking about the origin of the universe.  And we’ve both heard the “nothing doesn’t really mean ‘nothing'” when it comes to the “nothing” of the universe.

 

Now, I’m a stickler for actual definitions of words.  I hate swear words (well…a love/hate relationship with them) because they’re often used out of context.  A “bitch” isn’t a horrible woman.  It’s a female dog.  An “ass” isn’t an unintelligent person or someone’s buttocks.  It’s a donkey.  How these words come to new and often ridiculous meaning is beyond me.  So I’m going to break down the word “nothing” to see if there’s a way that can fit in the concept that “nothing” doesn’t mean the “absence of things” (whatever “things” are).

 

Firstly, nothing is technically a compound word composed of the words “no” and “thing”.  But first let’s go into the definition of “nothing” as a whole word.

 

Nothing (pronoun; according to Collins English Dictionary)

1) (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied specific class of things (IE: I can give you nothing.)

2) No part or no share (IE: I have nothing to do with this crime.)

3) A matter of no importance or significance  (IE: It doesn’t matter, it’s nothing.)

4) Indicating the absence of anything perceptible; nothingness

5) Indicating the absence of meaning, value, worth, etc. (IE: Amounting to nothing)

6) Zero quantity; nought

 

The last one is to be broken up into different subcategories, but I believe that the point is made regardless.  In this case we’d be working with definitions 1, 4, 5, and 6.  Specifically 4 (which I bolded for importance sake), the absence of anything perceptible.  Of course one can say of the universe that this means that there are things out there that we cannot perceive and these are the things that started the universe.  However that will lead to a few questions.  One, how do you know there are things out there that you cannot perceive?  Two, how do you know that these are the things that started/lead to the beginning of the universe?  And three, would the definition of nothing under these constraints continue to be pushed back further and further once these objects that could not be perceived become perceived?

 

I suppose then that I should define what “perceptible” means so that is clear as well.

 

Perceive (verb; as defined by Collins English Dictionary)

 

1) To become aware of (something) through the sense, especially the sight; recognize or observe

2) To come to comprehend; grasp

 

So that we’re very clear on what it means to “perceive” something.

 

What I’m annoyed with so much by this notion of “nothing” doesn’t mean what you think “nothing” means is that it’s a term created purposely to suit what the “scientist” needs the term to mean.  We know the universe had a beginning.  We know this beginning meant that not a thing existed in the universe before the universe existed.  What we don’t know is the means that the universe began.  There’s a point where science needs to acknowledge that it will never be able to explain everything.  Changing the definition of a word to fit what you want it to mean doesn’t make the new definition more valid.  Just because people say “bitch” to mean a woman (generally; it can also be used towards men) who’s rude, mean, insensitive, etc. doesn’t negate the fact that that’s not what a bitch is.  In proper context it’s a valid word used to describe the female gender of a canine.

 

What did the definition of “nothing” become?  It now describes an infinite void where nothing except the universe contained inside of it can exist.  So now I have to figure out what “void” means.

 

Void (noun; from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

 

1) An empty space

2) A vacuum

 

This now forces me to define two more things, “empty” and “vacuum”.  Defining empty however will just circle back around to the definition of nothing (as “empty” as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is defined as “holding or containing nothing”.  Vacuum circles back around to both the definitions of “empty” and “void”.  That is aside from the definitions of it being “a state of being sealed off from external or environmental influences; isolation”, but that’s not a definition to work with anyways.  The ones we would be working with would be “absence of matter”, “a space empty of matter” (which is very similar to saying an absence of matter), or “a space relatively empty of matter”.

 

Honestly, I could go on and on breaking down words until there is a decent enough definition, however I think the point stands.  What definition of “nothing” are we going by?  A linguistically established standard of nothing that everyone is aware of and can look up in any basic dictionary?  Or a “scientifically” created version of “nothing” created because there needed to be a new definition of “nothingness” in order to fit in with the mold that “scientists” needed “nothing” to fit into?

As is mandatory with any new website, I must introduce myself and my intentions with this page.

 

I am a 21 year old, traditional animation major who spend a lot of time contemplating various aspects of her life.  I’m not a very spiritual person, yet I’m contemplating becoming more spiritual.  At the moment I am an agnostic that has some leanings towards Christianity.  I moved away from Christianity about a year or two ago.  In a physical sense (meaning that I didn’t go to church anymore).  I was well aware that I wasn’t Christian at a young age.  I always had/have questions regarding the belief.  But when I was just told to “read the bible” to find the answer, I didn’t find that satisfactory enough.  Not to mention I developed a fear of God that I’m still attempting to get over.

