After learning about Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" monologue several years ago, I wrote a post about her evolution from Christian believer to scientific skeptic – without having heard her entire take on the God thing.
"Letting Go of God" has been sitting on my iPod, but until yesterday I'd hadn't gotten around to listening to all of it. A long car trip to central Oregon and back was the perfect opportunity to fill my questioning psyche with Sweeney's words.
Which, it turned out, described a spiritual journey that bore considerable resemblance to mine. And, I'm sure, that of many other people.
Sweeney talks about her up and down relationship with faith. She'd discard one conception of God, then latch on to another.
This is the part of her monologue that I enjoyed the most. The first section about her childhood, viewable on You Tube, was entertaining but not particularly interesting to me.
But when she gets into how Buddhism seemed so right, and then so wrong (along with New Age thinking and Deepak Chopra), I loved Sweeney's honesty.
She's a truth seeker, along with being an actress and comedian. She has a talent for pithy one-liners. Such as (to my recollection), "it turns out that the invisible and the non-existent have a lot in common."
I particularly liked her judgment of Deepak Chopra's pop science after Sweeney took a class in quantum physics: "He's full of shit!" Absolutely true. I've read a lot about quantum physics myself, and what Chopra promulgates in his books and talks is quantum B.S.
Sweeney ends up engrossed by science, finding as much mystery in the physical cosmos as religion attributes to God. She deals with death not by fantasizing this reality away via religious fantasies, but by facing the prospect of her eternal non-existence head-on.