This I Believe

Mark - Avondale, Arizona
Entered on April 16, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe in a God revealed in the glory of Creation.

When I was growing up, my family had no religion. I only became acquainted with religion when my parents sent me to a Catholic High School. There, I not only learned about the Catholic religion but Buddhism from a Japanese priest who taught a class in it. Later I married a Jewish woman. Her family was mostly non-observant but I adopted the culture so much that I called myself a “Contact Jew”.

I had a personal crisis when my mother died of cancer. I was tempted to convert to Christianity and Judaism but could not accept the beliefs of those religions. I was also tempted toward atheism.

But when I had children and pets, I saw a divine spark in them, which is the joy of love and life itself. For all the troubles and disappointments we experience, that joy is never extinguished. And I became more aware about the vastness of Creation, that spans over a hundred billion galaxies, each with many billions of stars and planets, many of those possibly containing life in forms and intelligences we cannot imagine. And I saw how our planet and existence that seems so important to us is but a part of that Creation.

So I’ve come to believe in a God but not a personal God. The God I believe in is larger than a person can be, as big as Creation itself. I believe that life is an integral part of that Creation, as much as gravity and light, and that it exists and thrives in many corners of Creation. I believe that awareness, consciousness and love are the natural developments of life, that they increase together and bring us closer to God.

I also believe in a sort of original sin, that we are all flawed and scared of loneliness, pain, death and extinction. Because we want to negate these, we raise our needs or those of our family or group over the needs of other persons, families and groups.

Heaven was once described to me as the “union of God and man in love.” This still sounds right, except that I might include all other sentient beings, known and unknown. It seems to me that the more we move towards this Heaven, the more we move away from sin.

Until we reach Heaven, the best antidote to sin is laughter, the active acknowledgment that our fear and pain is not that important compared to the joy of love and Creation.