My Focused Journey Through Life: A Discussion About Life and Religion
A Glimpse Into My Mind
Recently, and also several months back; I talked about being on my own journey to find the religion I truly believe in. One that I could finally feel secure to be a part of; no burdens for me to bear within it. I had wrestled with the Christian faith I was brought up in. I tried hard to be a part of it all my life, but never seemed to fit in.
I was always interested in every country and the different religions and faiths as I have made friends from all around the world through social media and my writing, it made me more intrigued in what they believed in: Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, and even wondered greatly about no religion at all. I wondered if atheism was not so odd in the grand scheme of things? I felt guilty about this, of course; even so, it wasn’t a thought that hadn’t entered my mind, and therefore, I felt very compelled to explore that as well.
Do You Think Mr. Dawkins is Right or Wrong?
Even an Atheist Can Help You Find Your Purpose: Richard Dawkins
Many explorers – as I like to call them – have made a contribution to my journey of self. Richard Dawkins is one of those; the well-known atheist whom I believe has been doing exactly what I feel we all should do no matter what religion or belief we choose for ourselves. He has made his way across the globe searching for his own answers to why people are of a certain religion. He has gotten a lot of criticism for it. Most people think Mr. Dawkins is negative about all beliefs but his own, and his purpose is not to understand, but to argue his point of evolution. I would not disagree with that totally, but I think he is only making scientific discussion. That’s how his mind works. Dawkins has been degraded for the same attitude as Sigmund Freud had in his theories, and if you listen to interviews with Richard Dawkins and other journal pieces that describe him and his beliefs, you will get why.
Sigmund Freud's Theory on Religion
Freud regarded God as an illusion, based on the infantile need for a powerful father figure; religion, necessary to help us restrain violent impulses earlier in the development of civilization, can now be set aside in favor of reason and science.
I've Learned a Little About Hinduism and Catholicism: There's More to Learn
I have talked with friends who are Hindus and have gathered from those conversations that they worship one specific being, and this being can take many Godly forms. Brahman being the mightiest of those forms. Their traditions and how they celebrate certain things such as weddings are very different from other religions. Still, as I respect highly this religion, I know I do not know enough about it to want to join it.
I have also gained a bit of knowledge about what it would be like to be Catholic. I think if I was to go that way, I would want to do it with devout worship to God and Mary and become a nun. This has always been a mindset of mine. Often, I thought of changing my Christian beliefs for Catholic beliefs, just so I could join the nunnery. However, as of now, the Christian faith has strayed from my path as well, and so, being a nun without the positivity of the exact God I believe in would be the wrong path for me to choose.
I Thought About Taking a Leap of Faith and Becoming a Muslim
There have been strong pulls for me to become Muslim. There are several different reasons for this, and I must admit; they are not so conventional when you think of the religion's belief system.
First, the main reason my thoughts wandered to this faith was because I found myself admiring someone deeply who was a part of this religion. I admired this person so much and the love this person had for being Muslim. They made me want to be just like them. I had blissful admiration for the way they would talk about the sincerity that goes into the worship of the prophet Muhammed.
Furthermore, I found that their belief in God – the one I had always known- was very similar to Christian thoughts of him. God was love, and love was to be treasured in this religion.
Reading more and talking more with my friend about the Muslim religion also gave me the sense of difference, specifically in how much I did not know, because my American teachings had not put God on the correct pedestal. Our way of worship in the southern churches brings judgements to ones who go against the cult of a church flock. If we do not worship in a particular village within a certain realm of people, we are chastised to go to hell. I hate to be that harsh, but it is the truth.
In saying all of this, and staying on the reason why I have not yet picked the Muslim religion either; it is because furthering my unconventional reason for even thinking about the religion is what we as Americans are going through right now regarding the subject of Muslims. I’m not sure that my purpose of joining the Muslim faith would not only be for my total retaliation to our new President and also his cabinet, and their views on what all Muslims stand for.
