November 06, 2005

Questions about what I believe

Sometimes people ask me what I believe. Some think that if a person chooses science they leave their spirit behind. Others think that if you don't go to their church, something is fishy. For the first group, there is a long and proud tradition of reading the book of nature and we do live in a rational universe. And, science is a good tool to be put to use. To the second, it seems to me that compassion comes before inquisition, in the dictionary, the heart and in the Bible. And overall, some so-called Christians make me chafe and could almost give the whole enterprise a bad name.

There was an article in the paper about a Swedish family that went on vacation to Thailand last December. It was mostly an interview with the mother. She said that to be a mother and lose a child is terrible. To lose two is unimaginable. To lose three...that just can't be found on this earth. She lost three children to the tidal wave (the middle three of five), and survived. When she talks about how her children are in heaven and they will meet again I am with her all the way, and don't you or anyone else ever say anything different. It choked me up in a way that hasn't happened in a long time to read her story.

I read something about the Russian Orthodox church which teaches that we experience things, and it is up to us to see them as a facet of God's love or whether we chose to turn away and be lonely. Similarly, there is one afterlife, and it is we who decide whether to interpret it as heaven or hell.

I don't go to church as often as I probably should but is that the only place to see the divine comedy? I am convinced that the realm of Jesus is with real life, with living.

The other part is that I just can't see the point of living if it is all a Machiavellian power game along the lines of e.g. the early 70s-- Watergate, Viet Nam. I choose to fight against that version of the nature of life and I guess that puts me in the boat with the Christians, and they are a good lot for the most part.

I've given up on the big questions like 'free will versus omnipotence' or 'true nature of man'. You are here and now, what are you going to do with the opportunity, help or hurt? For me right now, just that is all I can handle.


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