Monday, October 25, 2010

Live Yesterday

I'm considering taking up a religion. We've been discussing Buddhism a lot in my Japanese Literature class. One basic idea of Buddhism, it seems, is that life is suffering, and suffering is caused by desire. Therefore, one should try to live life without desire. I like the way that works out--It encourages you to live simply and within your means. It causes you to take on a different view of life. It does not tell you what is right or wrong about another person, it just tells you how you should govern yourself. That is what I want in a religion, a way of thinking that will make me see the world in a different light, and will cause me to strive for something greater. In Buddhism's case, the something greater is enlightenment.

Unfortunately, I completely disagree with the idea that suffering is caused by desire. Desiring things is fun and healthy, there is no way I'm going to cut it out of my life. So Buddhism is not for me.

... But I might limit what I desire. Material things are pretty worthless in the end, so maybe I'll just desire more fulfilling things. Like earning my degree.

I was considering just sticking to Christianity, since that is what I was raised with and a lot of its values are just common sense to me. Plus, I already own a copy of the Bible. But there is so much stigma with that religion, and there are too many disagreements about how it should be practiced. I do not want to be associated with the people that have taken the religion too far. I just want to follow the ideas like "Turn the other cheek," and "Love thy neighbor." I feel like the actual stories and words are irrelevant, and the morals and ideas behind them are what I should listen to. But I don't know of any flavor of Christianity that thinks like I do.

I don't know enough about other religions to form any sort of idea about them. I'm thinking I'll just go out and buy some Dummies' Guides to a few popular religions, and see what they teach. I want to research old and possibly dead religions, and see what sorts of values they had as well. I'm probably not going to do any of this, though. I'm pretty lazy about these things.

My biggest problem with finding a religion that suits me will probably be that I pretty much reject the idea of a God. (I hope I don't accidentally offend people in this paragraph.) I have never been much into idol worship. Yeah, Jesus was a great guy and he did good things, and I'll do what I can to be like him, but I am not going to devote my life to worshiping and loving him. Or his dad. I find the whole idea of his dad to be absolutely baffling, but that is something for a later day. I just can't get into a religion where the whole point is to worship some being that may or may not exist. It's cool to admire strong figures in a religion, but worshiping them shouldn't be necessary.

In that same vein, stories of a supernatural being strike me as more of a bedtime story. The story where Jesus turns one fish and one loaf of bread into many fish and many loaves of bread is a good example of this. It's impossible, and I don't think it happened, and there is no reason why I should go about life as if it actually happened in the past. But it is a great story, that shows how Jesus was a good person that cared for others and did whatever was in his power to help. The story should be used to teach people what they should be like, as another example of how Jesus is a model Christian and you should try to be like him. The morals behind it all are just great, but asking me to firmly believe in it is akin to telling me Superman is real and he's saving people as we speak.

I think I will just stick with being agnostic for the next few years. It seems like the least offensive thing I can be. The popular religions have huge wars and crazies making the news, a lot of people find atheists to be morally offensive (But I do not understand why), and smaller religions tend to have to explain themselves to every person that is unfamiliar with them. So I am agnostic, with a chance of starting my own religion. (I'd really love to start a religion.)

No comments: