I want all the readers of this blog to understand why I have chosen to share all of these thoughts with the public. My object is clear. My father was taken from me at the age of 19 in a very unorthodox manner. While sitting at a stoplight at a busy intersection, a school bus went out of control and took his life, along with another man's. This event has propelled me into a spiritual journey that probably doesn't resemble that of most 24 year old men. My father was a VERY wise man and a spiritual man, always thinking of how he could help the less fortunate and cognizant of the amazing miracle that is life. From a very young age I was introduced to as much information as he could expose me to. He was not biased or judgmental in any of his teachings nor did he encourage that behavior. He grew up in a strict Nazarene family. Upon growing older, he had many unanswered questions. Straying from the dogma of his childhood religion, he began exploring the universe from as many angles as he could. Knowledge became his religion and drove him. He was incessantly pursuing ways to better himself and to relate to less fortunate individuals. I'm the luckiest boy in the world to have had him as a father, which is why I never want his life to have been in vain. I believe in his philosophy and I am dedicated to sharpening the essence of it so that I can one day clearly present it to the world. For now, this blog is a collection of previously written reflections, essays and sentiments of mine regarding education, philosophy, religion and the pursuit of self improvement. Please read with an open mind and feel free to post ANY comments... Thank you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On Religion

So many things have happened to me in only my 20 years of life. I have triumphed and failed, loved and been loved, hurt and been hurt, but above all, I have learned. Wisdom through experience, as I like to call it, and I have experienced quite a bit more than most twenty year olds. Often, experiencing something is the only true way to learn life’s lessons, but more importantly, our experiences shape us to be exactly who we are today and what we believe. I think that the problem in the world, in regards to religion, lies in the labeling of beliefs. Why does everyone feel the need to put into words an idea that no amount of words can describe? God.
Since my father has passed away, I have become much more spiritual. I think about him every day as a “Christian” would Jesus Christ, (I quote the word Christian because that term is ambiguous to me. All it technically takes to be a Christian these days is to say that you believe Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins. That is at least all it takes for some people to believe they are a Christian. How easy is that? For I can say I do believe and still not posses the characteristics of Christ). I feel like my father guides me every day, when before I would ask and ask God for understanding and truth and guidance and it never came as strong and abundant as it is now. It is almost as if every good decision is rewarded by an opportunity. Nothing is just given, however. God uses my father as an instrument to get through to me, as he uses Christ as an instrument to get through to so many people who don’t have any immediate reason to be spiritual. And I believe all this stems from God. He needs helpers so that the fast growing population of the Earth can be equally attended to. I don’t mean “helpers” as in elves, implying that God is not omnipotent enough to tend after everybody himself, and not as in angels, but helpers like Dave Gleason to give faith to a faithless population.
Not partaking in the selfish, reckless, lazy, activities most people do, including me, seems to help me, whether I am guided to see opportunities that I would not have otherwise, or am warned by scaring me to the point that I learn a lesson without being harmed. I think of these signs every day and am reminded and it actually impacts what I do and the decisions I make. I wear a “WWDD” bracelet (What Would Dave Do) and I find that since I have been actually looking at it and asking what it really means, things have been going my way. My intuition is stronger, I foresee things ahead of time, random business leads and opportunities, grades, and everything gets better. I ask him for forgiveness, thank him for warning me, read the same books as he read; I emulate him completely and it makes me feel a feeling unlike any I have ever felt. This seems comparable to Christians and the feelings they get when they worship Christ. What it boils down to is that although I may not be a Christian in some peoples’ eyes, I am slowly starting to believe in the idea of Jesus Christ. In essence, the idea of him to a typical Christian and the impact he has on them, equates to that I hold of my father. All of the energy I get when I think of my dad, when I miss my dad, when I come to realize wisdom that he revealed to a na├»ve young boy who has grown into a man, is the same energy and hope Christ gives to Christians. I do not necessarily trust the information given to us in the Bible, only because I think men promulgated it. I do, however, strongly believe that Christ was a message from God.
