Revolution #176, September 13, 2009
Breaking With Religion—ALL THE WAY
Two years ago I thought the Revolutionary Communist Party was some weird cult of people who wanted to bullshit me into believing in “their truth” and their take on reality. I used to think they brainwashed my younger brother. I hated how they focused on Bob Avakian as a leader, I fucking hated leaders, I would say “Leader! What the fuck makes you think I need to be led, you can be a sheep if you want, I’m not oppressed, it’s all in how you see it, the system has no control over me, I can change and shape my own reality and create positive energy for the world, because people need to be spiritual warriors to fight ideas that control the human mind.”
At one point, my brother gave me his copy of Away With All Gods! When I got this I tossed it in my closet and thought, “Fuck you, Bob Avakian, you will suffer for your negative ideas!” I did not consider myself religious in terms of organized and institutionalized religion (i.e. Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.). I understood the horror and history of what organized religion brought to humanity, but believed that I should go about finding the true essence of spirituality, whether God, Creator, or Higher Non-Material Power. I believed that this higher power was in a few people, not all, and was determined under how the individual put out positive energy, and that all the horrors that took place through organized religion was in false attempts to find a higher power. See, at that time, I was sure that the reason people suffer is because God put us here and it’s up to the individual to find her or his spiritual path to positive ideas; to be free and feel the higher power in them. And to suffer was a blessing, that meant God had a profound purpose for that person and was testing their spiritual strengths; to build them into and create spiritual warriors to free people’s minds.
One day I was cleaning my closet and decided to read a little bit of Away With All Gods! and it said something like, “if god was real what a monstrous god he would be.” I read less than a paragraph and slammed it shut, it took me out of my comfort zone and I tossed it in the closet and piled a bunch of crap on top of it (because I didn’t want its negative energy to affect me).
But I had been facing a life-changing crossroad. I had failed in maintaining and understanding what it was to be in an intimate relationship with my fiancé of two years and we broke up. I moved out and later lost my job and I related the two in the sense that since my negative ideas caused pain to my fiancé (in the sense that she was emotionally hurt), this pain was negative energy that caused me to lose my job, and then I thought “God is just testing me.” Later her mother died from cancer; this caused her emotional pain to grow and it did not help, this made it harder for us to be “one” again. We stopped talking, I could not find a job and had a month to find a job or I would get kicked out of the place I moved to. I thought I would have to sell drugs again and live in shanty motels until I could get a job and a place.
One day that month I was on the floor in tears, drunk, screaming in the pillow trying to remove negative energy from my mind so that I could pray. “YOU ARE BEING TESTED BY GOD, BE A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR!!” Then in anger, I let all my anger come out, I gathered it all, everything, and yelled “STOP FUCKING TESTING ME!! Why me? I am positive but I still suffer, you must be a monstrous god.” There I stopped, and I jumped up and started throwing shit everywhere looking for the book Away With All Gods! I found it and began to read and I fell asleep with the idea that there is no god and that reality is one and it is not controlled or under the watch of some non-material higher power, and it felt fucking liberating.
The next day I woke up and thought “Man, God is going to be pissed that I read that and thought that shit,” but the thoughts were still there in my mind and I tried to suppress it. But later that week I was watching this talk on the universe with Stephen Hawking, and he quoted a Saint, I forget which one, who said, “What was God doing before he created the universe? Was he creating Hell for people who thought of such questions?” The second question in relation to the first question fit perfectly the idea that if god was real what a monstrous god he would be, but the first question is what immediately helped me come to the conclusion that there is no god or higher non-material power and all other forms of superstition. Because I thought it’s true, if god was real there was a time of nothing, a time of no time and of no space. Then I thought nothing where, and what was god doing before that, and what took him so long to do it or did he do it as soon as he was created? Then I thought who or what the fuck created god, because creationists say that something with such delicate and intricate features has to be created (i.e. earth, humans, etc.) so then what created god and what created that and on and on? Then I remembered my first time even slightly doubting the existence of god. When I was about 13 I heard an episode of The Simpsons where Homer says “Could Jesus (god) microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?”
