when God stops believing in himself

"God in Therapy" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“God in Therapy” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

God deconstructing.
God going through a crisis of belief.
God no longer believing in the god everyone else does.

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21 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    Great cartoon, David.

    It would be really cool to see inside of the mind of believers and how they interpret this cartoon. Of course the interpretation would differ hugely from conservatives, moderates and liberals.

    And thinking broader that the Christian world, I laugh to myself thinking of Mohammed on the couch doing the same, or Krishna or even Uncle Sam.

    I see “God” as a reification (see this post). And so, doing therapy on “God” is of course doing therapy on ourselves — talking to parts of ourself that aren’t aren’t usually honest with each other. It is this open honesty which is when we “stop believing” in ourselves and our abstractions — we see behind our minds. This can result is fear and depression, or in a great sense of humor. We are funny! It is taking our selves seriously that makes us sad.

  2. doing therapy on god is doing therapy on ourselves. yep.

  3. Ducatihero says:

    Sabio – I will engage with what you have written about it being “really cool” in spite of my belief that roughly translated what you mean by that is that it would be really cool to have the opportunity to mock someone for their affinity with Christ and with what I mentioned before about not commenting here again. First of all I find it ironic for you to be commenting on such for as far as you are concerned there is no such thing as God as believers would talk of, but just an “imaginary friend” in the alleigance to Hawardism, a United Nations of Spiritualiy and the goddess Sophia.

    I can’t believe I am doing this – OK here goes.

    I think it’s self evident that God /Jesus has gone through crisis at times if the scriptures are anything to go by. Disloyalty, neglect, humiliation, abuse all that too in fact many things that can result in one needing therapy. However – that’s not where things are left with such “deconstruction” – there is reconstruction – good news.

    So doing therapy on “god” is doing therapy on ourselves? Well if by that we come to conclusion that and God/god is a figment of imagination, a delusion symptom of a mental illness even then surely the “cure” the healthy thing to do is eradicate it – to do what is psychologically healthy.

    However that’s simply not been my experience. I came to where I am because where life had led me had been to a point of frustration in always wanting more when I had everything I needed humanly speaking and not understanding rationally why. I find security and contentedness now where I hadn’t before but not without cost. I don’t come from a Christian background so this can’t be considered to be culturally conditioned.

    Now all of may look at the church now and throughout history and point out abuses that have happened, wars with the excuses being church dogma etc and argue about coming to a more enlightened place with human reasoning. However the enlightenment didn’t put a stop to wars, even Richard Dawkins talks of WWI and WWII not being about religion.

    So poke fun at religion, please do -I will join in with you where it deserves it. But be willing to have fun poked at you and what you adhere to as well otherwise what is happening is discrimination bordering on abuse, the very thing you criticise the so called church of.

    Anyway I shall retreat now after my stupidity of choosing to post here and wait to look for the potential ridicule and undermining of this comment.

  4. If I may interject, I do believe that our “gods” are our external projections of an ideal, our attempt to understand the mystery in symbolic ways. Let’s say there is a God… then our ideas or words are not that. This God would be above and beyond all these. No matter how glorious our personal thoughts or experiences are, these are not the Truth.

  5. Ducatihero says:

    Can I check that I understand the ideas that you want to convey as being what you intend David?
    So what you believe is our “gods” (lowrcase “g”) are the external projections of the ideal. So in that case your “gods” in this sense being Hawardism, a United Nations of Spirituality and the goddess Sophia.

    As opposed to “God” with our ideas not being that with “God” being above all of that. That sounds a lot like God that believers talk of. So are you an unashamed Christian?

  6. I’m not ashamed. You can call me Christian if you want. I don’t care about that label.

  7. Ducatihero says:

    Sorry David – just checked your video again – my last question was unnecessary. You did mention “I am unapologetically a Christian” in your video here.

    So yeah I guess I would be pretty much on the same page as you with this with God being above all other gods that we may have – of which there are many consumerism, status, money, beauty etc. could be included – any “external projections of the real”.

    So one “god” being the idea that God is an imaginary friend that God is above given that you are unapologetically Christian – just checking.

  8. Ducatihero says:

    My point is that you have called yourself Christian David – all I am doing is asking for confirmation of this being what you have called yourself. Again, I am sorry, my question was unnecessary, your video shows that to be true. So with all due respect, it’s got nothing to do with whether I would call you a Christian or not – has it?

  9. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Ducatihero,
    If you read my post on reification (linked above), you may better understand my position. I won’t repeat it.

