Not too long ago, a friend asked me, “Are you religious?”
I answered, “No, I’m not. But I pray sometimes.”
Is that contradictory?
I don’t believe in Jesus or Messiah or Lord per se, but I do believe in a higher god/ force governing us from above. If I was a hippie, I’d say I believe in the free spirit, the mother nature; but I wouldn’t consider myself an atheist, because I do believe in an invisible force of some sort. I do think there is something governing the order of things, the beginnings and the ends. But that’s not due to a single/ group of people, it’s just how mother nature operates.
I never believed in the Bible. To me, the Bible seemed a bit too perfect and too unbelievable. It felt more like a highly exaggerated fiction, than a record of someone’s actual doing. I’m not sure if any of the miracles actually exist in the past, or perhaps most of them are just stories passed from one to another and somewhere along the way people added more and more to the story and then it became a legend and then on grew to become something that resembled nothing like the original thing.
I do believe in cycles though. Karma, reincarnations, seasons, balance…
To me they all make sense. Someone somewhere is born and someone somewhere dies. There is yin and there is yang. There are always two sides.
That conversation I spoke about earlier happened in a church actually. Because I hadn’t prayed for a while so I thought I’d take that opportunity to speak to “god”. I suppose deep down I just wanted to feel supported, and I guess talking to my imaginary god would help me achieve just that. So I closed my eyes, put my palms together and prayed. That feeling was so weird, yet so right. I felt reassured and peaceful. I felt that someone was listening to me patiently. And as creepy as it sounds, I felt comfortable – like talking to an old friend, a friend who I had abandoned for a really long time… The whole experience was absolutely unreal, but interesting at the same time. I did feel guilty for not speaking to “god” earlier and being connected, but even though I treat this experience as a religious encounter, I still don’t think I’m religious. There are still a lot of doubts in my head and I don’t think I can ever get rid of them completely. The “bad” experiences I had with these “religious” people just make me think twice about whether being a catholic or christian does actually mean what they are supposed to mean.
Yes, churches are great support groups and communities and there’s no doubt that the support and comfort they give each other often yields positive emotional results and outcomes. I just personally don’t buy it. I’d rather figure out life by myself than to leaving it up to “god”. I believe there is an overarching power but it’s definitely not one particular god. I don’t think it’s Jesus and I don’t think it’s Allah. I believe in support groups but pulling an invisible person into it and giving credit and tying everything back to that person is just nonsense. Also, imposing a complex structure to something essentially is just an enormous support group screams power-hungry fiend to me more than any other else.
However, I must say, speaking to “god” during my experience at the church was insightful as it allowed me to speak to my inner self, something we rarely do because it sounds absolutely crazy. But in that sense, I do believe it’s important for one to get in touch with the voice inside us, but it baffles me as to why this simple activity warrants such contrived procedures and calls for the need to gather such a big crowd just for a simple private conversation. I do like the action and I do like the purpose of these activities but I don’t like the organisation and the make-believe meaning that people put upon these actions.
And if I’d had to worship any of those powers/ people/ figures/ forces, I’d rather do it my way.