 

But by speaking to a few Christians online and being recommended books to read (mostly dealing with apologetics), I’m coming to accept God on an intellectual level.  Most likely because I realize the leap of logic it takes to believe that something can spontaneously come from nothing.  And the leap of logic it takes to believe that the universe has always existed when it has been proven scientifically that the universe did not always exist.  I suppose I call myself “agnostic” because (to quote the title of a book) I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

 

Yet I still leave the path of atheism open.  Though I suppose that I would never go down that path because it would help me in the least bit.  Particularly because I’m a bit depressed and taking the stance that this is all that life is would just drive me further to depression.  So out of the two ends of the spectrum, I think atheism is the harder to believe.  It also doesn’t help that I don’t have a very positive view of many atheists.  The good majority come across as self-righteous.  Always putting others who believe differently down.  Claiming that they’re smarter than those who have a faith.  The militant atheist is no different than a militant Christian.  At least though, Christians “act that way” because they believe they’re told to (even if they’re wrong in the way they display such behaviors).  Atheists who act in such a manner do so purely out of pride.  This is the main reason that I have a hard time picking a side I think.  I believe that I haven’t been clearly shown the positives of either side.  However Christians on a whole leave a better impression on me than atheists do.

 

The first purpose of this blog (after that long introduction) is to be a “diary” of sorts.  Writing down my ideas when it comes to spirituality and how I’m affect by not being a spiritual person.  Possibly to learn more about such things from other members on the site if they come across my writings.  I will most likely read and follow other blogs from those who I feel I could learn a lot from.  And it would be very good if I could find conversion stories and converse with such people since it’s what will probably help me the most rather than talking to those who are born and bred Christians (not that I couldn’t learn anything from them, it’s just that as an agnostic I feel it would benefit me more to speak to those who have converted from agnosticism or atheism).

 

The second purpose of this blog is to write my experiences and theories regarding therianthropy and otherkin.  I did not mention it above, but I am a domestic dog therian.  Which at it’s core means that in addition to being and feeling human, I also feel very canine.  I use the “simple” label of domestic dog therian as to not complicate the whole issue anymore than it already is.  The full description of the label needs its own blog entry.  And I will probably also discuss how my being a therian ties into my hang ups with religion.

 

For the moment, that’s it I suppose.

I say weak Christianity because the truth of the matter was that I was never Christian.  I was raised in a Christian household and expected to believe what my parents believed but aside from being forced to go to church and a weak belief in God/a higher power, I couldn’t call myself a Christian.  I didn’t really pray much other than the Lord’s prayer.  I didn’t rely on God for anything.  I didn’t really accept Jesus as savior.  I just went to church and called myself “Christian” because that was what was expected of me.  Until I was about 19 or 20 my mother still forced me to go to church because to her I’m still “a child” and since I live under her roof I must believe what she believes.

 

But I digress.  I’m supposed to be explaining what drove me to accepting the title of agnostic.  This ties into my story of therianthropy as well so bear with me as I will not completely explain what it means to be a therian in this post.  For anyone interested enough, it will be explained in a further post.

 

And so my little story starts at age 11.  I’m just a little girl who has a bit of nervousness around dogs (derived from a full blown fear that I was slowly starting to get over) and like any other little kid, I didn’t like school or homework.  It was summer time and my mother had set aside some workbooks for me and my brother to work on so I sat in my room (which is now my brother’s room) and worked on them.  Math.  It’s the bane of my existence.  I hate math.  I was never any good at it yet I sat there and attempted to work on this when I could be watching TV, or drawing, or on the internet.  Anything but doing math.  I felt my frustration with the questions rising and rising until…I growled.

 

Lips pulled back and teeth bared.  I caught myself growling loudly.  I was fully aware of what I was doing, but it was an urge that at the moment was too strong to fight.  I was upset at this simple math homework (simple now…maybe not when I was in 5th going on 6th grade) and the way I was expressing my frustration was in a way that I had never done before.  And I started tearing at the pages.  Scratching at them and hoping to tear them up with my short nails that couldn’t tear anything.  Again I was fully aware of my actions, I just could express my emotions at the moment in any other way.  It was just something I was doing automatically.  As if it were instinct.

