Friday, August 10, 2012

You Believe What?!?

I don't know how many religions exist in the world.  Hundreds?  Thousands?  The graphic shows a few of the major religions, but there's so much more than this, and within each religion, sects and cults and off-shoots and clubs of the like-minded. 

And each symbol and each division within that represents a way of making sense of the world, of understanding an essential story, a premise that explains the way 'things' work and why, and where they came from and where they're going and what you're supposed to do about it all along the way.

Each religion represents a reality, a version of the story, that is absolutely necessary, that is required for humanity to order itself, for us to feel safe or comfortable or certain.  Or if our religion, our belief, is in science or secularism or a-theism or a-gnosticism, that is, uncertainty and unknowing, then that is where our comfort lies.

I have no problem with not being able to pick the one right path.  I respect that each of us needs a path, and appreciate G*d's generosity in providing us with so many prophets, so many stories, so many ways to comfort us. 

I know what I need.  I need a story that works.  I need a narrative that gives meaning and purpose and intention to my life. I don't need the stories about suffering or sin.  I don't need the stories about severity or sacrifice.  I don't need the stories about martyrs or manifestos. I need stories about love and purpose and potential. 

But I know others need other kinds of stories.  So I respect religion, not because I believe what other people believe necessarily, but because I know the importance of belief.

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