Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…
– John Lennon, Imagine
I have found myself again seeking a clear definition of my own beliefs. I am evaluating my stance, the pillars of my faith, measuring the scales of my own morality. And everything I have come to know has only been reaffirmed; There is no truth, but what you make the truth. There is no right or wrong, only the consequences of our actions. And it is because I have sought to throw myself out of the cogs I have spun around for years that I have been to able to see with new found sight, that all that I have been brought to believe, is a lie.
And for years now, my beliefs on God have been transparent in design. Flawed to countless discovered contradictions. I have weighed the words that have rang so heavy in my heart. Riddled with guilt and self doubt. Knowing full well that I wasn’t as the church said I should be. Fighting a spiritual war that was really going on between my ears. For in all sense of spirituality, it has all rung untrue to my own spirit. And the scales tip towards irrational thought. This idea that man has so solemnly sold his soul to, the idea of a higher being presiding over us, purchases nothing for me. And I can breathe easy now…and what a tremendous sigh of relief. Because for years I wanted to sell myself to the notion that even a wretch like me could be saved. If not from the world, then maybe, from myself. But the feeling of love I so yearned for was lost upon me. This is me letting go. I have come to terms with our Father.
And in terms of a father, God is indeed cruel, is he not? For millions speak testimony of this unconditional love and understanding, acceptance and care, but where is it to be found? We must seek him out? Our creator? Our own Dr. Frankenstein. Giving birth to this wondrous monstrosity we call humanity and then fleeing in horror when greeted with the reality of his creation. I sought him out. Playing the role as the prodigal monster. I truly did. I read the bible and tried to know Christ. I got on a stage and sang in front of a congregation about his love, just so that I might one day feel that same requited affection I so desired to taste. And up there, looking down on the closed eyes and raised hands of my former church, I felt no sense of truth. Only an ever growing sense of unease. The only truth was that it wasn’t true to me. But I couldn’t accept that then. I couldn’t even fathom the possibility that God wasn’t to be found because God might not exist. I felt only the jubilation I received moving people through the power of music and this internal dialogue within myself. I was a hypocrite, singing of a love I never knew. But I told myself, it’s enough for God, if I can but only get these people to feel what I cannot.
In the real world (because we are ALL of this world, contrary to what any decal or mainstream christian apparel company would have you believe…) had I a father who created me, loved me, revered me, but stayed completely out of my life until the years brought me to a place where I wanted to know him, I would have nothing to do with him. I would curse him and loathe him for giving me life so carelessly only to abandon me. And that is how I feel at the pinnacle of my self loathing and aggression; that I am God’s unwanted orphan. I am his bastard son.
According to Christian dogma, in order to purchase a seat in heaven one must live a life dedicated to the fundamentals of love and acceptance and come to herald the martyr that was Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. That being sad, the “Christian” God didn’t come into existence until about 4,000 years ago…so, in the hundreds and thousands of years before what became of those poor souls who didn’t get to know this neo God?
Who is to say that the gods of our ancestors were no less than real? No less of an illusion? As a species, we have chalked all that we could not understand to superstitions. Human’s called the sun a god, for how else could they even come to understand the warmth and life it brings? They worshiped the moon, revered stars as holes in the fabric of the universe revealing the true nature of an outer space they saw as the heavens; for they were all visible and miraculous things that were completely unfathomable in the scopes of their limited perceptions.
And now, science has given birth to the revolutionary concepts and theories that have begun to unravel the mysteries of the universe and has shown what foolish creatures our ancestors were to exalt a massive ball of hydrogen as a God. This all leads me to wonder what future generations will think of our own God’s when they have gone well beyond the scopes of our own understandings.
And I believe some people believe simply because it’s all they have known. When do people ever truly evaluate their stance in life? Do you ask yourself what’s real? Or do you just accept what’s being fed to you? Fed to you from a book that is thousands of years old? The real question shouldn’t be, is the bible true? It should be, why are people following an institution constructed from testaments that have long since grown outdated. The question should be, what has religion truly given man kind as a whole?
How many were slain to inquisitions? Crusades? How many people have died for the same God worshiped only by a different tongue? Religion has only introduced mankind to a new sense of depravity and moral ambiguity. A new way to distance and close ourselves off from one another and limit our growth as human beings. Have you seen how fanatical people become over an insult to one’s belief’s? People have died, very recently, for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. We are killing each other over our beliefs! Over a joke. And you cannot ever, ever openly advocate the possibility to a believer that God doesn’t exist. It’s an instant attack on their person and everything they stand for.
“How dare you mock my God?”
No sir, I mock you. I mock you and your fear and inability to question. I mock “oh, ye of little faith” for having such a faulty unconditional belief system that could be easily shaken from some poised phrases spewed from some prodigal stray. I mock you and the countless hypocrites that lay claim to the title of a Christian and segregate themselves, judge others, and instead of preaching of love only seek to damn we, the non believers. When I know full well the God and Christ you fail so splendidly to follow would have you “do unto others”.
