“So if we were to keep in line with your analogy of losing faith in Jesus being compared to leaving Galilee, where would you say you were going?”
My friend asked me this and my gut response was to say, “New York”
But I think it’s more self honest to say that I’m simply a citizen of the world now.
For so long first century Palestine is where I lived, but at some point I decided to walk and I kept walking until I reached the Mediterranean Sea,
I looked out at the open water and saw both uncertainty and possibility.
For me the moment the construct that I’d embraced concerning the man Jesus, fell I realized that it too was an idol that I could no longer worship.
I’ve cherished the construct, the comforts and even the community that surrounded Christian faith for so long and letting go has become this unexpected enduring presence in my mind.
Add to this the fact that before this unwelcome loss of faith happened I’d signed up to take an academic course entitled “Atheism for Lent” with the hopes that it’s promises to challenge my faith would potentially aid in a stronger faith in the end.
As I write this there are only two weeks left in the 40 days of readings, audio and video and I’m pretty certain I’m agnostic at this point.
My dear yogi friend said this of Agnosticism when I shared with him how I thought that I was becoming one,
“Agnosticism is total freedom simply because we admit that we don’t know anything and basically surrender”
I’ve felt that so much lately.
Surrender. My mind is open, my heart is open and my hands are too.
It really is freeing. And a bit overwhelming at times too.
The entire process (of losing faith, and of taking this course ) has all been decentering.
When the light goes out and you are surrounded by darkness it’s ok to look within.
There is something special about this ancient light that exists within our species.
These sacred capacities within humanity that shape and guide us.
And if the Masters of Suspicion are correct that religion/ God is something man created then one can infer that the man who created these things has to again awake to him/her/their- self and do what’s right and good for themselves and for this world now because it’s all there is, and we are all we got.
I do not pretend to know.
There’s nothing wrong with not having faith.
There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know and most likely won’t ever know” and still knowing that life still has to be lived regardless.
So again, I don’t pretend to know.
I only know where my journey and self honesty has thus far led me and that is to a place of not knowing and that not knowing has asked that I awake to a different possibility and that different possibility is that I’m responsible for myself.
Narratives are everything.
The ones we embrace for ourselves and our lives.
The ones society adopt and perpetuate.
The narratives we tell ourself in our minds.
They shape everything.
The narratives that I embrace, the choices that I make and the life I live are within my own power.
This is the first time in my life that I am actually operating outside of a narrative that is attached to a religious faith tradition.
I’ll be 33 years old this year God willing, and it’s not lost on me that I’ve spent my entire life living out of a lens of seeing my mind and life in what I perceived to be the eye of God as viewed through the lens of the Jesus tradition.
And now as far as I’m ‘certain’ all there is is me.
Me in a world full of billions of people on a planet that is one of 100 Billion Trillion planets in the known vastness we call call the Universe.
Phylcia Rashaad, (my television matriarch, and I’ll fight you for it) stated this in an interview and I think it’s fitting to what I’m sharing here.
She was asked about what she would teach her yet to be born daughter at the time.
“ I would teach my daughter what my mother taught me; to look within herself first; before career projections,
before accepting ideologies
and philosophies, of near and distant traditions,
I would tell her to look within herself to discover her own truth and to live within the experience of constant awareness of that truth within.”
Please reread that line.
How different would my life have been had my parents taught me this?
Reader, did your parents to teach you this?
If so you are fortunate.
I’m struggling in my thirties with the courage to be a free thinker, to develop a narrative that I will follow which so far says simply that I exist and I don’t know if God does but I must take care of myself so that I can do good for myself and do good in the world with this one life that I’m responsible for.
It’s difficult and the journey ahead is uncertain because everything I’ve known and have become use to is no longer ‘certain’.
Anyway, I’ll end here.
Thanks for stopping by.
PS- Random Vents
I had a dream come true. I got to be in a very cool scene for the upcoming Black Panther movie (the moment I found out the movie was going to be filmed in my city I immediately began dreaming of just being on set ) Thankfully that dream came true and I got to shake Chadwick Boseman’s hand.
leaving the celebration aside, I need to also write here that there were murders in my family last week and I haven’t fully processed how ineffable and palpable evil is, especially when it hits home. Please give if you can. No amount is too small.