Wednesday, 15 February 2017

God, belief and whales…

You know some people seem to think I am godless - a man without hope, love, or compassion. This being the case I think that it’s time to put the record straight because some attitudes piss me off more than others. 

The truth is that I think and feel deeply about matters spiritual, but after years of looking at the world and study of the religions that keeps so many people in fear, I chose to keep my mind open. Open to both positive and negative thoughts, open to the freedom of changing my mind, open to saying when I think when something is wrong without worrying about what others think. I don’t say Amen or Hallelujah or Allahu akbar. To be honest I’m not sure that that any of these words mean anything at all.

If pushed, I’d call myself a Universalist with Pagan tendencies. For some this is a massive cop out of course. Universalism allows people who have no beliefs, strong beliefs, people who aren’t sure, even people who have hard to accept (sometimes seemingly lunatic) beliefs to join together to share what is important – our humanity and spirit. It’s about coexistence and that does not require agreement, just acceptance. 

It sounds so easy doesn’t it? Most formal religions would claim that this is what they already do. But I think we all know that isn’t the whole truth; not even at the local Church of England parish church on a Sunday morning. Is it really so hard for us to coexist without having to fall out when we can’t agree? Sorry, that’s a really stupid question. But even if we can't love everybody do we really need to poke then in the eye for having beliefs different to our own?

I don’t do prophets and I don’t sign up for the Son of God, but I know that there is a universal truth that we are all seeking in our own way; even if it is the way of Bacchus. I have no doctrine, I have no affiliation to any particular God, and I am deeply suspicious of all organised religion – particularly the Judeo-Christian ones that were set up wholly for profit of one kind or another.

The closest I come to going to church is to occasionally pop in to the Unitarian chapel and have a good think - well you have to worship somewhere and the woods can be very wet. Sometimes I even ask for guidance, although I have no idea who I am asking for guidance from. It could be the Universe. It could be the collective spirit of every creature on the planet, or maybe just the whales. Whales seem very wise, certainly when compared to Mohamed, or Jesus, or the Pope. I think that whales probably have more purity and spirituality than any religious leader, as do the trees and birds and worms. (All I ask is that you think about this statement people. I don’t demand that you agree.)

Of course I recognise the value of ritual. Chants and incense and prayer are fine. But for me I don’t want or need to learn my prayers and speak them by rote and I certainly don’t want to respond like an automaton to some mumbled words of a Priest, Inman, or Rabbi. I don’t even understand why they need their titles capitalised. Shocking isn’t it that I dare to say this? How terrible for all you true believers. But I think that we are all teachers even though so many of us seem to be such poor pupils. Still, if that’s what you are comfortable with then it’s fine with me. Sometimes taking the comfortable path is what people need no matter where that path leads.

Anyway, it won’t stop me lighting my candle, clearing my mind, pouring my glass of wine and giving thanks to the spirit that I ask to guide me - and it won’t stop me from saying when I think that you are wrong. But it won’t make me hate you for your beliefs unless you cause pain by them. That’s it! I’m out of the religious closet. May the Universal Spirit help and guide you to make good decisions and try to understand others, may you not judge others by your own standards, and may the whales keep swimming in the oceans forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment