|Subject:||Loss of passion for life: Perhaps the greatest cost of Mormonism|
|Date:||May 03 08:47 2003|
|One thing I've noticed far too often among TBMs is a glazed-over,
dronishness, a distinct lack of passion for all that life has to offer.
For instance, it's very unusual for adult TBMs to be interested in and talk about subjects like the 1960s, Civil Rights, the Beatles, and the British Invasion, gardening, outdoor farmers markets, the latest exhibit at the art museum, historical artifacts, archaeology vacations, public transportation, foreign films, Chinese brush painting, the history of calligraphy, formal debate, the unique behaviors of the Peregrine Falcon, or visiting national monuments.
What you will hear from TBMs is talk about BYU sports teams, and professional sports, their ascent up the corporate ladder, hunting, water skiing, snow skiing, dirt bike riding, fishing, and trips to mainstream places like Disneyland, or Hawaii.
In so many ways, TBMhood turns people into dull and boring drones who settle for the McLife.
It's like it's somehow apostate to think about other things outside of that very provincial world.
|Subject:||I know a few who're into gardening...|
|Date:||May 03 09:11|
|but for the most part, I agree with you.
One reason I have very few friends in zion is because I don't have ANYTHING to discuss with most mormons.
The biggest issue I have NOT in common is - my anti-material side. I enjoy living on less and enjoying it more. My home is mobile, my Subaru is ten years old, my favorite clothing has holes in it.
I know there are lots of people who aren't like me (most people aren't like me, and I'm happy about that, frankly), but I can @ LEAST come to certain understandings with redneck republicans who drive huge SUVs and piss out gallons of cheap beer, or with my own family - most of whom are well-off professionals who vacation in far away places.
@ LEAST there's passion in dialogs with these people (I like passion, not necessarily agreement).
Mormons are, in my experience, the LEAST passionate creatures I've ever encountered, other than the two-toed sloth I spent time with @ the Los Angeles zoo as a kid.
I know most mromons think I'm wacky and out there, but I'm not so far gone that I'm "political" in any of my opinions, I'm just ME and I like to listen to how other people live. I share, I enjoy listening to others - I just like to be around interesting people, no matter whether I AGREE with them. I enjoy passion.
It's hard to get excited over a person's bland bored response of "It was okay", when you ask how their trip to Disneyland was.
|Subject:||Or is it that people with few outside interests...|
|Date:||May 03 10:46|
|...are comfortable in Mormonism? After all, you don't need to be a very interesting person because you're assigned friends. All you need in common are Mormon interests, and the church tells you what those should be.|
|Subject:||Re: Loss of passion for life: Perhaps the greatest cost of Mormonism|
|Date:||May 03 12:09|
|Interesting that you bring this up. I'm convinced that my father
died as a direct result of this same apathetic attitude. For him, nothing was ever good
enough and he never found satisfaction in what he was doing or where he was at any given
moment. Nothing that he ever did was done with a passionate flame of desire. (Except
beating on us when some excuse provided the opportunity. . . .)
He died at the too-young age of 60 from a massive stroke. He had had a less severe, though still debilitating stroke three years prior to that. For the last 10 years of his life, he was always talking about how his health was bad and that he was going to "die any time now." Most of his conversations with me were laced with the phrase, "When I die . . . " or some variant of it. And his thoughts were always turned to what was going to happen in the afterlife, of how he was going to reap his eternal reward.
At first, he was rather arrogant about the idea that he had done the best he could raising his kids, 9 out of 10 of us having served missions and all of the married ones having been married/sealed in the temple. He had a way of pointing that fact out to people in the church as a way of telling everyone how wonderful he was as a parent.
But he was never focused on the enjoyment of any particular moment in life. Never found any pleasure in the things of this world and did quite a bit of complaining in the process. I pointed this out to him one day whereupon he responded by telling me that none of the things of this earth really mattered and that he would be paid his just reward in the next life if he served god. Frankly, at the time, I was just starting to doubt the church in a serious way so I gave it considerable reflection (can't call it true thought back then). Later, while I was in the process of leaving the church, one of the things that caused me doubt was the burning question, stimulated by my father's comment: How could a loving god put his alleged children on earth and not expect them to at least TRY to enjoy their time here?
As he approached the last couple of years of his life, he actually became somewhat fearful that perhaps he WASN'T ready to die and his behavior took on a fanatical nature that drove him to do massive amounts of home teaching, visiting people in hospitals and jails, the widows of the ward and all this despite the fact that he was partially disabled by his first stroke. I could never convince him that he shouldn't be driving a car. I couldn't even do it by using the church's own scripture where it says, "it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." For some reason, his TBM-ness failed him on this point.
