Saturday, May 1, 2010

Faith or lack there of...

It's been a long time since I had belief in God. You know how you're a little kid and you believe with all your heart that there is a God and that that God is in heaven watching over you and protecting you. Maybe it's because your parents tell you these things and when we're little we believe whatever our parent's tell us as absolute concrete fact but I like to think that childhood is a pure existence before the world tells us what we should think and do.

I believed in God once. When I was little, I believed with all my heart there was a God. I didn't just believe it. I knew it. You ever have a helium balloon? When you first get, it's straining to reach the sky and escape. And then slowly, as the helium leaks out, the balloon just sort of floats just below the ceiling. And then it's down at eye level and it keeps going like this until finally it's just laying on the floor. Well, that is my faith.

I had such an overabundance of it as a child and it slowly leaked away as I grew up. By the time I'd reached my late teens, I wanted nothing to do with anything spiritual. At that point it wasn't so much a rejection as it was ambivalence. I had other things I cared more of and wanted to spend my time doing. By the time I'd reached my mid-20's, science had gripped me and changed my mind into one that thinks and logically I couldn't work out the existence of God. I couldn't wrap my head around the concept of something existing that I couldn't test for, see in a microscope or measure in a machine.

To be honest, I was fine with it. There is no God. There is no great spiritual point to life. We are just a happy accident of the universe. We must exist to better our lives and those around us not for the promise of heaven. I was fine with all this. Really. I also developed a disdain for the religious. I viewed God's plan as a way for deluded people to find an explanation for the evil of the world. I viewed religion as a crutch for those who are too afraid of the empty void of unending non-existence that lays in wait for us after death.

I suppose there is great irony and not a little hint of karma in the fact that after my life's dreams were destroyed and I developed an irrational fear of my own demise that I, like so many lost souls, turned my face towards God.

For nearly 8 months now, I have drowned myself in the Baha'i faith; it's practices and beliefs.

I used to laugh at my mother for saying that going to church every Sunday meant that she believed in God. This idea seemed absurd. To me, you go to church because you believe in God and going to church is an act of that belief. It's not the other way around.

Again, some irony and probably a little more karma, I am now throwing myself into religion in the hopes of conjuring faith. Is it working? I don't know. I always thought of faith as a constant thing. It is either absent or it is present. You either have it. Or you don't. Some days I feel full of faith and belief... and then other days I feel nothing. It's been a process, accepting that faith seems to wax and wane like the moon. I just keep reading Baha'i texts. I keep praying feeling like a hypocrite.

I would give just about anything to have the rock solid concrete faith I had as a child again.

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