This I Believe

Jennifer - Orange Park, Florida
Entered on February 21, 2007

Same Thing, Different Religion

“He fell in love with himself at first sight and it is a passion to which he has always remained faithful. Self-love seems so often unrequited.”

-Anthony Powell-

People have come a long way in scientific and technological advances. Our society seems so self-impressed by its accomplishments. Humans have developed a deep-seated ethnocentrism in the way we perceive life and have developed an ownership mentality. The human experience is all we have to draw from in our perceptions. I believe that we project human qualities to things that are not. In other words, we have a tendency to make false assumptions based on limited experience.

Some examples of this projection are when Mother Nature and Father Time are referenced, or when naming hurricanes, cars and pets something that gives them meaning to us. Another example would become apparent by closing your eyes and picturing an extraterrestrial. You can probably count numerous commonalities between the visual of the alien and human traits. This is because in most movies and shows, aliens have been portrayed with human qualities.

Another example of human ethnocentrism can be found in religion. I honestly don’t believe that anyone knows the whole story of the world’s history. What I do believe is that no matter what church you walk into or how many deities you are praying to, it is to the same driving force, … life. I believe that every religion sensed the presence of the same thing and simply applied different customs, beliefs and names.

It is a tendency for humans to create what they believe by believing what they see. For example, white males dominated the main roles on television for years. It was an accepted (and followed) notion that white males were more successful than women or other ethnicities. For years, people conformed to their expected gender roles and nobody asked the question, “Why?”

So here it is…. “Why do we assume that God (for example), is human…. male…. white? What if there is just life and our actions that direct our fates? If different cultures of people don’t project themselves onto their perception of a God, then why are there so many Gods and why do they resemble the majority of that culture’s worshippers.

I am writing this because I’m sure that there are other spiritual people out there that have trouble falling into full agreement with any current established religion. The underlying message that you hear when you are not directly affiliated with a religion is one of condemnation. I write this to the people who carry a faith of their own and believe in a something, not a someone. Take comfort that you are not alone.

I believe in a natural, self-propelling cycle that creates life. I believe that fate is my book to write, and is based on decisions made from chances that life presents. I cannot presume to know if there is a Heaven or Hell and can only pose the suggestions that science has found for how the cycle of life began. I cannot speak for what happens to souls (although I feel I have met some old souls in my life). Physically, there is the same number of atoms on the earth at all times which suggests a sort of reincarnation.

I realize that this approach takes a lot of the comfort and mystery out of religion and maybe it’s better not to. It is definitely more comforting to think of someone you can relate to who is always watching over you. I think that it also helps people who are coping with death to think that there is eternal Heaven. I am not here to dispute the concept of the soul in this writing, only the idea that it was all made possible by a man that we now pray to.