I have a curious feeling that “modern” psychology is not really new, but old wisdom (previously found in religion) polished and presented as new.
Losing my mum has been the spiritual/psychological equivalent of being run over by a bus. I admire the religious types I’ve come across, who tell me that death is like “going home” and how we’ll see each other again, or how she’s “still with me” or helping “from the other side”. Those are all comforting concepts and I can see how they help people get through tough times.
Although I was raised as a Christian, I don’t currently share those beliefs. I (metaphorically) feel like Eve. I have eaten the apple. I now know (that religion is a scam to control the population), and I can’t “unknow”.
I think it’s (obviously) better to be a happy fool than a miserable know it all, yet I can’t help but open the door to knowledge. I read study after study about happiness, and believers tend to be happy. Why do I rebel against common sense?
I suppose I’m like those kids in primary school who whisper so loudly to you (an adult) “I KNOOOOOW” at Christmas, desperate for you to become aware that *they* are no longer taken in anymore by the old Santa Clause ruse.
Why is that? People who believe irrational things, like that the world is basically a good place, or that things are going to improve, are generally happy and productive. Faith can, and does, move mountains.
My mother was basically agnostic, having rebelled against her strict Catholic schooling. Towards the end of her life, she loved to watch programs related to the afterlife, where mediums seemingly give audience members messages from dead loved ones, or film crews spend the night in “haunted” buildings. I suppose that was her brain’s way of coping with the fear of death.
Religion, from an evolutionary perspective, allows us to live in groups. All of the rules basically boil down to “thou shall not impregnate thy neighbour’s wife”, so we can form societies and successfully pass on our genes to the next generation. But I still wish I believed in it.