A co-worker asked me about beliefs today and I told him I’d find an essay I’d written about my beliefs. Then I discovered I’d never written it. lol.
Let me preface this a little. I’m not sure why, but in the last couple of weeks, I’ve started thinking more about “transformational stuff,” like what I posted the other day. My mind turns to a declaration I created for myself several years ago: Who I am is the possibility of a world that works for everyone. This is a kind of anchor for my definitions in life; “useful,” for example, is a word that describes things that further my goal. Things that fulfill on who I am as a possibility.
To the question, “God?,” the theist answers “yes,” the atheist answers “no,” and the agnostic answers “I don’t know.” There’s a fourth answer possible–an empty set. That’s my answer. Why? Because, from my perspective, building a world that works for everyone most effectively will require a solid grounding in Reality. Belief and faith compromise that grounding. The question “God?” is a distraction and does not in any way further my goal of building a world that works for everyone.
Define Reality? Ok. Reality is that which continues to exist in the absence of language. It is observable and verifiable. Being real is also distinct from existing; there are things that exist that are not real. These things only exist in language. (So, your body is real, and you are not. You’re just a story you tell yourself about yourself. God exists, but is not real. If language goes away, God goes away.) Why define it this way? Because, as far as I’m able to determine, this will be the most useful definition for Reality.
So, no God, no devils, no angels, no spirits, no visitations, no “energy” or “vibration,” no universal consciousness; that’s all bullshit. Only what we can verify independently is real. We are alone in a world where everything ends. You have to start from this point for Spirituality to be useful.
I define Spirituality as the experience of being connected to something larger than ones self. But, you’re not connected to anything else. That’s bullshit. The trick is realizing that the experience and the belief are separate things, and while the belief extracts a cost from society, the experience is profoundly useful and enjoyable. You can feel while listening to moving music, or in a church, or while meditating or praying with other people, or on your own, or for no reason at all, just because you felt like feeling it.
You can feel spiritual whenever you want.
Having the experience of being connected to something larger than myself, even with the knowledge that I’m not, is one of the best parts of my life. It brings joy and fulfillment to my life. It motivates me to continue pursuing my goals. It makes me want to communicate and express love for other people in my life, to forgive people with whom I’m upset, seek forgiveness from those whom I’ve offended, and forgive myself for not being God.
You can invent spirituality at any time, in any circumstance. Seriously. Try it.
I realize this probably leaves a lot of questions unanswered. It’s a paradox, and that’s Ok. Accept it; enjoy it; at least try it. So far, it’s been one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.