lundi, novembre 21, 2005

this i believe: there is no god

"This I Believe" is a series of essays on values and beliefs by Americans from all walks of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed Penn Jillette's essay, There is No God. I'm struck by how he lives in the present and appreciates everyday gifts. That's a lesson for all of us, no matter what our personal beliefs happen to be.
So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

2 commentaires:

Champurrado a dit…

A strong post. I'm tottering with my own balance on top of the "where's God" wall. If you have a second, read Chuck Gutenson's piece here:

I found some insightful ideas within the writing.

Ellie a dit…

Ah, baby, to me god IS family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, and Jell-o and not an omniscent, judging (and separate from me) power.

What if God is simply Source?

What if God is a law of cause and effect, something like gravity or entropy or any other reality we recognize in nature?

What if God is a law that asks: did you bring a teaspoon or a big ol' truck to the well that feeds your bliss?

A law that says that heaven is within us and that we experience it insofar as we are open to it.

A law that is working for you whether you believe or not.

I was not raised with this God (or any God). I do not always have unbending Faith in my own Go(o)d. I certainly am not rigid in my beliefs.

This is my experience: God is like waking up to the intermingled smells of coffee, the fresh cool air, and a sweet campfire (and more: bread baking, puppy breath); to the arms of a lover who knows me so well I don't have to speak; to a remembrance of my connectedness to all things; to an understanding that there is nothing I have to do except be.