I confirmed something important and life-changing yesterday: that I probably don't have a religion anymore; I'm nothing but spiritual. I also seem to be borderline New Ager. I used to think I was just superstitious, that I have a slightly odd interest in energies and the power of nature, spirits, otherworldly creatures, superhuman abilities, rituals and the use of different mediums (crystals, cards, astrology) and other spiritual concepts that would have hardcore... believers (let's not drop names) burning me alive if they found out.
I thought these were just personal interests... in angels, the universe, unorthodox takes on the religion I grew up learning. However, I was endlessly fascinated and inspired by a number of philosophied, religions and beliefs we studied all throughout high school and college--Shintoism, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism. I, of course, selected what I believed was good (whatever is positive, makes sense, matches what I believe in, not too extreme and does not cause harm to anyone or anything) from each religious belief and used those concepts to fortify my spirituality. I guess I didn't know what I was doing back then; I didn't realize I was unconsciously preparing myself for a bigger event--acceptance, and what I think was something like a rebirth; enlightenment.
Yes, I still believe in God. No, He is not a specific God; not Yahweh, not Allah, not the Christian God... He is God, period. Yes, I believe in Jesus, and for some strange reason, I still do believe he is God in the form of man. He is the Son of God. Do I mean this literally? No. If, one day, we are able to prove he isn't the son of God, I wouldn't mind. Jesus was an inspiration, he was a good man and he will forever be a symbol of peace and love. I love Jesus. Do I believe in the Catholic miracles performed by saints and those who have been touched by God? Yes. Why? I am convinced. Could these possibly be hoaxes? Sure.
Am I open to the argument that these may all just be misinterpretations of illnesses, fringe, unexplained occurences or even... lies? Yes.
Do I believe in a God? Yes. Why? Personal human experience. I feel a higher presence full of love, and I feel an invisible hand that guides me when I am at my lowest lows; when I absolutely couldn't have figure out what to do with my life anymore.
What kind of God do I believe in? Definitely not the Old Testament God, which, I am disappointed to say, most of my loved ones believe in, no matter how absurd the 'words' people (believers) claim come from his mouth. What are examples of these? Same sex relationships, premarital sex, many misogynistic ideas, unfair and nonsensical "rules" to live by, et cetera.
I believe in a loving and forgiving God, a God that doesn't judge irrationally.
I believe that God created all living things (not out of nowhere, because... don't we have science to explain how things come to be? This is not to be confused with what I just said--because God caused all this, and that is what I believe) out of love, because He has so much of it and wants to share it. God, to me, is like a parental figure. He nurtures, guides and educates; but more than that, he encourages us to use own own free will, and our strength to get by.
Is there a heaven or a hell? Possibly. We don't know. Do I believe in reward and punishment in the afterlife? Definitely--these are not dictated by God (because wouldn't that be cruel? He is a loving God). These are all caused by ENERGIES.
This is the stupidest interpretation of "God's love" that I have ever heard:
God created us out of love and gave us free will. We are to do good (by "his"/the believers standards), otherwise we will face punishment.
Because God is the Alpha and the Omega, the all-seeing eye, he knows exactly who will do good and bad in their lifetimes. Why would he allow a bad seed to rot in hell, when he created them out of love and knowingly gave them free will? Does that sound like a loving God? No. I therefore reject these kinds of ideas abouy God.
I believe the Bible is mostly (emphasis on that word) history and culture written in the form of literature. It contains the word of God, but because it has been handed down through, translated and interpreted by countless generetions, it is highly possible that the original meaning has never been figured out or has changed in time.
I write a shitton of poetry with a shitton of symbols in them. 1000 years from now, they will have a whole different meaning based on the interpretations people passed down over the years. What could simply be about my childhood might get interpreted as an illness due to alcohol (if, one day, people find out I douse depression with shots of vodka).
I'm not sure where I belong anymore; because I'm sure many won't accept me. In a way I found comfort in the thought that there are people like Pope Francis who are so open to unorthodox Christian ideas. I guess that's kind of what I am--part unorthodox Christian and part... New Ager...ish?
I had an interesting discussion with my mom abouy religion. It seemed she was the first one to have agreed with me when I told her about my atypical Chtistian beliefs. I brought up Pope Francis and how people were saying he was the antichrist, that there will be a new world order, etc. I suggested that perhaps, the word 'antichrist' could have a different meaning--'Christ' being the traditional New Testament Christ, and not the essence of the real Christ, who is a symbol of love.
If that's what 'Christ' actually means in 'antichrist' (in that long dreaded prediction), then that simply means that perso , the 'antichrist', is non-traditional, unconventional, unorthodox. It means he understands the essence of Christ; the essence of God, and is more accepting of people and more understanding of everyone's humanity.
I've observed this in Pope Francis. Traditionalists are shocked at how accepting he is of homosexuals and non-Christians. I am glad that an icon from the Catholic church is able to show such courage and openness with his own beliefs. It's surprising, yet refreshing; and rather delightful. New world order? Check. If he is the anti-old-school-teachings-Jesus, and is showing the world how Jesus would actually act if he were here in this time and age, people of all religions are bound to unite. Somehow. You'd still have the fanatics and traditionalists, but people from different religions and cultures accepting and loving each other sounds pretty damn good to me.
'One religion' may not mean one literal religion. It could mean that people respond to one message, one driving factor: love. No language, racial, religious, age, or cultural barriers there--everybody knows what love is and how to express it. It will be the language we speak, what we believe in, and what will unite us.
Sounds nice. I just hope my interpretations are correct.
So armageddon, 'the end is coming', according to a lot of religions. The end of what? A lot of bullshit. Hatred and rejection, maybe war, maybe pain. Maybe. It sounds too ideal, but what if it's possible for people to be mostly united, save for the really stubborn ones?
Maybe this is what the age of Aquarius is. Peace, understanding, acceptance, and love.
What reason is there to think negatively about the end?
Let's not discuss death, though. I'm not quite there yet. I still stay up hours and hours scared shitless when I think about it.