Friday, March 11, 2011

Ruminations

I envy people who truly believe in the god they believe in.  They pass through this life with such surety that if they do this or don't do that there will be a  place for them in their christian or jewish or muslim or rastafarian heaven.  Some people even believe that this is hell and they must endure it to go to the 'real' existence, the next stage in their journey.
Oh, granted, there are the shouters and the hysterics, bible thumpers and scripture quoters, trying to get me on their side because they're afraid of what might really be out there, and they want company to reinforce what they're afraid not to believe in. 

I wonder sometimes if the believers ever wake in the middle of the night, terrified that there might not really BE a god, or a heaven, or a better life...when I wake like that, all I can see ahead of me is darkness, and nothing. Like looking down into the dark water that signals deep water, really really deep water...

But what that does is make me much more appreciative--and careful--of what's here, and what I've done, or will do. It's the only legacy I have,  and the only comfort, knowing that one very small piece of ground is a bit better than it was, at least for a little while.   My mother used to dismiss things she wanted to ignore by saying, 'well, after Im gone that leaky roof  won't matter,  someone else can fix it'.  Yeah, ma,  it does matter.

We're all connected, not only to each other, but to the earth, the oceans, everything.  What we do affects what other people do, even in a very small way.  And I truly wish I had a belief that involved an afterlife,  if only to be able to speculate on what it might be.  But all I see is the darkness out there, and silence. 

2 comments:

  1. I read this posting yesterday and give it a lot of thought. In truth most Christians do have doubts at one time or another, just at times we might have doubts about the strength of our marriage, we also doubt our salvation at times. We generally decide to go on believing in our marriage just as we do in our Christianity. I have pondered at times that we believe in an afterlife because our brains cant comprehend our being gone forever, I hope that last thought is wrong, I really like the thought of living forever.

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  2. I think you've hit on it, Harvey. The idea of dying to everything can be more than most people want to deal with. So we make up stories to comfort us, the way children sing themselves to sleep, to make the darkness kinder.

    We have to have a reason for things happening, humans do that--and if we have no explanation, then we find one; either in the stars, or in dreams, or in stories and myths, and sooner or later the myths take on a comforting reality.

    And one thing I have found; few if any cultures can survive without a belief in a higher power. They may leave a lot of wiggle room for doubters and atheists, but at the core is that belief, and it glues them together.

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