Sunday, July 26, 2009

Be My Shepherd

I'm warning you, if you're looking for the Sunday photo walk . . move on now . .we're about to get heavy . . .

I received an email today in response to one I sent from a blogger upon hearing some devastating news. I've only been following for a few months. She's amazing. She receives a lot of adoration via comments but that's not really my style. She's eloquent, articulate, funny and so, so, nice I resisted commenting on her blog for a while because I thought nobody could be quite that lovely. But after a few emails. Yep. She is.

Her family is going through a total crisis. And it all crashed down on her within a week. She's not the only one but at this point in time, she's in dire straits.

Her nephew has just had his stomach and a large chunk of his oesophegus removed due to a sudden and devastating lymphoma that refused to stop bleeding. He's 25 years old. The same age as my daughter. Can you imagine! Her sister has just undergone surgery for an aggressive brain tumour which she didn't even know she had and she herself survives inflammatory breast cancer above all odds. So here's the question . . Why in these times do we turn to God, Manon, Spirit Guides . Karma . . Angels . . .Am I the only person on the planet who hasn't any spirituality at all. I'll try anything but I don't really believe. When things go wrong, I appeal to a God in whom I don't believe. How does that work?

Where are they? How do these spiritual things help? I'm not being provocative here because if I felt an ounce of spirituality it would be channelled towards this woman and millions of others who suffer. I WANT to feel spiritual. I'm inviting it but it doesn't come.

I'm convinced there's no interventionist God. There are no guardian angels . . there are no spirit guides. There is no pale-bearded face watching us humans from a Boticellian shell while we breed like a pandemic virus and scurry around our destructive business. God as a concept to me has nothing to do with organised religion. It's a word to explain the inexplicable. That which is beyond our comprehension.

There is a consciousness that humans have developed and that's what separates us from 'lower' life forms. I use the term loosely as I've seen a bird mourn it's poor car-hit partner for days so don't tell me it doesn't comprehend the concept of death and separation. Yet we arrogant humans believe that WE are God. We invented the concept. And in middle class Western Europe we've made a career of it. We control people with it, we start wars over it . .we even thank God for our Academy Awards and we've made a business out of it.

For some reason God only helps humans and the 'particularly' middle class, financially viable people from my view. Or provides comfort to the abjectly poor in the favellas and third world because they need a glimmer of hope to which they can cling. Few in the west grieve the 11 out of 12 ducklings who meet their fate before their third day when they hatch inside my pool enclosure every year. Nobody gives a flying fuck about disenfranchised Zimbabweans or Somalis because they live in a God-forsaken (forgive the pun) place. Nobody cares about the plight of North Koreans who are starving and cold whilst their Dictator postures with nuclear weapons. No-one really gives a rats arse about Afghanistan and the bhurka clad women begging in puddles on the street because they were denied education and have no man to provide for them. Nobody gave a shit about Pol Pot and his genocidal tendencies 30 years after the Holocaust. Nobody has time for the drug addicts who won't help themselves or the beggar on the corner of Pitt and George because he sits there with a sign describing his plight instead of getting off his arse and volunteering or trying to get a job.

And frankly, nobody gives a bugger about fucking over the planet of which we have nominated ourselves to become custodians, yet rape for profit and self-aggrandisement.

I'm not pointing fingers here because right now, I'm sitting in the comfort of my own home, in front of a PC talking to people all over the world with a dog at my feet that eats better than any Rwandan child and a heater burning a hole in my chair. I am guilty. So, so guilty. My family are well educated, well fed, well loved. We are dry, fat, warm and healthy.

I'm really crazy mad about this stuff today. Life is fragile, we are a destructive organism bent on over-indulgence and we're killing each other and the planet through war and diseases that were hitherto unknown 200 years ago - lifestyle disease. Or maybe people just died of these afflictions and we didn't know how to diagnose them.

We are the cancer and then we wonder why God treats us badly, hurts good people, let's unfortunates suffer and yet lets ingrates like Madoff and Murdoch and a plethora of other rip- off merchants and arms dealers, so-called captains of industry and unscrupulous politicians succeed.

It's a lottery folks. There is no control no matter how much we yearn for it, no matter how we try to capture it, no matter how many self-help groups we attend or positive affirmations we make. Shit happens and for no particular reason and with a randomness that surpasses selecting lottery numbers.

