Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A place of Belief

The conversation that I've been having with you lovely Rioters lately in social media has centered on belief. Generally speaking. Funny enough, that question has been coming from you, without prompting from my blog or social media postings. Quite a number of people have been emailing me, messaging me, sending smoke signals...

I feel I've lost my faith, my connection to whatever I considered the divine... How do I get it back?

Seems to be the prevailing question. In case you haven't read the blog lately, I've been asking myself the same question. Though, I think I'm beginning to come to some conclusions. Go on this mental journey with me for a moment.


What is the cornerstone of your belief? And, I'm using the word belief, because when you're beginning to question...everything...you need to back up from a place of 'faith'. Faith is a bit more concrete. Faith is believing in something and putting your energy and time into a relationship with that something. It's abiding in a space where belief is a constant and assumed thing. So come to a place of asking yourself

Why do I believe?

Not why do I believe in faeries. Not why do I believe in an afterlife. Not why do I believe that Mercury trine Venus means the mail will run funny on Friday. But...why do I believe in anything? Does it benefit you in some way? If you made a T-chart and listed pros and cons of belief, would your list of pros be outweighed by 'fear of demonic possession' or 'fear of the devil' or 'fear of bad faeries spanking me in my sleep and not in the sexual way I like so much'? Or, would your list be weighted in the pro's category: 'feeling spiritually connected to my fellow man and the earth around me', 'feeling I'm part of a greater story', 'feeling I have more control over my life'. Whatever it is... Feeling protected by a deity, looked after. Feeling like magic is a tool of personal betterment. 

Does believing in something make your time on this planet better? If so, then you've got a choice to make. And, that's something you need to understand about belief...it's a choice. I didn't choose to be born in Huntington, West Virginia to a woman from Texas and a man from a holler in Huntington. I didn't choose blonde hair or to be gay or whether I'd be tall or short. There are a lot of things about my life and the way I see myself or others see me that I did not and cannot choose or change. But, something that every person must choose for themselves is belief. 

What your belief looks like is going to be 1 in nearly 7 billion, because your circumstances and quirks and needs are different than everyone else's. 

psst... Here's a secret: that is totally and completely OK!

But, when you're in a place of questioning... Is the Goddess real? Does magic exist? Is Christianity/Judaism/Unitarian Universalism right for me? Am I just the dream of some guy named Phil? The first thing you must do is FORGIVE YOURSELF! 

I realized something... I do a lot of questioning and have done a lot of hole poking. And I think that I hadn't sat down and thought out what that meant. If you just spend your time poking at theories and searching for evidence and coming up with something to say, you're not spending your time following that logic stream to a degree several levels out. If this isn't real, and that's not possible, and there's a guy on the Colbert Report saying we pretty much know everything that exists in the universe...and now we know the full boundaries of the sandbox and have names for just about everything...what does that mean? Well, I think the reason that I got slammed so hard a few weeks ago with this near-crippling anxiety is that it would naturally mean we're just a scientific accident that happened on one planet in the entire known universe. We mean nothing, came from nothing, and return to nothing. 

And, for me, the first thing I had to decide was whether I was going to accept that. Whether that was better for me. Whether I wanted to live in a world that had no belief. I was reminded, both positively and negatively, of an article I'd written called The Importance of Belief. The negative side was the thought process that this universe doesn't have an ounce of what we'd call justice or love or fairness, and anthropomorphizing reality itself doesn't get me much of anywhere, because there are so many flaws with that. A compassionate, living, breathing deity doesn't allow a shooter to wildly destroy the lives of a couple dozen people in an elementary, and if you tell me that your deity would allow it because it's part of some plan I don't comprehend, then I'd just like to say...

FUCK YOUR DEITY.

Because that means your deity is a sociopath that needs to be put down. So, belief in a god or multiple gods or sentient energy that creates and destroys...that's...big. And it's a bit bigger than where my head is at right now. 

But, there's a comfort received, that warms me a bit, that alleviates some of the anxiety in that many of history's most respected scientists have said that the more they analyzed the universe, the more they examined reality, the more they believed in a god. Sure, there are a lot of atheist scientists out there. That's the side of the T-chart they landed on. It works for them. It makes sense to them. 

