Mindfulness and Personal Truth

Warning! It’s long

 

I haven’t been blogging for awhile, this is due to a host of reasons I won’t bore you with.  Today I was listening to some music on Youtube as well as joined a message board with a hot topic: Religion.  I do not want to get into a rational vs. irrational argument, we do irrational things every day like use gas guzzling cars and credit cards our reasons in our own minds justify it at the time even if it is proven a foolish thing to do.

I don’t know if it is the time to reveal my personal beliefs, a lot of my friends/family know them however, it is a misunderstood belief that since I am publicly on the Internet need to have all my bases covered for.  I will say it is not a traditional religious belief and leave it there.  How I found myself at this spot in life though is interesting.

I was raised in a Christian denomination that taught brim-fire and horror.  Everything was the work of the “devil”, an entity god created but now could not control until it was “time”.  We were taught to view ourselves as lowly, terrible people who hardly deserved the air we breathe.  We were also taught that there is this list of things you need to achieve before you can enter the pearly gates.  Perfection was required, at least in the viewpoint of others’.  The “perception of evil” (people judging you for your deeds) was your fault if you didn’t hide it well enough basically.  Even if you were not guilty, if it looked like it, it was bad, evil.  This quest for perfection was tempered with a seemingly contradictory message that all are forgiven and saved from a blood sacrifice given by the very same god that required all of this in the first place.  My question was always “Why was it necessary then?”  If I’m to be judged for my deeds, should I then judge the deity I am worshiping of their deeds?  I found a lot of things that are crimes in all 50 states, it didn’t fit with my idea of “god” or the “Divine.”

So I began a quest, to find not only truth as I saw it, but myself.  I don’t profess to have all the answers right now either but I will be forever seeking, forever learning.  The human brain is an amazing thing, an individual nerve cell can transmit 1,000 impulses per second of which you have 100 billion neurons in the brain. Now I could do the math for you guys but I may miss some zeros, you get the point.  (What do you call 100,000 billion? ) One tool in this journey has been meditation or as some call it mindfulness, refusing to get caught up in the everyday garbage of life for a moment, to “steal a moment” for myself and remove my emotions, thoughts, concerns and not allow myself to let life bother me for at least 10 minutes a day.  My thoughts brought questions which brought the ensuing research (at times at the mercy of my schoolwork).

As irrational as philosophy is at this moment, things that harm no one else are benign if even irrational is a good term to use.  Some argue that not ensuring rational thought is necessary so that you do not become the prey of some psychological manipulator. I think rationalism is human nature, a rational explanation is the one we look to first to answer questions we have no answers to.  Sometimes rational explanations just don’t quite cut it. For instance, why do people base jump?  Their brains are saying “No crazy what is wrong with you!” while their will is saying “Go for it!”  Rational people do not jump off buildings because of risk of dying or maiming yourself.  Does it make base jumpers bad people? No. Why then do people jump off cliffs and buildings?  I’m going to go out on a limb here (no pun intended) and say because they enjoy it.

For me that is why I pursue spirituality and religion, I enjoy it not because I have to.

 

Cross posted at this spot here

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4 thoughts on “Mindfulness and Personal Truth

  1. Great post. It’s nice to have you back here, P.

    I’ve been on a sort of religious quest of my own for quite some time, too, so I can really relate. Unlike you, though, I’m not as spiritual. I’m agnostic, I believe there is something, some higher power, but I leave it at that. I enjoy reading up on different beliefs. This past year I’ve studied Islam, Buddha, and Fundamentalism a little bit. Somehow, the more I read, the more I feel that I’m due to stay an agnostic the rest of my life. Believing in something, and leaving it at that.

    But I wish you well on your own journey, and I am glad you no longer live with religious guilt hounding your every move. You have a great set of values without all that crap. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. 🙂

  2. Barth

    I am utterly unable to read such an interesting post without yet another reference to Regina Spektor, but I can’t even bring myself to apologize for it.

    Her appeal to me is myriad: her music, her poetry, her politics (which she has made quite evident, but not part of her music) and, for me, particularly, the Jewishness she seems to follow. Her family came here in 1990 fleeing the anti-semitism of what was then the USSR, and she went to Orthodox Jewish schools before graduating from a public high school in Fair Lawn, NJ.

    In adulthood, though, she has followed slightly different spiritual paths; still very much a Jew, but not bound by the Orthodox, to be sure, and quite open to those with other beliefs.

    I present, in support of all this, three songs you may find useful and interesting, as well as entertaining:

    http://vodpod.com/watch/1680650-laughing-with-by-regina-spektor

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