The Faith of The Faithless
Quite frankly, I am one of the most complicated people I know. I don’t mean complicated in the ubiquitous, nauseatingly over-abused sense of “omg nobody understands me in my young adult angst”. I mean this in the sincerest of ways. If I could paint, I would undoubtedly sketch a world made of the entire spectral palette, because at any given time I see white and black, gray, and whatever else.
I live in a world of paradoxes and oxymorons. I live in a world of absolute uncertainties. Due to my hardwiring, I have a very, very hard time believing anything, because everything communicated in this world is the eventuality of someone’s beliefs. No matter what you’re talking about, all information pandered in a given situation has been communicated through the lens of someone’s interpretation. & the interpretations of the world are as endless as the concepts themselves, none of which are truly concrete.
I struggle when it comes to a structured belief in God because my interactions with him have been marred by the experiences I’ve seen and heard from defeated Christians for decades. All the contradictions, renegotiations, interpretations, revisions, amendments, and change ups took a toll on my impressionable mind growing up. When I finally became of the age and conviction to choose faith for myself, I found my inquisitive mind to be quite unsatisfied with any interpretation of God, even those outside of the Christian faith. I found no consolation in the philosophical cop out of agnosticism and I certainly was no atheist. As usual, I was trapped in the interstitial space of conceptual thought: absolutely certain there was a God, unhappy with the world He had created, and unswayed by any formal opinion of who He or his emanations were.
This is merely an explanation for my struggles with God, a tip of the iceberg when it comes to my mental ramblings. Furthermore, I can’t begin to capture in words how I feel about most things. I believe and disbelieve all at once. Actually the perfect way to capture 90% of my thoughts is this: I believe in the possibility of most things, however I find that them actually happening is unlikely.
These frustrations have propelled me in my meditations for years. I’ve had young women tell me, “Bryce you’re the best guy I’ve ever known”, but these have been the same young women who have broken my heart. Therefore I believe in the possibility of true love, however, I struggle in the seeing the likelihood of a person doing what is necessary to cultivate that love.
And don’t get me started on the religious interpretations of God and success. Some people posited the “believe and receive”, then it was “God may not want that for you”, then it was “God isn’t concerned with the minute details, just with the overall” etc etc. It seems that the world continuously changes its discussions about God given an individual’s experiences.
On nights like tonight I really sit back and think about what I actually believe in. The list is so thin because for me its not as easy as saying: “hey I believe in this”. For instance, I believe in the human capacity to love unconditionally in a moment of catharsis. However, I place more “faith” in people’s tendencies to act in self interest, not in unconditional love. Another example, I have faith in the human potential to evolve socially and abandon ignorance like racism or bigotry. However, I place more faith in knowing that people will find something to hate.
No matter how optimistic I try to be about accepting a belief in something, my tendency to aggregate all information on a subject creates a tendency to aggravate the process of accepting it. Everything in this world is just too damn flawed for me to not find significant criticism. That which I criticize is that which I cannot accept.
I criticize 99.9% of the world. Including the vast majority of my own tendencies.
I think I’m going to explore this over the next few posts because this isn’t even beginning to explain how I feel.