Thursday, 17 May 2012

RELIGION AND ALL THAT JAZZ or Stilll I look to find a reason to believe

I am currently a Buddhist (and anarchist) though not sure if that is an oxymoron.  I am not entirely sure I count as an anarchist as I have not yet defaced any public monuments nor thrown any bricks through Starbucks windows.  The chances now are pretty low to zero, what with my arthritis, though I would love to go to Thetford and write Tom Paine Rocks in bright red ink on his monument.  I think he would like that.   

I use the word current with regard to Buddhism, as I frequently change.  I alternately describe myself as an athiest, an anti-theist, and an agnostic.  I lean towards Buddhism just now, because it has a kindness and humanity that other religions lack.  I have never heard of a war fought in the name of Budhism. 

I once worked in an office where I met a lovely Buddhist lady.  I hardly knew her, she worked in accounts, I, in a difference office, but we would bump into one another making coffee. 

One day she came into my office and handed me a present wrapped in tissue paper.  It was a beautiful butterfly brooch.  I was quite taken aback, as you can imagine, and asked why would she give me, a virtual stranger such a lovely gift.  She answered that she sensed a sadness in me, and wanted to make me smile. 

I chop and change beliefs because I simply do not accept that anything is 'carved in stone' - I am always looking for answers, alternate opinions, different points of view.  Education has shown me how little I do in fact know, and I have no problem whatsoever, in admitting when I am wrong.  On the contrary, I am usually quite grateful to learn something I did not know.  Once the doors to enlightenment are opened, there is no turning back. 

I live my life on emperical evidence, that which I have experienced and seen with my own eyes.  If I encountered someone who could turn water into sparkling pink wine, I would drop to my knees and chant Hail Marys and 'thanks be to God's, til the cows came home, but I struggle to take the word of unstable single men in purple cassocks.  (for reasons that will be clear from my book, lol).

I would never rule out anything - not least the idea of other planets with other life forms.  I believe in science, but of course, that too is challenged daily by new ideas. 

In some ways, I regret having dabbled in Neitzche (sp), in that I am not sure I like taking responsibility for myself.  I no longer have a God (a rock) on which to lay my weary head.  At times I thought my heart would truly break (Dunblane) I had the comfort of going into a church and lighting candles, and it felt as though 'God' or something like that, gave me a metaphorical hug and shouldered some of the weight of my grief. 

I totally get the reasons why people believe, drugs and alcohol give similar relief at times of stress, and tend to be more fun, but I often wonder if they are fooling themselves or if maybe, they can see something that I can't?  There is a fine line between thinking rationally, and joining the loony brigade.  I had a friend who found religion and Alcoholics Anonymous, whose personality changed to 'serial killer in the making' who kept adding the word 'yet' to the end of my every sentence.  It became very vexing.   Had she been alive I would have pointed her out as a possible suspect in the 'old lady who put cat in bin' outrage. 

In many ways, religion is probably the road well travelled, it is the easier road.  The inate need of humanity to turn over all their troubles to a 'higher power'.  An all knowing, all seeing, all forgiving, confessional to an intangible super being, who can bear the weight of their inner turmoil.  Its an instant 'there there' pat on the shoulder, the kiss goodnight, the 'love you lots' at the end of a phonecall.  By the way, not a good idea to say that to your drugdealer. 


  1. (((Bell))) dont know why but what you just wrote made me think of William Styron and his Darkness Visible.. there is a favourite part that I like and I could empathise with...

    This sound, like all pleasure, I had been mumbly unresponsive to for months, pierced my heart like a dagger, and in a flood of swift recollection I thought of all the joys the house had known, the children who had rushed through its rooms, the festivals, the love, the work.. I realized all this was more than I could ever abandon.

    Bell its a strange time the 50s.. think it is a time to make friends with our true self.. having given all our life to our children ect.. sometimes I know I look at my real self and wonder who am I.. I got lost.. or I became what others wanted me to be............. havent a clue why what you wrote made me think this but I am writing it anyway.. and hope you dont think I am ready for the loony bin.. xx

    1. Fifties are indeed a funny age Sue. Most of us have probably been carers most of our lives. When I lost my Dad, I wanted to go out and abduct an old codger.

      Loathe as I am to admit it, I can't help but be 'Mother Hen' - in just about every situation, without someone to look after, I feel lost myself. And that sounds so mumsy and anti-feminist.

      I have reached another watershed, a crossroads, as I expect many of us in this age bracket have. If we are not knackered from caring for the kids and grandparents, we have much to offer. I have found a like minded sister on the Casual Chat board, who agrees that practical parenting and life skills should be part of basic education. We have to reach them before they are buying twin buggies and having aspirations of silicon boobs and a place in the semi finals of BGT. I think women our age, are a hugely untapped teaching resource Sue. Nothing beats wisdom and experience.

      but I'm waffling....... xxxx

  2. Hi Bell. I cannot deny that I am a strident atheist who finds the lie that is religion utterly contemptible. Why?? Well, let me keep it brief and simple.
    1) There is not a shred of evidence supporting the existence of a creator and deity that guides the affairs of man.
    2) There is a wealth of evidence making mincemaet of the absurd notion of godhood.
    3) In a world that owes its progress to science and technology and has developed a "need for proof culture" guided by logic, reason and hard evidence, anything that demands - not requests but demands - total obedience to archaic laws on the basis of faith alone is exactly what it appears to be: a con job based on the oldest and most cynical lie of all.
    He alone is free who lives with free consent under the entire guidance of reason.
    - Baruch Spinoza -

  3. Not ruling out life on other planets is reasonable and logical.
    Ruling out the existence of a deity is no less than sanity at its finest.

    A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
    - Bertrand Russell -

  4. Belle I wouldnt regret at all looking into anything, as you say with the german philosopher. It is great to get all aspects of life and to learn something from it, either a yay or a nay. All in the art of progress and self enjoyment. Julie