Not What You Were Looking For

D.S. - use e-mail, New York
Entered on April 13, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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What is Belief? Is it the same thing as faith? Is Belief a certainty, or just the hope of a certainty?

What do I Believe?

All my life; yearning, thirsting, searching for Belief. For the “evidence of things unseen”, as the Bible defines faith at one point, to be enough; enough for me to Believe in whatever it is I decide they are evidence of. To Believe in a Truth outside of me, one that cannot be seen, but only felt. A Belief that does not require proof.

For Belief is an active, not a passive, thing. To say “I believe there is no God” is not the same thing as saying “I do not believe there is a God.” There is a difference.

I envy people who Believe. I have always felt that believing in something was a way of making sense of the senseless things in life. Belief is a rock and an anchor. Belief may not give you the answers, but it gives you a framework that promises that they are out there, somewhere.

To live without Belief is to live without certainty.

My journey toward Belief has taken me to some strange, and sometimes strangely wonderful, places; many of them visited without ever leaving my chair. I have been to places that Unbelievers would call insanity, and which Believers would call illumination.

Experiences that should have, for all intent and purpose, led me to one Belief or another.

But the dark secret of my heart is that if they did lead, I was unable to follow. To follow into that great blackness called Mystery, an unknowingness so dense and profound that no light can escape its gravity. One can only enter into it to experience it, for it is that unknown and unseen Truth beyond Mystery that is the essence of Belief.

But after all my searching, the only Truth I was able to arrive at was the one that was hardest to accept: I do not Believe. I don’t think I ever have. The closer I came to Mystery’s event horizon, the farther away it all seemed. Perhaps there is a part of me that does not want to Believe. A part of me for whom random chaos is a more acceptable explanation for the inexplicable than is some hard and fast Truth as lifeless as the stone it’s carved in.

So all of the beliefs I have tried on and then discarded lay strewn behind me, my own countless good intentions paving my personal road to hell. Do I Believe in Right, or Good, or Love? Compassion? I try to fill my life with them, but do I Believe in them? They answer no questions, they justify or mitigate no wrongs. They only are what they are. What is there to Believe in?