Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You Don't Know If There Is A Higher Power

Many years ago, at the very beginning of the 1990s, I called an ex-girlfriend to apologize.  She had written me a scathing note and though my memories were not exactly the same as hers, I had memories of the times we were together and I felt terrible about many things, especially the emotional torment I put her through.  During the time I was with her and even at the time we had that phone call, I did not yet know that I was manic depressive.  Later I would learn that I suffered from depression and later than that that my depression was of the bipolar sort, and still later, that I was what they call "bipolar 3," which is a new and not fully accepted classification.  It is a kind of depressive disease where at time a person enters a "mixed state."  A mixed state, in this context, is a state where mania and depression combine to form a boundlessly energetic negative state.  People in that state are more likely to commit suicide than others.  During most of the time she and I were at odds and I was being an asshole, I was in that state.  It was something I could not control without medication.  Since I had not been diagnosed, I had no medication and no understanding of why I was becoming so fucked up.  Nevertheless, I was unbearable at times and for that I was deeply sorry.  I was also very pushy and wanted things to go faster than they were going, probably due to that manic state and an inability to understand other people's desires as intuitively as normal people can (I also meet the definition of Aspergers which is where this lack of an intuitive understanding comes from).

I loved this girl.  I don't say that lightly.  I loved her completely and losing her is something I never completely got over.  In fact, I spent time in Narragansett recently trying to recall various things in the hopes of reconciling the differences between her memories and mine.  I came away with nothing new, just a profound sadness.

Continuing with that conversation, in the course of trying to apologize to her, full of tears as I spoke, she gave me a hard time about many things, accused me of being many things that I am not, and even demonstrated a complete and total ignorance of my age and even where I was from, this from a ex-girlfriend that has been engaged to me 9 years before.  It was clear to me that her memories and mine were not only not in synch, but that her recollections of details about me were patently false (my age, for example).  I was much younger than she thought.  She thought she left me for a younger guy, but she left me for a guy that was older than I am.

One of the disparities in our memories, I believe, was caused by her lack of understanding of my intent.  She completely misunderstood my intent and I completely misunderstood her intent, which is part of what led to our differences in interpretation.  I have much more to say about this, and I will do so someday, but for now I want to concentrate on one particular things he gave me a hard time about, something that really pissed me off (and I was trying so hard to be as nice and understanding to her as I could)..

She went off on a diatribe over my lack of religious belief.  At that time, I was an atheist in the fullest sense of the word.  My atheism didn't come easy.  It was a long process that led me to that conclusion, including much study of philosophy and religion.  My beliefs are somewhat different now, but I am still a non-theist, though not as anti-religion as I was then.  However, my current beliefs can be discussed another time.  At that time I was an atheist.

It was difficult to argue with her because I was trying to make peace with her and I really didn't want to have an argument with her.  However, she was full of hate and bile and along with her thousands of insults and accusations was this diatribe on religion.  She asked me if I believed that there was a "Higher Power."  I thought to myself, what is a higher power?  Assuming she meant God, I figured it should be obvious to her that I did not believe in God, after all, I was an atheist.  I answered, "No, I don't believe there is a Higher Power."

With that insulting tone and hateful voice of hers, she retorted, "So you believe there is nothing in the universe more powerful than yourself?"  Now, this is a pretty stupid question.  Of course there are things in the universe more powerful than I am, but that is so obvious that it could not possibly be what anyone means by "Higher Power."  I would call that a "Greater Power."  In cosmic terms, I am not powerful at all.  If one means, by "Higher Power," a greater intelligence that guides us, at that time my answer would be "No!", not out of some kind of arrogance, but out of lack of proof or evidence.  I could see no reason to believe that there was some intelligent being out there guiding us through life.  I know she can not prove there is a "Higher Power."  No one can prove that, so where did she earn the right to belittle me about my beliefs?

Most ironically, she considers herself a Christian.  Perhaps she has changed.  People do change.  I have changed a lot over the years.  However, Christians believe in making peace, turning the other cheek, forgiveness, and in love, not in hate.  She and her actions since then have proved to me that she is no Christian.  Had I known then how hateful she is, I would never had fallen in love with her.  Perhaps I am fortunate that we did break up.  I could never have been happy with such a hateful person.

No comments: