In my second year of college, I decided there was no God.  Because I was raised in a Chaldean Catholic community, I sang in the church choir for years, and I live in a world where most people claim some sort of religious following, this decision DEVASTATED me.  But I understood, at the time, that it was THE BELIEF in some sort of life after death that helped human beings feel that life is worthwhile to some degree.  It was a way for us to trick our brains, an evolutionary trait that helped us in our existence.  Reading the book “God Part of the Brain” influenced me further in this decision.  Middle-Eastern History and Anthropology classes also convinced me of this reality, though I was morbidly shocked to find out that my anthropology teacher was a devoted Christian.  That’s when I believed it even more.  Even a scientist couldn’t break free of this evolutionary need to believe in something higher.  In a lecture on spirituality put on by the anthropology class, I questioned him but he just didn’t see it my way.  This was all very depressing and it would take a couple years to shake the depression off.

Now I find myself wondering.  I still don’t believe there is a God but I do believe there is some force in the universe.  I don’t know anything about it but I definitely know it doesn’t speak or have human qualities.  It’s a force of energy.  What else could it possibly be? 

When Oprah Winfrey started endorsing Ekhart Tolle and his book “A New Earth,” I joined her on-line group but I never logged in.  But I read it.  In his book, Tolle draws from different religious texts to illustrate how there are common messages among them, messages I won’t go into here.  For example, he is able to link Christianity with Buddhism (I don’t remember much about Islam but it may be there) through similar words of Jesus and Buddha.  Jesus and Buddha have a lot in common: having denounced the ego, understanding the importance of being in the present, practicing compassion.  These two historical figures, who became spiritual guides, understood similar things about the universe.  Well, since they didn’t discuss the purpose of life with each other over tea and biscuits, there must be something to that, right?

I’m totally comfortable with the decision that I am done with Christianity.  Trusting God knows the answers, God will see us through, believing God has a plan for me, etc., just doesn’t sit well with me.  This is too passive for me.  It is ME and MY ACTIONS that have a lot to do with what happens in MY life.  But what about Buddhism?  If Buddhist Monks, or Enlightened Ones, can control their bodies with their minds, they most know something worth knowing.  They are so ACTIVE and IN TUNE.  They must have answers of some sort to our suffering.  I am trying to open my mind to ideas of Karma and Rebirth but it is difficult.  Still, it makes more sense than the idea of a heaven.  Since energy doesn’t get destroyed, it MAY be possible that the energy is transferred to another body.  Maybe?  I don’t know.  I’m still totally skeptical.  I’m coming from the belief of when we die, we die, the end!  Since so many other parts of Buddhism DO make sense, I’m going to TRY TRY TRY to open my mind.  I shall see where I go.