Mini-Manifesto: On Belief

9 Mar

Author’s Note: I spend that majority of my formative years being raised Catholic, something I’ve come to for the most part reject in my recent years. I’ve been pondering my spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, as of late, so here’s some stream-of-consciousness in an attempt to explain what I have that can be loosely classified as  a ‘belief system’:

I believe in a lot of things.

I believe that human beings are neither inherently good nor evil at the start of things. The world is what shapes them one way or the other (or neither).

I believe that I know absolutely nothing for certain except that I exist. Descartes put it how I see it: “I think therefore I am.” That’s all I’ve got on the definite front. Everything else? Open to debate and new discovery.

I believe in karma, or something like it. What I do to others will ultimately come back to me in one way or another, even if the only effect the universe gives to me is  my own guilt and realization of my own wrongdoing. I also believe in the human capacity for forgiveness, and our ability to make amends for our wrongdoing. Redemption. It’s a beautiful thing.

I believe that if there is an afterlife, it’s not dependent on a Judeo-Christian morality system. I don’t think it’s a simple as keeping a score-sheet of the good things you’ve done versus how many bad things you did. I don’t believe in a ‘heaven’ or a ‘hell’, or acts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that cast you into the pits of hell. As far as I’ve seen, a lot of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ acts that get you into heaven and hell by fundamentalist standards are pretty relative and based in dogmatic tradition, not integrity or truth.

I like the idea of reincarnation as a part of the afterlife, but my ever-present uncertainty prevents me from calling it a ‘belief’. I’ve definitely had feelings that I, or at least some part of me, has existed in this world before in the past, but also that that wasn’t MY life. I, the person I am now, will only live once. My consciousness as it’s connected to this body, this soul, this metaphysical entity in time, is only here for my lifetime. Anything before or after that was part of another life, even if it was technically mine.

I believe in science. Explanations, reason, logic are all beautiful things to me, because they give me answers to all my questions. I believe in questions, and that they are necessary even if we never get the answers.

I can’t say I do or don’t believe in some Higher Power because I just don’t know. I have no systematic evidence one way or the other that I consider reliable (even if other people do have things that are evidence for them, I still haven’t found anything that proves anything specific).

I don’t believe in the ‘Power of Prayer’. I do believe in the power of positive thinking in every aspect of my life, and also in the power of hope.

I believe in love. Every kind of it.

I believe in treating others the way I’d want to be treated: with respect and attempts to be understanding and rational.

I don’t believe in religion, and think it exists as a security blanket for the masses, a hand to hold when things are hard. I think it’s much more difficult to face the harshness of the world without a religion, some person in the sky who can make it all better, to cling to. I don’t believe in an all-powerful GOD sitting in the clouds passing judgement or sentence upon our existence. If there is one, I don’t believe He or She is attached to any one religion or the man-made writings and practices that are associated with it. I don’t believe in the bible or other religious texts. I don’t believe in Jesus or other historical figures as religious icons. I believe religion has done more harm than good for our world in the grand scheme of things.

I believe, simply, in people. We exist as pure accidents of science. We have the ability to live, to love, with power and strength. I think that can come from whatever we want, because it’s what WE want. We have the power, the energy, from within, to move forward with our lives. Whether we get that from religion, philosophy, fiction, each other or ourselves is our choice. Our decision. Our path.

If there is a GOD up there, I don’t think He or She is involved. I think it’s just us down here, us and our personal power. We make things happen, in whatever ways we choose, we feel are right, and we are here to experience everything the world has to offer.

I believe that it’s so hard for me to pin my beliefs down because I was raised in such a rigid belief system.

I don’t believe in a God, but I think that there is something more out there than can be explained by religion or science. Things that cannot be explained. Maybe we’ll find the answers with time, but I accept and believe that some things will never be explained, because we humans don’t have the capacity to understand the answers.

I believe that I am a child of humanity and nature, not of a God. I exist on this planet to learn things, to understand that it is impossible to truly be an authority on something, and that we must always strive to be proven wrong that we may find new answers to those new questions.

I believe in the necessity of constant humility, but the importance of not letting that lead to simple-self-deprecation.

I believe you should never knock something until you’ve tried it. That includes everything from alcohol to skydiving.

I believe in the importance of trust and honesty in interpersonal relationships.

I believe in fluid sexuality. I don’t think a sexual preference must be ‘proven’ to the world or have labels slapped on matters of the heart. I believe that it’s okay to call myself pansexual and open to relationships with other females even though to this point I’ve only ever been in serious relationships with straight men. I believe that there are more important defining points to a person’s life than who they want to fuck. I believe that you can fall in love with anyone, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

I believe in respecting the beliefs of others around me. Mutual appreciation and understanding have more value than arguments of semantics. We each reach the beliefs we do through our own life experiences. We’ve all lived different lives. How do we judge who is right and who is wrong when we cannot truly live in each other’s shoes?

I believe that no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to accurately predict the weather or the way that nature works. I believe that certain things are inherent in human behavior, are in our ‘natures’ and not in our control, but how we react to those natures is something that CAN be controlled.

I dislike ritual in spiritual practices, but respect the need for it in other people’s lives. What works for me won’t work for everyone else. We all get to the same result in different ways. It’s just how we are as people. Different. Unique. Fantastic.

I believe I exist for the purpose of deep personal connections with the people around me. I also believe that risk is an essential aspect of existence if you seek to live life to the full.

I believe in maturity. Honesty. Integrity. I believe in morality without gods. Good for the sake of good, not good for the fear of punishment. I think that morality is shades of gray.

I believe in balance and harmony, and that darkness is essential to our beings, almost more so than light, because without darkness light has no way to shine.

I believe that there’s no situation in life that can’t be improved through indulgence in dance and song.

I believe in maintaining an open mind, and exploring all possibilities with boundless enthusiasm and endless questions.

I believe in the precious nature of all life. I don’t eat meat because I think it’s wrong to eat animals, not just because I have problems digesting it.

I believe in real-sugar colas, ghosts, true love, aliens, the power of imagination, friendship, family and full-fat mayonnaise.

Most importantly.

I believe in myself.

And I think that, right there, is more than enough.

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One Response to “Mini-Manifesto: On Belief”

  1. Kat March 13, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    that was very insightful and very cool
    go you you should believe in yourself beacuse your awesome 🙂
    k
    xx

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