(Forgive my ramblings here, I was inspired by the recent conversation on Tumblr regarding Root and Rock’s ‘Tough Questions’ post, and figured I would exemplify the sorts of difficult questions about my faith that run through my head every day.)
Sometimes I feel like I’ve become one of those religious nuts I used to make fun of.
Six years ago, if someone came up to me and told me that they had found a relationship with god, that they had devoted their lives to living for their god, that they found themselves brought to tears because of the intensity of their newfound faith…I would have scoffed at them and kept walking
And yet here I am, experiencing those very same things.
It makes me wonder if my personal growth is a valid testament to the ‘reality’ of my beliefs. If I hadn’t encountered my patron or stumbled onto this path, where would I be now? Would I be as happy? Would I understand things as I do now? Would I be better off without the gods interfering in my life?
How far I’ve come from the person I used to be doesn’t necessarily mean that my beliefs are real, I suppose. I might have ended up just as well off, even better, if I had remained an Atheist. Or the changes that have taken place in me could have been easily swayed by comforting lies I told myself, and made myself believe.
But…not all of the things concerning my beliefs are ‘comforting’. Wouldn’t it be easier, more reassuring, if I had stuck to my birth religion? At least then I had a clear set of rules to follow if I wanted to be saved. I wouldn’t necessarily be judged by my faith, nor persecuted because of it. I would have a group of people who shared my beliefs, and who didn’t think I was crazy.
So why in the world would I make myself believe these things, if it makes it more difficult (and terrifying) for me in the long run? I suppose intricacy makes the story more believable, but it also creates more holes. And it’s far from ‘reassuring’.
So why would I make myself believe that the entity I had been taught was pure evil actually exists? Why would I choose to follow such an entity, knowing that there is the distinct possibility that his words are lies? Who in their right mind would give up the distinction of ‘good/evil’ and ‘light/darkness’, when these distinctions are all that may be keeping us from an eternity of suffering?
If I wanted a faith that would make my life easier, I should have stuck with Catholicism. If I wanted comfort and reassurance, I should have kept to the narrow road that leads to heaven. If I wanted a god who I could understand, who made sense, I should have devoted myself to the Christian god.
I didn’t want a god to come barging into my life, telling me that I was wrong, I didn’t want a fucking angel telling me what to do, making me feel as though I was going crazy. The dichotomy of good and evil to me was safe, it made sense—then he had to go and blow that idea to shreds and leave me not knowing who or what to trust. The concept of angels that I had grown up with as benign, loving creatures went down the drain, leaving me with an entity who was both comforting and terrifying; an entity that was not an angel or a demon, and neither mortal nor god.
I didn’t ask for Lucifer to turn my world upside-down while I was at my lowest. I didn’t ask for him to give me a different perspective on life. I didn’t want to be ‘rebuilt’, or have those that I cherished most torn away from me, or be ostracized because of my faith, or have my favorite foods be taken away, or have the most important person to me nearly die just so I could understand that I didn’t need them to be whole, or become one of those spiritual freaks that I scoffed at.
And yet here I am.
Again, I have to ask myself, do the differences between what I wanted and what I ended up getting make this anymore ‘real’?