What I Believe

Buddhism offers no actual advice on the question of God. Since the issue is “How may I be happy?” you don’t actually have to give up your old belief systems. It is a series of techniques, as stated by Buddha himself.

buddha at work

So, I had a choice to make on the burning question of God. Many of my friends are passionate Athiests. Others are passionate Christians, across many wildly varying interpretations, some few are Muslims, some are practitioners of Native American religions; some are neo-Pagans and Wiccans and yet others are sort of non-specific Shirley-MacLaine-at-the-Bodhi-Tree-Bookstore Newagey.

Which is true, which is false, which to embrace, which to reject, and the implications of that decision. As I said, Buddhism offers no real guide. (Some will undoubtedly object to this, and cite chapter and verse, and to them, with all respect, compassion and reverence, I say “Fuck you.” This is MY inner life, after all.)

But I am an American, a democrat born and bred. So, rather than say, “I am a Christian,” or “I am an Athiest” (the most popular dichotomy here on Turtle Island), I decided that the fit and proper democratic thing to do was to believe in them all. Equality is good for people, it ought to be good for Deities, as well.

Therefore, I believe in Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, Brahma, Shiva, Vishu, Ahura Mazda, Ahriman, Thor, Odin, Jove, Hera, Zeus, Minerva, The Tao, The Bible, The Koran, The Upanishads, The Arabian Nights, the Mabinogion, the Thunderbird, the Coyote,  the Colored Fairy Tale books, and so on and so forth.

jesus_christ4

But don’t be harsh. I also believe in many things that we all believe in: I believe in the Dow Jones, the Federal Reserve and the Easter Bunny. I believe in the U.S. Dollar, the Gold Standard and the Single Shooter Theory. I believe in Our Goverment, the Constitution, the Labor Movement, Enlightened Capitalism and the Curve Ball. I believe in Unicorns, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the ultimate ability of Hollywood to entertain and enlighten our children with an endless parade of cartoons and 3-D animation. I believe in the NFL, NBA, NHL, NAACP, and BCS.

Another Christmas DWI

I believe in Mutually Assured Destruction, the United Nations, Bilbo Baggins, the Grammys and the Academy Awards. I believe in the New York Times Bestseller List, the Billboard Hot 100 and that Building Seven coming down without ever being hit is still suspicious as hell. I believe that good movies require popcorn, and that the government is putting something in the water to dumb us all down, else how do you explain Rick Perry?

I believe in the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Campfire Persons, Brownies and the Demolays. I believe in Rotary, the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Toastmasters International, the power of referral marketing, the Wankel rotary engine, the Tesla Coil, UFOs, Area 51, Xenu and the books contained in the locked stacks at Miskatonic University.

realms_o_cthulhu

Because people are passionate in their beliefs, and love to get into huge arguments over “Do you believe in God or not?” To which I can honestly answer, “Yes and yes.”

I believe in many contradictory systems and mutually exclusive positions, and I believe that when you BELIEVE, consistency isn’t really an issue, at least as far as I’ve ever observed and I’ve observed a LOT.

Fortunately, beliefs aren’t what I base my life on.

I go with what I actually know.

Believe it or not.

Courage.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.
…….. ~ Walt Whitman

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “What I Believe

  1. I believe in humans, and dogs. Oh, and trees. There is just so much to believe in that at times it is overwhelming.

  2. I’m disappointed in you. The only thing you don’t state a belief in is the belief you’ll have another drink. How then are we supposed to annex this as a credo?

  3. Jan Rogozinski

    you are playing a game by failing to define “believe.” The immemorial meaning (See the OED) is that a person “believes” when he (1) knows that x exists and (2) is convinced that x’s existence is very important to him. An example: I myself have exercised physically for 60 years, because I feel better when I do than when I don’t. At the same time, I have zero interest in watching other guys work out while I lie on the couch and drink beer and eat potato chips. As a result I know there are professional sports teams in the USA, but I don’t know any of their names, and I don’t know where and when they play their childish games..

    I am absolutely convinced that you agree with me that the entities (whose names you rattled off) have zero influence on and importance to your life. In other words, we probably agree that Zeus may well exist. But I don’t care one way or the other. The fact of his existence has no meaning for my life. And I know that you don’t care either.

    I do think that Christ’s teachings are important, and in that sense I am one of the rarest of beings–a believing Christian. At least 99.9% of those that say they believe in Christ don’t. Because they don’t think Christ’s teachings are important, they ignore them 24/7, even if they “go to church” every Sunday. If they actually believed in Christ, they would pay attention to and act in accordance with those teachings, in the same way that, if I actually “believed” in sports teams, I would know what the rules of some of their games are.

  4. Hart…. I just want you to know I read evey blog you put up. I’m a writer myself and sometimes wonder if people are actually reading the things I write! You have great thoughts. I’ve gone through a lot in my own faith. I wish people could just have a personal relationship with the creator of their choice sometimes. You have done a great job puttting this messgae out with this post. Thanks my friend!

  5. By Gollies! Very close to my belief system, in fact! Except I don’t agree It/They have no effect. Good stuff…

  6. Robert Sheldon

    “…….that the government is putting something in the water to dumb us all down, else how do you explain Rick Perry?” For that matter how do we explain Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment, Cathie Adams, the President of the Texas Eagle Forum and former Texas GOP chair or TX Rep. Louie Gohmert and Terror Baby’s. My explanation and belief is they took the bad acid at Woodstock; because I, on occasion, drink the water and I’m still a progressive Democrat in Texas.

  7. Wild Bill

    Hart, I’m also in agreement with you on this, mostly, as well as the other commenters. My only problem is with my fellow Texan, Robert, and that is I doubt any of those guys went to woodstock with all those “dirty hippies”, so I can’t give them a bye for taking some bad acid there. They are just mean and crazy including our gov. Mr. Goodhair.

  8. George Lowry

    Iris DeMent’s “Let the Mystery Be” satisfies me.

  9. John Edward

    Great take on religion. Of course our Founders were Deists who gave each and every individual on earth the right to believe or not believe what ever they chose. They believed in a God who set the world on its way to evolve as it would giving man the only gift, besides the whole of Creation, that was possible, the gift of reason to be used to understand and appreciate Nature and the God of Nature. Religion had no place in the public arena then and Congress was there to do the business of the people, not to impose restrictions based on religious ideas on all including non believers. I wish I lived in those days.

  10. ian

    I believe I am a Christian. Not because I believe Christ to be the only begotten son of God, or because I believe Christ died for our sins and is risen and all that stuff… no, I believe I am a Christian because I have been brought up in a culture steeped in the imagery, language, and values of Christianity to such an extent that even where I depart in my personal spiritual and philosophical beliefs from the beliefs of other Christians, the frame of reference for my departure is Christianity. You may wonder what it is that I share in this belief with the likes of Pat Robertson and his ilk but for me the premier commandment of Christ is not to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, or the virgin birth, or that Adam walked with dinosaurs, or the virgin birth… the premier commandment of Christ is to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” and with that, reflect that whatever God Pat Robertson worships it is not mine and it would be against my beliefs to accept anything he says as gospel.