There are two topics we’re told to avoid in polite company: politics and religion. The two topics I’ve always been most interested in discussing. Topics I’ve felt the safety and privilege to discuss. And discuss I did.
As for politics, well, I could see nothing more important to discuss than the very structures that rule our days, engaging in the issues we most value.
Perhaps because I was born into a long-standing atheist tradition, engrained with animist backgrounds, I wanted to learn why people believed in this universal dualism, how they could be sure they were right, and the one oft repeated message I found was faith. This missing piece of my soul that I spent my teens and twenties searching for.
I found faith, then lost it again in dismay re-reading a history desperately trying to explain away the misogyny. Strongly vexed that this all knowing, all compassionate being would demean half the population and demand adoration for its jealousies. Then I realized our human brains are not large enough to grasp the realities of an unknowable force, we are given words in our realm of understanding, and then interpret those words from the mouth of the unknowable.
We can read the ancient texts and see what we want to see. Brutality and suffering and our own human insecurities and attributes tied to literal translations, or parables featuring overarching messages on how to live a good life. Lessons in tolerance and compassion.
Several legacies of the same being divided by history and culture, forgetting the similarities in all the stories. Be a good person. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t kill. Guidelines to reign in the anarchy of our tortured human history.
After reading the Torah, it made sense to me why this message persisted. I saw it retold in a peace loving version through the Bible, and later the Quran, whose overarching message, literally on every page of this now most feared book, Allah, the most compassionate, most merciful. The message of mercy and compassion seemingly lost in translation. Instead a fear and growing hate for the unknown. Cursing a book that continues the very tradition that has been passed on for generations.
For me, the message came clear as day many years ago. Heaven was gifted to us. A paradise beyond compare. With every blessing we could ever want or need within reach. The beautiful divine spirit witnessed through every pristine acre.
It’s earth. Here and now. But instead, our human insecurities led our drive. Our greed and corruption oozing out of every system…we decided hell should reign, and reign it does, suffering and mistrust from every corner. Toxicifying our paradise and separating from our brethren all for the love of God.
It’s here. It’s now. Until we learn this lesson, we are doomed to repeat and live in hell for all eternity.
We were given a life, a brain, and a voice and every beautiful splendor that this world has to offer. Whether you believe or not.
The choice is ours. Heaven is here right now. We just have to make it so.