Though it seems I use the reference too frequently, it has a LOT of application here, and that is the quote by Marx, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." That is especially true of mormonism. Thoughts of post-life reward will anesthetize people into ignoring the life they have here. Ironically, the church teaches that the same frame of mind you have on earth will go with you in the next life. I suspect that, were there a "next life" these people wouldn't enjoy it any more than they enjoy THIS life!
Now that I've left the church, and avowed myself an atheist, I believe there is no afterlife to terrorize me into the slavery and fear of church service. That means that if I'm not enjoying life, with it's laughter and sadness and joy and pain, then it really does me no good whatsoever.
To that end, I have managed to understand that every moment is precious. I find that I enjoy much more simplistic things now than I ever would have as a mormon. Back then, I would allow the bee to go about his business ignored and unappreciated. Now, however, I could watch him work for hours, endlessly fascinated and considering all of the ramifications of his simple efforts and maybe even supporting him in his work by planting flowers for him only to find that they bring their own endless fascinations and loves.
Well, this post has gone on too long already. Just felt a moment of diarrhea of the fingertips!
|Subject:||There's a cool quote...|
|Date:||May 03 12:24|
|by Eleondra Duse. It reads, "If a blade of grass springing up
in the fields has power to move you...rejoice, for your soul is alive."
(I choose to define "soul" as "spirit" or "intellect" or "senses" - it doesn't necessarily imply "eternal soul" to me, an agnostic).
It fits my frame of mind perfectly. I do derive warm joy from watching the grass grow. (I think this contributes to why I feel perfectly content to make less money, work less arduously, live lower on the income chain, but still feel that I have a full, rich, abundant life.)
Most of the well-off TBMs we know see the way we live - on much less than they do - and they feel we're deriving our "just desserts".
Ironically, I agree, not for the same reasons though. :)
|Subject:||Re: There's a cool quote...|
|Date:||May 03 13:25|
|It's been raining off and on all morning. Here in So. Cal, we don't
see a lot of rain and we rarely, if ever, see the huge downpour that we have gotten this
morning. We opened our sliding glass door and froze our asses off just lolling about in
the sound of the rain. :-) It's a rarity here and because of that, we absolutely LOVE it
when we get it.
And all of a sudden, the clouds have broken, there is blue sky and beautiful puffy white clouds out! The change itself is something to lift the heart and the mind to a higher plateau!
Sometimes I wish I lived out in the sticks again but even in the city, you can enjoy nature a great deal if it imposes itself on you like this!
|Subject:||Mormonism is such a huge albatross to carry around, it's no wonder.|
|Date:||May 03 13:14|
|The demands placed on TBMs are excessive and would push my stress
level over the edge. Utah is No. 1 in bankruptcies, No. 1 in "charitable"
(church) contributions (more like extortion, IMO), and has one of the lowest (if not the
lowest) per capita incomes in the country. Now, you don't have to be a CPA to figure out
that it has to be pretty tough to be a "good" Mormon and make ends meet. Taking
just your money isn't good enough for the Morg. It has to eat up all your time, too, with
one meeting or assignment after the other.
The Mormon mantra of "endure to the end" isn't exactly uplifting and positive either. IMO, most religion keeps people in a box; however, Mormonism keeps its members in straight jackets. All your thinking and decisions are made for you. You're not allowed to personally grow beyond adolescence. Lord, it makes me want to slit my wrists just thinking about it.
Most of the TBMs I work with are miserable. I get exhausted just listening about all the ridiculous hoops their religion forces them to jump through all the time. The pressure to be "perfect" (whatever in the hell that is) and to maintain a constant happy, shiny, all-is-well image would make me nuts.
I kind of wonder if the extreme and unrealistic demands placed on TBMs will end up being a greater contributor to the demise of the Morg rather than its doctrine/history. I guess we'll see.
|Subject:||We just got a phone call from a woman...|
|Date:||May 03 14:21|
|who is interested in my last name, she thinks maybe I'm related to
Uncle Buck from the "Smith" ward in Utah or something - and I couldn't help but
notice the way her voice sounded.
(I let the machine get it, I never pick up if I don't know the number - it's usually somebody trying to sell something.)
This woman, who is PROBABLY in her fifties or beyond, has about as much get-up-and-go in her voice as that sloth I met in the zoo. She's NOT the only one, either. MOST TBMs I talk to speak slowly, unemphatically, as if life is as exciting as a box of low sodium Saltines topped with American Cheeze-Wiz.