Now stick with me I’m going somewhere with this. Even at that young age I had a slight view into understanding that there is no god. You see if god could not eat the extremely hot burrito that means he can’t do everything, and if he can’t make it hot enough it means he can’t do shit, which proves his non-existence. Now I understand this is not the most scientific explanation but it was part of my process in becoming an Atheist.
I strongly feel that before getting into Communism as a Science, I had to break with spiritual tendencies because they come out of the greater framework of religion and all the chains that go along with it.
So I began to read the pamphlet Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation, and I feel that the first five pages had answered all the false ideas of Communism I had. But there was still a lot I did not understand and had to dig into.
Sometime later there was a conference to discuss revolution and communism and how to go about bringing this to the masses of people. The first day I went, I just sat and listened. Later that night people were talking and my younger brother asked me what I thought about the day, so I told him that I liked it and loved that there was people from all over that wanted a new society. Then he asked if I had any questions and I said that I did not because I felt I agreed with everything that was said and that I had many questions but I felt they were being answered as I read and listened and ended with saying that I do understand what is being said.
Then he said “That’s the thing I don’t think you do, because if you did you would be asking questions, it’s part of the science.” I didn’t respond, I got angry and walked upstairs as others began to talk. I could not sleep, I was thinking “Why is my brother such an asshole?” Later I began to read the RCP Constitution while debating on whether or not I would go to day two of the conference or go to work the next day. I was reading the part on the duties of the members “Communists do not join the party for a career or an ‘alternate lifestyle,’ but to lead the masses to make revolution.” (Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, page 18) That’s when I realized that first I am a communist, then as a necessary and legal way to make money, for food and shelter, I am a food runner at a restaurant. I made my decision and was ready for sleep.
The next day I was at the bus stop on my way to the conference and I began to read the duties more fully and dig into it. “Party members actively report to their units, and to leadership, what they are learning and thinking. This includes their wrangling with questions of theory and strategy and big developments in the world, reflections on culture or science, as well as their summation of experience gained in particular work and the thoughts and views of the masses. Party members have the responsibility to systematically and scientifically analyze all this in reports, and to participate in developing strategic conceptions for different arenas of the party’s work.” (Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, page 19)
Reading this I realized that in fact I did not understand, but I still had no questions, once again I read and agreed and ended up with no question. So I posed to myself this question, “why don’t I have any questions?” I had no answer for myself, I told myself that I will find an answer to why I had no questions but in that time I would explain what I learned and what I think of communism. That day I gave all my ideas and thoughts on what I was thinking, and during a break I was speaking with Sunsara Taylor. I told her of the question of why I have no question. She related it to how I am coming out of, and am in constant pull back to, religious tendencies and all the chains that go along with that.
I began to realize as we talked that I was not asking questions because in the past when I read spiritual literature, I was (even though I didn’t notice it then) not allowed to ask questions and debate these ideas, I just settled for it and picked certain things and threw out the ones that didn’t make sense or that I questioned, instead of getting into the questions and contra-dictions and debating them in accordance to reality and humanity, not just individual beliefs.
That day helped me understand that I can’t go to revolution and communism as my next religion, in terms of a dogmatic utopian look of communism as certain and inevitable without contradiction. I also have to break with what Away With All Gods! calls “Salad Bar Christianity” in terms of all ideas, I must break with what I call philosophical-saladbarism, I must look at things that are based in reality for what works for humanity instead of what I feel sounds good. After that I was able to be part of the conference instead of on the sideline and I feel I got into Communism as a science, from party leadership to democratic centralism to dialectical materialism to historical materialism. That exploded my mind in the most liberating sense and I felt I finally had a launch pad grounded in a scientific method of communism based in reality and for making realistic revolution and a true emancipation of humanity.
I had gotten into the theory very deeply in the conference and felt that it was time to practice it on reality, see for myself how it applies to reality and take back what I have learned and synthesize it and go deeper into the line and its application to the world.
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