(written by someone who is chronically disabled, but might well be around for another 20 years or so)
I consider myself a deeply Spiritual and somewhat Religious person. For me, Religion has to do with History and Dogma. I have no Dogma for anyone to follow, nor do I follow anyone else’s dogma, but I do love the history of my church. I identify with the movement and consider myself to be a tiny part of it. I support it and want it to continue.
So, that makes me Religious.
So, that makes me Religious.
But as to Spirituality, aye, there’s the rub.
You see, I think that Atheists might be right. If you look at science, Atheists may well be correct that there is no ‘Creator’ or ‘Prime Mover’. It doesn’t make sense when you think of how vast the universe is, when you think of billions of galaxies colliding into each other, when you think of the vast expansion of time just on our own planet. No, God doesn’t make sense.
But when I watch the hummingbird at my feeder, when the feral cat comes into my home and fearfully, hesitatingly, trusts me enough to ask for food, when my own cat comes to me - sure that he will be welcome - and curls up under my arm before he purrs himself to sleep, I cannot help but feel as if I have been Blessed. Sometimes, I feel that power, feel it as if it had form and substance. It is a Presence. It is just. . .There.
I truly think that the Agnostics have it right. The idea that we cannot say, that it is not possible to know, whether or not there is a God or whether we go on after this life has ended – that is reality. We cannot say. We do not know. Whatever we think we know is simply a matter of faith, either way. So I often wish I were an Agnostic. But I am not.
Sadly, I am a confirmed Theist.
I don’t want to be a Theist. And I don’t mean the same thing that other people mean when they say they are Theists. I truly do not think of God as an old man in a long white beard. Whatever created the universe is female, but I don’t really think of God as a woman either.
When I think of God, I think of a warm, loving wind that wraps itself around me, gently, very gently. I think of a soft but powerful voice that speaks to my heart and my head at the same time. I am not protected by it. It is not the Cause of whatever happens. I can still experience anything, for good or ill. But I am not alone and whatever It is, cares for me. Sometimes, It helps me with answers. Sometimes It just waits for me to catch up. I don’t think of that warmth as being the Grand Creator of all things. I don’t know what It is. And I’m not sure that it matters. It’s enough that It is just what walks with me, to witness and to care.
I do not believe in Heaven or Hell. Those concepts have no meaning for me at all. I think they are strange constructions that humans have put in place to justify their actions. The idea of Heaven and Hell? Very foreign to me. I wasn’t even raised with those ideas.
Most everyone I know wants to go on after this life. They are terrified of Ending. I don’t really understand, but I accept that they feel this way. I just don’t happen to feel the same.
I do believe that we go on. Just, I don’t want to believe that. When this life is over, I want it to end. I don’t want Me to continue – but I think I will.
Now, you have to understand that I like myself. I am really quite happy with the person I have become. I love my humor, my ability to see beauty, my patience, my love of animals and movies and history and other people’s stories. I like so very much about me. My hopes and dreams. My wisdom and awareness. I think I am pretty wonderful and I am so glad I have lived long enough to have a chance to appreciate what I have made of myself.
And I truly like my current life. I probably shouldn’t. I do have some guilt about that. I don’t think I am supposed to be happy when I have don’t have the energy to do more than turn my head to watch the hummingbird feeder. I don’t think I am supposed to be happy when almost to the last person my friends are gone and I often go several days without seeing another live human face. I don’t think I am supposed to be happy when my body is hurting or when I look around and see so much chaos because I don’t have the energy to clean or the money to hire someone to do it for me.
But I am happy, most of the time. I am happy because I have my animals beside me. I have books I haven’t read, movies I haven’t seen. I have more artwork to do when I have the energy. I can see trees from my window and watch the wind playing with the leaves. I have a water fountain on the porch, close to the French doors so that when the doors are open, I can hear the water splashing. I have a blind dog that trusts me. I have music. And in all probability, I won’t live long enough to see the coming destruction of my country and of the planet. I am so very glad I won’t see that. Most of the time I am at Peace, with myself and with the world.
But with all this quiet joy, I still don’t want to go on. I have had a good life, but when it comes for me to die, I just want it all to stop. I am ready for whatever comes, but a part of me hopes that I will simply sleep, dreamless, and never wake up. That will be enough.
Peace be yours.
Some of my Feral family