Computer problems persist, but I am doing my best to at least deliver with more frequency, even if I can’t manage it every day.
There was a moment a few weeks ago when I was talking with David about biblical authority. I was going on, repeating the old song about how choosing to invest in any belief system is essentially an expression of faith in my own judgement. That’s my real struggle with religion. Barring the indisputable intervention of some external force, every worldview must ultimately convince me of its superiority by it’s merits.
It was one of those evenings when I was feeling very pessimistic about the merits Christianity, and I was despairing the sense of loss at a viable truth system that included a divine figure. “I don’t want to be an atheist David. I really, really don’t want to be an atheist.” By this point I was sniffling and tearing up, because the thought that I really am just dust in the wind terrifies me. There’s no getting around it. I want to transcend this life. I want to transcend myself. If it means returning to the soup of consciousness, that I would no longer be ‘me,’ or any kind of individual but a drop of water in the sea of awareness it would soothe my ‘self’ now if only I can avoid oblivion.
I suppose ‘terrifies’ isn’t quite the right word. I wasn’t aware before my birth, and I don’t suppose I’ll be aware after my death. I have nothing to fear from unknowing, but I continue to fear the unknown. And my fear translates into near bottomless sadness. I don’t want to die.
But if there is no afterlife, I don’t want to abide in the false hope that there is. I don’t want to choose the ‘palatable truth’ after it has become apparent that it is a lie. I don’t want to delude myself. So one evening, as David and I were parked in my driveway, I mourned the unconvincing faith of childhood.
For an instant I bought into the false dichotomy of every worldview: “there is only death beyond our walls.” Of course. It’s not as though there’s a world out there of nuance and shade. It’s not as though there is a universe of possibility, from which every person has to choose–has to decide what rings truest to them. Sometimes the Despair Monster gets me.