Thoughts on Spirituality, Religion

Study of Icarus — Antony Micallef

Miserere

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.

SharpFeliceFuture50x26mixedonboard 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.

greene080409c54f 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.

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31 thoughts on “Thoughts on Spirituality, Religion

  1. I believe (and agree) that we will never stop learning (or exploring)… that’s part of what life is about… I also believe there is much more to life (or behind the life curtain) – guess you could say my belief is more or less a composite of many beliefs… and I do believe in Spirit Father…
    Guess the biggest comfort I get out of all this, honestly, is that it makes sense out of (and helps guide) what I see, think, feel… the closer I get, the warmer I feel – like the hot/cold game…
    Great post… you may not be an ‘official expert’, but seems to me you’re way ahead of most of ’em… way ahead… 🙂

  2. Now that I think about it, I find it comforting that there is no way to know. Of course, I could have figured that out when I wrote my perceptionism post, in which I see many parallels to this post of yours, or maybe I am only suffering from double (triple?) vision – I digress. I believe there is no organizing consciousness in the universe, only the impersonal laws of nature (a.k.a physics) and all emergent laws (as investigated by the scientific disciplines of chemistry, biology… etc). That seems to contradict my rejection of objectivism, but it doesn’t; since we can all experience these laws, they are also subjective and accepted by most subjects (exception: evolution and creationists)

  3. Although I like to think that I don’t believe in a god, I do still feel unsure at times.

    I don’t actually know what to believe, knowing that I can’t trust anything I see or hear or touch.Even if I believed my senses, I still would not know if this is ‘reality’ or just some computer simulation that I’m a part of, or maybe a very long coma induced dream.
    I want to know the truth about life, the universe and everything, but know that I may never find it (or at least, an answer better than 42!).
    Interesting post! 🙂

  4. I agree that the “knowing” is the finality of the human experience. When we know it is enlightenment and we are elevated.

    My personal beliefs are difficult to explain but I consider myself under the Pagan umbrella. I believe there are spirits all around and that there are many deity not just one almighty. To me, we are on a quest for knowledge and when our bodies die in this life we move to another plane and continue our spiritual quest there until we learn what we need to and return to this plane to further the knowledge. The cycle continues as we rise up the spiritual ladder.

    The meditation “room” you described is something I was taught to create, you found it naturally and likely with spiritual guidance since they embraced you immediately. To me, they are spirit guides. Sometimes ancestors or someone linked to us. I have a place I go to feel safe when I meditate as well. It’s a clearing in a forest that I visualize.

    You astound me with your insight. (I shared your post on Facebook, hope you don’t mind.)

  5. Our lives can only be as we perceive them, and other’s can only be to us, as we want them to be. We live our lives dictated by the law of self-sustainment, and search for meaning. If we are not searching for meaning, then we have found it in ourselves, which is of the utmost importance regarding ones’ sustainment. The world is small, when seen through a truthful eye, but also harsh. I admire your writing, and will to express yourself, and also admire your willingness to have an open mind. Great writing.

  6. I appreciate your quest and your words reflecting these spiritual journeys. We must never stop searching for fulfillment which is usually attained when our travels lift up the ones who need it most. Your writing does this. Nice work.

  7. I’m a Muslim, and no, they don’t teach us terrorism in Islamic schools. We are taught to respect our elders, and be kind and generous to one another. One of the main concept of Islam is Tawheed, which you might want to read about if you’re interested. Btw I love your blog. I’m glad it was freshly pressed and I got to see it.

  8. I love the way you write, so honest and really sharp too. I like the subjects you’ve written about too and your blog title! I’ve suffered from mental illness too – I love your comment about “this mind I’ve been blessed and cursed with” – really connect with that. You seem to say you are searching for answers and it sounds like from the terms you use are that these lie in ‘facts’ or ‘beliefs’, i.e. inanimate. But what if the answer were a relationship with ‘someone’ outside of our humanness, consciousness, transcendent? A personification which we could relate to at a spiritual level but beyond our ability to fully comprehend? What then? Just a thought.

  9. this is just beautiful! thank you for writing this post. you couldn’t have written it more honestly than you did. and i love this because it’s something i also believe in. i used to question a lot, ever since i was capable of questioning. and i went on a lot of spiritual journeys myself. but in the end, and i am content at arriving at this point, i really have come to a knowing, a deep knowing, that i have a God. and i always want to rest assured in that. and so, i am living a life for Him now. to everyone else, i judge no one. but, i believe what everyone of us deserves is mutual respect to each of our own individual spirits and beliefs. cheers to you! write some more! i really loved reading your posts. blessings to you! 🙂

  10. The term spirituality lacks a definitve definition,although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for “the sacred,” where “the sacred” is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.The use of the term “spirituality” has changed throughout the ages.In modern times spirituality is often separated from religion,and connotes a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development.*

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  11. Fabulous post. I agree with many of the comments here as well. Never stop searching, even after you’ve found what works for you. And never stop questioning. Your open mind is one of your best tools. My wife likes to say that just because she can’t be sure that something is ‘real’ doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. And if people start arguing that reality is what it is and can’t be anything else, I just ask them to go back 200 years. They way we perceive reality now as compared to then is very different, and yet the laws of physics haven’t changed. We have. Science can identify and measure things that were impossible 200 years ago. That doesn’t mean those things didn’t exist then, we simply couldn’t perceive them. Maybe 200 years from now, we will be able to identify and quantify your experience of being lovingly embraced by arms, even though it was ‘all in your head’. Until then, keep questioning, and keep writing.

  12. Stop impressing me, seriously! Stop that!!! These are actually very close to my own ideas. I too believe we will never know. Sometimes this scares me in a stunned indescribable terror sort of way, sometimes it makes me think that life is a test or maybe just a journey, something we must do and I know through all of it, that yes, we will never know. We aren’t meant to know and perhaps that is part of the journey, this acceptance that we will never know. There is some beauty in that. Thanks for this post. It’s made me think…in a positive way about the unknowing. Because normally it frightens me to the depths of my soul to think that I don’t know. I like to know things. This makes me think that not knowing could be a beautiful thing, like a journey with no end, or a journey that is open ended. I like that. Life is that anyway, everyday we make choices and take paths. And we never end anywhere, not until we die and even then, maybe that’s not the end either. Lovely, truly lovely.

  13. ” the search is never meant to end.”

    Amen, sister.
    If you can’t see any more mystery, you ain’t been enlightened.
    You’ve been blinded.

    I don’t know anything about using meditation to leave my body or go to another place.
    But seems to me you really like to look into your own head, no matter how manky it gets in there.
    Try using meditation for that.
    Vipassana works best for me.

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