Monday, January 23, 2017

What Do I Believe? (A Stasis Between Being & Becoming)

I still feel stuck. Most days are bland, colorless or the meaning behind certain stimuli doesn't seem to exist.  There will be a day or two, or maybe even a week where I feel slightly elated to some extent, but then it starts all over. As I go through this,... I don't even know what to call it. Best I can describe it, it is some variation of a neurotic schizophrenic psychosis.

There is definitely a degree or neurosis. I have at least noticed a pattern in my thoughts that border on the line of depression. I feel anxiety most days and I have no idea where it comes from. The schizophrenia I notice in my attempts and desires to withdrawal.  The correlation between my own thoughts and my feelings is so far off center, I am only left confused in my obsessive compulsion to think. Think through the problem, reduce it to its most simplest form. Find common ground, make the connections and by default, find comfort in who I am and understanding in the essence of my nature. But the more I work backwards, which is what it feels like for me, the more confusing it seems to become. Once I reach a focal point, where I feel a spark of light should be, there is just another vast black empty space. Some tell me I need church. Some tell me I need God. Some tell me to just snap out of it, like its that simple. And thing is, I'm inclined to believe that it is that simple. That somewhere along the line I latched onto some comforting way of thought that may have helped me in that given moment of time, but now has evolved into an entire construct of convoluted self imposed renderings of what my life use to be like and and the emptiness I now feel.

Even while writing that last sentence I notice a trend in how I focus on the past and almost superimpose what my life should be like at the present, based on my perceptions of my circumstances. There is a fear of what I will become because I do not know who I am now. Its like a stasis of perpetual thought, waiting for that one surge of insightful brilliance to break the chains of an existential prison.

When insights first began coming to me they were profound in their existence, mostly because I perceived them as such, and it was my first experience with them. And perhaps it was also that I felt them more deeply back then. This thought has been presented to me on a couple of occasions and it makes sense, but it has taken me a moment to come to terms with it. The thought is this; It doesn't have to be profound. Simple enough and it usually is. I have to recognize this fact that when I speak of my existential manner, I am overlaying a moment of a deeply felt insight with future moments of insight that I may not even necessarily feel. That is to say, that I feel I have maybe ignored critical insights on the grounds that it didn't grasp my attention because it, "wasn't as profound as I thought it should be". Which is to say, that I didn't feel it the way I wanted to.

This has come to light because of something I noticed recently. I don't know what I believe. I know in my head. And if you asked me specifically, do you believe this or do you believe that, I would be able to answer most assuredly. But for me to simply state what I believe, I find difficult to do for various reasons. One, is the stigma I have against labels. I appreciate labels as far as they help bring understanding to a subject matter. But beyond this, as a species we have an affinity to attach ourselves to the label. We seem to enjoy taking ownership of the label instead of the actual ideology, process, or essence of what it is. Case and point, the man Jesus is labeled as the God of the Christians. You can argue he's the God of the universe or the world or whatever suites your fancy, that's besides my point. So now Jesus, a man, is labeled as being God. And labeled as the focal point of the Christian religion. Now you have an entire sect of people concerned about being labeled as a Christian and concerned with the standards of what that faith entails; and worshiping the "true God" which is obviously Jesus Christ. Given this way of thought, and creating attachments to a label, we now have this same sect of people focusing on what the label of being Christian means, instead of what it means to be a Christian. There is a focus of what the label of God too Jesus means instead of the truths that Jesus was teaching. This is where I feel the urge to prove creationism, or any other allegory or story of historical influence from the Bible comes into play. A step away from the paradoxical yet simple truths that Jesus wanted to teach the world turns to an attempt at maintaining an antiquated way of thought. And it is because of labels that one becomes stuck in the cycle of the same repetitive thought that has been at the forefront of Christian ideology for the past almost 2,000 years since the Council of Nicaea with the Emperor Constantine.

It may seem like I am veering off topic of what I believe. But to express what I believe I have to express the demolition of what I used to believe. I think of the words of Jesus, "love your neighbor" and I look outward and see a world where we don't love our neighbors. I think of the words of Jesus, "judge not, least ye be judged" and I look out into life and see a world of judgement. And It is told to me that not all Christians are like that. And I agree. But when I look at Christianity as one living organism at this time and history; I don't see a religion of love and acceptance. I don't see people who truly care for their neighbor. I see a people attached to the label of  "Christianity" and what that supposedly means in relation to society and her perfunctory concerns.

To be a Christian no longer means to be loving and accepting, and be in search of the highest good for mankind. To me, it means to associate with Republicans, another label. It means to judge those that don't adhere to life the same way you do; same sex marriage, Islam or any other religion, gender transcendence just to name a few. Most Christians bypass the simple truths of acceptance and love. Then use their God, Jesus Christ, as a crutch to afford them the ability to belittle another person's life simply because that life doesn't live up to the standards that Christianity has put forth. They say, "I'm not judging them, God is. I'm just pointing out where their wrong." Or, "I'm not judging them, I don't have a problem with how they want to live their life, but...." and then proceed to list all the reasons why they have a problem with it.

