Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Officially

Well, I am officially agnostic.

I have been doing a lot of introspection. For the past year or so, I sincerely asked questions, sought answers, reached out in "prayer" (as much as I could when I felt like I was just speaking to a void), listened for whatever might come my way. I do not know what else I should have been trying.

And I've grown tired of it. I have worked on this more than I have worked on almost anything. Or let me re-phrase that: more than I have worked at least on anything for which I have seen so little progress. For most things, when you put time and energy into them, you can see yourself improving, growing stronger or faster or more sensitive (or whatever quality you are working to cultivate). It seems that personal connection to a sentient "God" is unrelated to effort or desire on my part or anything I can control. And yet, I know of intelligent, thoughtful people who would swear there is a God, would swear that they have felt his presence or heard his voice in their lives, directing them towards the Good. So, while I haven't confirmed the existence of such a being, neither have I ruled out the possibility either, because I cannot discount the words and experiences of such wise and loving people.

I believe in humanity. I believe in love, in beauty, in virtue. I see a miracle in the world around us, in my fellow brothers and sisters. I wish to pass on a legacy of hope and rich tradition to the next generation, and I hope -- in some small or big way -- that my life may have an impact for good in this world. It just seems to me that if there is any type of divinity, if there is anything supernatural, it exists only as a non-intelligent force in the universe. It exists when two people laugh from some shared joy. It exists at the birth of a child. In a seed. It exists within the heart of an ancient man or a young girl. In earth worms. It can be found when we tell our children the stories of our ancestors. In song. In poetry. In art. It is the pattern found in the genetic code. It is a creative force, constantly refining and organizing chaos. But I cannot tell you whether it is anything or anyone "aware" or "omnipotent," as many others would claim.

Anyway though, I am thinking I will continue to participate in my church community. I do care about people immensely. I do want to make this world a better place. I certainly have the desire to change society for the better, but I have learned that I really do shine best within an existing framework. And there is a tremendous infrastructure for service already set up in this organization. It is a place where I have found many other good people who are striving to live better, more virtuous and loving lives. It is a place which welcomes my offering of service and efficiently puts it to use to benefit other people.

Maybe this new state of belief isn't so different from where I was before. I did not know then either. But it does FEEL different. Before, I was still seeking for some sort of intelligent connection. I guess not anymore. I guess I have lost hope in one type of god but am redoubling my efforts in finding (or cultivating???) another.

So, for now, this is my choice.

9 comments:

Thirdmango said...

I want you to know I support you in any decision you decide and I'm glad when you're happy.

Sad for a While said...

I love you. You are one of the best people I know.

Molly Sue said...

You sound like a Unitartian. I love it!!

Agnosticism is not a bad thing. I've been there. Today, I don't where I'm at. I think I believe in something "higher", buuuut, I don't know if that makes me agnostic, or just plain stupid.

Without question, I am a humanist. I think you have good form!!

bawb said...

You're not alone.

http://www.newordermormon.org/

Hope things work out well for you.

The Dancing Newt said...

I love Unitarians. Some of the greatest people from my high school were UUs.

bawb, thanks for the link! I actually checked that site out (along with a couple others) when I first began this period of searching.

brozy said...

Btw, you're the #2 Google result for "dancing newt". Good times.

brozy said...

Dang it, that was bawb.

Mere said...

You are one of the best people I know as well.

I have felt very similar feelings. Somehow, when I feel that way, I always remember a poem I heard in high school. It was found after WWII, written on a wall in a church in Germany where Jews had been hidden and cared for. Their fate was unknown.

"I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining;
I believe in love, even when I feel it not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent."

I hope you know you are loved by many, regardless of what you do or do not believe.

Beth said...

hi sis. Your thinking and passion are always something I admire about you. I looked at the New Order Mormon site - very interesting. I liked the Voltaire quote that they had on the top: Doubt is uncomfortable; certainty is ridiculous. I love you always, no matter what you believe....if you were worried about that at all.