Sunday, August 28, 2011


Disclaimer: I have no particular faith but I have nothing against religions so please do not read too much into this. This is just my take, or interpretation, or rambelings to get my head around the subject.

I have always been intrigued by the subject of religion. Similarities between religions that make me wonder. There are even aspects of religion that are extraordinary but I have never been pulled in hook line and sinker (as the saying goes) by any one religion. As an example, I think the concept of the Jewish Shabbat is noble. Basically that there is one day that you rest: think Christian Sabbath but with a hard core twist. The hard core twist is that some interpretations of the Shabbat say that you should not turn on any electricity. I am all aboard with that. One, because we use the stuff like it is going out of style and could use a little perspective. And two, because we are just getting further and further from what really matters and further from our connection to the earth. So dedicating myself to one day when I recognize that problem and devote myself to the pure rest and relaxation from the rat race of the world just seems right. Karma is another great concept. Just holding your actions up to the karma test is a great way of checking in to see if what you are doing is right in the true sense and not a justifiable right from your perspective.

Now, I also feel like there are aspects of religion that make no sense what so ever. The biggest: why can't we all just get along? What is it about religion that makes us feel like we have the only one true religion and that all others are heathens that need to be converted? Example: why is it on a random weekend, people feel the need to come to my door and interrupt my day to tell me about the word of God? Which is not THE word of god but a document like other documents that claim to be the word of God. And even further than that, it is just their interpretation of that word of God. And yet they feel so strongly about it that they will come to your door and try to convince you with no other argument than, "it is written and it must be so because it is the word of god".

It would also be easy to write about the frequent occurrences of people killing others in Gods name. Which is insane and to depressing to spend time on.

Why on earth am I writing this? So I was woken up this morning at 3:45 am by the sweetest song that I have ever heard. I have no idea what it was about (and if i did it might ruin it). Let me give a little background. We are bringing up the tail end of Ramadan here. A time when Muslims fast during the daylight hours. It is supposed to teach patience humility and submissiveness to God. So what this translates into is that most people will wake up early (3:45am) and eat and pray and then endure a day without food and then feast in the evening (this breaking of the fast is called Iftar). Since it is so hot here, this makes some sense too... So the mosques here broadcast some prayers or songs in the mornings and evenings to signal the beginning and end. When I say broadcast, what I mean is blast over huge speakers. The nearest mosque is probably 4 blocks away and it is loud in my house with all the windows closed.

So this song is blasted over the speakers this morning and I would have gotten pissed off if it were not for the fact that it was amazing. Think Paul Simon's Graceland album, the vocal portion of Homeless with no musical accompaniment. The singer sounded old and it just had this reverence to it that made me want to go to the mosque. So it go my mind thinking about religion and here I am at 5:00 in the morning, on my computer, trying to share my interpretation with you all. At least I have the courtesy to not knock on your door to lay this on you. You could leave at any time.

So here it is. My word of God if you will. There may be a God or many Gods. No one truly knows (and if you think you do, realize that there are a huge number of people that think something different with way more passion. Like they would die for that belief kind of passion). Whatever you think about religion and God, BELIEVE it with all the faith that you can muster. And with that same passion, never do these two things. 1) Never think that you need to convert anyone to your belief system. 2) Never think that God would ever give you the OK to kill in his name. Maybe we could write those two things into all religious texts? Is that too much to ask? Amazing that a song that I could not even understand sparked so much understanding. My peace be with you all, both spiritually and peace from violence.

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