Over the years of contending with my disease, and its inevitability, many people presented a variety of questions.  Most focus on attitude, asking if I am ‘angry’ with the hand dealt me.  Others focus on treatment approaches, often accompanied with ‘treatment’ suggestions saying, ‘what do you have to loose’?  The there are the religious, often times being the principal question and at other times coming as a follow-up to some precursor, some question, or series of questions, about my disease and its possible outcomes.  All are interesting in their own right, but of all of them, answer the religious questions seems to ‘provoke’ the most confusion.  Ultimately all focused on the religious precipitate down to the idea of why I do not regularly attend church, why I do not offer some extension of faith, some request for forgiveness for whatever I may so ‘require’.  I think, or so it seems, the peace I’ve found within myself confounds many, confuses them for it seems I surely harbor anger about my fate.

Over the years my view on life and all things about it, that explicable and those things viewed as ‘fate’, have vacillated.  As a child, and while under my parents and other adults influence, I naturally accepted all things religious because it made sense given those I loved so believed.  As I aged and more of my thoughts became my own, I veered to the scientific, the believe that science ultimately explains everything.  It was at this point I called myself an agnostic.  As I developed, my philosophical self emerged and my learning’s evolved to higher levels, I concluded an agnostic is best described as an ‘atheist on the fence’.  The thought provoked greater introspect and of all my contemplations two questions emerged.  The first came from science and the conundrum created by one basic precept from physics, that being matter is neither created nor destroyed.  The paradox derived from contemplating this principle and things like ‘the big bang theory’ centered around how something came from nothing, because while what we know as the universe may have evolved from a ‘big bang’, the matter or energy that comprised the event would seem to have com from ‘somewhere’.

The second question, similarly derived, concerned God, Buddha or whatever one may name their ‘supreme being’.  Ultimately, while the religious contend ‘God’ created everything, one may ask the same question of ‘his’ existence, the question of where ‘God’ came from, what was God’s origin.  While for the religious the answer is simple, they say ‘he just is’, that they harbor faith in God’s existence.  This faith is the basis of religion and by looking at it I concluded science requires a similar ‘faith’ because how, and when, could anyone answer the ultimate question, that of where something came from nothing.  after contemplating these questions for some years I concluded the enormity of the science question exceeded my ability to comprehend, I concluded subscribing to the explanation offered by science required faith.  In the end, I also concluded the depth of my being was better served by subscribing to the existence of a Supreme Being, the existence of some higher power.

With the dismissal of my being an agnostic, I then turned to the idea of religion and all religions.  In exploring them I found a plethora of what appeared to be conveniences for each particular religion, things that ‘explained’ their interpretation of the beginnings of the world.  Buddhists offer one view, Christians another and Jews yet another.  In each case all seem to contain certain basic principles, certain commonalities between them all.  I looked at the various books, the bible, the Koran and the to rah, each of which told a story and from each story derived the respective religion’s guiding principles.  In the review I also found the conflicting notions of a good, forgiving ‘supreme being’, who also found offense with their respective definitions of ‘sin’.  For me I thought there to be a certain irony, a certain conflict derived from these founding principles.  I therefore concluded that while I believe in a Supreme Being, whatever form that may take, I mostly dismiss organized religion.

Throughout my life these conclusions provided the basis for my actions, how I lived life.  I have, over time, concluded that if we live life to the best of our ability, if we treated people decently, if we did the best we could with that given us, that is all to be expected.  With the questions about religion I am often asked why I don’t ‘conform’ because they say, what if I am wrong, is it not better to err on the side of ‘caution’?  In responding to these questions I simply say that if I am wrong, if my view is incorrect, if the way I chose to live proves in conflict with my maker, it is simply too late to do anything about it now.  In my view, my heart, I feel that in ding the best I can all things will work out and I will be fine.  When people ask me why I am not mad about my future, about my having this disease, about the inevitability of an ‘early’ death, the answer is simple, the answer is I am at peace with myself and my maker.  I add that I have done my best throughout life and while not all may be construed as good,  it was the best for the given circumstance and therein resides true peace.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com



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