I always wonder (since I have this problem myself), "Does this person have a REALLY serious undiagnosed thyroid condition, or is this really HER, with all the 'spunk' she owns??????????????????????"
I think the LDS church sucks the life out of people and leaves them diseased and debilitated. The church is, to me, like a tic which carries Lyme disease.
One reason I love the people on this board so much is because they've broken out of that mind-numb and embraced LIFE, as it should be - lived.
|Subject:||It's because the church weighs you down...|
|Date:||May 03 16:08|
|...with so many requirements that you don't have the time or money
to get involved with a lot of interests. And it gives you a myopic view of the world,
because you have to filter everything through the gospel before you can decide if it is
Oh, I've known some members with a lot of interests, but they aren't "real" TBMs. (That was me!)
One thing that always bugged me? If a TBM saves up the money to go on a vacation, where does he go? Nauvoo. That sounds like a real thrill, doesn't it?
|Subject:||My TBM ex-husband wanted a family reunion in Nauvoo for the temple dedication|
|Date:||May 03 16:58|
|This is yet another example of how the Morg sucks the life out of people. I'd rather see other places than Morg history sites, and Vegas is more fun than SLC.|
|Subject:||Morg history sites...|
|Date:||May 03 19:53|
|aren't real history sites anyway. You get there, and all you hear
are testimonies. The missionaries there are very unlikely to have clue about the actual
history that took place there. And there are very few artifacts, etc.
I'm a docent at a real history museum, and the difference between it and the Morg sites I've visited is like night and day.
|Subject:||This is why leaving can be difficult|
|Date:||May 03 16:19|
|Most "apostates" find that their life has been sucked
clean of anything passionate and constructive.. They look around their life and find that
all their friends are mormon and have a very small social structure with no hobbies or
talents that really excite them.
This is why I strongly believe that those of us who are leaving the church need to focus foremost on building a support network. We need to find a hobby. Join a club.. Get out and meet people. I think Those of us who do this do not suffer nearly the discomfort and depression.
For example. my husband and I joined a hiking club and a gardening club.. We also attend the local rotary club.. We have a lovely group of friends and are transitioning out of the church smoothly.. Now it still is a struggle at times but I find it much more enriching than if we sat at home confused and depressed.. at first we were lousy at making friends because frankly we were so introverted and socially inept.. That is why joining clubs and groups can help because it is nice to have a place to mingle and meet people rather than trying to go it alone...
Best wishes for all of us who are out and moving on with our lives.. To those in the process.. Take heart it truly does get better with time..
|Date:||May 03 17:04|
|Fortunately, I had interests before joining so I have those again as well as getting more involved with the SCA(Society for Creative Anachronisim). I went to an event with my ex but this time, I'm getting more into it, and am really designing more accurate garb. The best part is, NO MORMONISIM!! That cult is so out of the period which is medieval up to 1650. Anyway, that is one great hobby which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Morg.|
|Subject:||Living in monotone|
|Date:||May 03 20:11|
|When I started to open my eyes to the people around me, I felt like I had walked into a scene of the Stepford Wives. A society of highly programed robots.|
|Subject:||And when you leave, it's overwhelmingly Technicolor! NT|
|Subject:||Not just Mormons... you're describing most people in general...|
|Date:||May 03 22:59|
|By sheer statistics, the majority of human beings are of only
average, or lower than average intelligence and creativity. And even the smart ones are
smart in different ways, and while the geekish may be fascinating to each other, otherwise
intelligent non-geeks often just don't get it.
Try looking for whatever spark a person does have. I knew lots of bright, creative, decent Mormons. They're not all drones, and many struggle with the conformity that Mormon society would force upon them. Some end up leaving, and some stay and take things on their own terms as best they can.
(Please allow me to add that having grown up during the '60s and '70s, I don't personally find the era to be as fascinating as some would romanticize it. This moment is the only now we have...)
If I would have followed my first instinct I would have made this a diatribe against American society in general, and the values it instills in people, but we're trying to get away from political stuff here these days...
|Subject:||from a historical point of view....|
|Date:||May 04 00:00|
|the 1960s was a watershed decade. It reshaped society in ways that
we still see very clearly.
I believe the 2010s will be a similar decade. All of the conformity, teamplayermania, etc., will reach a saturation point by then, and the youth will want change.
They will rebel, and turn the entire society upside down.
|Subject:||"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation...|
|Date:||May 04 01:00|
|and go to the grave with the song still in them." Thoreau.
Thought it kind of fit the context of this thread.