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August 13th, 2013


Namaste

Finding your Faith

Posted on 2013.08.13 at 12:48
Not unexpectedly, while sweating away in various poses last night in yoga, my mind began to wander. This time around, I began to think about religion and what really makes people click with particular systems of belief. And I thought to myself – if we took an entire group of people from a young age and stuck them on an island in the middle of nowhere, giving them absolutely no written reference to any organized system of religion, would they come up with something on their own? Naturally, I believe, they would. And while yes, I am biased, I cannot help but think that they would discover some sort of paganism. After all, unlike the vast majority of “organized” religions that rely upon a system of rules, stories, myths, metaphors, and tales of historical struggle; the pagan religion takes its leanings from nature. After time and careful observation, the people on the island would take note of the change in the shape of the moon and would probably also notice that it affects them in terms of mood, energy, etc. They might notice the changes in the tides and how the seasons change, or how the plants and the animals all change based upon a yearly cycle. They would observe the nature of life and death. And they would learn to respect the power of life and destruction in the elements.

In my mind, spirituality is a deeply personal thing – and it really doesn’t need to make sense to anybody else. It is yours and yours alone. And if you choose to share your spirituality with another, or with your family or with a community either large or small, that is your business and I support it. But for cryin’ out loud, no matter what you happen to believe or subscribe to; please own it! I honestly believe that one of the greatest disservices that we do our species is brainwashing children how they should think and what they should believe. That is what leads to adults who blindly follow a faith and parrot back canned responses, rather than truly understanding the message or knowing what they are talking about. The whole “God Hates Fags” mentality comes from a bunch of mindless twits out there who have been brainwashed to think a certain way. Heck, how many of them even know a gay person? How many of them have any personal reason to feel hatred? How many of them even understand the context of the misquoted bible passages that they use as a basis for persecution?

By many accounts, I would make a lousy Christian. I believe that much of the King James is nothing more than a metaphor. I do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a divine son of god any more than anybody else. I believe that there is most likely a logical or scientific reason for most of the so-called miracles referenced in the Bible. And I completely disagree in the interpretation that most people seem to subscribe to when it comes to Christian philosophy. Yet, in a lot of ways, I might very well make a really good Christian. I do believe in hospitality – because I know in my heart it is just the right thing to do. I do try my best to be kind to others – because I know in my heart it is just the right thing to do. I think if I suddenly found myself standing next to the historical Jesus, and I suddenly found myself able to speak Aramaic, I get the impression that we would get along rather well and I would find his maturity, compassion, and energy nothing less than inspiring.

And to me, that is part of my spirituality. I subscribe fully to the concept that all Gods are one God and all Goddesses are one Goddess. They are neither all-good, all-evil, all-masculine, all-feminine or whatever. Rather, they are simply “all”. You cannot have light without dark – goodness without evil – birth without death – creation without destruction. And if I am looking for a sense of peace or compassion in my life, I believe as a Pagan I could call upon Jesus to bring me peace, much as I might call upon Quan Yin to grant me a sense of serenity.

Conversely, let’s say I needed to draw upon some sort of destructive energy so as to combat some sort of opposition (a disease, or a mental-block). I might call upon Yahweh, the destructive god of the Old Testament, just as I might also call upon Kali with her eight sword-bearing arms.

In my mind, the names that we have created as divine file-headers are the creation of human beings. Human beings decided that some aspect of divinity needed to be recognized as the god of the ocean. And thus, names like Neptune and Poseidon were created. And over time, and worship and repetition, these names gained power and an aspect of divinity came to exist within that divine filing cabinet. The divinity was already there. But the creation of the names and personalities was our doing. I believe that is the same with any name for any deity in any religion. That may not make sense to anyone else out there. And ya know what? It doesn’t have to. Why? Because this is my belief – my spirituality – my way of coming up with some sort of sense in the universe. It is mine and mine alone and nobody can take it away from me. It is what I believe.

When it comes down to it, I have a lot more respect for people who say, “I don’t know why I believe in XYZ – I just do” than those who decide to shove their book in my face to repeat phrases that were repeated ad nauseum to them. Human-Parrots are not spiritual. I know a few people out there who were just going about their daily routine when one day they felt a calling to one faith or another. And honestly, I think that is wonderful. As long as that faith harms none, I embrace the idea of people finding their inner bliss. It is like finding home. And we all deserve that.

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