    @ David,
    It is odd to watch Ducatihero wanting you to so badly “be on the same page” as himself. He would understand you better, I think, if he thought of your as a unbeliever.

    Christianity is so about “right belief”, it is disgusting.

    Ducatihero is all about the name, all about the name — as are many other Christians.

    Oh, I see cartoon potential: “Please tell me you’re a Christian!”

    In a world of believers in many faiths doing the same silly thing, it is hard to decide if I should laugh or cry.

  10. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,

    Sure, people “God” is an external projection of their ideal:
    their ideal father
    their ideal patriotic hero — country savior
    their ideal miracle worker
    their ideal answer machine
    their ideal sexist, racist morality
    and more ideals

    It aint just good ideals.
    I am pretty sure you agree.
    I wrote about that here in “Your Modular God” — with a pic.

  11. Ducatihero: That was years ago I said that. I don’t wish to repeat the video, but I said, I think, that I’m Christian like I’m Canadian… as in it’s in my DNA… I certainly wouldn’t be perceived as an orthodox Christian or a believer, etc. I don’t care anyway. AND… I also said, “if” there was a god it wouldn’t be equal to the thought or the word, but beyond it. I just wanted to be clear about that.

  12. Ducatihero says:

    OK David, I’ve just watched the video and you did say you are “unapologetically Christian”. When I hear that what I hear is an allegiance with Christ in the biblical sense. I am not interested in what other people call you or what you think I might call you, I’m interested in what you see yourself as.

    All I am trying to do is understand where you are coming from, given you have described yourself as not ashamed and unapologetic. Is there a problem? If you are not to share about that, then that just leaves me to draw my own conclusion which may or may not be accurate.

    I think I have made it clear where that is for me although I would class myself as perhaps unorthodox as well. I certainly don’t fit the mold and find a sense of belonging in creative environments more so than church culture as it is. Some have kindly called me prophetic, some less kindly a trouble maker and worse.

    So I can identify with what you mentioned at one point in the video about being at peace around people who are Muslim Hindu etc rather than Christians – for a while. There was one point a few years ago when I was “done” with church, and some things, I have allergic reactions to still – for example the use of the term “sinner” at times. however now a few years later I am just as much at peace among Christians as any other faith or of no faith. Though like I say I do find a sense of belonging in creative environments.

    So I wouldn’t identify myself as Christian in the sense you have described yourself as you remember in the video. It has not been part of my DNA like being British. In that sense I am culturally agnostic/atheist. However my security and contentedness has not been found an any of these. It seems to me that from your video that the peace you have described is not unlike that – not something that has come from being a Canadian or a cultural Christian.

  13. I don’t know what you’re trying to get at. But I do sense you are trying to peg me. I don’t think that can be done. I can’t even do it for myself. So good luck. 😛

  14. Ducatihero says:

    Oh by the way Sabio – you have not let me down about me affording the opportunity to mock affiliation with Christ. It was stupid of me to engage with what you perceived as being “cool”. I am not ashamed and I am not unapologetic about a belonging “in Christ” and I’m not going to deny that.

    So I guess I’ve done what you wanted and given you ammunition to make me or anyone else like me look like an idiot. Which of course I was for engaging with your comment in the first place. As I said – stupid.

    OK now – what was the number of my therapist – might need that…

  15. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Ducatihero

    Why the heck are you so interested in how David sees himself.

    Bragging that others have called you ‘prophetic’ made me laugh. You are really stuck with a certain attitude, aren’t you.

    Your all time measure of “peace I’ve found”, is always on shaking ground. But you may be lucky and keep that peace through life — for it certainly won’t come by right belief.

    BTW, I have no problem with people’s “affiliation with Christ” or with Buddha, or with Krishna or with Elvis. It is when they think their affiliation affords themselves something unique, safe and holy — then they are open to ridicule.

  16. Ducatihero says:

    I’m just trying to understand David – if you don’t want to say either way – it’s no skin off my nose. Just as you mentioned I could call you Christina if I wanted, you can talk of me trying to peg you. You obviously are intelligent and capable of either sharing or not sharing as you choose, not under pressure from anyone else so good luck with trying to make out I am trying to peg you.

    Touche 😛

  17. Ducatihero: I’m not sure why you like setting yourself up for defeat. You set yourself up to be disagreed with, and then when it happens you blame it on the person disagreeing with you. It’s almost like you invite someone to hurt you to prove they’re wrong and you’re right. That’s not a healthy way to converse. I can see ridicule in your words, by the way. A kind of condescension. Just noting out loud.

