good, it makes you cry tears of joy. Other times, it sucks.
No sugarcoating required, that's just how life is.
Sometimes, I hear you say: "I want to believe in God!"Sometimes, I hear you say: "But the search for my purpose is such a tiring-terryfing-wonderful journey."
Whenever I hear you saying this, I ask myself: If you don't believe, what's the point in wanting to? If you don't believe in The Man in The Sky (or any other story that was made up by humans, including the story of "It's not a story, it's been handed down to us by God"), what's the point in forcing yourself? What's the point in convincing yourself to believe in stories (stories, as opposed to facts).
Why don't you just learn some techniques that make you happier and help you deal with hardship? Why is there an obvious need to surround the psychological techniques of religion (prayer, confession, etc) with completely made-up stories? Is it the desire to become as a child again, with Big Daddy watching over you?
Is it the desire to purposely bow to a man-made construct that is said to have created everything, therefore also, logically, the Devil? Doesn't this sound twisted to you? What would you think about a father who begets many children, only to teach some of them how to be lowlife scum and lead their brothers and sisters into temptation? A father who punishes his children for engaging with beings and things he himself has created?
Let's assume for a moment that God, or any god for that matter, exists.
Does God love you? And let's remember: God is, as the preachers say, absolute Love. Since God has created everything, why has he created Evil? It's only there to make your life miserable -- and Absolute Love, God, has created it?
God is all powerful, say the preachers. If he is all powerful, why do the preachers say he can't defeat Evil at the moment? If somebody is all powerful, then they have the power TO MAKE EVIL STOP NOW. Why doesn't he do it?
These questions can only be asked by someone who believes or wants to believe.To paraphrase it: Belief or Faith drags people into a hailstorm (or hellstorm) of difficult philosophical questions. And if they manage to answer one question, there's already another one waiting for them. Philosphy doesn't help anybody because it doesn't teach techniques, approaches, methods. Philosphy is cerebral, mind-based, concept-based. But human beings don't need more concepts, they need a hands-on approach: We need to FEEL ourselves again, or maybe for the first time in our lives. Most of us have forgotten how it feels like to be ourselves, to be centered within us, to be rooted in the vast emptiness that is us, unmasked.
That's the problem of philosphy. Organized religion, to me, is nothing but a philosophy: It tells people what's good and what's bad -- but that's just an opinion. Organized religion doesn't offer techniques and methods to help people deal with pain and hardship. Organized religion simply demands: "Believe us, we know the truth!" But that doesn't fly with many people.
Jesus (and it doesn't matter if he really existed or not) said: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
Many people who take the bible literally are confused, even shocked, by that. But it is a known fact that Jesus spoke in similes, so why not interpret it accordingly? What Jesus most probably has meant when he said that is, in order to become like him, followers have to give up their old ways, and most decidedly so -- because it's their old ways, their beliefs, their philosophies, their desires, that keeps them from really being.
Jesus was against any authority, a rebel who attacked hypocrites in the temple. A pretty cool dude, if you ask me. He never wanted an organization, never wanted a church. This is all stuff clerical powermongers have invented. You could and still can make decent money with organized religion, let's not forget that.
The ironic thing is that Jesus was an anti-estabishment, anti-church and anti-religion type of person. His teaching points towards a Truth that lies beyond books (even if they're called "scripture") and beyond words. It's the one-that-can't-be-named, a concept-free truth, absolute, without do's and don'ts, without any concept of good or bad. It just is.
And because it just is, there's no need to look beyond reality as it just is. Time to quit philosophy. Time to close the bible, time to stop preaching about imaginary kingdoms in the sky, time to start loving, hating, laughing, crying, helping, suffering -- time to start living, because that's the greatest gift of all.
Norbert G. Matausch
Senshido Team International Member