They use the argument, "its not natural." And I'm of course referring to the issue of gender roles and reproduction. But my question is to you, who made you omniscient about natural law? By the statement alone, "it's not natural", a Christian creates a hypocritical idea. Because, this statement assumes that there is a definite way that nature has to act in relation to gender roles. To which I say, have you ever watched the female preying-mantis kill, then eat her male counterpart? Does this fit in with your assumptions of natural law. What about the specie of female preying mantis that reproduce parthenogenetically? Or how about the countless occurrences in nature where in fact the same sex of a species copulate?

The old adages that use to be of service to your antiquated perception of reality no longer are of service to you. Science and technology has come along and posed a question to you. And it is at this point where I feel most people retreat and fail to pursue truth as it stands. I feel as though it is the fear of losing a grip on the entire construct of life so it seems. There is a construct of faith that has worked for the better part of 2,000 years but now something shows you an alternative and it becomes frightening. It is frightening because the initial thought is that this science and technology will dismantle the entire belief structure. And to a certain extent, it does.

 It is frightening. That is why I am where I am right now. Feeling lost in a world of hypocrisies, which is not just subjective to Christians. I see it everywhere. Mostly in my self, which I guess is why I see it everywhere. There is a dissociation between my thoughts and my words, and it is only through the kindness of another person calling me out on my bullshit, or as time elapses I notice an idiosyncratic trend that, with some time and effort, I can bring recognition to and make a course correction. The former of these two paths being the easiest for me.

So what about the demolition of what I use to believe? If it is not explicitly apparent yet, then you should know I grew up in a Christian home. I attended a fundamental independent Baptist Christian church every single Sunday and Wednesday for the first 20 years of my life. When I try to explain to people the degree of control I was subjected to growing up, they first make certain I wasn't Amish. Then, not having much else to relate too, the conclusion is stated as, I grew up in a cult. I like to put this out there so as to bring maybe a little understanding to the construct of my thoughts and subsequent circumstances. I use the issue of gender role as fore mentioned because for me this was the tipping point. That moment where I couldn't accept the teachings that I had been taught my entire life, because my experiences were not adding up to what I was taught.

As a child I actually believed that people who were gay were evil in a sense. They were committing the most gross acts against God. I actually believed that they had a psychological issue. I actually believed that at some point in their life they decided to stop liking the opposite sex and decided to like the same sex. Can you imagine my confusion when I broke away from the confines of parental rule and church subjugation, and started meeting real people. I actually had to sit new acquaintances down and ask those questions that seem so absurd to me now. I asked my friend and manager at PacSun, the store I worked at years ago, what he went through as a child. Him being an openly gay man, having grown up in Catholicism, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a grasp on what exactly I was taught as a child. For he was not evil. He didn't seem to have some psychological issue. And the most confusing part for me, I seriously never understood the assumption that it was a conscious decision. In my mind, if you like women, you like women. If you like men, you like men. To randomly switch hit for whatever reason seemed far more unnatural to me to accept, than to accept that  being gay is a natural occurrence. And even writing this right now, it is hard for me to accept that this is still an issue in the 21st century. Even though only 8 years ago, I was of the same antiquated belief.

It was at this point that the entire construct of my belief system started being dismantled. I was talking to my mother the other day about this topic of what I believe and she asked me what I thought about it growing up. Looking back I even knew something wasn't right. It all seemed false in a way. I believed it because I had to. Or at least I thought I had to. Even my sister was the same way, though I think she had a better handle on the fact that things weren't exactly right.

Slowly, systematically everything started being stripped away. Christianity now had a personal stigma for me. I knew that there was an aspect to what I was taught that was false. But I also knew there was an aspect to what I was taught that was true. I didn't immediately disavow Christianity. I understood that the circumstance of my upbringing was extreme in its nature and that the sect of people I was a part of did not accurately represent the whole. I didn't want to turn away from what I was taught, I simply wanted a more rational understanding of life and an honest and kind approach to humanity than what I was subjected to. I attended new age Christian churches. I attended simple study groups. I thought maybe there would be something I could connect with and feel at home with, but I never found it. I began looking at other religions mostly of Eastern philosophy. I noticed how each religion was saying the same things at their core. I noticed the same stories woven throughout all religions. I worked back even further and realized that all religions were born out of mysticism. Which has somehow been reduced to only attainable by god, and all others who practice it are somehow evil practitioners of witch craft.

Jesus and his mysticism is found everywhere in the New Testament. He turned water to wine, walked on water, healed the blind man, fed thousands of people with a basket of fish and bread. Yet, the Christian will say Jesus was one-hundred percent man and one-hundred percent God; but they reserve those "miracles" as applicable to only God's omniscient power. But in my mind if Jesus was one-hundred percent man, how can you make a distinction between what Jesus did as man and what he did as God. Wouldn't it stand to reason that according to your argument of one-hundred percent man simultaneous with being one-hundred percent God, that what ever Jesus accomplished with his time on earth could also be accomplished by us as individuals as well? I hope the unfolding of my way of thought causes you to think. I never have been and never will be of the mindset to discredit one's belief system. It is not so much that your belief system will change but that the labels and attributes projected onto it will diminish. Its like I said before, there are common threads woven throughout every religion.

