I believe in non-belief. Not non-belief in the religious sense, but an everyday, conscious effort to not believe. I do not believe anything I see, I do not believe anything I hear, and I don’t even believe things I personally know are true. If you tell me the sky is blue, and the clouds are white, I know this to be true, because I can see them. But I don’t believe it. Because I also know it to be true that I am somewhat color blind, and although people tell me the stop light is green, through my eyes it looks white. When my girlfriend tells me I bought a purple shirt, I tell her that it looks blue to me, who do I believe?
Though not religious, my idea of non-belief is very handy in that realm. Through the years I have studied numerous religions. I was raised Christian, by a veritable holy roller of a mom. But of course I didn’t believe it, so as I grew older, I went in seek of something else; what, I still don’t know, but I think it was probably, something I could believe in.
As time went on I confronted various problems and real life dramas that plague most of us, along with some that, thankfully, don’t.
When, after years of suffering, my brother’s turn came to receive a new kidney, I didn’t believe it. And when they said he would get a new pancreas thrown in, virtually curing his diabetes overnight, I didn’t believe that either. Today, almost seven years later, when I talk to him, I still don’t believe it.
When I got the call that my two year old son had been injured badly at his mother’s house, I didn’t believe it. When I found out he had been injured by his mother’s new boyfriend, I didn’t believe that either. I also didn’t believe it when the doctor told me there was a good chance for him to pull through, and I certainly didn’t believe it when he did not.
I still don’t believe that to this day, although I know it to be true.
Neither do I believe that he is in heaven, or that when we die we are just dead. Just so much carbon returned to the earth.
This may sound like a silly defense mechanism, and maybe that’s true. But not believing in any of these things allows me to imagine infinite possibilities of what is true. My absence of belief, by not tying my thoughts and hopes down to one definite truth, enables my experiences through this life to be ever widening, and my opinions and emotions to be the direct result of these experiences. Not someone else’s.
Of course, I’ve yet to find what I set out looking for, something to believe in; and I hope I never do. As soon as your belief in a thing is solid, your mind is automatically closed to all other possibilities. While I, embracing an absence of belief every day, encounter all things-familiar or unknown, exciting or mundane-with a sense of endless curiosity, and unbound wonder.
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