I now believe that religion is nothing more than a tool. It is a tool to help guide your life. A religion is a tool that helps you connect ever so slightly with the "All".
I believe in nearly everything: heaven, hell, reincarnation, nothing, afterlife. It's all true. And because it's all true, none of it is true. We are smaller than the smallest particle ever imagined in the scope of the multiverse. We arrived super late on the scene of the space-time continuum. We know nothing.
When a conscious, thinking being can't even explain what sleep means (something we do 1/3 of our time on Earth) how can anyone possibly think they have the slightest grasp on a thing we call God?
For me, moving in between spiritualities and religions makes the most sense. It helps me get just a little closer to the thing we call God. (For the fully indoctrinated of any single religion that thinks I'm talking complete heresy, a quick trip to any Universalist Unitarian Church should quickly recalibrate your awareness of your fellow human brothers and sisters. I'm not being at all radical here.)
I've been thinking a lot about the Force recently.
For the record, Jediism is a thing. In every recent census in New Zealand, 20,000-30,000 people put "Jediism" as their choice of religion. (Feel free to do so in this year's U.S. Census, if you like. I don't know what I'm going to put yet.)
I was watching #8, The Last Jedi, last night.
Luke tells Rey that "the force is in all of us."
He's saying that the force isn't something that just Jedi have. He said WE ALL have it. It connects us all.
He isn't just talking about the light side of the force. He's talking about the dark side too.
Rey terrifies Luke because she doesn't fear the dark side. She doesn't move away from it. She goes towards it, which makes Luke think that he's going to lose another person to the dark side of the force like he did with Kylo Ren (the son of Han Solo and Princes Leia).
What is ironic is that it might have been Luke who actually pushed Kylo Ren to the dark side. Luke was terrified with his interest in the dark side.
But as we know with both Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, they were never TOTALLY consumed with the dark side. There was a battle within them.
In a way, it makes me more understanding of Kylo Ren and it makes me LOVE Rey. She is simply not afraid... of anything.
Yoda said this:
Isn't this EXACTLY how we find Luke Skywalker in #8 "The Last Jedi?"
He's afraid and alone and refuses to go help anyone. What's darker than that?
It's the fear that is the evil.
Anger and hate that comes from love is wildly different than anger and hate that comes from fear.
I like Christianity because it is a religion of helping the poor and needy. But so are the Jedi. And in a way I like them more...
The Order consisted of polymaths; teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats, and warriors.
Jedi philosophy emphasized self-improvement through knowledge and wisdom, adherence to slave morality, and selfless service through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteerism; this ideology is a recurring theme in the Star Wars universe.
I don't care for their denouncing of emotions. The Jedi denounce emotions as the root cause of mortal suffering. This is why I never had a deep connection with Buddhism. "Desire is suffering" the Buddhists say. It's also called being human.
When you denounce ANYTHING isn't it because you are afraid of it? So, the Jedi denouncing all emotions is just yet another form of fear that makes me lose interest real quick.
But then I REALLY love their connection to all things in the universe. I'm a die hard believer in connection. I like the idea that there is a "force" that connects us all. That might be my biggest driving force of them all.
I don't believe in time and space. And therefore I believe everything is existing all at once all together. We just can't be anything other then totally connected.
So yeah. I don't like the Jedi's anti-emotion angle. And the Sith are just so.... mean all the time. So I don't think I'd pick either of those.
But a follower of "The Force" might still be a contender.
The ancient Chinese call it Qi (pronounced "chi"). " A vital force forming part of any living entity." They've been thinking about this since 1600 BCE.
I like "The Force" better than "Qi". It just rolls of my tongue easier and plus we have all these cool movies about it.
My point of all this isn't to try to convince you to come join my "The Force" church. In fact, it's the opposite.
I LOVE the contradiction of spirituality. I love that things are both yes and no, up and down. Physicists call it "superposition," being in two different states at the same time. In fact it's not even just "two different states" at the same time, it's being in MULTIPLE states at the same time.
Science has done a better job of defining reality than most religions. "Superposition" is just an exquisite word.
God is in Superposition all the time. Even in our own mind.
But here's the thing about superposition: as soon as you look at it, IT ALL collapses into ONE position. So, God becomes one thing for you and it becomes something completely different for someone else.
No doubt, God has so many different superpositions, it's quite easy to believe that God exists in different states for every single living creature in the entire multiverse.
At this point in the journey I'm taking you on my hope is that it becomes quite easy to understand that no religion fits any one person. You simply must create your own religion. You need your own texts. You need your own ceremonies. You need your own shrines.
My brother-in-law likes to tell me that he prays at the "River of glass smooth water" on Sunday mornings. He's a wakeboarder. There is little else that a hardcore wakeboarder loves more than flat, flat water. I love that.
This is when your spiritual journey gets really interesting and really exciting.
What do you believe? What do you not believe?
I'd love to know your beliefs and anti-beliefs here in the comments or on Facebook.