These common factors I saw as practical tenants for humanity. Be kind. Don't judge. Love your fellow man as you would love yourself. When I look at Jesus, Buddha, or Muhammad they're teachings seem to overlap all saying the same things. And when I look at it from a different angle and realize that Jesus was never a Christian, Buddha was never a Buddhist, and Muhammad was never a Muslim it becomes apparent that these are in fact just different labels projected onto the same way of thought. That way of thought being a foundation for a life of meaning.

So now I have reached beyond the confines of religion. I do not and cannot adhere to a standardized way of being pertaining to one religion or the other, because I have transcended the superfluous aspect of it. I no longer see religion as a way of life but a construct of predetermined bylaws to adhere to, so as to maintain the label of that religion.

But what was I left with now? At this point there was no, and I believe it is fair to assume that there still is no God outside of myself. Christianity teaches God is outside of oneself. The term God is personified as a sentient being outside of one's own self, to which an individual is at the mercy of an influence outside of themselves. Buddhism teaches that God is no more apart from you as God is a part of you. Where Eastern philosophy differentiates is the focus on the journey inward. The belief that all life is an emanation from one's self. This is where Eastern and Western philosophy butt heads. Though it is changing, ever so slowly, with the new age of sciences beginning to study the baffling occurrences of the psyche. Carl Jung being at the forefront having lain  the ground work for what is to come.

This might be where my confusion starts to find knots. Its safe to say that I have chosen the path of the inward journey. But it is here that I am more lost than ever. There is no concrete step by step way to go about it. It is individualistic and ever so personal in its endeavor. And I have nothing more to say about this.

But what do I believe? I believe that beliefs are always changing. I believe in science. I believe in facts. I believe that everything is relative and individualistic. I believe that what is true today may not necessarily be true tomorrow. I believe that what I believe is always changing. Changing with the times and ripples of existence. There is no one way. I believe in science but even science is always changing. What was scientifically sound 500 years ago becomes antiquated and absurd on the premise of new science. And the findings 500 years from now will more than likely become just as antiquated. But it is from science that we become more aware of reality as it is.

Bottom line. I believe in energy. The entire construct of the universe is manifested by the use of energy. The screen that you are reading from right now is nothing more than subatomic particles moving about at such a high rate of vibration and frequency that a screen is manifested. Slow down the vibration and frequencies of the table you sit at and you can pass your hand through it. Einstein's formula E=Mc^2 tells us this. So if everything I perceive is just a manifestation of energy, then at what point can the line be drawn between what is possible and what is not. The answer that I was overwhelmingly left with was that no line can ever be drawn between what is possible and what is not. Because I believe that everything is a manifestation of energy being slowed down to a vibratory frequency that our finite human senses can perceive, I believe that anything is possible.

I think of how we can only see with our eyes a very small aspect of the spectrum of light, and I wonder what sort of realities exist beyond our senses. Science tell us that there is more to what we can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Every religion tells us there is more to reality than what we perceive. Our dreams, the wonders of the psyche, old traditions, even mankind's history tells us there is more to life than what we think we know.

I believe in God. I believe that God is no more apart from me as much as God is a part of me. And to prove my faith in my perception of God, which can only be done by works as told in the book of James in the Holy Bible, I took the turn towards the journey inward. I believe the physical world, as I perceive it, is all energy. And to take it a step further, this energy emanates from God, and is immanent of God. To speak of God has always been difficult for me because God is such a relative term. What God is to one man, is something entirely different to another. And I am of the belief that any man's perception of God is no more right or wrong than his fellow man's. It is a matter of individualism and what works for you.

So, as simply as I understand myself in my convoluted way, I can now state what I believe. I believe in the possibility of anything. For, how can we put boundaries and restrictions on God and an energy that permeates all life, especially when we only perceive a slight fragment of the whole that is reality? I believe God dwells innate within all life, and that turning personal awareness inwards one will find an expansion of conscious awareness and a deeper appreciation in their personal perception of God, what ever that may be.

Of course having this system of belief where anything is possible opens the door for peculiar and wonderful things. And once I started acknowledging the planes of existence within a dimension and realizing the reality of dimensions there becomes this cosmological perception of reality. And to add a touch of Eastern philosophy I present to you a thought of the Yin and the Yang. Yin would be relative to the material world, the planes of existence within the dimensions of this universe. Yang would be the flip side pertaining to the spirit world, existence outside of perceived reality. And so it is even down to the most subatomic particle. There is a positive charge and a negative charge. A male to female. And if the mind is open enough, one may begin to see the correlations between Eastern philosophy to Western Religion to the new paradigm of thought in science that is upon us pertaining to the personal individual psyche.

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