This I Believe

Nick - Superior, Wisconsin
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

At the risk of being cliché, I would say that I am a spiritual person, but not a religious one. Perhaps it should more appropriately be phrased that I have a fascination toward the spiritual (and supernatural) beliefs of others, at least when they are presented void of a religious agenda. Internally, I am enchanted with the idea that, as intelligent beings, we have the capability of forming beliefs based both on the concepts that sync with our thought processes and those that spawn from our own creative thinking and life experiences (as unorthodox as they may sometimes be). It is in this I believe – free will and spiritual choice.

Religion has encroached on my life since birth. I was baptized Lutheran before I acquired memory. My great-grandmother on my father’s side is a proud Lutheran. My grandmother on my mother’s side is a radical Baptist. I attended a Catholic school through eighth grade. However, religion was rarely brought up within my immediate family; my mother always told me to believe in whatever spiritual ideas I chose to accept.

Through middle school, I was “put through Hell” by two people in particular. I’d like to thank them. If fate agrees, I’ll never allow myself to follow that path again, but those two have given me a powerful sense of morality with a free will and mental shell stronger than any tangible material in existence. With the best mix of family and friends of all spiritual backgrounds I could ask for, I’ve learned how to keep that shell from cracking again.

My life to date has been a spiritual search – analyzing beliefs and attempting to classify my own. I have a little white dog who is a guardian sent to me, though my view of angels and demons is unconventional. Based on past paths traveled, I choose to believe in the concept of reincarnation in a sense that we either transcend or are reborn in another form. I’ve had unmistakable encounters with spirits, but I always look for logical explanations to such dealings before dismissing them as supernatural. The beauty of God, Heaven, and Hell is that they cannot be disproven, but one can and I do disagree with them. Humans are responsible for their own good and evil deeds; by placing this authority on a higher being, we only victimize ourselves.

I greatly enjoy discussions on spiritual beliefs; though mine are fairly steadfast now, the conversations always add a bit of flavor to an otherwise scientific existence. I choose to live life with an open mind. I choose to learn from the ideas of others rather than egocentrically reject them. I choose to follow my own free will rather than submit to a “higher being,” wherever it and fate lead me. Even when I reach an elder and wise age, I may not be able to fully classify my beliefs, but I’ll know the pragmatic pathways of free will and spiritual choice got me there.