I sleep with my heart on my chest. It reminds me of how human I am, soothes me, puts me to sleep. Been a habit of mine ever since I was a child, evident to those who are close enough to notice. My sleeping habits however are not the reason for this days post.
Even as a toddler and in my youth I was brought up to respect religion. I had the influence\exposure to numerous faiths and beliefs. Subject to the one of my parents I was thought the basic principles religion teaches; one should not cheat, lie, kill, steal n so on. I loved the face it presented. The answers it gave. I was so caught up in it that I would sometimes lose myself for hours on end in mediation and prayer. The ecstasy that I found in meditation led me to want to become a priest/a religious leader.
As I grew I was always a 'good child' I was quite exemplary, never getting into any fights or any of the naughty stuff that my peers would be getting into as we aged. I decided that I should spend more time reading. It was always a hobby of mine and since I was already so fond of religion I decided to make that my focus. I have read the bible cover to cover examining verse by verse with my young mind. I noticed that a few things didn’t add up. I remember asking thing like: Who made god? Why should he tell us not to be jealous if he is? Are we to follow the law of the Old Testament or not? If the world is only a few thousand years old are all scientists in a conspiracy to fool us into eternal damnation? I got answers but none that ever satisfied me. They all left gaps usually ending in ‘You were not meant to understand, such is the knowledge of only God who knows all n sees all’.
As I grew older the more indepth the questions became. I wondered about sin. It seemed as though no matter what I did, how much I repented or how desperately requested the aid of god’s active force I could only see improvement in my deeds but it did very little or I could even say nothing in my mind.
I began to hate myself for being imperfect because urges and thoughts that came to me so naturally were sin and would result in my eternal bath in hell fire. If sin came naturally because I was born into it then overcoming it should be even more innate because I was fashioned after great perfection. But this proved to be a problem that wouldn’t let up.
By now I am sure you would have deduced what religion I was or at least what belief I had. I am also pretty sure that you came up with answers/antidotes for each of my troubles as you read. I am almost positive however that I have heard them already, attempts that make very little sense and answer nothing. Be my guest and try. If I am wrong, I am not beyond approach and would love to believe that I didn’t waste years of my youth hating on myself for no reason you would find that I am still always willing to listen. But for now I maintain my concluded belief however allow me to continue…
During my teen years, though conflicted I took on leading roles in my faith. Preaching the word and teaching the ways of a life that I continued to fail at. I was a whole lot of nothing. I became beautiful but empty shell. I prayed and meditated but would only experience momentary solace. I decided not to go to church anymore. I was too ashamed to show myself there. I was even more afraid that the pastor would look into me and see the conflict inside my soul.
I wanted answers that religion didn’t seem to have. I was looking for a comfort that couldn’t be found. I then took a liking to psychology I read almost every text I could find that offered some sort of attempt to explain the brain and how it works and why certain things seemed beyond my control. I found a sense comfort in these writings. Understanding that I was not alone and that the activity of my subconscious was a very normal part of brain development.
Naturally whilst reading texts on these topics I was destined to bounce up some sort of literature on evolution. Which left me with the theory that I was part of a beautiful, intricate process already millions of years old. It then lead to my love for biology even Theoretical Physics.
The more I read the more I found myself. I found a comfort, a joy in my life that most creationists only dream of but never truly have because in their hearts they ‘know’ that in some secluded act in their lives or even in their very thoughts their religion condemns them to eternal torment and even the excuse of ‘imperfection’ can’t excuse them for their repetitive deeds. They are each fighting a useless battle.
I have learnt that my very existence, my conscious is precious beyond compare yet I am as insignificant to the universe as a grain of sand is to the desert. It is for this reason that I love and show compassion and care and respect for my fellow man. I understand that this is all we have and that we must cherish and make the most and best of it. I understand that we are all made up of the same substance, the same elements, we are connected and we are one.
It is because of , not in spite of this that I cry out to the world for peace so that we may survive as a species and though I may not see it, I may have faith that my offspring and their generations to come shall experience the next and more amazing steps of human progress. This brings me personal joy. This brings my sense of belonging.
I am Tevin Edwards and I am complete.