Perhaps one of my fondest memories is spending time with a friend who was living in France. We were both recent de-converts, and were ignited by our curiosity in a way that neither of us had ever experienced before. During the day, we explored our physical surroundings to the best of our ability, but during the night, we set our imaginations loose on the internet and chased down every rabbit trail we could find. The Universe, The World, and Technology were places we went wild, and it was from these sits the inspiration for this one was born.
Looking back, I now realize that I was experiencing wonder for the first time. You see, I had always been very curious about my religion. I was known well for my abilities in theology, and biblical interpretation. I found God fascinating, and was endlessly wondering about its nature, character, desire, and the like. But there was always something missing. I could never quite put my finger on it, but I always felt somewhat cheated when considering God. Even other big questions like the universe, human nature, origin of our species etc, fascinated me too. Yet, still, there was always something missing.
You see, Christianity makes fundamental assumptions about almost everything in our world. Ranging from God to The Universe to even Human Sexuality, it replaces peoples personal abilities to reason and wonder with its own fundamental moral code. All thats left is for the individual to ponder not the actual subject, but what Christianity has to say about the actual subject. For a Christian to ponder God isn’t to actually question its existence, essence, reasons, or abilities, but rather “why did he do what he did then and now?”
Much like faith, this destroys what wonder is. Wonder isn’t something that should be contained within boundaries, or come with pre-introduced notions. Rather, wonder is something that by its very nature needs to be as objective and as free as possible. At the loss of my faith, my wonder was reborn. It was ignited with an intensity that I have never before seen. Everything was considered, and as my Postchristian confidence blossomed, so too did my audacity.
What I now know is that wonder isn’t limited to purely abstract or ascetic ideals, but is also something that is heavily sensory. Thus, no only did I wonder about the new possibilities for God, but also about the perceptual world around me. Instead of off-the-cuff thinking sexuality was intrinsically evil (as most Christians do), I was able to understand it with a much more sophisticated sense of insight and maturity. Further still, I was able to explore the universe around me as something purely wondrous and magnificent, rather than the benign boring understanding the Christians have.
This sense of wonder, combined with the audacity that grows from postchristian confidence, is one of the most spectacular experiences I’ve ever had. The whole world is new again and completely free to explore and ponder. Wonder ignites your soul, impassions your mind, and opens the world to you. It is not a tool, but a way of life. Experiencing anything less isn’t wonder, its just placid ambivalent apathetic amusement. Humanity deserves the real thing, and Christianity succeeds in only robbing us from it.