We don't control our lives or our future . .it just happens. I'm sure there's a philosophical name for this chaos that surrounds us . .Chaos theory perhaps? Or is it the Butterfly Effect?

Whatever . . .we are born, we struggle, some more than others and then we die and many of us have a great time in-between, more of us live abominably short and painful lives.

This particular family, and I'm sure there are millions like them, are close, warm, loving, God fearing, appreciative yet suffering along with others they don't even know.

So . contrary to my spiritual beliefs or lack of them, please draw on whatever your beliefs might be and say prayers, have a coning ceremony, send karma and healing, draw on your spirit guides do what you can . . but for me . . all I can do is email and provide comfort. It's a sad but integral part of life. Life is beautiful, harsh, endearing, amazing, devastating, painful, labouring, leisurely, magnificent and terrible!

My thoughts are with her. My empathy gland is working overtime but I have no higher court to which I can appeal. All I can do is email and wish I could help her with the mundane- the ironing, the cooking, the cleaning, things she doesn't need to worry about between hospital visits and I'm sure her friends are doing this for her.

Frankly I don't know ho we as a race have lasted this long but for Renee I have enormous, compassion, empathy and feeling so why do I feel like an animal documentary producer who doesn't intervene because it will spoil the integrity of my Big Cat Diary?

Because I don't know what intervention will cure her woes. I don't know how to help. I don't know how to project healing. I don't know how to warm her heart and chase her fear. I can't draw on my own spirituality. Frankly, I don't know what to do for a myriad of people who suffer like her. I just DONT KNOW and it's terrible. I want an interventionist God and a guardian angel. I want to believe that there is more and that suffering will end for those who endure it . .I just can't see it . .


62 comments:

GayƩ Terzioglu said...

And just like how you wish you could help drawing on a higher spiritual place, I wish I could help you find it or explain how it all works. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, all I can say is "I feel the same".

"God as a concept to me has nothing to do with organised religion. It's a word to explain the inexplicable. That which is beyond our comprehension."

Yup. that's how i feel.
xox

nick said...

My sentiments entirely. Why so many people in this world have to suffer so dreadfully while others have a much better time of it is a mystery and like you I don't believe there is any supernatural guiding force we can appeal to. And yes, often all we can do is feel utterly helpless and wish there was more (or anything) we could offer. All we can do is try to make the most of our own lives and those of our loved ones. Beyond that, I have no answers.

Kath Lockett said...

There isn't an answer, at least not one that we can understand. The guilt can eat you up; as can rage about inequities and cruelties and the horror and shock of what humans will do to each other.... I think that all *we* can do, in our cosseted, safe, well-fed, nurtured lives, is just be the best person we can be. As for religion, it doesn't help and is often a larger cause for violence, repression and discrimination.

Mary said...

Baino, some people have shit lives. Some have bad genes and a predisposition to some awful diseases.Some people are born to rich parents in West London and others are born in sub-saharan Africa into a life of starvation. A fair few people are good-looking, some are ugly,some can be cosmetically well- presented (that is, pig ugly but done up to the nth degree.)so that they don't look too bad.Some can be educated, to a degree where the not so bright can pass for pretty damn smart.In Australia, rich folk can pay extra, in order that their off-spring get into courses for which they did not qualify.

Life is not fair.It never was.I was brought up Catholic, but it always seemed too random to me. Only as I get older (and I reckon I'm two weeks younger than you and born within a couple of miles. Yes, you do give out a lot of info)
do I consider any spitual dimension. For me, when I venture outside and look at the night sky,and realise how small I am, is the only time when I'm not completely of this world, when it all looks too big to be a mistake, when maybe,for a moment, I consider that something bigger is at work. Of course, the mood never lasts, and in the cold light of day
my atheistic heart reasserts itself. Neverthless, for those who suffer great misfortune, it may be
that they're just being called home early.If that sound weird or cynical, it's not meant to, butI never did understand why deeply religious folk feared death.

Having consumed an entire bottle of wine this afternoon, I realise that I am not very coherent. Equally, the gist of what I'm saying is clear.It's what I think when I'm sober and put out there when I'm drunk. Cheers.

subtorp77 said...

