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A New Perspective

Man existed long before the creation of religion, the uncovering of psychology, physics and all the myriad of sciences and studies we take for granted today. As a result, we believe that our systems of understanding who we are and our place in the world has been a long established truth, when in fact, humanity is but the tiniest of specs in the history of the cosmos. One look at the Webb telescope pictures from millions and millions of light years into the past will assuage most of us of any pride we may have of theoretical superiority or longevity.

The issue at hand is the challenge of deconstructing what has been handed to us as devine dictims and rediscovering the self that has evolved, changed, grown, retracted and regrown again in our faltering efforts to be better humans.

Joseph Campbell’s seminal work “The Masks of God” clearly demonstrates man’s attempts to define and understand how we exist in relation to ourselves, our fellow humans and the forces at work in our universe. And can we affect those forces or are they outside our control and desires? The benign issue “Is there a God?” has devolved into “Yes, there is a God and he is MY God and are you going to accept MY God or do I have to go to war with you and defeat you to prove MY God is THE God?”

Wars have not been fought over the existence of God. Rather, blood is spilt over a personal God. Mine versus Yours. Religion has taken a radical turn, in my opinion, from the many gods of the Greeks and Romans into an all inclusive, cultural, governmental, social and eventually, spiritual god that one must fight for and on behalf of this belief of exclusivity. Yet, when a specific religion declares victory, it has not resulted in a more satisfied, fulfilled and conflict-free human existence. One could make the argument that life only gets worse when one’s belief system fails, as it then creates bitterness, resentment, and revenge, doubling down into neurotic delusions on behalf of my god, the loser god.

So what remains after all this conflict and struggle is the universal issue that humanity has never resolved and most likely never will; what will allay the turmoil of Doubt and Uncertainty?

Religion didn’t do it. Governments provide no permanent solution. Social, cultural, economic systems all claim to be the savior, yet, they are all a distraction to the restlessness and insecurity that comes with doubt and uncertainty, the inner struggle to know, understand and grasp some agency to evolve forward toward a healthy and productive process for ourselves and in engagement with our fellow man.

This is now my belief, setting aside the question “Does God exist” as his existence is not dependent on my belief or nonbelief. Setting aside any historical and specific religious doctrine or system as that has not solved the universal issues of man as demonstrated on a daily basis of wars, rumors of wars, murders for envy or mental illness, the ongoing and worsening plight of loneliness and despair during the most “connected” time history has ever known. What I have come to realize is the definition of individual success and fulfillment will not ever come from an outside source as these are temporary and just as prone to failure as my trust in them. Rather, my value, worth and struggle for understanding must come from within, my conscious and unconscious constructions that support positive creativity, productive expressions and demonstrations of what I value and hold dear.

When I realize my beliefs are not eternal and my existence is but a speck of light in time, I am humbled. I am responsible. I am striving toward a perfection that does not exist in this body and mind but the striving thrusts me forward and toward who I want to be and create what I wish to improve on this mortal earth. It may be a memory, a feeling, an idea, a spurt of inspiration, all emanating from within and out to you.

This allows me to relax about political elections, cultural battles and spears of spite and anger thrown towards me, realizing we are all on the same journey, at different transient stages of development and understanding, but all on the same road of birth, life, and death. Should we work hard for our beliefs? Be active in our convictions? Vote as is our responsibility as citizens in a republic? Of course. It’s the outcome that is no longer my guiding light. My energies will not be expended towards that which is temporary and transient. Governments come and go. Societies and cultures are mere chapters in history books. My contentment no longer comes from what happens outside my existence, but from within.

From the book “The Kingdom, The Power, and the Glory” is a quote that best sums up my peace of mind; “God does not bite his fingernails.”

And neither do I. Doubt and uncertainty have a universal presence and can drive us toward a more fulfilling existence or deep into despair and anger, fighting for something that does not exist and never did – some idealized delusion of perfection – MY idea of perfection.

I am content with my imperfection. I can accept your imperfection. As I work to understand deeper, to offer a broader expression of compassion and empathy, and live in a spirit of gratitude, generosity and mutuality. As Aboriginal tribe members choose when to celebrate their birthday, based not on the cycles of the sun and moon, but on passing a personal test of inner growth and maturity, so too, I declare this to be my birthday. Moving from external power to internal understanding, I see the world as potentiality. It will take work and effort and setting aside selfish agendas as I deconstruct and reconstruct my models of interpretation. But, in the end, as in birth and death, it will always be an individual quest that begins with me.

Life is good.

Living life in peace and love and joy is better.

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