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    Global Moderator

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  • Darwins +208/-6

In my brief new age phase (between being religious and deciding it was all bunk) I tried to believe that "everything happens for a reason" and "there are no accidents". I had been through some pretty awful experiences and was trying to make sense of them that way. Some good has to come out of every thing bad, or else we are just at the mercy of chance. Right?

Almost exactly the same thing happened to me.  Long story short is an expression whose origins are complicated and meandering.  Oh, sorry.

Long story short is that when I was a senior in high school, I became romantically involved with a woman who was severely mentally ill, but at my age, I lacked sufficient life experience to understand what the problem was.  As a result, I got very heavily into drug use and plunged myself into the New Age movement myself, mostly embracing the worldview espoused by Richard Bach in "Illusions" (which I'm sure you're familiar with).  I don't think I ever actually believed any of it, but I desperately wanted to because, like you, I didn't want to believe that lousy things that happen are just lousy things that happen.  My own New Age phase lasted from age 18 until about 22-ish or thereabouts, at which point it began to fade -- not long after that, I went to college, and after acquiring a lot more learning in a variety of areas, I abandoned all of it completely and embraced materialism and philosophical naturalism.  It wasn't until some years after that that I realized that it's actually a lot more comforting to realize that lousy things that happen really are just lousy things that happen, and it would actually be far more horrifying if everything happened for a reason.
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