Baino, good points all round. Mankind is just another evolutionary experiment gone wrong, in this case. Most everything he/she needed to know has either yet to be discovered, or has been lost to the greed of the robber barons. We can't get along to-gether, can't share that which would benefit the whole of the species, can't entertwine with nature( let alone try to bloody controlle it! ); just rape, pillage and destroy like every generation before us. Let's see how many humans are around in 40 or 50 million years!

But for the here-and-now, I'll pray( to no one in particular, just pray ). Pray for a better world. Pray for a cure. Pray for the people you speak of. Pray for those I know( directly or indirectly ). And pray for myself, that I've got the with-all to slog through another day...

Sarah Lulu said...

Hello there ...I'm so sorry to hear of your blogger friend and her family. I also feel for you and your guilt ..as you call it.

And for other people suffering today in the world.

I also ..have faith ...yes I do and I wish it was my job to be a teacher, but it isn't so I can't explain it very well...

I can though, hold the faith, if you can't. I can too pray for your friend for you, and I hope that helps you as well as her.

I live my life on spiritual principles ...and I have a God of my own understanding, but I don't expect that others will have the same.

Sending you much love my friend,

Sarah Lulu

lettuce said...

i think about this stuff a lot Baino. And so much shit seems to happen all at once to wonderful people sometimes.

I agree with you about any kind of interventionist God and God as control and organised religion...
and how we are screwing up the planet

and i'm not sure what I think about God/s/ess...es...?? which aren't always necessarily such anthropocentric power models.

but i think maybe your contact and sympathy and compassion can help ease her heart just a little? I know compassion from friends - and from strangers actually - have helped me, somehow and inexplicably, in difficult times.

and I think part of the mystery that compels people to believe in... "something" ... is the fact that there is such a thing as compassion and imagination and altruism, despite what life can be like


pfft. this is a bit much for 9.30 on a weekend morning. I need more tea.

Brian Miller said...

such a heart wrenching and thought provoking post baino. As you have gleened I believe in God. I think there is so much more than burned out religeon, which at times seems man's way to grasp the unknowing and make themselves feel better by performing exercises that lack personality and relationship.

i have seen a lot of people do good things, i have met those that care. i don't think they come from one religeous practice in perticular. but they have a heart that bleeds for people like Renee.
in that i find hope and strengtth to continue to care myself.

i pray. i try to do things, because i believe we can hide behind our prayers or our promises to pray, quickly forgotten in the pace of the day. maybe the small things we do make a difference in th grand scheme.

my hope is that the love i feel becomes contageous through what i am able to provide. thats why i do it. because i know i am loved and nothing i can do will earn more of it.

bad things happen. sometimes i wish they did not. sometimes they make us stronger, sometimes they don't work out the way i wish they did. sometimes i just can't stop typing once i start...smiles.

my heart is with you and with renee. thanks for the wake up call this morning.

Cinnamon said...

You say you don't know how to help, but you are helping by being there, emailing your love and support. That means a lot. If there is a God, that is how we will be measured, by our actions.

I do believe in Something but I can't define it anymore. I have been a Catholic, a Penetcostal and now a Nothing. I think I see glimpses of 'God' in people. People like you.

Grannymar said...

Sometimes letting a friend know that you are there listening and caring is the best gift.

Nobody gets through this earthly life without problems of some kind. For some it is lack of money or food, yet others it is lack of employment and yet more the curse of illness, either mental or physical.

Acceptance spreads the weight and lightens the heart to continue and enjoy true friends.

one little acorn said...

I found you through comments on Renee's blog and the mini pic of Sydney Harbour. She is an inspiration to me and I share your sadness and feelings of helplessness. Whatever it is that we 'do' in these times... she needs it a thousand times over.
I do not pray either, but she is in my thoughts often.
Nice to 'meet' you.

English Mum said...

My lovely (and very staunchly Irish Catholic) friend was sat in her car waiting for a funeral cortege to pass on Thursday(the deceased was a 17 yr old lad who committed suicide). As they passed, she noticed someone fall and hopped out of her car to help. The poor lad's brother had had an epileptic fit and banged his head hard on the kerb. As she sat, soaking in his blood and trying to keep the broken-egg-like pieces of his skull together with her fingers, waiting desperately for the ambulance, willing him to live and spare his mother the anguish of losing another baby, she told me that it had been enough to turn her an Atheist. Yet still she believes.

