Religion and god are quite polarizing topics in today’s world, and in many settings taboo even to mention. However since we at The Greatest Never love controversial and taboo subjects we’re going to talk about it.
For the first 17 or so years of my life, I maintained a materialist and agnostic view of the world. This however would fail to carry over into adulthood as my belief in god, or the universe quickly became a central part of my existence.
I do not follow any specific religion, though if I did it would probably have to be Hinduism. My beliefs have however been influenced by a number of other religious systems as well, most notably Christianity, Islam, and Occultism.
So when did I become a believer? Well it didn’t happen over night that’s for sure. I started to question my beliefs (or lack thereof) during my first semester at the University at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The first friend I made on campus was at the time a devout Muslim. I had never met a Muslim before, but as a fairly open minded person I became very curious and interested in his beliefs. I admired his dedication to what he believed in, and the many convictions he took upon himself as a result. This ignited an interest in religion that I never really had before. Up until that point everything I believed was oriented around politics and sociology, but he began to open me up to a world beyond the material. I still love politics but my spiritual beliefs have changed the ways I view it.
I asked him how he found Islam, he explained that he had explored every major religion and that this was the only one that had made sense to him. I admired this as well, and have done similar things with political theories. I had immense respect for the fact that he didn’t just allow himself to be spoon fed the first religion he came across, taking time to explore, compare, and analyze all of the options at hand.
We would debate constantly, but the more we put our ideas against each other the more I began to realize that in many respects he was right. I don’t totally agree with the principals of Islam. As an egalitarian the way they treat women doesn’t sit right with me. As someone with many friends in the LGBT community I found myself unable to take any stance that looks down upon them.
This caused me to gravitate towards Hinduism, I felt it was more egalitarian in it’s propositions, as it has both male and female images of god, and while I’m sure it isn’t encouraged, I never found anything saying that homosexuals should be punished or shunned in my time studying the Vedas.
In fact I hardly found any rules at all aside from remaining faithful to the divine and treating the world around you in the same manner that you would like the world to treat you. From then on I found myself becoming deeply entrenched in religious thought. As an anarchist my beliefs had previously been “No gods, no masters” However this quickly shifted to: God is the only master. Ironically I found this to pair great with anarchism, because it rejects all authority besides the will of god.
So what kind of god do I believe in? One that is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Benevolent, Androgynous and mysterious. I believe that god has a plethora of forms, however they are all just different manifestations of the same god. I also believe god can speak through any person at any given time as well as will Itself into peoples art, writing, music etc, in order to indirectly communicate with the material world. I believe the divine to not only be stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we CAN imagine.
I also believe in reincarnation, however with a weird twist. I believe we are continuously reincarnated up to a certain point. I believe with each reincarnation we get closer and closer to our eternal existence. This eternal existence is one of our own creation. I believe people who create fictional worlds such as J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle earth used in the lord of the rings series, are at the last stage of their reincarnation cycle and that they will go on to inhabit and rule over their fictional worlds when they pass.
I believe in Carl Jung’s collective unconscious, meaning that we all stem from one interconnected soul. I believe in Individuality as well in the form of spirits. While we all share one interconnected soul, many have individual spirits which guide and influence our decisions regardless of if we know of it’s existence.
Karma is also a central part of my belief, I believe any deed good or bad will reap an equal consequence. Though through prayer, humility, meditation, introspection, kindness, hard work and charity, one may be liberated from the clutches of karma.