Like most of the rest of the humans on planet Earth, I was at the time, searching for meaning and purpose in my life. I was never a religious person, although I attended Sunday School and Christian camp as a young child. Religion was never strongly instilled in me, so therefore my mind was left open to make its own decisions about creation and spirituality.
It was late in the year 2010, nearing the Christmas season. I had lately been withdrawing from the consumerism and materialism I felt was a constant in society. I had recently given birth to my second daughter, a beautiful little angel who reminded me that there was unquestionably something more to life, more to existence than buying and consuming, perpetually striving for the next upgrade or status symbol.
Although I had always felt that people had a choice to believe in whatever they wanted, and the freedom to do so was in itself a human right, I could never understand why so many people did not question the teachings of numerous different schools of religion. I understood that many times religious beliefs were passed down from generation to generation, and in fact this is exactly how belief is kept intact throughout history. Religion can help a culture answer questions that they would otherwise have no answer for, and this gives people security and peace of mind. However, it was my personal experience with religion that left me wanting for more.
As I sat alone listening to the theories of different scientists and researchers on the primal question cognitive human beings have been asking since the dawn of our existence, a growing necessity presented itself to me – the passionate need to know why I, as a human, was so different than every other mammal on this giant drifting rock we call home.
Charles Darwin believed evolution was the answer to the question of where we came from. He spent years trying to prove that our species has evolved from some primordial ooze countless years past at the dawn of our planets birth. His theories are still relied upon today by countless scholars and professors, and are still taught in classrooms and colleges world-wide. I am not saying that he is wrong, in fact I believe that the evolution of our Earth and its occupants must be, as least in part, entirely accurate. As I would soon learn however, the theory of evolution played a major roll in what we, as a race, had (and will) become.
When an infant opens its eyes for the first time and before it sees the hazy shadow of its mothers face, does that child know within itself the mysteries of life? Is it true that the thin cord of spirituality is only broken when the child becomes brainwashed and desensitized to its vital principle of spirit through society and its confinement? Is the tether permanently severed or can we reverse the blindness to once again interpret the spirit of our souls?
If we look at an animal new to this world, wobbling on its puerile legs, do we believe that this animal thinks to itself “Wow, what a unique and spiritual world I have been born into?” or does the animal take each day as it comes and trust its instincts to help it survive? Are we not an animal as well?
I believe people were once like this, having been born into a world where they were so different from the creatures they hunted and lived with, yet having the ability for cognitive thought and pre-thought, to think of the outcome of a situation.
When was it that human beings began to form organized religion? Was it when populations grew to such immense sizes that villages needed to be controlled or manipulated to create order? Or was it when people began to realize that they were special, unique in their habitat? Perhaps man too looked at a newborn infant and watched it grow and learn, saw the light in its eyes as it discovered a new skill or uncovered a new feeling. Or maybe it was the feeling we all have when something touches us deeply in our souls, a knowing, a passion, or a love.
We are all taught to never bring up religion on a first date – that doing so could mean disaster. There is the possibility that the person you are with will have an entirely different belief system than you, and perhaps the difference of these beliefs to your own would almost certainly mean that there would be no common ground between parties. Perhaps even arguments would ensue! Religion is a very touchy subject and can mean the difference between relationships working or crumbling. How is it that something that entirely relies upon faith to keep it alive, has so much bearing on how human beings live their lives? My own thoughts are that morality and kindness should steer the way and guide a persons path, despite their religious leanings. If you are a Catholic and believe you are going to hell if you sin, does that make you not sin? Or can that Catholic person be just as morally corrupt as the Christian or Buddhist down the way? Why does our morality and values depend wholly on which abstraction we conform to?
I do not want to spend time debating whether or not this is true, if the guiding (and corrupting?) hand of religion is or is not the force behind a single individuals motives and actions. However it is plain to see that throughout history of mankind many, if not all major wars were struck up because of conflict of belief.