Friday, March 12, 2010
Seek And You Shall Find
The other day I was taking a break from my somewhat unscheduled day. I had grabbed a bite to eat for breakfast and usually at this time I click the TV on for a short time while I eat. There really is not much on TV in the mornings. At least there is nothing which I would deem watchable. Usually this time is spent channel surfing which is exactly what I did that morning. I stopped on a HBO channel. A show entitled Letting Go of God was on. I am not really sure why it caught my attention yet it did.
I sat there and watched while a long time Catholic woman explained her journey through the Catholic Church. She brought up questions and doubts she had formed while attempting to find her God. She talked about how she finally fell out of the church and continued to search in other realms for what she kept calling her God. I did not watch the entire show and sort of wish that I had. When I did check the info on it I found that in the end she comes to the conclusion that there is no God. In other words she goes from a devoted Catholic to an Atheist.
As I said I did not watch the show in its entirety. However I did watch a good portion of it and some of the areas in which she described her “search” sort of made me think. I think all of us have questions in regards to what our beliefs are and why. It is hard to believe that there would be one with no inquisitiveness inside of them. Yet I have seen them or so they appeared to be that way.
The individuals who are raised in a church atmosphere and find no issue with believing all the stories and such that are told to them from the time they are small until present. They do not question the doctrines they are told are correct. They do not question the situations that come into their lives that contradict such laws. They just continue to deal with life and all its adventures based on how they have been told they are to act. I sort of feel sorry for these people. Yes it is easy to sit in a room where everything is told to you. There is no need to make any decisions for yourself in regards to what you believe as you already have the blueprint in front of you. And if by chance you do start to feel yourself falter there are always the elders/deacons/whatever one can lean on. You know the ones who are suppose to know everything. I know that such a life is comforting. There is no need to step out into the real world and experience for yourself the darkness that is there. Who would want to? The stories that can be told are enough to scare anyone from even considering such a thing.
Then there are the individuals that have an issue with the rules and restrictions that church can bring so they are just not going to believe anything. That makes it easy… We are born then we die… that is all there is. The wonders of the world around us, what are they? Merely a coincidence they say. It all “just happened” to come to be. Religion is just a crutch for those who are emotionally unstable. They need to believe in something beyond because they just can’t deal with the life now. I have heard all these lines from “atheist”. I have to say I do not understand them very well. I try and keep myself clear of them as I usually end up in an argument.
Then there are the ones who seek. They search and look for answers to the many questions that fill their minds on a daily basis. They accept the fact that they do not know all the answers. They accept the fact that more than likely they will never find them. Their minds are open to all possibilities that seem to flow by them. They take each one and carefully examine it keeping what they feel is pertinent to them and letting go of what is not of any use. They build and form in time their own religion inside of themselves. Yes, many of these people attend a multitude of churches made up of a multitude of denominations and beliefs. Yet they are not the usual cookie cutter attendee. Their beliefs are much deeper, more real. They do not follow because they are told that is what they are supposed to do. They follow because it is what they feel in their heart is best for them at this time on their never ending journey to find “it”.
Although I would not consider myself a person who is forceful and aggressive in most areas of my life, I feel that when it comes to this area I am. I seek, because I do not know all the answers yet. I seek, because I want to know all I can. I have learned that there are areas that no matter how hard man tries he may never fully understand. It is not an insult to accept such a fact. It is merely being honest with oneself. I guess that in its own way atheism is a manner of seeking. I have known those who have grown tired of the church or any form of spiritualism and just said forget it all. They still ask the questions that even though they will not admit it are geared towards spiritualism. Even if the God they worship is themselves. I have to remind myself to allow them their own journey.
One of my favorite movies is Stigmata. A story of an ordinary woman (Frankie) with no ties to the church through a series of events begins to acquire the wounds that Jesus was said to have endured during the crucifixion. A controversial priest (Father Andrew) is sent to investigate the validity of the story. There are many quotes throughout this movie that echo my beliefs. From when the Cardinal is attempting to kill Frankie because he cannot explain her condition and cries out “I will not let you destroy MY church.” To when Frankie tells Father Andrew. “You know what’s scarier than not believing? Believing, really believing. It’s fucking terrifying. Yet my favorite of all is the quote that Frankie and others say several times throughout the movie. “The kingdom of god is inside you and all around you…not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift a stone…. And you will find me.”
Although this is said in a sense that many would consider “churchy”, it can relate to anyone who believes that there is something and/or someone bigger than them. That it is not what others necessarily tell us to believe or tell us to do, but what we ourselves seek out and eventually find that satisfies that need inside of us. Yes the answers are inside of each of us and they are all around us, we need only look for them.