I have thought about religion and spirituality since I was a teenager. I’ve studies many belief systems, Buddhism most ardently, but none align with what I know to be true about nature and physics and the world. All belief systems asked me to suspend my other beliefs, in one way or another, from what I know, scientifically, to be true. I never know what box to check on my online dating profile – agnostic, atheist, other or that cryptic “spiritual but not religious”.
I believe in a higher order, but I don’t believe in a higher power. There is no god looking down upon us, with interest in each life, deciding our fate for us. I do, however, believe there is something much greater than “us” that we, as humans, have yet to understand. There is enough in our experiences here in our world to evoke awe. Look at us, look at our bodies – look at our circulatory system, look at our world and it’s shifting tectonic plates and variety of life, look at quantum physics and all that we still don’t understand, look at our universe and its potential for sustaining other life forms, and the fact that it may be expanding ad infinitum– or perhaps not at all. Is it all chaos or is it absolute and complete order? This is where my beliefs sit.
I cannot understand someone who prays over a deathly sick child and makes the justification that if he lives, then god must have heard the prayers and, if he dies, it was god’s will. Why, then, pray in the first place? It would all be god’s will, regardless of what happens. Do prayers work? Does focused intention work? There is research that says,“yes”, but perhaps that is part of the higher order and not higher power – that we can send positive, healing thoughts and energy towards someone or something that needs it. We don’t know the answer – I certainly don’t claim to know. We have yet to understand.
Is there life after death? I would be lying if I said that I knew – you would be lying if you said you knew FOR SURE. You can have very strong beliefs, but you will not KNOW until your time comes. We DO know that energy never dissipates so I’m hopeful that there is something else – either more or less than we have here, but do I imagine myself, with wings perhaps, sitting in absolute bliss at the feet of god? Well, that is just a fairy tale, in my eyes – a way to soothe our worried minds about what is to come after this short life.