Once in a while I hear from somebody who asks me when I'm going to write another blog post about the Indian religious organization that I belonged to for about thirty-five years.
I usually reply in this fashion:
"I used to write quite a bit about Radha Soami Satsang Beas, but now I don't think very much about RSSB any more. It's a lot like when I got divorced from my first wife. She often was on my mind right after we split up. Eventually, though, we each moved on to other relationships and that woman became the focus of my attention."
Makes sense to me. Life happens.
Here's some other changes for the better that have happened in my life (I call my divorce a change for the better, since both my ex-wife and I are happier now in a second marriage.)
-- After starting out with an Apple II+ many years ago, I went over to the dark side and started using Windows computers for a long time. Then I switched back to Apple. I have no regrets about this, just almost 100% satisfaction with Apple technology.
-- I spent nine years learning traditional Shotokan karate. Got stuck at the brown belt level. I wasn't being advanced by the Shotokan black belt testers, and I wasn't enjoying my training any more. I switched to a different style that suited me much better. Great decision.
-- My wife and I bought an all-electric Nissan Leaf last year. I liked the car, by and large. My wife hated it. So we decided to sell it and lease a Chevy Volt. She's much happier now. So am I, both because I like the Volt more, and because my wife really likes it more.
-- Three years ago I got a big Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter as part of my incessant mid-life/end-of-life crisis (may it never end, but I suspect it will... when I die). It was hugely fun to ride. A few months ago I sold it. Time seemed right. Now I have a longboard skateboard. It's also fun, in a different way.
-- Since we started ballroom dancing, my wife and I have tried to learn many different styles. Waltz, foxtrot, salsa, tango, swing, and so on. We're not great in any. We finally realized that we liked some styles much more than others. Now we're focusing on West Coast Swing. Makes us feel good. Great reason.
I could give more examples of changes in my life. For sure you have many of your own. That's what life is all about: changes. They only stop when we're dead.
However, many true believers in some religion look upon someone changing from that religion as sinful, disappointing, a failure.
But while deconversion is frowned upon, conversion to their religion is smiled upon, even though both conversions and deconversions involve giving up on a belief system. Logic isn't a strong point of true believers when it comes to their chosen faith.
Here's the thing: falling into or out of love with a person, a computer, a martial art, a car, a scooter, a dance style, this is the same as falling into or out of love with a religious belief. It's subjective, a matter of taste, a feeling rather than a fact.
So why is it that believers in a particular religion often get really disturbed when someone falls out of love with that religion, while believers in a particular computer, car, dance style, or whatever tend to say "each to his own; no big deal" when someone moves on in a different direction?
I don't have a firm answer. Seems to have something to do with how important religious belief is to many people. Also, with how their faith is merely belief, unsupported by solid evidence or experience.
Thus they are threatened when someone else comes to feel that it's time to leave behind that belief system.
Which is more than a little strange, since every religious true believer goes through many changes in his or her own life, usually including the changing that brought him or her to the religion that's so important to them now.
Like I said, change happens. Thankfully. Life would be lifeless without it.