I was thirteen, what can I say. I hated my life. I wore black everyday. I cut my own flesh with razor blades just to feel...something. God did not seem to exist in this world and my very scientific, rational view of the world shouted SHOW ME!
This view persisted throughout my teens, but over the last few years it has morphed a bit.
Now I never called myself an atheist, I felt that that was just as asinine as calling myself a Christian. It required faith, it the case of atheism, faith that I was correct in the assumption that there is no God. I am not one to make blind leaps of faith in any directions, so I went for the comfortable title of agnostic. I wasn't sure then, I'm not sure now, but I'm open to what comes my way.
As a Social Sciences major in college I got to do a lot of religious study; after all, how can you understand people or a people without understanding their religion. And after so much exposure to all of these varying religions with this central theme of goodness to you fellow man and leading a good life I came to view religion in a different way.
Now I know that some people are fiercely devoted to their religions and to that I say go ahead. As long as you don't use your religion to hurt other people I see no problem with you having faith in something bigger than us. Just please don't throw me on a pyre when I say that I think religion, specifically the organized practice of religion is a crock. There may be a higher being and he may want us to act in a certain way, to treat each other with the respect and honor that we deserve as His magnificent creations, but religious sects are frequently nothing more than human devices for the control of the social order.
So I don't believe in religion, however, my studies of history and psychology and sociology and anthropology have led me to the belief that the faith that people have felt across the span of human existence can't be wholly wrong. The there is a spiritual side to this life. As to which one is right, well I don't think anyone's gotten it right as of yet and as fallible humans I don't really think we have the capacity to understand what lies beyond here. I do however believe that there are certain universalities that fall across most if not all religions that lead to a good life. I believe in moderation, in living your life to the fullest, is doing as little harm as possible to our fellow man, in working together to solve problems big and small, and in loving each other.
So of course my current predicament has put me in a position where I'm pondering what might happen in the afterlife because the afterlife seems much closer than it did a short time ago. Reincarnation is my prime feeling right now. Nothing would be okay, but I would like to come back and live again or to live through eternity in some ethereal paradise with my loved ones.
I've been pondering attending a church. I feel the need to make human connections, to have a fuller life outside of my family. I think the Unitarian Church is for me. They seem to accept anyone with a belief in the advancement of humanity through goodness, and those are the kind of people I think I'd like to be around.
But I'd like to get some of your opinions, now that I have actual readers. What is your worldview? Your religious view and why? What would be your ideal religion? Your ideal church? If you have PAH or another chronic illness how did that affect your religious/spiritual views? If you're a parent, how did that change things?
I'd love to hear how you all feel, but please please please be respectful! I don't want to see insults being flung or name calling. Discussion is wonderful, just keep it within the realm of discussion and not mudslinging.
Thanks and I look forward to reading what you have to say!