To me, it is irrelevant why or how Christ came and this seems to be the biggest problem between religions, even within the religion itself. All that matters is that he was here. We spend all out time trying to work out the discrepancies when we should be trying to figure out how we can all get along and realize good people are people who believe in something—aren’t we all really longing for the same thing? It really shouldn’t matter if Christ was born to a virgin mother, or if he was indeed the “son” of God. Why can’t we just believe that God sent him here as if to say:
Humans, I have created you and you have evolved into creatures from the brain I provided to you. You have learned how to deceive, to steal, to fight out of greed, to do all of the things less evolved animals are unable to do because they are trapped to their instincts. At first, you were obsolete. You fought as wild animals do over females, you chased after females just as a wild deer or a turkey does when the females of their species are ready to mate. You were trapped to your instincts. This was the only way you knew. Now your brain is complex and you are all smart and using it for reasons unintended by Myself. Here is an example of how you need to live in order to be happy, to lead a full life, to love and be loved by all; here is Jesus Christ. I don’t really care how you worship him or me, just be like him and you will have made Me, Your Creator, proud as a father is proud of his victorious son!

God is so smart that he found a way to connect to each culture. He gave each culture what it needed, something to believe in. He knew that if humans felt that their lives were empty, we would find no reason to stay (i.e. suicide and it is common). Isn’t it funny that not one culture, in all the different parts of the world, which originated as if they were the only culture on the Earth, totally independent from one another, believes the same thing in regards to religion? He is so wise that He saw from each culture’s perspective. He knew what would make sense to them and how they could relate to the omnipresent energy and spirit of God. Isn’t that what makes a good human? Being able to see from somebody else’s point of view and see him/her as wholly good without first judging them? Isn’t that precisely what each religion does to the other, judge? It is because we are scared, so scared that we might be wrong that we don’t even open our minds to anything on the contrary. It drives us to fight, to kill. I know many Christians who are not nearly as good a person as I believe myself to be. It is about the heart, the soul, and the person underneath. Knowledge Is dangerous because it leads us to danger. Doesn’t a father want his child to stay ignorant? There is nothing worse than knowledge being carried in the wrong hands. The little knowledge a three year old possesses of a gun, even that it exists, is dangerous because he is mostly ignorant of the ramifications and cannot comprehend it because it is out of the realm of comprehension by their under developed brains.
It is proven that humans only use up a fraction of out brain’s potential. Is that not under developed? Not to us functioning on a normal level every day. Life is stressful and our brains are running rampant constantly. That might be true, but a fish in a fishbowl is underneath the same amount of stress, respectively. It would be impossible to try and teach a fish why it is where it is. First, it cannot understand English, or any language obviously. If it could, it could not speak back to us. But let’s say we have a one of a kind fish. The conversation would go as follows: “Okay fish, you are here because we captured your parents in the sea and you were born inside of a fish hatchery. I paid for you with money that I earned, at a job…” and the fish says, “Whoa, whoa! You are going way too fast. First of all, my parents? Who are they? And how did they make me?” And you would say, “Well, there is this thing called mating…” Any person can see how that conversation would carry on infinitively.
So, are we fish in a fish bowl? Maybe there is so much out there that we are unable, like our fish friend, to understand and God sees no point in trying to tell us exactly. It would literally be impossible. We don’t speak his language, our five measly senses are outmatched by even animals on this Earth… we were only given a brain. Is it a person’s fault who uses this wonder of God called a brain, to question? To pursue wisdom? To accept God for who he is and say, “God, I don’t know how you did it, but you are awesome! I hope you tell me everything when I am done finishing my task here on earth; to find a way to love everyone and see everyone through loving eyes as you do; to seek wisdom in order to further myself, intellectually and spiritually; and to appreciate the life I was so thoughtfully given everyday by not taking it for granted.
