proverbialrose asked: Are you religious? And if so, what religion?
I’ve honestly been waiting for someone to ask me this question for an eternity. I’ll have to resist an entire diatribe on this subject but I’ll delve into my own personal beliefs here.
I don’t believe in religion. I was raised Catholic and once I was 12 and got into writing, I began questioning several things. Religion was atop the list.
I’ve read the Bible cover to cover three times. I’ve read the Quran once (though I’ve read several section multiple times). I’ve read every religious document I could get my hands on: Dead Sea Scroll excerpts. Gnostic texts. Books on Shinto, Taoism, Confucianism, Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Even studies outside conventional spectrum such as angelology, Wiccan and the Zodiac just to name a few. Not to mention all the mythology of the Greeks, Romans, Norse, Celtic, Aztecs and countless others.
What I came to realize was that I believed part of this, part of that but more so in myself. I closely relate to Buddhist teachings but I still call myself a Christian because I believe in living life like Jesus taught as well. The Five Pillars of Islam hold true value to me and though I don’t actively practice them, I acknowledge their importance. I try to keep a moral code that transcends just one specific ism.
I believe everyone should question things. Expand their minds & hearts. Practice and preach peace & tolerance. That would be ideal.
I also believe in God less as a deity & more as an energy we put forth. I like to think of God as inspiration. You can find it in anything, anywhere at any time. As a poet or artist (which I’ve come to accept as a labeled term for myself at this point), I want to see inspiration (or God) in everything. I want to spread it upon others as much as I can, as much as I’m able to.
When I first began writing, I attacked religion full force. Blatant and blind with hatred. I was young & angry at the world. I thought religion was like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Another nonsensical idea that anyone my elder forced upon me & then stripped away my innocence in one fell swoop.
I’m older now and though I still don’t believe in religion, I don’t harbor the hatred I once did for it. If your religion makes you the best person you can be & allows you to be tolerant of others’ beliefs then I can’t denounce it. Hatred doesn’t belong in religion nor does it belong on this planet.
However, any belief can be manipulated & misconstrued. I would encourage anyone to read as much material on it as they can and create their own opinion. Isn’t that what we do with everything else? Religion shouldn’t be absolved from that.
Poetry has allowed me a positive avenue to vent and anytime religion finds itself at my pen, I now encourage discovery and self enlightenment first.
And I haven’t been happier and more at peace since.