Faith is the greatest form of weakness. I envy those weakened with it. I envy them for being able to convince themselves of depending on a perceived intangible force that can direct, inspire, control, or exercise ability beyond their own. I envy those who have something externally to rely on to hold their internal space together because I am unable to maintain belief in anything. My internal space is not together, but I am at the very least more honest and awake than I can ever recall being.
This is not a reflection on feeling lack of purpose. I accepted a long time ago that nothing happens for a reason. Presently, I do not actively search for purpose as much as I do for continuous satisfaction. I see life as having no point but that of which you give it. Those who have faith close their day with a dependence in the back of their mind that makes them feel full and not alone. I used to know what it was like to be full in that way.
I have practiced four types of belief, unknowingly at the times I did and to an extent, unwillingly. I request acceptance of my contextual definition of belief for the sake of my reflection. For those with belief, I do not wish my reflection to taint it, only to make you realize there really is nothing but emptiness if not a belief. For those like me, those without belief, I wish for you to know it is not just you in this form of grey existence.
Deity, superstition, addiction, and idol. All of these I practiced at some point and did so obliviously, without titles as I now list them, without analysis as I will now describe them. Now, further reflection and the power of after sight leaves me feeling foolish. I cannot rely on something to guide me, I feel too awake for this. I feel too beyond the possibilities of the intangible world, not in the sense of arrogant intelligence or insight but in the sense of realization based on personal experience that the derivative of all beliefs is weakness of the believer.
I began with a God, who I turned to in times of distress and who I thanked in times of bounty. I attributed misfortunes and achievements to Him. My strength was not my own, it was what He had given me. My flaws were forgivable and I relinquished my guilt at times by asking for His approval. I believed He planned for me. I believed at this time that everything happened for a reason because He made it so. I have not described my depth of faith in Him or my methods of devotion, but have provided a brief explanation to make the point that I let myself depend on an all-powerful being because I was too weak to accept responsibility alone, both good and bad, and too weak to direct my own personal goals and desires.
What I have taken away from this: I believe people depend on their deities because they do not have direction or purpose and are actively searching for it, which is weakness. Or, because they feel weak initially, and need something to give them strength.
Conversationally I am agnostic, but I feel no force with me at the end of the day.
I found superstition next. I looked for patterns; I held value to numbers and materials. I studied karma and I believed in it strongly. I searched for signs and for meanings in small events. I analyzed coincidence and made every action with excessive carefulness, taking the enjoyment out of many small things. I felt my decision-making becoming incredibly skewed and guided by the concepts of ritual items and ideas that in the end I could not fully convince myself of being legitimate, possible, or true.
What I have taken away from this: People wish to beautify life and attribute happenings to chance in case of failure or misfortune. This is done to get rid of emptiness or explain the unexplainable in a way that offers deeper meaning.
It will develop habits out of fear. I ended my simple dependence on superstitions over time and everything began seeming less significant. I no longer fear my wrongdoings will come back to bite me simply due to a crafted belief in the universal need for balance. At the same time, I do not feel there is such value in small day to day events, and yes this is very emptying.
I enjoy certain numbers still and I do think people give off different energies, but I feel no force with me at the end of the day.
My next phase was less worldly than the other two and more self-centered. I found during the time of idols I searched for those with traits I admired or aspired to have for myself, yes this is common to do. However, I went beyond surrounding myself with these people I looked up to. I constantly analyzed their actions and searched for themes in their lives. My worth was their treatment and acceptance of my own person, the irony being my own person was becoming a mesh of what I thought these people valued or hosted as incredible qualities. This lead to unhealthy insecurities and even unhealthier dependence on others in order to forge my happiness. Though I realized the people I idolized were flawed, I saw their flaws not as actual character issues that needed attention, but rather as tragic hero downfalls. I glamourized humans, which is a very dangerous thing to do in the sake of one’s sanity.
What I have taken away from this: Comparing yourself to others and holding other humans higher than you leaves you vulnerable to contrived insecurity and being let down. Everyone is flawed. It is fine to accept flaws, but to excuse them is not.
There are people now that I admire and not fully glamourize, but I feel no force with me at the end of the day.
My final belief experience, addiction, has been the most self-destructive and strongest of them yet. I will not go in to detail because I find it hard to understand and I feel I continue to battle it. I have spent the past few years practicing routines and relying on materials that I believed will give me some sort of freedom. I have sought comfort in materials and routines because of their familiarity, tangibility, and consistency. This has been my most unwillingly and automatic type of belief. The force it gave me was entirely negative and I was always left feeling needy.
What I have taken away from this: You will not find yourself through any diet plan, through any drink, through any drug. It is this simple.
I seek substances and routines now for experience enhancement, but I feel no force with me at the end of the day.
I envy those who are weak and able to give themselves belief. Belief is automatic, controlling, and responsible so you do not have to always be. It fills the void. I will not say you cannot fill the void with belief, because some people do, but it was not something that I could do. Those who do do it weakly, naively, and blissfully obliviously. I cannot lie to myself anymore. Independence is lonely, but it is the truest and most honest form of being. Reliance involves lies, however small and well-intended, and fabrications of meanings that are all but mirages. I know not where to go from here in this state of existing without belief, and it causes me much misery and issues with identity. It is not that I am lost due to lack of purpose because I have accepted there is no such thing as intended purpose, it is loss I struggle with in finding within myself how to conduct my own life.
Free will and the acceptance of the idea is both a gift and a curse. I have not yet fully opened this gift so do not think I revere myself as some saint, but I am aware of it and I am trying to learn how to use it most successfully. And I truly, fully, envy those who are opposite me and can blindly host a belief without it driving them insane as it did for me. The one you are looking for is you—I accept this now, I understand this now, and I am trying to be the force with me at the end of the day.