My God

I think it’s genetic, and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone one day proved that god exists more of a function of brain chemistry than anything else. It would make sense, because who we are is all in our minds anyway, so it would make sense that god exists internally, not externally. This isn’t to say there isn’t anything past who we are as far as god goes, but it is to say that most of what god is lies within.

 

I was born an atheist, and unlike most people, almost everything I learned about religion as a child didn’t stick. I waged an unending and unrelenting war on belief until I discovered some of those who didn’t believe also had their own dogma, their own heretics, and believe it or not, their own sense of blasphemy when it comes to certain subjects. That’s a pretty broad generalization, I realize that, but remember I was a member of an atheist group that was actively seeking confrontation.  Being a militant atheist in South Georgia will cause you to find confrontation. I must admit not only was I good at it, I enjoyed it, too.

 

When I got married in 1999 I married a woman who many of my colleagues considered not to be a “true” atheist. In short, I was criticized for marrying outside my lack of faith. The irony was lost on many people, but not myself. After the marriage crashed, burned, and left a truly dark cloud of smoke billowing from the wreckage, I walked away from it, and from being an atheist.

 

I make jokes about how I stopped being an atheist because my ex-wife was proof of evil, but it’s not that, really. As an aside, being a writer and having an ex-wife is like being golfer and living beside a vast open plain of grass. Even though you know it won’t come to much you just have to take a swing every once in a while. But the truth of the matter is that I became convinced that both theists and atheists were parents of the same sort of mind set. Or at least, those near the edges could be sometimes. I had, and still have, heretical questions for both parties.

 

The Christians will never claim me for their own because I don’t buy into the whole savior thing. I strongly doubt that anyone ever existed as they claim who did the things they claim to have happened. Yet if you do believe the bible, and you do believe in the story of the man who would be savior, doesn’t the whole story imply that salvation is a process rather than a personality? Isn’t the life of the man a better example of what is supposed to be than the words? For a man to die on a cross, who is suppose to be the son of god, to have said, ‘Why have you forsaken me?” Doesn’t this imply that faith, in and of itself, is supposed to be weak, but we’re supposed to carry on our lives anyway?

 

And please, before it happens, don’t quote the damn bible to me. I’ll be rude to you, you’ll get your feelings hurt, and nothing will come of it. Think, dammit, before you knee jerk to any of this.

 

Yet I’m not an atheist. I find science inadequate to explain some of the things that I experience. Sure, this is just short of the god-of-the-gaps, but there are gaps. How is it that bees communicate? How are they programmed to do so? How is it that life itself exists, and why?  Where does beauty lie? What creates that bond between individuals of different species so that I know when Bert has seen a rabbit rather than a deer, or a stranger rather than someone he knows? Science describes in great truth the reasons why life is what it is, but it fails utterly to describe living. Religion is supposed to help us through living but it rubber stamps life with a old man in a white robe.

 

Neither has brought our kind anywhere closer to peace than the other. Religion, married to science, in the name of war, will destroy us all. That is the only thing I’m truly sure of at any given time.

 

 

God doesn’t talk to me. The Universe and I, however, are on speaking terms. The process by which I write isn’t magic, it isn’t holy, but it is spiritual. Like a sponge, I absorb the people and places around me, and somewhere between what happened, who I met, and that time between, what you see before you occurs. Why creativity? What drives it? Why do I write? Why do I do the things I do? Why does what I write make you feel the way you do? Secretly, I don’t think any writer can be an absolute atheist, and also, just as secretly, I suspect writers as a whole believe that deep down inside they are their own gods.

 

If any of this sounds egocentric it’s only because I can only speak to you of what I feel. Each person’s life is intensely personal to themselves. I can tell you that your version of god is vastly different than anyone else’s version of god, because your life is different than everyone else’s life. Yet each and every one of us is the same. We are part of a six billion member biomass of humanity, and we affect each other be we one person in a city of twenty million or a Hermit in the woods in South Georgia. We are connected, in some way, and we seek to reach out, no matter where we are, or who we are. We seek out each other’s minds, as I have here, and you are doing now, and we are each other, no matter how much we tend to think we differ.

 

Honestly, I have no idea what I really believe most of the time. I stopped worrying about it years ago. It isn’t important. What is important is for us to explore the process of living, of life, and to connect. Truly, I have no wish to offend anyone’s vision of what their god might be, and I don’t expect anyone to adopt mine. I wouldn’t want you to. I rather you didn’t. This is just my take on things, and you’ve got to go get your own. But if you want to borrow any of this, and it help you find what you’re looking for, and that thing does turn out to be god, tell her Mike Firesmith said, ‘Hello.” and thanks for all the fish.

 

Take Care,

Mike


Comments:
 
Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/11/2008 6:09:57 AM
Thanks, Raven, But I rarely jump on anyone about anything as long as htey are not being mean to someone about it. I think both science and religion have a lot to learn, and perhaps one day the twain shall meet.

Raven Spirit   Raven Spirit wrote
on 5/10/2008 10:34:07 PM
I like this piece. I have never cared what others believe or do not believe. Just do not shove it down my throat and please do not be offended by my beliefs which re no ones business. One thing that I believe for it is one of my truths [as in something that I am meant to practice] pass judgment upon no one. I also believe that each has their own truth within. I have long believed that there will be a place where science and things spiritual will meet and sort of merge. Now do not jump all over me ... that merge thing is really just a case of poor semantics. Very thought provoking article and quite thoughtful.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/10/2008 5:13:24 PM
You have nothing to lose but your religion, Amber. Write away!

amberfire   amberfire wrote
on 5/10/2008 5:08:38 PM
Mike I cannot even begin to tell you how much I missed your writing, so naturally I had to follow Moses to the promise land **smile**, it is good to read you again! Perhaps I will try my hand at explaining then and we can have a great chat about it all.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/9/2008 6:54:12 PM
Amber, You write. I read. I would rather be disagreed with. It keeps me trying to answer questions that I know I have no answer for. You will never insult me, or chase me away, unless you tell me you beleive that coffee isn't divine, or something like that.

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Synopsis
A Brief History Of My Lack Of Religion
A Word from the Writer
To define is to limit.
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