I've written before about how I can't believe there can POSSIBLY be a god if he lets such terrible things happen, but don't you envy these people that have such faith? I personally have none (spirituality maybe but certainly not religion). The world is cruel and I understand your rage. I wish your friend love, luck and a swift recovery for all concerned xxxx

otin said...

God comes from a fear of death, people cannot grasp the concept of non existence. God is a crutch that allows most people to look forward to an afterlife, and also it allows people to have a way to ease their guilt when they make errors in life. If you really sit back and look at it from a logical standpoint, the idea of a supreme deity is almost comical. Th Greeks, Romans,and many other cultures all had Gods that they believed in, and we now read about them in mythology sections of bookstores, in 2000 years will people be checking out books on Christian mythology? People are responsible for every action that they make, and if they need forgiveness or change than they alone must take the responsibility to do so. People that live in poverty and conditions that are terrible, do so because of circumstance, or bad governing, or lack of education. People who suffer through illness do so because they are unfortunate, do you really think that any God would have a plan for someone, involving that much pain and suffering? Do you think that a God would create species of living breathing animals so that we could have something to eat!? I could rant all day on this subject, but I will end by saying that I wish I had the capacity to believe in a deity, even if one did not exist!

Rambling Rural Rector said...

There are times to debate and times to pray. Today I will be praying for that family. Praying they will sense God with them and that they will reach out to him. Praying for their healing, strengthening and the courage to keep going. I will be praying for God to be in the hands and intellect of those who care for them. I will be praying for God to be present through those who love them and with those who love them. On another day we debate. RRR

kj said...

my dearest baino, i sent you an email this morning before i read this post. i sent it because i wanted my hand on your shoulder and to let you know what a dear friend you are to me. i wanted you to know this because i believe the "god" we want to turn to is really only and fully our loving human connections, comforting one another, reaching inward and outward for courage, healing one another in some allegorical and some real way.

i don't really believe either, but i do believe there is an energy source that passes through and among us. and i believe that energy source is powerful and can be harnassed for good. that is how i try to live and what i want to share.

you know i too am heartbroken for renee, but i am hopeful still that she and her family will be alright. what i do HATE is similiar to what you've expressed: not being able to help in tangible ways.

you always make me think. i'm glad you are in my life. i wish you were closer. that's the most important thing i can say right now.

xoxo

California Girl said...

So many religions believe in a higher being. I don't know if it springs from a "fear of death" as Otin says or to explain the inexplicable, or because it is true.

I'm with Brian and English Mum, I believe in God. Brian remarks on the deeds good people do. They are easy to forget when there is so much suffering.

After decades in advertising, working with many kinds of clients and marketing approaches, I can tell you people are much more likely to express negative comments than positive comments. That being said, I feel it is human nature to concentrate on the same. I am guilty of this.

It is important to focus on what is wrong in order to make changes. But it's also important to remember all that good things are being done and not necessarily in the name of God.

My best friends believes in God but does not see God as "benevolent". Perhaps that is the answer.

Kate said...

My Mum used to say :'There but for the grace of God go I'- fine words...but that grace didn't stop the dreadful things that happened to her before she died... my Catholic upbringing and all the faith I had didn't stop my lovely son getting cancer....

Trying times they were and I found out who my friends were. And they weren't from the church!

I think I have spent the last few years just waiting for the next hammer to fall - I try to live my life well but take one day at a time...

I have read your friends blog and empathise so much... life is hard
for some and there is nothing we can do to change that...I don't believe in a God that lets that happen - thats for sure..

Leah said...

I believe dearly in God, something in me has to hang onto that, and I too grapple with all of what you are talking about, every day.

I just wanted to say that I love this heavy post and all the wide-ranging comments here.

VE said...

Could you pass the gravy...this post is very heavy! I know...you warned me.

AnnB said...

I just want to let you know, from a non believer, that the feeling of warmth from others praying,thinking, talking or just being with you when the proverbial hits the fan; it's extremely helpful.

We can't change this life but we can help a friend in need as we travel through. The little kindnesses mean a lot. I know; I have received so many.

Take care, Annb; a lurker who found you through your Irish blog pals.

Thriftcriminal said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar_tasters

Dot-Com said...

I don't think there is one answer that's right for us all. There's no God in my life. No guardian angels. But there's hope whenever there are tough times. And support from all those who cares.

We don't all need to find comfort in the same things, so we?

blueviolet said...

