8 April 2007

Religion and Belief

Now here is a blog I have wanted to write for a very long time.
Note: This blog is very serious and philosophical. I mean no offence to any religion or person.
One very big aspect about religion is the belief in a god.
Naturally, as I follow Easter and Christmas - which cannot be escaped in the UK anyway - I believe I am Christian. But what does that mean? Do I actually believe in God - and all those events that happened in the Bible? I will be answering these questions and philosophies in the next few blogs...
What is 'god' really?
In the bible, God has systems. He has ways of coping with people. If you do something bad, then you will be punished for it. The Golden Rule, Karma, cosmic payback - they all mean the same thing and they are rooted at the centre of (nearly) all religions. What goes around comes around. But is that a message from God, or a special philosophy that the writers for the Bible came up with, all those years ago?
I believe that a god cannot exist if it interacts with the world. For example, you could suggest that humans invented the idea of punishment. We invented how things work in society. We created the homeless because of money and land. How can a god translate all that stuff into what is good and what is bad? (By the way, that is what Jehovah's Witnesses do - show you how the Bible is still alive in today's world). How does the god do it? Do they read our minds? Does it notice when we notice that we have done something bad or good, and then treat us in a specified way? My belief is: that is impossible.
And what about 'god is everywhere'? Maybe a better way to put this is 'we are god ourselves'. There is no-one (or no thing) watching over us. We are alone. But that would have to mean that our brains are incredibly powerful - making us believe in miracles, making us do things beyond our comprehension (unless you are Derren Brown, of course!)
But could that mean that there is something powerful out there? Something we don't understand about how we work, how we decide things, how we feel about things. The great mysteries of life - maybe we are not allowed to understand. Does that mean that some kind of super-being exists? Something that is looking out for us?
Why do I believe this 'super being' exists?
I often notice coincidences occurring all the time and I think that some superpower, which is somewhat beyond human understanding, controls and causes these things to happen. I call this being 'god.' I believe that ''a'' god exists, however, I don't believe that god has an image, has the ability to think, or can even judge people. I think that the only image god could ever have is a white circle, ring or hoop (to symbolise equality and the union and cycle of life and death) - this bears some similarity to the film Pi, in which the protagonist Max is in pursuit of an ultimate number (Pi, is of course, a key factor to finding the measurements of a circle). Therefore the closest thing to a 'real' god is probably just consciousness. However, if god is everywhere and is everything, then it could be suggested that ''we'' are god ourselves. Very interesting...
Co-incidence. To me, they happen all the time. Ever since I started secondary school - I noticed them every day. And even now. I believe that something is making these co-incidences happen. That is what really enforces my ideas about the existence some super intelligent thing (or our interpretation of something which is beyond us). Sooo many occurences - with no explantation. It has happened so many times that I am convinced that something else is causing these things to happen. (this sounds like The Truman Show, now, doesn't it?)

Now just something a bit off-topic here: I use my coincidences (which are often twinned with an emotion or two) as inspiration for my creative outlets, including artwork, poetry and short stories. On many occasions I have got into a lot of trouble with my teachers for not handing work in on time! So I often thank 'god' for stopping my teachers from killing me!

An emotive example of a coincidence
My 83 year old nan has been in hospital since the beginning of January (this is about the time of her birthday). At the beginning of March, she was given 1 month to live by the doctors. What was wrong with her? She is diabetic, and has also had many operations on her heart.
On the 3rd and 4th of March - my whole family (mum, dad, sis and me) were all going up to a swanky hotel to celebrate my mum's birthday on the Sunday. This hotel happens to be almost parked next-door to my nan's house, and the hospital. (By the way, this is in Malvern, Worcester). We would go and see nan while she was in hospital while we were staying in Malvern - and say our goodbyes.
However, my sister had a 'rumbling' in her appendix about 5 months ago and was taken to Harlow hopsital to have it checked out - but there were no operations. On the 27th of Feb, she was taken in again because of these pains - and had it out on the Wednesday. Because we couldn't leave her on her own, we had to cancel the booking at the hotel.
We were hoping, instead, to go and see nan this weekend - the 10th and 11th - and wave to her goodbye. But guess what happened? My nan died on the Friday - the day before we were going up to see her. The closest days we could get off work to go and see her - and she leaves.
Now, I don't want to be fussy - or rude - or annoyed (especially at something that does no exist (god)) - but the only question I have is - well, you know what it is. Why did this happen? Was something stopping us from seeing her for the last time? Or, was it all deeply rooted into our brains? Or was it the Christian god?
What I really want to do now is delve into the mind of atheists. I think it must be very lonely not to believe in a god. Maybe I still have some growing up to do!
So what do you believe in? Are you restricted by your religion, have you made your own religion like me, or do you believe that all religions are just systems devised by humans? Whatever you choose, I hope you never feel hopeless or alone. Because that's what religion is for. Unionship.
EDIT: Part 2: Setting things straight
There's just a couple of other things I wanted to talk about.
The Bible - I ultimately believe that the bible is just a collection of stories that clever people wrote ages ago. The universe was certainly not made in six days. Science explains this otherwise - that we appeared through evolution.
Religion overall - if you think about it, Religion is just something that humans made up. Like philosophy, art, geography, biology. We made up the SYSTEMS that are meant to explain how they work. We made them. That means that there is no divine or pure way of doing things. Therefore as this is something completely separate as to how the universe really works, it would be impossible for a "God" to interact with us through this means. For example, God cannot talk in our language because we invented it. A pure god, a divine god, should not resort to using things like langauge, like determining between right and wrong, and other such systems that we created.
Let me take an interesting real-life example. I was reading about "Buddha boy" - some 14 year old kid in Asia who thinks he was born to reach his path of enlightenment. Apparently he has disappeared in a nearby forest so that he can gain more intelligence and then return... yadda yadda yadda. But here's my question: If he had been born into a place where Enlightenment did not exist, would he still believe in it? Or would he just be a "shell" or "soldier" like the rest of us?