If only Belief were a choice.

I Want to Believe...

In Myself.

In the Future's potential.

In his Love.

In something Bigger, some Higher Power.

That one day I will find what it is I've lost.

That I will be able to hold on to it this time.

 

 

 

 

whimsygirl whimsygirl
22-25, F
4 Responses Jul 2, 2007

I should add one further clarification. I don't just want to believe. I don't wasnt to be deluded, I want to be able to believe and to be right.....I think. Maybe, not. It's a complicated issue and, to be honest, I'm still figuring out my thoughts on the matter...it's an interesting question. Would I prefer a world with or without some God or higher power. I actually don't know.

Hmmm, thank you for the clarification. I find it interesting that you want to believe--is it just because it's lonely being on the outside (and it IS definitely lonely)? <br />
<br />
I grew up Mormon. They'd say that the reason you felt the way you did was because "the Spirit" was present and "moving within your bosom," trying to awaken you to the glory of god, etc. <br />
<br />
It reminds me how once one of my sisters (herself a good believing Mormon) asked me what Atheists see in a sunset. She had a difficult time seeing how an Atheist could enjoy and revel in a sunset if we don't believe it is especially created for us, or created period. I told her that Atheists feel a sense of wonder, a sense of awe at the vivid colors, the way no two sunsets are exactly alike, the overwhelming scope of the beauty. <br />
<br />
So it is that I believe that "the spirit" is nothing more than innate elements of our humanity: a desire to be included socially (evolutionarily it's the safest position to be in), a respect and love for ceremony and myth. When we find ourselves tearing up at such occasions I don't think there's something in the water as much as the occasion appeals to my internal wiring--because it, being a creation of humans many years ago, truly taps into the core of my being. It's as close to foundational in my being as it gets. <br />
<br />
But, since you say you're lonely in the face of your rationality, you, too, must see things somewhat like me. I guess it doesn't change the fact that it's lonely realizing, logically, why people believe and follow their Gods and books and ceremonies. <br />
<br />
In the past (and even occasionally still) I have to remind myself that it's not a good enough religion to play at believing just in order to be included. <br />
<br />
Still, hearing of your experience here has made me feel a little less lonely than before.

This entry wasn’t meant to be primarily about Faith, but just faith in general, as I tend to have very little. But since you raised some interesting issues, I want to address them. Some of this was eventually going to make it’s way into my Agnostic experience story, it’s a bit long for a comment, but for now, here we go…<br />
You refer to facing “the terrifying (at first) possibility that there is nothing else but what we experience tangibly in our daily lives.” To me, that’s life, not a possibility that I’m trying to face. I’m trying to face the possibility that there might be something more…<br />
Faith is not what I was referring to when I mentioned finding what it is I’ve lost.<br />
I haven’t lost my faith. I never had any to begin with. It sounds like you chose not to believe; I’m not sure I ever did. <br />
I was raised with one parent Jewish and the other Christian, one an Atheist, the other simply nonreligious. I celebrated Christmas with a tree and Santa Claus, and Hanukkah with a menorah and 8 nights of presents. I was never offered God, I was never taught to believe. It seems to me, if you’re not fed this dogma as a child, you lose a certain openness to it. I don’t know many people who “found God” when they weren’t introduced to him/it as children. <br />
I used to be proud of my lack of faith. I remember as a child as young as 5, looking down on those who believed in God, as either brain-washed or self-deluded. I saw it as a weakness in those who succumbed to the need to feel comforted and not recognize themselves to be in a nihilistic world, or acknowledge themselves as transient creatures, whose souls die when their last neuron fires. Religion neatly (too neatly) answers all of the questions that we don’t have the capacity to answer, but are too terrified to leave just hanging…<br />
.I have no interest in the image of a bearded man in long robes, sitting on a throne up in the clouds somewhere, damning some and answering the prayers of others. I don’t accept for a moment the ideas of heaven or hell, or any of what I consider to be the mythology of organized religion. But, that said, I am not ready to deny that there could be some power beyond us here on Earth. <br />
I’ve been to church twice in the last 25 years (excluding times when I would sing with my choir, or weddings, etc), both of which were in the last 4 months. Both times I cried. Especially during the baptisms. I’m not entirely sure yet as to why…I’m still getting my head around it. I don’t cry often. There was just something so beautiful….and so utterly and inextricably out of my reach. It’s never easy to feel excluded….but it’s even harder to be on the outskirts of something so beautiful and meaningful…and the sentiment behind the baptisms, of those parents accepting the limits of their own ability to protect their children, and thus placing them in the lord’s hands….was just amazing. I was never baptized…and I don’t know that I could (one day) baptize my children. And it feels lonely. <br />
I’m a doubting Thomas, through and through. I have no blind faith. But it’s not a choice. Even if I decided I wanted to believe, to have faith, the indelible fact is that I have none. And I’m not sure there’s anything I can do to change that. I don’t feel like I was designed for faith. I require proof, and, having none, I simply don’t have the option of believing. <br />
If there is something, some higher power, I doubt it is anything remotely close to the God of most organized religions, so clearly formed in our own image. I suspect that whatever “It” is, it is beyond our capacity of understanding as humans. Maybe it’s just energy. If it exists at all.

Or you could face the terrifying (at first) possibility that there is nothing else but what we experience tangibly in our daily lives. Anything else is mere fantasy, like comfort junk food. It tastes good but makes us fat. It tastes good but has no nutritional value. All it does is get you by. <br />
<br />
I suggest that you courageously face the probability that we are alone (or at least that if God exists he/it/they is almost certainly not in any form that is definable by such a finite/limited/mortal species as humans). <br />
<br />
I've done so. <br />
<br />
I used to be a believer...until I realized, among other things, that it was awfully suspicious that God was so human-like--almost as if we'd created him, and not the other way around. Initially I was afraid; I was terrified. Being without a God seemed tremendously...lonely...to me. It also forced me to consider my system of ethics. If I didn't have God telling me what to do, how did/do I decide what's wrong and right? Then there are all the associated beliefs that you'll start coming across. Things like: "wow, that is a beautiful sunset--someone must've made it." Or, perhaps it's a natural phenomenon which we humans happen to think is beautiful. Or, you'll find yourself praying, and realize that it's never worked in the past and isn't likely to start working now. <br />
<br />
Granted, believers have a tendency to look for the implausible ways that It-Could-All-Make-Sense, but I feel much more liberated and happy knowing that I'm living a moral/ethical life based on what makes sense--not what someone else, or something else, or some book told me should make sense to me...and which I should live by just because it says so. <br />
<br />
But, it IS scary out here on the raggedy edge. It's not for the faint of heart. But it's so worthwhile if you've got the balls.