Thursday, March 26, 2009
Do you realize?
One of my childhood JW friends died this past December. I only found out last week.
It's still a strange thing to me that I can be so far removed from a community that I once held so dear. I don't know that I would have gone to the funeral service even if I'd known about it. But I didn't even have the option. I am persona non grata. I no longer exist to them, not in any tangible way that requires action. I am this mysterious apparition that used to be one of them. But it's not just that they see me as an outcast, but that they actually see me as a threat. Little ole me with my heretic thinking. I am apostate. I am dangerous.
They think my main goal in life is to turn them away from their faith. But I am no longer in the conversion business. To each his own. As John Gray states in Straw Dogs (I shall be quoting this book for many entries to come; I am forever changed by it), "Humans cannot live without illusion." Gray echoes my own realization that life is about seeing the illusions we've acquired and created for ourselves and becoming aware of the ones we can and cannot live without. For most of the Jehovah's Witnesses I know, their beliefs are illusions they require in order to survive. Who am I to judge? Goddess knows, I've kept a few illusions myself for this trip round the sun.
Many more of those I once knew will die. And I will do my mourning in private. I am not one of them. And can never be again. Some decisions ripple across a lifetime in ways you can never foresee.
And so it is.