“You are such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.” – A Perfect Circle, Judith.
My whole life I was always told, it’s in the Bible. It’s in the Bible! And people use that damned book like a rifle. It is in the weapon of choice for a new breed of salesman. Men who would tell you can be saved! If you only pay. Cause Jesus, he wants you to pay. He wants those called to serve! To serve their hard earned cash, their offering, to line the thousand dollar pockets of these twisted evangelists. He wants you to throw money at these institutions so that they can build massive monuments (Idols, are they not?) to let people know, this here, this here is God’s country. And this weapon, this bible is simply a series of proverbs and fairy tales! It speaks of great floods, physically purging away the human stain the same way that the martyrdom of Jesus Christ would eradicate mortal sin. It would have us believe that the sin we all indulge in was brought unto us because a woman ate of a forbidden apple…a regular Snow White. And her seven dwarves became our seven sins that would doom us unto hell. Am I the only one who seeks the joke in all of this?
We want to believe God exists as an individual. People want to be told how to live, what to think, how to feel, because it’s how we are raised by our parents. And is God not the metaphor of a father? We want to have a name to hide behind. A face to blame when all is lost. For do we not blame our own creators for the flaws we cannot accept and failing us in matters beyond their own capacities of reason? And God has given us this, we can curse his name or find love in him. We can give him blessings and thanks for the abundance of good we have found in our lives, we can curse him for what or who he has taken from our lives…but it’s all in our head. For God, god is indifferent.
“When I found out about the Lord I wanted more but I never could believe. That there was something that had so much love for us. That could sit and let us bleed, to death” – Circa Survive, Phantasmagoria.
I believe now, with utmost certainty, that God does not exist. That he does not exist in the matter with which the Bible, in all it’s glorious, self righteous and outdated contradictions would paint him as. He is not a loving and merciful father. He is not the God who wiped all the world away like a bad etch a sketch when the human race revealed unto him the horrors of his own creation. And did he not create us in his image? If this is true, then God himself is flawed beyond reason. He is not the architect of your failures or successes. God does not bend the world to his will. He does not take life, nor create it. He is the author and finisher of none. For “HE”, is not a being.
God, is a state of being.
I believe now, that God is simply another word for love. A true and perfect form of love that is accepting, unconditional and without surrender. And in this regard, I do believe in Love. I believe in it wholeheartedly and it’s infinite capacity for good. I believe that human beings are all connected through some shared communal unseen and intricate string that I am still trying to discover. And maybe it is God, this love. This love we do not see and are wary to accept, because we are, in our minds, undeserving. Our lives are conditioned to believe that love or rather the cheap mockery so many try to reproduce is something to be solicited for some sort of gain. Not a freely given thing. But I see God, I see love. In the faces of children, the look on people’s faces when surrounded with their inner most desires, that look that just says, ‘This is it‘. It’s there. It surrounds us. The choice is, and has been all along, if it’s something you want in life.
I have no god. My prayers, if any, are simply thought, willed to the universe. My life has led me to have little faith in human beings for I understand them far too well. But that isn’t to say, I still don’t seek God in some sense. That isn’t to say, I still don’t hope for the better of humanity. I still seek love. And the truest foundations of religion are outstanding pursuits that could push the capacities of the human condition. However, you do not need to surrender to a higher power for this pursuit to be underway. You need not be born again to save yourself. For what is there to save yourself from that you do not have the power to overcome? Are you admitting to weakness? Then become strong.
Love, acceptance, understanding, those equations equal a perfect formula…As Bill Hicks said, let’s just ditch the dogma. It has done nothing for mankind. The stories, the guilt, the fear and ultimate consequence of hell…religion is nothing short of a blight upon mankind. It gives you a reason to seek truth, yes! But there is no freedom. Only the ultimatums of damnation or salvation…how is that even a choice? How is that free will? Seeking love…out of fear?
Survey says… incomprehensible!
But what of an afterlife? There has to be something after this! This all has to mean something! I am meant to be here! God put me here. Right?!
No, you are merely life, squirted into existence. The result of a chemical and physical reaction between two animals. There is no miracle in birth. It is only a reaction. Cause and effect. The stars didn’t part and planet’s didn’t align on the day of your birth. Your life here is without purpose until you make a purpose for yourself. As I have said before, you are only recognized by the scars you leave on the surface of this wonderful planet. Or you can be a stain on the earth, consume precious resources and live on in mindless self indulgence, glued to the television, another brick in the wall, till your death and there…there you will have your answer. And it may be the silence of the grave or it may be the sweetest source of affection you will ever attain.
I have only heard stories, of people returning back to their mortal vessels after passing into this beyond where all it is, is love. Just love. And there is nothing else. For nothing else matters. I want to believe in a place where all conflicts and resentments we harbor are lifted and our anchors are dropped forever. A place where the vessels of our spirits can soar as intended. Haunting the heavens. Weightless, floating on in the ever after that is infinity as happy ghosts.
But, more than anything, I want to believe that heaven can be attained now. In this place. For I only know that I am here.