Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Belief


“Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief that sustains thought and holds the world together.” 
― Søren Kierkegaard
 
When I was a child, I was taught what I should believe.  I was never to question the elder’s teachings or try them further.  The punishment, I was told, was total annihilation in an eternal torture of the fires of hell.  I learned judgment and damnation, and I practiced them in my life until I was an aging man. 

A wise woman whose counsel I valued spoke, “What if there is no judgment, neither good nor bad?”  Ah, the “what if…” question!  I have come to love the chaos of churning in my prosaic life when someone “blows my mind”!  I become aware of a crack in my belief system, perhaps a crack in my concept of the universe and of my being.  In my journey during these past seven years, I had my beliefs shattered, splintered, ground into sand.  It allowed me daily to remold my thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.  Now, a set of bedrock beliefs succor me.  I cherish my wondering at mysteries unanswered:
  • What if… our only purpose here is to learn and to grow our spirits, and to be kind to others?
  • What if… the body is not the temple of the soul, but our spirit surrounds and encompasses and nourishes the body?
  • What if… we are so interconnected that we are essentially one with others, all we perceive in this existence, and the universe?
  •  What if… we do not walk in God, but God walks within us?
  •  What if… life, however we think of it, goes on forever?
  •  What if… the will of God is not to bend us or break us, but only to love and care for us?
  • What if… our existence here is an exercise in remembering our essence as the totality of God?
  • What if… evil is not a separate force raging against good and warring against God and all humans, but instead is an invention of our human imperfection, and the core of who we are is the essence of all good, the god of love?

I have a book of pictures of the universe[1] as we currently know it.  One picture taken by the Hubble telescope shows 1500 galaxies, each with millions of stars.  The image is like looking at the night sky through an aperture the size of a dime 75 feet away.  I cannot question the awe I feel in trying to understand the power that created it and inhabits it throughout.  That power, in my mind, is God.  It is a belief that works for me.


When I touch the mysteries of life and consciousness, I come into contact with God.  When I walk among trees and verdant forests teaming with living things, I am walking through God.  When I look into your eyes and see the essence of God within your spirit, I feel a connection deep and full of wonder.

And, thus, I believe.

-- Pete


[1] The Hand of God, 1999, edited by Michael Reagan, Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

1 comment:

jan said...

That's a lot to think about, Pete! We are what we believe.