Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Conservative Deistic Approach

I have spent a great deal of time studying religion and philosophy. I have spent years attending religious services of a variety of religions, especially those of Hinduism. I have found myself completely unable to believe in the reality of any miracles, whether they be of a man raised from the dead, a man who received the Quran from Allah, a man who lifted Govardhana Hill above his head, a boy who was born from his mother's side, and so on and on. I also have no commitments about an afterlife, a judgment, reincarnation, or anything else of that nature.

I also cannot believe that God's existence can be proven by means of philosophical argument. I also don't believe that it can be disproven, either.

So what do I do? I believe in God because I need to. Yet I don't believe in a God who performs miracles or suspends the natural order.

So what do I need? A practice that enables me to develop a relationship with God. But how to do that completely outside of venerable and sophisticated religious traditions?

I decided to take a look at my psychology. I can't feel tender feelings for an abstraction, so I visualize God to myself using Hindu imagery. I focus on the embrace of Radha and Krishna and chant their names, since that is the only religious practice I have performed that serves my religious needs so well.

Yet I am not a Hindu. I am a deist. I wear cow leather, especially for my motorcycling needs. I rarely, but sometimes, eat chicken or fish. I am not Indian, nor do I feel any pressure whatsoever to become Indian. I keep my name and my culture. I love my country of the United States and feel very close to my American heritage. I appreciate Christianity for everything it has made possible here. I am a conservative/libertarian right winger. I can't fit in with any group entirely.

I expect nothing from God. I never perform prayer to ask for any favors. I only chant powerful names that humans have given God. A name is so much more intimate than a title. I hope that it deepens my relationship with the God that I need so much.

From Christianity I learned about God's boundless compassion. From secular humanism I learned about strict standards of evidence and avoiding superstition. From Asatru I learned about the heathen European warrior ethic and the Nine Noble Virtues. From Hinduism I learned about God's tender love affair with the creation. So now what am I supposed to do? Approach the Mystery with humility and love. Try to live like a hero. Reach for the stars, yet know that this world can never satisfy our longing for God.

1 comment:

  1. How is a relationship possible with the Divine if the Divine never acts within the physical world? It would seem that genuine relationship is give- and-take.