Let’s Talk About Religion

So to delve into a deeper pool than graduating college, I think today is as good a day as any to get into how I think about my “religious state”, you could say, which is a very tangled mess as of this moment. Coming from a strong Christian household and becoming disillusioned (I love that word) with the concept of a single”correct” description of the Being that governs the ways of the world, I now sit at a transformative  time within myself. During my time within the church (for I was no casual goer, I traveled deep into the ways of my spirituality, and continue to be  a pretty spiritual person), I also began to see widespread hypocrisy from the people who preach so loudly the ways of the Bible and how to live in love while hating certain kinds of people. The principles that were so encouraged by the religion were not being lived out by those who were claiming to live by it. Lies! I sure don’t want to live a lie. Why not just be a generally good person and forget for a moment how the world came to be or which book to read or what the hell God looks like. There are so many rule books out there.  I suppose ignorance is bliss in this situation – when you aren’t exposed to anything but one belief then you have no doubts or confusion about its teachings. But to think about all the distinct ways of living and believing, and how they all battle for dominance, it seems pretty silly most of the time to subscribe to “one ultimate truth”. Think for yourself.

I’m no expert when it comes to theology. I’ve never studied it or obtained technical knowledge of the ways of all the ways. I just know what I’ve been taught and what I’ve seen or experienced from others. I have some basic beliefs left over from my childhood, and am completely open to discussing and challenging them; I want to learn more and think about life as much as possible. Let’s talk about it. But the way I see it, there must be some spiritual forces acting upon the forces of the world. And I will not accept the idea that I am an accident. That “accident” word is used pretty regularly in our culture, especially when it comes to unplanned pregnancy. People have to come into being somehow, and if we didn’t have every “mistake” we do today, this world would definitely feel the lack. I suppose I wasn’t intended to exist when I started to, but however I happened to enter this world, my genetic makeup, personality, and specific skill set did not evolve from a unicellular mass floating in primordial soup. I will not accept that. I am here for a reason. I just don’t know what it is yet. And the thing to realize is that I’m already serving whatever purpose I’m meant to in the lives of those I’m involved in. Think about that.

In youth group, the pastor would say that every person there listening to that specific message was there for a reason and meant to hear it. So I am here right now at this very moment for a reason. That thought could be my religious roots showing through, but I do not think that every aspect of me is that way because of some condition in my environment that I’ve had to adapt to. Biology cannot explain every aspect that is me. Where does the soul come from? How did that evolve? I think these questions are pretty insignificant to answer in order to live happily. Interesting to contemplate, but eventually you have to move on. There are many things I am perfectly content to never understand, and things such as the way this earth was created do not concern me, and understanding certain things that have already occurred will not change the ways of the world today. History is very important, but in some ancient things there can be no proof or complete understanding.

I will also refuse to believe that all the wonders of nature just happened to explode into order. Entropy is entropy. How could the order and complexity of many biological systems just come about randomly? I have a pretty stubborn hold on the belief that things are the way they are for a reason. And that things happen for a reason. The alternative is to wander around aimlessly just waiting for whatever predetermined fate awaits you. And at the same time, I refuse to sit back and let my life live itself. You have control over certain aspects of your existence, so take hold of them.

The search for answers to these existential questions is a lifelong quest, one that will never dry up. And as long as I’m still able to function alongside the commotion in my head, I don’t mind all this thinking too much.

I think that my current religion goes as far as how you live among other people. Living in love and coexisting with all the entities among us. Love yourself, love other people, love what you possess and where you live and all that. Constantly be in a state of improving the amount of love you exist within. I’m also very open to new beliefs, so I have trouble committing to any specific one; I’m too skeptical to jump into one pool of thought too quickly.

Love is my religion. I would get that tattooed if it wasn’t so cheesy. It accounts for Karma and every point system there is out there. If you just operate in a state of kindness and empathy for your neighbors, you’re racking up a butt load of brownie points all the time. And people will generally like you and be nice to you. Love is not recognized for what it really is; we use it in our language far too frequently. To quote the Bible in its ways that I can agree with:

“4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].” – I Corinthians 13:4-8, AMP

Now I could write a whole post about love and the different aspects of this verse, and I imagine I will in the future. But for now, all I will say is that Love is the answer. My religion is nothing but love.

Till next time…

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