The other day at work, I was discussing religion with a good friend and colleague. When he asked about my own personal beliefs, I replied:
I believe in God, but I don’t believe in religion
I was met with incredulity. “What does that even mean?”, he asked, “How can you believe in God without being religious?”
His inability to understand something I’ve always taken for granted as being perfectly natural was a bit of a curve ball. Naturally, because a busy office is a less-than-ideal place in which to engage in theological and existential conversations, the question hung in the air like a bad meat fart which left both of us irritated and perplexed.
Now that I have both time, and a means of thoughtful communication, I’d like to clarify exactly what that means, and why it’s so important.
Firstly, what you have to understand about religion is this:
All religious legends are all basically the same story.
I know that here and there a few more arms have been chucked onto this deity, one is inexplicably white, and some demand curly sideburns. Some must never be mentioned, referred to, or converted into satirical comics. However, when you look at the root story of pretty much all religions the main dude is always the son of God. This actually refers to the sun, therefore all religions started out as sun worship.
If you can’t wrap your head around this thought, take a break and watch the video below for an instant reality trip.
All of this aside, my faith in some sort of energy connecting us all has always been there, like a warm blanket around my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in a patriarchal figure with a fine example of facial furniture flouncing around in the clouds, spending his time judging and condemning us like a badly dressed mature student watching Big Brother.
Neither do I worry that my mistakes and bad judgements in life will see me strung up in a fiery canyon, having pineapples shoved up my arse for the rest of eternity.
I also don’t hold faith that if I’m good, I’ll be rewarded in paradise with a shed load of virgins. This may appeal to the majority of the male population, but believe me this sounds like more of a chore than a pleasure (ladies, am I right?)…
I believe that we are all born perfect and good, and that we all instinctively know not to shop lift, or hit someone on the head with a hammer. People do these things for a number of reasons, but I don’t think it’s because they haven’t found religion yet. It’s more likely for the thrill (because they know it’s wrong and do it anyway); because they are desperate; or because they’re wired wrong (either genetically or because their parents and peers royally fucked their neural pathways from a very young age).
The only myth from any religion that resonates with me is reincarnation, and that is from a purely scientific perspective. Everything that ever was on planet earth, and everything that will ever come to be, is made from the same atoms. That means that you and I could be reincarnated from a mixture of a banana, an umbrella, an egg, the buttress from a Viking ship, and even a bit of Elvis. Nature’s great at recycling.
That said, science can only take us so far. The best scientists are those who are open to the idea of the spirit, and usually end up using science to prove the existence of god.
So, what is God then?
Like anyone on this planet (including rabbis, priests, and their polar opposite Richard Dawkins), all I have is theory. But like any decent belief, despite the fact that I can neither prove nor disprove it, this is what I know in my very fabric to be real…
God is that dream I had the night my granny died when she came to me to say goodbye, and the little silent conversations I had with her for a few days afterwards.
God is the need in me to connect with people
God is the horror I feel whenever I witness the suffering of any living being
God is the spark inside me that transcends the meat of my body
God is the thing that links me to you
God is the feeling that resonates through my earthly atoms when I’m exposed to beautiful music
God is the intrinsic intelligence in nature
God is love
Organised religion has an awful lot to answer for. Lost people are indoctrinated and subsequently perform mindless violence of the body and of the mind. Not just against their perceived enemies, but against their own children. I don’t want any part of that.
I don’t need to pay, or subject myself to hardship, or exercise hatred towards my fellow human beings because they don’t conform to a book some ancient Roman bigot wrote, to worship God.
All I need to do is sit, be still, and feel the joy that rises within me when I think about all that I have.
I’m a free thinking kinda girl, always have been, and I could never blindly accept things that are spoon fed to me. That’s why I chose to be pro abortion in my convent school debating class. I’m pro human. Religion is not. It is self serving and political.
The last thing I would ever do is shove my beliefs down someone’s throat, but personally I reckon if there is a God, he’d get way more kicks from love than he would from the sticky negativity of hatred. And that’s what I believe.