 

For a full minute or two I sat there clawing at the pages of this book and growling until eventually I just calmed down.  Took a deep breath and attempted to make sense of what had just happened but I couldn’t.  To me, humans should not behave like that.  Humans don’t “growl”.  At least not in the way that I was.  To my knowledge humans don’t bare their teeth and growl at people as a way to express frustration.  And for some time afterwards I had more experiences like these.  I needed to know why it was I was feeling like this.  I wanted to know what was going on with me.

 

So internet to the rescue.  I searched google for the only thing I could think of: Werewolf.  That’s right.  I typed werewolf into google’s search engine and attempted to find out if there were anything about “real” (not in the physically shapeshifting sense) werewolves.  At the time I had felt like a wolf.  Had urges to howl and bark.  Again, at 11 (or maybe at this time 12) years old I didn’t understand that wolves weren’t the only animals that howled and since I had the desire to howl, I thought I must be a wolf.

 

Eventually I came across the term “clinical lycanthropy”.  A mental disorder describing people who feel with their entire being that they are being physically transformed into a wolf (or sometimes another animal).  At first I thought this was me.  I thought I had this mental disorder.  Except for one thing.  I never believed I turned into a wolf . I just acted like one and felt like one.  I knew whole-heartedly that I wasn’t a real wolf.  And I was smart enough to know that humans can’t really turn into animals.  That was just the stuff of movies and TV.  Just fantasy.  So that realization left me back at square one again.

 

At this point I bet you’re wondering what this has anything to do with a journey from Christianity to Agnosticism but don’t worry, I’m getting there.

 

Through some twist of fate, I stumbled upon the website of an artist known as Goldenwolf.  As an artist, I just stared in awe at her beautiful renditions of anthropomorphic animals.  In other words, I got sidetracked.  I spend some time searching Goldenwolf’s art galleries before reading her artist bio where she mentions that she’s a therianthrope (or rather mentioned.  She has since backed away from the therian community).  She describes her feelings of being a wolf and it seems I’ve finally found what it was I was looking for.  Therianthrope.  Maybe that’s what I was.

 

There were links to therian communities listed on her website and so I lurked around some of the message boards, reading posts by other members describing their experiences of being a therian.  From the spiritual to the psycological theories.  To discussing their “shifts” (something else that I shall describe in further  posts).  Everything that I was reading was ringing true for me yet…at the same time it wasn’t.  I knew that this was what I was.  But because I compared my experiences with other who seemed much more connected to their animal side than I was, I couldn’t completely believe that I was a therian either.  I still felt completely lost.

 

Now around age 14 and getting towards the true purpose of this blog.  It was one of the rare times at church where my mother dragged my brother and me down to pray.  So I did have some thing to pray about.  What was wrong with me?  What am I?  And if you experience the feeling of being a completely different species while having a human body, you’d want to know what was wrong with you too.  So I waited and waited and waited.  Not waiting as in a week or two.  More like a few months.  Still nothing.  So the next time I prayed again.  And again with time I still felt like I received no answer.  It was at this point that I decided not to pray again.  I figured that prayer didn’t work.  I wasn’t really getting help.  I still felt weird and wrong.  A human shouldn’t feel like a dog.  It feels like it should be impossible.  But I felt like I had to figure this thing out on my own, so I did.

 

Little did I know that this would also open me up to recognize and accept something big about myself: God scares me.  I know he’s supposed to be loving and patient but going to church I picked up little things that just made it seem like he wasn’t.  The pastor wanted to teach about how loving God is, but you can’t then say at the same time that God will smite people and other such things.  Things just stopped adding up.  And the straw that broke the camel’s back was hearing my pastor and the congregation laughing at those who weren’t Christian.  Laughing at them because they were “wrong” and could go to hell.  To say it infuriated me wouldn’t quite describe it.  It was at that moment that I decided that I couldn’t associate with them anymore.  These people who claim to be so loving are ridiculing others for their beliefs.  How “Christian” of them!  It was truly at this moment that I figured I couldn’t do it anymore.  I didn’t want to pretend to believe something that I didn’t believe.  I most certainly don’t want to associate with people who are so hypocritical.  I never became atheist, but I most certainly wasn’t Christian anymore.  Or rather ever if you want to be technical about it.  I was never Christian.  I just called myself so.  However I knew I wasn’t going to even call myself Christian anymore.

 

So that’s my journey to Agnosticism in a nutshell.  Sorry most of this is about therianthropy but it was a big part of the story.  Staying agnostic and trying to figure myself out spiritually is a whole other can of worms reserved for another day.  For now, off to bed I am.  Lack of sleep is starting to set in.