God and an afterlife have weighed heavily on my mind lately. I have always considered myself a closet believer in God, outwardly to most, I have been almost an atheist, weddings and funerals were my stock in trade when it came to organized religion. The ceremonial beauty of a wedding, and sorrowful tragedy of a funeral was never lost on me though.
Faith, Karma, Destiny, Catholicism. A higher power than us. Is that what decides what happens in our lives? I don’t think so. I think it is down to choices we make of our own free will in life that decide where we end up and who we become. Our choices mark us out as individuals, whether we become good people or bad people successful people or not. Religion in modern-day Ireland is laissez-faire and becoming increasingly irrelevant to us as individuals.
I know a lot of atheists – who are wonderfully good people, they live life’s that would shame the most ardent Christian Samaritan. Religion not their guiding light, but the simple sense of human decency and what is morally right by their own standards drive them to understand the difference between good and bad.
I secretly admire people who believe in religion or a higher purpose so to speak and have that spiritual crutch when they need it to help them through tough times in their lives’. I admire them for their devotion when it would be easier to go to the sunday game or the pub. I don’t understand it, but I do admire it.
Others believe in Karma. Karma in a nutshell is bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. I know incredibly inherent good and wonderful people who have known nothing but want and sadness from a very young age. I know people who have never hurt soul and are the kindest most gentle and giving people one could ever meet -and still they have known only sorrow.
So I don’t buy into Karma, but I do believe good deeds towards others will make you feel good about yourself and the world around you. In a society of narcissistic selfish cynics all good selfless deeds are noticed and do get remembered when it matters.
Do I believe in god and organised religion? I’m not so sure – I have had a fair old stab over the years at reading religious texts. The primary aim it would seem for most religions is to make sure we achieve Nirvana, or blag our way into heaven or some sort of spiritual utopia. This is organised religions’ primary over us, collectively and as individuals. It’s their ace in the hole so to speak. What happens after we die? Its is human nature to want believe in something better after we die, after all life is hard and has to be worked at for ourselves and those whom we hold dear. So the thoughts of an afterlife where all is bliss is certainly appealing.
So some choose to go the road of spiritual texts such as the bible, the Torah and Koran etc, as their guide to what is right correct and moral in life. All religious texts are open to interpretation hence the spawning of various sub sects of Christianity, Islam and Judaism over the centuries…
The Christian Bible is like some sort of ancient equivalent of a Harry Potter novel. Burning bushes, water into wine, speaking in tongues, come to think of it head to the local pub you’ll find all three. Moses was lost in the desert for 40 years apparently , looking for… eh directions home. Thats the problem with us men we -refuse to ask someone for directions.
The Jewish Torah, – The hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy much? Kabbalah, magical water will cleanse the soul? Magical water cleansing the soul? Of course it does, in Ireland we just call it Poitin.
Islam – Allah, in my humble opinion of the Koran was some sort of Arabian Stephen King novelist – go forth and kill everyone that don’t believe I am a raving lunatic and if you die while waging a holy war you can have 72 virgins when you get to heaven. Most men wouldn’t know what to do with one virgin never mind 72. I don’t think there is anything in the middle east that can’t be solved over a few pints. Never mind give peace a chance I say give pints a chance.
As for Hinduism, worshipping monkeys and elephants to solve our problems ? In most countries they are called politicians. I have tried that and it don’t work. Mind you the Kama Sūtra and Tantric sex don’t seem to be so bad ideas as attaining spiritualism goes.
Did you know Adam – of Adam and Eve fame had 2 wives? Yes, his 1st wife was Lilith. She left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him. Lilith I can safely was the 1st feminist and what did God do? He cast her into hell …….. Now that’s sexism even Islam can be proud of.
The Torah also says Eve was created from one of Adams Ribs, so next time you’re in Burger King be wary of the ribs you might get more than you bargained for.
You’ve probably guessed my views on organized religion……Yes I shall probably take confession when the time comes, and i shall ask to be forgiven my sins which are many. Making enemies of higher beings while on your deathbed is probably not the best idea.
Hypocrisy is a grave sin some would say…..Hey im just hedging my bets……
So my fear is – what if I simply cease to exist that there is no afterlife? That I wont get to watch you from above strumming my harp or from below from the fiery pits of hell, as may well be my case. Either way it kind of fills me with fear. If I just cease to exist would that be so bad? No heaven or hell just existing in the memories of others …….