  18. Ducatihero says:

    Yeh I agree with you on the first part David – it was stupid of me to engage with Sabio for the reason not unlike you describe – mea culpa. Couldn’t resist the temptation – like having that extra bit of pudding and regretting feeling fat afterwards. I played into his hand and did set myself up for defeat, he won.

    As for condescension – that’s your opinion and something you have accused me of before. That can work both ways – anyone can just as easily make out that is what you were doing in the way you have spoken to me. So it would seem would it not that either both of us are guilty of condescension or neither of us is. what it can’t be is that I have been condescending and you haven’t.

    So where does that leave us? Back to the point we were at before where I don’t see any point in me continuing to comment and you being sorry to see me go if I leave again as before?

  19. No I mean the way you communicate… I’m NOT saying you played into Sabio’s hand… you seem to INVITE persecution. It’s a strange way to communicate. I’m just pointing that out. It leaves us where we’ve always been… learning how to communicate important ideas. That’s all.

  20. Ducatihero says:

    Oh you are not saying I played into Serbios hand but seem to invite persecution? If you were to say I had played into Serbios hand I would agree with you. Did I invite persecution? Maybe maybe not. I would say I left myself open to whatever Serbio was to say. You use the word persecution – interesting. Is that what you think Serbio did with his responses?

    Learning how to communicate important ideas is where you see that as leaving us. So what important ideas are these – that I am condescending and inviting persecution in your view?

    Again what cant be true here was that I was condescending and you were not. either both of us have been or neither of us have. As for my behaviour good, bad or indifferent, or stupid there isn’t any important idea communicating with foccssin on that now is there.

    Someone once said great minds talk about ideas average minds talk about events and small minds talk about people.

    Now where is that therapists number – I am sure I have it – might be time to have another visit with her. I think I no longer believe in the god everybody else does – might need to chat with her about that 😉

  21. Ducatihero says:

    “I said, I think, that I’m Christian like I’m Canadian… as in it’s in my DNA.”

    Yes, I can affirm that, in the context of the question being posed by the lady who talked of not wanting to be associated with a negative experience, having hard time on expanding what it means to be a Christian University it being really hard to unpack what that means with all the baggage.

    You response started with “I am unaplogetically a Christian and I let people know that” and there was some great rapport and laughter with your audience. I think you made a really good point about your DNA, with Jung him being critical of those that try to divorce themselves from their past that can lead to a psychotic break and that you “really do believe that”. Then you talked about a new paradigm that you were trying to develop to help you understand what “being a Christian means”, to you it meaning being very broad, opening, inclusive and generous to other religions as well and “I wouldn’t be apologising for being a Christian University ’cause people know, he’s a Christian but we can actually talk with this guy and they get to know that through relationship.

    So do I communicate strangely – maybe / maybe not. Perhaps what seems strange to you is not so different to what you have been trying to do as explained in the video. So I can go with what you say about communicating important ideas.

    I hope me mentioning that has been helpful in seeking to understand and be understood. If that appears to you to be unhealthy ridicule and condescension, then I have to say, I think that’s been the responsibility for you to take for having formed that perception.

    I actually find having looked at your video again inspiring and this comment is meant to be encouraging and engendering helpful thought. I do feel challenged by your comments about considering my audience and that is always important when it comes to humour which again I see you did well with your audience. So I’m going to have a think about that. My suspicion is that there may be some subtle difference in culture with the British and North American humour.

    For example in the blue collar part of town where I live it took a while for me to hear the “c” word without taking offence to it. within make environments it’s usage here is very common, it can either be used derogatorively as in obvious ways or as an edification “he’s the best “c” in the pub”. My guess in a N. American context there would never under any circumstances be any acceptable use of the “c” word in humour for the vast majority of people.

    Conversely we get folks from N. America coming over here and causing offense without meaning to. Some comments can come across as really very ignorant, patronising and know it all as if USA is the world I mean for heavens sake, what country calls something “The World Series” when it is only ever held in their own country! Or another one “I’m proud to be an American ’cause at least that means I’m free” – what, is there an arrogance there about there not being other free counties in the world?

    even in my home town there are differences – the comedian Fankie Boyle says there are two kinds of Glaswegian – a iddle class and a working class. the middle class is polite but not friendly and the working class friendly but not polite. That’s not without an element of truth! Sometimes it’s hard for a middle class Glaswegian to see the friendliness past the impoliteness!

    Anyway, please excuse my rambling. I hope that was helpful.

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