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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Biggest Lesson

I had a great post planned out in my head this morning as I showered. Not that I think of you all when I’m showering, that would be weird (though at this point with few recent posts and dwindling readers you all could certainly fit into my bathroom -- just please don’t lean on that collapsing tile wall over there), but I’ve been researching and synthesizing vast amounts of material lately and this little posting session popped into my head during a rare relaxed and undisturbed moment and served to consolidate my thoughts. Of course, once I shut off the faucet, most of those ideas ran right down the drain with the water, but I figured I might at least try and explain my relative silence -- before I chase off the remaining few of you.

I’ve been off on a rabbit trail lately. A fascinating one that caused me to abandon the giant heap of school study-related books I’d been slowly picking away at. One that sent me off to new websites and blogs and a whole new stack of “must-reads.” One that is the apex of studies in logic, history, science, and literature; a giant detective story; a search for truth. The Truth. And one with both disturbing and comforting answers.

The only explanation to the big question that makes sense to me -- from the genesis of my revelation as a skeptical and then lapsed Catholic, to my comparative studies of and eventual distrust and dislike for all religions, to my recent earnest Bible studies -- that answers the doubts, inconsistencies, and lapses in logic without complicated twisted interpretations, is that there is simply no God. What was initially a disturbing idea to me, and I’m not just talking about self-identifying with the likes of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, a woman who simultaneously terrified and baffled me as a Catholic school girl, but losing the comfortable and unexamined ideologies I’d grown up with and stepping beyond the safety net of the fence-straddling agnostic label toward full-blown, strong atheism -- the realization there is no personally involved heavenly father, that a man named Jesus may have existed but his story is merely a continuation of the sun god myth and the legend overpowers any historical substantiation, that we are merely a happy cosmological and evolutionary accident -- has become a source of solace and strength.

This is it, folks. We’ve got one chance to get it right and enjoy the ride. We’d best not sit by and twiddle our opposable, naturally selected thumbs in denial of reality, fantasizing a shot at a better supernatural existence. I must relish every minute and make the best of my too-short time here. The depression I fought for years is now chased away with the knowledge that I don’t have time for it; every minute is precious, even the unpleasant painful ones. I’m not wasting any more of my life on this planet in anticipation of a better world yet to come, and will instead appreciate the wonders that exist and try to leave this world a better place.

For those who cannot believe as I do, I don’t dare say you are stupid, as a fundamentalist Christian friend accused, only possibly intellectually dishonest with yourselves. Perhaps you have not truly examined the evidence from the other side. It is a hard thing to do; a hard thing to let go of. But wanting something to be true just doesn’t make it so. Now that my eyes have been opened, I find it nearly impossible to imagine that anyone engaged in a scholarly study of history and science could come to any other conclusion. Now that this greatest of questions has been answered to my satisfaction, I can get on with my life.

7 comments:

Sara said...

Ah, the shower is the best place to think these thoughts. :) I love all the thoughts I think in there, and the shower epiphanies that come with the quiet time.

rae said...

Intellectualism, like singing, is best done in the shower - or after large quantities of wine. It sounds like you've taken quite a brave journey. Hats off to you!

L said...

Thanks for the kind comments! I was a little hesitant about posting this...

Meg_L said...

Welcome to the freedom of piloting your own life!

Very well said.

Carole said...

Personally, I think that there is something out there greater than me. What is is. God? Mr McGoo? I have no idea. I think the church has been corrupted my man -- the Hitchens book has really crystalized some of my thoughts. I still love the ritual of the Catholic church but it's yet another "corporation" built by man. It's just become my favorite religion corrupted by man. What's the phrase? Take what you need and leave the rest. Such a multi-leveled conversation that we could have for hours and hours and days and days!!

It's against everything I grew up with in the Protestant church but I came to the "why can't we just all get along" place long before I found the Catholics.

Maureen said...

I'm going to take a wild guess and say the person who posted above me is not my aunt...

L said...

I can see that Carole, something bigger than we can probably ever understand, the 'Einsteinian God', that I will think now think of as Mr. Magoo O-O

And no, Maureen, that is most definitely not Aunt Carole! She only got to read the happy travel edition (and even that was too much for her delicate sensibilities sometimes.)