Air's Corner

Monday, February 13, 2006

Soon One Mornin'

I have been feeling a bit challenged lately in this course. Not with the readings, or the workload, but solely with my feelings. Before this semester, I had a pretty good idea as to where I stood in the religious/spiritual realm. I believed in "God", an extreme energy/force which connects all of us here on Earth. I believed in reincarnation until the point of ultimate truth and good was accomplished here on Earth, at which point you ascended unto another dimension, or heaven.

As you can see my thoughts and beliefs were not "traditional". I would say they are collective from my experience so far... a little buddhist, a little catholic, some jewish, a bit agnostic, but all very spiritual...

I remember actually reading the book BE right before coming to school. This book is so real, such a masterpiece. In short, everyone should read it, its by AC Ping.

It talks about happiness, and how each of us should find ourselves, meditate, escape from the box that society has for each one of us. It is truly a remarkable book. However, how this ties in is that, I read a certain part of that book, that talked about a certain belief of a certain religion. At that point I felt as though I had a "spiritual awakening". Come to think of it, I dont remember what that enlightenment was. Wow. I think, it is partly because I am so twisted now with my beliefs that I forgot.

At the start of the semester, I felt like a had a grasp on what was life and what was death, the sheer purpose of the two of these most extreme concepts. Afterall, isnt this what religion is really designed for? Purpose of life, and to take away from the fear of death? Today I stand a nonbeliever. Why? Because this is what my science explains. It explains a world that has been around for billions of years. It has evidence, fact, which reveals that the "modern human" has been around for 30-100,000 years. Before this modern human were other homonoid animals, animals that had the capacity to evolve into us. The theory of natural selection makes sense. It is logical, but more importantly it gives us answers. This theory can explan virtually everything about the world around us. Some would say the knowledge of such a complex world would prove the power of the almighty. It is so intricate because it was designed. My neuroscience book tells me differently (indirectly ofcourse).

Our brain has simply evolved to do all the wonderous things that it is capable of doing, to the point where we develop a sense of identity, and thus thought. Because of this revelation that occured many years ago, is why (I now am starting to believe) we created religion. It is another aspect of human culture that seperates us from other animals. But just like thought, and superior intelligence, religion has evolved just like our minds did.

So as I was thinking this the other night, I kind of thought, yeah Science explains a lot, maybe even everything (or atleast one day it will), but how do we know, I mean really know that this is truth. Science than seems just like another religion, a set of beliefs that you hold. Instead of Noah, it was Darwin. Instead of the ark, The Beagle.

So in closing, I would like to say that I am at this point of my life unsure. And I have a question for you... what does this mean for someone when they want to study religion? Is this why I am having troubling/challenging thoughts? This whole concept of religion is totally complex. Yes I can approach it from the scientific point of view, but why should I? I have been thinking a lot lately about what religion is, what classifies a system of beliefs or practices as religious. Surely science must be a form of religion, just as much as other non traditional areas: civil religion, Thanksgiving, etc. etc. I am much liking the readings, for I feel as though they are opening our minds to the idea that religion is not just that concrete idea, involving God, religion is another facet of our brain that enables us to act in a certain way to certain beliefs. I am in awe that religion is all around us, whether we are conscious of it or not, it surrounds us, simply because it is an integral part of human life. It might not be the church sort, but other actions and words point to religion or religiosity. This might be a trait that humans have evolved, but each one of us has this capacity, and use it in some form or another in all of our lives. The readngs have proven to be very beneficial in teaching us this fundamental into religious study.

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