The other evening, I was on FaceTime to my brother who has lived in Canada for the past six years. It’s rare that we speak much because we both have busy schedules that often clash, meaning weeks go by without a word to one another. Considering how close I am to him, it becomes difficult at times.
[Updated: Summer 2017][Updated: Summer 2017]
We have just decided to start writing letters to each other in an attempt to reconnect and communicate more often. Letters are an especially great way to connect, for the simple fact that they mean you have to put time aside and really concentrate on the writing, which is something that does not happen often at a keyboard.
During our conversation, my brother told me that he went to see a psychic, something that has often spiked my curiosity, however, it is something that carries no conviction.
This particular psychic told my brother that he was going to become busy in recent times with his workload and that he should be excited that his career is going to take a turn in a very positive direction. He was also told that his love life was moments away from full blossom and that he would meet what we know to call ‘the one’ in the coming months.
This is all good and well, but it led to the discussion of whether or not he believed everything he was told at face value, and the topic of a higher power evolved.
We spoke of his religious beliefs.
Our family has never been religious by any means. We were all christened at a young age, but never attended church or partook in Christian activities. This talk of a higher power with my brother led to the discussion of whether he was religious.
It occurred to me that he was labelling hard, trying to grasp an understanding for something he couldn’t comprehend or explain.
He was searching for a comfort or ‘label’ for all the things we will never comprehend.
I realised that it wasn’t just religion that makes us jump to conclusions for the sake of feeling like we understand, it happens everywhere in life. It is a human condition. Labelling something allows us to feel like we understand, which in turn leads to comfort in thinking we know. The truth is, we don’t know a single thing.
As I sat on the phone explaining this to my brother, it occurred to him that he was trying to understand something that was ineffable, the difference was that he became anxious in not knowing.
The bottom line is that it's not all just black and white, there is a whole pile of grey in-between we shouldn’t know, and couldn’t know even if we wanted to. It is a made up principle to give comfort to those wanting to believe in it. I’m not saying it is a negative thing, in fact religion does a whole lot of good and does in fact provide comfort to lots of people, it creates communities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Personally, I can’t believe in a singular god. ‘God’ is merely the word used for the unexplained higher power, which I do believe does exist. It’s fate, destiny, the unexplainable. Does it mean I am religious? No. Does it mean I believe in god? Yes.
I do believe in god, just not the manufactured being that watches over us all.
My god is quite simply everything I cannot comprehend about life, and that in itself provides me with enough comfort to get by with minimal worry.