Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This I Believe?

“The Human reason is a pin dancing on the head of an angel, so small is it in comparison to the Divine vastness that encircles us.”   Adam One in The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Most of my life I have felt at a loss to explain my feelings about religious faith. Oddly enough, I seem to lack the words.   I don’t like the terminology applied to any of the existing categories.  I am not a religious person, nor am I devoid of spirituality.  I do not consider myself a “believer” in the world’s use of the word, nor am I precisely agnostic and certainly not atheistic.   Atheism is as strong a form of belief as any dogmatic religious belief.  It is as faith-based to assert the absence of anything as it is to assert its presence.   Atheism seems to me to be as shallow as blind religious faith.   I want a new term to describe those of us who are comfortable admitting  the empowerment of spirituality and the probability of something bigger than humanity  (be it god or science, why does that matter, those are just human words),  and equally comfortable admitting the errancy of blind faith.  Faith and belief are not the same thing.  Faith requires an irrational leap, a suspension of what you know.  Belief, on the other hand, is the result of much contemplation.  I think humanity has little capacity to grasp infinite truths, but our inability to understand them doesn't mean they don't exist.

3 comments:

Loucindy said...

I can really relate to everything you mention here--especially the part about feeling like there is a word missing for all of those who don't fit into the typical categories.

Kathmeista said...

I'm with you. I'm very critical of some of the aspects of organised religion but that doesn't mean I don't believe in something. What that something is I don't exactly know. I usually list myself as "Spiritual" which I think goes a wee way to explaining it, but like you I don't really think singular words should be able to encompass something as personal and complex as this.

Amy said...

Thanks ladies. It's always a comfort to feel less alone, no matter what you believe or don't believe.