Friday, May 30, 2008


In my last entry, I talked about dealing with people who want to know “Do you believe in [G]od?” but I realize I did give an answer to the question itself, not the answer I would give if I weren’t being deliberately evasive, or just being a smart ass.
The simple answer, of course, is “no, I don’t believe in your Capital-G God.”
Or “I do not believe that the universe has or needs a king, a boss, an owner, a dictator, or a big daddy, or a chief disciplinarian.”
I really have a tough time with the idea of “belief,” anyway, and I have told people (sort of quoting Robert Anton Wilson) that I don’t believe anything. Which is true: I’m unwilling to regard any question as utterly settled, or to agree to any statement simply because of someone says it is true or because I am afraid of not believing it.
That seems to be what most people mean by believing.
But, as anyone whose read this must realize, I constantly refer to gods and spirits, and so on. So what’s that all about?
All I can say is that the gods I refer to are the one’s I know. I know them like I know the members of my family.
My upbringing and training is such that I feel a need to rationalize my experience, and I used to devote a lot of time to trying to explain what the gods were, how spirits or daimons or elves could exist, trying to resolve their existence with a sort of mechanistic idea of the universe.
But I can’t, and I’ve finally come to realize that it doesn’t really matter. Anything that has consequences is real and the gods have had great consequence in my life, whether they are understood to be webs of ether, powerful extraterrestrial time travelers, or fragments of my own mind, it doesn’t matter. Knowing them makes my life better and understanding the present colors my perception. Real religion, as the ancients understood, is not about what you believe, but about what you do.

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