Existential for Death

eyes

Existentialists are so often misunderstood, even by other existentialist. They are not nihilists or anarchists, nor are they atheists. Existentialism is a philosophical belief not a faith. Many today are jumping on the ex train because its believed that existentialist are clever intellectuals that speak in profound quotes of some of the more famous existentialists. While most of us are clever, not all of us are brainiacs who sip cappuccinos at cafes and discuss matters of global implications. We are just average people whose beliefs do not fit in to a mainstream belief that we all need a god to believe in and a religion to tell us out how and why. That’s not to say we can’t.
Existentialism does not rule out the possibility of a creator although for the majority if there is a creator its nothing like the one most of us were force-fed as children. No all knowing all seeing god who demands praise from everyone, no angels waiting up in any paradise community after we die. But that’s not to say that some form of energy or entity didn’t have a hand in getting the ball rolling so to speak. For us it’s a little clearer than a magic image in the sky watching to make sure we behave. It’s a cycle of life, we are born, we live our life, then we die. We are in that cycle just the same as every non worshiping living thing on earth. I can’t prove this but I firmly believe bacteria do not worship any pathogen gods or pray in any amoebic temples yet they live the same cycle we do. The bottom line is everything lives, everything dies. If we view it in a strictly linear form then all of existence is in a line, like a time line where we have a starting point and ending point and all people and events in our timeline intersect at various points. Our lives are Point A to Points unknown. We all accept that others lived before us, and others will live after us, and in every religion death is an accepted stage. However temporary, whether it leads to paradise, another life, another stage of existence, or pure nothingness it happens to us all. What occurs after death we tend to disagree, but death is imminent.
Accepting that makes it no easier to live ones life and like anyone else existentialist fear not death per say, but are more intrigued by the mysteries surrounding it. Only in death will we find answers. I was born into a Catholic family, raised as a Methodist (a matter of convenience for my parents), but told my true roots are of a Jewish heritage, so its no wonder my religious faith was so confusing. I doubted the existence of the god I was taught at a very young age so to help sort it out I studied many religions. I adopted many Buddhist philosophies and principles because much of it made sense. I did not however adopt any of the ritualistic behaviors because to me structuring faith makes faith void of integrity. If I need to follow a ritual then I am merely a copy of someone else’s belief. To me joining a specific religious society forces one into a clone relationship. If there is such a thing as soul or spirit it comes from within.
Religion is described as an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. That makes your religion a random happenstance, an accident of birth not different from gender, or class. I didn’t seek out religion when I was young I was handed a religion to believe in. If my parents had stayed loyal to Catholicism I would have been a catholic, but I was switched to the protestant religion because the Methodist church was near home and more importantly next to the volunteer fire department in which my Dad was the Chief. And according to ancestry.com. somewhere along my family lineage a family was forced to hide its Jewish heritage to avoid persecution and the name was never changed back. The illusion of being Christian gave my ancestors a much needed advantage. Not uncommon, look at the collection of Amish living in Lancaster known as “The Pennsylvania Dutch” A religion of Germanic settlers who didn’t wish to be associated with the German Deutschland so they misled people to believe them Dutch and not Deutsch. With so much switching back and forth, with interfaith marriages and families, how is it even possible for any religion to be the one true one?
Existentialism is relatively simple. Our existence precedes our essence leading us to an understanding that the self is what’s important, that we are merely tiny specks on tiny cogs in a complex universe. It gives us the ability to defy classification, especially when it come to religion. Its what’s in our hearts and our minds that matters. Live your best life, treat others as you wish to be treated, help out your fellow humans when they are in need, share and do not judge how others live their lives. Live and let live. Many religions claim to teach those principles yet they condemn others for their lots in life. Its hard for me to get behind a religion that tells you we are all of Gods children then tells you if you’re gay you are an abomination. Clearly forgetting judge not lest ye be judged. It irks me to see a person on social media claim their love of God and tell me how blessed we are and how we should rejoice in one post in social media, then spew hatred at someone because their politics are different in the next. Unfortunately it seems we live in an age of intense hypocrisy, especially among the holy rollers. Religion shouldn’t allow you to feel superior, but humble. Unfortunately most religions fall far short on the humble. This is the reason most existentialist show distain for religions.
I was born scraping and scratching my way through life and now I’ve reached a point where death becomes more and more imminent every day. One of the cruel jokes of life is when we finally realize how much of living is bullshit we are too tired to live the life we should. We allowed money to be the center of our lives, putting us not in a solar system like every other living thing, but a dollar system in which we all revolve around money. I should stop before I become more like the people I’m ranting about! Damn, looks like my equine ride has been puffing my weed again. Time for me to get own of my high horse. PEACE

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