I'm the nearly 27 year old (Oh my god, when did I get old) that searches out Disney movies still. That wants to read a good fairy tale over the latest James Patterson (bad example, as he put out a Harry Potter/Hunger games thing...but...whatever). My inner kid is alive and well, and I was reminded of a passage in the Bible from the book of Matthew (18:2-4):

2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Many people feel that this passage is an instruction to have a 'childlike faith'. To believe not without question, but with wonder and marvel at the creation and let that be evidence enough.

I got this sign in San Francisco at the shop owned by the collective throuple of Devin Hunter, Chas Bogan, and Storm Faerywolf called The Mystic Dream. It's a beautiful wooden sign that just says 'WONDER'. I think that's going to be my motto for 2013. Wonder. Marvel at the beauty of the creation. I've come down on the side that belief is better FOR ME than non-belief. Now, what I'll do with that belief, whether I'll get to a place of faith in something...that's going to be my path and continued making of daily choices. But, I'm in a place of belief right now. And, it feels good.

Remember, there was a bang. There was something before the bang. And the universe exists in a space. Reality is made up of things that blink in and out of existence. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. Wonder at that. Marvel at that. Everything - in the biggest sense of the word - came from somewhere. That is where I've begun.

Also, admitting to myself, that rainbows exists whether a dog can see them or not. Dogs can hear a whistle that I cannot. We see the tiniest, itty bittiest segment of the light spectrum, which means there are colors that really exist that I cannot and will never see. And, every now and then, out of nearly 7 billion people, 2 people find each other and fall in love.

Life is a fucking miracle. And I believe in that.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

9 comments:

  1. Yes, Life is a Fucking Miracle - and you can live a thousand lifetimes holding on to no more than that.

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  2. I totally agree...that we are all here on a beautiful, blue ball revolving in space is a miracle!
    CLM

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  3. And to add to the thought process further - so what if we DO return to "nothing" afterall? So what? (and I fully admit I think this might actually be true) BUT - We are here. We share the world, the universe, the very particles in the oxygen that we breath with a bizzillion different people, life forms, creatures that we don't even yet know exist. THAT is a miracle. That is what brings me to the point of WONDER. It makes me feel whole. And when I feel like that it doesn't matter if there is absolutely nothing beyond this because this, in the crazy f*cked up manner of everything existing all at once and then not at all, is beautiful.

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  5. Hear hear! Thanks for that post. It has been a weird few months for a lot of people (me included) and I think that everyone is just trying to get back on track to really living life again. Glad you posted this kick in the buns :)

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  6. Today is the 5th anniversary of my mother's death. She died less than a week after my dad died. In these past five years I have worked on moving ahead and that old idea of Getting On With Life, but as I have I've noticed that as much as I think about my own mortality, it has led me away from any sort of spiritual belief. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit I was never really too belief-filled anyway, but I WAS open to the idea, at least. Life IS a ridiculous miracle, and human life in particular is the most ridiculous, because we have been built in a way to allow ourselves to ponder our existence. Some people (I'm looking at you, mister!) do it with flair, grace and what seems like surprising ease, while others (*looks in mirror*) somewhere along the line stopped caring about it. Thanks for picking up the slack for people like me.

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  7. The mystery and miracle of life is at the centre of my Paganism. Not that every form of Paganism is the same, but... it's central to mine.

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  8. great post....beautiful and inspirational. I think for me personally, you hit the nail on the head. this post also has similarities with a TED talk given by the author of "Eat Pray Love" (Elizabeth Gilbert http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html). Admittedly about the genius of creativity, but there is a part in the talk when she says "Why not." It was beautiful, as is this post.
    Thanks!

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  9. I don't have a problem returning to the Cosmic Cake Mix if that turns out to be all there is. I do have a problem living in a world that lacks belief in a Great Mystery and the hope that I can be moved into action and can achieve making this a better place to live for myself and others while I am here because of that belief.

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