Apart from essentially feeling cheated mentally and emotionally for most of my life, as a post-Christian Atheist, I also have to contend with the ghost reactions to the varying circumstances that occur as I go about my newer life.
For example, on the day before Christmas, the radiator blew in my vehicle. Luckily, I was not far from home so that I was able to get home safely. Having my deconversion experience occur only within the last five years, all those thoughts about how and why such a thing would happen went through my mind, in addition to thinking about the consequences.
Will I be able to afford to fix this? Why did it have to happen on a holiday?
What I used to think, is that I might have thought God had something to do with it. My behavior wasn’t up to standard and thus I had to pay in the form of bad karma. Or, that since I wasn’t on the freeway at the time, God saved me from danger.
This kind of thinking is classic religious thinking that still occurs whenever I think about events and the state of my life. It’s like a ghost limb when a soldier loses a limb in battle. Long after he’s healed, his mind and body thinks it’s still there, when in reality, it is not.
As a result, not only do I have to tell myself that spiritual entities do not exist, which keeps me grounded in reality, but I have to notice how I am accepting responsibility for whatever actually occurred. In the case of the radiator, it wasn’t even a matter of right or wrong, but it was a situation in which I accepted to be: The process of an engine component finally breaking down. Nothing more, nothing less. In other cases, I have to realize, if something happens, for whatever reason, I can no longer say, “Ah, I did something wrong, God will correct me,” or “I did well, God must be on my side today,” because this is paleologic thinking; it’s superstitious.
When I do something wrong, I am responsible. When I do something right, I am to be credited.
And when a radiator blows, that’s just life.