Religious Purpose

The purpose of religion is determined by the practitioner. Most usually people join or remain religious, I think, to quiet the conflict within themselves that is God. Not God’s self, but the individuals confusion and puzzlement about God. Puzzling God, if it is not a casual pastime, is often a calling. Religion seems a good place for those of us who have this interest. For many religion offers a continuing opportunity to serve God through service to community. The doctrines and dogmatic nature of religion tend to bind people in harmful ways and some practitioners corrupt the value that might otherwise be found in religious doctrine.

Religions are human institutions. It is unfortunate that we insist that they carry the authority of God. Why not allow God to represent God’s self without this intervention? Can we find the confidence for that or is an intermediary required? My interest in God has given me no satisfaction with religion. A complete lack of confidence in any religion leaves me only one discipline, to experience God empirically.

In writing of purpose and religion of course I am not writing about the purpose of life, the purpose that a person finds that is their life. I am writing of purpose as it relates only to religion. It is easy to confuse life’s purpose with religion. God and life’s purpose are bound together nearly as one but religion and God are not so closely bound. Omnipotence allows that no matter our community God’s presence is discernible. It is equally true if God does not exist. That then would be the omnipotent dictate. God’s existence or not is of little importance. The value lies in asking that this question would give us its answer. In being confident and satisfied without predetermination. Only in this way can I find and be confident in God.

I have no question in my life concerning the existence of God. I have an answer that satisfies me, and so the question has been answered. I am sure that there is nothing that does exist that has not always existed and always will exist. There is an underlying origin or source, an omnipotence, God. It is not something I have to own by definition. I am confident God self represents. What is true is God. I believe in creation, not as described in text. I believe it is how things are and that it is something we can understand if we do not define it before hand. I expect that I must discover for myself what would otherwise remain a mystery. So dominate is this sensibility in my life that I consider it my purpose.

The Mystic Tourist

Disease

Disease. In my life disease has been a condition I impose on myself. I have always been able to manage the germs and bacteria I encounter with ease. I do have allergies that corrupt my wellness. That being said I have had issues with my health that have been definitive. I have spent more than two years of my life doing nothing but recovery and rehabilitation. Additionally I have spent months unable to work, handicapped by debilitating pain. When I was still a teen I injured myself with methadrine and psychedelics. When I was in my late teens and twenties if I was not working I was drinking.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area it was easy to get pure LSD in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. I took more of it than I should have. I was not interested in recreation but rather communion. In 1970 pharmaceutical grade methadrine was everywhere. I got strung out for three months. I ended up getting busted, thank God. I thought I was kicking it but was so high when I was arrested that it took three days before I came down. I found my bearing and walked away from it. I was not unscathed. When I was twenty-one I had to teach myself that two plus three was five. Quite a fall from being the top of my class in my high school college prep program. I still fantasize about recovering my math skills but I don’t know what I would do with them. It is like having a lost friend. Boozing and motorcycles damn near killed me a few times.

I walked away, literally walked away, from two motorcycle accidents that were very serious. As likely to kill me as not. I managed a compacted thoracic vertebrae in the first and a broken neck in the other. Those injuries eventually forced me to reconsider my lifestyle. At twenty-nine I was using booze to manage my pain. The combination proved disastrous. Once again thank God. Through all of this and still today God has been the dominate feature in my life. I expect to encounter God empirically and am confident in no other path.

I have found pain to be something quite fickle. It is so easily influenced by stress that it seems discretionary. I have learned a lot about myself by living with it.

The Mystic Tourist