I am on my fourth cup of coffee. When did I start drinking so much of this stuff? Caffeine used to be my enemy. It’s chief weapon: insomnia. But now that I’ve been on Ambien for the last several months I rarely have any trouble going to sleep, so I don’t worry about how much caffeine I put into my blood. I haven’t been hooked on coffee since about 1984 when I had a day job working in a factory. They had coffee available in the mornings and I must have drank five or six cups a day. Necessary, it was. I like coffee enough and throughout the years since then and now I have enjoyed a cup or two now and then. But for the last several months it has become a ritual to make coffee first thing when I get up and drink about 3 cups. I know what you’re thinking…”you and about 90 % of the American population.” I guess so, a tiny concession to the status quo, that shouldn’t hurt too much.
I have been in an especially bitter mood the last few days. I won’t blame it on my depression , though I guess I could; it may well be that. It doesn’t matter to me WHY I feel this way. And it’s not anythingthat affects me to the point where I think I need to get some kind of help for it. I rein it in pretty good when the wife and son are around.But I just get so angry at little things. I curse like a sailor. “Fuck” (and derivations thereof) seems to be my favorite word and I have begun using the old favorite “goddamn” again after a lengthy break. I had adopted a policy in which I decided the term was blasphemous. Kind of silly, really. I have always maintained that it’s only an expression. It’s not as if I’m invoking God’s name, or that it really has anything to do with God at all.
People who are offended by “goddamn” need to grow thicker skins. That’s all I have to say about that. (Notice that the "g" is NOT capitalized)
If “spiritual life” is a journey, then I have traveled down many paths only to turn around and flee to the place where I started. I suppose that means that I’m truly a “seeker”, that I have an open mind and am willing to investigate all avenes that might lead to the Creator-Sustainer. Maybe it means that I don’t want to get stuck in a rut.
But it seems like most religions and worldviews expect you to bore right into that rut and stay there. It discourages me to find morsels of truth in various religious traditions only to find that they have an “either/or” policy. You either take everything they teach at face value and swallow it whole or “fuck you, you don’t belong here.” I’ve come to the point where I believe that my own faith, Christianity, is one culprit. I KNOW that Islam is. And even Hinduism, which is very likely the most fascinating, thought stimulating religion of them all, has a similar “my way or the highway” mentality.
Whatever happened to REVELATION? Whatever happened to the thought that God uses reason and intelligence as mediums for communication? Why all this bandwagon type shit, just swallowing the party line? It’s not that folks don’t question their belief system, as they well should. But it’s like they’re so desperate for an answer that they take the ones provided to them at face value. Not just answers from clergy or trusted friends, but in holy books as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita or ESPECIALLY not the Koran…(not that I consider it to be on a higher level than the others…I just don’t want to get myself killed…I’ve got enough to worry about with Muhammad, my kitty cat…and before you Islamic militants get pissed off and come looking for me, I named the little bastard after Muhammad Ali, so stay the fuck away)…or ANY “holy book” for that matter. But as I have said before, I do not believe that God can be contained between the pages of ANY book. There is a lot to learn in those texts. But is it wise to exalt any of them to the level of divine infallibility? Why are we any different than the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans whose kingdoms rose and fell, their religions along with them? Were they not sincere? Did their Gods fail them? Are their religions worth resurrecting, and if not, then why not? Were they any more or less rational than the 21st century's version?
Is it unrealistic to dream of a time, thousands of years down the road, when every religious system upheld by man right now will be as meaningless and useless as those of old? We’re talking THOUSANDS of years here. Can a religion survive that long?
No, I don’t think so. It will fracture at points and it will evolve in others, until it is nothing whatsoever like it is now. I’m speaking here of the concept of religion itself, but also from the vantage point of one who calls himself a Christian, even if most other Christians might think I’m full of shit and maybe even guilty of apostasy, though obviously I don’t feel that way. I think Christianity has already begun the slow process of radical evolution…I couldn’t guess whether it’s heading in the right or wrong direction. But if history is to offer a viewpoint, then I think it’s reasonable to believe that it will go the way of the Greek and Nordic gods, the Sun God Ra, etc. etc. etc. Gone. It will leave behind remnants of it’s own mythologies (along with it’s Judaism counterparts) that will serve well, but will be viewed as tools of enlightenment and not some collection of rigid standards all people must adhere to on pain of eternal damnation.
How can I reconcile these thoughts with my own faith in God and Jesus Christ?
I don’t know that I can.
But I do know this…I can’t play the “church game” anymore. I knew a guy back in the early 80’s who was a devoted Christian. He was involved in Bible study groups and even played drums in a Christian rock band. I happened to see him again not too long ago, the first time in at least 20 years. I was pretty zealous at the time and I asked him how he was doing in his “Christian walk”. He said he still believed but that he was through with “playing the church game”. I don’t know if what I’m going through right now is similar to his predicament, but it seems an apt description.
But enough…I’ve already said more than I wanted to and probably will reconsider soon enough…like I said, I trod many paths. It’s just that the one I’m on now has very little tolerance for organized religion and it’s manipulative qualities.