My point is this: Can’t we use this brain of ours to connect to each other? Can’t we accept the fact that God is great and that there is still so much to learn? I believe it is illogical of any culture to try and pinpoint exactly how we got here. Imagine our fish’s explanation: “Uh, okay, this is how it happened. This water I am in was… uh, it had to have come from that sink over there. Okay, so the sink… it uh, what is a sink? That guy must have put it here, and he must be the master of the whole world! Yes! And he must know this whole room and he must have created it with a wave of his hand! Wow, look at how big it is!” Are we not equally ignorant? Regardless, it is inherent in every culture to try and explain it. It is what every human longs for and instead of fighting each other to try and get the other person to believe what we believe, can’t we come to a mutual agreement that we are all ignorant? Let’s say, “you do it your way and I’ll do it mine, because mine makes a lot more sense to me and I was told if I didn’t believe it that I would go to hell, and I don’t want to go to hell but I’d rather be on the safe side.”
God began by dispersing himself (if you think of him as a presence rather than an actual person, which I think he is) throughout all of humanity (The Big Bang). Why can’t it be that all schools of thought have validity, just not ultimate truth? God created the universe, physically, with the Big Bang. Then, the earth and the universe were set in motion as he planned, taking billions of years (Evolution). As it is yet to be proven, He might have picked planets light years away from each other and said, “Here is the planet of the Apes,” that is us, “and I will give you a brain capable of almost anything you want, but you have to start from scratch.” Maybe as time went on, humans evolved and figured out that their brain was powerful. We saw that we could get things we wanted, or desired, by communicating and interacting. Pretty soon we started to figure out short cuts, because after all, we are all smart. God gave us these brains. God saw humans and the path they were on and sent Christ, in whatever way, to give us faith and something to believe in ( I use us as people who could relate the easiest to him, Caucasians and Europeans).
When we would get to out of hand, like reverting back to our animal instincts and fornicating loosely, he sent us STD’s as if to say, “Stop this! This is not how you better yourself and I will harm only a little to cease these actions.” To Christians, or whatever religion, all of these sinister actions, or actions that keep us from being the human we can be, is sin.
3/24/08 continuation--- In reality, all of these sinful actions are merely shortcuts through our brain that our thoughts take to follow the path of least resistance. It is not very hard for me to eat a twinkie, or to get an erection by looking at a beautiful naked women. It is not very hard to sit and watch TV, or to enjoy smoking marijuana, or to indulge in whatever leisure activity a person desires. For the most part, every sin in the Bible is identified by these same characteristics. Our law is even in agreement with many, if not all of the 10 Commandments. All of these taboos seem to have one thing in common—they all don’t take very much thought. When you think about it, isn’t that the core to many problems among people? Being considerate of a person requires thought, and when a person fails to show this towards another person, a multitude of problems are likely to arise. It is easy to get your feelings hurt by such actions. It is also easy to commit these actions.
It is hard to analyze situations and to try to take into account all of the factors that go into them. When a person gets hurt feelings, I have learned that almost all the time they have failed to take some other factor(s) into account. That is why in his book “Psycho Cybernetics”, Maltz iterates that being able to place the best interpretation on another’s actions is paramount to living a stress free, happier life with better relationships. When I would used to get my feelings hurt frequently, I would almost inevitably have jumped to a conclusion without knowing all of the details. It is not easy to keep your cool when your feelings are hurt, let alone try to think about the unknown factors that might exist. Analyzing is the key to making the right decisions.
In spirituality, it is almost impossible to analyze all of the factors that correlate to the origin of our species. This of course does not stop us from trying, which is good, but there is the tendency to draw conclusions even though many facets of a religious belief structure are usually not analyzed to the fullest.

1 comment:

  1. That is good stuff man. I read somewhere that the only people who are totally wrong about religion are the ones who think they are totally right....