Religion does not have a monopoly on God. This is what I’ve come to realise after years of solo soul searching.
As a child, I still remember my feelings of frustration for not being able to see and talk to God. I longed to get to know God, an almighty being who sees, hears and knows everything, but who no one could see, hear, talk to or touch. This supposed to be powerful God, which the atheists insist to be non-existent, is to this day indescribable, unknowable, unfathomable and mysterious.
As an adult and when I found the courage to do so, I embarked on an armchair soul searching by reading books from various authors from different belief systems and philosophies, and also re-read the bible. As expected, the resulting effect is I became confused, disillusioned and dissatisfied. However, I got to know a few teachers who I resonated with and, over time, helped me develop my own thoughts on a god I can believe in. Not surprisingly, I disconnected from religion, which I narrated and explained in my ‘Losing my Religion‘ blog series, but somehow retained a belief in a god (reasons of which I will explain more in the future). This after lots of reflection, contemplation and rumination! The whole of existence having one than without makes more sense to me. That there is an overall mystical, super-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-hearing figure (or figures) controlling the workings and laws of nature and the universe is reassuring to me. I also surmise science will one day catch up and confirm the reality of spirit life and the existence of a supreme being; and that you don’t have to belong to any religion, go to a specific church or other places of worship to connect with god.
Having kept my new beliefs and opinions to myself, I now share my thoughts and lay my cards on the table so family and friends understand where I stood where a deity is concerned. This is not to say they read my blog, but if they do, then they’d stop wondering why I’ve stopped going to church (except on special occasions). They also won’t try to put me back into the fold, so to speak, or recruit me to their ”brand” of religion because there is no turning back for me. I consider myself free.
For the religious, these thoughts could be sacrilegious; for the atheists, these are silly and meaningless. For the religion-less but non-agnostic and non-atheist like me, what I believe now — believe it or not — has made me stronger, I have less fear and am guilt-free. Depending on your beliefs or spiritual perspective, you may think me courageous or foolish. However, don’t you worry about me. You see, the ”fire and brimstone and hell and damnation” that most religions teach no longer work on me. I feel more happy now, contented and comfortable where I am spiritually, even if I’m taking this spiritual path alone – no family or friends to walk the path along with me.
My musings may not make sense to others but they do to me. I welcome your comments. We can agree to disagree. 🙂
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Love thoughts or thoughts on ‘God’:
- Love, honour, remember and thank God but do NOT fear God. [Praise is something god doesn’t want/need so it’s not on my list.]
- Why must God be feared? Do good not out of fear of the ”wrath” of God.
- If humans are capable of ”unconditional love,” how much more God?
- God isn’t one-dimensional, boring, uncreative or unimaginative. God didn’t only make one spiritual path.
- God encompasses all. There are many paths to god. Take one or… none.
- God would never say ”It’s either my way or the highway.”
- If there is a God and God is as God says God is, then my God is your God is our God.
- To love God is to love him, her, them, us and yourself. *
- I stopped referring to God as he. Nor did I ever refer to god as she or it. But I found a new definition of god: he, she, it, we, they. *
- If God is love, then love is the right religion, the one true path. *
- If God is the god of all, if God is everywhere and anywhere, if God sees, hears, watches all, then there is nothing to fear.
- If God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, eternal, no beginning and no end, then there is more to life than we human beings can ever see, comprehend, imagine or believe.
- God doesn’t think like a human being.
- Therefore: God is not racist, sexist, xenophobic, elitist, ableist, homophobic, fatist or a speciecist.
- We are each unique and all races are equal in God’s divine eyes.
- God is NOT callous, dictatorial, hateful, impatient, insecure, jealous, needy, prejudiced, temperamental, unforgiving, vengeful or vindictive. **
- God has a sense of humour, I’m sure!
- If God has no sense of humor, then God isn’t real.
- God would want me to love my life, believe in myself, have fun, be happy, love all, take care of others—including the animals— and love and be kind to myself. God wants the same for you.
- God is so much, much greater than what any religion can ever teach us.
* Inspired by Brian Piergrossi
** Inspired by Neale-Donald Walsch
Some of you may be eager to hear what I have to say about my reasons for ‘disengaging’ myself from my religion or any religion for that matter. But rather than rushing to publish a half-baked article just to meet my self-imposed deadline, I offer you this week—and as part of my planned ‘opening up’—my alternative meaning to some words (some come with advice).
Most of these are meanings I came up with as I watch a mundane and aimless life—a life that I made ordinary and allowed to be filled with more downs and a few ups—pass through uneventfully. This also includes my own observations on other people’s lives as their own dramas play out in front of me.
Reflecting on my past and looking at my present life, I’ve taught myself to view life through rose-coloured glasses.
There were hard but valuable lessons for me to learn, some of them only very recently. I’m proud to say that in spite of the challenges and my own quota of pain and suffering—and drawing from my inner strength—I’m emerging (and here’s hoping completely and fully emerge) with my sanity intact.
