I grew up believing in God. There was no denomination attached, no one church or set of rules. I simply believed in a being greater than myself. It comforted me. I had someone to talk to at night; someone to plea with when things went horribly wrong. I climbed up the vine of prayer.
The curious mind that I was both blessed and cursed with, got stronger as I aged. I was no longer consumed with the innocence, but plagued with darkness. I knew the reality of the world, of the cold, and so I could not be content anymore with simply praying to an unknown entity. I wanted answers. I wanted to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, just who I was dealing with.
I went, for a period of time, trying to convince myself that I was an atheist. I boasted it; tried using it as a means to show off. “See, I’m so much smarter than you. I know that there is nothing out there.” All the while, I was really just trying to convince myself. I never won, though. I came to realize that even atheism means believing in something.
I then experimented with different churches. I put my entire self into their doctrines, their studies. I read and highlighted and tried to convince myself that I was being covered in the light of truth … in reality, I was just so full of hope, and desperate for salvation, that I let the veil of deceit portray itself as honesty. Eventually though, each new venture ended, and I was left at the same starting point. My searches never brought me closer to the truth … or so I thought.
I took a good look at the experiences I had accumulated; I laid them all out onto the table. I knew I was no atheist; I knew that I might believe in something, and that I might believe in nothing. I was also not religious; there has been no religion that I have studied that fits the ideals I feel to be true. There is almost always someone that is condemned, someone, some lifestyle that is “bad,” and that just is not my belief system. So what, through all of the mess, did I know? I knew that I did not, or should not, condemn anyone else. It is not my job. I felt no need to worry about what anyone else was thinking or devoted to, I just wanted to focus solely on myself. I knew that there were things from various religions that I agreed with. I could find at least a few things that moved me, that touched me. I knew that sometimes, personal beliefs had the power to consume a person; to will them to do horrible things … and I knew that I wanted no part in that. I knew that whatever I came to believe in, that I wanted to never let it force me to project it onto anyone else.
At this new crossing, I began meditating; I began practicing ways to leave my physical body. One night, one of my very first times trying a new technique, I felt myself floating above the body I live in. I felt a warmth, a light. Several arms and beings around me. They were faceless and shapeless. I felt such an intense love; deeper than any I had ever felt, that I sobbed uncontrollably and came back to my body. I sat on the couch for much of that night, just crying and crying. I have never, since then, had that profound of an experience. But I have gone back to that place; it actually is the only place my mind allows me to go when I meditate or practice past-life regression. There is a reason for this, but I am still trying to figure it out. And yet, even with my experiences with this method, I still question it. Are these real? Or are they simply products of a brain fully relaxed? I felt them, I knew the authenticity … but I can not just simply trust feelings; they are too vulnerable.
I have come to a profound realization, through all of my trial and error, that perhaps the search is never meant to end. If we humans knew the truth, all would be lost. We can believe, have faith in, feel the power … but we can never know. Not really. Of course, I am not meaning to belittle anyone’s beliefs. This is merely my set of guidelines, my (tiny little meaningless me) credence. I am not an authority; I am not so blinded by my own ego that I think I am significant enough to be enlightened. My search will always continue. I will never find the answers. I will never find the answers. I will never find the answers. I repeat it because I allow it to sink in. My search will never end, and I will never find the answers. But maybe that is the point. And maybe I am okay with that. This life, whether it is our only one or one of many, is about exploration. That is the beauty in all of this darkness. My curiosity will never fade, and I hope to never close myself off to being open to new ideas. There is no point to arguing over our beliefs; there is no purpose to fighting or killing in the name of one doctrine. We live and we let live. At the end of the day that is our life, it really is only about what brought you comfort; what helped you get through. That, I believe, is all that matters.
In saying that, I do think that discussions are always beautiful. Clean, open minded, discussions. Would you share your beliefs? What comfort you find in them? I would be most delighted in reading about it.
*All photos are linked to their rightful sources.