Thanks for the comment luv. I really do appreciate it. Otin's the best.

As to your post, I think you're right in that people were probably dying from these same things long ago but they died so much earlier without the medications we have today. Is it good that we prolong the lives of people and allow them a longer period of time to endure the pain? I don't know.

I think people find their own comfort and strength in whatever way suits them personally. Some use organized religion, some don't. It's actually a mix of the two within my own family, half and half.

A very thought provoking and interesting piece here. :)

Brighid said...

Enjoyed this post more than any I've read in a while. I don't care for organized religion at all. Just because one doesn't believe in organized religion, or God, doesn't make one a non believer. We just have a different point of view.

Chris Wolf said...

These are great questions, keep asking them!

laughingwolf said...

well said, baino...

crying we should eliminate the majority of folk on the planet and start over is problematic in itself: WHO decides the folk to be spared to begin again? and what guarantees can there be history will not be repeated? :(

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Baino,

Look,you don't need to have spiritual beliefs or a religion!What you do here,listening to hear,comforting her and be there for her is already great I think.It really is the best in fact.Everyone has their own way to help,here's yours.I would do the same too.I might believe in something higher,something we don't understand,but it doesn't matter,I would do the same as you do.It's a matter of good and bad.You are a good person and to me everything lies in the heart and soul.We don't need anyone in dress here!Sometimes those ones aren't pure at heart at all.Too many deceivers,you are right.I'm not religious and I don't need anyone to tell me what to do or not to do and to me,Vatican and pope shouldn't be.But what can we do?No one has the answers really.It really feels like a lottery just as you say sometimes it does.Look at the three big plane crashes,three in a row for example.I know we might feel lost sometimes.But really,what you do is the best thing to do here.

...mmm... said...

Although I really don;t have your viewpoint i do appreciate your honesty here. that is brave even. I "pray" you find answers that satisfy you. All I can say is that to me Jesus was the wisest man who ever lived and the only one who showed any real authority and he absolutely believed in angels, etc, and God, even claiming to have the power to forgive sins, do miracles that even his enemies didn't dare deny but tried to attribute to "beelzibub" etc.

you state: "Nobody gives a flying fuck about disenfranchised Zimbabweans or Somalis because they live in a God-forsaken (forgive the pun) place. Nobody cares about the plight of North Koreans who are starving and cold whilst their Dictator postures with nuclear weapons. No-one really gives a rats arse about Afghanistan and the bhurka clad women begging in puddles on the street because they were denied education and have no man to provide for them. Nobody gave a shit about Pol Pot and his genocidal tendencies 30 years after the Holocaust."
--I'm not sure whay ouy think that. I suspect it is the material you are reading doesn;t cover it. There are in fact thousands of Christain organisations adn missions to the most unloved, untoushed in this world, including rescuing those trapped in sex trafficking, etc simply because life has worth adn is to be respected. Everyone deserves love.

I will be back. Take care.

i beati said...

It is a lottery . I was a very strong woman 5 and 6 jobs- I don't even look the same.

But in these instances I send the harmony and good will and karma of the universe to these people. the spirituality of water, mountains, trees, flowers , all that is beautiful for them to visualize. I tell them to take I- p 6 a proven cancer fighter, and organics.

and I communicate with them often, do that they don't feel freaskish and alone because buddy you do feel that way

Baino said...

Look I knew this would be contentious and to those of you of faith, well done. There are two men of the cloth who visit this site of which I am aware and I regard them with absolute respect.

Craig we could do with your prayers for so many things so thank you for commenting and being polite enough to save 'argument' for another day.

Ian thank you too for being as inspiring as a religious man can be to someone who has no faith in God.

I wish I had an iota of spirituality, I really do. To those of you without, I hope you find it. To those of you who have it I hope it brings you comfort.

@ MMM . . . quite right that was a gross generalisation and a symptom of my mood last night. I was referring I suppose to the mainstream governments of the west who manage to spend liberally on countries like Iraq (the cynic in me says simply because it is Oil rich)

I support and am aware of many good deeds being done by Christian and non-Christian agencies alike (I'm actually a big supporter of St Vincent DePaul and the Salvos) but even Medicins Sans Frontiers and many other NGO's will not go into Dafour or Zimbabwe and are not permitted in North Korea ... I do agree with you that everybody deserves love! So share it I shall!

