So, where were we? Oh, yes. I was about 17 years old and I decided that god didn’t exist. If you didn’t read the previous post, you might want to check it out, as it explains why I made that decision. The purpose of these posts is to reflect on the changes with regards to my belief in god and who knows? perhaps solicit some reaction…
Getting out of high school and into my twenties was characterized by great cynicism and sarcasm towards god in general and religion specifically. I wasn’t religious, but rather a moderate believer. But the minute I lost faith I went all the way to complete disdain and contempt and other distasteful feelings.
Religious people looked to me like sheep. I kept wondering how could they “just take it”. No questions, no doubts… Just blind faith.
One thing that still rings in my head is the concept of “We will do and listen”. This means, first we will do as the lord says and after that we will listen to the reasoning (if it comes). The way it was explained to me was with regards to the parting of the red sea by Moses. God told Moses to raise his cane, or put it down or do some “hocus pocus” and the sea parted. However it is said that Moses was asked to first step into the sea and only once he does this, will the sea part. Basically, we’re required first to show faith and in return we’ll be rewarded by god’s kindness.
To me that was the representation of being a sheep.
And so, life went on. Passover? Let’s eat a pita bread. Yom Kipur? How about some bacon? Sabbath? Let’s turn on the stereo full blast and build a fire. I was an atheist, but it wasn’t enough. I had to make a point…
But with age, comes a certain mildness. At least for me. I stayed well away from religion and god, but found my peace without the need to take it to the extreme. Or did I?
Fast forward. I’m almost forty years old and in a crucial junction in my life. I had to make a choice and for the first time since… forever, I just didn’t know what to do. Had absolutely no clue. My father, who was always (excuse the cliché) my rock was taken by cancer (Another good reason to stay on a not talking terms with god) at age 59. I had to do it all by myself.
One choice would lead to great difficulty. The other choice, likely to madness.
Out of mere intellectual interest I read a couple of interesting articles about something called Ho’oponopono and I have to admit that it amused me first. It stayed with me for a while though and I read a little more and watched a couple of very interesting videos. I had a nice little internal dialogue going. One part of me was playing the usual skeptic and the other part the open-minded one. I decided “Hell, why not? Let’s give this a shot.”
The thing in the center of Ho’oponopono is owning up to one’s responsibility for everything one experiences. It’s not about beating myself up, or passing judgement. In fact, passing judgement is counter productive. It’s not about fault. It’s just about responsibility.
Surprisingly enough, I noticed significant shift in my life. I won’t bore you with the many ways my life improved, I’ll just say this – I USED to suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowels Syndrome). USED to. As in past tense.
I suffered from this damn “condition” since the age of 13. That’s more than 25 years of pain. Not anymore.
I read a little about Buddhism (just the “intro” if you will) and I realized two things.
One was that Ho’oponopono resembles Buddhism to some extent. They’re not one and the same though.
The second one was more significant though. Buddhism is not a religion. It’s a way of life. Guess what? Ho’oponopono is not a religion. It’s simply a way to solve problems.
There’s no need for religion. Not in my world.
To answer your question, Child, Yes, I do believe in god. I just don’t believe the press.
I’m Jewish because my mother is. I’m Jewish because I’m part of that nation. I’m Jewish because I celebrate the holidays at my home and truly enjoy the traditions.
I believe in god as the almighty force that is within all of us (The force IS with us). I believe in god as the wisdom we want and the potential we try to realize.
I refuse to see god as a petty old man who created such a magnificent universe and populated it with us, for the sole purpose of judging us.
If god has created us in his image, he made us responsible for our lives. I don’t need to worship god, because I am, we are, part of creation.
Does that answer the question?
Do YOU believe in god?
Let me hear it.