Reading all the comments on my previous post, there is one thing that unites former believers with believers and that is the knowledge of how it feels to have religion in your life. It's interesting to read people like burntcopper
of whom this isn't true and to whom much of that sense of religion as lived experience is completely alien.
One of the best things I've read recently about religion and disillusion is my friend Avedon in her blog The Sideshow - some of what I said in my post came out of our chats about this.
Avedon is at http:/www.sideshow/soct03.htm#141346
I don't want the bigotry back and I don't want the priests and nuns and monks and parish worthies meddling in my life. I miss the automatic sense of everything as serious and I miss the comfort food of ritual and I miss the sense of being part of something quite important.
There is a wonderful line in Browning's 'The Bishop of St Praxed's Orders his Tomb' where he talks of lying near the altar 'where god is made and eaten every day'. I've always loved Browning for that - a Protestant who got the emotional appeal of that aspect of Catholicism.
Going back to mass when my aunt died was weird, just because everything had changed - and you can't go home again, certainly not to a Church run from the centre by John Paul Woytola and the evil Ratzinger.
When I listen to Haydn or Bruckner or Vivaldi masses, though, as I do, I miss the simple piety and certainty, even though I know it to be, for me, a drug and a delusion.
And as a teaser for the memoirs, a little chunk of this from when I was twelve and still male...( Collapse )