I might not have much spirituality but I have a big heart.

Thanks everyone. Very thoughtful comments.

Sarah Lulu said...

Baino ....

A big heart is spirituality.

You just have a different framework that's all.

Ronda Laveen said...

Baino: Ditto Sarah Lulu. Spirit guides, angels, God(esses), etc. are just positive energy. So when you send your best wishes and e-mails to help her, that is all you really need do. Concentrating and focusing that energy will help.

Will it change things, maybe yes-maybe no. Not according to the laws of Karma. Things are as they are for a reason. But your help will support and assist them in whatever they need to go through.

There are a lot of words people use to try to explain simple concepts in as many ways as possible trying to get the idea across. They are just semantics. A big heart and the wish to help IS spirituality. Each person gets it how they get it.

Mim said...

Question of the ages and very well written.
I was brought up Jewish and have a deep faith in something - I can't describe it. I was also taught that it is what I do in my life that makes a difference so while I can call on a higher power to give me some additional strength at times, I believe it is up to me to use that strength. But sometimes...only sometimes...I have some help from somewhere. Maybe it's really Martians - who the hell really knows.

I have been very concerned about Renee also, and sick at heart for her family. My very being wants to go to her house with Chicken soup. I've had hard knocks in my life, and it ain't the spiritual ones who help me get thru it, it's the practical ones.

But I also believe in the power of thought and hope and love - and if a tiny, teeny portion got thru to Renee and her family - it is worth it.

Can I end with "God Bless"???

The Man at the Pub said...

I reckon God is a construct that helps a lot of people deal with questions of life, death and all the tricky stuff in between. People that demand an answer other than "shit happens".

"Shit happens" is good enough for me, and I have a wonderful, rich life. There's no point looking for angels when you can't find them and don't need them.

patti said...

I found you by accident. My Google alerts showed Inflammatory Breast Cancer in your blog. So here I am. Probably an intruder....but here anyway.
Your words sound like my daughter 'used' to say to me. She 'used' to ask me why I prayed. She 'used' to ask me why people were praying for her while she fought Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
But for all her mind bending gestations of, "just prove it to me Mom"....the day came that she said, "promise me I will see Bart again"
Bart was her beloved Lab, who she had to put down. And she did go to be with him shortly after.
Everyone has their achilles' heel so to speak when the time comes for your true gut feelings. Mine? I saw the half smile, I heard her gramma tell me "it's OK, I have her now"....(and please don't roll your eyes at that comment) because it really did happen.
But for many of us that 'time' doesn't come to us until we really REALLY need it....which is why we are all individuals. Listen to your heart, not your mind. Listen to the wind, watch a butterfly, smell the earth after the rain has sweetened everything. But you DO have to listen. Center yourself with the peace in your heart, because your mind can really get in the way of progress sometimes.
Thank you for writing this piece, because you touched me....all the way from OZ.

Patti Bradfield, President
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation
www.eraseibc.com

The IBC Foundation Radio Show live and podcasts from previous shows
www.thruoureyes.org/ibcshow.html

www.komonews.com/ibc/

Baino said...

Patti I'm very sorry for your loss. No parent should outlive their child as my parent's in law would tell you. And you are most certainly not intruding. I value all the views and opinions of the commenters here, they've indeed been very sensitive and heartwarming. And I most certainly would never 'roll my eyes' just because someone has a different belief system to me. Thank you so much for dropping by.

Baino said...

Patti I'm very sorry for your loss. No parent should outlive their child as my parent's in law would tell you. And you are most certainly not intruding. I value all the views and opinions of the commenters here, they've indeed been very sensitive and heartwarming. And I most certainly would never 'roll my eyes' just because someone has a different belief system to me. Thank you so much for dropping by.

Megan said...

Wow, heavy post indeed. And such wonderful comments. I don't know what more to add (it's late here and I'm so tired!) but thank you for such a thought-provoking post, dear Baino.

River said...

