This I Believe

Roman - Honolulu, Hawaii
Entered on August 14, 2006

I believe in something greater than self; a transcendent power or being that many others have experienced and written about. There is a spiritual dimension to our lives that many deny or have not experienced. But this does not mean that it does not exist. I believe that it does. If a deaf person can not hear music, does it follow that music itself does not exist? The Transcendent exists for me, as surely as my breathing exists.

If humankind is nothing more than a physical and material evolutionary successful mutation and all of our feelings and thoughts are rooted in and stem from nothing more than a complex series of biological, chemical and physiological reactions, then there is no ultimate purpose and meaning to our lives. I do not believe that mere survival and adaptation provide a sustainable and adequate belief system. For some this is acceptable, for me it is not. For if I believed that life was nothing more and nothing less than a marvelous fluke, an evolutionary freak show, it would be the case that the rest of creation would be better off without us. The rest of creation, if it could, would applaud our extinction.

But I believe in the sacred, the holy, and divine nature of our existence. I believe that our nature, our better nature if you will, calls us to live in brotherhood; to live in peace and to love one another. I believe that there is no moral war; at best some wars might be more necessary than others. But there is nothing moral about killing women and children; there is, in fact, nothing moral about killing men. Mankind might honor war heroes, but how often do we honor those who work for and establish peace? Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. I believe in that statement. I believe our country needs a Secretary of Peace as well as a Secretary of War.

If each life is sacred, no one and no state has the right to take that life away. An eye for an eye is Old Testament and not even good Old Testament at that. If we believe each life has value and purpose – that each life is a miracle of creation – then we must do what we can to end the cycles and waves of violence that at times seem never-ending. We must promote peace and social justice and economic well-being for all. I do believe in the ideal of the brotherhood of man, but think that this will only happen when there is a spiritual feeling that each human being on our plant is indeed our brother or sister and deserves to live in peace. I believe this is true religion and is an ideal that all major religions actually believe in. Mississippi John Hurt, an old bluesmen, was asked if he had one wish that could come true, what that wish would be. He stated, and this is a paraphrase: “I wish that everyone would love one another just as much as I love them. Man, what a cool world that would be.” Mississippi John Hurt, I believe, had the type of religion we all need to have. This is what I believe.