Endigar 171

Let me clarify my feelings on religion.  Speaking from my grieving heart may not be understood by those listening with their analytical minds. 

If you practice religion, gain from its ritual, are devoted to your deity, and it unites you with the rest of humanity, and helps you to live out your own personal mythology, I am for you.  What I personally condemn is turning to these practices out of fearful pretense.  Even though it is effective to scare people into the boundaries of religious practice, I believe it hinders the development of personal mythology and thus the evolution of the collective conscience. 

My son Zack believed in a more universal and inclusive God.  I feared that if he did not say the right things, acknowledge god correctly, that he would be ultimatley rejected by this deity I wanted him to love.  I had to try to sell devotion to this being with the realization that most of humanity was going to be diverted into eternal torment.  And that I wanted him  to enjoy this great heaven while friends and loved ones screamed in torment.  So we would have to learn to turn a deaf ear to their sufferings throughout eternity.  I ask, who is really in hell? 

And these decisions must be made while those who are devoted to the god of hell argue amongst themselves about the correct format for appeasement and that sinister god remains silent and strangely distant. 

I have come to believe that there is something there, something that seems to have a love for us.  I have my reasons.  I also believe that I can interact with this being and still remain true to myself.  This being seems to withdraw only when I try to live falsely with him. 

I used to say that if I was going to look for demons in this modern world, I would camp out in a church.  Most religion is more motivated and inspired by darkness, fear, and evil then it is by a God of love.  And I am often no better.  I have felt this before, still do.  I am more afraid of what I could lose, than inspired by what I could gain. 

So this program of recovery invites me to step out of my comfort zone.  If I feel fear and continue on, I am not bowing to the worst aspects of my past religious indoctrination.

I dreamed of Zack last night.  If there is a heaven where someone as beautiful as my son is rejected, I want no part of it. 

I believe that this God is real in some fashion that we are not able to conceive.  The more I try to say I know, the more I reveal my fears that cause me to be intolerant.

What if God wanted to give us a test.  For me, a test given by an all-knowing being is not for the purpose of his education about an individual.  A test is given so that the individual can look in a well crafted mirror and know himself better.  The God of my understanding wants us to be true to what he created within us. 

This test is a simple question – can you accept a universe in which most of those people around you are going to be destroyed, because you know if it is true, you are safe?  Is that alright with you?  Can you sing songs praising the fuhrer of the heavens as a train of helpless humanity is paraded by you, screaming?  Do we just get up and shut the church windows so that we might not hear them?  Business as usual while the skies are lit with their hell fire?  Is this reality acceptable?  At least Adolf’s flames brought death and not eternal torment.  What sadistic mind would conceive of a fate for his beloved ones, and claim a Father’s heart?  Only one who is totally insane. 

I think that you pass the test if you can risk losing your personal spiritual safety because you will not help such a reality to perpetuate itself.   People are significant.  When we can label one person as insignificant, and discard them with the morning trash, we cannot lay claim to a special place in this world for ourselves.  Someone is holding a garbage bag with your name on it.  Tomorrow they may take over the moral sanitation department. 

Sometimes I can feel that callous aspect of religious pretense seep into the recovery rooms, and I hate it.  Sometimes, I can feel it in the temple of my own mind and heart, and I hate it even more. 

From the Bible paraphrase, the Message:  If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.  [1John 4:20]

From Buddha:  Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

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