Permanent predetermined existence. Cold iron bars caging my belief. Born into sin…
Answers do not satisfy curiosity. To be satisfied is to accept an end, and seek nothing further. Generally people find an answer to their inquiries. Conclusions end the search for truth, and extinguish the fire that once burned. There is comfort in knowing, but that which we cannot know must be recognized as unresolvable, and without end. We must strive to see further. Without expectation we must stay curious. Looking into the world about me, without intention or attachment, I find comfort in not knowing.
As a child curiosity took hold of me, and carried me into my fondest adventures. My guardians were not open to my curious, questioning nature. They did not condone anything that might be outside of the line. Anything foreign that hinted at the departure from the Commandments, and teaching of the Old Testament God. Breaking an eternal law was a terrifying and absolute diversion from the sublime. The consequences of such an action damned the perpetrator to eternal anguish in a so called hell. Although terrified of these consequences, my questions did not find satisfaction in the abstract righteous sentiment. I doubted my parents advised direction, and challenged the authority, and origin of their claims. Quick judgments about the nature of reality came sternly, and without explanation. Heavy, dense piles of dizzying assumptions blocked any further questions, and momentarily confused, and twisted my imaginings.
Growing in years, and unanswered questions, I became afraid of losing sight of the line. I became afraid of losing my childhood curiosity, and becoming set in a mold. Reliance on traditional beliefs loomed overhead as I pushed into my days. Repeating persecutions rained down upon my conscience as I placed my feet on either side of the line asking myself one question. Why the belief in a God, or a higher power must be uniform, and in accordance with a doctrine? The teaching, and interpreting of which was done by a person claiming to be appointed by an incomprehensible deity.
Troubling feelings arose each time I thought of the people outside of the auditory range of such teaching. A just God would not pick between, or choose favorites among people. A God who encompassed all virtue, and held all knowledge would not look past a single being. There would be no question of earned right into ascension. If I possessed a soul, I would be free from my transient body upon death.
The belief in a soul that carries on after death is a safety. Perpetual existence cannot be fathomed through comprehension. Its presence is indeterminable. Only through apprehension of this eternal quality will one know if it truly does exist.
Curiosity knows nothing. Socrates was curious. Therefore Socrates knew nothing, and was said to be the wisest man in the world.
One of the great Stoic philosophers, who’s presumed words still drip sweetly to the ear are those of Marcus Aurelius. Within this passage I find that he has relinquished all desire to adhere to any belief. “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
I do not cling to the backs of great men, but through them I have found the inspiration to develop an open mind. Through moments of insight, and clarity I have obtained release from many old beliefs, and developed a personal impermanent standing on what ideal will be my North Star, or guiding principle. Long deliberation at last led me through the tunnel, and into the realization that I do not deny the possibility of an existing higher order, power, or God, and I also do not deny the possibility of there being none.