I attribute this to my taking things easy, in the main, and humouring myself often. Plus the belief that there is more to life than what we currently know, if we only knew how to see past our temporary woes.
Who knows, these meanings may also help a few of you in your own journey, as you navigate through the maze of your own life. Some of these words, like ‘love’ and ‘perception’, where they pertain to my life, are topics I will cover in detail in future posts.
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I want to emphasise these are just my opinions and my thoughts. I don’t claim to be a counselor, a church minister, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a philosopher or a walking dictionary: 🙂
Age – It’s not how old or young you are. Anything is possible at any age. (Jessica Watson has proven it to all of us.) You may not be a racist, sexist, xenophobic, elitist, ableist or homophobic, but if you cannot accept that age is just a number, you may be an ageist.
Death – A release; freedom; homecoming; enlightenment; a doorway to another existence, dimension or reality.
Depression – An indication of indulging in excess: too hard on yourself; too hard on others; too much worry; too serious on how you view life sometimes; stressing yourself too much. Life and yourself aren’t meant to be taken too seriously by you. Try and master your mind or entrust your problems to God. Lastly, take it easy and be kind to yourself.
Divorce – Your second chance to find love again. Celebrate!
Gardening – It’s either a hobby or a chore that gives me back pain just by thinking about it. Kidding aside, someone said ‘organic gardening will keep you out of the hospital and add years to your life.’
Generousness – To be always true, it must not be selective (for example: generous to a few but not to others).
Gibberish – As recommended by ‘Laughter Yoga’, this is (1) a technique you use, (2) a strange, undecipherable language you tell yourself – to make yourself laugh silly. My gibberish sounds Chinese so it’s even funnier!
Giggles – A cute sound.
God – is described to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Believing this, I cannot now imagine a jealous, wrathful, insecure, unloving, unforgiving, indulges-in-favouritism and a narrow-minded God, as others inadvertently present God to be. I say: God doesn’t think like a human being. (I will say more in future posts.)
Happiness – I just recently understood this: Happiness is a choice. Don’t wait for it to come or to happen or expect someone to provide it to you. Make that choice now. (Daily affirmation: I am happy.)
Housework – Don’t make this the focus of your life or weekend (I’ll share with you my ‘golden rules’ about housework sometime).
Humour – The elixir of a healthy (the best medicine) and happy (the greatest blessing) life. Make humour your constant companion.
Kindness – Another one where it’s only real if it is NOT selective.
Laughter – A baby’s laughter? A loved-one’s laughter? Your own laughter? The sweetest sound of all! If you do a lot more of this than in being serious, you feel light or de-stressed. You might even fall in love with yourself. I love me!
Life – is a school (plenty of lessons or hard lessons to learn) and a playground (equally plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself and life).
Love – is a very, very broad subject, I found out. 🙂
Marriage – It’s hard work but it doesn’t have to be. It’s teamwork, but it’s also like cooking food. You need all the right ingredients (respect, affection, thoughtfulness, consideration, trust, kindness, patience etc) to make it taste good; and the right heat or else you burn it or it’s undercooked. (As if I’m so good in the kitchen.)
Medications – Avoid at all cost, if you can help it. Drugs can make you dependent and addicted to them.
Money – It’s a thing you spend for yourself to enjoy life and to help others. Save enough but why accumulate and hoard the rest that on your death you end up bequeathing your ‘millions’ to your favourite pet(s)?
Perception – It’s not reality and it’s not the whole story. You will need to dig deeper to get an inkling of the truth.
Perspective – As someone who had a strong impact on me taught me, there are different angles to an argument/situation. It’s called ‘perspective’.
Plan B – Always have plan B for anything. If plan A doesn’t work out, you don’t get too disappointed or stressed because you have a back-up plan or an exit strategy.
Problems – Look at them as opportunities to make you think creatively of solutions. Or it could be a ‘detour’ which takes you in another direction, perhaps a shortcut, and leads you to where you’re supposed to be at that particular point in your life.
Religion – It’s a way to (1) align yourself with others to keep your faith strong and (2) as a reminder to yourself that there is a God and God is great.
Smile – is contagious and can be a prelude to giggling or laughing, which can make you happy.
Solutions – In ‘Watching the Wheels’, John Lennon sang, ‘there’s no problem, only solutions’. Or another way to look at it is ‘focus on the solutions, not the problem’.
Special – Everyone of us is special, not just the talented, the educated, the rich, the famous, the beautiful, your kids, your family, your race, yourself etc. We are all special.
Thinking – It’s sometimes not used. It’s like physical exercise. You need to make an effort to do so.
Twice divorced – Another chance to find love. Another reason to celebrate. Try and try until you succeed but don’t rush. We all know marriage doesn’t guarantee happiness and you don’t need to be married to be happy.
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So what do you think? Do you have your own special words, with special meanings?
Or is it time for me to change my eyeglasses or use a magnifying glass?
Next topic: Losing My Religion (part 2)