The number of world-views floating about this vast sea of humanity is almost synonomous with the head-count of the populace itself. I am not the type to prevail my personal beliefs over that of another, so I cannot in good consciounse take this precious real-estate of cyber-brain-matter and use it on a personal ranting critique of every religion excluding Christian Theism. I would like to instead, outline my sympathies, and doubts. Consider this my very public journalling space.... welcome to Ariana's stream of consciousness.
God, the personal, transcendant, triune God of the bible is said to be one of a steady disposition. (Hebrews 13). This is infinitly releiving to me. Our grace is not dependent upon whim, his love is not dependent upon our acts, it is much more along the lines of the unconditional love that a parent offers a child. The kind which is brought to the forefront of applicable debate when your genetic founders say 'I am doing this because I love you' when they are in fact punishing you. The God of Abraham, of the bible, will not stop loving us (and by love I refer to the agape of parenthood, the kind that does not sate, but satisfies, and has your best in concern, not your immediate satisfaction) for any reason. This is the presuppossition upon which my sanity is based.
It seems to me that many other religions/worldveiws/philiosophies/answers to the question 'why?' are too proud to merely accept a father's love on the basis of grace. Indeed it is a submission I often struggle with, being a proud little green monster myself, I feel as though to recieve something I must have first earned it. Thus the reason that so many religions are chalk full of ceremonies, offerings, laws, rules...etc. This I believe is half of the attraction of the many religions I am coming to learn of; they offer a bartering system, a concept that fits into our daily, money-orientated, understand of the world and humanity. We are 'buying' salvation. It allows people to escape that typed 'religion-crutch', sustained childhood, or any of the other negative-naive based- religious stereotypes.
Without however a basis of pure, unmotivated(by unmotivated, I mean payed-for) love from a transcendent God, then how can we ever hope to have such a thing. I do not want to make a trade, I want that deep mysterious unknown of something (God) that is so far above, beyond, and all-encompassing of ourselves. I want to be overwhelmed. I want something that tastes of heaven. Arghh... the frustrations of being unable to wholly communicate yourself. Disregard this last bit, as I need to clear my head, and try this strain of thought later. When hopes intermingle with bone deep desires and gut-feeling of sorts.
I found the words of Blaise Pascal to help in the comprehensions of my uncomprehending mind: "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only God the Creator, made known through Jesus."
The heart has reasons that reason cannot know - I myself am not sure why, but this belief in the personal, transcendent, triune God of the Bible and the following of him, feels right. A bit like the homing instinct within me, similar to migrating animals returning to their birth ground, something within me feels as though this path is leading me back to my 'source' as it were.
Here however is something that, upon revelation, frightened the wits out of me. It is based upon the fear of doubt, the fear that what we have done with our lives so far is for naught, realizing, once you pass beyond the sustained unquestioned faith of childhood, that you are not the only one subscribng to an answer you have been told is true. Every world veiw is essentially unprovable. Unprovable in the way that we can never perform an experiment, record the results, and publish it in 'Sceince Weekly', every world view must be taken on faith. I believe, yet so do others, in other things, in other gods, in other philosophies. Is everyone but myself doomed to eternal hell(absence of the one true living god). Or am I the infidel, am I the one on the wrong side of the fence. For I have certainly seen religious ferver stronger than I have ever experienced on the face of others...both Christian and non-christian.
If you do not choose the exact right worldview are you doomed to hell, are all roads (as C.S. Lewis suggested in 'Mere Christianity') leading to Rome(so to say) and some just twist or turn a bit more than the rest, like attempts at the same math equation, where a few answers come closer to the real one than others, but all are in the right playing field of real numbers?
Doubt is common to every mind, its source I do not know, but as weak as my faith is, I know, I feel that there are countless others who believe much more faithfully than I in their 'divinity' of choice. 'To each his own' is fine in the sense of personal taste, but when it comes to something of eternal value, well, such are to be examined with much more thought.
With much more heart.
(photo of woman in Notre Dame Cathedral, eye-opening trip, religious fervor)