I am not exactly sure who I am writing this to, or if there is that someone at all, but if there really is an almighty Lord, hopefully, I will find out someday. The intent of this piece seeks not just mention my doubts, but to also acknowledge my open mind and uncertainty of anything divine. I contemplate these things every day. I am persistently looking for an answer no living creature has ever known, and most likely, will never know. Often, the search seems hopeless. It’s easy to become a nihilist. I might find out when I die. Maybe, I won’t.
There is a chance I will reside in hell because I am not a devout follower. There is also a chance, as I have been told throughout my childhood and adolescence, a savior will lead me into the light, regardless of my religious background, and God will greet me at the gates of heavy with a tender grin and friendly welcome. My heart wants to commit to this utopia but my mind denounces it as a fantasy. Don’t worry, my Christian relatives and friends, I don’t entirely deny this paradise, but I also don’t devote myself to it. I cannot bring myself to sign my life away, even if it may ensure eternal life. It doesn’t resonate with me. I will not know what happens after death until I actually experience it firsthand and even then I won’t be able to share it. I refuse to commit myself to something that is literally up in the air and only a possibility but I will not reject its existence out of hand because of my ignorance. But, at the same time, I accept the beliefs of atheism. My philosophies are diverse. My mind is open.
For a while, I identified as an atheist, but then I realized I, too, was hypocritical. Not all atheists share my hypocrisy. Personally, I subscribed to atheism as a solely confirmed belief, that nothing exists beyond death and there is no divine supremacy of the universe after all. Despite how naturally I want to believe nothing is greater than human existence, I must allow myself to be open to new ideas, for the sake of art and intellect. A close mind is not attractive, creative, nor intelligent. That doesn’t mean all atheists are close-minded, but it does bring into question how I practiced atheism myself.
I then began to identify as agnostic. Life turned a bit brighter and less dark, but existential thoughts still reoccur. If there is no throne, is there still a kingdom? Is there still oppression without a dictator? Why does life exist if our only objective is to survive? Why are we surviving at all? How are we? The questions add up after a dreary day but I do eventually fall asleep. I carry on in my slumber and explore a false reality, the world of dreams, where heaven is not a myth but a matter of common knowledge to the people of the Earth.
A wise friend once quoted Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor, and I will forever cherish the concept.
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
I cannot emphasize this enough. I will not follow the rules of an organized religion or their texts, in the hope of being righteousness. I trust myself to be righteous naturally, not because I was told how. With that, I will not restrict myself from “living my life to the fullest.” I am self-conscious, but I am not selfish; I am righteous, but not greedy. I hope whatever force out there, if there is one, can accept and admire my decisions. I am proud of who I am and the choices I make. Alongside that, I am mortal and flawed. However, in the context that any superior force cannot respect my imperfections and occasional misbehaving, I might as well not worship that said divine vigor. I am entitled to my precious life just as another being and am also entitled to make my own personal decisions. Why else would we have free will?