Day 19 : What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Again, two hot button topics. And again, I am far less than inclined to share my personal opinions on one of these subjects. However, I do think it is important for a person to explore their own spirituality and maybe get ideas from another when they are unsure of their own beliefs. Not to say that I intend on cramming my own spirituality down a reader’s throat. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.
Therefore, I am entitled to my own, and under the First Amendment, I am guaranteed the right to express these beliefs. I’d like to preface this post with the following. I have disabled the comments, because of the sensitive nature of this post. I highly discourage flame wars and refuse to provide a forum for them to happen. I would rather remove the temptation than have to mediate later, once the damage is already done.
I do not expect anyone to be on the same bandwagon. I have some unusual beliefs that come from a mixture of an Episcopalian upbringing, a self-proclaimed spiritual parent, and living amongst the Jewish people in their community for certain durations of time. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please address me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to engage a person in a private conversation on this matter.
With that said, I will begin the exploration of my spirituality.
I will state this up front, so there is no confusion later on. I am far beyond disenchanted with organized religion. I do not believe in religion, and I feel that it has done more harm than good in the world. We have seen holy wars since the beginning of time, no matter what people would like to term them these days. Many people have been forced from their homes. Others have been sentenced to painful deaths and were cast out into exile for what they believed in. All over differences of opinion on religion.
This is where everyone is going to get riled up. I do not believe that Jesus ever existed. I believe that Christianity was an idea that was concocted by the Romans for social control. They had a population that had a monotheistic religion and another with a polytheistic religion, the latter dying out. It was an attempt to get everyone on the same page. Essentially, the Romans wanted to put a code of conduct out there and make it profitable. And that they did.
There is no historical record of Jesus. There were many historians living in the Mesopotamian area at the supposed time of Jesus’ life and death, and no one recorded a man who could perform spectacular miracles. There may be tomb markers, but many people were entombed as part of commonplace burial ritual. Jesus was an extremely popular name at the time. There would be no possible way to find him on a registry, as all of those names were rather common. Hence the suffixes, John the Baptist, etc.
I can say this with confidence, not because I am ignorant of Christianity, but because I am well educated. I am baptized and confirmed Episcopalian. I had perfect attendance in Sunday school for nine years running. I started teaching the courses myself when I came of age. I have read the Bible cover to cover. And I find that so many of the rules are antiquated and just plain common sense. Wash your hands before eating? Of course. Don’t sleep with your brother’s wife? Of course not!!!
I suspect that my subscription rate will plummet after this.
With all of that being said, I’ll continue with my own ideas of spirituality. First, I prefer terms like spirituality and higher power in reference, because they are broader scope, less offensive, and do not indicate that I am a member of any religion. I am not religious. I am spiritual.
The universe is all made up of the higher power’s energy. Energy and matter can never be created, nor destroyed. That means that all of the things that exist today have existed in one form or another since before the beginning of time (because you know time is a human construct). It was at the beginning of space. If this is true, then that means that we’re all a part of each other. That is true too. We are all one in the same, from the amoeba to the complex human and beyond to planets, places, and beings we don’t even know exist.
We are all born with temperaments, and that’s all. As for the rest of it, we are blank slates. No being is inherently good or evil. There is no black and white in those terms. Which means that the higher power is not entirely benevolent, nor is the lower power. They are opposing powers, as described, but they are not God and Satan as depicted. They are one in the same, two sides of the same coin. But, it remains the same coin.
We can take notes of our own morality from basic religion. I do have a belief that all religions are really worshiping the same higher power, and generally all of the same moral guidelines. However, it’s not as cut and dry as they would have you believe. You will not be condemned to hell for failing to wash properly, although you might get an infection. Some of those rules were made for practicality sake. Cleanlinesss is next to Godliness, just means that we don’t want you getting sick and getting the rest of us sick with your epidemic.
As for other things that are outdated, I feel as if premarital sex is outdated. In the days of old, the reason a woman did not engage in premarital sex was for lack of birth control and Maury Povich and paternity tests. In those days, women relied on men to be their breadwinners and protectors. A man is not biologically inclined to take care of a child that is not is, nor was he burdened by the responsibility that society would place on him. Therefore, a woman would be left to do so herself. But, in those days, women couldn’t work and take care of children at the same time. The last thing villages needed was a whole family of fatherless children, relying on the resources of others to care for them.
Here are the things that are not dated. The Golden Rule is the first and foremost guide for a moral compass. If you don’t want it done to you, then refrain from perpetrating the offense onto another. Period. It really is that easy. We all know that hitting hurts, robbing another is unfair and sometimes devastating, and taking another life away from someone else and their family is beyond devastating. We all mourn the loss of those that we love. Why would someone take something that isn’t theirs, only to destroy it for themselves and everyone else?
My belief in the process of death is rather unusual, because it borrows from several cultures. There is no such thing as redemption at death. One is judged by their actions or inaction, positive and negative, the quality of their life and spirituality, and it is weighed out. Only, the judge is not the higher power. The judge is you. There is no immediate heaven, or immediate hell. We have souls that are always learning. To be enlightened is to have a soul that is wise and open to education. That is our point to any life that we lead. We are here for a purpose, for a lesson.
Do you ever see themes occurring in your life? Those themes are meant to teach you something. It is your life’s lesson. Without enlightenment to your life’s lesson and experiencing all of the fulfilling experiences meant for you as a part of the nature of your being (whether it’s animal, human, etc), then your soul does not get to move on to the next life. You will repeat the lesson and the life until you have reached full enlightenment. It is at that point that a being is allowed to choose what they would like to do with their eternity.