For a God with no religion…
I don’t pray every day. I pray only in times of happiness or sadness and to buy the Burberry wool/cashmere winter coat from Bloomingdales. Needless to say I didn’t get that coat. But that didn’t make me pray harder or change my faith. I just continued what I was best at i.e. to sit back and become an atheist the rest of the time in between. I don’t fast, I don’t visit any temple nor do I believe in accepting God as we’ve come to know of him through history and mythology. In fact I’ve always considered God to be unlike the ‘God’ everyday news reports condemn or fundamentalists hail as propagated by ‘religion’. I just believe in being kind, and most importantly being honest. Yes, I do lie at times, and I am unkind (especially to pesky little kids) but I would rather grow into a kind human being this way than being pushed into a religion that is ‘supposed’ to show you the light. C’mon we know Santa Claus isn’t real then why believe in something any of us haven’t seen. I’m sure skeptics of this would bring in the logic of air and that we don’t see it but we feel it. How many of us would have ‘felt’ God if never heard of him? At least I wouldn’t.
I’ve been to temples and various other religious institutions out of sheer curiosity or mere coincidence. I noticed one thing, we all go there to want something for ourselves or others. It could be for peace or a BMW 328xi. Nevertheless, we do go in times of need and mostly in times of want. My life has been pretty dramatic but in an un-Bollywood way of course. I have had trying times and times when I refused to believe in any ‘God’ or even ‘the force’ from Star Wars. I wanted to be detached from this rigid formula of life. To be completely naked in my thinking and perception of this world. And by doing so I felt closer to humanity than I ever did before. That’s because in some minuscule way race, creed and religion works better as a barrier than an adhesive.
I read an interesting book by Neale Donald Walsch- ‘What God wants’. At the risk of being a book story pooper, the answer to that question in the book is ‘nothing’. At the time I was happy with the answer for I could now show my family that I’m not the only one who believes in a God with no religion. Of course that didn’t work the way I planned. In time as I grew older I realized I din’t have to please anyone. And least of all not God. When people who preach can’t respect a different perspective on faith, how can they talk to us about God and what he wants? He sure as hell doesn’t want bloodshed, hate or sacrifice. I guess ‘love’ is too humble a gift for religious fanatics to offer to God huh.
Yes, I am inquisitive about the myriad religions and like my mom, I am pretty fascinated with the teachings of Buddha and even bought a note pad with his picture on it (from B&N, I do all my recipe writing in it so that it comes out well when I cook. Can’t say it works all the time). Now I’m forcing my not-so-religious husband into taking me to Cambodia to visit the Angkor-Wat temple. Not out of some divine calling but just to travel to a place not many people travel to… for history and not to find answers to my life. ‘I’ am my biggest and most profound answer. So does this make me an atheist? How about an agnostic? I had to read up the dictionary several times to remember the difference between the two (and I still can’t). However I’m neither. Not an atheist, an agnostic nor a religious person. I am just someone who has a very simple relationship with God. To me, I am an example of evolution or creation as some call it. I am an example of love and friendship, survival and peace yet on the flip side I exemplify being irrational, restless and vain, angry and dissatisfied, making mistakes and falling on my knee more often than not, for I am human. I am my own religion and I seek nothing from a world that gives you so much and asks for just one thing- love.