I see beauty and wisdom in the world’s religions, but I have no interest in believing that the parables and myths of the ancient religious stories are the truth in any real, historical sense. I recognize that stories of immaculate conception, resurrection, omniscience, eternal life, eternal damnation, and miracles each serve a purpose – mainly to inspire people, to serve as warnings against harmful behavior, and to serve as metaphors for aspects of relationships, seasons, and cultural values – but it would be just as absurd for me to believe those stories to be historical or even mystical truth as it would for me to believe in the actual existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. I understand that historically, people the world over have created fantastical stories, and then believed in them wholeheartedly, but I recognize that a growing population of human beings on earth no longer has the tendency nor the need to engage in those fantasies. Just as art, music, technology, and cultural behaviors are in a constant state of evolutionary change, so too is human consciousness, and as a rational, self-aware person, I do not have the disposition to believe the old fantastical stories of the animistic, monotheistic, and polytheistic religions.
I harbor no sense of superiority toward the billions of human beings who still believe in the old stories. Rather, I lovingly recognize and appreciate the benefit that such belief systems provide. They give people a sense of purpose, hope, solace, comfort, guidance, and support. They serve as the cultural framework for many beautiful human societies, and without them, those societies would be chaotic and much more self-destructive. I do not blame the old religious stories for the constantly waged religious wars, acts of genocide, and ethnocide – war for one reason or another has always been an aspect of human behavior. I am not on a crusade to eliminate religion, or to convince those who believe in the old stories that those stories are not true. Rather, I am simply honoring my own perspective, and recognizing that millions of other people naturally hold similar perspectives.
I am neither atheistic nor agnostic. I am gnostic, though I have never known a god-being, and I have a hunch I never will. My own experience leads me to appreciate the notion of god-ness because I have always had a sense of all-encompassing wholeness, goodness, purity, and intelligence in the world. When I am aware of that all-encompassing wholeness, goodness, purity, and intelligence, I think to myself, “This is what they must be calling God.” The old stories that anthropomorphize, masculinize, or feminize god-ness seem to do so only because all-encompassing things are difficult to describe. Nor I am a cold-hearted empiricist who only recognizes that which can be apprehended by my senses or by machines. I revel in my capacity to cognize, meta-cognize, interpret, synthesize, and even create newness in the world. Through meta-cognition of my own experience, I have come to understand that the universe that I have known my whole life has been infinite – there has never been a moment like this, and each preceding moment will be new again. Thus, I cannot say what wasn’t, what isn’t or what won’t be – I can only appreciate what I have happened to notice and think, and that is a small infinity.