This is an old post from MySpace days...getting old much lol.
As promised, here are my thoughts on the excerpt I posted last blog. Please excuse if the thoughts don't run consecutively, but it is quite an emotional topic.
From about 13/14 years old I became fascinated with religion. I had just entered my teenage years and was very inquisitive about why I was getting up every morning to eat, go to school etc? What was my role, why was I here? I did a lot of reading about all types of religion (even witch craft) and began to create my own belief system, based on what I read and stories I was told, I still do to this day. And as Paulo Coelho says, 'I have found many answers, some of which lasted me for years, and others that failed to withstand even a single day's analysis; and yet none of them was strong enough for me to be able to say: this is the meaning of life.' And I agree with him, we will never be fully sure of our purpose until we die or maybe we'll do just that, die, and there may have been no purpose..who knows? It's irrelevant actually, and as far as I am concerned we are here and we may as well make the best of it. I, as a result of my years of reading/hearing different ideas about what happens after life etc. have formed my own belief system, which encompasses beliefs that range from reincarnation to angels. Call me naïve, ignorant, I don't care, if it makes me happy and doesn't hurt anyone then so be it.
'I told you two stories that account for the 227 days in between.'
'Yes, you did.'
'Neither explains the sinking of the Tsimtsum.'
'Neither makes a factual difference to you.'
'You can't prove which story is true and which is not. You must take my word for it.'
'I guess so.'
'In both stories the ship sinks, my entire family dies, and I suffer.'
'Yes, that's true.'
'So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can't prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?'
Mr. Okamoto: 'That's an interesting question…'
Mr. Chiba: 'The story with the animals.'
Mr. Okamoto: ' Yes, the story with animals is the better story.'
Pi Patel: 'Thank you. And so it goes with God.'
Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Now I must divulge a lovely story. A girl I used to go to school with, her grandmother, Lotty, lives in a little home in Kilarney. My mum's friend's father moved into that same home and they were introduced. They immediately hit it off and near the end of their lives (quite literally, the old man is dying), they managed to find love again. The man started a religious group that comprises of Moslem's, Hindu's, Buddhists and Christians. This religious group bases it's beliefs on what Paulo has said, on love. God/Allah etc are not 'beings' they are religious personifications of love.
You know what is strange…I spent a lot of time thinking about my existence in the world and trying to understand religion. But it is in those moments, when your mind is focussed on something else entirely, that it suddenly makes sense. It was a very good friend of mine's wedding in January and as I sat there listening to the priest talk about Jesus and aspects of him…it suddenly clicked. Jesus, is not or doesn't necessarily have to be an actual person…it's irrelevant. What's important is what he stands for, he and God are mere personifications of abstract morals. So why all the religious stories you ask? Well here is my theory.
Marketing strategy, that is my theory. You have a piece of land with 'humans' who are opinionated, emotive, expressive animals and hence potential chaos. As much as we all hate structure, we unfortunately need one to follow or disobey…it is a fundamental need (which also happens to apply to the animal kingdom). Religion was/is an extension of this structure and if you read any religious book, there may be some bullshit in there, but basically it is teaching people to be good. Now, what better way to train a society to adhere to these rules than by teaching them at a young age. As I am a 'marketer' myself, I know fully the importance of one's target audience and what better way than to explain abstractions than by personifying them. Hence, the religious stories. How much easier is it to explain why we should be a certain way and believe certain things, than by creating scenarious in which 'idolised' individuals play a part to gain interest amongst your consumers to get your ideas across. Sheer genius, in fact, I will go as far as to say the best advertising campaign ever. (I will delve into my correlation between religion and advertising at a later stage). Unfortunately, in some cases, the power to create institutions that create and maintain these 'social structures' falls into the wrong hands. The Qur'an, for example, was initially a set of proverbs written to be read and interpreted by its readers how they wished. However, it fell into the hands of a doctor, who was the most respected man in the village and after having the village people constantly enquire into it's meanings (abstract), he took it upon himself to 'rewrite' it in his interpretation. And alas, this took on a particularly sexist nature from which stemmed some particularly sexist religious practices, which still happen today in most Moslem sects. For example of how interpretation can go so wrong and the following example goes across all religions (which all stem from the same place initially anyway, so makes sense) is the perception of women. In the Qur'an, before 'interpretation', the proverb stated purely that women were like the gems/special stones of the earth that needed to be protected. 'Protection' has led to confinement, limiting of potential, where initially we were supposed to be protected, but also celebrated as the beauteous, precious things that we are, (heheh..had to throw that in).
Anyway, the only thing that we should truly believe in is 'love' and if that comes in the form of a god, a mother, a father, a friend, a lover, a pet, a nation, that's great. And this is why this war going on at the moment strips me of any emotion, it horrifies me so much, I've become numb. I have no problem with faith, I believe in it strongly, but who can believe in a God that promotes the killing of another being. Who the fuck do we, them, president fucking bush or anyone for that matter think we/they are?!! I can't even read the newspaper anymore, for chance I might be met with an image of another poor innocent child or mother lying in a pool of blood. And, sorry, but just as bad, just because a man is standing there in army gear, the death of those young soldiers is wrong too! WE ALL have a right to life and I'll be fucking damned if it is allowed for people to put a gun to someone else's head, a noose around someone else's neck, a bomb in someone else's home or work or any other situation where someone else is deciding another individual's fate. The ONE thing we have in this world is choices, things may come our way, but we ultimately decide how to react and deal with those things. There is no such thing as 'I didn't have a choice', you did, you just couldn't see any other way of doing it so you CHOSE to do that. But then someone comes with a gun to your head and now your life is in their hands and it makes me sick. And I am not blaming the soldiers, they have become puppets to a government, and although it is their choice to fight, I hate the fuckers who put them in that position. They are the one pulling the triggers, not those soldiers. Don't even get me started on the death penalty…seriously..I'll start a neverending blog.
There are so many things I want to say about this topic and there are so many directions one could take this, but it makes me soooo sad (truly I am crying over this, stupidly). Have these people who promote this war never lost a loved one, do they not know what it is like to receive that news that someone you love so dearly is no longer going to have a physical presence in your life. That feeling of acknowledging that you will never be able to touch that person again, hear them laughing or try to wipe the tears from their eyes? How can they not understand this? How can they not understand the excruciating pain (god it hurts) that is going through all these people out there losing family and friends. How can they go to sleep at night knowing how much pain they are causing their own people. You know, this may sound weird, but I think nature and our lives are so connected, a mirror of some sort. And although, I know the scientific reason for this extreme weather at the moment is global warming, but I can't help but wonder if all this hurt, violence and pain is so deep and ingrained that it has manifested itself into natural disasters.
So, all I can say is just 'love', love who you want, love in your own way even if it means acknowledging that guy picking up the trash in your office building…a smile can go a long way.