Sunday, March 31, 2013

dry bones

After the first clarification, I was asked another question:

"My only question for you now is that if you don't believe in god, hell, etc... What in your opinion will happen after death?"

My answer:

"In my opinion, very little, other than the ceasing of mental synapse and the beginning of chemical breakdown, will happen after death. The energy, which was my body, will be transferred to something else in this earth..i.e. the soil, other animals or plants. Life energy is never wasted. Nature has been really good at recycling since the very beginning. Humans, on the other hand, have only been doing it since the '80s. And, believe it or not, coming to this conclusion brings me much more peace and happiness than I've ever had in my life.

There are several opinions out there that would contradict what I just said, and I am only familiar with a couple of them. It is interesting to read them, however, and begin to understand the history of other people's belief. People are very passionate about the afterlife. People say there is no reason for being without it. I disagree with this. Reason for being comes from the same place as our need for ethics and morality...survival. An it's not survival by any means possible, either...there are still consequences to keep in mind. Survival has also evolved. It no longer simply means finding food, water,and shelter...although, when it comes right down to it, it still does. Survival also means raising well adjusted kids, meeting their emotional needs and giving them direction in life to cope with their environment...even finding joy. It also isn't just individual survival. We are concerned with people's happiness by irradicating misery. Just take a look at all the aide and compassion agencies in the world, both religious and non religious. Humans helping other humans to make it. The individual is benefitted by helping the collective to survive. Some call this Karma, some say "what goes around, comes around" and still others say "do unto others". Same concept, different words. All really great ideas.

If we all work for the benefit of others in this life, widespread happiness is more likely. If more time is spent on emphasising our differences and fighting about who is right, the society in which humans exist is more likely to collapse than do anything else. And I'm glad you're not looking for a fight."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

finding a place

A number of years ago I was asked a question by someone whom I've known for a very long time. Although I immediately had an answer, it was good for me to write it down. It helped me to clarify things in my mind. Here's the question.

"I'm aware that you've been "struggling" with your faith/beliefs for some time now. And I was just curious as to what brought you to that point? Or are you not aware of what or when that changed for you. I'm NOT asking because of the fact that I want to tell others or judge you for it. I'm curious because God has put this on my heart and he has specifically asked me to be in contact with you and pray for you. I want you to know that even though you might be "struggling" at this time, I don't love you any less or think of you any less either. We all have our times in life when we have to deal with issues and I'm no different."

And here was what I managed to clarify:

"First of all thanks for your questions. Here are some of the answers...but beware, you may not like what you read. You have the option right now of deleting this reply and continuing to think that everything is right and well with the world. But if you continue to read, you may be pulled into an arena for which you might not be prepared.

Still here?...


Are you sure?...

Here we go...

As far as the "struggle" regarding faith/belief is concerned...the struggle is over, and the law of nature has prevailed. The law of nature suggests that we observe the truth as it is, not the way we want it to be. I've spent the last number of years stepping into the areas of fear that I've always avoided because of...well...fear. It's kind of like the early European explorers who set out in their ships in the Western direction not knowing what they'd find...and , quite frankly, fearful of what they might find. But all the while knowing that there is something there beyond their experience or current understanding. What they did find when they got there led them to completely rethink their world view and rewrite the maps of the world. The earth isn't flat afterall.(Although there remains till today a flat earth society who still think the earth is flat). I have rewritten my old maps also.

I grew up in a completely sheltered environment...discouraged to persue the answers to the tough questions and, heaven help us, ever to doubt the validity of scripture or existence of God.
I was willing to step into that arena, after 40 odd years, and have discovered another world of understanding...another world view. I left the shores...some would call this doubt, others call it a struggle, but I call it a persuit. I think I knew all along that there was something valid out there but was always afraid to go there. I'm so glad I did. There is nothing quite like the peace and freedom of good understanding. Seeing the truth for what it is, not for what I wanted, or had always been told, it was or wanted it to be.

Much of this started with questioning scripture. I could no longer take scripture at face value. People wrote from their understanding of the world at that time(Their current map of the world). To give it more validity and staying power, you attach God's name as the inspiration. The only problem is, when new lands are discovered, people say, "Hey, but wasn't that God actually writing that stuff back there? He wouldn't make mistakes, would he? It must be right then." And the truth about the world is never acknowledged, because some council said that his words were from God in the first place and that trumps all new discoveries.

When you step into the place of fear, and actually start to ask the really good questions, you find that you are not alone, and that the same "safe" answers don't actually answer anything. They simply point out that everyone else is also afraid to ask the same questions and would rather not talk about them, and act as though the questions are just signs of weakness anyways. When those who have observed the natural world looking for answers and reasons for being write down the truth of their tried and tested and compared observations, a new and exhilerating feeling of revelation overwhelms you. It is here when it's like discovering the new lands beyond your telescope's limits. There is a feeling of, "Where have I been all this time? Why haven't I noticed this before?" It's like getting your first pair of eye glasses after having needed them for many years and finally discovering that there are individual leaves on trees and that trees are not just this great mass of green stuff. There's something more there. Something far better. I just needed to look in the right way.

Once you start to question Christian scripture with all of the good questions, the Christian foundation begins to crumble. When the one asking the questions sees how feable the foundation is, it is easy to move beyond belief...or at the very least, change one's belief. Through a series of personal studies, conversations, discoveries, and choices, I have moved beyond belief in anything supernatural. I am not looking to replace it with anything else either, except with that which is true...observably true...universally true...empirically true.

So, here it is in a nutshell. I don't believe there is a god, heaven, the infallable holy scriptures, hell, a devil, angels, life after death, or sin.
I DO believe that Jesus was a great man for his time who was desperately trying to get people to rethink the modern preconcieved notions about how to live their lives. He died trying to live out his model of a great life, which, quite frankly for the times, was completely unacceptable to the current culture's understanding. He was beyond their times...quite forward thinking. He was too much to bear. He did not, however, rise from the dead, even though the hundreds of followers would have loved him to be the prophesied messiah.
And, although I don't believe in sin, I do believe in the law of nature which is big on natural consequenses. Long before man created god in his own image, man had to deal with nature and the power of consequences. You can't go ahead and do whatever you want without paying a price of some sort...naturally. There are consequences for lying, stealing, sleeping around, not paying attention to your children as you raise them, disobeying parents, and manipulating someone's trust. This is the law of nature...not the ten commandments.

There you have it. Probably much more than what you expected, but I thought I'd give it all at once 'cause the questions would come eventually anyways.

I'm not looking for a debate. I'm not longing to be convinced otherwise. I simply am willing to give you what I think you want to know about me.