Belief

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You believe, therefore God exists, not God exists; therefore you believe.  The beauty and ugliness of belief, and by extension, religion, is its vulnerability to potential abuse.  It is not entirely necessary to understand the nature of belief to understand the limits of belief, but it is certainly necessary to understand the limits of belief to understand the nature of religion. 

To accept that one’s belief is relegated to one’s life is to understand the limits and freedom of religion.  It is in that acceptance, it is in that understanding, that the beauty of belief can be fully appreciated.  If I am one being and my soul decides that I am the creation of a superior being, or many superior beings, be they Gods, or God-like, then my soul is lifted beyond earthly, physiological limits.  It is there, on that spiritual plain, that I can pursue my life with Godly intent, or in service of God, however it is properly put.  To live one’s life in pursuit of higher ideals, which translates to living one’s life for the betterment of others, is religion flowered to its full glory.  It is a beautiful thing.

If one thing exists as a matter of fact, sometimes it follows that the opposite also exists.  To put one’s belief above all others, and on the heads of all others, limits the freedom of religion of all others.  It is this practice that brought on the crusades and inquisitions, and it is this practice that casts the infidel in a negative light.  Automatic application of a particular religious practice, belief, or orthodoxy on an individual who has chosen another path, puts the mask of religion on an ugly belief.  If one opposes, or holds ideals that supplants another, then one or the other must be wrong. Once wrong they are to be banished from the beauty of life, religion, and freedom to choose.  The act of religious imposition allows the spirituality of different believers to be denied.

Even halfway up the opposite path is a way to ultimate ugliness.  To tolerate, not accept another’s belief is halfway up the opposite path.  Certainly, poor is the believer who in his belief tolerates and relegates to the nether regions those who do not believe in kind.  That believer is in lockstep with the condemner, the precursor to crusader, the inquisitor, and the zealot, who would all first torch the infidel, then delight in the flame that hate has ignited.

Religion, like its sister, belief, is a conundrum.  For the believer, no matter the religion, if they are true believers than certainly their God, Gods, or God-likes, encompass those lesser Gods, or God-likes.  In truth, never is God or religion threatened. It is only the would-be believer who is threatened.  It is only the believer, who in search of faith, signs of faith, or faith has found, quakes and quivers at the suggestion that God does not exist in the form the believer expresses.   It has to be the believer threatened, because religion, and by extension, belief, is rock solid.  If God, Gods, or God-likes stride the earth and hold mother nature in abeyance, how then can God, Gods, or God-likes be threatened by the doubt of or questioning of mortals?

There is an absurdity in belief.  It is belief not sought or understood, but belief put on without question, without search, without knowledge.  This is belief blindly held.  Blind belief is ignorance exponentially expressed across time with fear being the multiplicand.  Blind belief has neither religion nor God.  It obeys the whim of the believer, even though he or she has donned the guise of the true believer.  In its mask of religion, blind belief is often the most vocal and the first to denounce true believers, or denounces other believers as a lesser sort.  In truth, for the true believer, there is no place God is not welcome.  In truth, for the blind believer, there is no place religion is not threatened.   The blind believer wears religion like an outer garment to protect them from the vagaries and variances of the world.  The true believer’s faith is inwardly tucked where it nestles the heart and warms the soul. 

It would be nice to have a test to separate into neat groups believers, blind believers and infidels.  Like casting one out on the water and when found to float, there floats a true believer.  Or if not floating, only half submerged, then there half drowning goes the believer or infidel.  Certainly, however, the blind believer will neither float, sink, or partly either.  The blind believer would not dare the water. 

Let us entertain, in closing,, religion examined separate from belief.  Religion with its curious trappings should test even the true believer.  Is there a heaven and a hell, or just a heaven, or just a hell?  Does there truly exist good and evil, or just good in search of evil?  Is it pagan to drink the blood of Christ, then sup upon his body?  Is it blasphemy to smoke peyote in the desert night in search of a higher plain?  Is it showing obedience to a higher being by facing east six times a day without fail; and if I look far enough west am I not looking at the front side of east?  If so, is there salvation there also?  Most important, why does religion only survive through the soul of the believers, while believers can survive separate of this orthodoxy or that? 

Religion of any type provides a curious path, but a path that should be free for each believer to trod as his or her soul desires.  Not all believers will walk a religious path.  Some, arm and arm with the infidel, will remain stationary.  Not desiring to move left or right, forward, or back, the infidel and some believers will remain centered upon their life.  Certainly the true believer, as too the infidel, should be allowed the choice of no choice without condemnation, or threats of a fire filled eternity.  That said, it is a fair point made by the righteous religion that a righteous world can only be viewed through its glass.  However, let it not be left behind that it is one glass, one view, viewed through by one soul at a time; therefore, cannot be held as a view for all who chose to view the world without aid of glass, or religious filter.  Wrong is the man or woman who, by way of this religious glass or that orthodox filter, attempts to evaluate another’s soul, or divine another’s fate.

Last, here find no challenge to any orthodoxy, practice, belief, faith, or religion.  Instead this is a word in support of belief, and the freedom of religion; and also a mantra for those with faith freed from religious shackles.