~ He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
First and foremost I would like to thank NAD for having me back. With that said, my first post seemed to piggyback a Joseph Lane post and, although this was not intended, here we go again.
The other day I made an interesting observation about my Twitter friends. I noticed that I had managed to form a connection with a significant amount of self-proclaimed atheists as well as proud Bible toting God lovers. Where then, I wondered, do I fall in the mix? Typically I refrain from sharing my beliefs because to be honest I don’t feel a need to defend them or convert anyone else. In addition, my spirituality is so complex it would take a book to explain it, hence the inspiration for the novel I’m working on.
To provide a bit of background, I was raised in the Catholic Church and set free at age eighteen. My parents insisted I had to follow their faith until that age and coming of age I ran like hell. I have always questioned authority and, if something didn’t sit well with me, I called it like I saw it. So there I was, eighteen, free from Catholic condemnation and headed off to college. Life was good until Murphy’s Law hit. Whatever could go wrong for me did, from little things to major wrongs; from not being able to get ice cream at a campus ice cream parlor (apparently the freezers were set too high that day) to my first car catching on fire, with me in it, during a road trip. Did this make me run back to church? Just the opposite, it made me challenge God in a way I never did before. Bring it on! I dared. Is that the best you got? I challenged.
Then something happened. When I receive a new planner, I have a tendency to look ahead and see what day my birthday falls on in the upcoming calendar. One year, I noticed my birthday was going to fall on Easter Sunday, the most holy of Catholic holidays. HA! I laughed, looked up to the sky and mocked, “So what are you going to do now, strike me down?” Now I do believe in a Higher Power and I believe he/she or it has a deep sense of humor. January came and a series of unexplainable events ensued. I would love to share them all with you but NAD may revoke my guest pass.
To make a long story short, enough events transpired in my life to convince me, a highly intellectual, free thinking individual beyond a reasonable doubt that there is something much more to this scripted play of the flesh in which we all take part. To borrow, out of context, from one of my favorite authors James Baldwin, the evidence of things not seen was compelling.
I do not label my spiritual relationship, which seems to bring me into conflict with those who maintain religious affiliation. I have visited many churches in my church hopping days and none of them have ever felt like home. I have discovered more drama and judgment in religious environments than I care to stomach. Ironically, I find that atheists often display more tolerance and the principles at the heart of Christianity than the most devout Christians; an insightful belief in humanity perhaps?
Personally I find organized religion to be too divisive and judgmental. Are all Buddhists going to hell because they don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? That’s a bit absurd to me. To be honest, losing my religion was the best thing that ever happened to me. In doing so, I developed a far more profound and intimate relationship with the universe. Atheism I could never adopt simply because if I truly believed this shithole we call life is all there is, I would put the gun to my temple and pull the trigger right now. I believe that free will has a purpose. I believe we all consentingly signed on to take part in research of sorts to help get it right by learning from our wrongs. I believe that when I transcend the flesh my inquisitive self will be fulfilled and that alone, for me, makes the human experiment worthwhile.