I totally understand the fear of ISIS, but I am also intelligent enough to know that this group is of no actual ties to true Muslims. This group is hiding behind their own set of rules and beliefs of what they want a Muslim to be, and from what I have learned from the Muslim teachings, this groups views have nothing to do with what genuine Muslims would or do believe. The total ignorance of our new governments rants on Muslims is an atrocity and with that I will support all true Muslims to my death. Nevertheless, as of now, I would not want to join the religion based on only retaliation and my love for my Muslim friends. It must be for me. However, it is still an option in my mind. If I ever find myself ready to commit to the Muslim religion, I will do so with a total mindset of the religion, and my complete want to be involved.
I Think I Will Rest Here for a While: I'm Going to Explore Buddhism
All this has brought me to my mindset now. My thoughts have drifted in these last weeks to a place I have ventured before and have attempted to explore by trying a fasting challenge I wrote about in another essay. I was in between then. Drifting from uncertainty of Christianity to wanting to let it go and follow a spiritual only view of things. I find myself still in the place of wanting to not totally let go of a Godly being, but I also don’t want to grasp it so tight either. And therefore, I am back at the works of Buddha and the meditation way of thinking of simply a more peaceful existence for myself; a stall on my path that I don’t have to explain a complicated religion for. Instead, if ever asked, I can say I am a part of something spiritual that is right for me as an individual. I don’t have to disregard God, but I don’t have to love him the same way as a certain religion.
When I thought about it more, and I listened to great minds such as the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Mahatma Gandhi, all these people who had lifted me with their words through hard times and inspired me with words through good times without me even realizing; I came to the conclusion that I needed to stop and well, just STOP! I needed to take a break from all the questions in my mind, and realize that I already knew where I needed to be, at least, within this moment and time.
I have traveled extensively through my own life. Through hard times, lonely times, uncertain times of what to believe, but I realize that I have always had this one certain spiritual aspect within myself. This one specific focus, and that is to find my peace. I realize God for me is an open field of flowers. He is the beautiful blue sky on a Clear Spring day. God is the wind blowing through the trees and through my hair that exhilarates my senses and makes me happy. He is indeed peace. He is not a form of anything, but what we feel within ourselves.
Who knows, one day we may perish and there will be an alternate place we soar to that emulates the vision of what we are taught heaven is like? Maybe it is up to us to find a way, in our own way, to make it there. I have never believed in one certain type of faith that would get us there anyway. If we are all his children, then he has given us all different values, for some reason, right? However, that does not mean we are not supposed to explore them all, and we must learn to do this together. See…EXPLORE! That’s what I think we are supposed to do.
So, I am at a resting point with Buddhism right now. Will I stay here? Yes, well in a way. I think I will choose it as my open book to what I believe, because Buddhism is defined by some as religion, but it is not really a religion at all. It’s just Peace and learning to be kind to every living thing. That’s me. However, I am also that curious person, the explorer who wants to know all she can about other religions and cultures and just everything. One day, that might take me to a place where I say to myself, “It’s time to try a new religion,” and if that happens, I will not totally abandon Buddha’s beliefs. On the contrary, I think I will be expanding on his truth and values.
An Introduction of the Poem
This latest poem came about as I continued on my path of self-discovery. Although, I do believe that I have been very successful at finding myself in the last five years. I have also realized that one never truly finds themselves in a way that they would not need to keep searching; I hope that makes sense. When I recently watched an interview with Eckhart Tolle, he said something very similar to that, and I was like – Voila! That’s it! I totally get that.
My Inquiring Mind Would Like to Know...
Did you enjoy the conversation or the poem?
When I was there, I was
nowhere; longing to be
somewhere in a constant
state of despair.
My battle started in a
confusion. I did not
understand my own
a child of no one - not
really. I was born it
seemed with an instant
no comprehension to the
ways of this world; no
desire to be intertwined
in the turmoil...
lost on a path of no
direction. Bore to parents
who only rejected.
Where must I go to
find my light? I have been
lost for so long in the dark
of a night.
Then, came an awakening
unto myself. I have been
summoned here to resist the
Make my own path, which
chosen others have found,
we are the children in the
upside of down.
© 2017 Missy Smith