Monday, March 16, 2009

Living in Oblivion

How many of you do this??? —Burttito
I have a very hard time making up my mind about whether there is a god or not, I think that the biggest thing that keeps me believing in a god is I want there to be something after this, I can't bear the thought of being done. To me it is like reading part of a book and never knowing what happened in the end. Once I am gone I want to watch the rest of history act out. And yet I am completely resigned to the fact that mormonisn and essentially all religion is wrong and a farce. Does anyone else have this type of internal dilema?

I think everyone has to come to their own answers on this one. I'm through with believing things just because they're comforting, so I've spent (and probably always will) considerable time coming to terms with life being just what it seems: transitory.

I have two recurring thoughts that seem to help. One is just a realization that you can make yourself crazy thinking about *not* existing, because frankly that's something our human minds might just be incapable of comprehending. So I remind myself that for billions of years—heck, for all the years that have ever been—I did not exist, and I don't find this troubling in any way.

The second thing that helps me is redefining what "I" is. If my identity is inseparable from my corporeal self, then the oak tree in my backyard has more to look forward to than I do. But when I begin to see myself as part of those things I care about—a family, a community, a species, a world—now there's an indefinite (though not guaranteed) future to be concerned about. I've never studied Buddhism, but I think its basic ideas are along these same lines. And experiencing that kind of spiritual communion and peace with the world does not require you to believe in things without evidence, like an anthropomorphic god who gives kids cancer and hates gays, but really needs 10% of your income.

No comments: