[An old draft recently discovered, transcribed and edited.]
Had to share this post from someone i saw on Facebook early this morning. Woke up at 3:45 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So i surfed for a while. I usually avoid religious posts. I don’t Like them or UnLike them. I just don’t pay attention to them. Any kind of public religious zealotry tends to turn me off, whether it’s pro-religious or anti-religious. Atheists are some of the most religiously zealot people you’d ever not want to meet, though they don’t realize it. But many of them are prone to the same kind of proselytizing that radical evangelicals or Muslims are. Personally I find it peculiar, the apparently dire need some people seem to have to profess preach or proselytize their faith to others. Especially in a mixed setting like Facebook or other social media websites where we’re sure to encounter people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, faiths and religious traditions. Chances are, we’re most likely in the minority; if not due to our religion per se — Christianity is after all a surprisingly popular religion globally — but in our desire or willingness to talk about it publicly. When religious views are so personal; when we are fully aware that our own personal religious views are not being solicited by others… and are most likely not even welcomed.
It’s akin to running around town buck-naked, this trend to go social with your religious views. We all get naked when we have to. That’s a given. It’s a fact of life we all quietly and humbly accept. But we don’t find many people asking anyone else to show it to them publicly. At least not if they’re sane or rational folk. Public displays of religion have always struck me in a similar fashion. Not only is your own nudity generally unwelcome in public places, it can also more often than not just be downright insulting to some; this assumption that everyone wants to see your wanker flopping around in the wind. So if you live in a world where everyone does their best to be respectful, you simply keep your clothes on in public. The same rule should apply to waving our religious flag all over the place every time you open your mouth or type something publicly. I’m not against religion. Certainly not against being religious. Obviously. I just believe that it’s a very personal thing. It’s hard to pull off publicly pronouncing one’s faith when it wasn’t requested in the first place.
When it comes to religion, especially as it relates to Christianity in the United States, there is an unspoken — unfortunately sometimes spoken — idea that some people have that “their way” is the “one true” or “best way” there is, insinuating that all other religions are somehow inferior to theirs — simply because they aren’t christian. When someone posts something super religious unsolicited in a social media arena for all the world to see, knowing damn well that the majority of the people who will see it don’t share their views, it comes across snobbish, holier than thou, cocky, sometimes downright insulting. But if you go deeper, and attempt to view them in a respectful way, it may not be as cocky or snobbish as it is just ignorant; just not being as aware as most people. I try to view it that way sometimes. To give them the benefit of the doubt.
So yes, I do tend to respectfully ignore those ultra-religious posts by others, regardless of which faith tradition they happen to entertain themselves with. For all the reasons listed above. Every now and then though something will catch me. This morning was one such occurrence. Perhaps it’s because it’s the middle of the night and I’m still half asleep. Or perhaps it’s because it just really resonated with me. We won’t know for years really… till this post becomes a forgotten re-read. But what grabbed me was a prayer. A simple prayer. A public prayer. Hung out to dry in the wind for all the neighbors to see. Just so happened that what this person posted resonated strongly with me; probably because I’ve been praying the same damn prayer nearly word for word for weeks now myself.
I’ve felt a strong compulsion to pray a lot more and connect with the Divine a lot more lately. Not sure why. Something special is happening. Has happened. Something bigger than usual, larger than just me or “us”. And I cannot help but feel that it doesn’t have to be inherently religious for those that choose not to go “there”. But science has now discovered a cosmology that is big enough, expansive enough, (magical enough if you will) to allow for this kind of thought and still permit “rational thinking” for those who normally would never venture into those waters.
It isn’t like the old days — ten yeas ago? Five years ago? Even one year ago? Where one had to choose between being religious or being intelligent, sane, rational or logically minded. We can clearly see that in times past this was a choice that one had to make. All of the great faith traditions or religions that humankind has come up with (excepting Buddhism, which is NOT a religion in the strict sense) have been rather kooky, to put it kindly. They’re filled with contradictions and hypocrisy, legends and myths so glaringly unrealistic and manmade that you’d feel a fool to take them seriously. Once you study them that is. [And let us remember that a lot of religious people never make it to that point — which is why I recommend being as respectful as possible when interacting with someone overtly religious. They’re raised in a religious household and they never reach a point where they study it from a historical or academic perspective. They just take it at face value. Based on what they were taught as children. It’s important to remind ourselves of this; for perspective and respect.]