Your heater is burning a hole in your chair? Get up and move that heater....(do you have fire insurance?)
Funny isn't it how so many of us say we don't believe in a god of any type, yet when trouble strikes we all pray to god for help. (Every week I pray to all the gods in all the heavens, (covering all bases here), to please let my lotto ticket numbers match the ones drawn out of the barrel on Saturday nights.)
A term I don't agree with is god-fearing. If I were the believing kind I'd want to believe in a kind and generous god, a god I could love and not fear. Why would you choose to live your life in fear that "god" might strike you down at any time because you've angered him? If i ever get into heaven and find out that there is a god up there I'll be sure and let everyone down here know.
I do care about all the people who are suffering with poverty, war, disease etc, but there isn't anything I can do.
Spirit guides are another matter. I have a cheap K-Mart print in my bedroom, I bought it because the colours match my quilt and furniture colours, if I look at it at the right angle there are three faces visible in the colour swirls. If I'm feeling particularly bad, just looking at them makes me feel better somehow.
Organised religion sucks. Most wars have either a power or religious beginning, so it follows that if organised religion didn't exist (my church and god are better than your church and god, nyah, nyah)a lot of the wars wouldn't be happening. See? Less suffering already.....

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!*

Compassion, you either have it or you don't, you do Baino.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!*

Compassion, you either have it or you don't, you do Baino.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

As I said on Facebook, this is going to take a longer response than comments allow for, I think. As there, here: "I am. Life is."

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hello Baino, Thank you so very much for stopping by! I bear a few leftover cheesebuns from this morning's breakfast!

What an interesting debate! First, I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's ordeal and the others around her!

I would like to wish her my prayers for a speedy recovery!

Have a wonderful day, Baino! :))

Ribbon said...

what if god was one of us?

I think you have an idea of my view of this subject from my post a short time ago.... well the clip I posted.

this can be a huge topic and one that I think is well worth discussing.... but it's way too late for me now.

well done for writing this.

xoxo Ribbon

Kate Hanley said...

The post and the comments are so overwhelming and thought provoking. I'm choked with emotion and uncertainty. I do wish your friend and her family the best of luck as they deal with these illnesses.

Ribbon said...

PS... what's happened to your kangaroo?
the buggar's hopped away?

Ces said...

Dear Baino. I believe in God. The word "miracle" was invented to explain phenomena that cannot be explained by science, logic, reasoning and medicine.

As for being spiritual, I think you are equating it with being religious. I see you as a spiritual being. No you are not religious but spiritual nevertheless.

wasn't it you who said on my blog that we all have crosses to bear?

Life is destined. We may not know it and those who profess to know are fools and worse, those who profess to interpret it according to their fancy.

You are spiritual and by the way, very thoughtful and you don't even have selfish motives.

Have a great day dear. I will be in class all week so not much showing up online and I will be gone after this week. Take care.

...mmm... said...

Yes, you have a big heart that is why it angers you so. I get that.

There are infinitely more Christian agencies than any other one religion or secular in fact. Even red cross began as a christian concept. The point being that with all its faults the christian church believes all of us only ever stand by grace so who are we not to extend it to others, the most innocent and defenseless, in love and so on.

California Girl said...

Baino: Your post touched me so I came back to see what other have written. Patti's comment moves me most of all and I feel for her. She is right...listening to the wind, watching a butterfly and smelling the earth after a rainfall is very restorative.

jay said...

I am one who does believe in a higher power. I am reluctant, these days, to call Him/Her/It 'God' because of the terrible things that have been done in that name, and because I have problems with a lot of mainstream religion, but I do believe there is something bigger than us. Maybe it is just that the Universe itself is sentient and is studying us, trying to understand itself. I have no way of figuring it out. I do know that miracles happen, that shit happens, that we must struggle on despite all, and that faith sustains some of us in hard times.

Do what you do so well, Baino, and support people from your heart - and stop trying to second guess yourself. You are a great friend to those in need, you don't have to dress it up in belief or religion to do good. And you can't force yourself to believe if you don't. ;)

Betsy said...

I wanted you to know that I prayed for your friend and her family as I read your post. I do believe in God. But that doesn't mean my life will be easy and carefree. Three of my four boys are autistic. Difficult things happen to everyone...that is just life...and there are no easy answers. It's all about if you choose to bloom where you are planted. You can be bitter, or you can with God's help rise above the circumstances.

tony said...

Take Heart Baino! god my well be a subjective rather than objective creature.It;s all a Mystery.Doubt is a virtue in such matters.Yes,a Middle Class God isnt worth a dime.
Thank You For The Weight Of Your Post.

Renee said...

Dearest dearest friend, you amaze me again.

This is profound.

