With complete honesty, I went through a time in my life in which I had no conviction, saw no apparent evidence, in belief of anything beyond the material. My nature borders between inquisitiveness and skepticism.
I remember moments, more than 25 years ago, in which I was deeply pondering the meaninglessness of most of the lives I saw around me. It was horribly depressing. I saw some people seeming to enjoy life, most of whom were affluent, having the wherewithal to enjoy life’s best toys, the most succulent of company, scrumptious food, carefree parties, and the ability to flit here and there with hardly a trouble that couldn’t be covered by pocket change.
And other people, to whom I felt myself more drawn, and more comfortable with. They were the sons and daughters of farmers who had lean muscles and freckles accumulated by days working hard in the sun. They were urban kids whose parents toiled at unrewarding jobs. They were people who mostly tasted salt or bitter, but found their own ways to occasionally sample some sugar.
I remember feeling, with an intense realization, a love for my Father and Mother that welled from an understanding of what they endured on a daily basis. The struggle to exist, to have shelter and food, to provide simple somethings for their children, while accumulating nothing else to show for their hours of sweat, worry, and occasional bleeding. These were the Reagan years. We weren’t allowed to complain for our poverty. Complaining was for “welfare-queens trying to scam the system”, according to Uncle Ron. America had more important business to worry about: Palestinians throwing rocks at their Israeli benefactors, supporting some Contras against some horrible, self-determined people called “Sandanistas”, that war between Iran and Iraq that had been “going on over there forever”, and of course, we needed to worry about those gritty-looking “mujahideen” in their struggle against those baby-eating communists. My Mom and Dad came home from days of work, turned on the “news”, and what kept them from drowning themselves in bottles of various “medicines” could only be their sense of honor and decency.
So, in that time, a bright kid had a view on several different societies. The powerful manipulators of reality, the few who could buy their own medicinal world, and the majority of us who actually worked and suffered through life. For an exceptionally bright and conscientious kid, there really wasn’t much to aspire to. With a gifted intelligence, I could have joined the ranks of the neo-fascist Reaganites, the wealthy nihilists, the struggling austere, or the quietly downtrodden of the 1980’s.
Darkness ! What the hell was human society up to ? Nothing, it seemed, and that perception largely remains with me until today. 27 years later.
I knew the Church was full of shit. I’d been in it long enough to know. A Baptist Church is comprised of the evil Manipulators making a killing, the wealthy Medicinalists enjoying their social-butterfly-ness, the working tithe-Bearers, and the completely entranced minority members who enjoy the one day a week that they’re part of White-World, the world of Anglo-capitalism, imperial colonialism, racism, and perpetual self-delusion. I remember the loudest “amens” coming from this last demographic.
If you’re a simple and clean human being, who easily experiences wholesomeness in nature, in human normality, in your experience, I envy you and appreciate you. I hope for you to be a friend even after encountering my disturbing chaos. That depends on your actual ability to see beyond the chaos to the semi-innocent boy enshrouded therein. If that works out, that’s great. If not, I wish you happy trails with whatever crowd suits you. My crowd has evolved from basically everyone I used to share a bag with, to me and one other.
But for my fellow skeptic, the one who says “no thank you” to church, their poseurs, their brain-dead, their defeated slaves, and even their genuine people I can’t connect with rationally”, this message is for you. NOT for you if you’re just another type of poseur, conforming and seeking “belonging” in the church of atheism. But, FOR you, if you’re genuinely the self-respecting individual, the one who hasn’t yet surrendered to “popular opinion”, and then gone seeking the crowd in which you find your own popular opinions to be most repeated.
I want to ask you to do one thing. Forget any notion that there’s some “expert” who knows more than you. You now belong to yourself, to your own thoughts, and as such, you are as expert as anyone. You will now exercise absolute freedom. You will be You.
And to elevate your spirits a bit, let me provide a little truthful comedy. “It may have been awhile since you encountered a human being thinking their own thought! HeHee ! Most “thoughts” these days are just echoes of media voices and grapevine twists.” Can you dissociate yourself from the inane babble going on around you all the time? Though it may be from an “expert in the field”, through your social network, from your Granny, or from your favorite hero ? Can you silence the voices of all others and be alone with your thoughts for a moment?
Do you believe in thought ? If so, that’s a great sign !
I exist too. I’m a series of thoughts, words, actions, experiences, and reactions commonly called “feelings”. Most times, all these are jumbled and happening at such a rapid sequence I’m just going with the flow of the torrent. Now, I’ve exited that torrent, dried myself, and am alone typing out the thoughts I am having.
The universe we see, with our eyes, thoughts, books, examiners, and “scientists”, seems to be a massive thing. I’ve many times looked at things called “stars”, and came to learn that the nearest one is 4.3 light years away. Wow ! This place is huge. Between here and Alpha-Centauri, I noticed differences between light and darkness. I noticed a sun rising to give us light and warmth. I noticed that when it disappears, and we’re plunged into the cool of night, we still have some light provided by a moon. I noticed that the day sky has a beautiful blue, often interrupted by white or gray clouds, which I now know carry water.
Water. Something that always catches my attention. It’s clear. Odorless. Colorless. Flavorless. It’s interesting that I want it, can’t live without it, and that it exists in relative plenitude. If it were green, or tasted like “grape” KoolAid, I probably wouldn’t drink enough to stay alive.
Did you notice that soil is soft enough to plant a small seed in, and to allow the penetration of water and the spread of roots, yet is solid enough for us to build houses upon ? That’s a pretty cool thing. Really ! Imagine how much harder life would be without these simple qualities.
And on the soil, running across it, are these beings. The Gazelle – with its majestic horns and earthy color, being outrun by an awesome and more beautiful creature known as “Tiger”. Both of them, and ourselves, laying lazy in the shade of something called “tree”, which is tall enough that we can fit under it, yet short enough that we can reach its fruits. Did you notice that those reachable fruits have their own packaging? They can be transported WAY beyond their own usefulness, and can transfer human hands many times without being damaged.
And these humans, with their heads actually above their anuses, unlike most animals, picking fruits, building homes from the trees. Humans would drown if their noses were upside-down, and we would also look really ugly.
So, it seems that we, and those around us, and the immediate environment, the beings in it, and the surrounding cosmos all have a lot of laws that facilitate not only our lives, but our balance, ease, and sense of beauty. Do you agree that there is much more order than chaos ?
Now, let me ask you to imagine an experiment. Imagine an upside-down hat, like the stove-pipe hat worn by Mr. Lincoln. And imagine that your hat contains all the possibilities from the realm of infinite possibilities. All those possibilities that could exist. The non-universes. The soups of perpetual chaos. The worlds in which light and dark do not exist. In which there is no form, nor balance, nor shape, nor beauty. All the possible worlds of sludge, basically. No Gazelle. No Tigers. No Trees. No Fruit. No Soil. No Houses. No Water. No Humans with upright noses.
What is the probability that our existing world could be pulled from your hat of infinite sludge possibilities?
That probability approaches ZERO indefinitely !
∞/1 equals whatever that ∞ represents.
1/∞ approaches 0 forever. Actually, the limit of 1/n as n approaches zero does not exist.
In other words, this universe could never be selected from a hat to come into existence, without someone who comprehended the infinite to select it.
and then create it from nothingness.
and then rule that it should stay in existence for more than a moment.
and that it should continue forward in an improving manner.
and contain much more order than chaos.
and be beautiful.
Unless you choose to deny this.
And make your religion the religion of denying Truth.