Life Outside Social Media

Spiritual But Not Religious

Disclaimer: This post contains a controversial topic and therefore may offend some people. This is merely my personal take on religion and I don't intend to demean anyone who holds opposite beliefs. My opinions on the matter may arguably sound ignorant when heard from a conservative perspective, but this is what I currently believe in based on personal experience and years of practicing Christianity. Also note that I'm particularly referring to Catholicism every time I mention "religion."  

     I was raised in a conservative Catholic home, so the value of religion was basically forced upon me throughout my childhood. While there are some things I do appreciate about growing up in this background, I'm perfectly comfortable with losing touch with this aspect of my life ever since transitioning to adulthood.

     Maybe I just have an incredibly vague understanding of the concept as I do admit that I've never entirely immersed myself in it, but as of now, religion to me is just another social construct that limits our thinking to only two possibilities — good or bad, right or wrong, or any other binary that encloses our minds in boxes. It exists to feed our natural compulsion to fill the empty spaces of the unknown, so we end up turning a belief, a completely subjective matter, into something that's true when it most likely isn't, or at least we'll never really know.

     On the other hand, accepting the fact that we can't be sure of anything opens up a universe of possibilities. The more unsure I am, the clearer I perceive the workings of society because uncertainty has opened up my mind to the idea that we and all forces beyond us were built to be dynamic, as in we grow and adapt to the inevitable changes of our surroundings. Seasons shift, natural disasters strike, and the earth molds itself to new and different forms of nature. Even scientific theories, findings that we call "objective," are proven to be facts in one era and then completely debunked decades later, all because the world and our minds are perpetually evolving. The more we open our consciousness to what we don't know, the more we see that anything is a possibility, and it's our task as innately inquisitive human beings to seek answers but also recognize that there shouldn't be an endgame to discovery, just a platform for sharing it. The human mind is the most powerful tool we have and I find that it's utterly wasteful to narrow our thinking to ancient ideas extracted from a questionable book written centuries ago.

    With that said, I refuse to be told what to believe in especially when it concerns human lives because there is always so much more to morality than "right or wrong." While I accept the reality that some things happen out of my control because of the mysterious workings of the universe, free will is ultimately what allows us to be sentient beings, and religion tends to hold power over the very aspect of our lives that makes us human.

     It's known to embrace tradition, which is contradictory to the fundamental nature of our species to strive for change. While it may motivate some people to become their better selves, living strictly by this "rule book" often perpetuates closed-minded attitudes toward liberal reasoning. Don't get me wrong, I still have utmost respect for those who find meaning in life through religion. Trust me, I've been there and I've once reveled in the reassurance and sense of purpose that it provides, but the older I get, the more I realize that human experiences and the willingness to learn and adapt are the things that are unquestionably real.

     I've decidedly found a sense of purpose in more tangible matters like the ambiguity of art, the grace of nature, and complex interactions within human relationships. Spirituality lies in our awareness of forces that we can't control, so contrary to popular belief, transcending the material world isn't exclusively achieved by following a religion. Hope doesn't always have to arise from believing in this socially constructed system ‒ it can easily come from believing in humanity itself and the unpredictable wonders of the universe. There's a special kind of beauty in things we don't fully understand, so if we repress this uncertainty by insisting that a certain belief is true, the world loses its shine. Find your purpose through curiosity instead because everything is a lot more complicated than it seems.

Saturday, August 31, 2017



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