'Life is beautiful, harsh, endearing, amazing, devastating, painful, labouring, leisurely, magnificent and terrible!'

Yes, it is all of these things.

For me I believe that God could not interfere even if he wanted to. I never pray to be healed and yet of course I do. I don't necessairily pray, I more beg.

I beg and yet I know there will be no cure from that source.

When I pray to God it is more for him to be with me, for me to find comfort in knowing that I am not alone.

When I pray to God it is for him to bring someone like you into my life.

You are a gift to me Helen.

This post was remarkable. Chaos rules and I believe that to be true. But for me God comforts and I will take any comfort I can get.

Love you Helen.

Love Renee xoxoxo

kj said...

chills.

what power in your essay and these comments.

xo

Baino said...

OK that's enough. I was angry on Sunday. I still don't believe in organised religion. I love your comments and you've all put real thought into this one. I have NEVER had so much feedback on a post before so thank you so much. And frankly, whatever is your thing, whatever gives you comfort and solace - keep doing it (I'm practising coning at the moment, very relaxing) Hold your faith close and make it your friend. For me, it's not religion but I have had so many wonderful emails from both sides of the fence. Thank you.

And Renee . .I hope your God is a sweet and compassionate one who keeps you company on your journey. This is why I WANT some semblance of spirituality. You know when I first read your blog, I didn't much like the comments. (plus there were too many to read). They were a little luvvy duvvy for a crusty marshmallow like me but . . having lived with a cancer sufferer . Who was just as brave and wonderful as you . .You are an inspiration and whatever gives you strength , draw on it. I understand why people are drawn to you and say such nice things about you.

I have this thing . .I can't 'love' someone I haven't met but I have a deep affection for many people who comment and email. You're, clever, bright, inspiring, honest and fucking awesome frankly and are right up there. You're a champ. And if mind over matter works, you're definitely going to be around for a long, long, time. Take care of YOURSELF

Apologies to other commenters to whom I haven't responded directly. I really didn't expect this. You are all amazing, you are all very honest and I appreciate all your different points of view. I am one lucky blogger! Whatever your spiritual 'thing' take this on board:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand

I love this Irish Blessing . . I read it as part of the Eulogy to my father's funeral. Not a dry eye in the house. Now go away and be funny.

...mmm... said...

Baino, what a perfect ending you leave here with your last comment. Take care. I so enjoyed reading all the comments. I only ask your followers to consider the fact that although a lot of bad has been done in name of "religion" (not necessarily real faith), let's also not forget the far more destruction and evil ( in terms of mere numbers) done in the name of no religion--look at the 60 million alone killed in soviet Russia's purges and the darkness of communist North Korea. Of course there are extremes on either end, but that does not mean there is nothing to hold onto in the middle somewhere and the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater. (Love that off expresion!)

Colette Amelia said...

Well baby I keep seeing my thoughts here and even a few of me words...yes sometimes I want to scream...and yet at times I guess I would love the comfort of believing that there is some omni potent being that will look after me and make everything all right...

But why the hell should it? There are so many more who need more help...and why not help them?

And then there is the air fairy shit like the secret crap just believe and it will happen. Well I guess all those poor buggers are thinking that they would not like to eat or they would like to experience an earthquake or living with a dictator so they better think different thoughts!

Who knows what goes on and all I am beginning to realize that it is all out of control...so hold on and do your best.

Poetikat said...

I'm late to this discussion, but I would like to add that I believe in God, I pray daily and I don't hold him accountable for all the hurt and wrongs in this world.
I will pray for your friend and the sadness that has befallen her and her family.

I recognize that many people don't share my belief and I don't try and force it on anyone, but I pray that you may come to see things differently.

Kat

Renee said...

Thank you doll. Thank you very much.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Annie Ha said...

Wow. Gonna ponder on this one for a bit. Very well said, though.

ArtSparker said...

I think it's very simple, when we are frightened we want a parent to take care of us. This is why certain branches of Christianity encourage adherents to be frightened all the time.

Bill Stankus said...

Perhaps it's all because we have a stupid gene that's all twisted up in our DNA.

Humans tend to believe in myth faster than they will accept facts. There's lots of money changing hands in the religious and symbols business - more so than many other endeavors.

Yep, we're still in the cave, afraid of the dark and the boogieman.

Let's all recite some mumbo jumbo and levitate to a higher plane of existence. Hah hah!