I’ve struggled with this issue for a years. I was brought up in a strict Catholic family, I taught “Sunday School” to little kids, sang and played flute in the Church choir, went to retreats, seminars, read the bible, and lots of other stuff so that I could learn and participate in the glory of God. With each lesson, I learned that God is the only thing that actually IS a social construct, unlike gender which is not.
I’ve not sat and read the bible page by page all the way through. I’ve read much of it as required by my prior religion, and during times when I was seeking answers. I would pull a verse, cross reference it against another, and try to come to a conclusion of what the answer is supposed to be. The problem I ran into with the Bible is that it contradicts itself too much for my liking. I’ve been told to “have faith”, and that my faith will show me the way and lead me down the right path. Nope. No such luck. I’m still a dirty sinner despite my efforts to end up otherwise.
However it’s got some really nice sections. Songs of Solomon? Whew! Hell yes!
I will always try to respect “God”, and those who believe in Him. I know there are certain rules you need to follow when talking about “The Lord”. However, that’s about as far as I will go with belief in God.
It’s not that I don’t believe in something bigger and more powerful than I. A higher power perhaps? I suppose you could call it that, but what I believe in is not a single all powerful anthropomorphized being who is solely endowed with magical powers and is the one and only all knowledgeable entity that rules over everything. What I believe in is more of a collective if you will.
We are all Gods, and Goddesses, part of all that is, and we have an interconnection to one and other. Our interconnectedness, our exchange of thoughts, emotions, and energies consumed and shared is what creates and controls the God I believe in. As much as I would like to shed some of those I’m unwillingly connected to, I cannot. We truly are in this together, as unfortunate as that might seem.
This is part of the reason that I will never be able to write off all black people as worthless thugs despite my racialist views on their problems. It’s also the reason why I cannot hate all feminists or PUA’s or homosexuals, etc. Since I know there is no way to totally disconnect myself from them and the universe unless I am deceased, I know that even the most subtle nuances of our thoughts and emotions will effect our Godliness, or lack thereof.
If you don’t believe me in my saying that we are connected through exchange of energy think about a few examples of how energy exchange works.
You are standing in a room filled with people. All the sudden a woman enters the room and walks by you closely, but does not touch you. You sense cold, or an icy feeling. You don’t know this woman but you feel as though you want to recoil from her. You want to get as far away from her as you can. Why do you feel this way?
You and a few of your friends are gathered around the lunch table talking. A strange woman walks into the room and immediately commands the attention of everyone. “She’s pretty,” you think to yourself, but not extraordinarily so. She just seems nice, welcoming, warm perhaps. Is it the way she moves? Is it her scent? Her smile? You can’t put your finger on it, but you are drawn to her. You want to get close to her. You want to get to know her. Why? If you don’t know her, what is it that draws you to her?
You can have a 2 hour conversation with someone and not feel fatigued at all, whereas you can have a 2 minute conversation with someone and feel as though you’ve just had the life sucked right out of you. Why?
It’s because humans have different types and levels of energy that are exuded and absorbed. We can be affected positively or negatively by other people’s energies depending on the context. There are ways to repel other people’s negative energies, or even prevent others from sucking the life out of yours, but there is no way to prevent energy exchange between humans unless you are dead.
Jesus? Well, he was definitely a person in history, but he was not any more divinely endowed than you or I. Jesus was a powerful spiritual leader this much is historic fact.
He did not choose his own path. He was issued it by his mother and father who had no other way to explain why the mother (Mary) ended up with child before her and her husband (Joseph) had even consummated their marriage. (I also don’t believe that God put his spawn into Mary’s womb, but that she engaged in an indiscretion which she was unable to fess up to that consequently caused her to become pregnant with some other man’s child.) The community surrounding Mary and Joseph fell for the story, and hence Our Savior was born. Jesus was put upon, but he did his best to save us despite being persecuted and then crucified.
Jesus lives on in the minds of believers everywhere. Jesus lives! Jesus saves!! O.k., whatever you say. Far be it from me to take away people’s only reason to act like humans. You take away people’s Jesus, and then the world really will turn to complete shit in a heart beat.
Although I am not a believer, that’s not to say that believing is a bad thing. The people I know through my work who believe in God, or at least a higher power of some kind tend to do better than those who do not. There is even a difference between people who consider themselves righteous and are zealous followers of Christ, those who merely quietly believe, and staunch atheists. The people who are on the extreme of either side do not do as well with regard to healing and health. In other words, if you are a religious fanatic, or if you are a fanatical atheist, in my experience your ability to heal and maintain health is much lower than those who are quiet believers or disbelievers. Fanatic = crazy = poor health in my experience.
You will never be able to get me to say that the bible is full of crap though. There is a lot of interesting history and prose, and much of it is a compelling read. But, it creates more confusion that it does factual information that is usable. Does it teach good lessons? It sure does! Does it have all the answers? Nope, not even close.
It was written by man (meaning mankind. I know, microaggression), and man is creative and fallible. The humans who wrote the bible, although said to be inspired by God, were flawed as all humans are. They explained things using the knowledge and intellectual tools they had at the time. I cannot blame them for not getting it all right, nor having all the real facts at the time. It isn’t their fault. If the bible were written today, by people who have knowledge obtained through examining facts, it would take a more scientific approach to explaining things. The lessons would be backed up by empirical study and evidence.
Although I do not believe in God in the conventional sense, I do believe in a spiritual force that is created by all good and bad that we see, think, feel, and express or exude. We can cause a positive wave of energy to lift one and other up, or we can force negative energy into the atmosphere causing useless entropy. I have to admit I’ve done a bit of both throughout my life, but hope to change my ways.
This has all been a very anecdotal way of explaining what I believe. I have more or less described what I’ve observed or “felt” regarding God or an all powerful entity which has the ability to affect everyone and everything. The next time I talk about this I will get a little more scientific to help explain what I know to be the truth about God, and why He doesn’t really exist.
So, are we still friends?