But for those who have taken the time to study the world’s religions, or even their own, it becomes apparent rather quickly just how insanely irrational and made up they all are. Usually this leads to a slingshot kind of reaction. One minute you’re religious and the next minute you’re super anti-religious. A logical pragmatist. A realist. Some even go so far as calling themselves atheists, though that’s a religion too. The anti-religion religion. The smartest minds will tend toward an open minded agnosticism. Which is where most of the civilized world seems to comfortably rest now in consciousness and in our cultural tendencies. But this Divine Force still pulses out there. In here. It’s still alive. Living. Existing. Creating. Sustaining. How involved It is in OUR day to day lives, one cannot be sure. How available It is to us even, we can’t be sure. But there’s nothing wrong with trying. No harm in it. In fact I’ve always found it to be a beneficial endeavor.
Which is where we started here roughly an hour ago. The sun is rising now. I will drift back to sleep soon. But not without first praying. I almost always fall asleep praying. Whether it’s night time or day. A full sleep or a half hour nap. Just what or who we are praying to… that’s a difficult thing to qualify. For everyone the image is probably different. I once heard a friend casually explain to a small group of us that he almost always prays to Jesus “because he was human” and he finds it easier to pray to “something he can understand”. I found this idea remarkably peculiar. Only because I personally feel the exact opposite of this. I tend to shy away from “praying” to Jesus on a regular basis — precisely because he is/was a human. I see him more as a conduit to the Divine, rather than a divine force himself… Not that I “don’t believe” that “Jesus was God”. I would never claim to know either way. Frankly I don’t know how anyone can make a decision about that one way or the other. I wouldn’t dare. So I remain optimistically open-minded about it. But when I pray I tend to pray to “something very large, expansive, all-knowing, all-loving, compassionate and omnipresent”, something that is big enough to hold the entire universe in its mind and/or beingness and yet small enough to fit inside the smallest sub-atomic particle. But see, that’s MY version of the Divine. Surely very different than the next person’s.
The question is, can God (the Goddess? Not gender based at all? Completely removed, evolved beyond gender-based organisms…?) be flexible, pliable, malleable enough to encompass all that we attribute to it and yet still BE what IT IS in reality? If anything? I’d venture to guess yes, He/She/It can. And does. And it is precisely at this time in OUR evolution that we are beginning to see and understand this. Surely God / the Divine already gets all this. Waiting for us to get it. Slowly but surely it seems as though more and more of us are coming around. As I’ve already recounted numerous times here in the past, I didn’t find God or religion as much as IT found me. The gift of that is not lost on me. I still remain exceedingly grateful for those experiences. For I know very well what it’s like to use one’s head to try to “figure God out”. It’s a maddening process. Your heart may long for one thing but your head always gets in the way. Logic and reason. Without some kind of a super-natural or paranormal experience one is usually left with just human logic and reason. God doesn’t tend to fit too easily into a rational logical view of the world. Especially when approached through the small minded lens of one or any of the world’s major religions. But once God finds you, once you come face to face with It, heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soul, once you FEEL this divine presence, or hear it… it’s hard to deny it, no matter what logic or reason or rational thinking tell you.
And now we’ve caught up, scientifically speaking, to just how grand this God-construct can be or possibly is. Our science is expanding way beyond what it used to be, how small it used to be. Physicists are finally starting to create cosmological constructs that are expansive enough to make room for this Divine force. And thus prayer can be not only possible, but encouraged. At the very least for experimental purposes. (And that’s out of respect for the still-purely logical pragmatists who find the existence of an external Divine force in the universe unlikely). But for many, ones who have extended beyond that kind of thinking, or who, like me, have experienced something other-worldly that has permanently shifted their views, prayer just may be the fastest way for us to get to the bottom of what this special thing is that we’ve been calling God for so many thousands of years. I am most fascinated imagining what our beliefs will be like in another ten years, or another fifty, or one-hundred, pertaining to this Divine force. Who will strike theistic gold first? The scientists? Or the spiritual? Or will it be a more subtle vectoring of both worlds simultaneously? A sudden realization of the merging of both worlds without a deliberate attempt to do so…? Seems very likely. But we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime it’s certainly an intriguing proposition.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone