This I Believe

R. J. - Norfolk, Nebraska
Entered on March 17, 2007
Age Group: 65+

Over a lifetime beginning in high school through college, the Army and into adult life I have lightly considered the question of “just what is it that I believe”. Most of us simply do not want to examine ourselves that deeply. A more serious and formal defining of my core beliefs began in a Unitarian church discussion group. The group included christians, non-believers and other philosophies. Using a study guide titled “Developing Your Own Theology” with the goal of defining our beliefs, we studied various spirital and secular philosopies, shared life experiences and studied the expieriences of others famous and unknown. In the end many of us wrote a personal creed setting fourth our beliefs. It is a most difficult thing to question yourself, to come to hard conclusions and then to “lay it on the line”, to say it out loud and to take responsibility for your beliefs. Ironically it both frees you and to an extent takes away options you may have had before you made your beliefs public. I came to realize that there are many contributing factors to my belief system.

My wife Beth brings to me a love and an understanding that I could not know with out her in my life. I love our children and am proud of how they conduct their lives. Our immediate and extended family is a source of strength for me and I hope for each of them. My beliefs are the products of my life experience to date. There are many contributors to my belief system, study and observation among them. But more important are lessons learned from my parents, children, friends, strangers and others that have, by plan or mishap, been my teachers and mentors. There has been no ephinany but an evaloution with many contributing people and events. Primary among them my mother, step-father and my father. I know that my beliefs are subject to change as my life experience continues and new teachers arrive in my world. Following are the beliefs that guide me at this time in my life.

I believe:

That the creative power of the universe is energy. That the souls of all living things are part of that energy and cannot be destroyed.

That this life is a chapter in the continuing journey of my soul energy.

That there is no eternal reward or punishment, but only ongoing time.

That all that exists physically and spiritually is interdependent.

That only mankind gives value to life, that man is responsible for good and evil and that we are responsible for and to one another and that compassion, honesty and integrety are the basis for this responsibility.

In the inherent worth and dignity of every person and in respecting all life and that each living thing has purpose.

In the continuos search for knowledge and that the truths we seek are in the questions we ask.

That there are many teachers and many forms and sources of spiritual truth.

That I must strive to be of service to my fellow travelers and do no harm to them either by word or deed and that I must strive to love them as I do my family.