“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama.
i have often been asked if i am an atheist. in a culture that sees my lack of religion as a clear indicator of atheism, i have always had a hard time coming up with a response accurate enough to describe my beliefs. mostly because going into an explanation would take more time than i feel the person i’m conversing with would be willing to spare. most people don’t seem too curious past the point of a simple yes or no. but neither answer does the question, nor my belief system any justice.
see, i believe in god, but not as an old man in the sky, not someone/thing that is there to judge me at the end of my life. perhaps i should explain, i was raised religiously (on paper) a roman catholic. i spent some years going to church, listening to sermons, understanding the faith i was supposed to practice. for the most part, i don’t recall having a problem with what i chose to sit through. i attempted to read the bible, and tried my best to pay attention in catechism class. but as i have never fitted into the mold of a religious girl (to say the least), facing people was always challenging. my appearance and life choices were subject to gossip and criticism. who i was, was never who i was expected to be.
what i learnt from church was that religious people are no different from everyone else. except that maybe some of them behave a little more righteous, because what religion preaches is as good as law in their eyes.
i chose then to not believe in organised religion. not because i am anti christ, or krishna/ allah/ buddha. any god, all gods are fine by me. i truly feel that it’s alright for an individual to believe whatever they choose to, so long as what they believe is in no way harming those around them. and i mean hurting, abusing, murdering people kind of harm. not corrupting minds by revealing skin. For some reason, there are people in the world who think dressing however they want to dress may offend the gods, and tell others that they are going to hell for doing so.
i believe that what religious people call god, is something in all of us. something that connects us to the world beyond us, the pathway to life after death, the source of which we came from. i think believing in that alone disqualifies me from being an atheist. which i wouldn’t say i am anyways.
in all honesty, my spirituality is still very much it’s infant years. it is only in the recent years that i have put thought into why my mind works the way it works. i may see certain things now, the way i see it, but at the same time i know that the only constant is change. and that as i experience more in life, i will choose to open myself up to the possibility of anything i may encounter.
why is it that religion has to be so stiff/rigid? how can one person believe the exact same thing someone else believes just because a book, or a person told them so? in my opinion, any individual who has yet to form beliefs of their own, independent from the general preaching, is an individual that hasn’t spent much time getting to know themselves.
i believe in knowing myself. i believe in walking my path. i believe in not giving anyone else the power to intimidate me with the idea of heaven and hell.
i don’t believe in heaven and hell.
but i reckon if it did exist, god wouldn’t look too highly on those who judge, instead of love their fellow men and women, equally ;)