Belief is in the mind of the beholder

Seeking a spiritual ‘reality’

You’re not a religious man but you do like going into cathedrals. St. Patrick’s in New York. Notre-Dame in Paris (before the fire).

You and your wife visited Notre-Dame on a trip to Paris years ago. She, being Catholic, felt closer to God, You, being nothing, felt closer to Something.

When you and your wife went into St. Patrick’s she prayed for her dying father. You gave thanks to a World War II paratrooper who jumped out of planes and helped save the world. And for giving you your wife.

When you lose a soulmate of thirty years you feel like half your life has been shot away. You are maimed. You need help. You don’t find it in the material world so you take the train into the City and go into St. Pat’s to feel closer to your wife.

You don’t know where she is, maybe nowhere, but if there is a spiritual ‘reality,’ then inside that cathedral is a good place to find it.

So, religion has its place. But you don’t need it to believe in a life after this one.

The afterlife, if it exists, is a metaphysical, supernatural ‘fact,’ not a product of religious teachings which may be mostly, certainly partly, mythical and fictional.

In other words, it’s possible to cut through the bull and go straight to the ‘mind’ of the matter, an awareness beyond objective experience.

Words like God and heaven and soul become irrelevant. What is the soul anyway? — but the mind — ah-hah! — now there’s something. The mind, or more precisely, the brain, is a masterpiece, a miracle of creation, and not necessarily God’s creation. What is God? — an illusion, delusion, a fervent hope, an unanswered prayer?

Religion is like politics — too many different ideologies preaching, yelling, fighting among themselves to be heard and obeyed, or else — or else what? — eternal damnation? To hell with that. Religion confuses, it screws with your head, it rattles on about God and Jesus Christ and soul and heaven and adoration and Glory be to God blah blah blah.

Too much noise, man. You don’t need it to belief that there is — that there may be — a dimension, sensation, phenomenon, an as-yet undiscovered wavelength, an otherworldly life after this lousy one.

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Thud! Back to the real world

AS HE LOOKED BACK through some of his old posts he noticed that he had seriously — more like desperately than seriously — entertained the notion of “God” — entertained is an amusing word for someone who was hopelessly depressed, so depressed that he was delusional, looking for ghosts in crawlspaces, imagining voices of the dead in his head, reaching out in the darkness for his dead wife’s hand, a hand that had guided him for nearly a lifetime, reaching out for his son, reaching out for his two brothers — all of the above dead and beyond reach.

He was completely alone, an aged man in solitary confinement. So it was quite understandable that he would seek help from another sphere, realm, dimension, as-yet undiscovered wave-length, whatever the hell you want to call it — this unknown place where secretly dwells the invisible “God” that’s worshipped by more than two billion people in the world.


He is still in solitary but after a year and a half of confusion and craziness, he is no longer delusional. He has returned to the real world and the first reality is that his wife is dead and his son is dead and his brothers are dead, and the second reality is that he will never see them again, hear their voices, be with them in some magical religious sense or feel their presence in this- or that- or whatever-sphere. 

They are gone. Period. Full stop. In their own minds, or in their “soul” or via electrical energy there is no awareness, perception, spiritual well-being or Godly bliss. There is nothing but oblivion.

And in his mind — what’s left of it — there is the sanity-saving, mind’s-eye album of remembrance. That’s what it’s all about now — memories.

Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.

Shakespeare — The Winter’s Tale (4.3.42-45)

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