Religion is good escapism!
As of right now, I am in the midst of reconciling my beliefs. This post is only a tiny portion of it all. I was brought up Buddhist and it still makes the most sense to me, although I do believe in the whole soul age thing, which it dismisses. But I see that as being the same thing as karma with being born into a new life, resuming from where we left off regardless of whether we're headed backwards or forwards, or should I say upwards or downwards.
"There is no truth, only truths" pretty much sums up my worldview in a worldly context. I idealise that no one's life should be cheated by "false" belief but then again, that false belief could be his or her karma being paid off. And of course this is only my interpretation of what could be happening to someone because nothing you don't believe applies to your mindset. Or there are absolute truths and it is only our perception that interprets the contradictions, but I’m more inclined to believe those are universal principles like “good things happen to good people.”
More recently Christianity has been introduced properly to me. I realise that people are going to be sceptical unless they've had a personal experience or "calling". I've even joined a Myspace group called "I saw Jesus Christ" as a personal witness to some pretty amazing miracles.
I especially don't like the idea of trying to convert people though. We'll all get to wherever we're going and meant to be eventually…okay, and for that, we need *some* conversion crusaders. If you want to recommend God, sharing personal experiences of why it worked for you is more effective than bible thumping or door-to-door preaching. But I can rest in trusting that most organised religions have good intentions.
My friend told me she finds Christianity negative; that telling us we're all sinners is harsh. She resents “God's divinity” because "He sent his son to die (but if you believe in the trinity then Jesus was also a part of God), and He exposed us to evil." But if we didn't refer to our perception of Him as a deity, just a force, then I'd find it easier to comprehend that inherent evil is just how life works, that it wasn't *done to us*. Being told that part of me is evil isn't cruel, it's how humility has been taught, by being grateful for even the IDEA that Jesus, or anyone would, die for us. It makes me want to change.
I idealise that there are infinite soul paths... --this is an unfinished pondering and boy do I feel crazy believing it. Is truth divergent or convergent (via reconciled contradictions)? And then it's both in some areas of my mind. :/
I have every reason to believe that higher powers are real, churning the earth and the universe, and that whether any of it is real or not depends on the type of meaning you are after and how connected you are in its pursuit. For me, it was as simple as choosing to take the elevator over staying longer on the ground floor. This is difficult because the physical plane is so adversely distractive, but we'll all get sick of life eventually and I embraced religion because I felt ready for a transformation. I’m afraid of what I’m capable of and the best opportunity I have to scrub my slate is while I’m tame. As a good friend of mine put it "I'm living for forever."
I don't take Christianity's worldview too literally. What's wrong with believing creation took place through evolution? or that God's judgement is karma? I see God as the force which binds the universe and is thus greater than it. If we all have a Buddha nature which can be cultivated, I have faith that it is possible to merge again with God and the universe.
The bottom line is that intuition tells me it is OKAY to have the subjective interpretations I do, as long as it reinforces my will to strengthen and exert my morals. We all have it in us to shake off our inherent taints. It's the only way we can lighten our spirits and transcend to higher planes.
Good thread, just my two cents.